Faculty

Sarah-Jane Measor

Sarah-Jane Measor – Ballet Director/Owner

Sarah-Jane was born in England and realized her love for dance at an early age. She was trained in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Imperial Society (ISTD) ballet techniques. In addition to ballet, her wide knowledge of dance also encompasses tap, jazz and European folk dance. Sarah-Jane taught and performed professionally in Hong Kong before she came to the United States and joined the faculty of Menlo Park Academy of Dance. For the past nine years, she has been the co-owner and director of the school. Sarah-Jane holds the Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Certificate with distinction, always nurturing her students to achieve their very best. She has successfully coached students through all the RAD levels of exams including the prestigious Solo Seal Award. Many of Sarah-Jane's students have gone on to enjoy professional dance careers, including former ballet student, who is now on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars", Cheryl Burke.

   
Sylvia Duncan

Sylvia Duncan – Business Manager/Owner

Sylvia has been a part of the Studio for 40 years. First as a parent of three daughters who danced with MPAOD, one of whom danced professionally and two who became dance teachers. For 12 years she assisted the Dancers Repertory Theatre Company in their productions including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and served then and now on their Board of Directors. For the last 20 years she has managed the business end of the Studio and is know as the lady who lives in the office.

   
Joyce Aranda

Joyce Aranda

Joyce has taught our Adult Ballet classes for 20 years. She has trained extensively in Ballet and Character dancing. She taught and performed professionally in Chicago.

   
nicole banta

Nicole Banta

Nicole has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Theater while growing up in the Bay Area. MPAOD is excited to add her to the faculty teaching morning children's classes. (Nicole has two boys of her own). Her fun and innovated classes for children will be very welcome at the studio.

 

   

Faith Bonitz Tanaka

Faith trained at an RAD school completing her children's and major examinations.  Later on she studied the Balanchine and Vaganova methods.  She danced professionally with the Illinois Ballet and after being injured was certified in Pilates and began teaching

   

Elizabeth Chandler

Elizabeth started dancing at a very young age, and has been passionate about dance ever since. She is an experienced ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dancer who is currently studying with some of San Francisco's most renowned contemporary choreographers. She performed with Savage Jazz Dance Company for 3 seasons and gained invaluable technical experience working with Reginald Ray Savage. A mother of two young children, she loves working with kids and has experience working with preschoolers as well as elementary school students. She is thrilled to join MPDOD and bring her love of dance to the youngest dancers.

   
aurora frey

Aurora Frey

Aurora began studying at Ballet Arts in Tucson, Arizona under the direction of Mary-Beth Cabana.  She continued her training at The School at STEPS in New York City, with Leslie Browne and David Howard and participated in summer programs with Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theater. Aurora has danced professionally with The Alabama Ballet, Ballet Tucson, City Ballet of San Diego, Napoles Ballet Theater and Menlowe Ballet.  In addition to dancing in many classical ballets,  she has performed in works by George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Lawrence Pech, Leslie Browne, Jeffrey Graham Hughes, Roger Van Fleteren, and Micheal Lowe.

   

Peter Hershey

Peter hails from New York, where he attended high school at the Nassau B.O.C.E.S. Cultural Arts Center and trained at the School of American Ballet. He went on to attend The Juilliard School under the artistic directorship of Benjamin Harkarvy. As a member of Ballet San Jose for twelve seasons, Peter was best known for dancing the role of Johnny in Dennis Nahat's "Blue Suede Shoes". His repertoire also included leading roles in "The Nutcracker" and "Rodeo", as well as soloist roles in works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Donald McKayle, Dennis Nahat, Twyla Tharpe, and Stanton Welch. In addition to his work with BSJ, Peter was most recently a closing member of Company C Contemporary Ballet, where he was featured in works by Charles Anderson, Maurice Causey, Susan Jaffe, Charles Moulton, and Yuri Zhukov. Peter has performed as guest artist with Menlowe Ballet and has also enjoyed teaching at many ballet schools throughout the Bay Area. He is thrilled to be joining the faculty of Menlo Park Academy of Dance.

   

Terrin Kelly

Terrin has been dancing professionally since age 14; a few years later she began enjoying a career in teaching as well. Miss Kelly has had thousands of students that she has instructed during which time she has specialized in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, contemporary, lyrical, and musical theater. Ms. Kelly's students have gone on to win many dance awards, as well continuing their dance education at renowned summer intensives as well as programs like the Tisch school at NYU, others have been featured as a top contender on So You Think You Can Dance, as well as others performing on Broadway. Ms. Kelly has choreographed for several music videos, and was recently hired to choreograph a ballet flash mob for the Bay Bridge light installation. Terrin Kelly has founded arts programs in schools as well as her church for underprivileged children in the community. Ms. Kelly is very excited to be joining the faculty at MPAOD

   

Kirsten Livingston

Kirsten was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. She began training with Santa Cruz Ballet Theater at a very young age and went on to dance as a soloist and principal dancer with the company. She also trained at many prestigious schools around the United States including School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Kirsten has been teaching Ballet for over 20 years at many studios in Carmel, Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay area. She has competed Latin Ballroom and was influential in bringing the Dancing Classrooms program to 5th grade classes in Santa Cruz schools. She now enjoys a career in Musical Theater and has had roles in Gypsy, Oliver, and Oklahoma. She also has three wonderful
children.

   
Michael Lowe

Michael Lowe

Michael danced principal roles with Oakland Ballet from 1972 to 2001. He toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and worked with legendary choreographers such as Agnes de Mille, John Butler, Leonide Massine, Frederic Franklin, Willem Christensen, Eugene Loring and Mark Morris to name a few. In 2003, Michael won the prestigious Isadora Duncan Award for Best Choreography for his ballet "Bamboo". His works have been seen all over the US, Belarusse, Poland and in Paris. Michael has also served as Assistant Artistic Director of Oakland Ballet from 1997-2000 and co-ordinated the company's Outreach program through the East Bay from 1982-1999. In addition, Michael also directed Peninsula Ballet Theatre from 2004-2008, Oakland Ballet in 2009 and served as resident choreographer for Moving Arts Dance. Michael is a company teacher for Smuin Ballet and Artistic Director of his own exciting new company, Menlowe Ballet. Students of Michael have enjoyed success in many competitions including the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Many have gone on to careers with company's such as San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and Ballet San Jose.

   
Janice Miller Fager

Janice Miller Fager

Janice grew up dancing at the Studio and has taught Tumbling and Tap for Menlo Park Academy of Dance in the past. Janice is an accomplished acrobatic instructor. MPAOD welcomes her back as a teacher with many talents.

 

   
Lauren Mindel

Lauren Mindel

Lauren trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Contemporary in the Bay Area. She attended intensive programs with ABT and Lines Ballet in 2005 and 2007. Lauren performed with PBT in 2005 and 2008 and Black Diamond Ballet Theatre in 2010, both under the Artistic Direction of Michael Lowe. She also trained with UCLA's dance program staff, and with LA'S Hip-Hop and Jazz Funk choreographer Saleemah E. Knight. Lauren us currently dancing with Menlowe Ballet and is thrilled to join the MPAOD faculty.

 

   
Grace Anne Magos

Gracielle (Grace) Anne Pascual

Grace began her dance training at Montessori De Bambini in the Philippines. After her family relocated to California, Grace attended Westlake School for the Performing Arts in Daly City and South San Francisco Community Center's Ballet program. Grace attended San Francisco State University where she studied modern dance, ballet, Afro-Haitian, Duhnam Technique, hip hop and jazz. She was part of San Francisco State University's “University Dance Theater Performing Dance Company” and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Dance. Since receiving her B.A. in Dance at SFSU, Grace has continued teaching, dancing and choreographing. Grace is happy to be able to share her love of dance to her students.

   

Deborah Stevens-Sterling

Deb is a renowned dance/fitness instructor and personal trainer located on the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her career has span over fifteen years and she offers a wide variety of experiences to her clients.
Her career began as a CardioFunk instructor at numerous health clubs and city recreation centers located on the Peninsula, but it has evolved into so much more. Deb's unique style, DebGroove, which she incorporated into Hip-hop, led her to be sought out by dance studios and gyms throughout the Bay Area. She has choreographed and taught teens and adults for various dance classes, recitals and competitions. Besides Hip-hop, Deb also teaches many Zumba and Body Sculpt classes around the area, putting her own DebGroove in each class. Clients get an incredible work out and keep coming back for more!
Deb is not only a group exercise dance teacher. She has choreographed routines for clients competing in Miss Fitness competitions as well as up and coming singers and song writers. Deb also has founded her own performing Hip-hop dance crew, PRIME crew, which performs locally around the Bay Area. As a personal trainer, her training sessions are customized to each individual: size, shape, age, and fitness level doesn't matter—Deb makes sure that every client works toward their overall fitness and personal goals. She's going to push you to work hard in whatever capacity you work with her, but you are guaranteed to leave satisfied and with a smile on your face because you had fun!

   
patricia rehn

Patricia Rehn

Patricia has trained extensively in ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary styles at various schools in the Bay Area. Her professional career began at the age of 15 and she has had the opportunity of performing with Peninsula Ballet Theater, Moving Arts Dance, Black Diamond Theater and is currently with Michael Lowe's Menlowe ballet company.  Patricia has competed and placed in high rankings representing the US in competitions such as International Dance Challenge, Youth America Grand Prix and in 2008, won Miss Teen Starquest at Starquest nationals. Patricia has also been awarded scholarships to several intensives including Bolshoi Ballet and LINES Ballet, to name a few. When not pursuing dance, Patricia is working toward her degree in Performing Arts and Business as well as giving back to the community  through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald house and a wide-range of church outreach programs and missions. Patricia's passion for teaching developed at the ripe age of 16 and she has, since then, enjoyed leading dancers of all ages through classical technique, musicality and vibrant expression. She is humbled and excited to be teaching the students of MPAOD.

   
demetria

Demetria Schioldage

Demetria began training in classical ballet at the age of five and completed the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus through Advanced 1. In addition, she attended RAD summer programs for three years, on merit scholarships. Demetria has also attended ABT, PNB, SAB and SFB summer intensives.  She received her Bachelors of Science from Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music with emphasis in ballet performance and ballet pedagogy, teaching ages 5-16. In 2010, Demetria joined Nevada Ballet Theatre and has performed in classical and neoclassical repertoire for three years. She is a new dancer with Menlowe Ballet this season and enthusiastic about teaching the students of Menlo Park.

   
isabel

Isabelle Sjahsam

Isabelle is a performer, director, teacher and creator in works ranging from traditional ballets to interdisciplinary public performance installations. She received her early dance training with Bay Area Royal Academy of Dance teacher, Connie Vaughan, and later studied with RAD examiner Susan Robinson in England. Contemporary dance became Isabelle's passion after seeing the Mark Morris Dance Group, prompting her to attend the Taylor School in New York and complete a BA in Dance at Mills College.  Sjahsam has performed with several Bay Area companies including Em Space Dance, Jenny McAllister/13th Floor Dance Theater and Anna Halprin and Dancers.  She appeared in the works of Michael Lowe while working with Moving Arts Dance and Black Diamond Ballet Theatre, and has toured internationally with Leyya Tawil's Dance Elixir.  Currently Isabelle co-directs ArtFace Performance Group, an Oakland based dance-theater troupe with Malinda Trimble.

   
Andressa Thorne

Andressa Thorne

Andressa was trained and taught classical ballet in Brazil through the Royal Academy of Dance. Andressa brings a broad range of dance experience ranging from modern and contemporary ballets, jazz, tap as well as traditional Brazilian and Irish Dance. After coming to the United States in 1992, Andressa studied with San Francisco Ballet, and City Ballet School of San Francisco, under the direction of Damara Bennett and Henry Berg. Andressa has a BA in Physical Education with an emphasis in child psychology, dance education and kinesiology.

   
 

Marilyn Trounson

Marilyn Trounson was born and raised in San Francisco.  She danced with Royal Ballet, London for 9 years.  Two years in the school and seven years in the Company.  Roles were created for her by Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Sir Frederick Ashton.

   
Dottie Lester-white

Dottie Lester-White

Dottie danced professionally on Broadway for 10 years. She grew up in the Studio and is now an independent choreographer and director for both stage and musicals. Dottie’s morning and evening Tap classes are fun and challenging.

 

   

Kristen Wright
Kristen has been teaching dance for 14 years. She studied dance at Scottsdale Community college & danced in the performing Jazz company & a local break dancing company while living in Arizona. Kristen is a member of Dance Educators of America & is constantly taking class at conventions to bring new choreography to her students. Kristen owned a mobile dance company while living in Arizona & her ground breaking choreography has won numerous awards. She has a passion for dancing & teaching & it shows in her work.

   
 

Barry Woodruff

Barry is a professional ballroom dancer and teacher. He has danced on stage, films and TV He brings great style to his tap and ballroom classes.