Degrees and Certifications:
Shawn Black, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, began studying dance at age six. At ten she trained at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Dance Department. At 11 Ms. Black auditioned for and was accepted at Alabama School of Fine Arts under the direction of Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski. When she graduated, she received the school’s prestigious Prix de Excellence de Danse and was listed in Who’s Who Among American High School Students. That summer she represented the United States as the only female member of the team sent to the International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland. At 18 she danced with Atlanta Ballet, and at 19 she auditioned for Mikhail Baryshnikov and was accepted into American Ballet Theatre and went on to work with world-renowned dancers and choreographers on stage, television, and in movies. Ms. Black is listed in Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in America.
Dancing with Mikhail Baryshnikov, her featured roles included: the movie “Dancers,” Pas de Trois, and Cygnets in “Swan Lake,” Flower Girl in “Don Quixote,” and Peasant Pas de Deux in “Giselle.” Working with Agnes De Mille, she was cast in a leading role in “Fall River Legend” and as the principal dancer, Cowgirl, in “Rodeo.” Working with Twyla Tharp, Ms. Black danced In the “Upper Room,” “Brief Fling,” and “Elements.” Anthony Tudor cast her in his “Pillar of Fire” and for the television filming of his ballet “Dark Elegies.” Sir Kenneth McMillan cast her as Princess Florine in his ballet “Sleeping Beauty.” She also danced leading roles in Clark Tippet’s “Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1,” Jiri Kylian’s “Sinfonietta,” James Kudelka’s “Cruel World,” Glenn Tetley’s “Rite of Spring,” and Sir Fredrick Ashton’s “Symphonic Variations.”
Recently, Ms. Black taught at San Elijo Dance and Music Academy in San Diego, California, where she has recently choreographed and staged a Children’s Theater production of “Peter and the Wolf.”
Ms. Black has restaged and coached several ballets for dance companies around the United States. Here is a partial list:
2003: “La Bayadere, Act I” (Alabama Dance Theater., Montgomery);
2005: “Sleeping Beauty, Act III” (Alabama Dance Theater, Montgomery);
2006: “Coppellia, Act I” (Alabama Dance Theater, Montgomery);
2007: “La Bayadere, Act II” (Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham);
“Les Sylphides” (San Diego, California);
2008: “Swan Lake, Act II” (Alabama Dance Theater, Montgomery); and
2009: “Paquita” (Alabama Dance Theater, Montgomery).
“Coppelia Act III” (Alabama Dance Theater, Montgomery).
Ms. Black’s teaching experience includes American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hawaii, Alabama Ballet, Alabama Dance Theater, Charleston Ballet Theater, Virginia Ballet Theater, Santa Fe Community College, the University of South Carolina, and San Elijo Dance and Music Academy in San Elijo, California.