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Eric Underwood has decided to leave The Royal Ballet

Soloist to leave the Company after 11 years.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

16 August 2017 at 12.00pm | 14 Comments

Soloist dancer Eric Underwood has announced his decision to leave The Royal Ballet after 11 years.

He has had an extremely successful career during this time, dancing major roles, and has created roles in significant new works.

Eric Underwood said: ‘After 11 very successful years at the Royal Ballet I have decided to move on. I am hugely grateful for all I have learnt there and the amazing experiences I have had’.

Kevin O'Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, comments: ‘Eric has as well as dancing many roles within the repertory of The Royal Ballet, created many memorable roles with the company, including in Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, Infra and Raven Girl and in Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV, as well as the Caterpillar in Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. We wish him every future success’.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

16 August 2017 at 12.00pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged announcement, Eric Underwood, leavers, The Royal Ballet

This article has 14 comments

  1. Jakegee responded on 16 August 2017 at 4:22pm Reply

    I'm sad to read that Eric is leaving The Royal Ballet. He has always had great stage presence and it has been a great pleasure seeing him in many varied roles, from partnering Zenaida in DGV to "Afternoon of a Faun" to the Caterpillar in "Alice" to a wonderful Toreador in Carlos Acosta's "Don Quixote" and so many other wonderful appearances. We will miss you at the ROH, Eric, but I wish you every success on your future careers both in dance and in modelling. Thank you for the pleasure of watching you on stage.

  2. Victor responded on 17 August 2017 at 10:20am Reply

    Sad sad this morning, has been absolutely incredible to watch you on stage . Best of luck on your next journey, am sure we will be seeing you more in London. We will surely miss you .

  3. Karen responded on 17 August 2017 at 4:39pm Reply

    Going to miss him, (esp. the chance of dancing with Melissa again), but all the best for future endeavours which do look very enticing.
    Toi, toi, toi as it were.

  4. Nick responded on 17 August 2017 at 8:50pm Reply

    Jakegee has hit the nail on the head - such a stage presence. I've always enjoyed watching Eric dance and am sorry to see him go and wish him all the very best. Hope to catch him some time somewhere in the future.

  5. Kevin responded on 17 August 2017 at 10:39pm Reply


    So good, so exciting, so much still to do. I hope he will be still dancing and not going to do "Strictly" or something. His talent hasn't run out.

  6. Roz Martin responded on 18 August 2017 at 12:42am Reply

    Oh no! I'm so sorry, I can't take my eyes off you when you are on the stage. Where are you going?

    • Andreea responded on 21 August 2017 at 11:15am

      I kind of so it coming. He displayed something like "former soloist at ROH" at the beginning of summer on his Fb page. It sounded weird, but I understood that he might not dance with ROH on the next season. I think it's very much about seeing his opportunities don't going any further, or being stuck in an artistic vacuum. He's been a soloist for ages now, and I didn't hear of a promotion, given the fact that he can dance litterally ANYTHING. Maybe he wants to try different things, maybe he wants to step up his career, or maybe, the saddest scenario, he just wants to teach, model and...enjoy life. Would be so sad, since he has good years ahead of him and is in great shape.

  7. Diana Petch responded on 18 August 2017 at 12:54am Reply

    Wishing Eric all the very best ....
    sometimes you have to move on .... but never look back ...

  8. Sharon Keogh responded on 20 August 2017 at 12:23pm Reply

    So very sorry to read you are leaving. You are a dancer of sound technique but more important you have presence and personality - which has always connected with the audience. I wish you well in your new path, and I hope you will succeed and be happy. On a personal level it was really wonderful to have such a great black dancer in the company. You were a role model and an inspiration to many. Best wishes...........

  9. Patricia Baker responded on 21 August 2017 at 11:02pm Reply

    Lovely dancer; overlooked. Hope Tamara will grab him.

  10. Dana responded on 26 August 2017 at 11:03pm Reply

    One of the RB "celebs" - sad to see him go. His caterpillar is immortalised on YouTube however - have watched it tens of times, it doesn't get old. An excellent example of how "cool" ballet can be. Street breakdance style meets classical - nice.

  11. Peter Dorson responded on 21 September 2017 at 9:00pm Reply

    Thank you for dancing Eric.

  12. Paulette Bernd responded on 11 October 2017 at 1:11pm Reply

    Does this mean you may be returning to ABT??? We New Yorkers have missed you!

  13. Brian Thomas responded on 28 December 2018 at 8:51pm Reply

    He is simply fabulous and sadlymissed

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