Photo Credit: Ellen Crane

Photo Credit: Ellen Crane

Ashlee Knapp Stewart

Associate Director

Ashlee Knapp Stewart started her ballet training in Omaha when she was eight years old under the tutelage of Robin Welsh. At age thirteen, she accepted a full scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet (SAB), where she won the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise, as well as the prestigious Princess Grace Award in 2001.  During her time at SAB, Ashlee toured with the New York City Ballet and performed an original featured role choreographed by its artistic director, Peter Martins.  Ashlee joined the New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet at age fifteen, and was later chosen by Teen People Magazine as one of “Twenty Teens Who Will Change the World.”

While at the New York City Ballet, Ashlee learned over forty ballets and performed full‐time at Lincoln Center.  She originated roles in Christopher Wheeldon's "Carnival of the Animals", Peter Martins' "Romeo and Juliet", and Robert La Fosse’s "Land of Nod".  She toured with the company to Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen, and appeared in the PBS documentary “Bringing Back Balanchine.”  Due to an injury, Ashlee retired from performing in the spring of 2007.

Since her retirement, Ashlee began her teaching career for Columbia University’s Columbia Ballet Collaborative (CBC) program, which was acknowledged in a 2008 Time Out New York Magazine article as being “the best kept secret in New York”. In the fall of 2008, Ashlee became a permanent faculty member of The Ballet Class. Along with her work at The Ballet Class, Ashlee has guest taught for the Pacific Ballet Academy in Mountain View, CA,  Allegheny Ballet Company in Altoona, PA, Ballet Theater Company in Hartford, CT and Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, NC. She has been commissioned five times by the Stamford Symphony to choreograph for its annual “American Experience” children's show.  In 2013, Ashlee was one of twenty-three ballet school directors and teachers invited by SAB to attend its National Teachers Weekend. In the fall of 2014, Ashlee was named the Associate Director of The Ballet Class. 

Ashlee teaches the Ballet I, Ballet II, A, B, C and Adult Levels.