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Katelyn May

Principal Dancer

Katelyn May
- Rapid City, South Dakota

Trained - June Taylor's School of Dance - Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Program, Houston Ballet Academy

Previous Companies - Houston Ballet (2008-2017)

Joined - 2017, promoted to Principal in 2018

Favorite Quote - "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Gandhi

Favorite Ballet - For me, there are two ballets that split the role for favorite ballet: Sir Fredrick Ashton’s The Dream and Sir Fredrick Ashton’s Rhapsody.  While rehearsing and performing The Dream the company was fortunate enough to welcome Sir Anthony Dowell in the studio to coach and pass on his wonderful and inspiring words of wisdom. The opportunity to personally rehearse and have discussion about the ballet with Sir Anthony is and will always be one of my most prized memories. Dancing the role of Titania in The Dream was my first opportunity to perform a leading role in a classic story ballet and developing Titania’s complex character will always be one of my favorite times in the studio. The story begins with Titania as a temperamental, hot-headed fairy queen in a power struggle with Oberon. Through continual comedic misunderstanding, which is always brilliantly portrayed by Ashton, she is then put under a spell and falls in love with Bottom, who at that point in the story is a donkey. In the end, after all wrongs have been made right, Titania relinquishes her power and shares it with Oberon in a heart-felt, beautiful pas de deux, which I was lucky enough to dance with Ricardo Rhodes. The genius in Ashton’s choreography allows every move to match every mood and Titania, having a vast array of temperaments, allowed me to explore many different facets of my dancing and movement quality.

Ashton’s Rhapsody is not a story ballet, but it is an adrenaline-inducing, thrill-ride of dance set to Rachmaninoff’s score of the same name. Performing the lead woman in the ballet pushed me to my limits as a dancer, leaving me in a puddle of sweat and euphoria at the end of each performance. Ashton is a master of making movement into song and Rhapsody is a true showcase of this talent. The ballet ranges in moods from grandeur, to fast and furious, and romantic, demanding quick and vast changes in movement and disposition from the dancers. I had the pleasure of partnering with Mattias Dingman during this process, and the shared chemistry of freedom and exhilaration between the two of us still warms my heart. The feverish footwork and the relentless nature of each entrance for the lead woman made this one of the hardest roles I have ever performed, but also one of the most rewarding.

Favorite Costume - Nothing makes me feel more beautiful than when I get to wear the dress, jewels, and headpiece from Meditation from Thaïs. It was exquisitely constructed by the costumers of the Royal Ballet of London with fabrics that are lush in texture and color. The flowing material of the scarf and dress mixed with the sparkle of the crown and jewels makes me feel transcendent when I put them on, giving me the sensation I need to perform the angelic role.

Fun Fact or Awards - A fun fact about me is that I grew up in Portland, Oregon and throughout most of my childhood, my family owned a horse and pony. We were fortunate enough to be able to keep, care for, and ride them on my grandparents' farm that was located just a block away from our house.

Lead and featured roles include Ashton’s Meditation from Thaïs, Monotones IThe Dream; Balanchine’s Theme and Variations; Bintley’s 'Still Life' at the Penguin Café; Gomes’ Dear Life…; Graziano’s Symphony of Sorrows, Valsinhas; Petipa's Le Corsaire pas de deux; Taylor’s Airs; Tuckett’s The Secret Garden; Tudor’s The Leaves are Fading; Wheeldon's There Where She Loved.

Box Office: 941.359.0099
Phone: 941.359.0099
5555 North Tamiami Trail  Sarasota , FL  34243