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Satisfaction also comes from the appreciation of others. In 2005, Jin was promoted to principal dancer of The Hong Kong Ballet. At the beginning of this year, she was awarded the Best Artist of the Year (dance category) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards 2010 in recognition of her hard work and remarkable performances.

“I am so surprised to know that many people actually keep an eye on me,” says Jin. She views this as encouragement to keep on improving herself.

But while she is satisfied with her career, Jin admits life as a leading dancer can be lonely. “It’s a trade off. I spend most of my time on ballet so I have less time to devote to relationships,” she says. Jin is very serious about relationships and is not interested in wasting time on people she does not really like. “If I meet the right man, I am sure I will fall deeply in love.”

She is aware of the high rate of divorce nowadays and stresses that she will not marry until she meets her soul mate and for Jin that means someone who is responsible, elegant, admires ballet, and most importantly, shares a common language with her. She dreams of having two childern with her future husband and hopes to lead an ordinary, happy family life.

For the moment, Jin’s priority is to take care of her family. As her parents’ only child, Jin maintains a very close relationship with them although she left home to pursue ballet when she was very young. She is sorry for not spending enough time with her parents and hopes to see them more often. “They have given me great support and that means a lot to me,” she says.

She is grateful to her parents for letting her pursue her dream but now that she is older she can appreciate and share the concerns they had about allowing their child to devote her life to dance.

“I will only let my children to take up ballet if their physical qualifications are good enough,” Jin says firmly, “If they do not have innate talent, they will never get to the point that they want to reach.”

Apart from longing for a blissful family life, Jin is also looking forward to trying new things, even things outside ballet. She is now 30, an age at which most ballerinas in the mainland have already retired. While she has no immediate plans to retire, she has already has plans for post-retirement life.

Jin is looking at the possibility of going back to school to study management or entering the world of fashion. She excitedly recalls that she had a lot of fun when she served as a model for Elle magazine last year.

But bowing out from the stage does not mean leaving ballet behind. No doubt she will embrace new endeavours with the energy she has invested in her dance career, but ballet will always run through Jin Yao’s veins.

“I hope to continue with ballet, through coaching, just like my mother did,” she says.