Yuka Oba

Company Member since 2011

Yuka was born in Japan where she received her training from Hitomi Takeuchi Ballet School. In 2006, Yuka attended English National Ballet School in the UK where she also danced many soloist roles. Upon graduating, Mario Radacovsky invited Yuka to join the Slovak National Ballet where she danced a variety of roles. Yuka was then invited to join the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011 where she has since danced principal roles in ballets by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Olivier Wevers, and Penny Saunders. Yuka has won many competitions in Japan including NBA All Japan Ballet Competition, Saitama All Japan Dance Competition, UB All Japan Ballet Union Competition, International Ballet Competition in Yokohama and others. In 2013, Yuka had the honor of performing Olivier Wever’s The Sofa at the Joyce Theatre in New York and reprised her role in Seattle, WA. Yuka performed Le Corsaire Pas de Deux in the gala at The National Theatre in Tokyo and the Pas de Deux from Le Carnaval de Venise in Fukushima. In 2014, Val Caniparoli choreographed Clara on Yuka for the world premiere of The Nutcracker. She also choreographed Tomorrow Never Comes on Grand Rapids Ballet for their MOVEMEDIA program in 2015.

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Original Leading Roles:

The Sofa, Olivier Wevers
Nae Regrets, Brian Enos
Omieiam, DJ Strong
Reflections, Calin Radulescu
The Great Divorce, Preston Miller
Dream, Rachael Riley
Titania, Midsummer, Olivier Wevers
Written & Forgotten, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

Leading Roles:

Aurora, Sleeping Beauty, Marius Petipa
Waltz Girl, Serenade, George Balanchine
Sugar Plum Fairy, The Nutcracker, Traditional
arms that work, Andrew Bartee
Odette, Black Swan White Swan, Mario Radacovsky
Cupid, Con Amore, Lew Christensen
Kitri, Don Quixote Pas de Deux, Marius Petipa
Lucy, Dracula, Roger Van Fleteren & Wes Chapman
Flower Festival in Genzano Pas de Deux, August Bournonville
Napoli Pas de Dix, August Bournonville
Nine Sinatra Songs, Twyla Tharp
Not Afraid of Inconvenience, Thomas Dancy
The Envelope, David Parsons
Sanguinic, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine
This is Not a Raincoat, Olivier Wevers
Stairway to Paradise, Who Cares?, George Balanchine
Eyes that Gently Touch, Kirk Peterson
The Moor’s Pavane, Jose Limon
Principal Couple, Rubies, George Balanchine

Slovak National Ballet:

Dew Drop, Oriental dance, The Nutcracker
Fifteen Heterosexual Duets, James Kudelka
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, George Balanchine
Serenade, George Balanchine
Lead lady in Spring, The Four Seasons, James Kudelka
La Bayadere, Marius Petipa
La Sylphide, Marius Petipa
Swan Lake, Marius Petipa
Sleeping Beauty, Marius Petipa
Everest, Mario Radacovsky


I love cooking Japanese food but also love cooking any kinds of dishes. I really enjoy cooking with my roommates Connie and Megan.

I’ve been doing yoga since when I was in London, and Yoga helped my body to calm down and stretch all the way, also developed my arms strength. Now, I love doing hot yoga as well!

I love painting or just drawing since when I was little. I would like to go to take painting class sometimes this season. I hope I can create some dancer’s painting.

I am always curious about any kind of dance that makes me feel excited or inspired me.