Patricia McBride is one of five to receive Kennedy Center Honors in 2014, joining Al Green, Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin and Sting. Continuing a career that spans more than six decades, McBride now serves as associate artistic director of the Charlotte Ballet and as master teacher at Chautauqua Institution's School of Dance.

At age 18, she became the youngest principal dancer for the New York City Ballet and rose to prominence as a muse for the celebrated and prolific choreographer George Balanchine.

"I felt so fortunate to dance in all those ballets and to see the world, dancing,” McBride told The Washington Post. “It was such an amazing life! I always felt so lucky because I knew I was in the presence of genius in the studio.”

McBride will be celebrated with the other honorees on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, at the Kennedy Center Opera House. The gala will be broadcast at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014, on CBS.

"The Kennedy Center celebrates five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world," said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. "Patricia McBride continues to carry forward her legacy for future generations."

This summer, McBride gave a presentation on her life in dance for the Chautauqua Dance Circle. Click here to read The Chautauquan Daily's preview article.