Meet Our Faculty

Our instructors are well trained in the art of classical ballet and administer the utmost care and compassion to our students. They follow a specific syllabus throughout the year and help our students build self-esteem through self-discipline.


Susan Wright

Administrator and Founder of the school in 1970, which later became the Ballet Centre in 1986 and Ballet Center Utah, Inc. in 2019.

Susan Wright received her training from the late Jean Reneé and has taught locally for 47 years. In addition, Susan designs and produces many of Ballet Center Utah, Inc. costumes, stage sets, and props. Susan is a published author of 2 books and a entrepreneur.


Michelle Armstrong

Artistic Director

Michelle Armstrong received her early ballet training with Susan Wright and later studied with Willam Christensen. She danced a professional career with Ballet West, Utah Opera and New York City Ballet/Sun Valley, ID. Michelle has been an instructor for over 30 years and is currently the Artistic Director of Ballet Center Utah, Inc. where she is the principal choreographer, producing and directing many one-act ballets. Armstrong has a BFA in ballet-teaching emphasis from the University of Utah, and is certified in the National Teaching Curriculum with ABT. In 2016, she traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia to study ballet pedagogy under Mr. Oleg Vinogradov, Artistic Director Emeritus of Kirov/Mariinsky Ballet Theater-St. Petersburg and his highly qualified faculty of Russian ballet masters.

Michelle presently continues her work with Mr. Vinogradov, teaching and setting choreography for his International Youth Ballet Festival “Vivat Ballet!” as his rehearsal assistant, ballet instructor, choreographer and répétiteur. In August 2018, she organized the 5th International Youth Ballet Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah, hosting the festival at Ballet Center Utah, Inc. July 2019, she brought the 7th International Youth Ballet Festival once again to Utah. Recently, Armstrong worked abroad teaching daily lessons and setting her choreography in both St. Petersburg, Russia and Incheon, South Korea.  Michelle Armstrong also serves as the ballet instructor at the Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts in Salt Lake City, UT and as an adjunct professor of ballet at Westminster College for their BFA program


Lora Andersen

Lora Andersen has been dancing at Ballet Center Utah, Inc. since 2008. For the past two years she has been able to obtain leading roles in Ballet Center productions, as well as choreographing numerous pieces in our yearly production of the Student Showcase. She has been a teachers assistant since 2018 as well as a teachers assistant for Churchill Jr. High’s intro to dance and dance company. Lora has studied lyrical, jazz and contemporary and has choreographed in all of these styles.  In 2019 she was given and amazing opportunity to work with Victoria Kim, Oscar Hawkins, Sasha Lunev, and Oleg Vinagradov during the Vivat Ballet Festival. Lora is very passionate about expressing emotions through playing music and dancing. She is excited to share her love for both dance and music with others.


Elizabeth Armstrong

Elizabeth Armstrong has been a part of Ballet Center Utah, Inc. for her entire life. She has danced leading roles in Ballet Center productions as well as staged and choreographed many of the ballets for “Ballet Under the Lights.” Elizabeth traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2016 where she performed as well as studied ballet, character dance, and historical dance with many outstanding Russian ballet masters, under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov. Elizabeth continues as a teaching assistant in character class and ballet class and holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Utah.


Isabelle Armstrong

Isabelle Armstrong has developed a great understanding for teaching ballet as well as dancing and choreography. In 2012, she began ballet pedagogy under the direction of Susan Wright. For the past four years Isabelle has been dancing lead roles in Ballet Center Utah Inc. productions, along with choreographing many pieces for various shows. In 2017, Isabelle’s choreography was featured at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Along with her international status as a choreographer, Isabelle participated for the third year in the International Ballet Festival in St. Petersburg, where she performed and studied ballet pedagogy from Oleg Vinogradov and his highly qualified faculty of Russian ballet masters. Over the past year, Isabelle has continued choreographing and creating various dance films that integrate classical ballet technique with contemporary movements. Isabelle holds a BFA in Dance and a minor in Business from Westminster College and is pursuing a MFA at St. Mary’s College.


Lydia Cousins

Lydia Cousins has been dancing at Ballet Center Utah, Inc. since 2013. She also loves musical theater and cooking. Teaching children is one of her favorite ways to spend her time. She has been involved as a teacher assistant at the Ballet Center for several years and is excited to teach Kinderdance.


Amber Giles

Amber Giles has been dancing at Ballet Center Utah, Inc. since 1999. In 2005 she became the stage manager for Ballet Center productions after joining Centre Class, where she currently dances. She also serves as a teacher/rehearsal assistant and has been a coordinator/rehearsal assistant for the International Youth Ballet Festival in Salt Lake City, under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov. She owns her own Graphic Design business and uses those skills to promote Ballet Center classes/productions as well as the International Youth Ballet Festival through various media outlets. She has a love for ballet and looks forward to sharing her knowledge with her students each year.


Lusiano Pasillas

Since the age of 13, dance has always been a part of Lusiano’s life. He has been teaching dance for over 20 years, and has had many opportunities to teach over seas.

With a variety of experience from Latin & Standard Ballroom, Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, and Jazz. Lusiano has excelled in dance landing him many lead rolls, and winning first place in competitions.

Lusiano has had the privilege to receive world-class training from professionals such as Rufus, Isabella, German Mustuck, Freddie Moore, Randall Flinn and Michelle Armstrong.

If you are interested in ballroom lessons, call Lusiano at 801-910-9155.


Arely Zarate

Arely Zarate has been dancing at Ballet Center, Utah, Inc. since 2013. She has participated in the Nutcracker for Ballet West Production in 2018 and had the privilege of participating in the International Youth Ballet Festival “Vivat Ballet!” under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov, Sasha Lunev and Oscar Hawkins, among others.

Arely has performed many roles in Ballet Center productions and began teaching as an assistant in 2021 where she quickly developed a great interest in working with young students. Arely is in her senior year and currently attends Juan Diego Catholic High School.