Ruth Helen Joanne Lamberty was born on January 11, 1933 in Kewanee, IL to James and Helen Lamberty. She was educated in many schools across the country in her younger years. In 1950, she graduated from Kewanee High School and went on to attend The University of Utah.
During her time at the University of Utah, Ruth was a part of the University of Utah Ballet program. After graduation, she went on to complete her teacher training at Brigham Young University. She received a B.A. in Elementary Education in June of 1961 and completed her Royal Academy of Dance certification there as well.
Upon graduation from BYU, Ruth entered the public school system and began teaching dance to public school students in Salt Lake City, UT. This was the beginning of her long career of teaching that lasted over 40 years.
She attended and graduated from the Allegro School of Ballet in Chicago which would later be called the Ellis-Du Boulay School of Ballet after Richard Ellis and Christine Du Boulay.
In 1960, she returned to Utah and shared her knowledge by giving an eight-week course on Ballet theory at BYU. This course covered such topics as the history of dance and ballet, the relationship of dance and ballet to other fine arts, basic dance patterns, music theory (as related to dance) and ballet theory.
Later, in March of 1968, Ruth met John Brinkerhoff in Snowflake, Arizona. They fell in love and John moved from Arizona to be closer to Ruth in August of 1968. The next month, Ruth opened The Dance Studio in Provo, Utah. John and Ruth married at the Salt Lake Temple on November 15, 1968. They bought a home and settled down in Provo, Utah.
Ruth’s heart and soul went into her teaching. She would later change the name of her school from The Dance Studio to Utah Ballet Academy and it stayed under that name until closing its doors in 2008. Starting in 1978, she began writing a comprehensive ballet curriculum that she sold to dance schools around the country. Teachers began to collaborate with her and thus the Ballet Arts for Young Children series was developed.
In 1978, Ruth created the Utah Valley Civic Ballet under the name of “Aspen Folk and Ballet Company.” According to their website, “the Aspen Folk and Ballet Company served the community by performing at Senior citizen care facilities, city celebrations, local schools and at the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City”. The school is still functioning today with Earlet Mainers as the Artistic Director. (Visit the Utah Valley Civic Ballet Website.)
Many of Ruth’s students went on to become professionals. Mary Wall, for example was under Ruth Brinkerhoff’s instruction for 12 years. In those 12 years, she learned to teach ballet and has also danced with Ballet West, University of Utah Ballet and Brigham Young University Ballet and Folk Dancing Company.
In January of 2008, the Utah Ballet Academy closed its doors. Soon after, on June 8, 2008 Ruth passed away, leaving a legacy of excellence in ballet training, a love for her students and for the art of ballet, and a curriculum series that lives on today.