Who: Kathleen Moore, teacher at Princeton Ballet School, the official school of American Repertory Ballet, New Jersey’s preeminent professional ballet company. Princeton Ballet School has locations in Princeton, Cranbury, and New Brunswick
Dance Career: Kathleen Moore was hired by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join American Ballet Theatre (ABT)’s Junior Company in 1980 at age 16. Two years later he hired promoted her to the main company. She danced with ABT for almost two decades, rising through the ranks of the company, eventually becoming a Principal Dancer. She held the title of Principal Dancer with ABT for seven years.
During Moore’s dance career she experienced a wide range of repertory in various styles. She performed many of the classical ballets, including Swan Lake, Giselle, and Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadere. She also performed works by choreographers such as George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She worked with modern choreographers Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor, and Twyla Tharp created several roles on her. She starred in several works by Agnes de Mille, including Rodeo and Fall River legend, as well as The Informer, in which she danced a role that de Mille also created on her. In addition, she was chosen by Antony Tudor as the last ballerina to portray the role of Hagar in the revival of his masterpiece, Pillar of Fire.
Teaching experience: Moore has completed all levels of the ABT Teacher Training Curriculum and has passed with high honors. She has taught classes at Welseyan University and teaches audition classes in New York for several companies. She also teaches weekly class as Princeton University. For American Repertory Ballet she is a ballet mistress and teacher, in addition to being on the faculty of Princeton Ballet School.
Special focus: When she’s teaching class, Moore likes to focus on musicality, “moving,” port de bras (arm carriage) from the back, the arms’ coordination with the legs and head, soft plie, eye focus, and changes in dynamics.
Most satisfying moment: “Seeing my students achieve their personal goals, whether big — like getting a professional contract — or smaller — like maintaining a soft plie throughout a petit allegro combination or keeping their eyes off the floor and still keeping the joy for dance alive in their spirit through all the hard work it takes to attain these goals.”
For fun: “Reading, cooking and sharing meals with family and friends, riding bikes with my son to Thomas Sweet for ice cream cones on summer evenings, playing with my puppies, keeping in touch with friends on Facebook, kayaking, family card games of rummy, yoga, and listening to my mom’s stories of her childhood.” She also enjoys “photography, movie nights at home with my boys, reading the NYTimes Science section, traveling, watching fireflies, laughing with the deli guys at McCaffreys, taking walks in nature, singing, and going to the ballet.”
American Repertory Ballet. 732-249-1254. www.arballet.org.