Ballet & Stretch
Ms. Ikuko (Iku) was born in Kyoto, Japan. She began her dance training at the age of 9 in modern dance and a year later in classical ballet at the Kyoto Ballet Academy (KBA). At the age of 13, she began performing with the Academy and at 15 traveled overseas for the first time, performing with KBA in three cities in France. Iku graduated from KBA in 1991. That same year, she also completed her university degree in English Literature at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto, and received certification to be an English teacher in Japan. Upon graduation, Iku began teaching both ballet and English at KBA.
In 1992, Iku went abroad to study at the Royal Ballet School in London, completing the Teacher’s Training Course in 1993. She then opened her own studio in Kyoto, Japan in 1994. For the next 15 years, Iku built up her studio, teaching almost all of the classes and coordinating all of the performances. She worked closely with individual students, preparing them for dance competitions and auditions for ballet schools and companies, both in Japan and abroad.
In Japan, Iku danced principal roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, and many other ballets from the classical repertoire. She also performed modern pieces and danced in contemporary productions with several modern companies in Japan. In addition to performing, Iku produced and choreographed full productions and “digests” of individual pieces from classical ballets.
In 2008, Iku received her green card through her marriage and moved to the U.S where she taught at ballet studios in Idaho and Arizona. In December 2016, Iku and her family relocated to Colorado Springs. She continues to teach dance at every opportunity. Her greatest joy is to work with students, helping them acquire a solid dance foundation and a true love of the beautiful art form of classical ballet.