Calvin Royal III

American Ballet Theatre: Principal (2010-present)

Calvin Royal III began his formal dance training under the direction of Suzanne Pomerantzeff and Patricia L. Paige at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was a finalist at the Youth America Grand Prix Scholarship Competition in New York City in April 2006 and joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in September 2006.  Royal was the recipient of the Ethan Stiefel Scholarship in 2006 and 2007. While at the JKO School, Royal appeared in original works by Raymond Lukens and Jessica Lang.

Royal joined ABT II (now ABT Studio Company) in December 2007 and 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 works by Edward Liaang, Aszure Barton, Jodie Gates and Brian Reeder.

Royal joined the main Company as an apprentice in October 2010 and the corps de ballet in April 2011.  He was appointed a Soloist in September 2017 and Principal Dancer in September 2020. His repertoire with the company includes the title role in Apollo, a Cavalier in Cinderella; Dorcon in Daphnis and Chloe; Espada in Don Quixote; the third sailor in Fancy Free; Persian Man in The Golden Cockerel; Pierrot in Alexei Ratmansky’s Harlequinade; Reverend Brocklehurst in Jane Eyre; Lescaut in Manon; the Recruit in Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker; a Carnival Dancer in Othello; Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet; the Spanish Prince and Prince Fortune in The Sleeping Beauty; von Rothbart, Benno, and the Spanish Dance in Swan Lake; Jaseion in Sylvia; Prince Coffee and Prince Cocoa in Whipped Cream; leading roles in Bach Partita, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Her Notes, Piano Concerto #1, Seven Sonatas, Symphonic Variations, and Thirteen Diversions; and featured roles in AfterEffect, Black Tuesday, Clear, Company B, Deuce Coupe, Duets, In the Upper Room, Raymonda Divertissements, and Sinfonietta.

He created the North Wind in A Gathering of Ghosts, Bacchus in The Seasons, a Fairy Cavalier in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty; leading roles in AFTERITE, Serenade after Plato’s Symposium, and Songs of Bukovina; and featured roles in After You, Aftereffect (first production), AfterEffect, Dream within a Dream (deferred), New American Romance, and Praedicere.

Royal was named a finalist at the 2013 Clive Barnes Awards and in 2014, was awarded the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship to further his artistic development. Royal has been featured in global campaigns for GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Target, Ralph Lauren and Canali. He was featured in the 2019 Pirelli Calendar alongside Misty Copeland, photographed by famed Scottish fashion, celebrity, and art photographer Albert Watson.

Royal was named the 2020-2021 Artist-in-Residence for the Vail Dance Festival in Vail, Colorado.

Mr. Royal’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Harlan Blake and Sharon Patrick.


Calvin Royal III, American Ballet Theatre

Current website:

Calvin Royal III

See also:

The Singular Elegance of American Ballet Theatre’s Calvin Royal III, Dance Magazine
With Fancy Footwork, a Dancer’s Home Doubles as a Studio, The New York Times
Calvin Royal III: 1st Black male principal with ABT in two decades, New York Amsterdam News
Misty Copeland, Calvin Royal III and the rarity of a black couple dancing lead roles, Los Angeles Times
Calvin Royal III, All the Pretty Birds
Calvin Royal III, The Recreationalist
Man to Man, The New Yorker
Standout Performances of 2019: ABT’s Calvin Royal III in “Apollo”

Video links:

ONE YEAR with Principal Dancer Calvin Royal III
Calvin Royal III Rehearsing George Balanchine’s Apollo
ABT Weekend Talk Series with Misty Copeland, Calvin Royal III and Susan Fales-Hill
Debut Deferred Series with Calvin Royal III | GISELLE [Part 1]

Social media:

Instagram @calvinroyaliii

Leave a Reply