SALT LAKE CITY – As the curtain rises again on the annual holiday tradition of Ballet West’s The Nutcracker, there is a new video series that recently debuted showing the athletic work that the dancers undergo to stay healthy – with the help of Intermountain Healthcare sports medicine clinicians, who provide medical support for dancers.

The series features Ballet West dancers training and demonstrating common injuries that may occur. The dancers and Intermountain sports medicine experts give tips so that people can see how injuries are treated and learn methods to recover safely.

“These are athletes at the highest caliber,” said Ted Hugunin, director of Intermountain Healthcare Sports Performance. “It is an honor to be able to help provide medical rehabilitation and assist them back to the studio and onto the stage.”

For instance, correct lifting technique is vital in ballet as well as daily life. In the video series, Intermountain caregivers teach key strategies for reducing the risk of back injuries.

In classical ballet, dancers can develop shoulder and neck soreness from holding their arms in first through fifth positions repetitively, so stretches are shown in the video series to improve shoulder blade position to help alleviate neck tension.

Poor posture affects dancers and non-dancers alike, which can lead to tension headaches, muscle aches and pains, decreased balance, and neck and back pain. In another video, Ballet West dancers share techniques for addressing this issue.

The videos will be released every month and will be shown on Ballet West’s and Intermountain’s social media channels. The videos can all be viewed at

Intermountain sports medicine experts provide medical support for Ballet West dancers throughout the entire season as they train rigorously on a daily and weekly basis.

Intermountain’s experts from TOSH–The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital-are onsite for Ballet West dancers in the studio with a variety of services from physical therapists, athletic trainers, primary care providers, dietitians, biomechanics specialists, and sports psychologists.

Intermountain also recently announced a similar partnership with the Las Vegas Raiderettes.

Willam Christensen’s historic production of The Nutcracker (Dec. 2 -24) is back for the holidays, followed by the beloved fairy tale The Sleeping Beauty—featuring spectacular brand-new sets designed by acclaimed French artist Alain Vaes, thanks to a generous contribution from John and Andrea Miller and grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

Dana Rimington, Senior Manager of Communications and Publications | 801-869-6918


BALLET WEST, one of America’s leading and largest ballet companies, led by Artistic Director Adam Sklute, has earned an international reputation for artistic innovation and excellence since its founding in 1963. For more than 50 years, the Salt Lake City-based Company has entertained and excited audiences in Utah and worldwide by presenting great classical ballets, historical masterpieces, and new cutting-edge creations with only the highest artistic and professional standards. The Company continues to build future ballet artists and audiences by providing classical ballet training through the Frederick Q. Lawson Ballet West Academy and its four campuses and more than 1,000 students. Ballet West also operates one of the largest outreach and education programs in the country which reaches hundreds of thousands of children and adults throughout Utah and the Intermountain Region every year. The 22/23 Season is generously sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and Salt Lake Zoo, Arts & Parks, and Intermountain Health Care.