Penny Saunders, originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, graduated from the Harid Conservatory in 1995, and began her professional career with The American Repertory Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre. She went on to dance with Ballet Arizona, MOMIX Dance Theater, Cedar Lake Ensemble and in 2004 she joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2011, Penny won the International Commissioning Project which launched her choreographic career, creating pieces for Hubbard Street’s main and second company, Cincinnati Ballet, Whim W’Him, SFDanceworks, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, The Royal New Zealand Ballet, Ballet Idaho, SALT Contemporary Dance, and Tulsa Ballet 2, among others.
Penny is honored to be the Resident Choreographer at The Grand Rapids Ballet where she created her first full length work, The Happy Prince and Other Wilde Tales, that focused on the life and fairy tales of Oscar Wilde. Penny has received support from The New York City Ballet Choreographic Commissions Initiative, participated in The National Choreographers Initiative and was the recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. This year she is excited to be working again with Whim W’Him, BalletX, Ballet Idaho, Seattle Dance Collective, Grand Rapids Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Royal New Zealand Ballet, as well as embarking on new collaborations with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Tulsa Ballet and Point Park University.