Marcie Ryken, a California native, has over 25 years of professional dance experience. Her initial training was with Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica. At age 16, she began her professional career with San Francisco Ballet. While there, she competed and won 4th place in the 1982 International Ballet Competition at Jackson, Mississippi. In preparation for this, she was coached by Yvonne Mounsey, Eric Bruhn and Jacques D'Amboise. As a result of her performance in Jacksonville, she was invited by Richard Englund to join American Ballet Theatre II, where Marcie stayed for 2 years. After seeing her in a performance in Texas, Ben Stevenson, director of Houston Ballet, invited her to become a company member. During her seven years with Houston Ballet, she performed leading roles in Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Peer Gynt and Les Patineurs. She also had the privilege of working with Margot Fonteyn, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, John Butler and Glen Tetley to name a few.
During a break in performing, Marcie pursued and obtained a degree in Business at James Watt College in Scotland. Upon returning to the U.S., she accepted an opportunity to direct the dance program at Fresno State University, while continuing to work with California Central Ballet as Ballet Mistress.
Desiring to resume performing, Marcie accepted guesting opportunities in the Bay Area working with local schools and companies, performing leading roles in Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Ben Stevenson's Three Preludes. In addition to performing, shows delighted to accept teaching and mentoring opportunities at Western Ballet in Mountain View.
During her professional career, Marcie discovered and integrated Pilates training, which benefited her performance and increased the longevity of her career. Marcie received her Pilates certification training from Jennifer Stacey, owner of Peak Performance in San Francisco. Continuing her passion for movement and efforts towards improving body mechanics, Marcie founded Los Gatos Pilates in downtown Los Gatos in 2001. She later received her Franklin Method certification, which is an essential component for movement educators, especially in the field of dance.
In 2002, Marcie had the unique opportunity to open her own studio in Los Gatos, founding Los Gatos Ballet. Her passion and love for dance continued through arts education, using dance as a platform to nurture, empower and challenge the youth. In 2005, Ms Ryken founded Los Gatos Ballet Foundation which further supports the arts in the community by inspiring and cultivating appreciation and love for dance through quality education and training program, superb performances and collaboration with other arts organizations.