A native of the Bay Area, Rika Nina Onizuka trained locally with Ayako Takahashi, Richard Gibson and Zory Karah. She then went on to study at the San Francisco Ballet School, and as a scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet School and David Howard Dance Center in New York. As a founding member of Smuin Ballets SF, Ms. Onizuka danced many leading roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Miranda in The Tempest, Shinju, and many other roles created for her by Michael Smuin. Ms. Onizuka most recently danced with Ballet San Jose where she enjoyed leading roles in the Nutcracker, Who Cares?, Death and Eros, and Appalachian Spring. She also danced with the Joffrey Ballet, Ohio Ballet, and San Francisco Opera, and worked with such choreographers as Alonzo King, Donald Byrd, Laura Dean, and Donald Mckayle. She appeared in the nationally televised “Ira Gershwin at 100” at Carnegie Hall and appeared in feature films such as The Fantastiks and The Matrix Revolutions. After her ballet career, Ms. Onizuka attended Stanford University where she earned her undergraduate degree in human biology and master’s degree in Psychology. Ms. Onizuka has taught ballet throughout the Bay Area, including Western Ballet, Ballet San Jose School, and Stanford University.