Jiyan Dai

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Jiyan Dai began dancing at the Shenyang Dance Academy in China at the age of 10. 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 in South Korea and danced all around the world. In 2012, Mr. Dai joined Tulsa Ballet. He joined Texas Ballet Theater in 2014, and has choreographed the ballet “Classic Theme B” for Texas Ballet Theater School’s Professional Division. Mr. Dai has performed principal roles in Ben Stevenson’s The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Five Poems, Dracula, Cinderella, Roanld Hynd’s The Merry Widow, Harald Lander’s Études, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, Glen Tetley’s Voluntaries, Onegin, Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, and Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort and Senchs Tanze, Ohad Naharin’s Minus 7, and William Forsythe’s In the Middle, 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, and Christopher Bruce’s Rooster.

Where are you from?
Shenyang, China

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?
2014

What is your favorite ballet to see?
Don Quixote

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?
Awesome

What’s your favorite food from the State Fair of Texas?
Fajita

Do you enjoy teaching or choreographing?
I love teaching and choreographing

What other talents do you have besides dancing?
Photography

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?
Taking photographs

What outdoor activities do you enjoy?
Fishing

Do you have a favorite sports team? If so, who?
FC Barcelona

If you could drive any car, what would it be?
Ferrari

Use one word to describe the feeling after dancing the last performance of The Nutcracker:
Fabulous