Chair's Welcome Message

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 Conservatory and the Commercial Dance Conservatory.  Use this page to keep up to read about our exceptional faculty and 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 Hennessey 

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

The Classical & Contemporary Dance Conservatory offers students intensive and specialized pre-professional training in a variety of dance styles and disciplines, including ballet, modern, pointe, variations, composition & choreography, dance history and movement.  Students are exposed to renowned guest dance instructors, university faculty, and leaders in the professional industry, who visit the campus to share their expertise and creativity through residencies and master classes. The Classical & Contemporary Dance Conservatory also offers unique and exciting performance opportunities, allowing students the chance to demonstrate the artistic skills and talents they have gained throughout their time in the conservatory.     

Curriculum includes: Ballet, Choreography & Composition, Conditioning, Dance Forum, Dance History, Dance Pedagogy, Jazz, Modern, Pointe, Men’s Technique, Variations, and Senior Prep Workshop 

THE COMMERCIAL DANCE CONSERVATORY

The Commercial Dance conservatory offers students pre-professional training in a wide variety of dance forms and styles.  The conservatory is specially designed to develop well-rounded dancers with the technical skills, discipline, and commitment necessary for a professional career in the dance industry as well as admittance into prestigious university and college dance programs.  Master classes featuring distinguished guest artists, university faculty, and leaders in the professional industry are scheduled throughout the school year, which provide students the unique opportunity to establish a working relationship with internationally renowned choreographers.  Intended for serious, mature dancers with a passion for their artistry, the Commercial Dance Conservatory also offers exciting performance opportunities, where students have the chance to demonstrate the artistic skills and talents they have gained throughout their time in the conservatory.  

Curriculum includes: Acting for Dancers, Ballet, Ballroom, Choreography & Composition, Conditioning, Contemporary, Dance Forum, Dance History, Dance Pedagogy, Hip Hop, Improvisation, Jazz, Modern, Musical Theatre, Senior Prep Workshop, Singing for Dancers, and Tap

2019-2020 Opportunities

Performances

  • Winter Concert
    at the Duarte Performing Arts Center
  • Spring Concert
    at the Bonita Center of the Performing Arts
  • Student Choreography Concert
    at the Duarte Performing Arts Center
  • City of Duarte Route 66 Annual Parade
  • Descanso Garden: Enchanted Forest of Light
  • City of Hope Annual Tree Lighting
  • Grand Park LA

Master Classes

  • Jon Bond
  • Ashley "Robi" Robicheaux
  • Ballet Hispanico
  • Harry Westin
  • Mary Grace McNally
  • Rachael Markarian
  • Boraka Nagy

Meet Our Faculty

Alison Hennessey

Alison Hennessey

Chair, School of Dance

Teaches: Ballet, Dance Pedagogy, Senior Prep Workshop

Alison.Hennessey@sgv.csarts.net

Mrs. Hennessey graduated from New York University with her master’s degree in dance education: ABT® Ballet Pedagogy. She is also an Orange County School of the Arts alumna, and a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. Her 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 theater, and international touring companies.

Mrs. Hennessey 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. 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. Mrs. Hennessey 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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Kyreeana Alexander

Kyreeana Alexander

Instructor

Teaches: Modern, Tap, Dance Conditioning, Choreography & Composition

Kyreeana.Alexander@sgv.csarts.net

Kyreeana Alexander holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography and a Minor in Digital Arts from California Institute of the Arts. She is currently part of B.Dunn Movement and Invertigo Dance Theater, and is adjunct dance staff at Chadwick School. Her choreographic works have been selected to premiere at the New World Center, Los Angeles Theatre Center, The Curtis Theater and universities including UCSB, and Cal State LA, and El Camino College.

Ashley Allen

Ashley Allen

Instructor

Teaches: Modern, Dance History

Ashley.Allen@sgv.csarts.net

Ashley Allen began her training in Fresno California where she danced professionally with fresNO dance COllective under the direction of Amy Querin. She has since continued her professional career dancing with Los Angeles based company, DANCE AEGIS directed by Andrea Gise, in their second and fourth annual Tethering show. She is a graduate from California State University, Long Beach where she received her BFA in Dance.

She has worked with established artists such as Robert Moses, Colleen Thomas and most recently, Dafi Altabeb from Israel in the creation and performance of their individual choreographic works. In the spring of 2016 her piece, Habit of Composure, created in collaboration with fellow dancer Colleen Hendricks, was selected to represent CSULB at the 2016 ACDA Adjudicated Concert and was chosen for the conference gala. Ms. Allen is currently creating work for NEW SHOES 19 to debut at Highways Performance Space Summer of 2018. She teaches modern dance at California School of the Arts -- San Gabriel Valley and looks forward to building new connections for future choreographic and performance opportunities.

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Erika Bandy

Erika Bandy

Instructor

Teaches: Ballet, Pointe

Erika.Bandy@sgv.csarts.net

Erika grew up in Thousand Oaks, California, and began her dance training at the age of 12. She trained locally with Stanley Holden, Kim Maselli, and Yvonne Mounsey and spent summers training at the School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Miami City Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago. Upon graduation from high school she joined the Los Angeles Ballet, where she worked for 5 years, performing in many works by George Balanchine, as well as new works by Melissa Barak, Jennifer Backhaus, Sonya Tayeh, and Mandy Moore. Erika holds a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from San Francisco State, and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from California State University Northridge.

Austin Crumley

Austin Crumley

Instructor

Teaches: Ballet, Dance Forum, Dance Conditioning, Men's Technique

Austin.Crumley@sgv.csarts.net

Austin William Crumley has been surrounded and involved in the performing arts all of his life.  Coming from Musical Theater, he decided to try Ballet and loved it enough to pursue his training at The University of Oklahoma, School of Dance. There he achieved his Ballet Pedagogy degree under the training and direction of Mary Margaret Holt, Clara Cravey Stanley, Ilya Kozadayev, and Jeremy Lindberg—to name a few.  

While at the university, he was blessed to be able to perform the following (selected few): Conrad, Le Corsaire Grande Pas de Deux; Pas de Quatre & Corps Dancer, Raymonda Pas de Dix; the Grande Pas, Arabian Pas, Dew Cavalier, and Snow Pas in The Nutcracker; and the Principal Couple in an original World Premiere titled Someday Sideways, choreographed by New York City Ballet’s Jock Soto.  After receiving his degree, he joined the Sacramento Ballet for two years and performed the following roles: Arabian Prince and Demi-Soloist for Waltz of the Flowers, The Nutcracker; Soloist & Corps Dancer, Blood Rush (Ma Cong); Corps Dancer, Silent Call (Gina Patterson); Corps Dancer, Viva Vivaldi (Gerald Arpino).  He has been fortunate enough to perform the following Balanchine works: Third Theme, The Four Temperaments; Poet, Los Sonambulas; Corps Dancer, Donizetti; and Corps Dancer, Theme & Variations.  After two years of dancing professionally, Austin is enjoying his time teaching Ballet and creating a new outlook for the industry by pursuing and applying kinesiology and sports conditioning on dance.

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Mark Harootian

Mark Harootian

Instructor

Teaches: Ballet,Pointe

Mark.Harootian@sgv.csarts.net

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 and Jazz dance as well as 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 and choreographed in 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. From 2010 -2012, he was the company’s Director of Educational Outreach as well. Mr. Harootian captivated 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 and the Career Transition for Dancers Graduate Scholarship in 2018.  Mr. Harootian was an adjunct professor at Dean College and Salve Regina University and taught and choreograph at Island Moving Company, Hanover Theater and Performing Arts Conservatory, 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. Mr. Harootian moved to Los Angeles with his wife in July 2017 and is currently studying to obtain an MFA degree in Dance through Montclair State University’s low-residency program. Since moving to L.A., Mr. Harootian was Artist in Residence at Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) and teaches at California School of the Arts-San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV), Elite Dance Academy of Orange County, Pasadena Dance Theater, Elements Dance Space, Momentum Dance Center and is an adjunct professor at Chapman University.

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Simon Harrison

Simon Harrison

Instructor

Teaches: Modern, Tap, Ballroom, Contemporary, Dance Conditioning

Simon.Harrison@sgv.csarts.net

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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Shelby Henderson

Shelby Henderson

Instructor

Teaches: Hip Hop

Shelby.Henderson@sgv.csarts.net

Shelby Henderson is a dancer from Glendale, California. She began dancing for Glendale High School's dance team throughout her four years where she trained in various styles of dance. After graduating, she proceeded to assist in coaching Glendale High's dance team, helping them win various national titles. Shelby then spent four years dancing for the college-level competitive hip hop team called "Team Millennia." She now teaches hip hop at multiple studios in Southern California and is also a member of the The United Spirit Association’s dance staff. Shelby is about to graduate from California State University Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature.

Madison Hicks

Madison Hicks

Instructor

Teaches: Ballet, Modern

Madison.Hicks@sgv.csarts.net

Madison Hicks, originally from Dallas, TX, graduated from Booker T. Washington HSPVA in 2014 and received her BFA from The Juilliard School in May 2018. She was a full time company member with LA Dance Project under the direction of Benjamin Millepied for the 2018/2019 season. In the Fall, Madison will be starting Graduate school at California Institute of the Arts for her MFA in Choreography. She is a faculty member for Icon Dance Awards. Madison was a 2013 YoungArts winner for modern dance, 2014 US Presidential Scholar in the Arts Nominee and a guest artist in the 2014 YoungArts Presidential Scholar Gala under the direction of Bill T. Jones.

In January of 2017, she performed as a distinguished guest alumnus in the YoungArts annual Backyard Ball under the direction of Tony Yazbeck. She received a choreography award from YAGP in 2014 and had three choreographic works chosen to perform in The Choreographic Honors show at The Juilliard School. Madison was awarded the Gene Kelly Legacy Scholarship for her choreography and jazz technique in 2016. She was a resident choreographer for The Center of Creative Arts, Booker T. Washington HSPVA Rep II Ensemble, and The University of Texas at Austin and has had works showcased at Periapsis Music and Dance and WestFest Dance Festival in New York City. Madison has created and is the director of Moving Forward Dallas, an innovative dance intensive for young artists. She has performed works by Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian, Emily Molnar, Kyle Abraham, Ohad Naharin, Peter Chu, Merce Cunningham, Martha Graham, Aszure Barton, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Pam Tanowitz. Madison is a passionate freelance teacher and choreographer who cares deeply for young artists.

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Mary Hong

Mary Hong

Instructor

Teaches: Ballet

Mary.Hong@sgv.csarts.net

Mary Hong has taught ballet in the United States and the Netherlands, most recently at New Dance Center in The Hague. Prior to living in Europe, she taught at dance schools in California, Maryland, and Virginia.  She has danced with various opera and ballet companies, including the Pasadena Dance Theatre, St. Louis Ballet, the Los Angeles Opera, the Washington National Opera, the Baltimore Opera, and Tony Powell Music and Movement in Washington, DC.  She toured with the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration’s production of The Nightingale. She is a graduate of Pomona College and holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the Johns Hopkins University.

Jia Huang

Jia Huang

Instructor

Teaches: Jazz, Hip Hop

Jia.Huang@sgv.csarts.net

Jia Huang graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in dance. While there, she studied with renowned faculty members, such as Donald McKayle, Israel Gabriel, and David Allen. She also joined Kaba Modern, which is considered one of Southern California's most cutting edge hip-hop groups. After two years performing with the group, she became the director and it was then that she discovered her passion for choreography. Ms. Huang has appeared on the television shows Dirty Dancing and America’s Best Dance Crew with other members of the Kaba Modern group. Ms. Huang performed in The Circus Tour, starring Britney Spears as one of the four female principal dancers.

She is currently dancing with the professional jazz company Rhetoracle, under the direction of Nate Hodges, KM Legacy, and Beau Fournier’s Mischief Makers. In 2011, she joined the dance staff of the United Spirit Association, for which she was awarded Rookie of the Year in 2011 and MVP in 2012 and 2013. She continues teaching master classes in places such as Canada, Australia, Norway, Mexico, and throughout the United States.

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Mindy Krasner

Mindy Krasner

Instructor

Teaches: Ballet, Pointe, Dance History

Mindy.Krasner@sgv.csarts.net

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 LakeGiselleCinderellaThe 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. 

Ms. Krasner 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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Bridget McNally

Bridget McNally

Instructor, Assistant to the Chair of Dance

Teaches: Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Dance Forum, Dance Conditioning, P&D for Dancers

Bridget.McNally@sgv.csarts.net

Bridget McNally is an enthusiast dance educator.  She earned her BA in Dance from Loyola Marymount University and is also certified to teach Jazz, Ballet and Tap through Dance Masters of America.  She received her early dance training at the Diane Kelley Dance Studio in West Boylston, MA.  That is where is her love for dance was born and nurtured, while training vigorously in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and modern as a competitive dancer. 

Ms. McNally has been teaching dance and setting choreography full time since 2009.  She is passionate about teaching and sharing her knowledge and love of dance with her students.  She still considers herself a student, continuously striving to push and educate herself further to help her students succeed.  Her students have gone on to study dance at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The University of the Arts, Boston Conservatory, California Institute of the Arts, Cal State Long Beach and AMDA.  Ms. McNally also teaches and trains the competitive dance team at Elements Dance Space in Pasadena. 

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Jekyns Pelaez

Jekyns Pelaez

Instructor

Teaches: Ballet

Jekyns.Pelaez@sgv.csarts.net

A dancer, actor, educator and filmmaker. Jekyns Pelaez began his studies in Drama and Dance at Bellas Artes in his native Colombia. Later, he graduated in Dance at the Instituto Colombiano de Ballet, and subsequently joined the Ballet de Cali. Also, he has danced with Ballet Arizona, Ohio Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Histrion Theatre of Art, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, American Conservatory Theatre, Oakland Ballet, Diablo Ballet, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, among several guest artist appearances.

His principal dance repertoire includes Balanchine’s Apollo, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Serenade, Esplanade, Carmen. In theatre, The Man of the Suitcase, The Tosca Project and No Exit, as well as appearances in films like Love Hurts and Blue Jasmine. In opera, in addition to the principal roles in Marta Domingo’s La Traviata and  Zambello's Aida at San Francisco Opera, he has performed in Barber of Seville, Cyrano de Bergerac, Turandot, Nixon in China, Madame Butterfly, Moby Dick, Show Boat, Sweeney Todd, among others. At the Los Angeles Opera, in Simon Boccanegra, Barber of Seville and Carmen. Along with extensive national and international touring, he has appeared in international dance festivals in Thailand, Cuba and Colombia, as well as in the international Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

He graduated with honors both with a B.A in Performing Arts from the LEAP Program at St. Mary’s College as well as with Master of Fine Arts Degree in Performance in Film, Theatre and Television from California State University. Additionally, he is proud member of SAG-AFTRA and AGMA performers' unions.  In addition to receiving the Colombian State Department Honor in Excellence, other careers highlights include being a recipient of the Sono Osato award scholarship from The Actor's Fund, a Hollywood Foreign Press Association Fellowship, a Dance Pedagogy Certificate from The National Ballet of Cuba, and a featured article in Pointe magazine. He has also lectured at California State University and Orange Coast Community College

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Productions Donation

Production 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.