The Robert F. Parker Principal Dancer


Incheon, Korea

Dance Training

Hye Young Kim Ballet School, Korea
Sun Hwa Arts School, Seoul, Korea
Canada National Ballet School, Toronto, Canada
John Cranko Schule, Stuttgart, Germany

Year Joined



Principal - 2018
First Soloist - 2016
Soloist - 2014
Demi Soloist - 2012

Previous Companies

Opera Leipzig Ballet (Leipzig, Germany) - 2005-2007
Tulsa Ballet - 2007-2012

Favorite Roles

Hanna and Valencienne in Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow
Katherine in John Cranko’s The Taming of the Shrew
Juliet in Stanton Welch’s Romeo and Juliet
Aurora in Ben Stevenson’s The Sleeping Beauty
Kitri in Ben Stevenson’s Don Quixote

Favorite Ballets

Stanton Welch's Marie and Madame Butterfly.
I always enjoy watching these ballets (music, sets, characters and everything is beautiful). I love dramatic ballets.

A Defining Moment

Becoming the first Korean principal at Houston Ballet. Because I feel like I have made an important mark in history, along with other great dancers, for my people in such a great company.


Soo Youn Cho was born in Incheon, Korea. She trained at the Sun Hwa Arts School, Canada National Ballet School with a full scholarship from the 2002 Prix de Lausanne, and John-Cranko Ballet School in Stuttgart, Germany. Ms. Cho has earned numerous awards: She won a gold medal at the 2001 Korea Ballet Competition; In 2002, she was a winner at the Prix de Lausanne and won a bronze medal at the 2002 Varna Competition in Bulgaria; and in 2005 she earned a gold medal at the Tanzolymp in Berlin. She danced professionally with Leipziger Ballet in Germany before joining Tulsa Ballet in 2007 where she was promoted to principal in 2010. Ms. Cho joined Houston Ballet as a demi soloist in 2012, and she was promoted to soloist in 2014, first soloist in 2016 and principal in 2018.

Some of Ms. Cho's featured roles in rep pieces include Aurora, Lilac Fairy and Carabosse in Ben Stevenson's The Sleeping Beauty (2016, 2020); Myrtha in Stanton Welch's Giselle (2016, 2019); Hanna and Valencienne in Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow (2012, 2019); Swanhilda in Ben Stevenson's Coppélia (2019); Queen in Jerome Robbins' The Cage (2019); Wife in Jermone Robbins' The Concert (2019); Raymonda Grand Pas (2018); Kitri in Ben Stevenson's Don Quixote (2018); Countess Marie Larisch in Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling (2017); Gamzatti in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadère (2015); Suzuki in Stanton Welch's Madame Butterfly (2015, 2017); George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations (2016) and Symphony in C (2017); Waltz girl in George Balanchine’s Serenade (2016);  Mistress in Sir Kenneth MacMillian's Manon (2016); Katherine in John Cranko's The Taming of the Shrew (2015); Lady Capulet in Stanton Welch's Romeo and Juliet (2015); and Sugar Plum Fairy in Stanton Welch's The Nutcracker (2016 to present).  Ms. Cho was created on in the premiere of Oliver Halkowich’s Following for the Company’s 50th anniversary season in 2019.

What initially impressed me about Soo Youn Cho was her charming demeanor. As rehearsals continued I noticed she had a very strong and natural acting ability plus a strong clean classical technique. She has an enormous amount of experience in performing many principal and soloist roles and possesses a great artistic maturity in her work.

Steven Woodgate



Connor Walsh

Yuriko Kajiya