“Lani Yamanaka is a San Diego native. She grew up training and competing in both Dance and Judo and graduated from University of California, Irvine with BFAs in Dance Performance and Choreography. At UCI she worked closely with the late Donald McKayle, as a proud member of his Etude Ensemble. She was featured in his work Even As The River And The Sea Are One, and holds her time working with him close to her heart.
Lani is signed with Go 2 Talent Agency. She has danced professionally touring the US and internationally with ODC/Dance under the direction of KT Nelson and Brenda Way, and Entity Contemporary Dance founded by co-directors Will Johnston and Marissa Osato. Under ODC she also had the pleasure of working with Kate Weare Company of New York. She was in the Ensemble of PEARL, a multimedia production based on the life and contributions of Pearl S. Buck, directed and choreographed by Daniel Ezralow, and played the role of Dance Captain and Ensemble in Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a kung fu musical co-conceived by Chen Shi-Zheng and Kung Fu Panda writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger with dance choreography by Akram Khan, martial arts choreography by Zhang Jun, and songs by Sia.
Lani has taught dance for many years exploring this medium of human communication and connection and aims to deepen the artistry and education of the upcoming generations.”