2 3 Throwback Thursday and Debra Austin | Ballet Webb

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday and Debra Austin

Throwback Thursday and Debra Austin

Before Misty Copeland, there were other African American dancers who paved the way for those who followed. I’ve blogged before about some of them:

Debra Austin was only twelve years old when she received a scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet. By the time she was 16, she had joined New York City Ballet, as its first African American female dancer. Here she danced principal roles including works by several renowned choreographers including George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

Later, she joined the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland, again dancing principal roles. She spent the next years touring Europe, and when she returned to the United States she was invited to join Pennsylvania Ballet as a principal dancer. She thus became the first African American ballet dancer to receive a principal contract with a major ballet company. (http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article89451022.html#storylink=cpy)

Today, Debra Austin is Ballet Master for Carolina Ballet.
From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Dance History Factoid #120
Debra Austin was the first African American ballet dancer to become a principal dancer with a major American ballet company.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Valley of Fear

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