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By Jennifer Stahl
Calvin Royal III is on a roll. The American Ballet Theatre corps member didn't even begin training until he was 14, but in the past year, he's become the kind of dancer you can't ignore. He elegantly mastered principal roles in Alexei Ratmansky's Shostakovich Trilogy and Twyla Tharp's Bach Partita (alongside Polina Semionova and Marcelo Gomes, no less). He was also nominated for a Clive Barnes Award, we named him a "25 to Watch," and he was even singled out in New York Magazine as one of the reasons to love New York City.
Today, it was just announced that he's won a Leonore Annenberg Fellowship for the Performing and Visual Arts. Given to young artists with exceptional talent, these grants come with up to $50,000 for up to two years. They cover expenses like guest coaches and teachers, personal trainers, pianists, studio space, mentors and even classes in other art forms like drama and music—basically anything a dancer wants to help grow his artistry.
Royal's long been one of my favorite dancers to watch onstage. Even when he's just performing as a peasant or a bee, he fully commits to his role—and makes it come alive with fresh energy. He's already been maturing before our eyes with each passing season, developing from an entertaining kid to a compelling artist. Now, I can't wait to see what he does with this opportunity.