Performers from Dance Aspen—town’s new dance company—don the season’s chicest fashions. 

When Aspen’s beloved dance company, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB), was forced to shutter just short of its 25th anniversary due to the pandemic’s halting of all live performances, dancers were left wondering where they would next pirouette. “When ASFB closed, I knew two things: I didn’t want to move away from Aspen to continue my career, and I didn’t want to end my career to live here,” says Laurel Winton, Founder and Executive Director of Dance Aspen, Aspen’s new local dance troupe, comprised of eight dancers, seven of which previously performed with ASFB. “Many of the dancers felt the same way. We loved this community as much as the art we dedicated our lives to, and we knew if we wanted to stay here and dance, we would have to create those opportunities for ourselves. I started reaching out to choreographers and friends, and we were able to put an entire program together.” 

After performing a sold-out show at the Wheeler this past fall, Winton knew she was onto something. “The most rewarding aspect has been seeing my friends perform together on stage again,” she says. “We have been through so much to get here, and to know the community is behind us and encouraging us to succeed is incredibly inspiring. Business owners offered space for us to rehearse; individuals offered business, fundraising and legal advice; and the wonderful people at Wheeler Opera House supported our launch. Through building Dance Aspen, I have become more connected with this community than I ever had been, and I’m so grateful for that.” This winter and spring, Dance Aspen plans on presenting a program consisting of three world premieres, in addition to collaborations with SkiCo and Theatre Aspen. 

To celebrate and showcase Aspen’s new dance company, we gathered four of its performers—Winton, Katherine Bolanos, Sammy Altenau and Sadie Brown—and dressed them in the season’s most showstopping ensembles, from dreamy cashmere knits to the latest in chic skiwear. On the following pages, the women of Dance Aspen move to the beat of winter’s best looks. danceaspen.org —SAT