“It gives me tremendous pleasure to be able to promote three dancers in our company this evening.” Prior to the curtain going up for BEYOND BALLET, its second season repertory program, Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal announced to the audience that Soloist Elle Macy has been promoted to a Principal dancer, and corps de ballet dancers Miles Pertl and Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan have been promoted to Soloists.

Each promoted dancer is currently featured in BEYOND BALLET, running through November 7. For casting information, visit PNB.org/beyond-ballet. (The digital stream of BEYOND BALLET will be available for viewing November 18 – 22. Tickets available at PNB.org.)

Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan, Soloist

“Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan performs with a luminosity that warms the heart. I saw it the first time I taught her in a PNB summer course class in 2016,” said Mr. Boal, after bringing her out in front of the curtain. “A standout in the corps de ballet for her sheer joy of dance, Sarah’s radiance is infectious. Roles like the leads in George Balanchine’s Rubies, Tarentella, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker seem tailor-made for Sarah. She has also offered an impressive range, matching that of PNB’s rep. Her comical and exacting duet in Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, her screaming debut in Crystal Pite’s Plot Point, and her angular clarity in Balanchine’s Agon indicate an artist of tremendous range. Offstage you would be hard pressed to find a dancer more devoted to work and improvement than Sarah. She champions those around her, works hard to better our work environment, lifts spirts and raises the bar whenever she’s in the room. Sarah performs two debuts this weekend in Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven and Jessica Lang’s Ghost Variations. Join me in congratulating Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan on her well-deserved promotion to soloist.”

Favorite roles: Sugar Plum Fairy (or any role) in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, George Balanchine’s Tarantella, the pas de deux in Alexander Ekman’s Cacti, Crystal Pite’s Plot Point (“Who doesn’t love to scream on stage?”), David Dawson’s Empire Noir

“I’m just so excited for any opportunity to share the stage with all my colleagues again and dance in front of our live audience.”

Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan on what she’s looking forward to this season at PNB.

Miles Pertl, Soloist

Mr. Boal then brought Miles Pertl to the stage. “Miles was born in Seattle and trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. At some point he decided his career and life needed to leave the Pacific Northwest, leading to stints in Stuttgartt Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. We’ll forgive him because he came to his senses and returned home to PNB in 2015. There are many memorable roles in Miles’ tenure with the company. Stand outs among them are the Hoofer in George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Susan Marshall’s Arms, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Future Memory, and Friar Laurence in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette. Tonight, you’ll see Miles’ debut in Alonzo King’s The Personal Element. Miles is also a choreographer of note having created Wash of Gray for PNB’s mainstage two years ago and original works to NEXT STEP, School Performance, Reach, and PNB’s digital season. Miles has made a point of collaborating with local artists, composers, designers, choreographers and dancers whenever and wherever he can. It gives me great pleasure to announce Miles’ promotion to soloist.”

Favorite roles: Friar Lawrence in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, Slingerland pas de deux in William Forsythe’sNew Suite, Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata, George Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, the (non-dancing) bartender in Jerome Robbins’ Fancy Free, Susan Marshall’s Arms

“I’m just excited to get back in front of an audience, whether that is as a father in the Party Scene of The Nutcracker or as Friar Lawrence in Roméo et Juliette.”

Miles Pertl on what he’s looking forward to this season at PNB.

Elle Macy, Principal

Finally, Mr. Boal spoke about Ms. Macy. “Elle Macy joined PNB in 2013. Since we first met Elle in a PNB summer course, she has been a ray of positivity each and every day. A tireless worker and a selfless contributor, Elle is an example of generosity and hard work. Her talent is undeniable in the airborne roles of Hippolyta in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and David Dawson’s Empire Noir. Robyn Mineko Williams uncovered a power and a grace that seemed limitless in The Trees The Trees, and Alejandro Cerrudo and Elle seemed destined to share the studio. I wish you could have seen William Forsythe delight as he watched Elle devour space in In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. Elle’s talent and ascension were never in question, but opportunities afforded to Elle during PNB’s digital season proved fertile ground for her growth as an artist. Over the past year, Elle’s collaborations with Jessica Lang in Ghost Variations, which you are about to see, and in Penny Saunders’ Wonderland, Christopher Wheeldon’s Curious Kingdom, and Edwaard Liang’s The Veil Between Worlds established her as an artist for a new generation. She’s also PNB’s newest principal dancer. Let us congratulate Elle Macy on her well-deserved promotion.”

Favorite Roles: Hippolyta in George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, David Dawson’s Empire Noir, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jump, Jessica Lang’s Ghost Variations, Christopher Wheeldon’s Curious Kingdom 

“This season, I’m most looking forward to performing Ghost Variations for a live audience. It was the first ballet we made during the pandemic for the digital season. It was an artistic lifeline at the time and I will treasure the experience forever.”

Elle Macy on what she’s looking forward to this season at PNB.

PNB has also hired four apprentices from the ranks of the PNB School’s Professional Division – Ashton Edwards, Melisa Guilliams, Zsilas Michael Hughes, and Joh Morrill – who will join the Company with the opening of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® in mid-November. PNB congratulates all of our newly promoted and hired dancers! 


Elle Macy is from Huntington Beach, California. She studied at Orange County Dance Center and on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and PNB School. Ms. Macy joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2012 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2013 and soloist in 2019. 

Ms. Macy has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s AgonCoppéliaEmeraldsGeorge Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®A Midsummer Night’s DreamRubies, and La Source; Andrew Bartee’s arms that work; Peter Boal’s Giselle; Alejandro Cerrudo’s Little mortal jumpOne Thousand Pieces, and Silent Ghost; David Dawson’s Empire Noir and A Million Kisses to my Skin; Nacho Duato’s Rassemblement; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and New Suite; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon; Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements and Appassionata; Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus; Justin Peck’s In the Countenance of Kings; Crystal Pite’s Emergence and Plot Point; Alexei Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering and Fancy Free; Kent Stowell’s Carmina BuranaCinderella, and Swan Lake, Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic. She originated leading roles in Bartee’s Dirty Goods, Cerrudo’s Future Memory, Kyle Davis’ A Dark and Lonely Space, Jessica Lang’s Ghost Variations and Her Door to the Sky, Edwaard Liang’s The Veil Between Worlds, Noelani Pantastico’s Picnic, Penny Saunders’ Wonderland, Price Suddarth’s Signature, Twyla Tharp’s Waiting at the Station, Robyn Mineko Williams’ The Trees The Trees, and Wheeldon’s Curious Kingdom. She also has performed featured roles in Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker. In 2017, Ms. Macy participated in the Nederlands Dans Theater Summer Intensive. She performed at Ballet Sun Valley, Jacob’s Pillow, and Wolftrap Festival. She won awards from Youth America Grand Prix, Spotlight Scholarship Competition, and Dance Masters of America. 

Miles Pertl is from Seattle, Washington. He trained at PNB School, International Ballet Academy in Kirkland, WA, and the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, and he attended summer courses at San Francisco Ballet School. Mr. Pertl joined Stuttgart Ballet as an apprentice in 2010 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2011. He next joined Het Nationale Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2012 before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2015. 

Mr. Pertl has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s AgonEmeraldsGeorge Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue; Alejandro Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces; Kyle Davis’ A Dark and Lonely Space; David Dawson’s Empire Noir; William Forsythe’s New SuiteOne Flat Thing, reproduced, and Slingerland Duet; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon and Roméo et Juliette; Susan Marshall’s Arms, Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements and Appassionata; Crystal Pite’s Emergence and Plot Point; Alexei Ratmansky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana and Swan Lake; Price Suddarth’s Signature; Twyla Tharp’s Afternoon Ball and Waterbaby Bagatelles, and Christopher Wheeldon’s Tide Harmonic. He originated leading roles in Donald Byrd’s Untitled, Cerrudo’s Future Memory, Jessica Lang’s Her Door to the Sky, Noelani Pantastico’s Picnic, and Price Suddarth’s The Intermission Project. 

While a member of Stuttgart Ballet, Mr. Pertl performed leading and featured roles in works by Bridget Breiner, Marco Goecke, and Kenneth MacMillan. At Het Nationale Ballet, he performed leading and featured roles in works by Juanjo Arques, Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Jorma Elo, Michel Fokine,  Marius Petipa, and Peter Wright. In 2007, Mr. Pertl won the Youth America Grand Prix Semi-Finals in San Francisco and Youth America Grand Prix Finals in New York. He also has performed as a guest artist for gala performances in England, Italy, Moscow, and New York. He has choreographed works for PNB’s NEXT STEP and PNB School’s annual School Performance as well as the Noverre Society in Stuttgart, Danza Estate in Gubbio, Italy, and New Moves in Amsterdam. In 2019, Mr. Pertl choreographed Wash of Gray for PNB’s mainstage. In 2020 he co-choreographed and co-directed Happening with Leah Terada for PNB’s digital season. 

Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She studied on scholarship at the Rock School for Dance Education, Metropolitan Ballet Academy, and the School of Pennsylvania Ballet; she attended summer courses at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Ellison Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, the School of American Ballet, the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and PNB School. Ms. Ryan joined Pennsylvania Ballet II in 2014 and joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as an apprentice in 2016 and was promoted to corps de ballet in 2017. 

Ms. Ryan has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s AgonGeorge Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®A Midsummer Night’s DreamRubies, and Tarantella; Alejandro Cerrudo’s Silent Ghost and One Thousand Pieces; Kyle Davis’ Sylvia Pas de Deux; David Dawson’s Empire Noir; Alexander Ekman’s Cacti; William Forsythe’s New Suite and One Flat Thing, reproduced; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; Miles Pertl’s Wash of Gray; Crystal Pite’s Emergence and Plot Point; Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite; Eva Stone’s F O I L; and Kent Stowell’s Carmina BuranaCinderella, and Swan Lake. She originated leading roles in Donald Byrd’s Love and Loss, Kyle Davis’ A Dark and Lonely Space, Amanda Morgan’s This Space Left Intentionally Blank, Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus, Noelani Pantastico’s Picnic, and Ezra Thomson’s The Perpetual State

At Pennsylvania Ballet, Ms. Ryan danced in productions of works by Balanchine, Angel Corella, Matthew Neenan, Liam Scarlett, and Christopher Wheeldon, including leading roles in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, Marius Petipa’s Swan Lake, and Jerome Robbins’ In the Night. She also performed in the corps de ballet of Balanchine’s Diamonds for the PBS broadcast of Pennsylvania Ballet at 50 and toured with the company to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. 

Ms. Ryan has performed as a guest artist at Shut Up & Dance in collaboration with MANNA, Chop Shop Contemporary Dance Festival, and the Seattle International Dance Festival. In 2021, she performed for Matthew Neenan’s residency at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, South Dakota Ballet, and Ballet Sun Valley. She has choreographed for PNB’s NEXT STEP and Gonzaga University Dance Program. 

Ashton Edwards is from Flint, Michigan. They studied at Flint School of Performing Arts and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and attended summer programs at The Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago, Houston Ballet School, and PNB School. 

Melisa Guilliams is from Edmonds, Washington. She studied at Evergreen City Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and attended summer courses at Miami City Ballet School and PNB School. 

Zsilas Michael Hughes is from Little Rock, Arkansas. He studied at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and attended Summer Course at PNB School.  

Joh Morrill is from Seattle, WA. He began his studies at Pacific Northwest Ballet School through PNB’s DanceChance program, and received additional training from the Colburn School Dance Academy in Los Angeles. He attended summer programs at School of American Ballet and PNB School. 

Featured photo: Elle Macy in Christopher Wheeldon’s Curious Kingdom, photo © Angela Sterling.

Photos: Elle Macy in David Dawson’s Empire Noir, photo © Angela Sterling. Miles Pertl in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, photo © Angela Sterling. Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan in George Balanchine’s Tarantella, photo © Angela Sterling.