Male Scholarship Faculty Profiles
     
  Patricia Blair - Associate Artistic Director, School Director, Faculty Co-Chair

 
Patricia Blair is highly committed to the training, artistic education, and personal well-being of young dancers. She began working with children when she was only 15 years old, and to this day, her love and respect of classical ballet and passing it on to young artists is one of her greatest passions. She was born in New York City, began studying ballet at the age of 7, and began her performing career at 17. While a student at North Carolina School of the Arts, she was chosen to dance the role of "Myrtha" in Giselle alongside principal dancers Svea Ekloff and ABT's Burton Taylor. In 1979 she joined the Eglevsky Ballet, under the direction of Edward Villella and then Michael Vernon. In 1984, while still dancing full time with the company, she became one of the organization's Ballet Mistresses, rehearsing the repertoire of George Balanchine, Michael Vernon, and guest choreographers. Throughout her years at Eglevsky Ballet, she was also an active teacher in NY, teaching classes for Eglevsky Ballet, Harkness House for Ballet Arts, Steps NY, and volunteering to teach at-risk youth in churches and community centers. During off seasons, she performed as a guest artist developing new works with many NY choreographers, danced in musical theatre productions across the US and on Broadway, and briefly entered the LA movie world with Pavane for a Dying Princess, a solo dance film created especially for her. She came to Chicago in September 1987 upon the recommendation of Balanchine repetiteur Victoria Simon. She staged several ballets for Chicago City Ballet's fall season, after which Duell invited her to move to Chicago and join his artistic team. She was the Ballet Mistress for Ballet Chicago from 1987-1997, and was appointed Director of The School of Ballet Chicago in 1995. She also serves as Associate Artistic Director for the Ballet Chicago Studio Company.

In addition to her work with The School of Ballet Chicago and The Ballet Chicago Studio Company, Ms. Blair gives master classes throughout the region and has been a guest teacher for Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, Washington, Gem City Ballet in Dayton, Ohio, and in May 2007 had the honor of teaching at The School of American Ballet. Ms. Blair has a lifelong love for the ballets of George Balanchine, and appreciates both the privilege of having performed his ballets and the joy of passing them on to younger dancers. She has been responsible for a large body of repertoire at Ballet Chicago, and has staged Mr. Balanchine's Serenade and Allegro Brilliante for the St. Louis Ballet.

Hallmarks of Ms. Blair's teaching of men include an uncompromising commitment to secure basics, a steadfast devotion to detail, development of beautiful body posture, and building strength within a base of clear, high-quality execution.
 

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