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October 11, 2011 > Fremont Symphony honors Showstopper Yoko Young

Fremont Symphony honors Showstopper Yoko Young

Submitted By Susan L. Rose

The Fremont Symphony Orchestra presents "Showstopper," a benefit to honor dancer, choreographer, and teacher extraordinaire Yoko Young on Sunday, October 16 at 5 p.m. at the Newark-Fremont Hilton. Event sponsors are the Ohlone Foundation and Assemblyman Robert Wieckowski.

Yoko Young has been associated with the Fremont Symphony for many years, beginning in the 1970s when she coordinated fashion show fundraisers. She provided dancers for the Symphony performances of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" and Saint-Sa‘ns' "Carnival of the Animals," and since 2005 has produced and choreographed the Symphony's popular "Nutcracker" ballet each holiday season.

Yoko was born in Tokyo and began studying dance at the age of four, learning Fujima (traditional Japanese dancing). She went on to study classical ballet under Sakiko Hirose of the Tokyo Ballet, Madame Messers of the Bolshoi Ballet, and Roy Tobias of the New York City Ballet. She has also studied jazz under the tutelage of Rod Alexander. Yoko was Prima Ballerina and soloist for the Hirose Ballet Company and Tokyo Ballet Theatre in such standards as "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Don Quixote," and danced "Carmen" with the Opera national de Paris in France.

An accomplished choreographer, Yoko choreographed such musicals as "Once Upon a Mattress," "Little Mary Sunshine," "Annie," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Peter Pan" and traveled to Japan with some of them. She was a member of the Sister City Commission of Fremont and has taken groups of dancers to represent the city at celebrations in Fukaya, Japan, one of Fremont's Sister Cities. In 1993, she was appointed by the Governor of Saitama Prefecture, Japan, to be Cultural Ambassador to the World, representing 92 cities and over 6.5 million people.

Yoko established her own studio in 1995 and earned the title "The Best Studio in the West" her first year. Her superb choreography has earned her numerous awards, including the Diamond Award for best choreography from American Dance Competition, Kids Artistic Revue's Choreographer of the Year awards every year since 2000, and Teacher of the Year in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Yoko trained 50 of her students to perform with professional Russian dancers in the Moscow Ballet's production of "Nutcracker." In 2002 Yoko was featured as the cover story for the nationally syndicated magazine Dance Teacher, and had the only studio in California to be selected as one of the Top 50 Studios in the Nation by Dance Spirit magazine. Her studio also made the cover of Time for Kids in 2003. In 2005 she was asked to choreograph the Dallas Cowboys' halftime show at Texas Stadium featuring singer Sheryl Crow. Eight students from her studio were featured in the show, which was televised by CBS on Thanksgiving Day and seen by 60 million people.

Yoko Young is a true gem for the City of Fremont and the Symphony is proud to honor her. The fundraiser will feature dancers from Yoko's Academy, dinner, wine, silent and live auctions, and the raffle of an iPad 2 with Keyboard Dock.

Tickets are $75 for adults and $40 for children under 18. Call (510) 371-4859 to order, or visit online at

Showstopper fundraiser
Sunday, October 16
5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Newark-Fremont Hilton
39900 Ballentine Dr., Newark
(510) 371-4859
Tickets: $75 adults, $40 children (18 and under)

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