Education: The School of American Ballet, New York, 2004-2008.
Career: Joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2008. Promoted to soloist in 2013 and to principal dancer in 2016
Highlights from the repertoire with the Royal Danish Ballet: Odette/Odile in Swan Lake (Nikolaj Hübbe and Silja Schandorff), Giselle in Giselle (Nikolaj Hübbe and Silja Schandorff), Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Christopher Wheeldon), Lead Ballerina in Diamonds (George Balanchine), Lead Ballerina in Theme and Variations (George Balanchine), Ballerina in Etudes (Harald Lander), Eliza in Le Conservatoire (August Bournonville), Gamzatti in La Bayadère (Nikolaj Hübbe and Eva Draw), Prudence Duvernoy, in Lady of the Camellias (John Neumeier) and Mistress in Manon (Kenneth MacMillan)
Guest performances: Etoile Ballet Gala, Malmö, 2017, Etoile Ballet Gala, Riga, 2017, Opus One Foundation, Nairobi, 2016, Etoile Ballet Gala, Riga, 2016, Etoile Ballet Gala, Malmö and Göteborg, 2016, Stars of the Royal Danish Ballet and New York City Ballet, Stamford, Connecticut, 2015, Minsk Ballet Star Gala Performance, 2014, and Grand Rapids Ballet, 2013
Other engagements: Co-Director of the Opus1 Scandinavia Foundation. Opus1 believes in the power of the arts to inspire individuals, change communities, and combat current issues around the globe. We are currently working in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya
Awards: Ridder af Dannebrogordenen, 2016, Ballet Master Albert Gaubier’s and Poul Waldorff’s Foundation, 2014, Johannes and Ulla Poulsen Foundation, 2013, Faculty Award established by Mr. & Mrs. Irving Rose, 2007/08, and Faculty Award established by Mr. & Mrs. Irving Rose, 2006/07
What was the first ballet you saw?
The first ballet I saw was The Nutcracker. I was very excited to be part of the show and I took it very seriously! I was dancing as an angel. My mother loves to tell the story that the director of the school said to me: “One day, Holly, you will be Clara (Marie).” I responded with: “I don’t want to be Clara, I want to be the Sugar Plum.” :) From a very young age, I always loved those ballerina roles!
Why do you dance?
I dance because it is what I do. It is who I am. Life makes more sense when I am dancing. In a selfish way, it brings me so much joy and freedom and in a non-narcissistic way I hope every time I perform to touch the audience’s heart and bring them joy and freedom. I love the feeling of performing challenging steps on stage. It is magical. For as long as I can, I will chase that magic and hope to put a bit of magic into every audience member near and far.
Why do you think ballet is relevant today?
Ballet is relevant today, because it is an art form that can touch people and move people. Even though dance is changing and yet always the same it will continue to be around as long as humankind remains emotional. If we open up ourselves enough hopefully others will too. Maybe they will be inspired to tap into that emotion and make a difference somehow, somewhere, to someone or someplace.
Do you have a backstage story?
My favorite thing about backstage is my wonderful Viking husband standing in the wings as he works the show. I met him when I was fresh off the boat at 18 years old. We remained friends for many years but eventually he asked me out for an Irish Coffee which led to a romantic relationship. We were married in the backyard where I grew up in Detroit, Michigan on July 2, 2017. It was a magical day filled with so much joy, happiness and love. As soon as I come to stage, I always look for him … I always did and I always will.
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