Ballet Stars

2018 Stars of the Corps: Nashville Ballet's Imani Sailers

Sailers, with Brett Sjoblom in Heather Britt's Claudette, is a true up-and-comer. Photo by Heather Thorne, Courtesy Nashville Ballet.

With the magical allure of a firefly against the night sky, Nashville Ballet's Imani Sailers displayed flashes of brilliance in Heather Britt's bendy, breezy contemporary pas de deux Claudette. It's fitting that this breakout moment for Sailers came during last season's Emergence series: Her performance proved why she is a true up-and-comer in the company.


Prior to joining Nashville Ballet, the 23-year-old Chicago native was a member of NB2 for one season. Sailers trained at the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center and, while a student, performed for First Lady Michelle Obama's 2010 inaugural White House Dance Series. She later earned a degree in dance at Indiana University.

"She has tons of potential," says artistic director Paul Vasterling. This season, Sailers says she is most excited about Vasterling's Attitude: Lucy Negro Redux, a new ballet based on the book by poet Caroline Randall Williams. "I feel really encouraged to work in such a progressive company," says Sailers. "Every day I am experiencing a diversity of ideas about dance. We get to show people that ballet can be as out-of-the box as any other dance style."

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