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Sandy Journal

LINKing together with dance

Jun 28, 2018 09:34AM ● By Cassie Goff

Over 100 dancers from all over the nation attended the LINK festival in Sandy and Cottonwood Heights. (SALT Contemporary Dance)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

Athletes from all over the world leaped to Sandy and Cottonwood Heights during the week of May 14–19 for the LINK Dance Festival, organized by SALT Contemporary Dance and the Cottonwood Heights Arts Council.

Starting on Monday, over 100 participants met at the Pointe Dance Academy (10981 N. 5600 W., Highland) for the festival. Fifteen different dance companies worked with 12 choreographers over the next six days for a full week of dance projects. Within that week, participants attended various classes (including ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, commercial jazz, gaga, partnering and modern dance), workshops, socials, auditions and rehearsals, equating to over 54 hours of rehearsals and training, 25 stage works, two installations and two evening performances.

Many of the performances had intense turnaround times. For example on Tuesday, dancers met for rehearsals around noon, after two morning classes. After those rehearsals, four hours later, dancers headed to an on-location site for filming. For an hour and a half, videographers edited the footage and at 9 p.m. that night, the film was screened.

The festival closed with two evening performances held at the Cottonwood Heights Theatre at Butler Middle School at 7530 S. 2700 E. On Friday, May 18, dancers rehearsed for four hours before dressing for the LINK Company concert, an evening performance by 15 dance companies. On Saturday, the LINK New Works concert took place where new works from choreographers were shown.

The dance companies that performed included Body Logic Dance Company from Midvale, CONDER/dance from Arizona, Divinity Dance from Salt Lake City, Elle Vie Dance Company from California and Florida, Gileadi Dance from California, Jess Harper with Kairos Dance Company from California, Myriad Dance Company from Salt Lake City, Oquirrh West Project from West Jordan, Project Flux from Boise, St. George Dance Company, the Penguin Lady from Salt Lake City, the Starry-Eyed from Utah and Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company.

The choreographers part of this event included Rebecca Aneloski from SALT; Madysen Beighley, founder of the Ethos Dance Project; Monica Campbell, assistant professor for dance at Utah Valley University; Christian Denise, a choreographer from New York City; Eldon Johnson from SALT; Jay Kim, assistant professor for the University of Utah Ballet Program; Alice Klock from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago;  LajaMartin — two choreographers originally from Germany and now based in New York City — Laja Field and Martin Durov; Logan MicGill from SALT; and Nick Palmquist, a New York City choreographer.

The LINK Dance Festival was organized by SALT Contemporary Dance; a nonprofit organization founded five years ago by Michelle Nielsen. “The festival connected elite performers with companies across the state of Utah and choreographers from around the world,” Nielsen said.  

SALT’s next performance will be Pan — the story of Peter Pan come to life through the magic of contemporary dance on the Marina Cove Beach. Pan will be held July 18–21 and July 25–28.

For more information on SALT, visit

The Cottonwood Heights Arts Council helped put together the LINK dance festival, along with the current art exhibition, The Second Resurrection, on display at Cottonwood Heights City Hall, 2277 E. Bengal Blvd. The arts council will also be showing “Big,” the Musical on July 27, 28, and 30, and Aug 2, 3, 4, and 6, at the Cottonwood Heights Theater.