APRIL 2022




Dear CORPS de Ballet International Members, 

I am pleased to announce details for CORPS’s upcoming conference, Fairies, Queens, and Cavaliers: Ballet’s Production and Disruption of Gender, held June 21-24, 2022 in Richmond VA and with the option to attend virtually.


The conference launches with Richmond-based organization, Side by Side, who will reinforce members’ understanding of LGBTQ+ identities and offer best practices for supporting LGBTQ+ individuals/students, while additionally laying a foundation for our 4-days together. Panel Facilitator, Michael J. Morris (they/them), will lead us in discussions with Roberto Vega Ortiz and Theresa Knudson in the presentation, “Expanding Ballet’s Stage to Mxn and Queer-Identified Dancers: A Conversation with the Leadership and Artists of Ballet22” and with Katy Pyle (they/them) in their presentation, “Radically Re-Imagining the Ballet Canon: A Conversation with Katy Pyle, Founder and Artistic Director of Ballez”.  Elizabeth Yntema, the President and Founder of Dance Data Project, will join us for her presentation, “Researching and Promoting Gender Equity in the Dance Industry”. Yntema will additionally facilitate a discussion with Stoner Winslett entitled, “Embodying Female Leadership for Over Four Decades: A Conversation with Ms. Stoner Winslett, Founding Artistic Director of the Richmond Ballet”. Finally, members will have the opportunity to take a masterclass with Judy Jacob, the Artistic Associate and Chairman of the Faculty of the Richmond Ballet. 

The evening of June 22nd, we will honor our Lifetime Achievement Awards recipients, Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner. All members are invited to attend the event at no additional charge. At the LAA event, we will also recognize a CORPS member for their Outstanding Service to the organization, as well as scholarship recipients of the Basil Thompson Memorial Scholarship and Louis Johnson Memorial Scholarship awards. 

The full conference schedule (including information regarding member-adjudicated presentations, the Choreographic Sharing events, and Membership Meetings) will be available soon. Continue to visit the conference website for updates. Of note, Early Bird registration fees increase after June 1, so I urge you to register soon.

Please feel free to share conference details with your friends, colleagues, networking connections and anyone else you feel would like to know about the conference and would benefit from getting to know CORPS de Ballet International.   

I hope you will join the CORPS community this June for our hybrid conference. Whether attending in person or virtually, I look forward to welcoming our newest members, reengaging with returning and founding members and friends, and learning in community with you.  


Most sincerely,
Courtney Harris, CORPS President

JUNE 2021

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I’m thrilled to announce details about CORPS de Ballet International’s 23rd annual conference, Suspended in Grand Renversé: Embracing the “Big Upset” and Ballet’s Relationship to Liberatory Practices.

CORPS is honored to host Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson, the co-Founders and co-Artistic Directors of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, will both teach contemporary ballet classes and will also be joined by founding member of Complexions, Christina Johnson, in a discussion about NIQUE, the official training methodology of Complexions Contemporary Ballet that combines the values of classical and modern Western traditions. I’m also thrilled to announce that dance writer and curator, Theresa Ruth Howard, will join us to discuss her notable archival project, MoBBallet: Curating the Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet. And finally, artist and educator, Scott Putman, will provide restorative body care by sharing his somatic methodology, the Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS), a structural reeducation practice that beautifully translates to ballet training.

This year, CORPS posthumously recognizes Mr. Louis Johnson as our 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree. Mr. Johnson’s legacy reflects his innumerable influences and resounding impact within ballet and the arts. At the LAA event, we will also recognize a CORPS member for their Outstanding Service to the organization and Jarrett Crowthers, the Basil Thompson Memorial Scholarship awardee who hails from the Department of Theatre and Dance at Ball State University.

And finally, I’m very much looking forward to the adjudicated member presentations, all of which exemplify the theme of this conference and underscore the Memberships’ urgency and dedication to reckoning with ballet’s necessary evolution. To learn more, please peruse the “Events and Presentations” tab on the CORPS website.

I hope you will join the CORPS community this July for our virtual conference. I look forward to learning in community with you!


Warmest regards,

Courtney Harris
President, CORPS de Ballet International, Inc.


Dear CORPS Friends, Colleagues, and Visitors,

I hope this extraordinary time is allowing you to reflect on the important work you do each and every day, as well as recenter your intentions and commitments for the coming year.

I thank you for your patience in announcing many details about the upcoming CORPS conference, Suspended in Grand Renversé: Embracing the “Big Upset” and Ballet’s Relationship to Liberatory Practices scheduled July 6-9, 2021.

As shared at the most recent conference this past July, the event I had been planning was derailed due to the global pandemic. It became necessary to reconceptualize the 2021 conference theme and once again, move the event to a virtual platform in order to ensure the health and safety of our members, guests, families and communities. Many more details will be shared in the coming months, but I feel certain shifting course and re-writing the conference allows us to be present, thoughtful, and responsive to this time.

I continue to have immense faith in what dance, the moving body, has to teach us. Our practices as dancers, artists, educators, and scholars cultivates a process of unlearning, learning, and relearning in a beautiful cycle of unearthing, regeneration, and shapeshifting that allows us to encounter ourselves and our experiences of the world anew. The thoughtful work you do matters and reverberates outward. I will always assert that the world is a better place because of dancers and CORPS de Ballet International is a critical voice that contributes to this larger conversation.

As we move into 2021, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the CORPS community and thank you for the honor to co-lead our organization in ways that allows us, as an organization, to press up against our growing edge together.


Warmest regards,

Courtney Harris
President, CORPS de Ballet International, Inc.
Chair, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Dance and Choreography