Finlay promoted to principal dancer for New York City Ballet


Chase Finlay of Fairfield is now a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet.

Fairfield resident Chase Finlay, 22, has been promoted to the rank of principal dancer for the New York City Ballet, making him among the youngest principal dancers in the history of New York City Ballet.

Born in Fairfield, Finlay is the son of Mark and Jeannie Finlay of Penfield Road. He attended Roger Sherman School and The Whitby School in Greenwich, then was home-schooled from sixth grade through high school with a private tutor to dedicate himself to his ballet training.

Since joining New York City Ballet, Finlay has danced throughout the United States and in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Finlay will debut at the Mariinsky Theatre in Apollo on March 10 during the International Stars Gala of the XIII International Ballet Festival  in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Most recently Finlay has danced featured roles in George Balanchine’s Apollo, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet (First Movement), Divertimento No. 15, Duo Concertant, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (Cavalier), Liebeslieder Walzer; Symphony in C (First Movement); Jerome Robbins’ 2 & 3 Part Inventions, Glass Pieces, Interplay and West Side Story Suite; Peter Martins’ Fearful Symmetries, Mirage and Swan Lake (Pas de Quatre); and Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia. During the company’s 2012-13 season, Finlay has debuted in such works as George Balanchine’s Mozartiana and Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux; Jerome Robbins’ NY Export: Opus Jazz (Pas de Deux); and Peter Martins’ Bal de Couture. 

Finlay began his dance training when he was 5 at the Stamford City Ballet, where he began performing in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Palace Theater when he was 6. By the age of 8, Finlay was performing the role of the young Prince, a role he danced for four holiday seasons. He also performed many children’s roles in productions with American Ballet Theater, including the featured role of Tzarevich Alexei Nikolaevich in Anastasia in 1998.

At the age of 9, Finlay began training at Ballet Academy East in New York City, under the direction of Darla Hoover. He also attended summer intensive programs at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, Pa., and Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Wash., where he studied with Peter Boal.

In 2007, at the age of 16, Finlay auditioned for, and was awarded full scholarship to, the summer intensive at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, and was invited to continue as a full-time student later that fall.

Finlay became an apprentice with New York City Ballet one year later in October 2008. Finlay was awarded a full contract as a member of the Corps de Ballet in October 2009. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in July 2011, and to the rank of Principal Dancer in 2013 at the age of 22. In 2010, Finlay was the recipient of the first Clive Barnes Award for the accomplishment of dance’s newest stars, and a Benois de la danse nominee in 2012.

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