D’Amboise was principal dancer of the New York City Ballet, where ballets were created especially for him by a choreographer George balanchine. D’Amboise has also choreographed for the New York City Ballet.
In addition to ballets, d’Amboise has danced in films, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, where he played the role of Ephraim, one of the brothers – and Carousel (1956), where he danced the role of ballet of the Starlight Carnival barker, in which he joined Susan luckey in Louise’s Ballet and the Disney movie Off Beat (1986), built around a dance class he taught to the New York Police Department.
D’Amboise founded the National Dance Institute in 1976, which has been teaching school children to dance for 40 years. The NDI program often combines music and art with studies of other cultures, histories, and literature, providing a unique and comprehensive performing arts experience, while stimulating curiosity and a sense of accomplishment. The documentary film on Jacques d’Amboise and National Dance Institute, He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin ‘, won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 1983 and an Emmy Award in 1984 for Best Children’s Programming.
D’Amboise has received numerous honors and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 1990, a Kennedy Center Honors Award in 1995, a National Medal of the Arts in 1998, a New York Governor’s Award and an honorary doctorate from Boston College and several other. The last honorary doctorate he received was Montclair State University in May 2012. He also received many other awards and honors for his contribution to the teaching of arts and dance, such as the 7th Annual Heinz Prize for the Arts and Humanities.