Noted Ballerina Debra Austin to Visit TCU for 5-Day Residency

The renowned dancer will lead students, faculty, and community members through a curated program of master classes, community events, and a special free Q&A.


A renowned American ballerina will visit the Texas Christian University campus in April to participate in a five-day ballet residency.

Debra Austin will visit the campus as the Cecil H. and Ida Green Honors Chair, created in partnership with the TCU School for Classical & Contemporary Dance (SCCDance).


Debra Austin

She will be on campus April 14-18.

Austin will lead students, faculty, and community members through a curated program of master classes, community events, a public Q&A, and cross-departmental collaborations and workshops.

Austin began her career as a ballerina in the New York City Ballet, where she was handpicked by George Balanchine at age 16. She became the first African American woman in the company.

After touring the world with the New York City Ballet for nine years, Austin moved to Switzerland to join the Zurich Ballet. 

Austin was the first African American principal dancer in U.S.

In 1982, Austin returned to the U.S. and spent more than 10 years as a Principal Dancer at the Pennsylvania Ballet, where she made history as the first African American ballerina to do so at a major American ballet company. 

For the past 18 years, Austin has been at the Carolina Ballet, where she serves as Ballet Master.

TCU said that Austin’s residency is made possible by the Cecil H. and Ida Green Honors Chair program, which brings scholars and artists of national and international stature to the campus for brief residencies.

Tickets are available here.

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