Philip Neal began his dance training at age 11 at the School of Richmond Ballet, where he was recognized by Edward Villella and offered a summer scholarship to the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. In 1985, Neal won a silver medal in the International Prix de Lausanne ballet competition. In addition to his training in New York and Richmond, Philip Neal studied at the Royal Danish Ballet School in Copenhagen, Denmark. Neal joined New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in 1987. In the spring of 1991, he was promoted to the rank of soloist, and was promoted to the rank of principal dancer during the 1992-1993 Season.
Neal was privileged during his career to have performed in George Balanchine's finest works, including Allegro Brillante, Apollo, Chaconne, The Nutcracker, Diamonds from Jewels, Divertimento No. 15, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mozartiana, Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Swan Lake, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2, Western Symphony, and Who Cares? Neal was featured in Jerome Robbins' Brandenburg, Dances at a Gathering, The Four Seasons, Glass Pieces, The Goldberg Variations, I'm Old Fashioned, and In G Major. Other choreographic works he has performed are Jerome Robbins' and Twyla Tharp's Brahms/Handel; Peter Martins' Fearful Symmetries, Les Gentilhommes, The Sleeping Beauty (Prince Désiré), Songs of the Auvergne, and The Waltz Project; Ulysses Dove's Red Angels; Boris Eifman's Musagéte; and Richard Tanner's Ancient Airs and Dances.
In 2002, Neal appeared in the nationally televised Live From Lincoln Center broadcast "New York City Ballet's Diamond Project: Ten Years of New Choreography" on PBS. In 2004 he appeared in the Live From Lincoln Center broadcast of "Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100." Neal performed as a guest performer with the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the famed Maryinsky Theater, as well as with the Paris Opera Ballet at the Garnier Palace.
After a 23-year tenure with New York City Ballet, 17 years as a Principal Dancer, Philip Neal currently is a Repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust and the Jerome Robbins Rights Trust. He has also successfully embarked on choreographic ventures, having been commissioned to craft five original works for Richmond Ballet and invited to participate in the New York Choreographic Institute. Neal is a guest instructor for numerous international dance companies and schools, including Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and the School of American Ballet. In addition, from 2010-2013, Neal directed developmental efforts, fundraising of major gifts, Board Trustee recruitment and special events in Palm Beach County on behalf of Miami City Ballet.
Philip Neal is currently the Artistic Director and Dance Department Chair of Next Generation Ballet at Patel Conservatory.