Faculty & Staff

Peggy Peabody - Artistic Director & Founder

Peggy PeabodyFounder and Artistic DirectorBallet Petit’s Artistic Director, Peggy Peabody, has been involved with ballet for most of her life. At the age of seven,she chose to focus on classical ballet under the watchful eye of her first teacher, Tricia Kaye. Peggy added to her performance experiences at the Regional Festivals of Dance, Lido Ballet School Productions, and the Oakland Metropolitan Ballet productions, such as The Nutcracker.

 

These experiences led to many special honors, including dancing the lead role of Clara in OMBC’s 10th Anniversary Nutcracker in 1970. In 1972, Violette Verdy ( 1933 - 2016 ) of the New York City Ballet granted Peggy the prestigious Ford Foundation Scholarship. Two years later, Peggy began studying at the San Francisco Ballet School year ‘round. As a high school senior in 1977, she began teaching ballet to preschool children two days a week.

 

In 1983, Peggy opened her first ballet school in Newark, with 24 students. Over the early years, Ballet Petit moved between Fremont and Newark, landing in Hayward in 2003. In 2013, Peggy was able to acquire her dream space, a permanent home for Ballet Petit, its current 15,000 square foot space in Hayward. This space is truly a model facility, designed to respect the work of dancers while bringing parents and families in to share the experience. Ballet Petit’s boasts an annual enrollment of classical ballet students over 250. Ballet Petit is honored to host the Oakland Ballet Boot Camp each July, a three-week Summer Intensive program for young dancers.

 

Peggy’s philosophy is simple, that ballet is an art form for everyone to access and appreciate. Ballet Petit’s foundation and culture are firmly based on this belief. Ballet Petit has survived pressures to turn ballet into sport through dance competition. Peggy has enjoyed 39 years of producing The Nutcracker. As the longest running Nutcracker in the East Bay, dancers and audiences alike have had the opportunity to enjoy this heartwarming holiday ballet written for children- and at Ballet Petit- performed by children who have been trained to appreciate the art of classical ballet.

 

Peggy earned a Liberal Arts degree from Holy Names University and her elementary school teaching credential from Cal State Hayward. In addition to managing Ballet Petit, Peggy taught elementary school in Hayward Unified School District until 2017, when she retired. In 2008, The Alameda County Board of Supervisors and The Alameda County Commission on the Status of Women honored “Miss Peggy” with the prestigious “Women’s Hall of Fame” award for Culture and Art. Peggy is also a cancer survivor / warrior.

 

Committed to lifelong learning, Peggy continues to develop as a teacher and as a dancer. Every few years, Peggy accompanies elite Ballet Petit student dancers to Copenhagen, Denmark to the Royal Danish Ballet Summer School, formerly known as the Bartholin International Ballet Seminar. There in the Royal Theatre, she trains alongside her students and other dancers from around the world, focusing particularly on Bournonville technique and tradition. In addition to her ballet teaching schedule, you can find Peggy in local studios, still training in several ballet classes each week. She is honored to work with various premier ballet teachers throughout the Bay Area in her commitment to continued learning and growth.

misspeggy@balletpetit.com

Darlene Spinardi Brower - Asssitant Artistic Director

Darlene is the assistant artistic director of Ballet Petit. She has been teaching at Ballet Petit since 1987, and teaches students at all levels - from three-year old Twinkle Toes to advanced pre-professional dancers. Just about everyone at Ballet Petit has taken a class from Darlene.

In addition to assisting in the many ballet performances at Ballet Petit, such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Coppelia, and Sleeping Beauty, Darlene is also credited with the choreography of several original ballets for Ballet Petit's Junior Company. Teaching at Ballet Petit is a dream come true for Darlene because she can share her passion and love of ballet with her students.

Darlene has been dancing herself since she was three years old, and she and Peggy danced together as children at the Oakland Metropolitan Ballet. Darlene has toured with Ballet Celeste and studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She has studied under many renowned ballet instructors, including Ronn Guidi, Vern Nerden, Suzanne Gibson, Richard Gibson, and Ann Bena.

Joy Gim

Having achieved artistic success in the world of ballet, dancer Joy Gim brings her expertise and joy of dance to aspiring ballet dancers throughout the Bay Area, including right here at Ballet Petit.

 

As a principle dancer of the Oakland Ballet for 18 years, Ms. Gim danced many lead roles including Myrtha in Giselle; the Other Woman in Jardin Aux Lilas; the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow and Rose Queens, and Arabian Coffee in The Nutcracker; Zobeide in Scheherazade; the Glove Seller in Gaite Parisienne; and the lead dancer in Nijinska's Bolero. Her other famed moments include appearing as spokesperson for the Oakland Ballet on KTVU Fox Two - Mornings on Two, profiling on ABC 7 - KGO TV's Profiles of Excellence, and modeling for San Francisco Focus Magazine.

Following her retirement from the professional scene in 1998, Ms. Gim has taught many master ballet classes for studios throughout the Bay Area, including Oakland Ballet Academy, Marin Peninsula Ballet, Lamorinda Ballet Center, Vallejo Ballet Conservatory, Shawl/Anderson Dance Center, and most recently, Ballet Petit. She also teaches private lessons and on special request, coaches dancers for specific roles.

Sharon Yap

Sharon started dancing at the Phil-Am Ballet School in the Philippines when she was just five years old. When she was nine, her family re-located to the San Francisco Bay Area and later enrolled her at the Santa Clara Ballet School. There, she was trained by Josefa Villanueva and the late Benjamin Reyes, both formerly of the San Francisco Ballet. While at the Santa Clara Ballet School, Sharon danced a variety of roles in productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Scuola di Balleto, and Peter and the Wolf.

 

In high school, Sharon broadened her stage experience by performing with the James Logan Dance Ensemble, and taking part in the school's theater programs, which included such productions as West Side Story and A Chorus Line. In addition, Sharon danced one season with the Santa Clara Vanguard and performed in their rendition of “Miss Saigon”. In 2013, Sharon began to work with the Five-time Open Class Champion, Blue Devils “B” Drum Corps, as their color guard movement instructor. In addition, she is also a certified BarWorks® instructor.

Aside from teaching at Ballet Petit, Sharon is the Director of Montessori School of Fremont: Children's House and works as a specialist, consulting for start-up Montessori International Schools in the SEA region. Sharon has been teaching at Ballet Petit since 1996

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