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History

Corrine Nagata’s talent for teaching was the talk of New York City in the year 2000.

She had grown up in the San Francisco public school system, traveled the country training to dance professionally, and studied dance teaching methods with some of the most prestigious American dance institutions—National Dance Institute, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Nagata was an experienced teacher who cared about her students and had an uncanny instinct for inspiring young children to excel. 

Through word-of-mouth, Nagata’s unique talent and passion for teaching gained her recognition as one of the greatest in- and after-school curriculum providers in New York City. Arthur Mitchel, founder of Dance Theatre of Harlem, called her, “The best teacher to come through this school since its opening 30 years ago.” In 2002, Nagata founded Nagata Dance, a program that enriches the lives of children and adults in San Francisco today.

Sharing Dance in San Francisco Schools

Nagata wanted to share her talent and experience with her hometown. In 2008, she returned to San Francisco, where she taught at three welcoming public schools (Alamo, Rosa Parks, and John Muir), and offered the first summer Dance Camp. Since 2008, Nagata Dance has taught at up to 12 private and public schools at a time, and Dance Camp has grown from a one-week program with two students to a five-week program with up to 44 students per week! 

Empowering Dancers to Teach

Nagata believes the arts are essential to the education of all children. So, to increase the number of schools and children touched by Nagata Dance, she began training some very special dancers, including senior instructors Celine Alwyn-Parker and Angela Yuen Uyeda, to teach in her unique style that balances structure with joy.

Reaching More Students at the Studio

On June 14, 2014, Nagata Dance opened a studio location across the street from Japanese Cultural Community Center, where Nagata taught her first San Francisco class. This studio is an excellent opportunity for Nagata Dance to engage in a community while growing to serve more dancers of all abilities. We at Nagata Dance look forward to many new offerings at the studio, including an exciting scholarship program, which will bring students of diverse socio-economic backgrounds together through dance.