AROL SUMNER, a former Soloist with the New York City Ballet, was born in Brooklyn, New York and began her professional ballet training in Manhattan with Eileen O'Connor on West 56th Street. At the age of fourteen she auditioned for the School of American Ballet and was accepted. There she studied with Antonina Tumkovsky, Helene Dudin, Felia Doubrovska, Pierre Vladimiroff, Anatol Ouboukoff and Muriel Stuart. After three years of study at the School, she was invited to join the New York City Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet. Much to her surprise she was immediately given demi-solo and solo roles to dance. When the Company moved from City Center to its present home at Lincoln Center, she was officially promoted to Soloist. Soon Carol Sumner was dancing such a large repertoire of ballets, Hubert Saal, at that time the dance critic for Newsweek magazine dubbed her, "the backbone of the Company."
Among the many ballets in which Miss Sumner danced principal roles were, George Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, Divertimento No. 15, Agon, Western Symphony and The Nutcracker. She danced the role of Sacred Love in Frederick Ashton's Illuminations and leading roles in Todd Bolender's Souvenirs and Jerome Robbins' Fanfare. Soloist roles were specifically choreographed for her by George Balanchine in Raymonda Variations, Harlequinade, Donizetti Variations, Coppelia, Clarinade, Diamonds (in the ballet Jewels), Don Quixote (divertissement), and Pulchinella, in which she was partnered by Edward Villella.
In 1971, with Balanchine's approval, Miss Sumner began teaching classes at the School of American Ballet. Discovering she had a passion for teaching equal to that of performing, opened her own school in 1976 called American Ballet Academy (now Stamford City Ballet) in Stamford, Connecticut. As founder and Artistic Director, she acquired the right from the Balanchine Trust for the school to perform his legendary ballet, The Nutcracker, at the Palace Theater in Stamford. From 1985 to 1989, she was Resident Choreographer for the Connecticut Grande Opera.
Miss Sumner has taught at some of the most prestigious schools in the country--North Carolina School of the Arts, Missouri State Ballet School, Dance Theater of Harlem, New York University, Brian Sky Dance Center in Saratoga Springs, Catechu Summer Dance Festival.
Carol Sumner lives in New York City with her three dogs and two cats, where she teaches private ballet classes and coaches young dancers aspiring to careers in professional dance.