Principal Character Dancer
Kristi DeCaminada is an esteemed teacher and dedicated dance educator who joined the SF Ballet School Faculty in 1995 and has been teaching for over 30 years. Known as Miss Kristi to her students, she has taught and continues to teach all levels of the professional division of the SF Ballet School and summer intensive including technique, pointe, repertory and pantomime and is the principal teacher for all levels of pre-ballet, creative dance, and creative movement. DeCaminada is a Principal Character Dancer for SF Ballet and performs character roles in SF Ballet productions and coaches the children’s roles in Nutcracker. She teaches the Pre-Ballet introduction classes for new students and the Pre-Ballet presentation class at SF Ballet School’s Spring Festival performance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. With her love of teaching children and her early childhood education background, she is proud to have successfully reintroduced and developed SF Ballet School’s Pre-Ballet program and continues to work to further expand this program in the School and throughout the City.
In addition to her full time position on the faculty, DeCaminada teaches and choreographs the Nutcracker and repertory season classes for children and adults; the Family and Sensory Friendly and pre-performance workshops for Nutcracker and the repertory season; and teaches workshops for Classes in the Community and Adaptive Ballet.
DeCaminada is an alumna of SF Ballet School. She entered the School in Pre-Ballet and completed the entire professional curriculum studying and working with the most esteemed teachers and renowned choreographers. DeCaminada performed roles in SF Ballet’s Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, Coppélia, Cinderella, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Symphony in C, Stars and Stripes, and many other company productions, including Opening Night Gala and Stern Grove. As a student in the School she was asked to perform children’s roles with world renowned ballet companies on tour at the War Memorial Opera House. DeCaminada joined SF Ballet as a Principal Character Dancer in the 2023–24 Season.
DeCaminada has taught for SF Ballet Education & Training Department’s Community Scholarship Program, and taught and choreographed for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Summer Dance Camp Workshop at SF Ballet and the Western Addition. She has taught for numerous programs in the community including the Stern Grove Festival’s Kidstage, Let’s Dance! SF Public Library, Pier 39 and Westfield Center’s Holiday Festival, and the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. She has taught and developed ballet programs for the Chinatown YMCA, San Francisco and Bay Area Easter Seals, St. Luke’s Pre-School, the Hills Project Outreach Program working with SF Unified School District Principals and educators, as well as developing numerous other children’s ballet programs throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area.
DeCaminada earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley as an alumni scholar with advanced studies specializing in education, teaching, dance and early childhood development. She is certified in Pilates from the Physical Mind Institute and has trained in Pilates at St. Francis Memorial Hospital Center for Dance Medicine.