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Tampa Bay Times: Pinellas native reaches highest rank at America’s most prestigious ballet

Tampa Bay Times: Pinellas native reaches highest rank at America’s most prestigious ballet

(February 25, 2021)

The last time Calvin Royal III appeared in the pages of this newspaper was the day of his final performance with the St. Petersburg Ballet Company 15 years ago.

The rising high school senior was leaving his home in Palm Harbor and his classes at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg to move to New York, “essentially alone,” at age 17. There he would begin training at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.

Today Royal remembers those days as “an overwhelming leap into the unknown.”

“I didn’t move to New York thinking I was going to go to school and then the next year I was going to get into the company,” he said. “All I knew was, I got a scholarship and we’ll see how it all goes.”

(Continue reading)

Note: Calvin Royal III came in first place in the dance category at our Walker’s Rising Stars competition in 2006.