Patricia McBride and Edward Villella inside what is now the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Photo by Martha Swope © The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

#tbt: Patricia McBride Recalls Her Disastrous First NYCB Performance

In the August 1977 issue of Dance Magazine, cover star Patricia McBride told us, "My first performance with [New York City Ballet] was as an apprentice in Symphony in C. It was a disaster. There's a very complicated tendu combination that the ensemble does in unison, framing the stage. I was right in front and I was so nervous I got out of sync and my foot was going out when everyone else's was going in, and of course my arms were going the wrong way, too. I thought I was going to be fired right there and then." Needless to say, that didn't happen. McBride danced at NYCB for over 30 years, with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins both creating iconic roles in their ballets for the fearless dancer, from Who Cares? to Dances at a Gathering. She continues to teach and coach, and is the recipient of a 1980 Dance Magazine Award and a 2014 Kennedy Center Honor.

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