r. Colby Damon Choreographer Educator Artist
Colby has had a rich and diverse career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. From extensive experience with public school children, aged populations, and elite professional dancers, and with choreographic work addressing such wide ranging themes as quantum mechanics, psychology, and climate change, Colby is using concert dance practice as vehicle for education, self reflection, and societal progress.
Colby began dancing at age 7 with Richmond Ballet, where he performed in numerous professional productions as a child. At age 15, he left home to pursue intensive full-time classical ballet training at the Virginia School of the Arts, and received his first professional dance contract at age 17 at a cattle-call audition in New York City. As a professional dancer, Colby has worked extensively in both the classical and contemporary realms, dancing with Sacramento Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Northwest Dance Project, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and BalletX among others. During his 12 year performing career, he danced the works of George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton, Glen Tetley, Alexei Ratmanski, Ron Cunningham, Dwight Rhoden, Helen Pickett, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Mark Morris, Trey McIntyre, Jodie Gates, Bobbi-Jean Smith, Luca Veggetti, John Selya, Matthew Neenan, and many others, performing in such venues at The Metropolitan Opera House, The Joyce Theater NYC, The Guggenheim Museum, The Vail International Dance Festival, and The National Dance Theater of China in Beijing. He also portrayed the role of "Sancho Panza" in Angel Corella's first American staging of Don Quixote with Pennsylvania Ballet, and continues to regularly perform character roles with different schools and companies in the US.
As a choreographer, Colby has received commissions from BalletX, Nashville Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Moving Arts Dance Festival, Sacramento Ballet, Nashville Ballet II, Pennsylvania Ballet II, Opera Philadelphia, Charlottesville Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education, Skidmore College, Bucknell University, DeSales University, Bryn Mawr College and others. His work has been selected for performance at the Vivadança International Dance Festival, The International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City, and The Current Sessions NYC. He was also the recipient of the "Outstanding Choreographer" Award at the 2019 YAGP Semi-Finals in Philadelphia. His work On the Mysterious Properties of Light has been performed on tour nationally and internationally with BalletX. Colby most recently was part of a three person choreographic team collaborating on a new version of the "The Nutcracker" for Sacramento Ballet.
As an educator, Colby has taught at such institutions as The Rock School for Dance Education, The School of Nashville Ballet, School of Ballet West, Sacramento Ballet School, CLI Studios, NYC Public School for Dance - Ballet Tech, BalletX Summer Intensive, Pennsylvania Ballet's "The Company Experience," The University of the Arts, Skidmore College, Bucknell University, The University of Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr College, DeSales University, and The University of Ohio - Akron. He has furthermore taught professional company class for BalletX, Pennsylvania Ballet, Nashville Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, City Ballet of Sao Paulo, Ballet Hispanico, BODYTRAFFIC, and others. Additionally, he has coached numerous students who placed within the top 3 in both the classical and contemporary categories at YAGP. Colby was also the Lead Teaching Artist for BalletX's outreach program "Dance eXchange," where he conducted classes in the Philadelphia Public School System based off of the National Dance Institute Pedagogy. He has additionally received the first level of certification to teach Dance for PD, and started a pilot program "Memory in Motion" in conjunction with the PENN Memory Center to teach dance to people living with dementia and their care partners.
Colby graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Performing Arts from St. Mary's College of California, which he received while dancing full time through the LEAP program, and recently completed a Professional Certificate in Non-Profit Arts Management from Columbia College of Chicago. He has also completed a 200hour yoga teacher training, and has pursued extensive studies in yoga, qi gong, chinese martial arts, and an array of meditation practices. Colby also plays classical guitar, sings, and composes original songs for guitar, and for his choreographic works. He is currently working at Sacramento Ballet as the Outreach Coordinator, in addition to choreographing new works, and serving as a ballet teacher for the school and professional company.