Celebrating Black History Month with Matthew Griffin

In honor of Black History Month, we are excited to present some deeper insight into a few of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s artists. Today we’re focusing on Corps de Ballet artist Matthew Griffin. We hope you enjoy learning more about him as both a person and a dancer.

Photo: Anita Buzzy Prentiss

Matthew Griffin
Born in Minneapolis, MN
Grew up in Ellenton, FL

International Ballet of Florida
Butler University

Joined PBT’s Corps de Ballet in 2023

Other Professional Companies
Cincinnati Ballet

Photo: Anita Buzzy Prentiss

What has your favorite role been? Why?

My favorite roles have been the Pas de Deux in Alejandro Cerrudo’s Extremely Close and William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.

What was a defining moment in your career?
I was very fortunate to have Helen Pickett create the solo Balance for me for a virtual performance during the pandemic.

Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
I enjoy visiting where I grew up, Manatee County, FL (especially during winter months)

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you meet?
I would want to meet fourteen-time Emmy winner, RuPaul!

If I weren’t a ballet dancer, I would be…
It has always been my post-ballet dream to take my dance knowledge and apply it to a career in physical therapy. If I wasn’t dancing, I would definitely still be a dance fan!

What was the moment you knew you wanted to pursue a professional career in ballet?
I was always a big fan of the arts. I grew up seeing shows, listening to live music, and going to museums. My sister and

I had started taking dance classes for enrichment and for fun when my family went to see the Joffrey Ballet perform a contemporary program. That was the moment I knew that I wanted to be on stage dancing and wanted to work hard to become a professional dancer.

Who is your inspiration – in dance and in life?
I find inspiration everywhere! I’m very inspired by the work of my peers in the studio and onstage. I am constantly blown away by the triumphs and artistry of my fellow dancers. I also am very inspired by culture. Movies, songs, books, musicals, exhibits, political debates and conversation all inspire me and inform my artistry and humanity.