Featured Roles Since Joining NYCB

George Balanchine
  • Agon
  • Allegro Brillante
  • Apollo
  • Ballade
  • Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (Fourth Movement)
  • Bugaku
  • Chaconne
  • Concerto Barocco
  • Cortège Hongrois
  • "Diamonds" from Jewels
  • Divertimento No. 15
  • Episodes
  • The Four Temperaments
  • George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ (Sugarplum Fairy, Dewdrop, Coffee)
  • Liebeslieder Walzer
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania, Divertissement)
  • Mozartiana
  • Orpheus
  • "Rubies" from Jewels
  • La Sonnambula
  • Stars and Stripes
  • Swan Lake
  • Stravinsky Violin Concerto
  • Symphony in C
  • Symphony in Three Movements
  • Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 (Theme and Variations)
  • Union Jack
  • Walpurgisnacht Ballet
William Forsythe
  • Behind The China Dogs
Peter Martins
  • Barber Violin Concerto
  • Fearful Symmetries
  • The Sleeping Beauty
  • Swan Lake
Jerome Robbins
  • The Cage
  • Dances at a Gathering
  • The Four Seasons
  • Glass Pieces
  • The Goldberg Variations
  • In G Major
  • In Memory Of ...
jerome robbins and twyla tharp
  • Brahms/Handel
Christopher Wheeldon
  • DGV: Danse à Grande Vitesse

Originated featured roles in

  • Jorma Elo: Slice to Sharp
  • Albert Evans: In a Landscape
  • William Forsythe: Herman Schmerman
  • Peter Martins: Ash, Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements), Les Petits Riens
  • Wayne McGregor: Outlier
  • Alexei Ratmansky: Concerto DSCH, Namouna, A Grand Divertissement, Russian Seasons
  • Jerome Robbins: Brandenburg
  • Lynne Taylor-Corbett: The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Christopher Wheeldon: After the Rain, Klavier, Les Carillons, Liturgy, Morphoses, The Nightingale and The Rose, Polyphonia, This Bitter Earth (excerpt from Five Movements, Three Repeats)

Wendy Whelan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where at the age of three she began taking dance classes with Virginia Wooton, a local teacher. At age eight she performed as a mouse with the Louisville Ballet in its annual production of The Nutcracker. Joining the Louisville Ballet Academy that year, she began intense professional ballet training. In 1981 she received a scholarship to the summer course at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, and a year later, became a full-time student there. In 1984, Ms. Whelan danced as an apprentice with New York City Ballet. Ms. Whelan became a member of New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in January 1986. She was promoted to the rank of soloist during the 1989 spring season and to the rank of principal dancer in the 1991 spring season. Ms. Whelan has worked with numerous choreographers including Christopher d'Amboise, Ulysses Dove, Boris Eifman, Albert Evans, Edwaard Liang, and Kevin O'Day.

Other performances

Ms. Whelan has performed as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden and the Maryinsky Ballet at the Maryinsky Theater. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

In 2002, Ms. Whelan appeared in the nationally televised Live from Lincoln Center broadcast "New York City Ballet's Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography" on PBS, dancing in Red Angels, and in May of 2004 she appeared in the Live from Lincoln Center broadcast of "Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100," dancing in Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.

Film Credits

Ms. Whelan appeared as "Coffee" in the film version of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™, produced by Elektra Entertainment/New Regency Enterprises, and released in the winter of 1993.


Ms. Whelan was the recipient of a Dance Magazine Award in 2007.

Portrait © David Michalek