Ayako Takahashi Director & Founder Ayako School of Ballet
Artistic DirectorPeninsula Youth Ballet

Originally from Japan, Ayako was a principal dancer with the Tokyo City Ballet Company and the Matsuyama Ballet Company. She has studied with Sulamith Messerer, Aleksei Varlamov and Mikiko Matsuyama. View Profile

Graciela Acedo Ballet Instructor

Graciela began her training in Caracas, Venezuela where she was born and raised. She won a government scholarship to study at Boston Ballet and later was awarded another scholarship from Harkness Ball View Profile

Karina Eimon Ballet Instructor

For the past two summers, she has participated in courses in Madrid, Zurich, and Marseille, working with faculty from the Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Ballet and other notable companies. Back in 2014, sh View Profile

Shelley Keefe Ballet Instructor

Shelley trained from age 5 in the UK’s Royal Academy of Dancing curriculum and system of examinations. She went on to dance with the ballet company of Innsbruck’s State Theater, Austria, Nuernberg View Profile

Rachel Kuczynski Contemporary and Acro Instructor

Rachel Kuczynski grew up in Northern California and started her training as a competitive gymnast and track athlete, earning statewide awards in both disciplines. She extensively studied Ballet, Jazz, View Profile

Maria LaMance Master Instructor – Modern and Ballet

A Bay Area native, Maria LaMance received her classical ballet training at the San Francisco Ballet School. As a dance major at San Francisco State University, she broadened her training in Modern Dan View Profile

Christina Lowery Modern Dance Instructor

Christina Lowery is a professional dancer and circus performer living in the Bay Area, California.  After receiving a B.A. in Choreography and Directing from Bennington College she trained in Mongoli View Profile

Rika Nina Onizuka Ballet Instructor

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 stud View Profile

Mariko Takahashi Co-owner and Choreographer

Mariko “Mari” Takahashi is a proud alumna of Ayako School of Ballet. She is currently a professional free-lance performing artist, choreographer and dance instructor. Having been contracted as a p View Profile

Guest Teachers


  • Laura Alonso
  • Yuko Katsumi
  • Alexey Kulpin
  • Le Mai Linh
  • Joseph Levinson
  • Lara Lowe
  • Mariko Miyauchi
  • Jared Redick
  • Pollyana Ribeiro
  • Robert Sund
  • Mikhail Tchoupakov
  • Regina Zarhina
  • George de la Pena
  • Yuka Omori
  • Mario Vitale Labrador
  • Hansuke Yamamoto