DIRECTORS / INSTRUCTORS
Co-Founder & Instructor
“Suddenly came “Faith” and the whole ballet was lifted to a higher level. Much of the exhilaration came from the dancing of Xavier Ferla”“Ferla raises the bar with trim leaps and serpentine footwork”
“a ballet background has strengthened the line, elevated the center, enhanced the allure and upped the risk taking”
“alone would be enough to make this dance a gift of joy”
San Francisco Examiner
Xavier Ferla, a Swiss native, began dance at the age of four with the Academy of Geneva. At 12 years old, he continued his studies with Serge Golovine principal dancer and professor with l’ Opera de Paris. At the age of fourteen, he won a scholarship to join Hamburg Ballet School under the school direction of Truman Finney. In 1985, he won the prestigious Prix de Lausanne world ballet competitions in New York which enabled him to finish his studies with a Rolex Company scholarship.
He was engaged by Maurice Bejart, director of the Ballet of the 20th Century, where he was promoted into his first principal role within two months. He accepted principal contracts with Berlin Ballet under the direction of Peter Schauffus and The Royal New Zealand Ballet. He also worked as a freelance artist for many companies in Sweden, Denmark, and the United States.
He created pieces with reputable choreographers such as Maurice Béjart, John Neumeier, Sir Kenneth Mc Milan, Christopher Bruce, Alonzo King, Peter Schauffus, Matz Skoog, Kristof Pastor, Pascal Touzeau, Stephen Petronio, Michael Clark, Yannis Adoniou, Meg Stuart, Karole Hermitage, Valéry Panov, Patrick King. In 1988, he joined Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet in San Francisco.
As a dancer, he knew he would pass on his knowledge and continue his passion through teaching. His teaching parallels his exemplary professional career. He collaborates and creates with his wife, Maggie Parungao – Ferla, at their school, Dance Theatre International.
Besides being Dance Theatre International’s Principal Ballet teacher, he is a freelance teacher invited to teach in professional dance companies internationally such as the Dresden Ballet in Germany, the Royal Swedish Ballet in Stockholm and the Tokyo Ballet with the Sylvie Guillem Tour. He was called to be an official judge for the Prix de Lausanne world ballet competitions.
Co-Founder & Instructor
Maggie believes that students and educators should begin with the intent to give their best.Maggie brings over 40 years of experience in dance and theatre performance. She was a professional ballerina with San Francisco Ballet, Bejart Ballet in Switzerland and the Hamburg Ballet in Germany performing soloist, principal, and corps de ballet roles in a wide variety of Classical Ballet, Contemporary and Modern dance.
She performed at the Paris Opera, John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C., Herodes Atticus Amphitheater in Athens, Spoleto Festival in Italy, Olympics 1984, Salzburg’s Mozart Festival and San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, to name a few.
As a dancer, she worked with acclaimed choreographers such as Maurice Bejart, John Neumeier, Helgi Tomasson, William Forsythe, David Bintley, Mats Ek, Lars Lubovitch, Val Caniparoli, james Kadelka and Elisa Monte performing in world premiere pieces.
She produced and choreographed in multi-disciplinary contemporary dance works to Classical Ballet and film. Some of her pieces include “Sleeping Beauty”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Les Sylphides”, “A Carnival of Animals”, “The Nutcracker” and “Alice in Wonderland”.
Maggie is the private movement and ballet coach of Olympic and World Competition ice skater, Polina Edmunds. She mentored, trained, and coached students who have become dancers with San Francisco Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Oakland Ballet Company and the Julliard School. Her students have also received notable judge’s awards at various competitions such as YAGP.
Maggie is grateful to have the opportunity to share her passion for dance with her community. She hopes that sharing her knowledge inspires the next generation of artists. She founded Dance Theatre International in 1994 and co- founded San Jose Youth Ballet, DTI’s non-profit company in 2003.
“Leading by Example: Extraordinary Women of the South Bay”
Elizabeth Insalco – Musical Theatre
Judy Milner – Modern & Contemporary
Joanna Berman – Classical
Brett Conway – Contemporary
Bat Erdene – Udval – Classical
Sofiane Sylve – Classical
Brian Yoo – Classical