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Christina Spigner


Paradise Valley native Christina Spigner recently retired from a decade-plus career with the world-renown Miami City Ballet (MCB).  During her tenure, Christina served as the Company’s only Black female dancer.  In light of her experience, Christina felt compelled to pursue a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) certification post-retirement and had the opportunity through her role on MCB’s administrative team to research and interview premiere ballet companies and schools nationally regarding their DEI work.  This experience further equipped her and fueled her desire to uplift the next generation of young dancers through the message of inclusivity, belonging, and self-love.

 

As a ballet instructor, Christina is a strong advocate for approaching technique, flexibility, and dance performance holistically.  She accomplishes this by sharing her knowledge of body awareness and strength training programs such as Gyrotonics, Pilates, and Feldenkrais.  Additionally, Christina is a certified Progressing Ballet Technique teacher, a favorite body-conditioning regimen of top ballet companies and schools worldwide.

 

Since the early days of her training, Christina attended many of the nation’s leading ballet institutions, including Master Ballet Academy, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Ballet Maestro, Interlochen Arts Camp, and The School of Ballet Arizona. Christina’s first break on the main stage was in 2004 as Ballet Arizona’s first Black Clara in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

 

At the age of 15, Christina moved to Miami to attend the Miami City Ballet School and, only one year later, was offered a company apprenticeship by founder and New York City Ballet legend Edward Villella.  As a sought-after ballerina, Christina’s career featured a diverse array of repertory in soloist and principal roles, including Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments (Sanguinic), Paul Taylor’s Company B (Mary/Rum and Coke), a triple threat performance in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite (Rosalia), and more.  Additionally, she enjoyed a robust national and international touring schedule dancing on some of the world’s greatest stages and most prestigious dance festivals, including; New York City Center for The Balanchine Festival: The City Center Years (NYC), The Kennedy Center for Ballet Across America (D.C.), The Spoleto Festival (Charleston), The Koch Theater (NYC), Radio City Music Hall (NYC), The Harris Theater (Chicago), The Queen Elizabeth Theater (Vancouver), and Northrop Auditorium (Minneapolis). 

 

Outside of Miami City Ballet, Christina has been a featured guest artist with Peter London Global Dance Company (Miami) and The Black Iris Project (NYC).  The Black Iris Project, a nationally acclaimed ballet company, creates new and relevant classical ballet works celebrating diversity and Black history.  In 2016, Christina made her Ballet Across America festival debut at the Kennedy Center by way of Misty Copeland’s nomination of the Black Iris Project.

 

Winner of numerous awards and honors, Christina was a nominee for the Princess Grace Award, winner of three national contemporary dance competitions, and awarded as one of Miami’s 40 Under 40 Black Leaders of Today and Tomorrow. Christina has been featured in a variety of publications and national marketing campaigns for her dancing and teaching, including Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, The Miami Herald, City & Shore, two Miami City Ballet campaigns, and a national dancewear campaign for SoDança (2017-2018).

 

“Despite your background, or past difficulties feeling like you fit into the mold of “ballet,” I feel the importance of contributing to the field as a diverse educator, allowing other diverse young dancers the opportunity to have representation, find belonging in this art form, and learn to love themselves within it.  I want to be an active contributor to the world of ballet, especially in the mental health space.  My passion is to share with young students how to relate to ballet and themselves in a way that is healthy and honoring.”

– Christina Spigner