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Meet Our Artistic Director!

Aerin Holt, Founder of California DanceArts and California Contemporary Ballet

Aerin Holt is the Founder and Artistic Director of California DanceArts, a full-service dance school located in La Cañada, California. Since 1987, her passion for dance has been marked by the development of her school’s progressive programs that proudly features the advancement of her students, many of whom have gone onto professional careers.


Ms. Holt is the visionary choreographer and the Artistic Director of California Contemporary Ballet, one of Southern California’s burgeoning dance companies that features Holt’s unique choreographic blend of classical, contemporary and modern ballet. She leads her Company with the creation of several innovative, original works and full-length original ballets presented each season.


During her career, Aerin has been fortunate to study and perform with a variety of companies and has worked with choreographers from the Martha Graham Dance Company, Joffrey Ballet, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, Utah Repertory Company and Momentum Dance Company, to name a few. She has been seen in broadcasts for commercial and educational television, and is an award-winning choreographer of theatrical events, stage productions, competitions and ballets. Her choreographic works have been performed internationally in five countries and her Company has been featured on television broadcasts and in Southern California’s prestigious dance festivals. She has provided her expert level of experience as dance faculty and guest to highly regarded dance institutes, such as;  University of California Los Angeles, American Musical and Dramatic Academy-Los Angeles, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Salzburg International Ballet in Austria and Ostrava Ballet in the Czech Republic. She has provided dance education to literally thousands of school-aged children in the Los Angeles area and has coached many artists in the music and movie industry of Hollywood.


Dubbed “The Child Prodigy of Modern Dance” by Southern California’s news press during the 1970’s, a young Aerin frequently performed at the prestigious Lobero Theater, located in Santa Barbara, California, often appearing as a featured guest dancer in concert with visiting companies, in operas and ballets. As a student of Fawn Pickett, a former Martha Graham Company dancer, Aerin became Ms. Pickett’s assistant and class demonstrator for master classes taught at many colleges and universities located in the Southwest. Aerin was awarded dance scholarships by the University of New Mexico and trained with professors Jennifer Predock-Linnell and Bill Evans. Again on scholarship, Ms. Holt received personal mentoring in ballet and choreography from Charles Russell who served as master teacher and assistant to Robert Joffrey of the Joffrey Ballet. She later became a principal dancer for his choreography. She received additional scholarship training from Carla Mosely, Robert Hanlan and Valerie Houston, all hailing from Southern California.


Aerin Holt is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

Due to a near-debilitating dance injury, her search for health led her on a quest toward new and cutting edge techniques for injury prevention. As a result, she has become one of only four certified teachers authorized to instruct groundbreaking MPT (Placement Technique) and has completed Posture Alignment Specialist Training (P-1) from Egoscue Motion Therapy. Aerin made a full recovery due to the wisdom of these methods and is dedicated to helping others achieve pain free, healthy dance careers and active lifestyle.  In 2017 and 2018, Aerin became certified in PBT (Progressive Ballet Technique) a program to enhance ballet technique.



Groomed as a choreographer by her teachers, Aerin is an award-winning, international choreographer specializing in works for theatrical events, stage productions, competitions and full length ballets. Ms. Holt’s versatile choreography ranges from classical ballet, contemporary ballet and modern dance, and contemporary jazz styles. Her choreography has been seen in Europe as well as the U.S. She is the Artistic Director of California Contemporary Ballet, a company which she founded and has led for the past 25 years. For information about Ms. Holt’s choreographic works, please visit our Company Website.

Initially, Ms. Holt’s interest in music lead her to work with many singers and musicians possessing a variety of music styles, choreographing videos and stage shows. She became a performance coach and developed a curriculum which employed performance drills to provide musical artists with the skills to move on stage naturally and develop stage presence. In 1986, she was recognized by Music Connection Magazine for her contributions and work as it relates to the music industry. As a result of her work with musicians, singers and performers of all kind, Ms. Holt has defined and implemented the methods used in Dance Essentials ™, created to improve stage presence and performance skills of any performing artist.  Ms. Holt continues to deliver these methods to her dance students and to artists in the entertainment industry.



(featuring Aerin Holt or her Company, California Contemporary Ballet)

  • Los Angeles Times: Full feature news and blog article entitled “Holt scores high marks”.

  • KTLA News: On-Air feature for California Contemporary Ballet's, The Snow Queen.

  • LA Weekly, Pasadena Weekly, Glendale News-Press and Crescenta Valley Leader: Multiple feature news articles and “BEST BET” since 1998.

  • LA Fashion Week and California Chronicle: Featured articles.

  • Performing Arts Live blog Review quote, “Aerin Holt is doing terrific work!” and “California Contemporary Ballet… BRILLIANT!”



Under Holt’s direction, California Contemporary Ballet has been awarded grants from several foundations, including the Hezlep Family Foundation, Time Warner Foundation and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and continues to draw financial support from its generous patrons. In 2010, California Contemporary was nominated for a Lester Horton Award for best presentation.

Ms. Holt continues to uphold the techniques and principles of classical and modern ballet that have been generously entrusted to her by her mentors and by whom she is uniquely sanctioned to the leadership positions that she now holds with honor.

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