Faculty & Staff

Barbara Barrington Jones Ballet West Academy at Thanksgiving Point



ACADEMY DIRECTOR | Peter LeBreton Merz

Peter LeBreton Merz was named academy director in 2015.  He has committed to building on the tradition of excellence at the Academy, and is dedicated to raising the level of training to be on par with the best national and international ballet schools.

Merz brings over 20 years of experience as a dance educator and choreographer to his role as academy director.  From 2004-2015, he served on the faculty of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA.  While there, he rose to the rank of Associate Professor, tenured, and led the ballet unit of the faculty for seven years.  He taught courses in ballet technique, pointe, male enchainment, classical pas de deux, dance composition, theater stagecraft, and an academic class in “Arts and the Human Experience”.

Merz has served as a coach, choreographer and jury member for several ballet competitions, including the USA International Ballet Competition, the Korea International Ballet Competition, the American Dance Competition, and the Youth America Grand Prix.  He was named Outstanding Teacher by the YAGP jury at the Pittsburgh regional in 2014, and has twice been named Outstanding Choreographer.


Jennie’s initial training began at Classical Ballet Conservatory under Sandra Allen, Mary Ann Hatten and Connie Burton.  At age 13, she began training with Utah Regional Ballet under the artistic direction of Jacqueline P. College.  During her years with Utah Regional Ballet, Jennie received scholarships from Joffrey Ballet School (New York), Pacific Northwest Ballet School (Washington), and the School of American Ballet (New York).  She won Dance Magazine’s sponsored scholarship to Craft and Choreography in 1987. READ MORE+



MIKYLA ARRINGTON | Academy Administrator