Peter Merz is the Director of the Academy at Ballet West in Salt Lake City, UT.  Since taking this role in 2015, he has overseen the growth of the Academy to over 850 students, with a Summer Intensive that attracts students from throughout the US.  Mr. Merz has choreographed over 40 original ballets across the USA and internationally. His award-winning choreography relies heavily on classical ballet, but is informed by his passion for contemporary dance forms. As a performer he worked with the Dayton Ballet, the Louisville Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet. In 2002, Peter served as the Artistic Administrator for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. In 2004, Peter joined the faculty of Point Park, where he is an associate professor of dance and Head of Ballet. In 2014, he returned to the USA IBC to create an original work for the competitors to perform at the Awards Gala. He has served as a judge and Master Teacher for Youth America Grand Prix and the American Dance Competition. Peter is also in demand throughout the US as a master teacher, and is known for his enthusiastic and encouraging approach to ballet training. He has twice been named Outstanding Choreographer by the Youth America Grand Prix, and was also honored to be named Outstanding Teacher by that organization in 2014.