Elizabeth Gaither has had a career span as a professional ballerina for 22 years. She began her earlier ballet studies with her mother, Gloria Gaither in Miami, Florida. While studying with her mother she received three years of high honors in the Royal Academy of Dance Examinations. She continued her ballet training at the Houston Ballet Academy, joining Houston Ballet Company at the age of 15. After 5 seasons Ms. Gaither decided to follow her dream of wanting to dance with American Ballet Theatre. She was able to live out her dream and joined the company for 9 incredible seasons. During her time there, she toured the world, danced on the Metropolitan House stage regularly, and performed many wonderful and special roles. She then decided to keep moving forward in her career and explore what else was out there for her to experience in the ballet world. After being contacted by The Washington Ballet, she was offered a Principal Dancer position and was ready to take on a new city, a new company, and to continue learning and growing from those around her. Ms. Gaither danced with The Washington Ballet for 8 seasons.
During the course of her career she has performed numerous roles such as Giselle, Bathilde and Zulma in Giselle, the Pas de Deux girl in Fancy Free, Princess Florentine, Puss N Boots, Silver Fairy and Aurora from The Sleeping Beauty, Biance in Taming of the Shrew, Clara, Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker, Cygnets and Polish Princess in Swan Lake, Mercedes and Amor from Don Quixote, Lead Shade and Small Pas d’ Action in La Bayadere, Demi Soloist in George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Symphony Concertante, Symphony in C, as well as Russian Girl and Dark Angel in his Serenade, First and Third Theme in Four Temperaments, and Titania and Helena in his A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peaseblossom Fairy in Sir Frederick Ashton’s The Dream, Swanilda and Dawn in Coppelia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Spring Fairy, and Summer Fairy in Cinderella, The Sylph in La Sylphide, Daisy in The Great Gatsby, the lead in Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Jerome Robbins’ In the Night, Nacho Duato’s Na Floresta, Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses and There Where She Loved, Mark Morris’ Gong, Drink to Me only with Thine and Eyes and Pacific, Paul Taylor’s Black Tuesday, Lar Lubovitch’s Meadow, Othello, Artemis, and My Funny Valentine, Cho San Goh’s Momentum and Fives, Christopher Bruce’s Sergeant Early’s Dream, Ghost Dances and Rooster, Ben Stevenson’s Four Last Songs and Pas De deux Romance, Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room, Backer’s Dozen, Sinatra Suite, and Push Comes to Shove, the lead in Nicolo Fonte’s Bolero, a world Premier pas de deux by Septime Webre called The Hours, as well as a world premiere pas de deux and repertory ballet that was created on Ms. Gaither in Edwaard Liang’s Wunderland. Ms. Gaither has also been Edwaard Liang’s repetiteur for his ballet Wunderland.
Elizabeth was a finalist in the Jackson International Ballet Competition in 1990 and placed fourth in the world in the junior division at age 16, and won the Amilita Hoffman Award.
She has been in the PBS American Ballet Theatre filmings of Le Corsaire and Sir Frederick Aston’s The Dream, as well as had a dancing role in the movie Center Stage. She has had TV segments about her career on CNN and Young Universe, was featured in Dance Magazine in a full spread in 2007 in an article called “Survive and Conquer,” and graced the cover of Pointe Magazine in 2008.
Another passion of Ms. Gaither’s during the course of her career has been yoga. In 2007 she became a certified teacher in vinyasa yoga and has been teaching yoga ever since. She really enjoys sharing and helping others to improve their lives through the power of yoga, meditation and movement.
Since her retirement from the stage in 2012, Elizabeth has been teaching and coaching students as well as professional dancers. She incorporates her knowledge from yoga training into her ballet training, helping dancers have a greater understanding of the mind and body connection. She is loving being able to pass on her years of experience, knowledge, and her passion for this art form, to help other artists grow and improve. There is no greater reward then to be able to give back to the world of ballet and its striving artists and to help them on their journey. Ms. Gaither is the honored and proud wife of Professional Art photographer, multimedia producer, and cloud application builder for ballet schools Theo Kossenas, and is the Artistic Director of their joint creation called media4artists. The dynamic duo love working together and collaborating on many creative photography and multimedia projects together.