New Dancer Spotlight: Yu Chieh Chao

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancer Yu-Chieh Chao

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr recruited Yu-Chieh Chao, of Pintung City, Taiwan, from PBT School’s Pre-professional Division where he’s trained since 2015. Prior to PBT School, Yu-Chieh trained with the Taipei National University of Arts. He has performed in PBT productions of The Nutcracker, PBT: New Works and West Side Story Suite and in PBT School performances of Etudes and the Bluebird pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty. Get to know Yu-Chieh here: 

Fun Facts

Hometown: Pingtung City, Taiwan

Family: I lived with my parents, my sister, and my grandma at home in Taiwan. I am the only person who dances in the family.

Pre-performance ritual: Taking a deep breath.

Hobbies: Swimming and biking

Favorite food: Chocolate and fruit in general

Favorite musician: Lana Del Rey

Ultimate dream role: Des Grieux from Manon or Albrecht from Giselle

Favorite role to date: Bluebird from The Sleeping Beauty

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancer Yu-Chieh Chao
Yu-Chieh (second from right) performs alongside PBT company dancers in JoAnna Schmidt’s Lightworks, part of PBT’s March PBT: Premieres program at the August Wilson Center.


How do you think you’ve grown as an artist during your time in the PBT School Pre-professional Division? 

“I think I have grown as an artist during my years in PBT School by learning from my teachers. The schedule and the training really helped me to build my technique and prepare to be a professional ballet dancer.”

Describe your ballet “epiphany” – the moment you knew this was what you wanted to do professionally. 

“I think it was the first time I saw a ballet video that was one of my favorite dancers, David Hallberg doing the prince in The Sleeping Beauty. All the movement that he did was so powerful and elegant. It made me want to be a dancer as good as him.”

What are some of your personal goals for your first season as a company dancer?

“I hope I can become more comfortable performing on stage. For me, I still get nervous when I’m dancing in front of people, and I hope I can get better by getting even more opportunity.”

What’s the most fulfilling thing about being a ballet dancer? 

“For me, the most fulfilling thing about being a ballet dancer is I get to do the thing I love every day and it be my career.”

What are you most looking forward to dancing next season?

Mozart in Motion is what I most looking forward to do next season.”