Hello, my name is Anne-Sophie. Welcome to my website!
Here is a little about me:
I was born in France and started my ballet studies there, most notably with Colette Armand at whose school Rosella Hightower often guest taught. After moving to the United States, I trained at the San Francisco Ballet School with teachers including Irina Jacobson, Jocelyn Vollmar, Jorge Esquivel and Vassilii Mountian. I studied most deeply with Larisa Sklyanskaya whom I credit for instilling in me a wealth of technical and artistic knowledge. I graduated from Boston Ballet School where I had relocated to study with acclaimed teacher Madame Tatiana Nicolaevna Legat.
I then performed with distinguished companies such as Boston Ballet (AD: Anna-Marie Holmes), Tulsa Ballet (AD: Marcello Angelini), the Norwegian National Ballet (AD: Espen Giljane), the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and Ballet Internationale (AD: Eldar Aliev). As a freelancer, many principal and soloist roles were created on me during my time with New York City contemporary companies Janusphere Dance Company and compani javedani.
My repertoire includes the great full-length classics such as Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, Cinderella, Dracula and Nutcracker, Balanchine works such as Who Cares (Turning Girl solo, and Embraceable You pas de deux), Valse Fantaisie, Serenade, Divertimento #15, Symphony in C (1st and 3rd movements) and Four Temperaments (Melancholic and Phlegmatic). My contemporary repertoire includes works by Twyla Tharp, Stanton Welch, Nacho Duato, Lila York and many others.
I began teaching at my mentor Edward Ellison’s request when he founded the Ellison Ballet, his highly esteemed school in New York City, and entrusted me with his students. For the remainder of my years in New York City, I continued to teach, coach, and choreograph for Ellison Ballet and also taught at the Joffrey Ballet School, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet and Ballet Arts, as well as privately. Additionally, I was Pentacle’s Behind the Scenes Choreography Mentor at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.
After moving back to the San Francisco Bay area in 2012, I taught at City Ballet School for six years until Patrick Armand, School Director for the San Francisco Ballet School until August 2023, invited me to join the faculty for the 2018-19 School Year. This was a full-circle moment for me, having trained at SFBS, and having always considered it my artistic home. Not only did I train there, but I also watched every company performance since I had the luck of my mom managing the ballet’s shop, both at the ballet building and at the Opera House during Nutcracker and the Season. It felt surreal to be back in the building, this time as a teacher, and I remain grateful every time I walk into the studios to teach.
I strive to bring out the best in each dancer, student and professional alike, that I encounter. Students are taught in a challenging yet safe, positive and encouraging environment in which they may thrive in their personal goals. Instructed in a precise manner with a gentle hands-on approach, my classes emphasize proper placement and coordination while staying in rhythm with the music and conveying its melody through their harmonious movements. Students gain strength, whole-body awareness and become more and more expressive as their technique solidifies. Though I am a demanding teacher, my approach is compassionate and loving with an emphasis on clear communication. I love getting to know my students on a deep level which leads to a collaborative experience in the studio.
I have prepared many students for the Youth America Grand Prix competitions including choreographing contemporary pieces. Several of these beloved students have placed very well in the semi-finals and finals and gone on to successful careers, including:
- Christina Schifano: Bronze Medal winner at the 2007 Torrington Semi-Final.
- Candy Tong: Top 12 Contemporary at the 2013 San Francisco Semi-Final.
- Rio Anderson: 2015 San Francisco Semi-Final Grand Prix Winner and Silver Medalist at the New York City Final whom I coached in her self-choreographed contemporary work.
- Anna Leong: 2020 San Francisco Semi-Final Top 12 in both Classical and Contemporary performing my piece Mas Que Nada.
- The Reel from La Sylphide by August Bournonville, staged as a small ensemble for 4 girls from the Alameda Ballet Academy: Third Place at the San Francisco 2023 Semi-Final.
Since 2019, I have also been both a Master Teacher and Judge for YAGP at their San Francisco Semi-Finals. Starting in 2023, I became a Master Teacher for Regional Dance Festival.
My own awards include numerous merit scholarships, as well as the Rita A. Gustafson Memorial Scholarship, a San Francisco Ballet Endowment Foundation awarded for outstanding merit and achievement at the San Francisco Ballet School.
I earned certifications from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Training Program in the method of Classical Dance instruction for elementary, intermediate and advanced classes, as well as for Level 1 and Level 2 Character Dance instruction.
Upon moving back to San Francisco, I began in-depth yoga studies. I am a graduate of world-renowned teacher Janet Stone‘s 500-hour yoga certification program and I have assisted Janet’s weekly public classes as well as her teacher trainings since shortly after I began studying with her in 2013. Along with Janet, I credit master teachers Scott Blossom and Christopher Hareesh Wallis, PhD with continuing to deepen my knowledge of self and how to best relate to others.
I am delighted and grateful to dedicate my life to the amazing art of classical ballet: what a privilege to be able to impart the vast knowledge I gained from my genius teachers as well as from my own experience onto the next generation! Aside from ballet technique, pointe, partnering and repertoire, I also love to teach character, contemporary, floor barre and yoga. Today’s dancer must be well-rounded, as well as mentally and physically healthy and ready to take on many different types of challenges.
Lastly, I have not performed for a while and enjoy mentoring and being behind the scenes, however I will always consider myself a dancer and would still welcome any opportunity to get on stage.
To contact me, please send me a message on Instagram.