Photo by Nisian Hughes
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CALVIN ROYAL III
Calvin began his early dance training at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was at age 14, with two hands on the ballet bare, that he took his first ballet class. As many in the ballet world would consider a “late start”, Calvin went on to becoming a finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix Scholarship Competition in New York City which landed him a spot at the highly selective and prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.
Moving to New York City his senior year of high school wasn’t easy, but with the support and encouragement of his family and friends back home, Calvin trained as hard as he could for the year and a half he was at the JKO School. In the meantime, he completed his academic studies and graduated with honors from the Professional Performing Arts High School.
Royal showing great promise was promoted into ABT’s junior company, ABT II (now the ABT Studio Company) in December 2007. While in ABT II, Calvin danced leading roles including Prince Siegfried in the White Swan and Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Jerome Robbins’ Interplay, Antony Tudor’s Continuo, and new creations by choreographers Edward Liaang, Aszure Barton, Jodie Gates, and Brian Reeder.
After his time in the second company, Calvin came to a crossroads not knowing what the future held for him at the American Ballet Theatre. Any notice of promotion would’ve come at the end of his season with the junior company, but that promotion never came. Calvin decided to refocus his plans for the future and took a chance by enrolling in the summer ballet program at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket Massachusetts. After hearing great things about the summers there, and the many dance companies that would performing, Calvin was really eager to go. He would maybe even try convincing a director from one of the visiting companies to give him a shot.
While at Jacob’s Pillow that summer, he worked with former prima ballerina Nina Ananiashvili, Anna Marie Holmes, and Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Virgina Johnson. Nearing the end of his trip, Calvin got the call from ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie.
It wasnt long after that summer away that Calvin joined the main Company at ABT as an apprentice, and was promoted a few months later into the corps de ballet. Since joining the company, Calvin has danced a wide range of cutting edge contemporary works as well as full-length classical ballets. Calvin has appeared in many publications including Dance Magazine, Dance Europe Magazine, Pointe Magazine, FLATT Magazine, New York Magazine’s REASONS TO LOVE NY Edition, DETAILS Magazine, TIME Style and Design, and The Art of Movement a book by NYC Dance Project. He has been reviewed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other news outlets for his performances with American Ballet Theatre.
In 2013 Calvin was a finalist at the Clive Barnes Awards, and in 2014 he was the winner of a grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund. Calvin was recently seen in GAP stores worldwide for their new dance inspired fitness line GAP Fit.
Mr. Royal’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Harlan Blake and Sharon Patrick.
Since the beginning of his journey, the blessings have continued to overflow. Calvin looks with open eyes, an open mind and heart to the future and beyond……