Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Jermel Johnson began his dance education by attending at the Baltimore School for the Arts’ after school program for four years. He continued training with the Baltimore School for the Arts for another three years. He then studied for one year at The School of American Ballet under such choreographers as Peter Martins, Peter Boal, Jock Soto, and Andrei Kramarevsky, and received a scholarship to study at The School of American Ballet’s Summer Program in 2001. As a student, he performed in several productions with the Baltimore School for the Arts and in The Nutcracker with The School of American Ballet.
Mr. Johnson joined Pennsylvania Ballet II in September 2003 and was invited to become an Apprentice with Pennsylvania Ballet in May 2004. He was promoted to Soloist in 2009 and to Principal Dancer for the 2012-2013 Season. He has performed principal roles in Robert Weiss’ Messiah, Christopher Wheeldon's Swan Lake (Prince Siegfried), Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® Ô (Cavalier), Allegro Brillante, Square Dance, The Prodigal Son, Rubies from Jewels, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon). His featured roles include William Forsythe’s The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, Matthew Neenan’s Keep and Beside them, they dwell, Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz (Statics), Giselle (Peasant Pas de Deux), Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments (Phlegmatic), and Jiří Kylián’s Forgotten Land (Red Couple) and Petite Mort.
During the 2007-2008 Season, Mr. Johnson received audience and critical acclaim for his performances at City Center in Manhattan and in the world premiere of Neenan's Pampeana No. 2 in Philadelphia. In October 2008, Mr. Johnson received a prestigious Ballet Fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, which supported his salary for the season and will support his choreographic endeavors in the future. The performances of Jermel Johnson, principal dancer, are underwritten by Gladys M. Black.