Aynsley Inglis’ Mission to Ensure the Future of Dance

Accomplished ballerina hopes to form a nonprofit to offer scholarships for talent.

Aynsley Inglis | Ballerina

There is no typical career for a ballerina, so as the über-accomplished Aynsley Inglis plots her future, several options come to mind. One is to form a nonprofit ballet company to offer scholarships and fellowships to struggling artists— especially artists from poor urban communities—combined with an aggressive outreach program that would woo young dancers. “Dance is still incredibly inaccessible to people who don’t have money because it’s so expensive,” Inglis says. “Pointe shoes alone are really expensive, and you really go through them. It’s a lot for a parent to commit to paying.” The plan may not be quite there, but the connections are. After winning two major international dance awards last year and touring the world with outstanding groups like the Universal Ballet company and Tulsa Ballet company, Inglis was invited to join the International Dance Council in Paris, the worldwide umbrella organization for all forms of dance and the only one recognized by UNESCO. “I think what everyone recognized about Aynsley early on was her complete involvement in a role, the emotion she brought to every performance,” says Robert Grenfell, executive director of First State Ballet Theatre, where Inglis trained from the age of 10 until she graduated from the University of Delaware in 2009. “I really think she has the soul of an artist.” Inglis plans to attend the next IDC conference in Tokyo in October, which gives her a platform to discuss anything she wants, from her mother’s desire to start a ballet museum to how to structure a career to establishing that nonprofit company. With connections at home, among dancers and friends in New York City, and peers at places where she has taught dance, “There are a lot of people around me who can do things,” Inglis says. “This will happen.” 


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