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From student to top dog: Houston Ballet's Joseph Walsh gets his principal crystal slippers

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Joseph Walsh and artists of the Houston Ballet in 40, choreographed by Stanton Welch Photo by Amtiava Sarkar
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Joseph Walsh in Ballo della Regina choreographed by George Balanchine Photo by Amtiava Sarkar
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News_Joseph Walsh Dance_Ballo della Regina

Houston Ballet's Joseph Walsh is getting his crystal slippers. After a highly-rated performance of Stanton Welch's Cinderella, the cavalier has been promoted from soloist to principal, the ballet's top rank for its dance corps.

CultureMap contributor Tedd Bale predicted this success when Walsh filled in last minute for an injured colleague as Prince Florimund at the opening night of Ben Stevenson's The Sleeping Beauty in March 2011. Bale hailed the 22-year-old premier danseur as a "rising star" with "great confidence" who "dazzled the audience with his exquisite turns, powerful jumps, well-controlled adage and clearly expressive pantomime."

What does that the upgrade mean?

 The boost also nods to his ability to execute various styles, his physical prowess to take on a full evening-length show and his standing as a positive role model for students at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy. 

 

As a principal, Walsh will be cast in more leading roles and partake in more performances. The boost also nods to his ability to execute various styles, his physical prowess to take on a full evening-length production and his standing as a positive role model for students at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy

“This promotion is especially significant for our staff since we have watched Joseph progress from Houston Ballet II to a principal in the professional company," Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch said in a statement.

A Doylestown, Pa. native, Walsh climbed the fairytale ladder from when he was a member of Houston Ballet II, joining the professional company in 2007 and moving up to soloist in 2010.

Audiences will remember Walsh from his roles as Lensky John Cranko's Onegin, the Prince in Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker, Des Grieux in Kenneth MacMillan's Manon and and Garuda in Welch's La Bayadére.

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