The San Francisco Academy of Ballet Welcomes You!

The Academy of Ballet offers training both for the student preparing for a professional career and those who are studying ballet for its many other benefits. All classes are carefully graded both for age and technical level and each student is given the individual attention so necessary for his or her progress.

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Professional Program

Those aspiring to a professional career are provided a full curriculum. Included are technique class, pointe, classical variations, pas de deux and special men’s classes. The professional program also includes rehearsals and coaching for performances with Chamberdance.

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New Beginning Adult Classes Start July 5th!

Our New Beginning Adult Class is an entrée into the world of Classical Ballet in a supportive environment, targeted for those that have had no ballet training.  This session is first-come, first-serve, and fill up fast, so be sure to register soon!

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Young Childrens Classes

From Pre-Ballet, up, children may begin their training at the Academy of Ballet from four to six years of age.

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Ballet for Adults?!?

Yes! We provide a full span of adult classes (from New Beginning Adult to Adult VI) with an emphasis on toning, strengthening, stretching and loosening the body using classical ballet to achieve these goals.

Learn more!

The Academy of Ballet offers training both for the student preparing for a professional career and those who are studying ballet for its many other benefits. All classes are carefully graded both for age and technical level and each student is given the individual attention so necessary for his or her progress.

Children are accepted into Pre-Ballet from age four to six. Emphasis in these classes is on musicality, creativity, coordination and building a love of dance,preparing the child well for the time when he or she is physically and mentally at the age to begin formal training. Children may begin their ballet training at the age of seven years. In these classes emphasis is placed on posture, correct body alignment, strengthening of feet, legs, stomach and back. Never forgetting that ballet is an art, an expression of grace and movement. Learn more about our classes for young children. 
For those aspiring to a professional career a full curriculum is provided. Included is a technique class,pointe, classical variations, pas de deux and special men’s classes. The professional program also includes rehearsals and coaching for performances with Chamberdance. Chamberdance is a non-profit performing company created to give selected students performing experience in professionally produced seasons through out the year. Students trained by our faculty have gone on to careers with: New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Nederlands Dance Theater, Paul Taylor Company, Houston Ballet, Ballet West, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and others. Learn more about our Professional Track. 
There is also a program designed to meet the special needs of the adult student. Emphasis here is on toning, strengthening, stretching and loosening the body using classical ballet to achieve these goals. Along with improving one’s physique, the adult student becomes acquainted with and part of a great art form. Learn more about our Adult Classes.

Faculty

Zory Karah, Director
Zory Karah received his early training at the school of the Israeli Classical Ballet and the Bat Dor Studios in his native Israel. He subsequently performed with the Israeli National Ballet. After leaving Israel, he was invited to the United states by Richard Gibson to further his training. He also studied with Raymond Franchetti in Paris, Maryon Lane In London, and Rosella Hightower in Cannes. Since coming to the United States, Mr. Karah has toured the country with Dance Express and performed as a guest artist with several American companies.
After retiring from the stage, Mr. Karah began teaching for the University of California and Carmel Hidden Valley Music Seminars. He served as a company teacher for the Smuin Ballet and taught for School of the Arts in San Francisco. Mr. Karah’s international teaching has included assignments in Israel, Argentina, Hungary and The Netherlands, as well as coaching and training in preparation for the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland.
He presently directs the Academy of Ballet, which he co-founded with Richard Gibson, and its performing company, Chamberdance.
Mary Ellen Hunt
Mary Ellen began her training under Richard Thomas and Barbara Fallis at the New York School of Ballet continuing her training in the Master of Fine Arts program at University of Arizona, Tucson under John Wilson and George Zoritch. She has performed principal roles with Chamberdance and presently holds the position of ballet mistress-rehearsal director with Chamberdance and a member of the board. A keen observer of, as well participant in the dance community, Mary Ellen’s articles have featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, In Dance and San Francisco Magazine and her reviews have appeared in the Contra Costa Times, the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Richard Gibson, Co-Founder

Richard is a former member of the Joffrey Ballet and the San Francisco Ballet. He began his teaching career in 1964 and, through the many professional dancers he has produced, he has built an international reputation as one of the most highly respected ballet masters in the United States.

His experience includes the directorship of the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the position of Ballet Master, company teacher for Nederlands Dans Theatre. He later became company teacher for the Joffrey Ballet and principal teacher for the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. He held the position of company instructor for the San Francisco Ballet for six years. As a guest teacher, Mr. Gibson has worked with the Stuttgart Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Scapino Ballet, Hungarian National Ballet, Irish National Ballet, Deutsche Oper Berlin, National Ballet of Canada, Frankfurt Opera Ballet, Aterballetto, Eliot Feld Ballet, North Carolina School of the arts and both the Bat Sheva and Bat Dor dance companies of Israel.

Past Guest Faculty Included

Joanna Berman, Donn Edwards, Pascal Leroy, Carmela Zegorelli, Zoltan Peter, Julia Adam, Kristine Elliott

Elizabeth Gravelle, Instructor
Elizabeth is a graduate of the National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada. Upon graduation, she joined the National Ballet of Canada where she performed a large repertoire of both classical and contemporary ballets. From the National Ballet, she went on to perform with the Hong- Kong Ballet, Israeli Classical Ballet, and ODC/San Francisco. Elizabeth has been a performer for young audiences and an Artist-in-Residence for LEAP. She has taught ballet and creative dance movement for the Haifa Piccolo Ballet, Golden Gate Ballet, and at Lone Mountain College.

Schedule of Classes

MonTueWedThuFriSat
10:00 am
11:30 am
12:00 pm
12:30 pm
1:00 pm
1:30 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
6:30 pm
7:30 pm
8:00 pm

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Students trained by our faculty have gone on to careers with:

New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Nederlands Dance Theater, Paul Taylor Company, Houston Ballet, Ballet West, Stuttgart Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and others.

Oscar Trujillo | Michael Vester Joshua Trader

Oscar Trujillo — Capacitor, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company Michael Vester — Ohio Ballet, Sacramento Ballet Joshua Trader — Eugene Ballet, Tulsa Ballet

Sarah Blodgett

Ballet West, Connecticut Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, West Side Story International Tour and various musical and theater productions

Beau Pearson Hannah Gelfond

Beau Pearson — Ballet West Hannah Gelfond — Carolina Ballet

Beau Pearson | Hannah Gelfond Aidan DeYoung | Silas Campos Connolly Strombeck | Sarah Blodgett

Beau Pearson — Ballet West Hannah Gelfond — Carolina Ballet Aidan DeYoung — Ballet West, Smuin Ballet, Post:Ballet, Broadway By the Bay Silas Campos — Tulsa Ballet, Ballet West Connolly Strombeck — Company C Contemporary Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theater Sarah Blodgett — Ballet West, Connecticut Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, et al

Jung-min Hong Joshua Trader

Jung-min Hong — National Ballet of Korea, Alberta Ballet
Joshua Trader — Eugene Ballet, Tulsa Ballet

Ethan Watts | Connolly Strombeck

Ethan Watts — National Ballet of Canada
Connolly Strombeck — Company C Contemporary Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theater

Beau Pearson Silas Campos

Beau Pearson — Ballet West Silas Campos — Tulsa Ballet, Ballet West

Melisande Amos

Sacramento Ballet

Connie An

Oakland Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theater

Brendan Barthel

Robert Moses Kin

Sarah Blodgett

Ballet West, Connecticut Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, West Side Story International Tour and various musical and theater productions

Silas Campos

Tulsa Ballet, Ballet West

Roberto Cisneros

Smuin Ballet, Ballet Met

Michelle de Fremery

Michelle de Fremery- New Jersey Ballet, Numbus Dance Works, American Repertory Ballet

Aidan DeYoung

Ballet West, Smuin Ballet, Post:Ballet, Broadway By the Bay

Have a look at Aidan’s  profile at Post:Ballet.

Sarah Esser

Era Dance, dancer and director

Ryland Early

Ballet West II, Boston Ballet II, Ballet Idaho, Ballet Arizona

Pedro Gamino

See Pedro’s profile at the Atlanta Ballet.

Hannah Gelfond

Carolina Ballet

James Gotesky

Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet

Have a look at James’ profile at the Houston Ballet.

Jung-min Hong

National Ballet of Korea, Alberta Ballet

Krista Kastner

Pittsburg Ballet, Smuin Ballet, San Francisco Opera, Dresden Ballet

Megan Kurashige

Liss Fain Dance

Edgar Lepe

Have a look at Edgar’s profile at Bay Pointe.

Naomi Martisius

Smuin Ballet

Carlos Narvaez-Duran

Peninsula Ballet Theater, Bay Pointe Ballet

Have a look at Carlos’ profile at Bay Pointe.

Rika Onizuka

Smuin Ballet, Ohio Ballet, San Jose Ballet

Kaleena Opdyke

Ballet San Jose

Erin Parsley

Chicago Ballet

Beau Pearson

Have a look at Beau’s profile at Ballet West.

Benoit Piernot

David Taylor Dance Company

Samuel Pott

Martha GrahamDance Company, American Repertory Ballet, Oakland Ballet, director of Nimbus Dance Works

Buddy Rekoert-Valdez

Luna Negra Dance Theater, Riedel Dance Theater, ennifer Muller/The Works, and ZviDance

Tracy Redman

Bat Dor Dance Company

Shawn Rouse

Bat Dor Dance Company

Noe Serrano

Ballet Puerto Rico, Oakland Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, San Francisco Opera

Oliver Shock

Boulder Ballet, David Taylor Dance Company

Aaron Simunovich

Oakland Ballet, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Dance Theater

Colin Stilwell

Metropolitan Opera, Doug Verone and Dancers

Connolly Strombeck

Company C Contemporary Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theater

Joshua Trader

Eugene Ballet, Tulsa Ballet

Oscar Trujillo

Capacitor, Margret Jenkins Dance Company

Michael Vester

Ohio Ballet, Sacramento Ballet

Ethan Watts

Ethan recently represented the National Ballet of Canada in the Erik Bruhn Competition.  Have a look at Ethan’s profile at the National Ballet of Canada.

Academy of Ballet Street View

Academy of Ballet

2121 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94114 415.552.1166