Director & Faculty

Sayako Harada

Sayako “Saya” Harada is originally from Hyogo, Japan. She began her ballet training at age three and completed fifteen years of dance training while a student in Japan. Harada performed with Sadamatsu-Hamada Ballet Company during her time as a member of the ensemble’s Junior Company in Kobe. As a dancer, she has performed major soloist roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Sylphide and other ballets from the classical repertoire. Since moving to New York, NY, she has performed with Sokolow Theatre Ensemble, 277danceproject, and Azul Dance Theatre.

Ms. Harada has taught Ballet, Character Dance, and Modern / Contemporary dance in private studio and pre-professional settings. She is a faculty member at Huntington Center for Performing Arts and has worked as a choreographer at Long Island Ballet Theatre. She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Saya Spring Dance Theatre in NYC. She choreographed “In Your Hands” (2013), “Presence – Excerpt” (2014), “Presence – Allegro”, “Rebuild – Eternity” (2015), “Tenchi – The Beginning” (2016), “Montague vs. Capulet” (2017), “Spark” (2019), and “Awakening” (2021).

Ms. Harada is the first Japanese citizen to graduate from the ABT/NYU Master’s Program in Dance Education/ABT Pedagogy from New York University Steinhardt. Since 2018, she has worked for American Ballet Theatre’s Education Department as the National Training Curriculum Assistant for Teacher Training Intensives and Certification Exams. Ms. Harada is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the National Training Curriculum and has successfully presented students for examinations.