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RECAP | Permission to Take Ballet w/ Kimberly Olivier | Hosted by More Than Movement

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Event Recap:

On behalf of all of us at Rae Studios’ More Than Movement, we want to say thank you for attending our Permission to Take Ballet workshop with Kimberly Olivier (she/her). We are grateful for our students who truly put their heart and passion into the Ballet workshop. Thank you to Kim for sharing your passion for Ballet and your journey as a Black ballerina.

Kim graced the room with a quick Floor Barre-inspired warm-up followed by the affirmation "“I am beautiful, I am accepted, I am taken care of, and I matter" to set up a positive and receiving mindset. Our students showed beauty and grace as Kim broke down proper Ballet technique and fundamentals such as:

  • Classical Ballet Technique Barre

    • Pliés: “knee bend”

    • Tendús: “stretched”

    • Dégagés: “to disengage”

    • Ron de Jambes: “a circular movement of the leg”

    • Fondús: “a slow bending of the supported leg”

    • Temps Liés: “a series of systemized and connected arm and leg movements done for practice”

    • Cloches: “like a bell”

    • Relevés: “a rise to the toes from the flat foot”

    • Passés: “passed”

  • Center Combinations

    • Grande Pliés in Second: “a full knee bend”

    • Relevés: “a rise to the toes from the flat foot”

    • Chaîné Turns: “a series of short usually fast turns by which a ballet dancer moves across the stage”

Check out some beginner Ballet Movement tutorials from Kim!

After the movement workshop, Kim shared her experiences dancing in the Ballet industry as a Black ballerina and valuable resources about how we can support and uplift ballerinas of color. You can find Kim’s resources and more on our More Than Movement Resource Google Document. Didn’t get a chance to catch our IG Live? You can still find it on our Instagram HERE.

For photos of the event, click this dropbox link.

If you have photos you took of the event that you would like to share, please upload them to this dropbox link. Tag: @raestudiossf and @kimbeyondballet #MoreThanMovement

To help us continue developing these educational workshops, please take 3 minutes to complete this google form asking for your testimonial and ways we can better our workshops.

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Our Amazing Teacher: Kimberly Olivier

Event Staff: Lexi (she/her) and Kristie (she/her) of the More Than Movement Committee for hosting the event and moderating the Q&A

Operations Team: Jessica (she/her), Kevin (he/him), and Andy (he/him) behind the scenes


About the workshop: Permission to take ballet regardless of race, skin type, body type, age, gender, or sexuality. Former Corps de Ballet dancer with the San Francisco Ballet Kimberly Olivier (she/her) will teach basic movements derived from classical ballet in a judgment-free space and reveal her journey within the ballet world as a Black ballerina.

Date: Saturday, December 4th, 2021 | 11:00am-1:00pm PT

Location: Rae Studios, 414 Mason St. 705, San Francisco, CA 94102. (Q&A portion will be livestreamed on IGTV)

Hosted by the More Than Movement Committee. Learn more about their work.

Tickets: Register on Eventbrite or using your MindBody App.


About Kimberly Olivier:

Born in New York, New York, Kimberly Marie Olivier (she/her) has been a Corps de Ballet dancer with the San Francisco Ballet since 2010 after being named an apprentice in 2009. Her stage name was formerly Kimberly Braylock. She has been nominated “Excellence in Individual Performance '' for the 2018-2019 Isadora Duncan Dance Awards due to her solo in Helgi Tomasson’s The Fifth Season. Her repertoire at San Francisco Ballet includes soloist, principal, and featured roles performed at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco and beyond. To name a few favorites: Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta) and The Four Temperaments (2nd Theme), Tomasson’s Swan Lake (Swan Maiden, Spanish Princess), Ashton’s Symphonic Variations, Wheeldon’s Cinderella (Spanish Princess), and Caniparoli’s Ibsen’s House (Ellida Wangel) and Lambarena.

Kimberly naturally became a beacon for her underrepresented race in the classical ballet world by being one of the few Black Female ballet dancers in world-renowned classical ballet companies for over a decade. In 2021, she made the decision to leave the San Francisco Ballet in her 12th season with the company for entrepreneurship pursuit while still maintaining her career as a performing artist, dance teacher, and signed model. Kimberly has appeared as a guest performing artist and ballet teacher on numerous occasions and is a signed model with STARS management. No matter where she is, she hopes to share the joy of dance while encouraging others to find their own freedom through self-acceptance and self-worth. Kimberly uses her social media platforms to inspire and educate her audience about nutrition, injury prevention, and the power of art.

Follow Kimberly Olivier's dance journey on Instagram at @kimbeyondballet!

Tickets: Register on Eventbrite or using your MindBody App.

Watch Kimberly's interview with KRON 4 addressing the need for more Black representation in Ballet

Watch Kimberly's beautiful performance at Lambarena, a ballet choreographed by Val Caniparoli which infuses West African dance and Classical Ballet

Included in the choreographic process Caniparoli invited Dr. Zakarya Sao Diouf and Naomi Gedo Diouf, local dance instructors that teach in Oakland. According to National Endowment for the Arts, Zakarya and Naomi Diouf are seen as “culture bearers and artists from Senegal and Liberia, respectively, who have contributed to the practice and performance of West African dance, drum, and culture in African diasporic communities for more than four decades.”

The ballet has been praised and also caused controversy whether for purists not wanting to mix genres or for those accusing the choreographer of appropriation. For Kimberly, the ballet gave a sense of pride and hope as she was able to dance and perform something so close to her father’s ancestral lineage while surrounded by a White dominated world of classical ballet.

Tickets: Register on Eventbrite or using your MindBody App.


Ticketing is a suggested price tier based on income:

A sliding scale is a tool for building economic justice. If implemented effectively, everyone pays a similar percentage of their income for the same produces or services.

Annual Income

Suggested payment

Under 25K




Over 50K


Registration and proof of vaccination are required for this event.

Tickets: Register on Eventbrite or using your MindBody App.

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