New York City Ballet: Corps de Ballet
Dance Theatre of Harlem: Principal Dancer
Ballet New York
New York City Ballet Touring Group
Complexions Contemporary Dance
Andrea Long began her career dancing with the New York City Ballet and remained there for over eight years. Internationally renowned, she continues to inspire in an arduous profession. She dances as a guest artist with many regional ballet companies and is considered exemplary and demanding as a ballet instructor. Long was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents encouraged her love of dance at a young age. Her early ballet training included the Pennsylvania Ballet School, Philadelphia; the American Ballet Theatre School; and the School of American Ballet, the latter two located in New York City. Invited first to join the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1985, Long left to become a member of the New York City Ballet. After dancing in the corps, she found greater opportunities with The Dance Theatre of Harlem. She has received continuing critical acclaim as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Balanchine’s classical version of The Nutcracker and his Allegro Brillante, among others, and in contemporary dance works of Robert Garland, Dwight Rhoden, Jerome Robbins, and Laveen Naidu, to name a few. Long has danced with Ballet New York, New York City Ballet Touring Group, and Complexions Contemporary Dance in New York. She has performed on tour across the United States and Europe. Long has been a continuing inspiration to young women and particularly women of color through teaching at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, its affiliate school, and master classes elsewhere. Referring to her solo performance ten years before in The Firebird, she inspired her students to “Be a bird, your bird.” In teaching, Long has stated, “It’s about making incredible dancers. I’m not interested in making little corps dancers. I wanna make stars!” Long sees a growing respect for the art of ballet in popular culture and joins in encouraging such groups as The Swan Dreams Project in a goal to increase minority participation in ballet. A number of young dancers in the program have cited her encouragement as the reason for their presence in the Swan Dreams Project. Long is married to Laveen Naidu, Dance Theatre Harlem’s former executive director. The couple wed in 2004 and lives in New York City. Both continue to support the development of Dance Theatre Harlem.