Biography

Sayaka Wakita is a Harvard-educated ballerina and entrepreneur.

Photographed by Maria Kulchytska, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Content Highlights

EDUCATION

Current:

Harvard University (2016-present)

Guest Lecturer at Nagoya University of Arts (2020-present)

Previous:

Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, Belgium

Tokyo Inter High School/Alger Independence High School

Victoria Ballet Academy, Toronto

Nagoya International School

ARTS

Current:

Ballet dancer at Theater Dortmund (Soloist)

Previous:

Astana Ballet of Kazakhstan (First soloist)

Turkish State Opera and Ballet Theater (Principal Dancer)

Armenian National Ballet Theater (Principal Dancer)

Yakutsk National Ballet Theater (Principal Guest Dancer)

BUSINESS

Current:

Founder and CEO, Worldwide Educational Corporation

Previous:

Member of Global Shapers Community, World Economic Forum

Harvard Business School, The Coca-Cola Company

Harada Educational Institute, Inc.

Global Success Innovation, Inc.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Artist of the Year, Toyota Cultural Foundation (2014)

Gold Medal, Tokyo Ballet Competition (2013)

Gold Medal, Berlin International Ballet Competition (2011)

Scholarship, The National Junior Ballet Competition (2011)

PRESS AND MEDIA

BBC World News

Bild Zeitung

Chunichi Shinbun

KeiKeizaikai Meeting People, Connecting People (Jap: 経済界 人に巡り、人を結ぶ)

Keizaikai Top Leaders in the Business World (Jap: 経済界 経営のトップに立つ人に巡る)

Magazine President Family

Ruhr Nachrichten

WDR Lokalzeit

More About Sayaka

Early Childhood and Education

Sayaka was born in Japan and attended Nagoya International School where she learned English as her mother language. During her childhood, Sayaka had lessons in piano, calligraphy, swimming, painting and of course, ballet. She started dancing at the age of six and quickly discovered her love for it. Although she always knew that she would become a dancer, she was the student who always failed the pointe shoe exams and had to take ballet classes with students who were four years younger. When Sayaka initially started competing in local ballet competitions, nobody believed in her. Hence, it was a big surprise for herself, not to mention others, when she made it to the finals in her first try. At this moment, Sayaka was thirteen when she left Japan, in a two-month notice to her parents, to pursue professional ballet training in Toronto, Canada. She studied ballet under the Russian Vaganova Ballet Method and graduated from the Ontario Secondary School.

Sayaka in the Japanese Festival, Shichi-Go-San

After returning to Japan, she won domestic and international recognition. She was awarded the gold medal at the Tokyo Ballet Competition, the gold medal at the Berlin International Ballet Competition, the scholarship award at the National Junior Ballet Competition, and the Artist of the Year by the Toyota Cultural Foundation.

Sayaka Wakita, age 15, competing at the Berlin International Ballet Competition and won gold medal.

Based on her participation in the Prix de Lausanne Competition, she further studied at the Royal Ballet School in Antwerp, Belgium. After returning to Japan, she graduated from Tokyo Inter-High School, a correspondence American high school in Washington, D.C.

In 2016, she was admitted to Harvard University‘s distance education program (Harvard University Extension School) where she studies business and economics. Approximately once a year, she visits the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA.

As a Ballerina

After graduating from the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp in Belgium, Sayaka worked as a principal dancer or first soloist with the Yakutsk National Ballet in Russia, the Armenian National Ballet Theater, the Turkish State Opera and Ballet Theater and the Astana Ballet in Kazakhstan. She danced ballet in unconventional conditions; -40°C , no water, no electricity, dog sleighing to work and experiencing a military coup.

She has made guest appearances in Japan, Georgia, Poland, USA, Australia, Canada, Russia, Bulgaria and Belarus.

She is currently based in Dortmund, Germany with Theater Dortmund.

Sayaka Wakita, performing the lead role of Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker at her first engagement with the Yakutsk National Ballet of Russia as a principal dancer.
Entrepreneurship and Other Activities

In 2014 and 2015, Sayaka was selected for two consecutive years as a Global Shapers Community member which is appointed by the World Economic Forum (commonly known as the Davos Forum). She participated in the Regenerate Japan Tokyo Hub, a community of about 6,000 young people under the age of 33 in 400 cities around the world.

In 2014, Sayaka launched the first correspondence ballet coaching program in Japan to support arts and culture. She donated all profits.

In 2016, Sayaka founded WEC (Worldwide Educational Corporation), an educational company that served to educate teachers, parents and students. Sayaka is still managing the company as CEO from overseas.

Between 2017 – 2019, Sayaka implemented the “Ambition Plan” and “Mastermind Plan” together with Global Success Innovation, Inc. Sayaka conducted seminars, management consulting and coaching (group and private) for a wide range of corporate executives (publishers, equity investors, salon owners, dentists, etc).

In 2019, Sayaka conducted a joint lecture for entrepreneurs with Mr. Takashi Harada from the Harada Educational Institute, Inc. Mr. Harada’s business consulting company has brought companies such as UNIQLO or WATAMI to domestic and global success.

Also in 2019, Sayaka worked closely with the Harvard Business School for The Coca-Cola Company (Atlanta Headquarters, USA) Specifically, Sayaka was responsible for developing an innovation program to revitalize internal communication at the headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, which has $37.27 billion in revenue.

In 2020, Sayaka lectured at Nagoya University of Arts in the Faculty of School of Human Development. Her audiences were prospective teachers and faculty educators. The lecture focused on social issues that Japan currently faces, as well as education and art and why both are crucial to Japan in the 21st century.