We are creating something beautiful together!

Dear parents, students and friends of Northwest Studio for Ballet and Kingsburg Ballet,

I’m writing with exiting news – something I’ve dreamed about and worked toward since starting Northwest Studio for Ballet and Kingsburg Ballet. Today, I can share that our ballet studios have been designated as an “Official School of State Street Ballet.” I’m honored to have qualified for this status with State Street Ballet (SSB), which, as many of you know, is a professional ballet company in Santa Barbara, under the direction of Rodney Gustafson.

Rodney and I have worked together for 15 years and, in that time, our students have shared the stage with the professional dances from State Street. Our student ballet company, Fresno Ballet Theatre, sponsored by Valley Performing Arts Council, has gained extensive experience and knowledge by collaborating with SSB dancers and their artistic staff. Working with performing arts professionals is an eye-opening experience for ballet students, and SSB has frequently provided guest teachers, choreographers and guest dancers for Northwest Studio – ensuring that our dancers already feel connected to the company.

My goal since coming to the Central Valley from Tokyo has been to provide students with the whole ballet experience, and that includes an affiliation with a professional ballet company. This was my experience in Tokyo, and something I’ve dreamed of for our students!

Valley Performing Arts Council will also be affiliated with State Street Ballet, and we’ll be working hard, together, to build a stronger classical ballet base in the Valley.

I hope with this direct encouragement and support from SSB we’ll continue to grow and will become the training ground to send a new generation of dancers into our professional company, the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara.

Yukari Thiesen