Pennsylvania Ballet (1996-2002)
Dance Theatre of Harlem (2002-2003)
Washington Ballet (2003-2005)
Nikkia Parish, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, began dancing at the age of six at the Sojourner Truth school in her hometown. After performer General Hambrick suggested Parish advance in her training, Parish transitioned to classes at the Gayle Corkery School of Ballet at age nine. Parish attended summer sessions at the School of American Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School on full scholarship before becoming a full-time student at SAB. Parish discusses her experiences at SAB in a 2012 Ballet Review interview, saying that the administration tried to dissuade her from becoming a ballet dancer due to her being Black. Discouraged by the discrimination and negative environment she encountered at SAB, Parish considered quitting ballet and started taking classes at Texas Christian University in 1994.
At TCU, Parish studied dance under Li Choi Cheng and Fernando Bujones, and her love for the art was revived.
From 1996 to 2002, Parish danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet before joining Dance Theatre of Harlem for one year and The Washington Ballet from 2003 to 2005.
Parish’s featured roles at Washington Ballet included Myrta in Giselle as well as those in The Nutcracker, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments.
After increasing concern over the harsh rehearsal schedules leading to injuries, Parish became engaged in union discussions while dancing with the Washington Ballet. In 2005, a complaint was filed by the American Guild of Musical Artists claiming that she and fellow dancer Brian Corman had been unlawfully dismissed due to their union activities.
Parish appeared in the 2006 movie Step Up.
Since Parish studied Business Management at Texas Christian University, she has held managerial positions and is now a private dining coordinator.
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