Jiyan Dai began dancing at Shenyang Dance Academy in China at 10 years of age. In 2004, he won the Bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition (IBC) in Japan, and received his bachelor’s degree from Beijing Dance Academy when he was 19. Mr. Dai won the Artistry Award in the 2006 Vaganova IBC in Russia and the “Tao Li Cup” gold medal in China. In 2009, he joined the Universal Ballet Company in South Korea and performed principal roles in The Nutcracker, Onegin, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, and Jiri Kylian’s contemporary works Petit Mort and Senchs Tanze, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 7, and William Forsythe’s In the Middle. In 2012, Mr. Jiyan joined Tulsa Ballet and danced roles in Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, Wayne McGregor’s Presentient and The Four Temperaments, Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony, James Kudelka’s there below, Paul Taylor’s Company B; Jorma Elo’s One/End/One, Christopher Wheeldon’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mr. Stevenson’s Cinderella, and Christopher Bruce’s Rooster. He joined Texas Ballet Theater in 2014.
Where are you from?
When did you begin dancing?
When I was 6
Why did you begin dancing?
I always moved so much and to get more exercise
When did you join Texas Ballet Theater?
What is your favorite ballet to see?
What is your favorite ballet to perform/what is your favorite role you have performed?
Onegin and In the Middle
What surprised you the most about being a professional dancer?
It changed my life and I get to see all around the world.
What is your most memorable vacation?
Scuba diving at Oman
What’s your least favorite word?
What’s your favorite food from the State Fair of Texas?
Do you enjoy teaching or choreographing?
I love teaching and choreographing
What other talents do you have besides dancing?
What do you do over the summer break?
I want to get my pilot’s license
What is something you enjoy doing outside of dancing?
What outdoor activities do you enjoy?
Do you have a favorite sports team? If so, who?
If you could drive any car, what would it be?
Use one word to describe the feeling after dancing the last performance of The Nutcracker: