Monica graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Ballet in San Francisco, California under the direction of Merriem Lanova who was herself a dancer with the renowned Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo. While dancing and touring with Ballet Celeste Mrs. Ryan was introduced to Leonide Massine, Galina Ulanova and Kyra Nijinsky who influenced her devotion to the beauty and power of ballet. Monica performed in many classical ballets including Giselle, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Sleeping Beauty, Gaite Parisienne and the Nutcracker. After graduating from San Francisco State University, Mrs. Ryan continued dancing and travelled to Europe to study with Maurice Bejart of Le Ballet du Vingtieme Siecle in Brussels, Belgium and with John Cranko in the Stuttgart Ballet in Stuttgart, Germany.
A finalist for the Vestris Choregraphic Prize in Boston, Massachusetts, Mrs. Ryan was commissioned to mount ballets on the San Diego Ballet, Marin Civic Ballet and the San Francisco Dance Theater. Monica Ryan’s choreography has been hailed as “exactly right” and “pictorially perfect” by the San Francisco Chronicle. She choreographed and danced for the San Francisco Opera Company under the direction of Kurt Herbert Adler. Ms. Ryan has also choreographed for the Spring Opera Theater, Western Opera and West Bay Opera.
At the Carnegie Performing Arts Center, Monica has fostered and nurtured our curriculum toward the high standard CPAC has been recognized for. Mrs. Ryan believes that every child should be exposed to the creative world of dance and the ability to perform. She is the creator of 16 full length ballets and over 40 choreographic divertissements.
Mrs. Ryan has provided the Carnegie Performing Arts Center dancers with professional level ballets that continue to delight both novice and sophisticated dance audiences.
Monica Ryan began her early ballet studies with Russian Dancer Olga Ziceva in San Mateo, California. Monica began teaching ballet and choreography with her mother, Margaret Prendergast, for the Burlingame Children’s Theater in Burlingame, California. Many of Mrs. Ryan’s students have gone on to numerous college scholarship dance programs and have careers in film, commercials, theater and dance companies.