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Faculty Spotlight: Robyn Gardenhire

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

LACHSA Dance Faculty 2015 - present

City Ballet of Los Angeles

Artistic Director & Founder

Ms. Gardenhire is a former dancer with Joffrey 2, Cleveland Ballet, Karol Armitage, and was hired by Mikhail Baryshnikov for American Ballet Theater and his White Oak Project. Ms. Gardenhire became a dance activist in 1991 by challenging American Ballet Theater, ABT to become a more diverse company and school. Because of her courage to make a bold statement of advocacy for ballet dancers of color, her goal was achieved. ABT began offering scholarships to ballet students of color at American Ballet Theater by the year 1999. Misty Copeland was the first dancer of color to receive a scholarship from the program. This initiative has carried on to the School of American Ballet, SAB, the internationally acclaimed ballet school that resides within the New York City Ballet Company, NYCB. Ms. Gardenhire serves on the NYCB Alumni Board that is now committed to addressing the need and desire for diversity in their ballet school and within the community. Her commitment to bringing the highest standard of classical ballet training and opportunity to underserved communities of color in Los Angeles inspired her to found and direct City Ballet of Los Angeles in 2000. Through her continuing leadership in the Los Angeles dance community, Ms. Gardenhire has nurtured hundreds of young dancers and choreographed and produced many productions employing diverse classical dancers for annual classic and contemporary ballet performances.

Watch the attached video of Ms. Gardenhire’s presentation to the LACHSA Foundation event Oct. 2020 where she shares her dance journey and powerful insights about her life in dance.


Robyn Gardenhire, LACHSA Dance Faculty & Founder and Artistic Director of City Ballet of Los Angeles, talks about her groundbreaking efforts to address equity and inclusion at the American Ballet Theatre.


Highlights from Robyn's Journey

School of American Ballet Training Program
Robyn age

Photography Credit:

Ballet name, choreographer, etc...


Click Image for LACHSA Dance Faculty Bio


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