Willam, Harold, & Lew Christensen learned to dance at the Box Elder Academy of Music and Dancing, built by their uncle, Peter Christensen in 1903 at 58 N Main Street, Brigham City. They were extraordinary artists who transformed  dance  in  the  American  West  and  influenced the development of three renowned ballet companies, Portland Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Ballet West, located in Salt Lake City.

On Christmas Eve, 1944, Willam Christensen directed the first full-length  production  of  The  Nutcracker  in  America,   at  San  Francisco’s  War  Memorial Opera House.  It was an instant sensation and launched  the Nutcracker Ballet as a national holiday tradition! Their contribution to classical ballet can not be overstated.  

Fast forward 100 years to  Brigham City's developing historic district. From November 16th - December 21, 2018 you'll experience the magic of the Nutcracker where it all began. Enjoy strolling our beautiful Main Street where merchants annually decorate their window displays in a Nutcracker ballet theme. Be sure to take in the annual Nutcracker Ballet at Box Elder High School on December 6th. This live performance by Classical Youth Ballet is directed by Michelle Jackman who studied under the late Willam Christensen. We believe it to be one of the finest youth ballet companies in the region.

The Snow Queen - 2016 Nutcracker Ballet

Businesses, schools, clubs, and individuals in the community have handcrafted some amazing Nutcrackers for display at the Nutcracker Festival in Historic Downtown for the 2017 Christmas Season. These Nutcrackers are on display at local merchants on Historic Main Street. 


Two very interesting article were provided by Joshua Jones at Ballet West, about the Christensen Academy and Willam Christensen. These were written at the time the Academy Conference Center was opened in 2016.



Contact Us

Historic Downtown Brigham City
95 S Main St
Brigham City, UT 84302

Phone: 435-538-7949