YuanYuan Zhang
Photo: Sebastien Galtier

YuanYuan Zhang


As a child, Yuanyuan Zhang (Shanghai, China) loved dancing so much that she couldn’t sit still when she heard music. She started her ballet training at the age of nine, going on to study at the Shanghai Theatre Academy when she was sixteen. After completing her dance training, one thing was certain: she wanted to go abroad, especially because – as she says – ballet is not traditionally part of the Chinese culture.

In 2014, Yuanyuan joined Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company. Just one year later, she transferred to Dutch National Ballet, starting out as an élève, with subsequent promotions each year: becoming a member of the corps de ballet in 2016, a coryphée in 2017, a grand sujet in 2018 and a soloist in 2019. In season 2019-2020, she danced the roles of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Clara in The Nutcracker and The Mouse King.

Yuanyuan has won several major awards. In 2014, she won gold at the Cape Town International Ballet Competition and in the same year she was awarded first prize at the Star of East China competition.


With Dutch National Ballet since

Place of birth: 
Shanghai (China)

Career with Dutch Nationale Ballet: 
Soloist (2019), Grand sujet (2018), Coryphée (2017), Corps de ballet (2016), Élève (2015), Junior Company (2014)

Shanghai Theater Academy


  • 2014: Cape Town International Ballet Competition, gold
  • 2014: Star of East China