Megan Fairchild is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. Ms. Fairchild was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and began her dance training at the age of four, studying with Judy Levitre and Kaelynne Oliphant at Dance Concepts in Sandy, Utah, and at the Ballet West Conservatory in Salt Lake City with Sharee Lane, Deborah Dobson, and Maureen Laird. While at the Ballet West Conservatory, Ms. Fairchild was also a Ballet West trainee. Ms. Fairchild entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in the fall of 2000. In November 2001, Ms. Fairchild became an apprentice with New York City Ballet, and in October 2002 she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. Ms. Fairchild was promoted to the rank of soloist in February 2004, and in January 2005, she was promoted to principal dancer.
Megan Fairchild in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. PC Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB
From the minute my journey as a dancer began at age 4, there were no other options of what I might do with my life.
Sure, I tried other "after-school activities." I tried desperately to master The Phantom of the Opera with my squeaky violin rental—a headache for my parents who paid for private Suzuki method lessons at our house. Constantly attempting famous show tunes on my violin, the effort was completely futile. I actually remember thinking, 'Surely this sheet music is wrong, this sounds nothing like the Phantom of the Opera.'
I even tried my hand at gymnastics. But when my mom's brilliant bribery of $100 for my first mastery of a kip or a back handspring didn't produce any results, we quickly threw in the towel.