(b Santa Monica, Calif., 11 Aug. 1938)
US dancer and teacher. She studied with Bronislava and Irina Nijinska, with Carmelita Maracci, and at the School of American Ballet. In 1953 she joined New York City Ballet where she was promoted to principal in 1957. An exceptionally lyrical dancer, who projected an aura of poetic mystery on stage, she created roles in several Balanchine ballets, including ‘The Unanswered Question’ section of Ivesiana (1954), Agon (1957), Bugaku (1963), and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (1966). She also created roles in Robbins's Dances at a Gathering (1969) and Dumbarton Oaks (1972), as well as dancing in the Broadway musical Shinbone Alley (1957) and guesting occasionally abroad. After retiring in mid-1981 she worked as a freelance teacher and in 1990 was dancer and associate director with John Cliffords Ballet of Los Angeles. She continues to teach and to coach the Balanchine repertory and in 1997 published her autobiography Once a Dancer.