Ballet dancers at the Chicago Dancing Festival

When Adam Sklute left his longtime home at the Joffrey Ballet three years ago, he headed to Salt Lake City to join the management of the little-known Ballet West. The move gave him an opportunity to direct the classics—and perhaps raise the profile of a regional company. “It’s been a wonderful joy,” he says, “because these were always ballets that were a passion of mine, and ballets that were not as much a part of my repertoire when I was part of the Joffrey.” Sklute’s tutelage has already taken the company to the Kennedy Center and the cover of Dance Magazine. At the Saturday night finale of the Chicago Dancing Festival, Sklute will lead 28 dancers through George Balanchine’s Serenade. “When they see Serenade awash in the music of Tchaikovsky,” says Sklute, “the audience will love it.”

GO: The Chicago Dancing Festival runs August 26th to 28th at multiple venues. For info, go to



Photograph: Courtesy of Ballet West