Stephanie Walz


Stephanie Walz began her ballet training at the Degrasse Dance Studio in Virginia, and following, trained at the Washington School of Ballet under Mary Day for seven years. She attended the American Ballet Theatre School of Classical Ballet under Mikhail Baryshnikov, as well as The School of American Ballet and other programs.

Ms. Walz is the recipient of a number of awards including scholarships from the Princess Grace Foundation, the USA International Ballet Competition at Jackson, Mississippi, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. She also received first prizes at the National Society of Arts and Letters, and Prix de Lausanne competitions, and was honored to attend the Golden Plate Awards. In 1991, President Bush named her a Presidential Scholar in the Arts recognizing her artistic and academic achievements.

At age 17, Ms. Walz joined the American Ballet Theatre and danced there for nine years, where she was featured in many prominent classical and contemporary roles and had roles created on her by notable choreographers such as Lar Lubovich and Ulysses Dove. She was coached by Natalia Makarova, Agnes de Mille, Mark Morris, Gelsey Kirkland, Georgina Parkinson, Irina Kolpakova, and Kevin Mckensie, and among many others. Ms. Walz then joined Maximum Dance Company for eight years as a principle dancer and had the opportunity to work with many different and rising choreographers. Ms Walz has, throughout her career, appeared internationally as a guest artist and also appeared as a guest soloist with Florida Grand Opera’s premiere opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

In 2008, Ms. Walz was invited to teach at the Washington School of Ballet, under the directorship of internationally recognized Mr. Kee Juan Han, and soon became a full time faculty member until she moved to Rochester in 2016. Ms. Walz instructed students at every level of the school, The Studio Company, Trainees, and The Washington Ballet professional company. For many years she assisted TWB director Septime Webre with staging and rehearsing The Nutcracker and TWB Ballet Master Elaine Kudo with TWB’s rehearsals of Twyla Tharp’s Push Comes to Shove. During this time Ms. Walz also presented five Broadway Bound International workshops in D.C. giving opportunity for students in the region to experience masterclasses with international, top professionals in various genres of dance.

In addition to learning directly from, and using the complete Training Syllabus of Mr. Han, Ms. Walz is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also working on and soon to complete her BA, with emphasis on performing arts, through the LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) program with St. Mary's College of California.

Ms. Walz is married to Rochester City Ballet’s Artistic Director, David Palmer, and they are proud parents of five year old Sydney Palmer and three year old Jacqueline Palmer. She is happy to be joining the faculty of The Draper Center for Dance this September!