Roy Tobias Scholarship

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Tobias joined Ballet Theater (now American Ballet Theater) at 16, two years after he had begun training in ballet with Catherine Littlefield and other teachers. He performed there from 1944 to 1946 and then danced in Broadway musicals, including “High Button Shoes”, “ Our Town”, “Time of your life” and “Carousel.”

After a season performing in Paris with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas, he returned to New York for additional training, at the School of American Ballet. He performed with the Ballet Society, a precursor to the New York City Ballet, with which he danced from 1950 to 1960.

At City Ballet, he became a leading soloist, originating roles in ballets that included George Balanchine’s “Agon,” “Nutcracker” and “Divertimento No. 15,” Jerome Robbins’s “Fanfare” and Todd Bolender’s “The Still Point.” He often doubled as rehearsal pianist for the company.

After a tour of NYCB to Asia, Roy fell in love with Japan and decided to leave the NYCB with regrets of Mr. Balanchine. In Japan, Roy taught and choreographed with all the major companies including Tokyo Ballet, Matsuyama Ballet, and Tani Ballet, as Artistic Director. Mr. Tobias produced close to 200 original works for stage and television in Japan.

In 1988, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Universal Ballet Company of Seoul in South Korea. He helped to establish ballet in Korea as a teacher and his choreography became favorites of the Korean audience, such as “Coppélia,” “La Fille Mal Gardée”, “The Nutcracker”, “Pulcinella”, “Wedding Party”, “Mozart K379”, “Straight to the Heart”, and many others.

 Roy introduced to the young Korean company some of Mr. Balanchine’s masterpieces and style. After leaving the position of Artistic Director of UBC in 1995, he became the Artistic Advisor of the newly founded Seoul Ballet Theater.

Roy Tobias died on August 16, 2006 in Seoul. Dancers who had the opportunity to work with him cherish his teaching and wonderful personality.


The "Roy Tobias Scholarship" was funded in 2011 and dancers participating in the Youth Dance Festival have been awarded with a scholarship. The following were the recipients.

Youth Dance Festival 2011

Leslie Burn, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts

Haley Pigman, Fort Worth Country Day

Tiffany Bird, Texas Ballet Theater School- Dallas Campus

Bianca Schinzer, Ballet Center of Fort Worth

Tessa Moore, Ballet Frontier of Texas

Ashley Leisten, Ballet Ensemble of Texas

Kevin Scott, Arlington Heights High School


Youth Dance Festival 2012

Faith Savage, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts

Hannah Fowler, Fort Worth Country Day

Rachel Kivlighan, Texas Ballet Theater School- Dallas Campus

Holloway Bird, Ballet Frontier of Texas

Courtlyn Hanson, Ballet Ensemble of Texas

Haley Adams, Arlington Heights High School