Be the Music
Jenifer Ringer – Director, Colburn Dance Academy, Former Principal Dancer NYCB

Be the Music

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Jenifer Ringer, Director of the Colburn Dance Academy & Former Principal Dancer with NYCB, discusses how the music inspired her most genuine performances.

"My most genuine performances were when I thought about having my body sing the music"
Jenifer Ringer is a native of Summerville South Carolina. She trained at The Washington Ballet School and The School of American Ballet. Ms. Ringer joined New York City Ballet in 1989. She was promoted to soloist in 1995 and to principal dancer in 2000. Ms. Ringer enjoys one of the most successful and celebrated dance careers of her generation. She has performed in almost every major American city and around the world. She originated roles in new works by numerous choreographers including Jerome Robbins, Alexi Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon and Peter Martins, and has performed the leading roles in the major works of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She has also inhabited the prima ballerina roles of legendary works including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Coppélia. Ms. Ringer has led the New York State Summer School for the Arts annual summer session since 2006, directed all the artistic elements of the New York City Ballet Dancer's Choice performance at Lincoln Center in 2010 and co-hosted New York City Ballet's Dance with the Dancers fundraising event in 2002. Also, beginning in 2009, she has presented an annual lecture demonstration and gala performance at Williams College. In February 2013 Ms. Ringer was appointed the Artistic Consultant for Dancing Dreams, a non-profit dance program that gives NYC/metro-area children with physical challenges a chance to dance. In addition to teaching Master Classes at a variety of dance schools and institutions, she has been invited to be a regular guest teacher for company class at the New York City Ballet and in 2012 was appointed a teaching fellow at the School of American Ballet. Ms. Ringer has also worked internationally as Assistant Répétiteur for the Jerome Robbins Foundation setting choreography at the National Ballet of Canada, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Ms. Ringer has been an outspoken advocate for healthy eating practices and shared publicly her struggles with and recuperation from disordered eating. She appeared on the TODAY show and Oprah to discuss these issues and the overall professional field of ballet. Her book, Dancing Through It; My Journey in the Ballet was released through Viking Press in February 2014. Ms. Ringer has been celebrated multiple times on the covers of Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine and is the recipient of both the prestigious Dance Magazine Award, Jerome Robbins Award and in 2014 she participated as a judge for L.A's 26th Annual Music Center Spotlight Awards. Ms. Ringer has been the Director of The Colburn Dance Academy since 2014.  


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