Mayu Tanigaito was born in Tochigi, Japan, and made her first trip to New Zealand in 2011 to audition for Royal New Zealand Ballet. NYC will be Mayu's first season with the company.

Mayu started her dance training at the age of 6 at the Takahashi Wakako Ballet Studio, and continued her studies at Antwerp Royal Ballet School in Belgium, and The Rock School for Dance Education in the US. In 2007 she was a finalist in the Youth American Grand Prix, the world's largest student ballet scholarship competition.

Her professional career began in 2008 at North Carolina Dance Theatre II where she danced roles in Snow White, Othello and The Nutcracker.

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