Derek Sakakura is teaching Monday 4:15 p.m. Boys Ballet and 7:30 p.m. Contemporary.
A Bay Area native, Derek Sakakura has trained with some of the area’s legendary teachers, including: Lareen Fender, Sally Streets, Richard Cammack, Sandra Chinn, as well as the faculty of San Francisco Ballet School and “Lines” - SF Dance Center. At 16, his training continued at the prestigious Houston Ballet Academy; he has since enjoyed a 20 yr career on the stage as a principal ballet danseur and has spent the past decade refining his teaching methods to prepare his students for their individual goals in dance, whether they are to train to become a professional dancer, to learn and enjoy the performing arts, or to just enjoy dance and its element of camaraderie. The main goal is always to discover what dance means to the student.
Mr. Sakakura’s professional credit includes: “The King and I” Broadway National Tour; The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago (company member); Ballet Austin (soloist); Ballet Met (principal danseur); Bernardo in Woodminster’s “West Side Story;” Taro in Maui’s “Ulalena;” and Diablo Ballet (principal danseur); Rescuer (film actor) in “Hereafter;” and numerous other projects that represent his diverse and extensive performance background.
Although Mr. Sakakura officially retired from performing in 2016, he has gone on to study ballroom, contact improvisation, and fusion dance styles to expand his understanding of the core principles of being a skilled and healthy dancer.
The quote that has become Derek’s teaching mantra is: “Become the teacher you always wish you had.”
Lee Ann Payne is teaching Wednesday 6:15 p.m. Musical theater and Wednesday 7:30 p.m. Tap.
Robbie Button is teaching Monday 7:30 p.m. Hip Hop.