- Anshan, China
- Beijing Dance Academy
Rock School for Dance Education
San Francisco Ballet School
San Francisco Ballet School Trainee Program
- Company Membership
Joined the corps in 2011
Promoted to soloist in 2016
Promoted to principal in 2019
WanTing Zhao has danced principal or featured roles in Tomasson’s Giselle, Nutcracker (Queen of the Snow, Spanish, Arabian, French, and Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina), Romeo & Juliet (Rosaline), The Sleeping Beauty (Lilac Fairy, Fairy of Darkness, Fairy of Tenderness, White Cat); Swan Lake (Aristocrats, Swan Maidens), and Prism; Balanchine’s Coppélia (Prayer), Diamonds, The Four Temperaments (3rd Theme), Prodigal Son (Siren), Rubies, and Serenade (Angel); Lifar’s Suite en Blanc (Cigarette, pas de deux, and pas de trois); Makarova’s (after Petipa) “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadère, Act II (Solo Shade); van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples; Nureyev’s Raymonda—Act III (1st solo); Pita’s Salome (Salome); Possokhov’s Swimmer (Aquarium); Robbins’ The Cage (Novice); Scarlett’s Fearful Symmetries (principal); Thatcher’s Frayed; and Wheeldon’s Cinderella (Spirit of Winter/Fluidity and Balinese Princess). She created roles in Millepied’s The Chairman Dances—Quartet for Two and Rhoden’s Let’s Begin at the End (corps couples).
Her repertory includes Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, Scotch Symphony, and Symphony in C; Cranko’s Onegin; Fokine’s Petrouchka; Liang’s Symphonic Dances; McGregor’s Borderlands; Page’s Guide to Strange Places; Robbins’ Glass Pieces; Tomasson’s Criss-Cross and Trio; Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote (Driads); and Wheeldon’s Continuum.
WanTing danced The Nutcracker at A&A Ballet in Chicago in 2017 and Rosaline in the 2015 film of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet (Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance). She performed with Carlo Di Lanno at The International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize in Toronto, and won the silver medal at the 2010 Youth America Grand Prix.
What ballet or role would you like to dance but haven't yet? Why?
Lady of the Camellias, Swan Lake, and Carmen because they each have a large acting component and lots of drama.
What has been your proudest moment as a dancer? Why?
I was so shocked and proud when I was chosen to do Snow Queen during my first year at SF Ballet and when I got promoted to soloist in 2016.
When I'm not working I enjoy...
Traveling to beautiful places.