Global Regional Jury Biography
SO Hon Wah
Dip RBS (TCPD)
Principal of Hong Kong Youth Ballet Academy
Chairman of Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition
Former Principal Dancer of Hong Kong Ballet
Gold medal winner of Asia Pacific Competition Japan
Graduate of The Royal Ballet School in Diploma of Teacher Course for Professional Dancer
Graduate of Beijing Dance Academy
Born in Hong Kong, So Hon Wah received early ballet training from Ms. Tania Tang. In 1986, he won a scholarship to study at the Beijing Dance Academy. He went on to win a gold medal at the Asia Pacific Competition Japan in 1989, and was offered a contract to join the Hong Kong Ballet in the same year. He was promoted to principal dancer in 1991, setting the milestone to be the first Hong Kong born male dancer to reach the prestigious ranking.
During his 11 years with the Hong Kong Ballet, So Hon Wah danced numerous major leading roles, including Pu Yi in the world’s premier production of The Last Emperor; Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake; The Prince in Nutcracker: Albrecht in Gisele; James in La Sylphide; The Prince in Cinderella; Peter Pan in Peter Pan; Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and Who Cares by Balanchine; and Pavane by Kenneth MacMillan.
In 1995, So Hon Wah was awarded the Jockey Club Music & Dance Fund scholarship to study at The Royal Ballet School in London to further his ballet education as a teacher. Upon graduation, he obtained a diploma of Teacher Course for Professional Dancer, one of the highest qualifications in ballet teaching.
Since retiring from stage in 2002, So Hon Wah is committed to pass his knowledge and experience to the younger generation. He founded a professional ballet training school L’Ecole de Jeune Ballet, later co-founded Hong Kong Youth Ballet Academy, to nurture students to become professional dancers. He also founded a cross-culture performing company Youth Ballet of Asia to produce performances for professional dancers from Hong Kong and Asia, as well as local aspiring students to perform in professional productions.
In 2011, So Hon Wah founded and has been the Chairman of Asian Grand Prix International Ballet Competition, the first international competition in Hong Kong serving as a platform for talented young dancers in Asia.
In recognition of his achievement and contribution to ballet, So Hon Wah was featured in the Hong Kong Dance Hall of Fame by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.