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 Academy Square, still know to some as "The Christiansen Academy" in Brigham City's developing historic district, on December 9th, 2017. Here you can experience the magic of the Nutcracker where it all began. Enjoy our Christmas Market featuring 30 local artisan vendors, during the day, then take in The Nutcracker Ballet at Box Elder High School. This live performance by Classical Youth Ballet is directed by Michelle Jackman who studied under the late Willam Christensen.

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.


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

Phone: 435-538-7949