Both she and LaFreniere, from Lambertville, Mich., were promoted to soloist in 2022. LaFreniere, 26, who danced Aurora in “Beauty” for the first time last week, joined the company in 2014. Injuries have curtailed her progress, but she emerged from the pandemic refreshed and recharged, making important debuts in two vintage gems: Balanchine’s “Chaconne” and Balanchine and Robbins’s “Firebird,” which she reprised this season with mystery and mastery.
Mejia, 23, who made “Beauty” debuts as Bluebird and Gold, has in recent seasons shown his athletic virtuosity as Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and in “Rubies” from “Jewels.” Born in Fort Worth, Texas, he has ballet in his blood. Starting at age 3, he began training with his parents, Maria Terezia Balogh and Paul Mejia, a former dancer with City Ballet. Mejia, too, was transformed after the pandemic; his brashness took on a new refinement, while retaining its ebullient power. In 2021, he was promoted to soloist.
Gerrity, at 32, has long been an integral, versatile member of the company, joining in 2010 and becoming a soloist in 2017. That kind of longevity can stunt a dancer, but Gerrity, who possesses a voluptuous strength, has seemingly used the time to develop her own artistic voice. This season, she made debuts as the Lilac Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty,” as well as in Balanchine’s “Walpurgisnacht Ballet.”
Born in Danbury, Conn., Gerrity began training at 5 and went onto study at the New Paltz School of Ballet and before joining City Ballet, studied at the company’s affiliated School of American Ballet, along with all the new principals. “I’m freaking out,” she said. “I feel crazy in all ways. I’ve worked my entire life to get here.”
Gerrity has been in the company the longest of the four. “I remember being like, I don’t know if it’s going to happen — because you really do never know,” she said. “But I was like, I’m getting these amazing opportunities, and why am I going to sit here and think maybe it’s not going to happen versus just applying myself and trying to be better each time?”