(b Stanton, Va., 29 Mar. 1926; d San Andreas, Calif., 10 Jan. 1993)
US dancer and teacher. She studied with de Mille, Tudor, and others and made her debut in 1943 in Oklahoma! The same year she joined Ballet Theatre where she was promoted soloist in 1945, after which she danced with New York City Ballet as ballerina (1950–63). A dancer of unusually long limbs and graceful proportions she was originally considered a dramatic performer and created roles in de Mille's Fall River Legend (1948) and Tudor's Undertow, among others. Later she evolved into one of Balanchine's leading interpreters, creating roles in many of his works, such as La Valse (1951), Opus 34 (1954), Agon (1957), and Liebeslieder Walzer (1960). She also created roles in Ashton's Picnic at Tintagel (1952) and Robbins's Facsimile (1946). Her film roles included Kelly's Invitation to the Dance (1956). After retiring from the stage she taught at the School of American Ballet where she was also active in selecting Ford Scholarship students. It was she who recommended Farrell to Balanchine.