Our story


Firebird is an award-winning Bay Area dance school and performing dance company

Founded in 1991 by world-renowned teacher and choreographer Roza Lysaya, Firebird began as a small class of 6 students, focusing on traditional folk dances from around the world. Fast forward to the present, and we now have well over 100 participants ranging from the age of 18 months in our youngest group to the adults in our performing dance troupe, Firebird Dance Theatre.

Under the direction of Roza’s daughter, an award-winning dancer, teacher, and choreographer Lotta Lysaya Burton, since 1999, Firebird has continued to win over audiences locally, nationally, and abroad. Taking inspiration from different techniques and cultures around the world, our repertoire of dances and classes has evolved into a unique program with a fusion of modern, folk, lyrical, ballet, and ballroom dance. Our horizons continue to broaden with each new dance and project that we undertake.


Recognition & Honors


Firebird has received dozens of honors over the past two decades and is a three-time winner of the Best of Mountain View Award in the Performing Arts Category.

Firebird has been honored to perform for S.F. Mayors Willy Brown and Gavin Newsom, the Society of Artistic Heritage of Quebec, and the Israeli Parliament, among others. In 2004, they received the “Outstanding Performance” honor from the Quebec Society of Artistic Heritage, and in 2006 were invited back for the Quebec Folklore Dance Festival in Montreal.They've also performed on the finest Bay Area stages including the Palace of Fine Arts, Herbst Theater, S.F. City Hall, Union Square, Zellerbach Hall, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Grad prix winner Fiestalonia Milenio

Lloret Del Mar, Spain, 2019

3-time winner Best of Mountain View in Performing Arts

Inducted into Hall of Fame

Mountain View Award Program, 2013, 2014, 2015

San Francisco Letters of Commendation

Mayor Gavin Newsom, 2007, 2008
Mayor Willy Brown, 2001

San Francisco Letter of Commendation

San Francisco Board of Supervisors, 2007

2-time Outstanding Performance Honor

Presented by the Society of Artistic Heritage of Quebec, 2004, 2006

Honorary Award at the Israel International Folk Festival

Presented at Parliament, Knesset, Israel, 2000

2-time First Place, International Youth Talent Competition

International Youth Center "Artek", Russia, 1997, 1998


In the media

Firebird featured IN a Television Documentary

Originally aired on Comcast San Jose Channel 15, December 2014 and January 2015
Watch Online

Featured as a Top 10 Event for Fall 2014

"This imaginative troupe combines many dance forms"
Palo Alto Weekly, Fall Arts Preview, 2014

Featured Interview in Kstati (Кстати) Russian American Weekly Newspaper

Kstati, 2011 (Article is in Russian)

Firebird show, Quintessence, written up as Featured East Bay Event

East Bay Express, 2007

"Lotta Burton [is] one of those talented people"
Michael Krasny, NPR/KQED Forum: "The Russian Cultural Scene", 2007