Yi was born in ChongQing China, and studied at the Beijing Dance Academy (Vaganava curriculum) in Beijing, China. While there, he received full scholarships every year for seven years and graduated with Honors . He was awarded a gold medal in the Junior Ballet Group of the Fifth National Juvenile “Tao Li Cup” Dance Competition in 1997, Junior Finalist at the Paris International Ballet competition in France in 2000, and Third Prize (Bronze Medal) in the Senior Division (age 20-25) at International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland in 2001.
Yi danced with Tulsa Ballet for six years as a Principal member of the company. Prior to dancing with Tulsa Ballet he was First Soloist and Principal with Zurich Ballet in Switzerland and Universal Ballet in South Korea. During his 13 year performing career, Yi has performed principal roles in works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Marcello Angelini, Ben Stevenson ,Twyla Tharp, Hans van Manen , Kenneth MacMillan , Ma Cong, Heinz Spoerli, and others. Yi has been invited to the Final Gala of the Youth American Grand Prix in New York City as the Guest of Honor, and the Denver International World Star Performance to give a Guest Star Performance.
In 2012 Yi retired from performing and began teaching. He returned to China to work with ChongQing Ballet as a Guest Ballet Master/Choreographer for a year. While there, he created his first full length ballet Finding Shangri-La. He developed his own ballet workshop in ChongQing with more than 150 students, and also worked with the Chinese Dancers Association to create educational programs for children’s dance. Yi has been invited to provide instruction for dance teacher training throughout China and has trained over three hundred teachers in the past three years.
In 2016, Yi returned to Tulsa Ballet to join the Center for Dance Education as a faculty member and is excited to start his new career.