Acclaimed during a twenty-four-year performing career at New York City Ballet for the incomparable skill and artistry of his partnering technique and for his versatility as a performer in both traditional and contemporary neoclassical ballets, Jock Soto has been a faculty member at the School of American Ballet since 1996, where he teaches partnering, male technique, and classical variations classes to pre-professional, intermediate, and advanced students.
At the age of five, he began studying ballet with local teachers after seeing a television special featuring Edward Villella in the “Rubies” section of George Balanchine’s Jewels. Beginning in 1977 Soto continued his studies at SAB, where he danced the role of “Luke” in Peter Martins's The Magic Flute, which was choreographed for the 1981 Workshop Performances. That year he became a member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet. In June 1984, he was promoted to the rank of Soloist, and one year later he was named Principal. He retired from performing in June 2005. Soto’s extensive repertory at New York City Ballet included principal roles in numerous works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Peter Martins. He also inspired the creation of roles in many new ballets, including Peter Martins’s A Schubertiad (1984), Ecstatic Orange (1987), Fearful Symmetries (1990), Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements) (1993), Sinfonia (1993), and Morgen (2001); Christopher Wheeldon’s Slavonic Dances (1997), Mercurial Manoeuvres (2000), Polyphonia (2001), Morphoses (2002), Liturgy (2003), Shambards (2004), and After The Rain (2005); and Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Chiaroscuro (1994).