Virginia Tanner Papers
Scope and Contents
The Virginia Tanner Papers date from 1945 to 1979 and contain flyers, brochures, teaching notes, student papers, workshop materials, correspondence, photographs, news clippings, motion picture films and videotapes.
- 1945 - 1979
- Tanner, Virginia (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.
Biographical or Historical Information
Virginia Tanner (1915-1979) was a pioneer in children's dance education. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and spent most of her life there, working with children and young modern dancers.
Tanner began dancing as a young child. She studied with Doris Humphrey in the 1930s and in 1938 accepted a scholarship to study dance at the Humphrey-Weidman School in New York. She returned to Salt Lake City in 1941 to graduate from the University of Utah, the institution with which she was associated for the remainder of her life.
Tanner founded the Children's Dance Theatre (CDT) in Salt Lake City in 1949. She was instrumental in the formation of the Repertory Dance Theatre in 1966, a Salt Lake City-based modern dance company. In the early 1970s, Tanner helped develop a national program for dance education through the National Endowment for the Arts Artists in the Schools program.
Tanner was beloved by her students and respected by her professional peers. Jose Limon called her "the world's master children's dance teacher," and went on to state, "there isn't any place, and I include New York, London, Paris, Moscow, that has anyone who can touch her genius for teaching children the exciting purity in the dancing arts."
7.60 Linear Feet (11 boxes)
Language of Materials
Virginia Tanner (1915-1979) was a pioneer in children's dance education. The Virginia Tanner Papers date from 1945 to 1979 and contain flyers, brochures, teaching notes, student papers, workshop materials, correspondence, photographs, motion picture films and videotapes.
Collection is arranged in 4 series: 1. Ephemera, writings, biographical material and other material; 2. Workshop and teaching materials; 3. Scrapbooks, photographs, and clippings; and 4. Audiovisual materials
Method of Acquisition
Gift of Virginia Tanner's husband, Robert Bruce Bennett, 1985 and 1988.
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- Children's Dance Theatre (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Dance -- Study and teaching -- United States
- Dance for children -- United States
- Dance teachers -- United States
- McCune School of Music and Art
- Modern dance -- United States
- National Endowment for the Arts. Artists-in-Schools Program
- National Endowment for the Arts. Arts Impact Project
- Physical education for children -- United States
- Repertory Dance Theatre (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Tanner, Virginia
- Virginia Tanner Papers
- Archives staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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