Fairfield native Chase Finlay has been promoted to principal dancer with the New York City Ballet.
Finlay's promotion was among 11 made on Feb. 21 by Peter Martins, the company's ballet master in chief, according to a news release issued by the company.
Finlay, 22, is the son of Jeannie and Mark Finlay of Penfield Road. In a separate news release, his parents said he is one of the youngest principal dancers in the New York City Ballet's history.
The company closed its winter season Feb. 24 after a two-week run of "Sleeping Beauty," in which Finlay had a featured role. The troupe now is on a U.S. tour with performances in Las Vegas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
After performances in Copenhagen, Denmark, the company will return to New York for its spring performances April 30 to June 9 at the David H. Koch Theater.
Most recently, the ballet company said, 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."
Finlay's dance training started at age 5 with the Stamford City Ballet, his parents said, and at 9 he began studies at Ballet Academy East in New York City. In 2007 at 16, he was invited to attend the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. He became an apprentice with New York City Ballet one year later and was awarded a full contract as a member of the Corps de Ballet in October 2009.
He was promoted to soloist in July 2011.
Finlay attended Roger Sherman School in Fairfield and the Whitby School in Greenwich. He was home schooled with a private tutor from sixth grade through high school so he could dedicate himself to his ballet training, his parents said.