Let's meet Instructors...

Artistic Director

Soo

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 studied at KNUA, 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. She also became a certified Progressing Ballet Technique in Junior, Senior, and Advanced programs instructor in 2018.
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.

Instructor

Caralin

Caralin joined Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice in 2007 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in 2009. There she danced featured roles in William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite (Other Person) and In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, George Balanchine’s Rubies (Tall Girl), A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Hippolyta), Serenade (Dark Angel) and The Four Temperaments(Second Theme). She created roles in the world premieres of Pulcinella by Jorma Elo, Matthew Neenan’s At Various Points, and Carmina Burana. Curcio also appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Black Swan.
In 2014, Caralin joined the Boston Ballet Company under the direction of Mikko Nissinen. Curcio’s repertoire with Boston Ballet includes Mikko Nissinen’s Swan Lake (Big Swans) and The Nutcracker (Arabian); George Balanchine’s Episodes (Five Pieces) and Theme and Variations (Demi Soloist); and Jerome Robbins’ The Concert (Wife). A major career highlight was dancing the role of Mudwoman, the principal part in William Forsythe’s, “Artifact” for its North American debut.

Instructor

Tara

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.

Instructor

Carly

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.

Instructor

Elena

Elena’s love for dancing started at age of 9 when she started studying ballet, character dance and jazz. By the age of 18 she graduated from one of the most prestigious dance academies in the world (Moscow Bolshoi Ballet Academy). After her graduation she moved to USA with her family and continued her career as a world class adagio performer, where her professional edge required her to master several disciplines simultaneously: dance, acrobatics and the art of illusion. She appeared on television shows, competitions and performed in more than 40 countries.
Elena is very excited to share her knowledge and love for the art of dancing with next generation of dancers.

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Instructor / Admin

Mimi

Mimi’s love of dance started at the young age of 5. She since has 15 years studio trained in the disciplines of Jazz, Tap, Modern, Lyrical, Ballet, Acro, and Hip Hop built her foundation in dance at Joanne Brown Dance Studio and Yoko’s Dance Academy. Mimi began competing at the age of ten has won numerous National Dance awards, invitations to  Scholarship Workshop: Alvin Alley and Joeffrey Ballet  She attributes her energetic styles and choreography skills to many years as the in the squad of her high school Cheer team, Fremont Ca. As an adult, Mimi continued dancing in college with Dance Department at Ohlone College. After graduated from Ohlone College with Associate Degree in Marketing and Dance. Also graduated California State University, East Bay, with Major Early Childhood Development. Teaching and working in the child care industry (Teacher, Coordinator, and Preschool Director) for 10 years between with teaching dance classes  at dance studio in the south bay and east bay starting 2008 as a side passions. Her professional credits includes Los Angeles Clippers (2008), Semi pro Dance Team Bomshells Girls and Liberty Belles, Half time show Santa Cruz Warriors,  and Mission in the Mix w in South Bay area. Has experience and taught and created Preschools Dance Program almost 10 years around the Bay Area, and young adults for 8 years.

Two new instructors information coming soon!