Dance Theatre of Harlem Ballet Master joins TCU School for Classical & Contemporary Dance Faculty


The TCU College of Fine Arts and School for Classical & Contemporary Dance are proud and honored to welcome Keith Saunders, ballet master of Dance Theatre of Harlem, to the SCCD faculty. Saunders will bring more than 40 years of extensive national and international experience in the ballet arts to TCU, continuing SCCD’s tradition of forward-thinking education in professional practice and preparation.

“To have Keith Saunders join our faculty is thrilling. He brings his vast experiences and his dedication to ballet and training to all of us – students and colleagues – at TCU,” said Elizabeth Gillaspy, professor and director of the School for Classical & Contemporary Dance.

Keith Saunders

Photo Courtesy of Keith Saunders

Saunders studied at Harvard University and The Ohio State University and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hollins University in 2017. During his tenure with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, he has served as principal dancer, assistant ballet master, director of the Dancing Through Barriers® Education Program and most recently, ballet master. Saunders has performed ballets by many of the world’s most renowned choreographers, including Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, Talley Beatty, Agnes de Mille, Michel Fokine, Geoffrey Holder, Alonzo King, Arthur Mitchell, Marius Petipa, Glen Tetley and many others.

“I am excited beyond measure to join the esteemed faculty of practitioners, teachers and scholars at TCU. I look forward with anticipation to working with them and the students of the SCCD,” said Saunders.

With his deep ties to the professional world, Saunders will be able to provide SCCD students a valuable perspective on preparing for a career in dance or a dance-related field. Additionally, his experience staging works by some of the most influential artists in the world will give students practical exposure to the kinds of work they will be undertaking in the future.

“We are delighted that Keith Saunders is joining us,” said Anne Helmreich, Dean of the TCU College of Fine Arts. “He brings with him a wealth of dance experience that will be invaluable for the students and the program, and we look forward to the opportunity to share his work with TCU and the larger community.”