Our faculty is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards in the teaching of the "American" style of ballet. This emerging style combines the best of the Russian, French, and Italian schools with a distinctive dose of American restless energy and youthful spirit. Our teachers share a common technical background and philosophy of teaching and we hope to provide each student with a full and exciting dance education in a
Artistic Director, Mary Beth Cabana
Mary Beth Cabana has been a Principal Dancer with Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Oklahoma, Arizona Dance Theatre, and San Diego Ballet. She began her professional career at the age of 14 with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and graduated from the National Academy of Dance where she was a full scholarship student and member of the National Academy Ballet. She has performed extensively in the United States and Europe performing in a wide variety of roles by such noted choreographers as Balanchine, Tudor, DeMille, Joos, Forsythe, Fokine, Petipa, and Nahat to name just a few.
Ms. Cabana has been on the faculties of the School of Cleveland Ballet, Ballet Arts-Carnegie Hall, Dance Concepts-NYC and was the Principal Instructor and Administrator for Arizona Dance Theatre (Ballet Arizona). She has guest taught for Kiev Ukraine Ballet and Palace of Pioneers in the former Soviet Union, in France and Mexico and continues to guest teach throughout the United States. In 2005 and 2006, she was invited by famed ballerina Amanda McKerrow to direct summer programs for Ballet Pacifica in Irvine, California (under the direction of Ethan Stiefel). As a choreographer, she has produced numerous original works for Ballet Tucson and has staged dances for Arizona Opera Company, Arizona Theatre Company, Yuma Ballet Theatre, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Ohio Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, Burklyn Ballet Theatre, Grand Valley State University and West Michigan Youth Ballet.
Since beginning in 1986, she has been responsible for the establishment of four professional training institutions in Southern Arizona including studios in Tucson and Nogales and branch programs in Patagonia and Sierra Vista. She has also established a 20 member professional company, two childrens performing ensembles, the Annual Summer Dance Workshop in Tucson, a Northern Arizona Dance Camp in Prescott, and International Dance/Cultural exchanges. In 2007, she was nominated for a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tucson Pima Arts Council and recognized as an Outstanding Individual Artist by the Governor of the State of Arizona. She brings her wealth of experience to dancers of all ages. Her commitment to the cultivation of young talent continues as her students dance professionally in major American ballet companies and schools.
Assistant Artistic Director, Cheiko Imada
Chieko Imada is a native of Tokyo, Japan and received her early training there. She danced professionally as a Soloist with Inoue Ballet of Tokyo and also served as Ballet Mistress. She has worked closely with many of the past and current noted professionals of classical ballet and toured Western Europe performing the standard classical ballet repertoire. She has also toured and performed in Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and the South Pacific.
Upon arrival in the United States, Ms. Imada was offered a position with Arizona Dance Theatre in Tucson under the direction of Jean Paul Comelin and danced with that company until 1986. When several companies merged (including ADT) to become Ballet Arizona in Phoenix, she continued her ballet career there.
Yearning to expand her horizons as an artist, Ms. Imada returned to Tucson and joined Ballet Arts Ensemble (now Ballet Tucson) as a Principal Dancer. She also rejoined her former colleague from ADT, Mary Beth Cabana, to help develop Arizonas foremost classical ballet training institution Ballet Arts. She was also appointed Assistant Artistic Director of Ballet Tucson.
Along with numerous professional ballet credits, she has appeared regularly with Orts Theatre of Dance and Tenth St. Danceworks modern troupes in Tucson. She has been a guest artist in residence at the University of Nebraska and Grand Valley State University.
Over the years, she has been responsible for staging many classical ballets and has also created numerous original contemporary works on Ballet Tucson, enriching the companys repertoire. A talented choreographer, Ms. Imada was nominated for the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award in 1996 and the Governors Arts Award in 1997.