About ODT

Mission Statement

After 28 years of providing the community with innovative and exciting performances, employing hundreds of Utah’s talented professional dancers and giving dance studio students the opportunity to perform with a professional company, Odyssey will focus on making dance accessible by giving scholarships to young people in the community who have demonstrated talent and ability but don’t have the means to continue their training. Odyssey Dance Theatre embraces the principles of access, diversity, equity and inclusion and is committed to serving those who would not normally have the opportunity to dance.

  • 1. Historical – reflecting ballet’s ancient roots and history.
  • 2. Aesthetic – reflecting dance’s evolution into one of the most refined, energetic, and entertaining art forms.
  • 3. Contemporary – commitment to performing works by the world’s best and most innovative choreographers.
  • 4. Popular – reflecting its commitment to making dance more accessible to a wide audience.

Odyssey History

Founded in 1994 and directed by Derryl Yeager, former Ballet West Principal, Broadway, Television, and Film veteran, Odyssey Dance Theatre explodes with world-class bravado, passionate charm, and choreographic invention, combining the classical virtues of ballet with the attack of jazz; the freedom of modern dance; the raw energy of hip-hop; the syncopated rhythms of tap; the fluid partnering of ballroom; and the spirit of Broadway and Vaudeville to create a fresh dance vocabulary and entertainment genre that engages audiences across the country and around the world. Odyssey is the “common man’s” dance company, with something for everyone to enjoy – not just for those who see dance as an “elitist” form of entertainment.  The use of contemporary, popular music, along with classical, makes it exceptionally appealing to a broad based demographic.

Odyssey employs 24 dancers, more than half of whom are Utah born. The company gives these highly proficient dancers a chance to make their home here (when they could dance anywhere they choose) and to still realize their dreams of dancing with one of the pre-eminent dance companies in the field. Odyssey Dance Theatre dancers are equally proficient in every style of dance, including ballet; tap; jazz; modern; Irish; ballroom; and funk/hip-hop.  Odyssey’s creative repertoire, versatility and multi-talented and spirited dancers give the company a sustainable, competitive advantage.  The company has carved a unique niche in the local, national and international dancescape and has, in fact, created a whole, new market for dance.

You may ask what we’ve done over the past 28 years…

  1. Being the common man’s dance company with something for everyone
  2. Employing hundreds of Utah’s talented dancers
  3. Nurturing emerging artists through the Company’s Odyssey 2 Pre-Professional Scholarship Program
  4. Giving hundreds of dance students the opportunity to perform with a professional company in Thriller, ReduxNut-Cracker and It’s a Wonderful Life
  5. Winning Best of State Best Dance Company 17 consecutive times and Best of All Arts & Entertainment, not once, but twice
  6. Making Utah a better place to live and attracting businesses to the State
  7. Providing live performance art access to thousands of at risk youth in our community, by Donating free tickets and delighting them with free school performances
  8. Producing over 60 original, innovative works, including seven full-length productions and thereby creating a unique niche in the local, national and international dancescape and a whole, new market for dance
  9. Touring Europe 15 times to standing room only and standing ovations and receiving the Best Show of the Year and Season Award in Unterfoehring, Germany
  10. Garnering world wide recognition when 9 Odyssey dancers made it to the top 10 of Hit TV Show So You Think You Can Dance
  11. Earning 80% of its revenue from ticket sales