Born on Long Island, New York, Cory Stearns began his classical training at the age of five with Mme. Valia Seiskaya at the Seiskaya Ballet. At age fifteen, he participated in the Youth America Grand Prix and was offered a full scholarship to The Royal Ballet School in London. Stearns performed in Madrid, Moscow, Milan, Düsseldorf and London while at The Royal, and appeared with Kylie Minogue in her music video Chocolate in 2004. Upon graduating from The Royal Ballet School with honors, he received, for the second year, the Dame Ruth Railton Award for excellence in dance.
Stearns joined the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in September 2004, the main Company as an apprentice in January 2005 and became a member of the corps de ballet in January 2006. He was appointed a Soloist in January 2009 and a Principal Dancer in January 2011.
Stearns repertory with the Company includes The Man in AfterEffect, Solor in La Bayadère, The Ballet Dancer in The Bright Stream, a featured role in Brief Fling, Her Prince Charming in Cinderella, Conrad in Le Corsaire, Daphnis in Daphnis and Chloe, Basilio and Espada in Don Quixote, Oberon in The Dream, a leading role in Études, Second Sailor in Fancy Free, Colas in Las Fille mal gardée, Kaschei in Firebird. Baron in Gaîté Parisienne, Albrecht in Giselle, Astrologer in The Golden Cockerel, Grand Pas Classique, Her Lover in Jardin aux Lilas, Armand Duval in Lady of the Camellias, The Leaves Are Fading pas de deux, Des Grieux in Manon, Beliaev in A Month in the Country, His Friend in The Moor’s Pavane, the Nutcracker-Prince in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, Onegin in Onegin, Iago and a Carnival Dancer in Othello, Other Dances, Man From the House Opposite in Pillar of Fire, Romeo and Paris in Romeo and Juliet, the Terrestrial in Shadowplay, Prince Désiré in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Désiré, the Celtic Prince and a Fairy Knight in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince Siegfried and von Rothbart in Swan Lake, Act III, Juliet, James in La Sylphide, the Poet in Les Sylphides, Orion and Apollo in Sylvia, Prospero in The Tempest, Prince Coffee in Whipped Cream, The Awakening Pas de Deux, leading roles in Allegro Brillante, Duo Concertant, Études, Mozartiana Monotones II, Raymonda Divertissements and With a Chance of Ran and roles in The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Citizen, Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, Duets, Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once, In the Upper Room, The Leaves Are Fading, Overgrown Path, Mozartiana, Rabbit and Rogue, Raymonda Divertissements, Symphony in C and Thirteen Diversions.
Stearns created roles in AFTERITE, From Here On Out, Her Notes, One of Three, Piano Concerto #1, Private Light and I Feel The Earth Move.
Stearns won the 2009 Erik Bruhn Prize for best male dancer.