COLBY has spent his entire life exploring various types of movement. Born and raised in Richmond VA, Colby was active in various sports as a young child, including snow skiing and sailing, but he found his true calling in the arts, and began formal classical ballet training at age 7 at the Richmond Ballet. At age 15, he left home to attend the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, VA, a pre-professional boarding high school for dancers, and spent his summers training at the Boston Ballet. Upon graduation, Colby joined the Sacramento Ballet, where for five years he performed soloist and principal roles in numerous classical and contemporary pieces, including works by George Balanchine, Glen Tetley, Trey McIntyre, Dwight Rhoden, Helen Pickett, John Selya, and Ron Cunningham. While living in California, Colby also began studying Qi Gong and Chen style Tai Ji Quan with renowned Grandmaster Bing Fan YeYoung, and eventually received certification to teach.
In 2007, Colby relocated to Brooklyn , NY, in order to explore life's options, and to pursue a career as a freelance artist. As a guest artist, he has worked with such companies as Mark Morris Dance Group, Northwest Dance Project, Amy Seiwert's Imagery, and Thang Dao Dance Company, in addition to projects with Luca Veggetti (Guggenheim Museum/Colombia University), Adam Hendrickson (Carnegie Hall/Yale University), and John Selya (Joyce Soho). He has also appeared with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet as a principal in Alexei Ratmanski's Aida, as well as in Mark Morris' Orfeo e Euridice, at which time he was featured in a MET Live in HD broadcast in movie theaters worldwide. Most recently, he performed as a Principle guest artist with the Pennsylvania Ballet in Angel Corella's first American staging of Don Quixote, playing the role of Sancho Panza. Over the years, Colby has also studied other forms of Chinese Martial arts, including Ba Gua Zhuang, and also embarked on a personal study of Yoga.
In 2008, Colby joined BalletX in Philadelphia, PA. As a company member, Colby was featured in over 20 world premiers, including original creations by Alex Ketley, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, Jodi Gates, Darrell Grande-Moultre, James Gregg, Adam Barruch, Loni Landon, Tobin DelCuore, Mauro Astolfi, Matthew Prescott, Matthew Neenan, and others, and performed in such venues as the Laguna Dance Festival, the Vail International Dance Festival, and Joyce Theater NYC.
As a choreographer, Colby's style blends an inevitable fluidity with a sense of classical line and virtuosity. He began his choreographic explorations while dancing with the Sacramento Ballet, where he produced a total of five works on fellow company members, including the piece 3 to 1, which was performed for the Sacramento Ballet's annual contemporary repertoire program, Modern Masters, in 2004. After focusing primarily on performing for a number of years, Colby began choreographing again in 2012, when he created the structured improvisational piece, Run Barefoot Down the Mountain, for Pennsylvania Ballet's annual Shut Up & Dance. He has since worked with Nashville Ballet II, Pennsylvania Ballet II, Kansas City Dance Festival, Opera Philadelphia, The Curtis Institute, the Charlottesville Ballet, and BalletX, in addition to having his work selected to perform in the Vivadança Festival in Salvador, Brazil, The International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City, The Current Sessions contemporary dance festival in New York City, and annually for Shut Up & Dance. In the spring of 2015, he spent two months as a choreographic fellow at the Sacatar Institute in Itaparíca, Bahia, Brazil. In February of 2016, Pennsylvania Ballet II premiered Colby's all new production of The Jungle Book at the Curtis Institute, for which he gave direction on all aspects of the work, including an original commissioned score, sets, costumes, story line, text, and choreography. He is slated to partake in another two month choreographic residency in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in conjunction with VilaDança, and recently created the work On the Mysterious Properties of Light on BalletX for their February 2017 series, which has since been toured nationally and internationally. Future commissions include new works for Nashville Ballet, Skidmore College, Traverse City Dance Project, and BalletX.
Colby has furthermore taught dance in many settings throughout the United States. He currently serves as a company class teacher for BalletX, and has served as a guest teacher for such professional companies as Balé de Cidade do São Paulo, BODYTRAFFIC, Ballet Hispanico, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Balé de Teatro Castro Alves in Brazil. He has taught at The Rock School, Ballet West Academy, Sacramento Ballet School, NYC Public School for Dance - Ballet Tech, The University of the Arts, The University of Ohio - Akron, DeSales University, The University of Pennsylvania, Piedmont School of Music and Dance, BalletX Summer Intensive, Pennsylvania Ballet School's The Company Experience, and others, in addition to facilitating lecture-demonstrations on the art of ballet within public schools. He has also completed the National Dance Institute's Teacher Artist Training, and is conducting NDI style classes in Philadelphia Public Schools for BalletX's Dance eXchage program. In Spring of 2019, Colby began "Memory in Motion," a pilot program in collaboration with PENN Memory Center to teach dance classes for people living with dementia and their care-partners. Additionally, he will be receiving his certification to conduct "Dance for Parkinson's Disease" classes in May 2019.
In 2016, Colby graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Performing Arts from St. Mary's College of California through the LEAP Program, which he pursued while working as a full time artist. He additionally has completed his 200 hour yoga teacher training through Sadhana Yoga School. He is currently a full time faculty member for the Rock School for Dance Education and UArts, teaching company class for BalletX, and working as a freelance choreographer, teacher, and performer based out of Philadelphia.
Photo by Alexander Iziliaev