• Faculty

  • Katy Pyle

    Part-time Lecturer, Dance


    Office Location
    K - 113 University Place

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    Katy Pyle


    Katy Pyle is a choreographer and dancer whose works explore their own complex relationship to ballet.
    Pyle graduated summa cum laude from Hollins University with a BA in Multimedia Performance Art in '02, and from the high school conservatory program at North Carolina School of the Arts in '99, majoring in Ballet and Contemporary.
    Pyle then moved to New York City and danced in the works of Ivy Baldwin, Faye Driscoll, John Jasperse, Xavier Le Roy, Karinne Keithley, Jennifer Monson, Anna Sperber, Katie Workum, and Young Jean Lee, among many others. Simultaneously, Pyle created their own work alongside collaborators Eleanor Hullihan, Rebecca Brooks and Jules Skloot. Evening length works: “Salute to Ex-Best Friends,”asubtout (Pyle & Eleanor Hullihan), Galapagos, 2005; “The Lady Centaur Show,” asubtout, PS 122, 2007; “THE WAY: You Make Me Feel,” Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, 2010; and “COVERS,” The Bushwick Starr, 2012.

    In 2011, Pyle founded the Ballez to insert the herstory and lineage of lesbian, queer and transgender people into the ballet canon through the creation of large-scale story ballets, open classes, and public engagement. Major works include “The Firebird, a Ballez,” at Danspace Project in Spring (with a reprise that Fall) 2013, “Variations on Virtuosity, a Gala with the Stars of the Ballez” at American Realness at Abrons Arts Center in January 2015, and “Sleeping Beauty & the Beast,” at La Mama in Spring 2016. Pyle also choreographed “Slavic Goddesses,” at the Kitchen, January 26-28, 2017. "Giselle of Loneliness," Pyle's 3rd story-ballet, premiered June 10, 2021 at The Joyce Theater to a livestream audience.

    Ballez Class began at Brooklyn Arts Exchange in 2011, and Pyle has since brought the class to Gibney Dance, Slippery Rock University (Pennsylvania), Stolt Scenkonst and MDT (Stockholm), SCDT (Northampton), LGBTQ Center at BSP (Kingston), Princeton, Yale, Movement Research, Allied Media Conference (Detroit), CounterPULSE (San Francisco), University Musical Society (Ann Arbor), Irreverent Dance (London), Beyond Tolerance Youth Conference (NYC), New York University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Berea College's bell hooks Center. 

    Pyle has studied ballet with Janet Panetta for a decade and currently teaches technique informed by that lineage, alongside the lens of their own queerness and inclusive politics, at Eugene Lang College at the New School, Marymount Manhattan College, and for professional dancers at Gibney Dance. Pyle has set Ballez work on students through Guest Artist Residencies at Mason Gross at Rutgers, the conservatory at Marymount, Bowdoin College, Whitman College, Eugene Lang and Beloit College.

    Pyle has garnered support for the company from the Hodder Fund, United Artists, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Jerome Foundation, Mertz Gilmore, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and over 1000 individual donors. Pyle was a 2013-2015 Artist in Residence at BAX, and has received residencies through Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Mount Tremper Arts, Rockbridge Artist’s Exchange, the Bushwick Starr, the Dragon’s Egg, Abrons Arts Center, and La Mama, ETC.

    Degrees Held

    BA Multimedia Performance Art, Hollins University, 2002, summa cum laude

    Professional Affiliation

    2013-2015 Artist in Residence, Brooklyn Arts Exchange

    500 hr RYT

    Urban Zen Integrative Therapist


    Recent Publications

    Vice Magazine: The Future of Ballet is Inclusive and Queer- https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/9kk5k5/the-future-of-ballet-is-inclusive-and-queer

    NBC: This LGBTQ Dance Company Wants to Change How We Think About Gender in Ballet: www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/this-lgbtq-dance-company-wants-to-change-how-we-think-about-gender-in-ballet-973261379728

    Hyperallergic: The Dances of the Slavic Goddesses: https://hyperallergic.com/355322/the-dances-of-the-slavic-goddesses/

    Teen Vogue: How This NYC Dance Troupe Uses Ballet for Queer Activism: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/dance-troupe-ballez-queer-activism

    Salon.com: “Here, I feel very alive and like my voice is being heard”: Meet Ballez, a dance company for transgender, lesbian and queer stories" : http://www.salon.com/2016/04/07/here_i_feel_very_alive_and_like_my_voice_is_being_heard_meet_ballez_a_dance_company_for_transgender_lesbian_and_queer_stories/

    Performances and Appearances


    Paulina Olowska's Slavic Goddesses: The Kitchen, January 26-28, 2017

    Sleeping Beauty & the Beast: La Mama ETC, April 29-May 8, 2016

    Variations on Virtuosity: American Realness at Abrons Arts Center, January 10-11, 2015

    The Firebird, a Ballez: Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, May 16-18, 2013 and (reprise) October 24-26, 2013


    Performance/Collaborative Creation-

    Untitled Feminist Show, Young Jean Lee Theater Company, Director/Dance Captain on Tour, 2010-2016 

    RETROSPECTIVE, Xavier Le Roy: MOMA PS1, Fall 2014

    Faye Driscoll: 2006-2013

    Ivy Baldwin: 2002-2006

    Jennifer Monson/BIRDBRAIN: 2004-2006

    John Jasperse: 2003-2005


    Research Interests

    ballet, queer studies, gender studies

    Awards And Honors


    Jerome Foundation: 2016, 2013

    Mertz Gilmore Foundation: 2015, 2016

    Brooklyn Arts Council: 2015



    La Mama, ETC: 2015-2016

    LMCC Process Space at Governor's Island: 2015

    Brooklyn Arts Exchange Artist in Residence: 2013-2015

    Abrons Arts Center: 2013

    Mount Tremper Arts: 2012, 2013

    Dragon's Egg: 2010



    Ballez Videos

    Future Courses

    Ballet Practices Cont
    LDAN 3300, Fall 2024

    Past Courses

    Ballet Practices Cont
    LDAN 3300, Spring 2024

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