About Tai


All photos by Ernesto Galan

Part 1
Tai Jimenez
, a native of New York City, began her dance training with Joan Millen Mesh and went on to study at the School of American Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Laguardia High School, with Madame Gabriella Darvash and Ken Ludden. She was a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School Ensemble before joining DTH, where she became a Principal Dancer. Her repertory included the title roles of Giselle and Firebird as well as numerous works by George Balanchine, and ballets by Glen Tetley, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Bronislava Nijinska, August Bournonville, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey, Alonzo King, Robert Garland, John Alleyne, Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, Dwight Rhoden and others. Later, Ms. Jimenez joined Boston Ballet as a Principal. There she originated a role in Mark Morris’ Up and Down, and was also seen in Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena, Jorma Elo’s Carmen, Balanchine’s Serenade and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nijinska’sLes Noces, Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, and Asaf Messerer’s Spring Waters. She has appeared as a guest artist with the New York City Ballet and companies across the United States. She made her Broadway debut as Ivy Smith (Miss Turnstiles) in the 1998 revival of On the Town, directed by George C. Wolfe. Ms. Jimenez originated the roles of Fran in Maria Irene Fornes’ Letters from Cuba and Ysabel in Debbie Allen’s Soul Possessed. She was a featured dancer on the Academy Awards, the Kennedy Center Honors and in pop superstar Prince’s Rave Unto the Year 2000. Ms. Jimenez played the role of Mela in the film One Last Dance starring Patrick Swayze. The versatile Jimenez is also a teacher and choreographer. She was a choreographic assistant in the feature film The Game Plan, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. She has taught at  Harvard University, Phillips Academy in Andover, The Boston Conservatory @Berklee, Boston Arts Academy, East Street Dance, Jeannette Neill’s, Boston Ballet Summer Intensive, Dance Theatre of Harlem School and ModasDance Summer Intensive. She has been featured on the cover of Pointe magazine, in Dance Teacher Magazine, and her writing has appeared in both Pointe and Dance Magazine. 

Part 2
Tai Jimenez teaches an irreverent form of ballet at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Harvard University, Phillips Academy Andover and others.

Tai would like to thank her family, Cyrille, Colibri and Chulo, for anchoring her to this world and for putting up with her incessant twirling.


16 responses to “About Tai

  • brad gerstner

    thanks for sharing – u have brought a smile to my face as you always do.

    • charles mishael patterson

      i am so grateful that you are my teacher. i’ve learned a lot from you and plan to keep learning and progressing. i looked you up and i am finding soooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! many interesting facts about you and in my eyes your are not only seen as a teacher but a role model . your the best…._-BY C. MICHAEL.P

  • Karen Marzano

    Tai your words are so powerful and encouraging. Thank you for sharing your trials and triumphs with us.

  • Nancy Allen

    Hi Tai-

    I studied at SAB in the early sixties, the really fascinating years. I got to see all the great Russian dancers who defected to the West take class. (Nureyev and Makarova were my favorites.)

    Like you, I lived, ate, and breathed ballet while growing up.

    Unfortunately, at the age of seventeen, the year before I would have turned professional, I tore my ACL landing from a grand jete in Eglevsky’s class (trying too hard to turn out landing from a split jump with the left arm and leg forward and right arm and leg back, throwing off my center of gravity).

    It took me fifteen years to find something else I wanted to do – veterinary medicine. I got my DVM from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell eleven years ago at the age of fifty. (By the way the mental discipline is the same for both being a ballet dancer and being a veterinarian – the repetition, the attention to detail, and mentally rehearsing what to do if something goes wrong (i.e. you fall onstage or an animal crashes) and you need to be prepared to act instantaneously.)

    A few years ago, while working at an animal hospital in lower Westchester, Darci Kistler came in with her dogs. I told her of my ballet background and we had a great conversation. We talked about all the people we both knew – although I knew them as students or young professionals and she knew them as teachers. She treated me like an older sister.

    I live five minutes from the Margot Fonteyn Academy of Ballet in Peekskill, Approximately a year ago I stopped over to the school and, through the front door, saw a class in progress. Ken Ludden was teaching the class, which was comprised of only two women. They were at the barre. I noticed very quickly that the woman closer to the front door was really excellent. I watched her for a while, very impressed.

    Later that day I called the school and spoke to Ken. I introduced myself and told him my background. I also told him about watching class earlier that day. He told me the dancer I was so impressed with was you.

    Ken invited me to come by the school so we could meet, but I never did. Today I was looking at the school’s website again as I think I would like to volunteer there.

    After surfing the school’s website for a while, I ran across your blog. I’ve read only two entries: 8/31/09 (with the picture of you in costume sitting on a stoop holding a sign “Will dance for food”) and 2/2/10 (Techno revo/evo Lution). I think you are not only a great dancer, but an extraordinarily interesting person and excellent writer. I look forward to reading the rest of your blog entries.

    If I go to work at Ken’s school, perhaps one day we will meet.

    In the meantime I wish you all the best. You’re very lucky you’ve had the good fortune to have a wonderful career – that it all fell into place for you. I hope it continues for the rest of your life! (I often think of Madame Tumkovsky, for whom I auditioned for SAB when I was thirteen. I read that she taught until she was 92 and lived to 103.)

    Much love,

  • James Atkinson

    I really enjoy hearing what you have to say.

  • khamaribendolph

    I love you Ms.Jimenez you are very special to me and I have learned to appreciate you so much because your real and I want our friendship and relationship as a teacher and student to only grow from here I got tears in my eyes reading things of what you have posted and your only what we describe a lot of icons in the world…great! You are my icon and I appreciate you as a statue on a plate that stands strong. I want every thing I can get from you because you are what we kids say “real talk” I deeply understand you as a intellectual being from a dancer’s perspective and a person’s perspective! God Bless!


  • Cicely Thompson

    You are truly an inspiration. 🙂

  • Meg


    I’m Meg, and I was wondering if you danced Sugar Plum for Lubbock Ballet Theater’s Nutcracker a while ago. I was in that cast, and your dancing was such an inspiration. It touched all of us and my family was moved to tears. Glad to know you are still dancing and even though I am not (except swing dancing with my husband now), it was truly a moment in time my whole family will not forget.

  • bluegoldfishclaire

    Ms. Jiminez,

    I took your class on Friday at the HDC and had a great time 🙂 so thank you. I’m applying to colleges right now and I’m glad I got to experience part of the ballet scene at Harvard. I was amazed by how students can take class with such an accomplished teacher regardless of their future goals. The people had such different backgrounds but all had fun in the class, and I hope to be a part of it someday.

    Thanks again,
    Claire L.

  • Gabrielle

    I fell upon a video of you on youtube speaking about your injury and it touched my heart so deeply. I’m 18, and I used to go to DTH, for about 5 years, where you once taught my class. After DTH, I went to LaGuardia as a dance major but then got badly injured and had back surgery. I’m now a freshman at Purchase College getting ready to audition for the dance conservatory. I’ve had so many doubts about auditioning because of my back injury, but the interview about your injury && your blog has really inspired me to follow my heart and continue dancing. Thank you so much.

  • Premdas

    Tai, you stand in Grace and Dignity.

    To show us the way to do it through your own breathe and life;

    To remind us that we become strong on our path when we humbly and courageoulsy perceive the fact that we are so fragile;

    To teach us that we have to learn in practice to listen and express our Truth at each and every step;

    To be who you are – an vibrant and loving offering to Beauty and Truth,

    Thank you.



  • dani0414

    Your words are incredibly powerful and inspiring. I stumbled onto your blog after a workshop performance I participated in at Harvard several years ago (that you wrote a post about). Right now I am in the midst of preparing to facilitate my first ever dance workshop in Brazil with young adult dancers. It would be so valuable to be able to speak to you– not only as I get ready for this experience, but also to hear more about your life and your work.

    Let me know if you’re open to that. My email is daniella.ciccone@gmail.com.


  • Amy

    Dearest Tai: I am off Facebook for the time being, but I heard your news and wanted to say mille congratulations. What an amazing thing. My kids are the best thing I’ve ever done. Hope you are yours are well.

    Much love, Amy

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