Riley Butler took tap classes before starting ballet at The Studio School of Classical Ballet at the age of 6.  She danced with Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre in the Petite, Junior and Senior Companies.  She performed in “The Nutcracker” as a Sugar Plum Page, Party Girl, Soldier, Clara, Snowflake, Spanish dancer, Chinese soloist, amongst other roles.  (Check out that impeccable fifth position in the middle of the quick Chinese divertissement below!)

While a member of the Senior Company, Riley attended Teacher Training Courses with Diane Cypher, and quickly became a go-to substitute for Pre-Ballet and Primary classes.  She was hired into the faculty to include Level I, and In the spring and summer of 2020 when The Studio switched to Zoom classes, Riley was one of the first instructors to adapt and teach virtually.  Since graduating from high school, she has volunteered for many Nutcracker productions, helping out backstage and lending her talents to the stage as needed.  This year she will perform as a Party Parent and as Mother Ginger, and serves as Rehearsal Director for several scenes.  Her many gifts include a positive and engaging attitude, while guiding our young dancers to reach their potential.  Besides her Rehearsal Director duties, Riley currently serves as a substitute instructor and is accomplished at teaching all levels in the academy.

Riley is a student at UC Santa Cruz, in her third year, studying Sociology.  She attended the prestigious Kapor Center/SMASH program program at Stanford University during the summers of her high school years.  She has held intern positions at First Republic Bank of San Francisco and ILMX Labs at Lucas Films.

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