Linda Swayze

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Swayze with unidentified dancer. Photo via Swayze’s interview with Adam Blyde.
Photo via Swayze’s LinkedIn.

Linda Swayze grew up on the South Side of Chicago and trained under Bentley Stone and Walter Camryn. Because Stone was acquainted with Arthur Mitchell, he sent Swayze, along with a letter, to Dance Theatre of Harlem’s company class while the troupe was in Chicago.

She auditioned the next day and was hired immediately. Swayze’s career with the company spanned 16 years.
She was part of the original DTH cast of David Gordon’s Piano Movers (1985).
Her other repertoire included George Balanchine’s 2nd Movement of Dancing to Bach and The Four Temperaments and Marius Petipa’s Paquita.
She appeared in the filmed version of Dance Theatre of Harlem: Fall River Legend (1989).
Swayze received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Loyola University of Chicago and served as the director of community engagement at the Joffrey Ballet starting in 2007/8.
Regarding her early years in ballet, Swayze said that she was a bunhead “right from the get-go.”
Arthur Mitchell with Sharon Birthwright, Karen Brown, Stephanie Dabney, Linda Swayze, Corrine King, and Melanie Person in rehearsal for Marius Petipa’s Paquita. Photo: Marbeth, 1980, courtesy of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Archives.
Linda Swayze, Julie Felix, Mel Tomlinson, Stephanie Dabney, Elena Carter-Wyatt. Photo via Dance Theatre of Harlem.

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