Ballet Stars

2017 Stars of the Corps: Elle Macy of Pacific Northwest Ballet

Macy performs David Dawson's Empire Noir. Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.

Elle Macy was a first-year corps member in 2013 when Twyla Tharp chose to feature her in Pacific Northwest Ballet's premiere of Waiting At The Station. Four years later, 24-year-old Macy is still in the corps, but choreographers from David Dawson to Jessica Lang to William Forsythe have noticed her long, elegant lines and boundless energy, and have singled her out to dance in their ballets.

"In the middle, somewhat elevated was on my bucket list," says Macy, who danced it in 2015. "It drew me into Forsythe, and having him come here was a dream!"


Macy in Balanchine's The NutcrackerPhoto by Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB


Macy was born into a family of dancers in Southern California. At Orange County Dance Center (her mother's studio), she studied jazz and tap, in addition to ballet. Even now, she's more comfortable with contemporary choreography than classical ballets. "I'm still trying to become a ballerina!" she confesses.

Macy's also learning how to balance the needs of the corps with her own need to express herself onstage. The soloist roles allow her to do just that. "In the corps de ballet I kind of have to contain myself," Macy explains. "But why can't I be Elle Macy in these other works?"

Despite her increasing repertoire of contemporary ballets, Macy dreams of dancing some of the art form's iconic roles: Odette/Odile, Juliet, Kitri and Giselle. "Why not?" she asks. "It's a long career."

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The Joffrey Ballet's Amanda Assucena and Greig Matthews in Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre. Cheryl Mann, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.

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Sponsored by BLOCH
Courtesy BLOCH

Today's ballet dancer needs a lot from a pointe shoe. "What I did 20 years ago is not what these dancers are doing now," says New York City Ballet shoe manager Linnette Roe. "They are expected to go harder, longer days. They are expected to go from sneakers, to pointe shoes, to character shoes, to barefoot and back to pointe shoes all in a day."

The team at BLOCH developed their line of Stretch Pointe shoes to address dancer's most common complaints about the fit and performance of their pointe shoes. "It's a scientific take on the pointe shoe," says Roe. Dancers are taking notice and Stretch Pointe shoes are now worn by stars like American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston, who stars in BLOCH's latest campaign for the shoes.

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Herman Cornejo in Don Quixote. Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.

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Ballet Careers
Gray Davis with wife, ABT soloist Cassandra Trenary, after his graduation from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Courtesy Trenary.

When Gray Davis retired from American Ballet Theatre in July of 2018, he moved home to South Carolina, unsure of what would come next. Last month, just over a year later, Davis graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Today, he's working as a deputy for the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office.

Though Davis danced in ABT's corps for 11 years and is married to soloist Cassandra Trenary, to many he's best known for saving the life of a man who was pushed onto the subway tracks in New York City in 2017. The heroic effort earned him the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a member of the New York State Senate. We caught up with Davis to hear about how the split second decision he made in the subway affected the course of his life, what it's been like starting a second career and what he sees as the similarities between ballet and law enforcement.

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