“Now I am ecstatic about my pointe shoes, not just content. When I first started wearing Gaynor Mindens I found myself very excited — almost the same way I felt as a little girl starting on pointe. Now, I am still excited every day by what I might learn and explore. Every rehearsal becomes a new adventure, as these shoes help me to feel things I have never felt free enough to feel before. It is as if I have been given a new pair of feet. These shoes inspire me to explore new possibilities of expression, artistry, and technique. They make me feel free.”
Deanna Seay began her ballet training at the age of four in Jacksonville, Florida with Marta Jackson. After her family relocated to Virginia, she continued her studies at the School of the Richmond Ballet with Patricia Dodd, and then later with Christine Busch. She went on to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) as a scholarship student, training with Fanchon Cordell, Melissa Hayden, Melinda Lawrence Robert Lindgren, Susan McCullough, Duncan Noble, Gyula Pandi, Joan Saunders, Frank Smith and Gina Vidal.
In 1989, she received a Level 3 award at the Arts Recognition and Talent Search sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. She graduated from UNCSA in May of that year and went on to join Miami City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in August.
Seay danced with Miami City Ballet, under the direction of Edward Villella, for twenty-one years, becoming a Principal Dancer in 1998. She was featured extensively throughout the repertoire in works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Frederick Ashton and Anthony Tudor. In addition to working closely with Mr. Villella on many roles, she worked with coaches including Bart Cook, Maria Calegari, Violette Verdy, Pat Neary, Suzanne Farrell, Susan Pilarre and Susie Hendl.
In 1999, Seay was chosen to work with Maria Tallchief for the Balanchine Foundation Interpreter’s Archive. Dedicated to preserving Balanchine’s key roles as interpreted by their originators, the Balanchine Foundation filmed Seay being coached by Ms. Tallchief in the principal female role of Allegro Brillante.
Seay’s teaching career began while still a member of Miami City Ballet, teaching in both the winter and summer programs. After retiring from performing in 2010, she started teaching at Boston Ballet School as a member of the summer faculty for SDP Newton. In the same year, she joined Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC as the Ballet Mistress, and became the Artistic Director of the Cary Ballet Company in 2011. She and her family relocated to Boston in 2014 after being invited to join the full-time faculty at Boston Ballet School.
Bio from Boston Ballet School‘s website.
Nutcracker photo by Alexandre Dufaur, Emeralds photo by Bruce Hibbs