Meet The Makers

An innovative collective of like-minded folks making useful and
enduring technology products


Artistic Director

Soo started her formal training at the renowned private institute, SUNHWA Art School in Korea, which is known for accepting high achieving students that pass a rigorous entrance exam. Soo was taught and trained intensively on the principles of the Russian Vaganova methodology. As a young dancer, Soo was selected by the Universal Ballet Company for role of ‘Clara’ in The Nutcracker and traveled with the company to perform around Korea. In 1994, Soo came to the U.S. and had the privilege of being trained by Yelena Vinogradova, the Artistic Director at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C., where she continued her training. Soo attended the Korea National University of Art, where she majored in dance choreography. She trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, and Korean dance. She expanded her ballet career as one of the KNUA ballet members and performed with them.

Upon arriving in the U.S. in 2002, Soo entered the University of California, Berkeley, and received her B.A. in Environmental Economics and Dance. Soo’s post university experience included performing at the SF Ethnic Dance Festival and teaching Korean dance at Claire Lilienthal School in SF.  Her passion for ballet and teaching inspired her to establish her own dance studio, SOO DANCE COMPANY & ACADEMY, in 2012, located in Danville, CA.

S.D.C has presented full length productions of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, and Don Quixote. In just a few short years, S.D.A has earned a strong reputation in the Bay Area and is proud to have placed many of its students into the renowned Kirov Academy, Stanford University, and NYU: Tisch Performing Arts.

The S.D. Competition team consistently places in the Top 5 at The International Dance Challenge, Spotlight National Dance Cup, EnerGy National, StarBound National, California Dance Classics, Showbiz, and YAGP competitions. Soo received the “Director Award” at Spotlight National Dance Cup in 2019.

In 2015 the studio relocated to a larger, more modern 5,000 square ft custom dance facility located in Blackhawk Plaza in Danville.

In 2018, Soo Dance Academy opened a second location in San Ramon.


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Tara has been dancing for over 20 years and is trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Ballroom and Acrobatics. She continued her training in college and graduated, receiving a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography at the University of Southern Mississippi. While at Southern Miss, she performed in The Repertory Dance Company and choreographed multiple pieces for the company. Tara has participated in the American College Dance Festival Association during her undergrad and was a volunteer for Mississippi Festival of the Arts. After graduating from college, Tara moved to Fort Walton Beach, Florida where she continued to train in Theatre Arts. While in Florida, she received training from dancers such as Tony Dovolani and also performed in shows with Sharna Burgess, Lacey Schwimmer, Mark Ballas and Maksim Chermerkovskiy, all former champions on ABC’S hit reality competition show, Dancing with the Stars. Tara has competed professionally all over America as a Professional Theatre Arts Show Dancer.

Currently, Tara is an active member as one of the head choreographers for Soo Dance Academy’s Competition Team. She trains and choreographs solos and group routines for competitions in the Bay Area. She believes that her passion for dance is what makes her teaching techniques and choreography strong and successful. Tara believes that a memorable dance instructor is one that has a clear vision and evident artistry. She likes to inspire her students in her classes while striving for her students to find their own unique voice. Tara performs professionally with her husband at events and shows all over the San Francisco Bay Area.


Head of Development

Originally from Danville, Carly Buchta began dancing at the age of two. She trained and competed for Yoko’s, Contra Costa Ballet, and Dance Fusion. In high school she choreographed extensively for the dance program and was given the Sarah Edgren Memorial scholarship for most inspirational senior dancer. Carly has been a professional dancer for 13 years. She was an NBA dancer for 6 years and traveled the world performing for the troops in Iraq and Kuwait. She also appeared as a guest judge on China’s reality show “NBA Dance Passion”, which broadcasted live to millions of homes. While dancing for the NBA she was selected as the cover model for two inaugural dance team calendars. She is currently performing all over the United States with Hip Entertainment and Ronnie Reddick’s La Femme Panache. Although she loves performing, she enjoys teaching most of all. Carly has been a dance instructor at Soo Dance Academy for 5 years.  She is trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Hip-hop, Musical Theatre, Pilates, Yoga, and Fitness. She loves to choreograph and is passionate about inspiring, encouraging, and building confidence in all of her students.

We’re always looking for talent

Got what it takes to work with us? Great! Send us a link to your resumé or portfolio to become part of our talent pool.