Jordan Fry launcher her own business, Ballerina Baker, last year

Meet The Ballet West Dancer Who Doubles As a Professional Baker

Contrary to what her last name might suggest, Ballet West corps member Jordan Fry prefers baking as a cooking method. Her specialty? Picture-perfect cakes with flavors like banana-bourbon-butterscotch with caramel filling and toasted marshmallow frosting.

The self-professed sweets lover began her early culinary education through high school classes and YouTube videos. After a brief stint interning at a wedding cake shop in Salt Lake City, Fry started her own business, Ballerina Baker, in 2017.


But she's been the go-to baker for Ballet West weddings for years. From Emily Adams and Beau Pearson's classic white confection to Jenna Rae Herrera and Alexander MacFarlan's snickerdoodle cake, Fry has been commissioned for nearly every one of her co-worker's weddings—plus her own, for her marriage to principal Adrian Fry.

Fry's treats might seem to be at odds with a dancer's lifestyle. Artistic director Adam Sklute once jokingly bemoaned her baked goods before a Sleeping Beauty run. Fry recalls him chiding, "The guys have to wear white tights in about a week."

But she's found a healthy balance, championing dessert in moderation—"I have something sweet every day," she says—and using whole, local ingredients.

And despite his jokes, even Sklute gets on board, employing Fry for the occasional donor dinner. She and Sklute have stood side by side in the kitchen preparing an eight-course meal, with Fry predictably in charge of desserts. With dishes like a pine-nut–crusted lemon sabayon tart, she's left a delectable impression.


Try It: Almond Cake with Lavender Honey

Jordan Fry's almond cake is one of her favorite desserts

"This cake is always a hit when I bring it to Ballet West," says Fry, "and it's one that I often make at home for the perfect healthy, light dessert!"

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 1/2 cup lavender honey (or any raw honey will work)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cup almond meal
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Fresh berries and Greek yogurt for serving (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, honey, vanilla, baking soda, salt and almond meal until smooth. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until foamy and white, with soft (not stiff) peaks, about 2 minutes. Gently fold into the almond meal mixture. Pour into the pan and bake until golden brown—a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean—about 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge. Finish cooling completely. Remove from the pan, top with berries, then dust with powdered sugar. It is also delicious with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

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Courtesy Ava Noble

Go Behind the Scenes of USC Kaufman’s Virtual Dance Festival

Now more than ever, the students of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance are embodying their program's vision: "The New Movement."

As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the dance world continues to be faced with unprecedented challenges, but USC Kaufman's faculty and BFA students haven't shied away from them. While many schools have had to cancel events or scale them back to live-from-my-living-room streams, USC Kaufman has embraced the situation and taken on impressive endeavors, like expanding its online recruitment efforts.

November 1 to 13, USC Kaufman will present A/Part To/Gather, a virtual festival featuring world premieres from esteemed faculty and guest choreographers, student dance films and much more. All semester long, they've rehearsed via Zoom from their respective student apartments or hometowns. And they haven't solely been dancing. "You have a rehearsal process, and then a filming process, and a production process of putting it together," says assistant professor of practice Jennifer McQuiston Lott of the prerecorded and professionally edited festival.

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