Wendy Whelan

Wendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where at the age of three she began taking dance classes with Virginia Wooton, a local teacher. At age eight she performed as a mouse with the Louisville Ballet in its annual production of The Nutcracker. Joining the Louisville Ballet Academy that year, she began intense professional ballet training. In 1981 she received a scholarship to the summer course at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, and a year later, became a full-time student there. In 1984, Ms. Whelan danced as an apprentice with New York City Ballet. Ms. Whelan became a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in January 1986. She was promoted to the rank of soloist during the 1989 spring season and to the rank of principal dancer in the 1991 spring season.  She has worked closely with many of today's leading choreographers, including Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Shen Wei, Twyla Tharp and  Wayne McGregor, originating roles in new works by each of them. Wendy has performed nearly the full range of works by Balanchine and Robbins at New York City Ballet.  Her exceptional career has been recognized through prominent awards including Olivier Award nomination, the Dance Magazine Award, and an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts from Bellarmine University. In 2011, Wendy received the Jerome Robbins Award.