Jacques d'Amboise leading a National Dance Institute class. Photo by Lois Greenfield, Courtesy DM Archives

Jacques d'Amboise's First Apollo Was "Terrible." Here's What It Taught Him About Being a Dancer.

In the October 1969 issue of Dance Magazine, we spoke with Jacques d'Amboise, then 20 years into his career with New York City Ballet. Though he became a principal dancer in 1953, the star admitted that it hadn't all been smooth sailing.


"I knew that I was terrible in my first Apollo," he told us, "and when Balanchine did not come to me and tell me so, did not train me in it, I realized that to be a dancer you must work as a dancer, not as a robot. I knew then that your teachers can teach you so much—but that the learning process is limitless, and that you set your own limits on what you learn."

D'Amboise arguably became the definitive interpreter of Apollo, and brought that thoughtful approach to his endeavors in choreography and arts education. In 1976, while still performing with NYCB, he founded National Dance Institute—and today, at age 85, he's still at it.

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Dancers at work in USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance's facilities. Photo by Ema Peter, Courtesy USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Meet 5 Recent USC Kaufman Grads Making Waves in the Dance Industry

Since welcoming its first freshman BFA class in 2015, the University of Southern California's Glorya Kaufman School of Dance has made a name for itself. The Los Angeles dance program is known for creating versatile artists in a collaborative, innovative training environment, and its alumni are already making bold professional leaps.

Dance Magazine caught up with five recent grads to see where they've landed and how USC Kaufman and its career services department prepared them for their future in the dance industry.

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July 2021