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#MeetTheArtist | Meet Amanda

Amanda Willingham started her dance training at Ballet Royale Academy under Donna Pidel and later with Vyacheslav Mesropov. In 2004, she moved to Misako Ballet Studio under the instruction of Misako Aoki, and performed with Kevin Malone in his KTM Extremes project. During summers, she attended intensives and workshops, including North Carolina School of the Arts, Dance Institute of Washington, and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Amanda joined Misako Ballet Company as an apprentice in 2008 and was promoted to company member in 2011, where she has performed excerpts from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Fille mal Gardée, and more, including lead and core roles in original Japanese-ballet pieces. In December 2015, she received a Master’s of Science in Applied and Industrial Mathematics with a concentration in Optimization and Differential Equations from Towson University. She currently works for T. Rowe Price as a Quantitative Risk Analyst and is studying to become an Actuary.

Amanda has danced with Ballet Embody since its founding and has originated roles in The Raven, Masque of the Red Death, If You Find Yourself..., and more!

Astrological Sign


Favorite Food


Favorite Color


Favorite Book

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Favorite Movie

Depends...most likely a Disney movie that I've watched 10k times

Inspirational Quote

“If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.” – Steven Wright

Favorite Music/Artist/Band/Musical Genre

ummmmmm........idk >.< I like music and it depends on my mood....or what is intriguing

Favorite Place to Be

The dance studio, especially with my friends....or a coffee shop (nom nom coffee)

If you were a dinosaur, which dinosaur would you be?

According to National Geographics quiz, I'm an Apatosaurus: Playful and adventurous, you don't like confrontation. You're mostly mellow but can be fierce when necessary. Like Apatosaurus, you'll stick your neck out to defend your family and friends. And according to Buzz feed, I'm a Spinosaurus: You’ve got a competitive and fiery personality that is well suited to the largest carnivorous dinosaur. Whether it’s being top of the food chain or best in your class, you’re always looking to gain the edge so that you can be crowned the winner. And while your friends may get tired of you treating everything like a competition, nothing will beat the satisfaction that comes with being the very best. I feel like they are both right but you tell me!

This is Zephyr!

Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about it/them!

I have two mini Australian shepherds, Zephyr (2yo) and Ember (1yo)! They are my babies and I love them so much!! I would take them literally everywhere if I could (I wish I could take them to rehearsal! That would be the best!!!). I spend a lot of time outside of dance training and bonding with them. They are both so sweet and loving.

What genre of dance is your favorite? Why?

Ballet.....because I'm but really, I just thinks its beautiful! I love being able to mix it up with contemporary and jazz, but I always go back to ballet.

Amanda and Falkner pictured here creating The Raven pas de deux in 2019.

Why do you dance?

It feeds by soul. It helps manage my stress and anxiety, and keeps me in touch with my amazing friends.

If you wear pointe shoes, what kind do you wear? If not pointe shoes, what kind of flat shoes do you prefer?

Gaynor Minden SC-10.5M3+DH (if you know, you know :-P)

What other jobs/activities/talents/passions do you pursue?

Training and playing with my puppies, working out with my partner, video games, drinking FAR too much coffee, and crochet

From our followers: Do you have another job(s)? If so, what do you do?

YES! My full-time job is as a Quantitative Risk Analyst for T Rowe Price. Basically, I use statistical methods to analyze and the forecast the potential risk of various type of transactions to keep the portfolios safe. (aka Math is fun!!!)

What are you looking forward to this season with Ballet Embody?

Performing more of the amazing creations by Emily Runkle! I'm especially excited to learn a new piece by Melissa Lineburg :D

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