Atlanta Ballet Summer Intensive Instructor Spotlight: Amanda McKerrow
Amanda McKerrow has enjoyed a career as one of America’s acclaimed ballerinas. She has the honor of being the first American to receive a gold medal at the International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1981. Since then, she has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship and the New York Woman Award for Dance.
Ms. McKerrow was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and began her ballet training at the Twinbrook School of Ballet in Rockville, Maryland, where she completed the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She then spent two years at the Metropolitan Academy of Dance, where she studied the acclaimed Vaganova syllabus. She then studied at the Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day, where she danced with the company for two years, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe.
Ms. McKerrow joined American Ballet Theatre in 1982 under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was appointed to the position of soloist in 1983 and became a principal dancer in 1987. Her repertoire included the leading roles in Cinderella, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Manon, La Bayadère, Coppélia, Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, and The Nutcracker. She has received acclaim for her performances in shorter works by Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, and Jiri Killián. Ms. McKerrow has created roles in ballets by choreographers such as Agnes DeMille, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Clark Tippet, Choo San Goh, and James Kudelka. She has also appeared extensively as a guest artist with ballet companies around the world.
In 2000, after having worked closely with him during his lifetime, Ms. McKerrow began staging the works of Antony Tudor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. She also stages the ballets of Agnes DeMille and Benjamin Millepied, as well as the full-length classics like Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Don Quixote. After retiring from performing in 2006, she devotes the majority of her time to teaching, coaching, and staging ballets for professional companies around the world, including American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Royal New Zealand Ballet, and Colorado Ballet. She is married to fellow dancer and repetiteur, John Gardner.
She is currently a distinguished guest instructor in Atlanta Ballet's 2014 Summer Intensives.
Photo: Amanda McKerrow