Dancer Tiffany Glenn died Monday at the age of 33 after a six-year battle with cancer. Glenn, who performed with Ballet San Jose, calmly and unflinchingly confronted the illness with a courage and resolve that moved her friends and colleagues.
She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in June 2006 at the age of 27. After undergoing a mastectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, she returned to Ballet San Jose with a shaved head to dance in the Nutcracker that December.
A Nichiren Buddhist by choice, Glenn performed with Dance Theatre of Harlem and trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center before coming to California. She taught hip hop dance at a San Jose dance school when she wasn’t with the ballet.
In 2009, she choreographed a contemporary three-part ballet to a trio of songs from the soul singer John Legend. “I wanted to expose people to the idea that we don’t have to always have ballet to classical music,” Glenn said.