After 25 years of running Berkeley Ballet Theater, there is no sign of Sally Streets slowing down. Five days a week, you can find the Oakland native teaching and testing her newest choreography on her students.
Streets first began dancing because of a recommendation from her pediatrician to help control her distended belly. She eventually worked her way into the positions of ballet mistress and principal dancer with the Oakland Ballet and Pacific Ballet. In 1982 Streets set out to open her own dance company, with steep competition on the rise, Streets opted for a dance school.
Although considered a school, Berkeley Ballet Theater acts much like a dance company, giving students many opportunities to perform. With 275 students actively enrolled, the school boasts alumni headed to prestigious dance schools to further their dance education. One of Streets most famous students is her daughter Kyra Nichols, who is now retired but was once a member of the New York City Ballet.
Acting as co-founder, director, choreographer and teacher, Sally Streets aims at making her dances fun so that her students don’t realize all of the hard work that is going into it. One of her favorite groups to teach is advanced teenagers because they are so eager to learn. Spark catches up with Streets while she prepares the Berkeley Ballet Theater for their annual spring performance.