Tempe Dance West’s faculty is a group of brilliant instructors whose backgrounds provide students with a variety of artistic influences. The faculty has exceptional professional experience from dance companies, stage, film, television and higher education.
Owner and Director
Michael Cook, received his dance training from the Tempe Dance Academy in Arizona and the School of American Ballet in New York City. Michael has been a member of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet since 2007. From 1999 to 2007, Michael danced with Ballet Arizona as a principal dancer. While performing with Ballet Arizona, he originated roles in Ib Andersen’s Romeo and Juliet as Romeo, Mosaik, and Swan Lake as Prince Siegfried. His repertoire includes works by Paul Taylor, Julia Adam, Twyla Tharp, Dwight Rhoden, Maurice Béjart, Jerome Robbins, and George Balanchine. As a part of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Michael has danced principal roles in Agon, Apollo, Prodigal Son, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Duo Concertante, La Valse, Diamonds, Meditation, and Mozartiana, among others. He has also danced in Ragtime, as a part of the Balanchine Preservation Initiative. His passion for dancing extends beyond the stage to teach and inspire young students. Through the Education Department at the Kennedy Center, he teaches a series of master classes in ballet and partnering.
Michael Co-Directs the Nationally recognized Tempe Dance Company in Tempe, AZ. Many of Michael’s students have moved on to Broadway, River North, Lines Contemporary Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Cirque De Soliel, Prestigious Ballet Companies, The Rockettes, Las Vegas Showgirls, SYTYCD, Laker Girls and scholarships to colleges such as Juilliard, Marymount, Pace, Univ. of the Arts, Point Park, Univ. of AZ and ASU. Michael is always excited to share his love and passion in dance with all his students.
Company Co-Director / Social Media Coordinator
Paige started dancing over a decade ago in Phoenix, Arizona and immediately fell in love. She danced competitively for 9 years, traveling all over the United States for national competitions and conventions. After that, she then went on to be captain of Grand Canyon University’s dance team for three years and was able to represent GCU on their first dance team to go to nationals. After graduating college, teaching dance has become one of her favorite ways to continue my love for the sport while helping others grow.
Children’s Program Director
Bio coming soon…
Kanako began her training in Fukuoka, Japan, and later joined the Reiko Matsuoka Ballet Institute, with which she toured Russia, China and Japan. She was awarded a scholarship to train in Paris, and further studies took her to the Beijing Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, City Ballet School in California, and to Petaluma, California with Maria Vegh. Kanako has performed professionally with Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Idaho Ballet, Alaska’s North Star Ballet, Ballet Hawaii, Tau Dance Theatre, and Reiko Matsuoka Ballet.
Since joining Ballet Arizona in 2001 Kanako has originated featured roles in Ib Andersen’s Indigo Rhapsody, Elevations, Mosaik, Preludes and Fugues, Play, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Hippolyta). Principal roles have included Myrtha in Giselle; Ib Andersen’s The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Don Quixote (Mercedes, Street Dancer, Queen of the Dryads); and Apollo (Polyhymnia), La Sonnambula (Coquette), Divertimento No. 15, Serenade (Dark Angel), Allegro Brillante, and “Rubies” from Jewels, all by George Balanchine, and Bournonville’s Konservatoriet. Kanako has performed soloist roles inSwan Lake, Coppélia, Les Sylphides, and Ib Andersen’s Romeo and Juliet (Lady Montague), and in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, and La Valse. She frequently travels to Japan as a guest artist and dance coach. Bio From Ballet Arizona
Ally has been dancing since age three and began training with Tempe Dance Academy at age seven in all areas of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, acro and more. Ally graduated from Arcadia High School in the top 5% of her class and is now in the leaders academy of the W.P. Carey School of business at Arizona State University. After many years of participating in competitive dance, some of her titles are Jr. Miss Dance of Arizona 2010, Teen Miss Dance of Arizona 2013, National Teen Acrobatic Title Scholarship, and NYCDA National Sr Outstanding Dancer 4th Runner-up.
Taylor began dancing at the age of twelve. Her first love is hip-hop, but she has trained in an array of styles including: contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet, and musical theater. Taylor danced competitively with Michaela’s Dance Magic for 6 years, and then moved into teaching at Dance Magic. She attended Sandra Day O’Connor and was a member of her high school pom team. After graduation, Taylor went on dance for the Grand Canyon University Dance Team while, also competing for the team in both jazz and hip-hop. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management in May 2015. Taylor is currently on staff at Pinnacle High School as an assistant pom coach and also aides the Grand Canyon University Dance team.