West Seattle Performing Arts (WSPA) is proud to host a professional and accomplished faculty. Whether it is ballet for kids or adults, modern, tap, hip hop, acting, voice or music lessons, WSPA offers some of Seattle's best instructors.
Christine Juarez, Executive Director of West Seattle Performing Arts
Ballet, Modern, Creative Movement
Christine Juarez, Executive Director of West Seattle Performing Arts, has been directing dance programs for the past 26 years. She has served as the Summer Dance Coordinator directing a national program and teaching for the Preparatory Dance Faculty at Cornish College of the Arts since 1994- 2018. She has served as an integral part of the External Programming team for the college. She served as the acting Director of Dance for Vashon Center for the Arts since 1996- 2017 on Vashon Island, WA and the Artistic Director of the Vashon Center for the Arts, a pre-professional dance company, Christine has dedicated two decades bringing the classical and contemporary arts to communities in the Seattle area . She has directed and taught dance to diverse populations for the past 34 years. Christine has also served on the dance faculty of Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a M.S. from Indiana University in Modern dance and Physical Sciences and a B.S. in Ballet and Music from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Christine is a Master Artist in Residence for the state of Washington and enjoys collaborative projects annually with classroom teachers integrating academics and movement. She has been a presenter of Early Movement Education for the Dance Educators Association of Washington and numerous other conferences. Christine started dance in Philadelphia as a young girl and was trained in the Vaganova syllabus of Ballet. Her training has included an immersion in Opera and she has performed and choreographed numerous operas. To date Christine has staged: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee, Firebird, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Serenade, Romeo and Juliet, Rodeo, La Sylphide, and numerous others. She believes that dance should be accessible to all and that it can be taught in a positive engaging atmosphere. She has dedicated her life to bringing dance to as many people that she can.
Teaching philosophy: I have a very strong philosophy of respect in the classroom, including Student-to-teacher, Teacher-to-Student , Students-to each-other, and the space and the learning environment. Every student is an individual that learns in a unique way. My job as a teacher is to choose the best language and examples to create a stimulating and playful learning environment. I choose to eliminate negative words in the classroom like “No”, “not”, or “wrong.” I believe in transparency. I crave an authentic and healthy relationship with both my students and their families.
Amorita Studied dance throughout her life at Cornish College of the Arts Preparatory Program and with Vashon Center for the Arts. She has performed and assisted in productions throughout her adult life and is currently on Administrative Staff at WSPA. Although she has followed her love of science into the field as a CNA and continues to pursue Nursing Studies she is a natural with young children and has an innate joy in the sense of play that makes her a great fit for this class!
Rena Bailey Barrett
Rena moved to West Seattle from California where she was very involved in teaching, choreographing and staging musicals for all ages and levels. Rena teaches all levels of, jazz and modern, as well as other techniques. She holds a BFA in Dance from United States International University. She has taught Dance for 11 years at the College of the Canyons, and has also taught at the School for Creative Performing Arts in Sarasota Florida. She has been part of the Canyon Theater Guild and Santa Clara Regional Theater. She has dance on cruise ships and performed endlessly as a dancer in musical theater productions.
Sydney Buckley is an alumna of the University of Washington where she earned her B.A. in English and dance. Following graduation, she performed with the nationally acclaimed 5th Avenue Theater, where she worked closely with choreographers Joshua Bergasse, Kerry Casserly, and Angelique Ilo, as well as directors Scott Schwartz and David Bennett. Her performance credits include the 5th Avenue World-Premiere production of Secondhand Lions and A Chorus Line. For a season, Sydney lived in Los Angeles and was a cast member at the Disneyland Resort, dancing daily in California Adventure's Pixar Play Parade. She was honored to be chosen as an original cast member of Disneyland's 60th Anniversary nighttime spectacular, Paint the Night. Growing up, Sydney trained and later, taught and coached competitive teams at her mother's dance studio. Throughout her training, she earned choreography awards and competition titles, including Dupree Dance All Star. Sydney now resides in Seattle with her incredible husband and daughter, where she works as a freelance teacher and choreographer. Most recently she has taught at Hutch School, her alma mater University of Washington, and assisted Ellenore Scott on Pride and Prejudice at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Sydney truly feels most alive teaching children and cultivating their love for dance; she is delighted to be on faculty with Summer at Cornish this season.
Sunday Open Ballet
Stephanie has been dancing over the course of four decades. She studied classical ballet at the National Academy of Performing Arts, a boarding school in Champagne, Illinois. Stephanie was introduced to musical theater when she was cast in her first production of A Chorus Line. She went on to earn a BA in theater from Missouri Southern State University. Her background in theater and dance culminated into a rigorous career on stage throughout her twenties in Branson, Missouri. Stephanie fell in love with Seattle when she moved here twenty years ago and discovered her passion for teaching at Belltown Ballet and Conditioning. Stephanie comes to WSPA with thirteen years of teaching experience. She continues collaborating, creating, rehearsing and performing locally, promoting dance for life and sharing her experiences with her students.
Stephanie teaches an open level ballet class with an emphasis on the adult beginner. She strives to create a safe and supportive environment where adults of all skill-sets can thrive.
Parent Toddler Dance, Creative Movement
Faith is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, and holds a BFA in Dance. She is currently teaching in the Seattle area and loves instructing all Ages. Her playful approach to creative movement engages each student with imagination and passion. She uses props, verbal cues, and imagery to lead children and their adult guardians.
Audrey Collins, Music Coordinator
Audrey Collins, Music Coordinator and Instructor for WSPA holds an MFA in Vocal Performance, from Bard as well as a BFA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). This advantageous duality allows her to not only teach technique and ability for piano and voice, but also to focus on the artistry and conceptual ideas of musical expression. She has run a private music studio for over a decade on the East Coast and has recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest. She, has taught multitude of instruments and also plays guitar and cello. She has held classes and workshops at various schools and performing centers. She performs regularly in Seattle, and elsewhere. WSPA Welcomes her!
Karen Jo Fairbrook
Ms. Fairbrook holds a MFA and undergraduate along with numerous certifications in Theater. She is on faculty at Bellevue College and works with a diverse population in a spectrum of techniques.
Kate LeGrand joined WSPA as a Rehearsal Mistress for the 2018 production of The Nutcracker and is now one of our fabulous WSPA Dance Faculty. Kate began her dance training in New York under Valia Seiskaya and has garnered acceptances to premiere institutions including American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, The Rock School for Dance Education, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and Bossov Ballet Theatre, among others. She has received invitations to perform abroad at the International Dance Open in St. Petersburg, Russia and at the Edinburgh Dance Festival in Scotland. Kate pursued her dance training on scholarship with the Bossov Ballet Theatre, a four-year residency program where she trained intensively in the classical Vaganova technique under the tutelage of Andrei Bossov (Mariinsky/Kirov Ballet) and Natalya Getman (Moscow Ballet). Kate has performed leading roles in full-length ballets at home and in Russia. With an educational background in biomedicine and public health, her teaching philosophy promotes safe exercise and injury prevention. Kate is excited to bring over 15 years of classical ballet dancing, choreography, and instruction to West Seattle.
Katie holds a Washington State ECE certification from Seattle Central Community College, and an Early Childhood Teacher Certificate from Burlington College in Burlington, VT. Katie has been pursuing a healthy, active lifestyle in Seattle since 1992, when she moved here from Vermont. Katie owns, operates, and teaches a small, private preschool in West Seattle. Katie, her husband and 10 year old daughter are West Seattlelites. Katie shares her love of fitness and mindfulness and personally trains in Aerobics yoga, free weights, running, swimming, biking and rollerblading, she enjoys it all! Katie is certified as a 200 hour Power Yoga Teacher from CorePower Yoga, and has also attained her Barre Teacher Certification from Adrienne Kimberly’s Barre Bohemian . She currently teaches yoga classes and mindfulness to her young students and Power Yoga to adults. She teaches Family Yoga, Power Yoga, and Barre at West Seattle Performing Arts.
Ms. Morser hails originally from Vashon Island where she was trained at Vashon Center for Dance under Christine Juarez. Madeline Morser is a professional modern dancer who danced with the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company at The Egg in Albany, New York. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Skidmore College, with a BS in Dance and a minor in Exercise Science and has taught at numerous schools in New York influencing developing dancers with her positive teaching style. Madeline has decided to return to the Northwest and continue her professional dance career and we are thrilled that she has decided to join our faculty at WSPA.
Creative Movement, Modern
Kaitlyn Nguyen is from Los Angeles, CA where she began dancing under Janaina Watkins. She has trained in dance for over 18 years, studying ballet, pointe, partnering, modern, contemporary, jazz, and is Pilates Mat certified. Kaitlyn holds a BFA in Dance Performance and Minor in Management from the University of California, Irvine. During her time at UCI she had the opportunity to train and perform under legendary modern choreographer, Donald McKayle’s Etude Ensemble. She has attended schools and intensives including The Ailey School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Los Angeles Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet. Professionally she has performed in Southern CA and in the NYC area with Nimbus Dance Works, Armitage Gone! Dance, and Re:borN Dance Interactive to name a few. Kaitlyn moved to Seattle late 2018 and is excited to share her passion of dance and youth with her new community.
Michelle earned her BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. She began dancing at the age of three at Conservatory of Dance in Yucaipa, California. From there she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, modern/contemporary, and pointe. She first began teaching dance in 2009, and since then has been trained to teach in other disciplines such as gymnastics and color guard. She has worked with children ages 2-18 and adults in Southern California and Washington. She attended Riverside Community College and participated actively as a performer, choreographer, and student director in the dance program.
Deborah Pierce comes to Seattle by way of her home town Las Vegas, Nevada, In Las Vegas she taught students of all ages from 2 1/2 to 96, from tap, jazz, disco creative movement to acro, gymnastics and line dancing to senior citizens. She also taught for The State of Nevada Early Childhood Development Program and several dance studios as well as recreational programs. She was owner, operator and instructor for “Dance Factory” where her competitive teams won many awards receiving the “Sportsmanship” award as well as “Outstanding Choreography” award. Deborah has also been on the judging Team of many dance competitions such as “Star Power”, Rainbow Connection” and others throughout the West Coast.
Since Moving to Seattle, she has had the privilege of choreographing, musically staging and directing performances and musicals with Broadway Bound Children’s Theatre, Seattle Opera’s Teen Opera Players, Youth Opera Chorus as well as workshops and as a Teaching Artist for Seattle Opera outreach programs, most notably “Cinderella in Espanza”, “Dido and Aneas” and “The Mikado”. She has choreographed “Carrie the Musical” and “Heathers” for Bellevue College, “A Christmas Story”, Little Mermaid” and Drowsy Chaperone” for Bainbridge Performing Arts. Directed, staged and choreographed “Hamilton/Les Miserables” for Seattle Public Theatre summer teen workshop. Choreographed “Jesus Christ SuperStar”, “Evita” and “Peter Pan” as well as staged and directed Glee/Voce teen singing groups for Ovation Performing Arts of Bainbridge Island. She also Choreographed “Young Frankenstein” and was asst. choreographer for “Altar Boyz” and “Legally Blonde” at Seattle Musical Theatre. She was a Teaching Artist with the ArtReach program at Studio East where she choreographed “The Wizard of Oz”, and “Pirates of the Curry Bean” as well as being a Teaching Artist for Youth Theatre Northwest where she choreographed “Shrek Jr.”
Deborah studied tap, jazz, ballet, disco, modern, line dance and gymnastics with Elaine Equinta, Henry Le Tang, Monica Marie, Nancy Preston and Ronnie Greenblatt.
She has won “Best Choreography“ award for A Christmas Story in Kitsap County and has been nominated for many Broadway World Awards. She choreographed the opening ceremonies for World Wrestling Olympic Trials in Las Vegas and has coached gymnastics for the Special Olympics.
In her other life she has been a professional photographer shooting images of fashion, architecture, food and anything commercial!
Classical Indian Dance
Pre-Teen Starter Ballet
Hip Hop, Pre-Teen Cheer
Miss Steele has studied dance for 24 years, performing nationally in jazz, modern, ballet, pointe, tap, lyrical, and hip hop from the age of 3. She was honorary captain of the varsity cheerleading team at Eastside Catholic High School and was captain of both her Dance and Cheerleading team at Saint Mary's College of California. She trained under the direction of Lori Buffalow and Rachel Jackson of the San Francisco 49ers as well as nationally accredited choreographers Greg Russell, Andrew Vacca, and Jeannine Sabo to name just a few. Kellsie has performed nationally at NCAA basketball tournaments, and as a member of the San Francisco 49ers Goldrush professional cheerleading and dance team has had the opportunity to perform in places such as China and Japan. Kellsie holds a Bachelors degree in Communications and has taught at multiple dance academies in both San Francisco and Seattle. Kellsie joined the Cornish Dance staff in 2014 and is a welcome addition to West Seattle Performing Arts.