October 24, 2016 – Wendy, who has thrilled audiences for over three decades with her dance, talked about the future and embracing her creative power in a conversation with Emily Bingham.
Wendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where she began taking dance lessons at the age of three. By 1986 she was invited to become a member of the New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet, promoted to principal soloist in 1989, and principal dancer in 1991. In her 30-year career with that company, she danced virtually every major Balanchine role and worked closely with Jerome Robbins and such notable choreographers as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, and Wayne MacGregor.
Whelan is on the faculty at Ballet Academy East and was recently appointed Artistic Associate at New York’s City Center. She also served as the first recipient of Leda Orzeck Artist in Residence Chair, at Barnard College for the 2015/16 school year.
Her 2014 retirement from the New York City Ballet has enabled Wendy to develop new creative projects that are taking her career in dance in new directions. As she has said, “I’m deciding who I want to dance with, I’m deciding what I want to do each day. It’s not a place I’ve been at in my career before this. It’s daunting and scary, and it’s so beautiful.”