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, Saunders won the International Commissioning Project which launched her choreographic career, creating pieces for Hubbard Streets’ main and second company, Cincinnati Ballet, Whim W’Him, BalletX, Tulsa Ballet 2, SFDanceworks, Neos Dance Theater, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Owen Cox Dance Group, among others.
Saunders is honored to be the Resident Choreographer at The Grand Rapids Ballet where she recently completed her first full length work, The Happy Prince and Other Wilde Tales, that focused on the life and fairy tales of Oscar Wilde. Saunders 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.
In the 2019-20 season, she is excited to be collaborating with the Tulsa Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Whim W’Him, BalletX, Dayton Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Ballet Idaho, Indiana University, Seattle Dance Collective, and Point Park University.