Utah Ground

Choreographer, teacher, talent manager

Choreographer, teacher and talent manager Utah Ground died Feb. 9 in Austin, Texas. She was 75.

Born in Bremerhaven, Germany, Ground was raised in Manhattan and studied with George Balanchine, Charles “Honi” Coles and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

As a child performer she appeared on Broadway and on film in “The Little Rascals.”

From 1958 to 1970 she was head of dance at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas where many of her students, including Tommy Tune and Sandy Duncan went on to have successful professional careers on Broadway.

As a talent manager, she was associated with the Lester Lewis Agency in New York. She also worked on the choreography for feature films such as Paul Bartel’s “Not for Publication.”

In 2001, on the closing night of her run in the Broadway musical “Chicago,” Sandy Duncan paid tribute to Ground from the stage of the Shubert Theater.

She is survived by her husband, Barney Hammond, a voice and acting coach, a son, two daughters and eight grandchildren.

A celebration of her life is planned in New York on March 21 at the Lowell Hotel.

Contributions may be made to the Seton Cove, 3708 Crawford Ave., Austin, Texas, www.setoncove.net.

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