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Chun Wai Chan becomes first Chinese principal dancer of NYC Ballet

 UPI News logo: MainLogo UPI News 5/20/2022 Adam Schrader
Guests exit after the performance at the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center in September 2019. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI © John Angelillo/UPI Guests exit after the performance at the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center in September 2019. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

May 20 (UPI) -- Chun Wai Chan became the first Chinese principal dancer of the New York City Ballet on Friday, the company announced on Twitter.

His promotion to the rank was announced along with those of David Gabriel and McKenzie Soares, who were named to the corps de ballet today.

"Omg, pinch me!!! I got promoted to Principal at New York City Ballet today," Chan said in a post to Instagram.

"This is definitely a team effort, because I know I won't be here doing the thing I love without many of your trust and encouragement. Thanks to my friends and family for their unconditional support and love."

Chan, 29, added that he "could not be more humbled and honored to be the first Chinese principal" of the company.

He was congratulated by fellow dancers including Sara Mearns, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who was Chan's first partner when he joined the company.

"Congrats to this amazing artist and friend on becoming PRINCIPAL DANCER," Mearns said in an Instagram story.

Chan joined the New York City Ballet as a soloist in August 2021 after having previously been a principal with the Houston Ballet, according to his company biography.

He was born in Guangdong, China, and trained at the Guangzhou Art School from 2004 to 2010.

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