Taylor Stanley, photo by Nathan Sayers for Pointe
On April 30, I saw Taylor Stanley light up two of the three ballets at New York City Ballet: Alexei Ratmansky’s vibrant Pictures at an Exhibition and Justin Peck’s complex Everywhere We Go. He seemed to be beaming out rays of sunshine, and I couldn’t help sitting a bit more forward to soak it in.
With dancing like this, it was inevitable that he would be made a principal. Sure enough, on Tuesday, just before Taylor went onstage to replace an injured dancer in ballet master in chief Peter Martins’ Hallelujah Junction, Martins anointed him principal.
Stanley began dancing at age 3 at the Rock School in Philadelphia. He came to the School of American Ballet in 2008 and was named apprentice at NYCB in 2009. His quick rise is detailed in Brian Schaefer’s cover story in Pointe magazine last year.
I named him one of my “Best of 2014,” writing, “Taylor Stanley: Warmth, clarity, and verve in every role.” He seems to spring up off the floor, whether the step is a jeté or a glissade.
He’s become a favorite of choreographers like Justin Peck and Troy Schumacher as well as Martins. In this video, Stanley characterizes himself as the quiet type, but whenever I’ve seen him onstage, he’s bursting with energy—as though he were singing or whistling or yelling with every step.
Now that he is a principal, one might wonder whether he will have time for his other interests like working with Schumacher’s BalletCollective, taking Gaga workshops or pursuing a BA through California’s LEAP program.
In any case, many of us are hungry to see Stanley in both old roles and new next season.