About Us

This is BallettStadt

as the owner of the school Wayan manages administration and finance, leaving the teachers free to fully concentrate on class. BallettStadt offers professional, carefully thought out classes that are level and age appropriate. We treat the students as individuals, structuring our classes in accordance to their capabilities. This enables our students to reach their full potential. 

Our focus lies not simply on the end result of performing steps and dances correctly, but also on how this is achieved. Our main objective is to increase body consciousness and give quality to the movement.


Wayan Buholzer

A mother of two children, Wayan began her dance education at the age of 5 at this exact studio. Later she trained daily with Martine Giaconi, the founder of the school, newly renamed BallettStadt. At the age of 12 she moved to Munich to study ballet at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung where she was supported by a scholarship from Migros Kulturprozent. Wayan graduated as a ballet dancer at the age of 17 with a diploma from the University of Applied Science in Munich. She danced for 3 years at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein opera house in Düsseldorf under the direction of Youri Vamos. Back in Switzerland, she studied to become a dance instructor and began teaching ballet and modern dance. In 2006 she received her bachelor’s degree in Dance Education. 

Wayan began teaching in 2004 at Dance Art Studio in Lucerne and since then she has been teaching classical and modern ballet to all levels and ages. She has also held various workshops around Switzerland. 

Wayan became the owner of BallettStadt in August 2014.

Kusha Alexi

By achieving the status of ‘Prima Ballerina’, Kusha has lived the dream of many girls. She began her ballet training at the age of 5 and at 13 she entered the SBBS (Schweizerishe Ballettberufsschule) in Zürich. During that time she trained with Martine Giaconi at weekends. At the age of 15 she continued her ballet education at the Heinz-Bosl-Stiftung in Munich thanks to a scholarship. 

She was awarded the Prix de Lausanne in 1993 for being the best ballet dancer in Switzerland. In 1994 Kusha received the silver medal at both the Eurovision in Stockholm and the International Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. 

With a degree in Ballet Dancing, she began her career at the Bavarian state opera in Munich under the direction of Konstanze Vernon just before turning 18. Two years later she obtained a contract as a soloist and soon after as a first soloist. After Munich, the opera houses of Monte Carlo, Zürich, Basel, Hamburg and Gelsenkirchen followed. Kusha danced the leading roles in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Quixote and many others. Kusha was also invited to participate in many dance galas around the globe. 

Kusha is the mother of one daughter and along with her own dance commitments has been teaching ballet since 2009.

Salome Martins

Salome Martins completed her dance training at the Contemporary Dance Academy in Setubal and danced at CeDeCe in Portugal, at the Ballett Braunschweig, Ballett Theater München, Staatstheater Darmstadt and the Ballet National de Marseille. An engagement by the Lucerne Theater brought her to Switzerland in 2009. From 2009 to 2017, Salome was seen in various solo roles at the Lucerne Theater. In 2010 Salome started teaching at the Dance Art Studio and the Musical Factory. She has been teaching at BallettStadt since February 2018.

Anouk Johann-Kaulitz

Anouk Johann-Kaulitz, mother of two girls, is an experienced dance teacher and primary school teacher with an additional degree in integrative support as well as rhythm and movement. Anouk graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance in London and completed further training in various dance styles. Anouk is in charge of children's dance and fusion dance at BallettStadt .

Andrea Thompson

Andrea Thompson began her professional dance education in New York City, first at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, continuing with Modern and Contemporary Dance at the official school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She received further training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, at Springboard Danse Montréal, in the Summer Intensive Program of Nederlands Dans Theater, and in Gaga Intensives in New York City and Tel Aviv. At Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as a member of Hubbard Street 2, she began teaching ballet, repertoire, and improvisation classes and, from 2014, was a summer faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. After freelancing and performing with Shen Wei Dance Arts in New York, Andrea began dancing for Tanz Luzerner Theater in 2017. In der Schweiz hat sie Ballett und Ballett-Fitnesskurse für erwachsene Anfänger sowie Workshops in kreativer Bewegung für Anfänger unterrichtet.

Alena Svaba

Alena studied at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava before receiving a scholarship at the Académie de Danse Classique Princess Grace in Monaco. After her graduation in 2004, she danced for thirteen years with Aalto Ballett Essen and interpreted numerous solo roles onstage. She also performed as a guest artist with Ballett Dortmund, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and the ballet companies of both the Opéra National de Bordeaux and the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava. After retiring from the stage, she began teaching ballet, and has lived with her family in Lucerne since 2017.

Maria Moretti

Maria Moretti received her Bachelor in Dance from Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen (DE) and the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Lyon (FR). From 2016 to 2020 she worked in North Rhine-Westphalia (DE) as a freelance dance pedagogue and from 2017 to 2020 as a dancer at Neuer Tanz Düsseldorf.


Since August 2020 she is studying for her Master in Dance Pedagogy from the Palucca University of Dance Dresden (DE) and currently lives and teaches in Central Switzerland. 

Rachel Lawrence

Rachel Lawrence studied in Glasgow and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Dance and Performance. A tour with the Ballet Central through England, Scotland and Wales followed. 

After an engagement with the Ballet Junior de Genève, Rachel Lawrence was a member of the Lucerne Theater from 2009 till 2017 and presented her enormous versatility in many different solo parts. 

Rachel started teaching ballet and modern dance at various schools in Lucerne while working at the Lucerne Theater. From August 2017 to February 2019 Rachel was an integral part of the BallettStadt teaching team. Since March 2019 she is working in the fashion industry, but is still acting as a substitute teacher in BallettStadt.

Mathilde Gilhet

Mathilde received her dance training at the National Choreographic Center of Carloyn Carlson in France and with Ballet Junior de Genève. She has performed in theaters in Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, and the USA. Mathilde is a former full-time faculty member for ARTs Umbrella in Vancouver, Canada; was head of the Contemporary Dance Program at FLUX + FLOW Dance and Movement Center in Columbus, OH (USA) from 2018 to 2020; and is an experienced dance instructor for all ages, difficulty levels, and physical abilities. She has been a member of Tanz Luzerner Theater since August 2020.

Dario Dinuzzi

Dario is a performer, choreographer and movement coach. He trained professionally in ballet and contemporary dance, interpreted works of renowned choreographers, and performed around the world. He is a former company member of Aterballetto, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Ballet BC and Tanz Luzerner Theater, and has freelanced in Europe and Canada, gaining expertise in street performing, dance theatre and clowning. During his career, Dario developed his personal language as a choreographer, and was appointed Artist in Residence with Ballet BC for two years, as well as commissioned by major pre-professional dance programs like ArtsUmbrella (Canada). His works have been presented in Italy, Switzerland, Canada, and the USA. Since 2010 Dario has taught dance classes, workshops and intensive courses internationally. After his first successful experience with Tanz Luzerner Theater in 2016/17, Dario re-joined the company for the 2020/21 season.

Adriana Berwert


Adriana trained at Dance Art Studio in Lucerne before she was accepted for studies at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London, where she received her BA (Hons) degree. She joined Ballet Junior de Genève, she free-lanced, and began teaching dance. Adriana decided to return to university studies in 2019, while continuing to teach classes in ballet, Modern, and Contemporary Dance for children, teens, and adults.



These facilities have been used for dance since 100 years. The training room is equipped with a parquet floor that protects the joints. When not used for lessons, the premises are also rented out on an hourly basis. If you are interested, please contact Wayan Buholzer.



The two modern studios comprising of 110m2 (Neustadt 1) and 90m2 (Neustadt 2) are equipped with a swing floor and dance carpet.  


When not used for lessons, the premises are also rented out on an hourly basis. If you are interested, please contact Wayan Buholzer.

History of the school

Dance education has been an integral part of Musseggstrasse 12b from as early as 1917, when Dietrich Böttcher began teaching ballet and rhythmics in his Lucerne studio.


In 1988, Martine Giaconi opened her ballet school and was a significant contributor to the early ballet education of Wayan Buholzer and Kusha Alexi. When she stepped down in August 2014, the two sisters were her favored successors. The school’s name changed to BallettStadt, and Martine Giaconi continued her work as an Alexander Technique instructor.



Genia Snihurowycz Blum founded Dance Art Studio in the city’s Neustadt in 1992. It evolved into Lucerne’s largest ballet school, where Wayan Buholzer, Kusha Alexi, and other dancers like Salome Martins, Zach Enquist, and Anouk Johann gathered valuable teaching experience. When the time came for Genia Blum to find a new home for her students and teaching team, she turned to BallettStadt. In August 2018, both schools merged under the leadership of Wayan Buholzer. Genia Blum continues to support dance through the Daria Nyzankiwska Dance Foundation, and has established a successful second career as a writer and translator.




Today, BallettStadt's classes take place in two welcoming dance studios in Lucerne: at Museggstrasse 12b and at Obergrundstrasse 42. The principles of quality, discipline and personal commitment continue to shape the school to this day.

Little Man

8th and 9th of June 2019 at Südpol






Mai 5th 2018


Ariane Udvardi created two choreographies for her Matura graduation: "black" and " white ". The two choreographies deal with two deep, very different emotions and form the beginning and the end of the performance.  BallettStadt developed this work further with 30 dancers aged 5 to 20 and creates GIFTS. 

GIFTS is about priceless gifts, which, if we accept them, change our lives.  It's about calm, light-heartedness, wisdom, a new way of looking at things - and lightness.


Sunday, 18th September 2016 | KKL Luzern, White Hall | 7pm

On the occasion of its 5th anniversary, the Central Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra (ZJSO) extended its invitation to the White Hall of the KKL Luzern. With the project "DANZA", this innovative youth orchestra redefined the term "cross-over". ZJSO fused the genres choral music, violin concert, dance choreography and orchestral music, producing a unique concert evening in the heart of Lucerne's cultural scene and creating passion pure! Visitors could experience an exceptional concert with an unprecedented production in the White Hall. Fulminant orchestral works were merged with dance choreography and lighting arrangements. Together with violinist Noëlle Grüebler, BallettStadt and first solo dancers, interpreted pieces for violin & orchestra. 

BallettStadt@Open Air Cinema Lucerne

On Sunday, August 21st, 2016 BallettStadt visited the open air cinema Lucerne. At a beautiful late summer night guest enjoyed a Laurent Perrier Champagne Apéro and before the screening of the film “Rhythm is it!” BallettStadt presented its own choreography to Ravel's Boléro.

The film “Rhythm is it!” centers on the Berlin Philharmonic and its conductor Sir Simon Rattle as well as on 250 children and adolescents from 25 nations. Under the direction of the choreographer and dance teacher Royston Maldoom they rehearse the performance of Igor Stravinsky's ballet “Le sacre du printemps.”


Ballet performance "Four Seasons"

Choreography, idea and concept: Wayan Buholzer, Kusha Alexi and Rachel Lawrence.


Over 60 students of the BallettStadt danced on Sunday, March 20, 2016 on stage to Antonio Vilvaldis "Four Seasons".


The focus of the performance were the ballet students and their attending families and friends. However, there were also professional highlights: guest soloist Amilcar Moret Gonzalez – known also as the first soloist in the role of Othello at the Hamburg Ballet – especially flew in from Rom for his solo performance. Kusha Alexi – who leads most of the ballet classes at the BallettStadt - performed her new piece "Letting Go".

The guests enjoyed the offered Laurent Perrier champagne and fine appetizers before the show; then allowed themselves to be dazzled by the 5 to 60 year old dancers and chatted away during the intermission and after the performance.

The 400 seats of the 3pm performance were sold out, whilst attendance was very high for the 6pm show. Thanks to the financial support of the Ida and Albert Flersheim Foundation, several sponsors and many helpers the ticket costs could be set at CHF 38 (children CHF 18). This greatly helped not to financially overburden the ballet school, who among other things bared the expenses of the costumes as well as offered the additional trainings at no cost.

Wayan Buholzer is pleased to continue the tradition of a student performance every two years and looks forward to the ballet performance of BallettStadt in spring 2018.