Marin Ballet professionals bring a wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds to the organization. Our leadership team (pictured at left includes (L to R) Nancy Rehkopf, Executive Director; Julia Adam, Performance Director: Catherine Hader, School Director; and Stephanie Taubert, Operations Manager and Registrar. Our teaching faculty have professional dance backgrounds from some of the world’s finest companies. Some bring the dedication they learned as Marin Ballet alums to the studio with them every day. The Board of Trustees includes business professionals and community leaders who ensure fiscal stability and good governance. Whether staff, faculty, board members, or parents – all are dedicated to Marin Ballet’s mission of developing confident, healthy and joyous students through excellent ballet training, performance opportunities, mentorship and community engagement.
Meet our Faculty
Catherine Hader became School Director of Marin Ballet in June of 2022. A graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School, Catherine began her professional career with The National Ballet of Canada under Artistic Director Erik Bruhn. She went on to a successful dance and film career in Los Angeles that includes five film industry awards as Co-Producer of the dance documentary An Improbable Dream. In 2013, she started teaching at the School of Ballet Arizona under Carlos Valcarcel and later, under Maria Simonetti. In addition to her dance career, Catherine is also a certified yoga instructor, bringing an emphasis on health and wellness to Marin Ballet students.
Laurie celebrates her 50th year of teaching with Marin Ballet this year! Her association with the school started in the 1950’s when she trained with Marin Ballet’s founder, Leona Norman, and was a member of the original Marin Civic Ballet. After graduation, she joined Norbert Vesak’s Western Dance Theatre, performing in Canada and the northwest. Returning home, Laurie began teaching when Marin Ballet opened its new facility at 100 Elm. She currently teaches Level 2 and 3 students, as well as Beginning Ballet for Teens and Adults.
Corinne Jonas received her training at Marin Ballet and danced professionally with the Houston Ballet and Diablo Ballet, performing principal and soloist roles in ballets by George Balanchine, classical and contemporary works, and roles created for her. Ms. Jonas worked with esteemed artists such as Dame Margot Fonteyn, Sir Kenneth Macmillian, Ben Stevenson and Paul Taylor and was featured in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Ms. Jonas directed Berkeley Ballet Theater until joining Marin Ballet’s faculty in 2006.
Julia trained with the National Ballet School in Toronto, and upon graduation in 1983, spent five years with the National Ballet of Canada, and then joined the San Francisco Ballet in 1988, becoming a principal dancer in 1996. Upon retiring from the stage in 2002, Ms. Adam quickly gained recognition as one of the dance world’s rising talents in choreography. Ms. Adam has been featured in Dance Magazine, received the Isadora Duncan Award for Choreography, and currently directs her own dance company.
David Kato trained at Marin Ballet and holds a B.A. in Dance from Dominican University. He danced professionally with Empire State Ballet in New York and has danced as a Guest Artist with many Bay Area companies including Oakland Ballet, Western Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theater, and Margaret Wingrove Dance Company. He has taught technique, pas de deux, and boys’ training in schools throughout the Bay Area, and joined the MB faculty in 2003.
Laura trained with Contra Costa Ballet, California Ballet and Oakland Ballet Academy. At age seventeen she joined the Oakland Ballet Company. After dancing with OBC she earned both a BA in Dance and an ABA-approved post-baccalaureate paralegal
certificate from Saint Mary’s College of California. Laura has taught at Ballet Arts in Oakland and Oakland Ballet Academy. She is honored
to be a part of Marin Ballet’s faculty since 2018.
Xiao was born in city of Changsha in People’s Republic of China. After graduation, she joined Hunan Dance and Music company, and was quickly promoted to Principal Dancer.
After 9 years with Hunan Dance and Music company, in 1984, through a national dance audition and national college entrance examination, Xiao was accepted to Beijing Dance Academy’s Ballet Teaching Department. She received her B.A. in Ballet Pedagogy in 1988.
After immigrating to the U.S. as a guest artist, Xiao performed the role of Sugar Plum Fairy for Grace Duty’s Nutcracker at Zellerbach Hall for 9 years. She also performed the role of Princess Odette for West Coast Ballet in Rohnert Park, and Stone Flower for Ruth Langridge’s Stone Flower.
We are so pleased to welcome Xiao back to Marin Ballet. As a former Marin Ballet faculty member, with more than 30 years teaching experience in the Bay area, she returns this fall, bringing back her expertise, high energy and love of teaching to our studios.
Erica received her professional training from North Carolina School of the Arts and the San Francisco Ballet’s Pre Professional Program. She performed in many company productions with SFB, and toured with the company in their production of “Don Quixote”. Erica went on to dance with Colorado Ballet in 2005. She also guested with various companies including Madison Ballet. She joined Ballet Arizona in 2008, and after four seasons with the company she joined Smuin Ballet. After 7 seasons with Smuin, Erica continues to dance as a freelance artist, and will teach and choreograph.
Rowan grew up competitively Irish Dancing at her mother’s Irish Dance school in Seattle, WA alongside training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, spending summers with American Ballet Theatre NY and San Francisco Ballet School.
After graduating from PNB, Rowan chose to pursue a BFA in Dance with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, graduating Summa Cum Laude May 2022.
Rowan is also a certified GYROTONIC® trainer and is teaching gyrotonic and dance around the Bay Area and working as a freelance professional dancer.
Rowan taught contemporary movement and Rep. to Levels 3 and 4 in Marin Ballet’s summer program 2022 and officially joined our Pre-Ballet faculty in the spring of 2023.
Damon Mahoney began his performing career in the Bay Area in 2005 where he danced with a variety of companies including Savage Jazz Dance, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Moving Arts Dance, Los Angeles’ Luminario Ballet, San Diego Opera, and principal roles with Oakland Ballet, San Francisco Opera and Menlowe Ballet. Damon has taught ballet and Pilates for over ten years and loves to weave elements of the two together, with an emphasis on healthy technique, form and foundation.
Charlie Martin (they/them) trained at the Western Oklahoma Ballet Academy and studied on scholarship at ABT and Joffrey Ballet School’s Summer Intensives. Charlie then danced professionally with Kansas City Ballet for 11 seasons, performing leading roles in works by Twyla Tharp, José Limón, Val Caniparoli, and George Balanchine, among others. They also danced with Robin Dekkers’ Post: Ballet in San Francisco, Owen/Cox Dance Group in Kansas City, Remix touring Austria, and Oklahoma City Ballet. Martin’s choreography has been performed by Kansas City Ballet, Central Oklahoma Ballet Theatre, and Quixotic Fusion, to name a few. Charlie is also a repetiteur, staging works for professional companies, including work by Val Caniparoli and Penny Saunders. Previously, Mx. Martin was on faculty for the Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School and Askew Ballet Academy, in addition to guest teaching for many schools and pre-professional companies.
Charlie Martin is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 5, and is thrilled to join the Faculty at Marin Ballet.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Yuko Katsumi began her ballet training in Berlin, West Germany. She continued training in Japan and Zimbabwe where she received Honors in Advanced Cecchetti Examination, after which she went to London and graduated from the Royal Ballet School.
She danced professionally with Matsuyama Ballet in Tokyo, Tampa Ballet and Colorado Ballet where she was a Principal Dancer. Her repertoire included leading roles in full length Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Bayadère, Raymonda, Cinderella, and Romeo and Juliet and works by various choreographers.
Since retiring from her professional dancing career Ms. Katsumi has developed into a well-respected teacher and coach of ballet. In 2011 Ms. Katsumi joined the faculty of San Francisco Ballet School where she taught all levels. She has also taught extensively at Marin Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theater, Smuin Ballet, City Ballet in SF and Contra Costa Ballet.
She has been invited to be a judge at Taiwan Grand Prix, California Dance Classics, Tokyo City Ballet competition in Japan and as a Juror for the RAD Solo Seal Exam in SF. The Harid Conservatory has invited Ms. Katsumi to teach the Tour Audition classes in SF. Ms. Katsumi also teaches extensively nationally and internationally.
From 2020-2021 she was a faculty member at Kobe University, Japan teaching the Classical Ballet Division.
Currently she is freelancing teaching, coaching, and setting Ballets at various schools.
Looking for a Faculty Member?
Timothy K. Murphy
Nancy Rehkopf, Interim Executive Director
Julia Adam, Performance Director
Stephanie Taubert, Operations Manager & Registrar
Catherine Hader, School Director
Sara AbuShaban, Marketing and Development Coordinator
Lauryn Smeester, Front Desk
Nancy Rehkopf, President
Sabrina Werby, Vice-President
Maria Newman, Secretary