Press Release

Press Release


Former San Francisco Ballet Soloist Returns to the Company as an Educator

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) October 31, 2023—San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) today announced the appointment of Grace Maduell Holmes as Director of San Francisco Ballet School, one of the nation’s oldest and most renowned ballet schools. An SF Ballet dancer for 12 years, Holmes returns to the company after serving as the director of the Kansas City Ballet School since 2014, where she oversaw all school programming and student performance opportunities. She brings more than 20 years of experience teaching students of all ages in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

“I’m excited to welcome Grace back to San Francisco Ballet in a new capacity as the leader of our renowned dance training programs,” said Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of SF Ballet. “SF Ballet School has been an essential part of the organization since its founding in 1933, proudly offering well-rounded, multidisciplinary artistic training. Our students are our legacy and our future, and I look forward to Grace’s leadership in supporting their growth and cultivating the next generation of professional dancers for SF Ballet and ballet companies around the world.”

“The decade-plus that I spent with SF Ballet was a formative time in my career, and as a proud alumna of the SF Ballet school and the company, I am thrilled to return to San Francisco to lead one of the nation’s premier ballet schools that has had such an impact on me and so many others across the industry,” said Holmes. “It’s such a pivotal moment for SF Ballet under Tamara Rojo’s leadership, and I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside her and the dedicated education team to build on the School’s legacy of excellence in dance education, holistically supporting talented young artists and giving them the tools they need to succeed in professional dance companies and beyond.”

Holmes joins SF Ballet School with a varied career as a dancer and educator. She began her training at SF Ballet School in 1979 under educators including long-time company director Lew Christensen. She began her professional career at New Orleans Ballet Theatre and joined SF Ballet’s company in 1983, where she was promoted to soloist in 1990 and danced until 1995. Following her tenure at SF Ballet, she danced with the Birmingham Royal Ballet as a Senior Soloist until her retirement from the stage in 2000, then transitioned to a role as Birmingham’s Education Projects Officer. Holmes went on to teach dance at an array of higher education institutions and professional dance companies in the United States and as Ballet Education Manager for the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden prior to her appointment at Kansas City Ballet School in 2014.


San Francisco Ballet is one of the world’s leading ballet companies. As a commissioner, collaborator, and presenter, SF Ballet performs locally, nationally, and internationally with top choreographers, artists, and dancers while proudly celebrating its trailblazing role in dance. Since its founding in 1933 and as the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, the organization has been an innovator in dance and an originator of well-loved cultural traditions, from staging the first American production of Swan Lake to being the first company in the United States to present an annual holiday Nutcracker. In the progressive, innovative spirit of San Francisco, its aim is to share the beauty of classical and contemporary ballet, the joyful, transformative experience of dance performance by artists working at the highest caliber, and to provide exceptional training opportunities for the next generation of professional dancers in its school.

International and national media:
Josh Balber / Emma Gold / Aliyah Armstrong
Resnicow and Associates
212-671-5175 / 212-671-5186 / 212-671-5179
jbalber@resnicow.com / egold@resnicow.com / aarmstrong@resnicow.com

San Francisco media:
Kate McKinney
San Francisco Ballet