Position: Artistic Director
Affiliation with organization: 2007 – Present
Years active at YAGP: 2016 – Present
Ashley Wheater was born in Scotland and trained at The Royal Ballet School in England, and worked with Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan and Rudolf Nureyev. On Mr. Nureyev’s advice, Mr. Wheater joined the London Festival Ballet and was promoted to Principal Dancer at the age of 20. In 1982, he joined the Australian Ballet and in 1985, at the invitation of Gerald Arpino, he joined The Joffrey Ballet. Mr Wheater then joined the San Francisco Ballet, before retiring from the stage in 1997. He was appointed Ballet Master and, later, Assistant to the Artistic Director at the San Francisco Ballet, until 2007 when he was named as Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Academy of Dance, the Official School of The Joffrey Ballet. Mr. Wheater is a recipient of many honors and awards for his community outreach efforts and his commitment to diversity. He is a member of the Advisory Board for Dance Magazine, an Artistic Advisor for ChiArts, an Advisor to the Arts for the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, and a recipient of the University of Chicago Rosenberger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative and Performing Arts.