Ryan Walker

Ryan grew up in Carson City, Nevada, and began ballet under the mentorship of Rosine Bena at the age of eight. After dancing as an apprentice for Sierra Nevada Ballet, he relocated to Ballet San Jose/Silicon Valley Ballet. With the formation of the New Ballet School, Ryan joined the Studio Company where he was honored to perform as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake.

Ryan qualified for both the 2013 and 2016 Youth America Grand Prix Finals and was awarded merit scholarships for American Ballet Theatre’s 2011 and 2012 summer intensives and the 2014 Carreño Male Dancer Training Initiative Scholarship.

This is Ryan’s first season with San Diego Ballet, and he is looking forward to performing new choreography and touring with Nutcracker. In his spare time, he is working on obtaining his BS Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Alabama.

Who influenced you most to become the dancer you are today?

At my first summer intensive (ABT Detroit) when I was twelve, one of the senior dancers, Tefik Vatansever, became a mentor to us younger dancers. As I progressed, so did Tefik, and he continued to be an influence on my goals both as a dancer and as a mentor to younger students.  Additionally, Mads Eriksen, principal of the New Ballet School has influenced me to dance to my potential.

What was the funniest episode(s) you’ve experienced in your career?

The only ones I can think of are the “you-had-to-be-there” moments.

Who would you most like to share the stage with (living or dead)?

I would like a chance to dance on stage with the many outstanding younger dancers that I have competed with through YAGP and California Dance Classics and who are now starting their careers such as Daniel McCormick, Isabella Phillips, and David Preciado.

What goes through your mind just before you perform?

I get very hyped before performing and generally tell myself, “I’ve got this, and this is nothing.” “LET’S DO THIS!” or “I’m going to look like a total buffoon out there… oh well.”

What do you like/admire most about San Diego Ballet?

I love the relationship and the interactions between everyone… from the directors and choreographers with the dancers and the dancers with each other. It’s all very nice and friendly.