Associate Director Adaptive Dance| Principal Faculty
Heather Fryxell (formerly Heather Sanders) was born and raised in Florida where she received her early dance training with Thomas Armour. Upon leaving Miami, Ms. Fryxell attended the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, majoring in English literature and educational psychology while on a full tuition talent scholarship. During her educational experience, Ms. Fryxell danced extensively with both universities’ dance companies and toured the west as a guest artist. Ms. Fryxell then danced with the Atlanta Ballet before joining Southern Ballet Theatre (currently Orlando Ballet) as a principal dancer. During her eleven year tenure with the company, she also taught in the company’s school and served as a lecture demonstration coordinator from 1996-2000, directing performances for over 20,000 Orange county school students. In her last year with Southern Ballet Theatre, Ms. Fryxell directed the School of Southern Ballet Theatre. In addition to the positions Ms. Fryxell held at Southern Ballet Theatre, she also created her own adaptive dance program, Movement Mentor, in which she volunteered her time to teach dance to children and adults of special needs. Movement Mentor is now a part of the Ballet West education and outreach program and is taught in six schools here in Utah and also in Florida.
In 2000, Ms. Fryxell co-founded the Central Florida Ballet and the Ballet Academy of Central Florida. There she taught in and directed the school, directed the student company, developed her adaptive dance program, and danced in the professional company. Upon returning to Utah in 2005, Ms. Fryxell began teaching at Ballet West where she is a principal faculty member and associate director of adaptive dance.
Ms. Fryxell has danced the principal roles in all the great classics including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Cinderella, and Swan Lake, La Sylphide, Carmen, and Don Quixote, among others, and she has also performed in Balanchine ballets and contemporary works.
Awards and accomplishments include competing in the International Ballet Competition in 1990, performing at the International Ballet Festival in Cuba in 1992, earning degrees in English literature and educational psychology from Brigham Young University, and being honored with Honorary Alumna at Brigham Young and Heather Sanders Appreciation Day for the city of Orlando. Ms. Fryxell’s teaching career has spanned 3 decades, teaching ballet to students of all ages and skill level. Having also had extensive experience coaching dancers, Ms. Fryxell has had many award-winning students who have won top honors at national and international ballet competitions.