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‘Crying happy tears’: Chyrstyn Fentroy promoted to principal dancer at Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet dancer Chyrstyn Fentroy (center) performs in the company's "Bach Cello Suites," at Jacob's Pillow in Becket in 2019.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Boston Ballet announced Wednesday the promotion of Chyrstyn Fentroy to principal dancer. Fentroy joined Boston Ballet as an artist of the company in 2017, was promoted to second soloist in 2018, and to soloist in 2019, according to a statement from the company.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to watch Chyrstyn grow into the talented, accomplished, and versatile dancer she is today,” said artistic director Mikko Nissinen in a statement. “Her dedication and passion to the future of the art form demonstrates her commitment as an artist and role model to future generations.”

“Having joined Boston Ballet as a corps de ballet member, becoming a principal dancer is such a special achievement for me,” Fentroy said in the statement. “This is a step that means I will be given opportunities that will challenge and push me as an artist, ultimately encouraging the continued growth I am always striving for.”


Fentroy said she “found her home here,” and with this promotion, she can “enjoy this home to its fullest.”

“I will forever be thankful to the Boston Ballet for sharing with me the space to grow as a dancer, choreographer, a mentor, and, most importantly, a person,” Fentroy said. “With this deepened sense of belonging, I look forward to inspiring future generations of artists from all types of social backgrounds to find their own homes within classical ballet.”

Fentroy posted the news of her promotion on Wednesday morning, ending a long note to her followers with the words, “Crying happy tears at this moment...”

Fentroy, who is from Los Angeles, began her dance training with her mother, and gained early touring experience with Joffrey Ballet Concert Group in New York City. She performed as a principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem under Virginia Johnson, and during her five-year tenure with the company, she had the opportunity to perform in Austria, Honduras, Italy, Israel, and Turkey.


At Boston Ballet, Fentroy’s repertoire includes George Balanchine’s “The Prodigal Son,” William Forsythe’s “Blake Works I,” Marius Petipa’s “The Sleeping Beauty,” Jerome Robbins’s “Interplay” and “Glass Pieces,” Mikko Nissinen’s “The Nutcracker,” and Paulo Arrais’s “ELA Rhapsody in Blue,” among others.

Fentroy was featured on the January 2015 cover of Dance Magazine as one of the “25 to Watch,” according to the Boston Ballet. In 2018, she was recognized as one of WBUR’s “ARTery 25,″ which recognizes influential artists of color in the Boston area. Her recent creative collaborations include the development of the Color Our Future Mentorship Program at Boston Ballet, a choreographic film for Boston Ballet with film company Bear Walk at the Liberty Hotel, and a limited-edition shoe design with Rothy’s.

Chyrstyn Fentroy as the Snow Queen during a dress rehearsal of the Boston Ballet's "Nutcracker" at the Boston Opera House in 2018.Jim Davis

Brittany Bowker can be reached at Follow her @brittbowker and also on Instagram @brittbowker.