Karin Yamada was born in Tokyo, Japan and began her ballet training at Matsuyama Ballet School. Karin continued her training at Ballet Austin and attended summer programs at The Rock School for Dance Education and North Carolina School of the Arts on scholarships. In 2003, Karin was accepted into North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied with Melissa Hayden, Warren Conover, and Nina Danilova.
Prior to joining City Ballet, Karin danced four seasons with Charleston Ballet Theatre where she performed numerous works including George Balanchine's Serenade, Rubies, Who Cares?, and Jill Bahr's Rite of Spring. Now in her fourth season with City Ballet, Karin has been featured in the company's production of Giselle, The Nutcracker, Carmen, The Firebird, Romeo and Juliet and George Balanchine's Valse Fantaisie, Rubies, Walpurgisnacht Ballet, Who Cares? and Agon.