Chief Sponsor: Jennifer Dailey-Provost

Senate Sponsor: Jen Plumb


9     General Description:
10          This resolution recognizes the 75th anniversary of University of Utah's Tanner Dance
11     and honors Virginia Tanner's continued legacy and the legacy of the Tanner Dance
12     faculty and staff.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This resolution:
15          ▸     recognizes the 75th anniversary of Tanner Dance;
16          ▸     honors Virginia Tanner's continued legacy of inclusivity, creativity, and excellence
17     in teaching young arts;
18          ▸     recognizes the remarkable leadership and growth over 75 years to currently serving
19     8,000 students weekly and reaching 40,000 Utahns annually; and
20          ▸     acknowledges the generous community support allowing further enhancement of the
21     programs that enrich the lives of the children and adults Tanner Dance serves.
22     Special Clauses:
23          None

25     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
26          WHEREAS, as the oldest children's dance company in the United States, University of
27     Utah Tanner Dance has brought joy and the positive influence of the arts into the lives of more

28     than one million young people;
29          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance celebrates its 75th anniversary along with the incredible
30     legacy that Virginia Tanner began in 1949 with her unwavering commitment to fostering
31     creativity in the lives of children;
32          WHEREAS, revered modern dance pioneer, Doris Humphrey, stated in 1949 that the
33     "children offer a wonderful proof of the power of the young artist, guided wisely, untarnished
34     by dogma or routine, unstereotyped, and lovely. This source of fresh ideas in dance-art is a
35     treasure house...";
36          WHEREAS, Walter Terry, Dean of American dance critics, wrote in 1953 "From the
37     first, there was beauty. The children were wonderfully disciplined, yet gloriously free. They
38     dance as if they had faith in themselves, had a love of those of us who were seeing them,
39     actively believed in their God, and rejoiced in all of these";
40          WHEREAS, Jose Limon spoke of Miss Virginia Tanner in 1978, proclaiming, "Salt
41     Lake City is the most blessed city in the world to have the world's master children's dance
42     teacher. There isn't any place that has anyone who can touch her genius for teaching children
43     the exciting purity of the dancing arts.";
44          WHEREAS, Virginia Tanner's motivating force behind work is "not only developing
45     excellent dancers, but more importantly, developing young people who are useful, imaginative,
46     worthwhile human beings.";
47          WHEREAS, Virginia Tanner began teaching dance classes in her home in 1935, then
48     moved to the Deseret Gym, then McCune School of Music and Art, then Temple Bowling
49     Alley on North Temple and Main, and finally in 1961, to the University of Utah where the
50     company was housed in a World War II barracks building;
51          WHEREAS, in 2014 the Tanner Dance program moved into its exquisite and
52     permanent home in the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Education Complex on the University
53     of Utah campus;
54          WHEREAS, as Tanner Dance embarks on this historic 75th anniversary year, the
55     company remains an internationally recognized leader in dance and arts education for children,
56     steadfast in its dedication to upholding the integrity of its programming and the excellence of
57     its leadership in artistic faculty and staff;
58          WHEREAS, more than 40 years after Tanner's death, the program, under the leadership

59     of Mary Ann Lee and her renowned faculty and staff, has grown exponentially to include not
60     only dance but also visual art, language arts, and music, teaching artists that have been
61     mentored in Tanner's unique teaching philosophy;
62          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance reaches approximately 40,000 students across Utah through
63     various programs, outreach, and special performances;
64          WHEREAS, knowing that the arts play an essential role in nourishing individuals and
65     rebuilding communities, there has never been a more important time to provide an imaginative,
66     inclusive, and nurturing space for children and adults;
67          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance currently engages nearly 1,000 students each week in
68     creative arts through the Fine Arts Preschool and French Immersion Preschool, the Virginia
69     Tanner Dance Creative Dance and Studio Program, the Contemporary Companies, and the
70     internationally renowned and second-oldest performing arts organization in Utah, the
71     Children's Dance Theatre;
72          WHEREAS, extending Tanner Dance's reach to 7,000 scholarship students across 35
73     schools, through Side-by-Side Teaching Residency program, professional development
74     workshops, and distance learning, skilled faculty and dance specialists provide equitable,
75     rigorous dance training to under-served and diverse populations in rural areas, refugee
76     communities, ethnically diverse student groups, indigenous tribal communities, and to those
77     with physical or cognitive disabilities;
78          WHEREAS, students develop skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, empathy
79     for peers, creative expression, curricular connections and ultimately experience the
80     transformative power of dance and the arts while infusing dance and collaborating with
81     professional musicians into academic subjects;
82          WHEREAS, Amber Clayton, Principal at Granger and Millcreek Elementary schools
83     stated, "Our students speak more than 32 different first languages, and more than 70% of our
84     families qualify for free and reduced lunch. This level of arts instruction, weekly access to a
85     professional dance instructor and live musician, is out of reach for most. Tanner brings
86     equitable access to the arts. Then art does what it does best makes us all better human beings.";
87          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance embraces inclusivity through Adaptive Needs Dance classes
88     for children and adults with disabilities;
89          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance nurtures cognitive needs and physical skills through the

90     Learning and Engaging through Arts Discipline and Development (LEADD) and the Elevate
91     Theater Company programs;
92          WHEREAS, participants in Tanner Dance's programs develop confidence,
93     communication, socialization, movement skills, and a meaningful connection to their
94     community;
95          WHEREAS, no matter the program in which a child participates, Tanner Dance strives
96     to help each and every one of them become compassionate and resilient individuals through
97     memories made, skills learned, and relationships formed, inspiring them for the rest of their
98     lives;
99          WHEREAS, students learn to understand and interact with the world around them by
100     engaging with music, visual art, children's literature, and nature;
101          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance creates young artists that have developed communication
102     skills, emotional intelligence, compassion, determination, and a life-long desire to move, learn,
103     and engage;
104          WHEREAS, the professional arts experiences for junior high and high school dancers
105     builds advanced skills in leadership and creative problem solving, helping students improve
106     college-readiness, whether in dance or other disciplines, discover their capabilities, and engage
107     in positive community involvement as they become young adults;
108          WHEREAS, the Tanner Dance Program at the University of Utah aligns with the
109     university's mission of teaching, research, and service by building bridges within the
110     community, offering professional development for arts specialists and classroom teachers;
111          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance serves as an essential arts auxiliary to the College of Fine
112     Arts through teaching internships for college students, collaborative research projects, and
113     degree enrichment courses in multiple departments developed and taught by Tanner Dance
114     faculty;
115          WHEREAS, Tanner Dance remains committed to Virginia Tanner's philosophy to give
116     students the opportunity to share their own voices through the arts, allow a more diverse
117     population in Utah to benefit from the outstanding programs, and retain a position as an
118     internationally-recognized innovator in arts education; and
119          WHEREAS, the continued support and partnership of organizations including the Utah
120     State Board of Education Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools (POPS), National

121     Endowment for the Arts, Salt Lake City Arts Council, Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks
122     (ZAP), and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums will enable Tanner Dance to bring beauty
123     and artistry into the lives of all Utahns for another 75 years:
124          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the State of Utah, the
125     Governor concurring therein, recognizes and celebrates the 75 years of dedicated service and
126     artistic enrichment provided by the Tanner Dance Program to Utah, beginning with Miss
127     Virginia Tanner in 1949 and continued by Mary Ann Lee and her faculty and staff of Tanner
128     Dance to present day.
129          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor commend Tanner
130     Dance for remaining committed to Virginia Tanner's philosophy to give students the
131     opportunity to share their own voices through the arts, allow a more diverse population in Utah
132     to benefit from the outstanding programs, and retain a position as an internationally-recognized
133     innovator in arts education.
134          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor celebrate the past
135     75 years of achievements and look forward to the many more moments of beauty, artistry,
136     inclusivity, creativity, and inspiration University of Utah Tanner Dance will bring to the state
137     of Utah.