Patricia Blair was born in New York City, began studying ballet at the age of 7, and launched her professional performing career at the age of 17. She trained in various schools including North Carolina School of the Arts and Harkness House for Ballet Arts, but attributes her summer at the School of American Ballet with igniting her love for and commitment to the Balanchine Technique®. While a student at North Carolina School of the Arts, she was chosen to dance the role of “Myrtha” in Giselle alongside principal dancers Svea Ekloff (Grande Théåtre de Genéve) and American Ballet Theatre’s Burton Taylor – a true honor. After leaving NCSA, she returned to NYC, studied with Wilhelnm Burman, David Howard and Nanette Charisse, and subsequently joined the Eglevsky Ballet under the direction of NYCB former principal, Edward Villella. Six years later, while still dancing full time with the company, she became one of the organization’s Ballet Masters.
Ms. Blair performed as a guest artist developing new works with numerous NY choreographers, danced in musical theatre productions across the US and on Broadway, and briefly entered the LA motion picture world with Pavanne for a Dying Princess, a solo dance film created especially for her.
Ms. Blair is highly committed to the artistic education and personal well-being of young dancers. She began working with children when she was only 15 years old, and to this day, her love and respect of classical ballet and passing that on to young artists is one of her greatest passions. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, she volunteered to teach at-risk youth in East Harlem, both in churches and community centers. She also taught classes at Steps NY and the Harkness House for Ballet Arts.
Blair came to Chicago in September 1987, at the invitation of Daniel Duell, to stage ballets for Chicago City Ballet’s fall season. After working together for only three weeks, Duell invited her to relocate to Chicago and join his artistic team.
Later that year, the two formed Ballet Chicago. Blair has served in many capacities throughout - teacher, répétiteur, ballet master and administrator, and now shares all aspects of artistic and administrative management with Duell.
In addition to her work with Ballet Chicago, she has been a guest teacher for Carolina Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Ballet Idaho, the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle, the National Dance Institute and New Mexico School of the Arts in Santa Fe, and Indiana University in Bloomington. She has also had the honor of teaching at The School of American Ballet in New York City.
Ms. Blair has a lifelong love for the ballets of George Balanchine, and values both the privilege of having performed so many of them, as well as the joy of passing them on to today’s dancers. As a répétiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, she is responsible for staging and maintaining a large body of work for Ballet Chicago. She has also staged Mr. Balanchine’s ballets for St. Louis Ballet, Indiana University Bloomington, and Huntsville Ballet.