About the Director
Elizabeth Banke began her training at age 8 with Dorrit & Teddy Rhodin and The Swedish State Theatre Ballet School. At age 20, she opened her own professional performing arts studio in Malmö, Sweden, named “Dans Studio No. 1”.
Over her performing career, Ms. Banke danced in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty. She toured Europe, performing lead roles in Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, and Little Shop of Horrors. Ms. Banke arrived in the United States in 1990, and in 1992, opened Dance Studio No.1 in West Los Angeles with programs in ballet, jazz, flamenco, and tap.
In 1987, Ms. Banke was nominated for an international Emmy and for the European equivalent, the Golden Rose, for her starring television role in the widely watched HeltApropå (a satire variety show equivalent to Saturday Night Live). In 2010, Swedish TV celebrated that success with a 25-year reunion show.
Ms. Banke created a series of distinctive creative movement classes that serve as the foundation for the DS1 young children’s program. She choreographs and directs a minimum of two performances for her students each year, which are produced in association with SoCal Ballet. Past productions include The Little Match Girl, The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Snow Fairies, Chopiniana, Peter & the Wolf, The Four Seasons, Tales about Tails, Paquita, La Boutique Fantasque, Ragtime, Carnival of the Animals, The Jungle Book, Dancing Through the Year, The Nutcracker Twist, and Coppélia. In addition Ms. Banke and her staff co-create a large number of original variety shows that include ballet, student choreography, other dance form and influences such as jazz, hip hop, tap, modern, flamenco, and folk, all taught at DS1 and performed to the delight of family and friends.
Ms. Banke holds a teaching certificate and diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.). She is an American Ballet Theatre (A.B.T.) certified teacher, as well as a founding member and judge for the International Dance Acclaim (I.D.A.). She also serves as a regular guest teacher and coach in her native Sweden.