Nicole began dancing at the age of four at Happy Times Nursery School. She received all of her training during her elementary and teen years from Peggy Peabody and Darlene Brower at Ballet Petit. Nicole attended San Francisco Ballet School's summer program and was accepted into their year round school, but decided to remain at Ballet Petit. She attended Boston Ballet School's Summer Program and studied with Sally Streets at Berkeley Ballet Theater.
Nicole received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from San Jose State University in 2002. During this time she performed with the modern dance company, UDT, under the direction of Gary Masters of the Limon Company; and the musical theater company, Company One, at SJSU. At graduation from SJSU, Nicole was awarded Outstanding Senior and was asked to perform her senior solo at the School of Music and Dance graduation ceremony.
She has appeared in opening acts for several performers in the Bay Area, such as Pink, Mya, 98 Degrees and Nina Skye. She has also been in various trade shows for companies such as Mervyns and Redken, and performed as Velma in the Scooby Doo Show at Paramount's Great America.
Nicole lives in the Bay Area with her husband Rob and two daughters, Eloisa and Cassidy. The most exciting thing now is watching Eloisa start her journey at Ballet Petit!
Patience Gordon has been dancing since she could walk! At age 4, she began her ballet training at Ballet Petit. She went on to perform many lead roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Nikiya in La Bayadere, and Myrtha in Giselle. Her passion for dance was truly realized when she accompanied Miss Peggy to the Bartholin International Ballet Seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark the summer of 2012.
In the last several years, Patience has performed with Oakland Ballet Company, Menlowe Ballet, Zion Dance Project, Anastasis Ballet, and is a founding and current member of Em(body) Dance Project.
Patience is incredibly grateful for the opportunities she's had since joining Ballet Petit's staff, such as re-staging several ballets for Junior Company including an original production of Peter and the Wolf. She hopes to continue teaching, choreographing and dancing for years to come.
Leah Dorman began her ballet training at Ballet Petit at the age of four. Since then she has been in over 30 productions by Ballet Petit; some of her favorite roles include the Wolf in Peter and the Wolf, Rat Queen in The Nutcracker, and both Stepsister and Stepmother in Cinderella. As a teenager she began taking contemporary and jazz dance classes at Ohlone College to expand her repertoire while continuing to study at Ballet Petit. As a Jr. Company dancer and later a teacher, she choreographed for multiple Ballet Petit productions including Shall We Dance, Elements, A Tribute to Youth, Seasons, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, and Carnival of the Animals.
Leah has been teaching at Ballet Petit in various roles since she was 14, starting as Miss Darlene's Twinkle Toes assistant and later becoming a substitute teacher for beginning and intermediate classes. At 17 she began to teach her own classes and fell in love with working with the talented and focused young dancers at Ballet Petit. Following a brief hiatus to study developmental biology at UCLA, she returned to the bay area in 2015 and quickly seized the opportunity to teach ballet once again. When not dancing, Leah can be found in lab at UCSF pursuing her Ph.D. in neuroscience.
Miss Emily began her ballet journey at the age of three, taking ballet classes through the City of Fremont. Emily found her home at Ballet Petit in 2010 at the age of 7, since then, Emily has performed in 23 wonderful Ballet Petit productions. Emily enjoyed having the opportunity to portray many characters during her time at Ballet Petit, some of her favorites to perform have been, Lollipop Princess, Licorice Princess, Rat Queen (Nutcracker), Lilac Corps (Sleeping Beauty), Duck (Peter & the Wolf), and playing a student in Ballet Petits original production Shall We Dance.
As a Ballet Petit student and teacher Emily has helped develop choreography for Ballet Petit Productions such as The Nutcracker, Peter & the Wolf, and Once Upon a Night.
Emily has had the pleasure of attending the Oakland Ballet Company Summer Intensive multiple times as well as performing multiple student roles in Graham Lustig's The Nutcracker.
Dancing has always been one of Emily’s passions, she is delighted to be able to teach and inspire a love of dance in her own students as she assumes this new role at Ballet Petit. When she's not teaching or taking class herself you can find Emily at California State University East Bay where she is majoring in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Teacher Preparation.
Emma began dancing at four years old at the Holly Community Center in Union City. At around seven years of age, Emma came to Ballet Petit to study cIassical ballet more seriously. Over the years, her ballet teachers nurtured her skills and challenged her to be the best dancer she could be, which in turn, helped her develop a persevering work ethic that serves her to this day. While at Ballet Petit, she danced the roles of Clara and Sugarplum Fairy from The Nutcracker, and the title role of Cinderella. She also participated in Oakland Ballet's Nutcracker production as a Gingersnap on several occasions. Outside of the studio, Emma was a competitive figure skater and her biggest skating achievement was a national title at fourteen years old. In college, Emma continued to take ballet classes while she was a student at UC Berkeley, then at Bay Pointe Ballet as a working professional. Although Emma achieved senior leadership roles at a biotech companies, she still finds fulfillment in teaching and sharing her love of ballet with others.
Diana started dancing at three years old, taking classes once a week at her preschool. Eventually, in first grade, she found her second home at Ballet Petit. She has spent the last 11 years training here, graduating in the Spring of 2021.
During Diana’s time at Ballet Petit, she had the amazing opportunity to attend various summer intensive programs, such as Bolshoi Ballet, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, The Rock School of Dance Education, and The Royal Danish Ballet Summer School. Over the years, she enjoyed embodying new characters for Nutcracker and the Spring shows, some of her favorites being Clara, the Sugarplum Fairy, Swanhilda (while it lasted due to the pandemic), and Fairy of the Golden Vine.
She taught for a short period in 2019 and is very excited to return in Fall 2021. While she wishes she could spend all her time dancing and sharing her love for ballet with others, Diana is attending UC Berkeley studying as a political science major.
Karina Siu began training with Ballet Petit at age 8, and vividly remembers being excited to get two stamps from Miss Darlene after staying for two classes. During 11 wonderful years at Ballet Petit, Karina was honored to perform many roles in the Nutcracker and Spring Performances, with Clara, Dew Fairy, Snow Queen, Arabian Princess, and Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, and Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty being especially close to her heart. During the summers, Karina attended various summer programs such as ABT Irvine, City Ballet San Francisco, Kirov Academy of Washington, D. C., and the Royal Danish Ballet Summer school with Miss Peggy in the summer of 2019. Karina’s passion for ballet stems from a love of portraying each character’s story and the beauty of dance.
In 2016, Karina began assisting with Twinkle Toes, later teaching and substitute teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes around 2018. As a dancer and teacher, Karina has choreographed for Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Seasons. she finds great joy in watching dancers grow and discover their love for dancing.
In 2019, Karina started working towards her Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, participating in their Theatre and Dance Department’s Winter and Spring performances, and returning to Ballet Petit as a Parent in the 2019 Nutcracker. She’s been grateful to continue teaching ballet virtually while at school and remains excited to see what the future holds.