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Ring around the Rose is a “wiggle-friendly” performance series for kids and families that explores the world of the arts. Ring Around the Rose takes place every second Saturday and is hosted by The Repertory Dance Theatre.

We attended the Ballet West performance this month and were pleasantly surprised at how well catered to kids their performance was. It was the perfect balance between performance, participation, and education. And they had my kids’ attention the entire time.

The performance is totally family friendly. They kept the lights on in the audience which made it easy to meet the needs of your kids while still watching the performance. There were three or four parents bouncing fussy babies of to the side and none of us cared because we were all there with kids.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to introduce young kids to the arts. Most performances are much too long for any kid to sit through and that’s if they are even old enough to be allowed into the performance. It was so nice to give my kids a little taste of ballet without having to worry about ruining the performance for the entire audience.

Ballet West did such a great job at introducing our kids to the art of ballet.

They began by explaining how it important it was to prepare their muscles before dancing. And they demonstrated the warming up process as well.

The dancers then introduced themselves, told us where they were from, and taught us something about ballet. Once dancer taught us about turn out and why it is important. Another dancer taught us about partnering and showed us some partnering moves.

They then invited any kids who wanted to to join them on the stage. My girls were both too shy to participate (which was such a bummer for me). The kids were so cute as they learned to stretch and perform some basic ballet steps.

At the end, Ballet West performed a 20 minute version of the Nutcracker ballet. Before performing, they explained the story of the Nutcracker and introduced all the characters in the ballet. They also took time to explain things the kids might not understand. They explained and demonstrated how ballet doesn’t have words so they rely on gestures to communicate. They explained and demonstrated how different characters move differently depending on who they are. The mechanical bear used quick, stiff movements to show that he is a mechanical bear whereas the rag doll uses movements that look sloppy to show that she is a rag doll. I really loved that they took so much time to teach the kids about the ballet they were about to see.

When we got home, my girls couldn’t stop talking about their favorite characters. They were saying things like, “I loved the sugar plum fairy best of all” and “Did you see Van, he thought the mechanical bear was so funny”. They would have never understood the ballet so well if it hadn’t been explained like it was.

Once it was all over and the dancers had left, they let our kids try out the ballet bar. Our kids were in heaven, of course.

The Repertory Dance Theater knows what kids like. They handed each of them a balloon on the way out, and our kids left with the biggest smiles on their faces.

The Next Ring Around the Rose event is on February 13th. It’s called Fun With Film. It's all about the world of animation. Kids will get to watch and participate in film-making first hand.

Ring Around the Rose takes place every second Saturday at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center at 11:00 am.
Helpful Tips

You can purchase tickets over the phone (by calling the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center @ 801-355-2787) or at the ticket office the day of.

  • Seating is general admission.
  • 0-12 months are free
  • 13 months-2 years are free but need a free ticket
  • 3 and up are $5/person

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