Yoshiya began his training with Niigata Ballet School in his hometown of Niigata City, Japan. At age 14, he took fifth place in All Japan Junior Competition, Japan Grand Prix, received scholarships for Royal Ballet School and John Cranko Ballet School, and attended Canada’s National Ballet School. There, he danced in several ballets including Jiri Kylian’s Sinfonietta, Evening Songs, Four Last Songs, and Ein von Viel by S. Matthews. In 2007, he received Peter Dwyer Scholarships from Canada Council for the Arts and was a semi-finalist in Prix de Lausanne. At American Repertory Ballet, Mr. Sakurai performed several soloist roles, including the Prince in The Nutcracker. In 2008, he joined Boston Ballet II and danced in Balanchine’s Rubies, The Nutcracker, and numerous works by Jorma Elo. In 2010 he joined Kansas City Ballet, where he performed several lead and soloist roles including White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, Benno in Swan Lake, Peasant Pas De Deux in Giselle, Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream, Porthos in The Three Musketeers, Jester in Cinderella, and in Fancy Free and Wunderland by Edwaard Liang. This is Mr. Sakurai's first season with Alberta Ballet.