BOUNTIFUL -- Oriahna Stockham was so impressed by Ballet West's performance on Tuesday, she has decided she might just want to be a ballerina.
The Adelaide Elementary School sixth-grader got to watch Ballet West for Kids during an assembly.
The program was presented by four dancers from Ballet West II, Ballet West's studio training company, and members of the Ballet West Academy's professional division.
"I think it's important for us to see stuff like this at a young age so we can learn to appreciate it," Oriahna said.
"I really liked the cat scene and the swift movements the dancers made. I can't think of any words to say. It was just such a great performance. I might want to go into ballet now."
Peter Christie, Ballet West's director of educational programs, said bringing the arts into the school system has been a priority since the 1960s.
"There's a number of reasons why it's beneficial," he said. "Art in education is nationally recognized to enrich and broaden the academic achievements of students. We believe that making the art form more accessible and personal for children demystifies the art form without taking away its charm."
The entire student body got an close-up and personal look at how a ballet is put together, how the dancers get into shape and how they work together as a team.
During the hourlong session, the dancers talked about basic ballet positions and technique, good posture and health, music appreciation and career dedication.
They then dressed as characters from "Sleeping Beauty" to demonstrate pantomime techniques, pointe shoe work, the use of props and two dancers partnering together.
"I thought it was interesting how they told us about the five different steps they do and explained all the equipment to us," said sixth-grader Korbyn Richins.
"It was really good, and it taught us about better posture and staying fit and how important that is for us."
Sixth-grader Allie Peterson said she liked the costumes the dancers wore during their performance.
"I liked their expressions, too, and how hard they work to get to where they are today," she said.
"They trust each other, and they taught us that, if we work hard toward our goals, we will be able to achieve them."
The company also performed at Boulton Elementary School in Bountiful.
Christie said the group has performed for as few as 16 students and as many as 1,200.
"We will travel to the big schools as well as the small ones," he said.
"We are all about educating students about art form and making it accessible to them. We have had a tremendously positive response from the schools we visit."
At the end of the performance, the students clapped and cheered for several minutes. Many of them said they wanted to see more.
"It was awesome," Allie said. "They reminded me that my goals are important and I should always keep them in my mind. I hope they come back."