Penelope Freeh resides in Minneapolis/Saint Paul and is a 2010 McKnight Artist Fellow for Choreography. Her work has been commissioned by James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Orchestra, 3-Legged Race, the Walker Art Center/Southern Theater’s Momentum, the Weisman Art Museum, Minnesota Ballet, Skylark Opera and Link Vostok Dance Festival in Russia among others. She has twice been presented by Ballet Builders in NYC. She has taught residencies at St. Catherine University, Carleton College, St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and Perpich Center for Arts Education. Previous awards include a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dancers (1998), a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship (1998) and two Career Opportunity Grants (1999 and 2001), and a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant (2001).

Penelope is a seventeen-year member of James Sewell Ballet where she serves as Artistic Associate. She has staged the work of James Sewell on Portland Opera, Sandra Organ Dance Company, Company C Contemporary Ballet and Alaska Dance Theatre. She is adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota and summer faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

She has worked with Deborah Jinza Thayer’s Movement Architecture since 1999 and has danced with TU Dance, MN Opera, CT Ballet Theatre, Michael Mao Dance, Dayton Ballet and a slew of independent choreographers.

She maintained a blog from 2006-2009 ( where she wrote a hybrid of critique, memoir and personal essay through the lens of dance. From February 2008 – April 2009 she wrote the dance column for METRO Magazine. In May 2008 she was featured in and wrote Why I Dance for Dance Magazine.

She served on the MN Fringe Board from 2004-2010 and has twice served as a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dancers panelist.

Penelope grew up at the Dayton Ballet Dance Center in Ohio. Additional training includes the Joffrey Ballet School, the Paul Taylor School and two years on full scholarship at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center.