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.