Faculty

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Noriko Malaby RTS-TDip, TTP-Dip(NBS), AISTD

Director, Teacher

Silver Swans Licensed Teacher

Progressive Ballet Technique Certified Teacher

Noriko started her dancing career in Tokyo, Japan in 1972.  She studied modern dance as well as classical ballet at The Ballet Academy in Tokyo, and participated in performances from 1981. 

In 1984, she joined the Yagishita Modern Ballet Group and danced with them for over 10 years.  Noriko started her own studio in Tokyo Japan in 1991.  There she taught a broad range of ages and levels. 

From 1996 to 1999, she studied in the National Ballet School in Toronto, Canada.  At the National Ballet School, she learned all 3 different syllubi; Cecchetti, Vaganova, and Royal Academy of Dance. She also learned European National Dance (Folk Dance) under Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and became a teaching member.

Noriko is a certified teacher from Royal Academy of Dance, The National Ballet School of Canada, and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. She has more than 25 years of experience of teaching and offers training to all age and levels from 2 years old to senior adults. 


She is also certified with Progressive Ballet Technique, which provides precise muscle training for the dancers. Recently, she received a certification for Silver Swans which RAD offers for the people who are over 55 years old.

Noriko is very excited to found a studio here in the San Gabriel Valley to develop a culture in art, and welcomes new students who would like to share in the benefits of Ballet training as she has. She hopes her belief towards education in dance will help all children grow physically and emotionally.


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Denise Donovan BFA RAD-RTS, RAD CBTS PTS

Associate Teacher

Ms. Denise Donovan is a certified instructor for the Royal Academy of Dance as well as a Practical Teaching Supervisor. She educates and contributes the new ambitious teachers to be certified through the Royal Academy of Dance. 

At Village Dance Arts, Ms.Denise teaches ballet, tap, modern and jazz. Ms. Denise is also the director of the Riverside Community College Tap ensemble, Co-director of the Riverside Community College Dance Touring Ensemble, and adjunct faculty in Dance at RCC where she received the honor of Adjunct Teacher of the Year in 2006. She is a core member of the Taiko Center of Los Angeles. 

We are excited to have Ms. Denise to help towards the success of Advanced Vocational students at Ballet Kukan Academy. 

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Annelise Bucher RAD-RTS, ARAD

Teacher (Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz)

Annelise is a dancer and dance educator from Vancouver, Canada. She began her training with the Royal Academy of Dance at age 6 and completed every exam up until Solo Seal.

She is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in contemporary dance performance and an RAD teaching certification. She has trained in ballet, jazz, various modern techniques, counter technique, hip hop, ballroom and aerial dance.

She has taught ballet, contemporary, jazz, and creative movement for young dancers at Boston University. Annelise is currently also a dancer with the Diavolo Institute here in Los Angeles. She is very excited to join Ballet Kukan Academy, and continue her growth as a teacher.

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Abigail Chuah ARAD

Teacher (Pre Ballet, Ballet, Contemporary)

Abigail is a dancer from Conroe, Texas who grew up studying dance at Excelsior School of Dance, which is a ballet studio focused on RAD and Cecchetti techniques in the Woodlands, Texas. While at Excelsior School of Dance, she took the examinations in Cecchetti from Pre Primary to Level 7, and in RAD up to Advanced 2. She passed Advanced 2 with Distinction Honors during her senior year of high school. 

Abigail graduated Boston University in 2018 where she received a Bachelor's degree with Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance. She is a versatile dancer who has trained in many genres of dance such as Ballet, Hip-Hop, Release Technique, Various Classical and Modern techniques, and counter technique. ​Abigail has taught techniques including Ballet, Hip-Hop, and Contemporary.

Abigail is excited to share her passion as well as learning alongside her students and grow as a teacher at Ballet Kukan Academy.

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Edward Nazarro RAD-RTS

Teacher (Classical Ballet)

Edward Nazarro was trained as a classical pianist before turning to dance in his teens. He has performed with Riverside Ballet Theater, Ballet Pacifica (Irvine, CA), Los Angeles Classical Ballet, and Pasadena Dance Theatre, dancing ensembles and soloist roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Graduation Ball, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Mr. Nazarro started his teaching career at Academy of Dance Santa Ana with RAD Method. He pursued his teaching certificate in 2001, and graduated with his BA in dance Education from Royal Academy of Dance, University of Surrey in 2009.

Mr. Nazarro taught in the various RAD schools in CA, and is happy to share his knowledge and passion to dance at Ballet Kukan Academy. 

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Nicole Sahagian

Teacher (Youth Ballet )

Nicole Sahagian began dancing at age of two in Massachusetts. She has studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap. She performed as a dancer in a variety of musicals over the years. 

Nicole received BA in Dance and Theater from Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. She choreographed and performed in various dance pieces in concerts at the college. Nicole also studied at the Academia Dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy where she studied physical theater. 

​Her teaching career starts after college, and she taught various classes and workshop in and around Massachusetts and California.

​Nicole is overjoyed to be teaching at Ballet Kukan Academy

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Melanie Salisbury

Teacher (Classical Ballet)

Silver Swans Licensed Teacher

Melanie Salisbury began dancing at age of 5 in England and attended The Arts Educational Schools in Tring and London where she completed a comprehensive training in RAD and Cecchetti, ISTD modern dance, Tap, Character, Drama, Singing and Music. She made her professional debut at the age of 11 dancing in the London/UK tour production of The Nutcracker with The English National Ballet.

At age of 16, Melanie began a career in musical theater starring in the shows, Aladdin, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Half of a Sixpence, Company, Chicago, On the Town.

Melanie is delighted to be teaching at Ballet Kukan Academy, and is looking forward to seeing the pupils grow and advance. 

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Jenna Beth Stockman

Teacher (Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Pre Ballet)

Born and raised in New York state, Jenna Beth Stockman began her dance training at the age of 2 in a small town. She bumped around a few studios until she found the right fit. She began her competitive dance career where she joined an elite local team, and competed solo as well as with the team. For two consecutive years, Jenna became the reigning New York State Jazz Soloist Champion in her category. 

Jenna pursued her education in the Arts at Niagara University where she was able to be a part of the NU dance line while she gained her BFA in Theater Performance. 

After the move to California, Jenna teaches and performs with Hollywood Dance Troupe. She also choreographs, and appears in concerts, showcases, T.V. shows and music videos. 

Jenna is very excited to join Ballet Kukan Academy as one of the faculties, and share her passion for dance!

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Prattamaporn(Bow) Viriyothai

Substitute Teacher under RAD CBTS program

Bow was born and grew up in Thailand. She started her dance career at the age of 8 with Royal Academy of Dance method. Bow holds Grade 8 Honor, and Advanced Foundation in Vocational Graded Examination. She continues to dance and currently is learning Discovering Repertoire in RAD syllabus which were newly launched. 

Bow Graduated with honors in Theater Arts from Chiang Mai University Thailand in 2013, and also completed Master’s Degree with Theater Arts in Chulalongkorn University, which is one of the highest ranked Universities in Thailand.

Bow’s teaching career started from 15 years old as an assistant. After 2 years of assisting, she started to instruct the classes by herself. Bow is the owner and the director of Vivaz Dance and Music School in Chiang Mai, Thailand as well as she teaches here in United States. She is currently in RAD CBTS program to be qualified and certified as a RAD teacher. 

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Mayuko Shoka

Substitute Teacher (Classical Ballet, Youth Ballet)

Mayuko Shoka started ballet training at Ballet studio K&M at age of 7 under Kazuko and Zlatko Mikulic in Japan. The main ballet style practiced was Vaganova.

At the age of 17, she went to England to attend The Arts Educational School. RAD ballet method and Cecchetti ballet technique were the main focus of her study.. She received Cecchetti teaching certificate. She also learned tap, jazz, contemporary and modern dance forms during this time.

Mayuko continued her training at Joffrey Ballet School in New York. When she was 20, she was accepted to Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble under the director Arthur Mitchell, where she performed many principal roles such as Joplin Dancers, New Bach, Concerto In F, South African Suite, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker, and Glinka. She also joined company tour and visited all over the United States as well as overseas such as Bahamas and Jamaica.

She became a certified Yoga teacher by CorePower Yoga in Seattle, and taught Ballet and Yoga at Vam Studios School of Dance. Her continuation of Tap deepen her technique with Mark Mendonca.

Mayuko recently moved to LA and she is very excited to join Ballet Kukan Academy to share her passion for ballet and all of the knowledge she learned in her career. She is also in the process of getting Romana’s Pilates certification, with the goal of helping dancers grow and prevent injuries.