Ikolo Griffin was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He received his first ballet training as a scholarship student with San Francisco Ballet School’s outreach program. He is the first and only outreach student to graduate the school and continue into the San Francisco Ballet company. After seven years with SFB, Ikolo joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as a soloist and was later promoted to principal. He danced principal roles for two seasons at the Joffrey Ballet before returning home to San Francisco as a member of Smuin Ballet. Currently, Ikolo works as a resident corps dancer for the San Francisco Opera and freelances for Oakland Ballet, as well as companies and schools around the world.
Throughout his career as a dancer, Ikolo always made time to participate in outreach programs. One of his missions in outreach is to generate awareness for people of mixed heritage like himself. He and his business partner Nathalie-Andree Muzac created Living Bridges, a mixed heritage awareness organization built on promoting diversity and understanding through lectures, classes, and performances.
As a seasoned artist, Ikolo is now transitioning into his role as teacher, coach, and mentor. His philosophy emphasizes a positive, healthy artistic environment and a fresh approach to classicism. Ikolo’s unique teaching style and talents as a dancer led him to create the Just Turns Workshop, a curriculum specially designed to target and improve turning technique. The workshop can be tailored to dancers of all levels and styles, from individuals to schools, summer programs, and professional settings.