Nao was ten years old when she came to America to study at Washington Ballet. For the first time, she saw how a professional company worked. She watched them rehearse Serenade day after day. When she finally saw it on stage, she was completely captivated and it inspired me to pursue dance. The company never ceased to intrigue her with their versatility. She realized then that’s what she wanted to be a part of. A whole new world opened up in front of her eyes, and she saw endless possibilities in this art form.
Nao was born in Ehime, Japan. and grew up in Japan, Washington D.C., and Boston. In Japan, Nao trained at the Yatsuzuka Ballet. In the United States she trained with Mary Day and Patricia Berrend at the Washington School of Ballet and with Tatiana Legat, Laura Young, and Sydney Leonard at the Boston Ballet School. After training with the Boston Ballet, she was asked to join the company as a member of the Corps de Ballet. Nao danced professionally with Boston Ballet for five seasons before joining the Houston Ballet in 2004. In 2008 she was promoted to soloist.