Robert joined George Balanchine's New York City Ballet at age 15. Previously, he was a scholarship student, for seven years, at the School of American Ballet; and performed the Nutcracker/Prince three of the six years in the original American production. During his twenty two year career, Robert danced in every major opera house in Europe, Russia, the Mideast and the USA. He was considered one of the top American born male dancers of his generation; most known for his dramatic presence, elevation and partnering. Nine of the century's greatest choreographers made roles for him in their ballets.
Retiring after the death of Balanchine, he has been teaching and choreographing for thirty years; while having written three children's books, a critically acclaimed book of Balanchine working, and an award winning and recently republished autobiography of his childhood.