Awards: Japan Grand Prize second prize 2005, Telstra Ballet Dancer Award nominee 2012 and 2015, Susan Morgan Scholarship 2013, Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer 2016, Benois de la Danse nomination 2017
Ako was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1991. At three years old she began her training at the Shiho Kanazawa Ballet Studio. In 2005 Ako won second prize at the Japan Grand Prix, and in 2006 she studied at The Royal Ballet School’s International Summer School. In 2007 she was awarded The Australian Ballet School Tuition Scholarship, which was announced at the Youth America Grand Prix. Ako toured with The Dancers Company in 2008 and in 2010 joined The Australian Ballet. She was promoted to principal artist in April 2015 following her debut as Giselle, becoming The Australian Ballet’s first Japanese principal artist.
Since joining The Australian Ballet, Ako has performed a variety of classical and contemporary works by choreographers such as Forsythe, McGregor, Murphy, Ratmansky and Wheeldon, and danced principal roles in ballets by choreographers such as Ashton, Balanchine, Lifar, MacMillan and Wright.