<p>Chair's Welcome Message</p>

Chair's Welcome Message

Greetings! Welcome to the School of Dance information page. Here you will find all you need to know about the happenings of both the Classical/Contemporary Dance & Commercial Dance Conservatories.  Use this page to keep up to date with scheduling, read about our exceptional faculty, check out the incredible opportunities our students will receive throughout the year with guest artists and choreographers, and so much more.  Thank you for taking the time to see what the School of Dance is all about. I’m excited you’re here.

Warmly,

Alison Dambach 

Program Mission Statement

California School of Arts — San Gabriel Valley's School of Dance provides a home for the safe and effective education of aspiring dance artists and community leaders through unrivaled programming, collaborative opportunities, and incomparable training in a positive and engaging environment.

The Classical & Contemporary Dance Conservatory

Information on the Classical & Contemporary Dance Conservatory Curriculum is coming soon.

THE COMMERCIAL DANCE CONSERVATORY

Information on the Commercial Dance Conservatory Curriculum is coming soon.

Meet Our Faculty

Alison Dambach

Alison Dambach

Chair of Dance

Ballet, Jazz, Pointe

Alison Dambach graduated from New York University with her master’s degree in dance education: ABT® Ballet Pedagogy. She is also a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and Orange County School of the Arts. Ms. Dambach’s performing career has taken her all across the world from New York City to Japan. Her broad range of experience includes concert dance, television, theme parks, regional musical theatre, and international touring companies. Ms. Dambach was an original member of BARE Contemporary Dance Company and performed the role of Frenchie in the international tour of Grease the Musical. In 2011, she created and directed "Friends For Japan," a Broadway community concert in New York City, which raised funds to benefit victims and survivors of the Japan earthquake/tsunami.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Dambach was the director of a dance school in the New York metropolitan area; she has taught, choreographed, and adjudicated significantly for over a decade throughout the United States and Canada. She has won numerous awards for her choreography on both the regional and national levels. Her dancers have gone on to dance with Beyoncé, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Idaho, Nashville Ballet, Dana Foglia Dance, as well as with numerous other companies and artists. Ms. Dambach is an ABT® Certified Teacher and has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also an Acrobatics Arts Certified Teacher through Level 6.

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Chloé Grové

Chloé Grové

Conservatory Instructor

Ballet, Pointe

Chloé Grové performed as a professional dancer for over 16 years as a Senior Soloist with Joburg Ballet (formerly The South African Ballet Theatre - SABT) where she danced numerous soloist and principal roles. Ms Grové was invited to perform with the Royal Swedish Ballet in Natalia Makarova’s production of La Bayadere. She has also performed alongside international artists such as Alina Cojacaru and Johann Kobberg in Giselle, Kenneth Greve in Napoli and Hamlet, and Michaela DePrince in Le Corsaire.

Ms Grové’s training started at age 4 and included the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) and Cecchetti methods, as well as some Vaganova.

During her professional career, Ms Grové worked with top producers and choreographers such as Patricia Neary, Janek Schergen, Ronald Hynd, Natalia Makarova and Maina Gielgud. She performed in all the great classics as well as neo-classical pieces by George Balanchine, Kenneth McMillan and Choo San Goh.

Ms Grové was the General Manager of The South African Ballet Theatre where she organized a tour to Muscat, Oman and with the company, performed for the Sultan.

Ms Grové has coached numerous for the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix.

Ms Grové obtained her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) with the RAD and is also an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also an Associate of the RAD (ARAD).

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Mark Harootian

Mark Harootian

Conservatory Instructor

Ballet

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, Mr. Harootian received his early dance training at the Performing Arts School of Worcester and the Burncoat Senior High Dance Department. During that time his main line of training was in classical ballet, but he also had extensive training in Modern dance, Jazz, and Musical Theater. He attended the University of Utah on scholarship and graduated with a BFA in ballet performing and teaching. At this time, he also became a member of Utah Ballet.

While he was with Utah Ballet, he performed in and choreographed many of the department’s seasonal shows while dancing leading roles, including the company’s tour to Taipei, Taiwan in 2001. Mr. Harootian also performed at Disney’s Epcot Center, the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics Medal Plaza and the Festival of White Nights in Pushkin, Russia. From 2004-2011 Mr. Harootian was a company dancer and choreographer for Festival Ballet Providence and from 2010 -2012 he was also the company’s Director of Educational Outreach. Memorable dance roles include The Captain in Carmen, The Sailor in Con Amore, Doug Spivey in The Widow’s Broom, The lead in Anthony Tudor’s The Leaves Are Fading and the Chief of Thieves in Eldar Aliev’s A Thousand and One Nights. Mr. Harootian captivates Festival Ballet Providence’s Up Close on Hope Performance Series audiences annually with his choreography, and has presented a number of notable premieres there.

Mr. Harootian was awarded the Fellowship Choreography Grant Award from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts in 2007 and 2011. He also was awarded by the Worcester Educational Development Foundation the Distinguished Alumni & Friends of the Worcester Public Schools Achievement Award in 2014. Most recently Mr. Harootian was an adjunct professor at Dean College and Salve Regina University and taught and choreographed at Island Moving Company, Ballet Arts Worcester B.A.W., Inc. Hanover Theater Conservatory for the Performing Arts, Sally McDermott Dance Center, Cathy Taylor School of Dance, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Red Shoe Dance Company, and Paula Meola’s Dance and Performing Arts Inc.

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Simon Harrison

Simon Harrison

Conservatory Instructor

Tap

Simon Harrison is a dancer, choreographer, educator, and arts administrator born in Kawasaki, Japan, and now based in Southern California. He began formal dance training in Santa Cruz, CA at age eight, and attended the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) in 2012, where he was recognized as a California Arts Scholar. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance, B.F.A. in Dance Choreography, and B.A. in Education Science.

He earned numerous scholarships and awards at UCI including the Claire Trevor School of the Arts Award for Excellence in Dance Choreography, Donald McKayle Scholarship, Arts Ambassador Scholarship, Distinguished Anteater Scholarship, Kris & Linda Elftmann Scholarship, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Fellowship, and the Chancellor’s Award of Distinction for his commitment to research, leadership, and service.

He has performed and choreographed internationally at the University of Rome-Tor Vergata, Santa Ceceilia Conservatory of Music, and Teatro Forma in Bari, Italy with the DTM2 Ensemble (director Lisa Naugle), and taught dance to at-risk youth throughout Panama with the non-profit organization Movement Exchange. He has danced professionally with Tandy Beal & Company, MoveSpeakSpin, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and consecutively received first place at international Latin ballroom competitions for two years. Currently, Mr. Harrison teaches Dance in the Elective Program and School of Dance at the California School of the Arts - San Gabriel Valley, and works with Re:borN Dance Interactive (director Boroka Nagy) as Performer and Company Manager

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Jia Huang

Jia Huang

Conservatory Instructor

Hip-Hop

Ms. Huang graduated from The University of California Irvine with a bachelor's degree in dance, where she trained under renowned faculty members such as Donald McKayle, Israel Gabriel, and David Allen. UCI is also where she first fell in love with hip-hop when she joined one of Southern California's most cutting edge hip-hop teams, Kaba Modern, which she directed from 2003-2005. In 2007-2008 she appeared on television shows such as Dirty Dancing and America’s Best Dance Crew.

She spent 2009 on The Circus Tour Starring Britney Spears as one for four female principle dancers. She is founding member, choreographer and dancer for the professional Jazz company Rhetoracle, Mischief Makers and KM Legacy. This is her seventh year on dance staff for the United Spirit Association and has been awarded Rookie of the Year, Hardest Working and MVP for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. She is an experienced judge, having judged competitions such as WOD, USA High School Dance Nationals, UDA College Dance Nationals, and Dance Worlds. She is also a faculty member at the prestigious Orange County School of the Arts, but spends most of her time teaching and choreographing for high school teams and studios in California. She continues to teach master classes in places such as Canada, Australia, Norway, China, Mexico, Japan and all over the US.  She is so excited to be part of California School of the Arts’s conservatory faculty this year. 

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Mindy Krasner

Mindy Krasner

Conservatory Instructor

Ballet

Mindy Krasner, a professional ballet dancer who trained in New York City, was a member of major ballet companies in the United States and Europe, including Dutch National Ballet, Basel Ballet, Le Grand Ballet Canadian, American Ballet Theatre II, and Pennsylvania Ballet. For over a decade, she danced in productions such as “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” “Cinderella,” “The Nutcracker,” and “Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” as well as other modern and contemporary productions and toured internationally.

More recently, she danced Flamenco in the production of Heart Song at the Fountain Theatre in Hollywood.

Mindy has extensive training and experience for teaching Ballet and Creative Dance to people of all ages from children all the way up to seniors. Mindy also has extensive training in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies and Yoga. 

She has also received Professional Development Grants, BETA grants, and Development grants for various projects.  Ms. Krasner founded and directed the Freedom Dance Company from 2007-2010, which provided dance performances for people facing life-threatening illness. She received a grant from the Met Life Foundation and the National Guild for Community Arts Education for a Creative Aging Project in partnership with the Adult Day Care Center of Las Vegas, which resulted in a successful Creative Dance program for seniors.

Her unique approach to teaching combines a high standard of technique along with a holistic view point which embraces the whole person and encourages self expression.  Mindy’s passion and love for dance shines through her teaching as she helps people find their joy and creativity through movement.  

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Fiona Lummis

Fiona Lummis

Conservatory Instructor

Ballet

Fiona Lummis was a dancer for twenty years with Netherlands Dance Theater (1981-2001). Ms. Lummis has been featured in over 15 creations by Jiri Kylian, and in numerous creations by Hans Van Manen, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin and Mats Ek among others, as well as dancing featured roles in contemporary ballets by William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins, Lar Lubovitch and Glen Tetley.

She is a graduate of Elmhurst School of Dance and The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in England and has a comprehensive Pilates teaching certificate from B.A.S.I. (Body Arts and Science International). In 1992 she received the “Gouden Theaterdans Prijs” for her performances in William’s Forsythe’s “Steptext” and in 2000 was awarded the “Oeuvreprijs” in recognition of her career in The Netherlands. 

Fiona can be seen on many of the “Arthaus” films of Kylian’s ballets, including the “Black and White Ballets” and “Kaguyahime”. She is also featured in 8 recordings of Hans Van Manen’s ballets in his “Master of Movement” DVD collection, and is recognized as one of his “Muses”. 

Ms Lummis works closely with the Kylian and Van Manen foundations teaching Jiri Kylian and Hans Van Manen repertoire in colleges, schools and companies in the US and Europe. 

She is also currently on the faculty of the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

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Bridget McNally

Bridget McNally

Conservatory Instructor

Jazz, Tap

Bridget McNally has been dancing since the age of two.  She began her training at the Diane Kelley Dance Studio in West Boylston, MA, where she studied ballet, jazz, tap, modern, pointe, lyrical, musical theatre, and tumbling.  She was a member of an award-winning competition team there for 11 years, as well as an assistant teacher.  She moved to Los Angeles to attend Loyola Marymount University, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree as a Dance major.  She has also tested and is certified to teach Ballet, Jazz, and Tap through Dance Masters of America.  

Bridget has been teaching dance and choreographing full time since 2009.  She specializes in teaching jazz, contemporary, tap, and ballet to dancers ages 2 through 102, beginning through advanced.  She is passionate about teaching and sharing her knowledge and love of dance.  She continues to push herself to become a better instructor, constantly striving to find new ways to help her students succeed.  Bridget currently teaches at Elements Dance Space in Pasadena.  She is thrilled to now work with the wonderful students at California School of the Arts!

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Cameron Shim

Cameron Shim

Conservatory Instructor

Conditioning, Dance History, Jazz

Cameron Shim holds a Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology Dance from California State University of Northridge where he will also be receiving his Masters in Science in Kinesiology Dance this Fall. He is also a certified trainer for the program Conditioning with Imagery (CI Training) for Dancers created by Dr. Donna Krasnow. Please see www.citraining.com for more information.

He has been a theme park entertainer since 2006 starting at Six Flags Magic Mountain and has been at the Disneyland Resort since 2009. He currently teaches for the Integrated Arts, International Dance Ballet Folklorico and Elective Program at Orange County School of the Arts. In the Integrated Arts Department he is the Founder/Director of the hip hop crew manIA Dance Crew. His course work includes Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, Kinesiology Dance, Conditioning and Choreography Composition. His work has been featured at Children's Theater of Long Beach, The Music Room, Dance Spot LA, RawArtists Hollywood, and Urban Street Jam. He has also been a featured dancer for Lanita Smith, Anime Impulse, LA Sparks Half Time Show, Club Jete, RawArtists Hollywood, Dance Spot LA, LA Unbound, QueenV Entertainment, Choreographer’s Carnival and Urban Street Jam. 

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Sophia Stoller

Sophia Stoller

Conservatory Instructor

Modern

Sophia Stoller is a choreographer, dancer, and dance educator based in Los Angeles, CA.  She is the founding artistic director of Iris Company, dedicated to creating thought-provoking and moving experiences through immersive dance performance and film. Sophia has shown choreography in festivals and venues locally and internationally, including REDCAT, Electric Lodge, Highways, ShowBox L.A.'s Anatomy Riot, the Fowler Museum, SoCal Dance Invitational, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company’s Nizozot Showcase, and Bootleg Theater. 

She has additionally choreographed a number of projects for the camera, including the short narrative film You and the Moth, Jarell Perry’s music video, Relapse, and Sony’s IFA Berlin 2016 presentation. Sophia spent ten months living in Israel from 2010-2011, dancing full time in an apprenticeship program with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, where she studied and performed KCDC repertoire, as well as the repertoire of Batsheva Dance Company, Inbal Pinto, Vertigo Dance Company, Cullberg Ballet, and Barak Marshall Dance Theatre.  In Southern California, Sophia has performed with Nickerson-Rossi Dance, Union Project Dance Company, and Soul Lab Dance Project.  She participated in the HOTHOUSE Choreographic Residency in 2015, was a recipient of the PDG Space Grant in 2016, and was one of three choreographers selected to be part of the 2017 Cohan Collective residency. She holds an MFA in Choreography from California Institute of the Arts, and a BA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance and a BA in Psychology from UCLA. Sophia currently teaches for the everybody dance! program and is excited to be joining the faculty at California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley.

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Costume Donations

Costume donations are VERY IMPORTANT, and are a big part of why we are able to provide performance opportunities.
Please note that these donations are not part of the Parent Funding Agreement (PFA). 

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding these donations, feel free to contact Alison Dambach, Chair of Dance at Alison.Dambach@sgv.csarts.net.


CSArts-SGV is organized as a non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3), our Tax ID is 81-3919990.
All cash donations are fully tax deductible as provided by law.

Performance | Fundraising Donations

Supporting our conservatory through monetary donations for individual performances, or general conservatory support is VERY IMPORTANT in enabling us to provide multiple performance opportunities for our students.

Please note that these donations are not part of the Parent Funding Agreement (PFA).

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding these donations, feel free to contact Alison Dambach, Chair of Dance at Alison.Dambach@sgv.csarts.net.

California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley is organized as a non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c) (3). Our Tax ID is 81-3919990 .
All cash donations are fully tax deductible as provided by law.