Airi Igarashi was born in Gunma, Japan. At age 7, she began her training at the Reiko Yamamoto Ballet School. She continued her training under John Neumeier at The Ballet School of the Hamburg Ballet in Germany, where she performed in Neumeier’s The Nutcracker and danced the role of Princess Florine in Marius Petipa’s The Sleeping Beauty. She won first place at the All Japan Ballet Competition in 2011 and third place in 2015. In addition, she was a semi-finalist at the Prix de Lausanne International Ballet Competition in Switzerland in 2013 and 2015.
Airi joined Atlanta Ballet in 2017, and some of her favorite highlights with Atlanta Ballet include performing Yuri Possokhov’s The Nutcracker as Marie and Don Quixote as Amore; August Bournonville/Johan Kobborg’s La Sylphide as the Sylphide; Marius Petipa’s Don Quixote Grande Pas de Deux; Liam Scarlett’s Vespertine and Catch; Jiří Kylián’s Return to a Strange Land; Ricardo Amarante’s Love Fear Loss; Craig Davidson’s Remembrance/Hereafter; Kiyon Ross’s Sum Stravinsky; and Dwight Rhoden’s Sunrise Divine. Airi was named as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2020.