‘The Sleeping Beauty’ dancer returns to stage after life-threatening illness

Feb 14, 2023, 6:57 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Ballet West is celebrating its latest production “The Sleeping Beauty” and the return of one of its dancers from a life-threatening health crisis.

We often use the word ‘ magical’ to describe a Ballet West production. “The Sleeping Beauty” with the stunning sets and costumes, royalty, and fairies is certainly that.

When it comes to young dancer, Loren Walton, the word is ‘miracle.’

“I just woke up in the morning one day, about to go to the studio to start rehearsals and I had this major pain in my stomach that I’d never had before,” Walton said. “So I called emergency and they came.”

He spent ten days in the Intensive Care Unit at the end of September. Doctors diagnosed a twisting of his small bowel, life-threatening sepsis had set in and doctors gave him a 10% chance of survival. “I had two surgeries, one where they actually removed six feet of my small intestine and from there, it was like, learning how to walk, learning how to stand,” Walton said.

He lost 40 pounds and discovered he could no longer balance his weight – shocking for a dancer.

“It was all so crazy because now it didn’t come naturally to me, after this whole thing but I still felt like I had ballet inside of me,” he explained.

A couple of months after returning to the company, Walton started dancing in a full-length production as a member of the ballet corps, leaping and lifting ballerinas.

“Just a lot of perseverance, a lot of faith, and just the hope that I will be able to be back where I was before all of this happened and maybe even in a better place,” he said.

Walton went from nearly losing his life to taking center stage at the Capitol Theatre. “It feels like a dream again to be back on stage and to be doing this again, every day,” he said.

Walton is grateful to his mother, siblings, his ballet colleagues, and the ballet staff for their constant care of him and he believes that trials are given to all of us to learn something, and he now has that message.

“I feel blessed to share that with other people,” he said.

He expresses that new-found hope through his love of dance.

Ballet West’s “The Sleeping Beauty” performances continue through February 18th.

KSL 5 TV Live


Some of Taylor Swift's most beloved songs are heart breaking -- and that can be helpful, experts sa...

Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Why everyone is crying to Taylor’s breakup songs

Fans were waiting with bated breath for the emotional torment they were sure would come from “The Tortured Poets Department,” Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album.

13 hours ago

This image released by A24 shows Kirsten Dunst in a scene from "Civil War." (A24 via AP)...

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

‘Civil War’ continues box-office campaign at No. 1

“Civil War,” Alex Garland’s ominous American dystopia, remained the top film in theaters in its second week of release, according to studio estimates Sunday.

1 day ago

Payson High school prom...

Brianna Chavez

Payson High students celebrate prom with a ‘Footloose’ theme, Kevin Bacon’s return

Saturday morning was busy for many Payson High School students as hundreds of teens helped build kits for actor Kevin Bacon's charity SixDegrees.

2 days ago

Remember the scene in "Footloose" when Ariel climbs out of her friends' moving car and tries to get...

Emma Benson

Everybody cut loose: Utah actress recalls experience filming ‘Footloose’

Remember the scene in "Footloose" when Ariel climbs out of her friends' moving car and tries to get into her boyfriend's truck? The driver – Ariel's friend, Edna – was played by then-19-year-old BYU acting student Kim Abunuwara.

2 days ago

Actor Kevin Bacon made an appearance in Payson on Saturday morning as part of festivities leading u...

Lottie Elizabeth Johnson, Margaret Darby, Deseret News

‘You were all just tireless’: Kevin Bacon praises Payson High students as he returns to ‘Footloose’ roots

Getting Kevin Bacon to come to Payson, Utah, was no easy feat. Just about anyone who has spent the past year trying to get his attention will tell you that.

2 days ago

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: A young fan displays her ticket for Taylor Swift's first Sydney co...

Anita Snow, Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Special LP releases, live performances and at least one giant block party are scheduled around the U.S. Saturday as hundreds of shops celebrate Record Store Day during a surge of interest in vinyl during a surge of interest in vinyl and the day after the release of Taylor Swift's latest album.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

‘The Sleeping Beauty’ dancer returns to stage after life-threatening illness