Recognized as one of the finest classical dancers of our time, Mr. Jacques d’Amboise now leads the field of arts education with a model program that exposes thousands of school children to the magic and discipline of dance. In 1976, while still a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet, Mr. d’Amboise founded National Dance Institute in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate individuals towards excellence.
His contributions in arts education have earned him numerous awards and honors including: The American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2007); Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, Syracuse University (2007);Child Magazine Children’s Champion Award (2007); The Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture (2004); Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters St. Joseph College (2003); The Christophers' James Keller Youth Award (2002); The Arison Award(2002); People First Honoree People Magazine (2002); Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Franklin Pierce College (2002); The Heinz Award (2001); Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts at the University of the South (2001); Town Hall Friend of the Arts Award (2000); Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts at the Juilliard School (2000);
Mr. d’Amboise began his ballet training with Madam Seda in Washington Heights, New York. Within a year, at the age of 8, he continued his studies at the School of American Ballet with George Balanchine, Anatola Oboukhoff and Pierre Vladimiroff. At age 12 he performed with Ballet Society, the immediate predecessor to the New York City Ballet. Three years later, barely 15, he joined NYCB and the following year made his European debut at London’s Covent Garden. As Balanchine’s protégé, Mr. d’Amboise had more works choreographed specifically for him by The Ballet Master than any other dancer. These include the ballets: Stars and Stripes; Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux; Episodes; Figures in the Carpet; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Jewels;Raymonda Variations; Meditation; and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. Mr. d’Amboise is most remembered for his portrayal of what critics called “the definitive Apollo.” As a choreographer, Mr. d’Amboise’s credits include almost twenty works commissioned for New York City Ballet.