Oakland Ballet School Staff
Joral Schmalle, Artistic Director
Born and raised in Northern California, Joral began his early training in Ukiah with his mother and Nuria Lovett-King. At age eight he received a full scholarship to the San Francisco Ballet School. He also studied at the School of American Ballet, Ballet Celeste International, and American Conservatory Theatre. He Joined Oakland Ballet in 1983, was named Associate Director in 1997, and served as Acting Artistic Director 1999-2000. He has appeared in numerous lead and title roles with the Company, including Billy the Kid (Billy), The Secret Garden (Archibald Craven), Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Tybalt), Giselle (Albrecht), The Green Table (Death), Scheherazade (The Golden Slave), L’apres-midi d’un faune (the Faun), Le Tren bleu (Beau Gosse) Carmina Burana (principal male), and Coppelia (Franz). In 1993 he was a finalist in the prestigious New York International Ballet Competition. During his career he appeared extensively as a guest artist and was also a member of Smuin Ballet, the Lawrence Pech Dance Company & the San Francisco production of Phantom of the Opera.
Denise Schmalle, Associate Artistic Director
Born in San Francisco, CA, Denise received her ballet training from Ronn Guidi. At the age of 16 she was asked to join the Oakland Ballet Company as an apprentice, and the next year joined Oakland Ballet as a full time company member. She had the opportunity to perform in the company’s historically significant repertoire Billy The Kid, Les Biches, Romeo and Juliet, Secret Garden, and in Ronn Guidi’s Nutcracker as the “Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Snow Queen.” While dancing for the Company, she earned a B.A. Degree from UC Berkeley in International Development Studies. She currently is the Associate Artistic Director and primary teacher of the Oakland Ballet School.
Joy Gim trained as a child at the Oakland Ballet Academy under the direction of Ronn Guidi. She spent many years as a child dancing small roles with the company and joined the Oakland Ballet Company full time in 1980. She danced a variety of prime roles during her 18-year tenure with the company including the Duck in Peter & The Wolf; Myrtha in Giselle; The Other Woman in Jardin Aux Lilas; Zobeide in Scheherazade; the Glove Seller in Gaite Parisienne, the lead in Nijinska’s Bolero; Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Rose Queen, and her favorite role in The Nutcracker, Arabian Coffee. Following her retirement from Oakland Ballet Company in 1998, Joy went on to become a guest teacher at various studios and regularly teaches and coaches privately around the East Bay.
Omar Shabazz began his dance training at Oakland Technical High School, with teacher Lauren Manduke in 1987, and where he met Ronn Guidi of the Oakland Ballet Academy. Omar danced for the Oakland Ballet until 1997. He performed such roles as the Nephew/Prince, Snow Cavalier, Rose Cavalier, and Sugar Plum Cavalier in The Nutcracker; Paris and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, and Blackamoor in Petrouchka. He is currently on the faculty of the Oakland Ballet School.