Wendy Whelan

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Wendy Whelan
Born (1967-05-07) May 7, 1967 (age 48)
Occupation ballet dancer

Wendy Whelan (/ˈhwlən/; born May 7, 1967) was a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and is a guest artist with Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company.

Early life[edit]

A native of Louisville, Kentucky (USA), she began her dance training with local teacher, Virginia Wooton at the age of three. After performing as a mouse in The Nutcracker with the Louisville Ballet she joined Louisville Ballet Academy where she started formal 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, joining as a full-time student a year later.[1]


Wendy joined NYCB in 1984 as an apprentice and entered the company's corps de ballet January 1986.[2] She was promoted to soloist in 1989, and to principal dancer in 1991.

She has a repertoire of more than 50 ballets, including pieces by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, Twyla Tharp, William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, and others.

Whelan is particularly known for her angular body and muscularity particularly suited to the Balanchine style. However, with Balanchine's death in 1983, a year after Whelan arrived at SAB, she only met him once.

In 2014 she announced her departure from the New York City Ballet with her farewell performance being on October 18.[3]


The ballerina has openly spoken about conquering scoliosis after being diagnosed at age 12.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Whelan married photographer David Michalek in September 2005.[6]

Originated Roles[edit]

Ulysses Dove[edit]

  • Red Angels

Jorma Elo[edit]

Albert Evans[edit]

William Forsythe[edit]

Peter Martins[edit]

Wayne McGregor[edit]

Alexei Ratmansky[edit]

Jerome Robbins[edit]

Lynne Taylor-Corbett[edit]

Christopher Wheeldon[edit]


  1. ^ "Wendy Whelan - New York City Ballet". Nycballet.com. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  2. ^ Kourlas, Gia (9 August 2013). "A Ballerina in a New Realm". New York Times (New York City, United States). Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (2014-10-03). "Wendy Whelan Says Farewell to City Ballet". The New York Times (New York: NYTC). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dance Magazine". Thefreelibrary.com. 2006-10-01. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  5. ^ "Amazon.com". Amazon.com. 2006-10-01. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  6. ^ NY Times Article

External links[edit]