A native of Kent, Ohio, James Ihde began his ballet training at the Dance Institute of the University of Akron, where he studied for eight years. In 1993, he came to Philadelphia for a summer session at The Rock School for Dance Education. Upon completion, he was invited to join Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice for the 1993-1994 Season. In 1995, Mr. Ihde joined the Corps de Ballet and was promoted to Soloist in September 2003.
During the 1996-1997 Season, Mr. Ihde received rave reviews for his featured role in Lar Lubovitch's Waiting for the Sunrise. Since then, he has danced featured roles in several ballets including John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet (Paris), Paul Taylor's Company B, Jerome Robbins' Interplay and In the Night, Lubovitch's Concert Six Twenty-Two, Margo Sappington's Rodin, Mis En Vie, Matthew Neenan's Penumbra, Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake (Von Rothbart, Czardas) and Polyphonia; Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort, John Butler’s Carmina Burana, William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated, the world premiere of Jorma Elo's Pulcinella, and George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments (Second Theme and Third Theme), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius, Theseus, and Titania’s Cavalier), The Prodigal Son, and Serenade.
Mr. Ihde’s principal roles include Ivan in James Kudelka's The Firebird, Wheeldon's Liturgy and the pas de deux in After the Rain, Cavalier in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™, Balanchine's Agon and Emeralds from Jewels, Jerome Robbins' In G Major, the Black Couple in Kylián’s Forgotten Land, Pas de Deux 1 in Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, and the title roles in Balanchine's Apollo and Ben Stevenson's Dracula. In May 2014, Mr. Ihde originated a role in the world premiere of Trey McIntyre’s The Accidental.