Jessica Goodrich loves to dance as artist of the month 
Apr 09, 2018 11:04AM ● Published by Holly Vasic, Holladay City Journal

     Art comes in an array of mediums and so do the artists themselves. Art can stand still in a painting or photograph but it can also move like film or dance, yet it all seems to come to life. Jessica Goodrich has been dancing since she was 4, a pretty common story for most dancers, but her new job has taken her out of the spotlight and given her an opportunity to advocate for the arts like never before. Experiencing movement in a whole new way, she is bringing classroom subjects onto the dance floor for children to learn with their bodies. 
     Goodrich is Utah through and through, born in Salt Lake, her parents still living in Holladay. She always knew she would be a dancer. “When I was growing up I felt like it really helped me find my identity,” Goodrich said. The good feelings wrapped up around dance in her childhood memories led her to major in dance at the University of Utah. 
     “I never even thought twice about it when I went to the U,” Goodrich said about choosing her major. She didn’t expect to be a teacher, but when she was nearing graduation she asked herself, “How am I going to make a career out of this dance thing?” Goodrich was not necessarily interested in going to New York and auditioning, so she stayed an extra year at the U and received a teaching license in English, which she completed in 2016.

​     After spending some time trying her hand at teaching at Evergreen Jr. High, Goodrich was hired as a dance teacher for the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program (BTSALP). BTSALP’s website explains that they “provide arts-integrated instruction to elementary students, effectively increasing student performance in every subject — from language arts and social studies to math and science.” Goodrich goes to two different schools to teach and has found the experience inspiring

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Jessica Goodrich leaping in the air in a beautiful pose, photographed by Sarah Rodriguez and Amy Rau. (Courtesy of Jessica Goodrich

Holladay Arts - In The News

Ginger Gunn’s vision becomes reality with Reflections in Dance recital 
Apr 09, 2018 11:05AM ● Published by Holly Vasic, Holladay City Journal

     Holladay is a city worth celebrating according to a recital coming up on April 9 at Olympus High School. The evening will showcase private dance studios as well as public Jr. high and high schools in the city with dance numbers that portray different aspects of life in Holladay. 
     Ginger Gunn comes from a lineage of dancers. Her grandfather owned the first dance studio in Utah in 1918, she says. Gunn owned her own private studio for 25 years, the Gunn School of Dance, and then began teaching at Evergreen Jr. High. “They didn’t have a dance program, so I started their dance program,” Gunn said. After retiring from 17 years at the public school back in May of 2017, she had an idea. While at Evergreen, parents would ask for recommendations for their children if they wanted to do dance outside of school. “I’d say, well I’m not really familiar with what the studios do around here,” Gunn said. She was not happy with that answer so the idea began to spark. “Maybe it’s time that we communicate with each other and that we present something beautiful, that isn’t competition, together, and then we will get to know each other better,” Gunn said. 
     Her vision began to come to light when Gunn joined the Holladay Arts Council and realized that many other arts, such as visual, were represented well, but not dance. She called the local schools about a potential showcase and then thought, “Well gosh, I need to include the private studios in Holladay — we’ve got some wonderful strong private dance studios.” So she called them up too. 

     Gunn is hoping to begin a tradition. This year her vision will come together in a recital called Holladay’s Reflections in Dance. “We are all working on the theme,” Gunn said. Each piece included a two–three sentence statement about why living in Holladay is so wonderful. “So, every dance will be a different aspect of living in Holladay and how wonderful it is,” she said.
     This recital means more to Gunn than bringing everyone together to celebrate Holladay. Private dance studios and public-school dance programs have clashed in dates for recitals and programs many times and Gunn hopes bringing these two circles of dance, as she called them, together will smooth out some of these conflicts and connect these two worlds. “We are now going to know who the directors are of all these private schools and if there is a conflict we can call up,” Gunn said. Also, public teachers, like Gunn was, will be able to guide parents and give recommendations based on their kid’s ability and interest if they want to do an outside-of-school program. “It’s just going to be cool, any way I look at it is a win-win. So, I’m excited,” Gunn said. 

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