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Our Faculty and Staff

Quality is a tradition at Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance that our staff share with one another as we pride ourselves on enthusiasm and enjoyment for our staff as well as our students.

Dancers will learn the culture of our school through our teaching staff’s extensive education and professional experience to help ensure a healthy and supportive student body.

 
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Stacey Caesar

Owner/Studio Director

A Student of Mason-Kahn in San Francisco, Stacey received her training in ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics at the age of four, and maintained close relations with Stanley Kahn, her teacher,  assisting him at the LA Tap Workshops with Gregory Hines in Kahnotation (tap notation) classes.  After graduating from Woodside High School as member and choreographer of her song leader (Pom) squad and gymnastics team, Stacey went on to perform in many musical theatre productions including San Jose Civic Light Opera’s Paint Your Wagon.

Earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from UCLA in modern, ballet, jazz and ethnic styles as well as becoming a holder of a Cecchetti Ballet Teacher’s Certificate, Stacey performed with the UC Dance Theatre in Los Angeles in multiple concerts including studies with Alvin Ailey Company members.

Professionally dancing with San Francisco’s Khadra Folk Ballet Co. which included a European Tour of Belgium and France gave her the opportunity to expand her training by learning many folk dance styles from Russia, Hungary, French-Canada, Tex-Mex, Mexican, Appalachian and many more. She has also performed with Lost in the Shuffle Tap Company, SF and with a local Can Can company at various events throughout the bay area including the San Francisco Opera Bastille Day at Stern Grove.

Stacey has been teaching tap, ballet, jazz and pre-school at Kirkpatrick’s since 1985 and became director in 1991. She enjoys working with children and sharing her passion for dance.

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Melanie Albanese

Jazz

Teacher Bio coming soon!

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Nour Alaoui-Ismaili

Tap, Jazz

Nour is currently a student at Aragon High School, and is in her junior year. She has been dancing since she was 3, and has spent the past 6 years studying ballet, jazz, tap, and modern as well as being a member of the Dance Express Teams during her time at Kirkpatrick’s. She has been a teacher’s assistant for 3 years now, and is so excited to begin her first year of teaching, and to extend her love for dance to others!


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Natasha Barbaro

Jazz

Teacher Bio coming soon!

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Caitlyn Caesar

Tap, Pre-Dance

Caitlyn is currently a senior at Monta Vista High School. She began taking dance lessons when she was four years old at a small studio in Cupertino, where she fell in love with tap. Caitlyn relocated to Kirkpatricks in 2015 to study under her aunt, Stacey Caesar. She became a TA for some pre-dance classes in 2016 where she realized her passion for working with kids and she is very eager to begin her journey as a teacher this year.

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Kelly Ciardella

Ballet

Kelly was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up on the peninsula. She began her association with Kirkpatrick’s at the age of four as a student of ballet, tap and jazz. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. She holds professional and teaching certificates from the Cecchetti Ballet Council. Additionally, she joined Dance Masters of America, an elite association of dance educators. Kelly has performed with the Peninsula Ballet Theatre in San Mateo. Since 1993 she has been teaching ballet, tap and jazz to Kirkpatrick’s students ranging in age from three to adult and currently is teaching the advanced ballet students. She enjoys sharing her passion for dance with her students.

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Kelly Dickinson

Tap

Kelly began dancing at Kirkpatrick’s at the age of 3. After high school, she attended Saint Mary’s College of California where she earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a minor in Performing Arts with an emphasis in Dance. Over the years, Kelly has studied the styles of tap, ballet, modern, jazz and African dance. She is also a 2nd grade teacher at a public school in San Mateo. Kelly has been teaching tap, jazz, and ballet at Kirkpatrick’s since 2006. She is excited to continue to share her love of dance with her students.

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Kari Dixon

Tap, Jazz, Ballet

Kari studied tap, ballet, and jazz at Kirkpatrick’s from preschool through high school and began teaching these three styles of dance in 2005. You could say her passion for teaching began at Kirkpatrick’s! Kari received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Arts Education from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. Since returning from Seattle, Kari has pursued a career in teaching Elementary Education and currently teaches grade 3 at Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton. Kari has earned her Masters in Special Education from San Francisco State University. Kari’s love for the art of tap dancing and for the community at Kirkpatrick’s has guided her back to teaching dance part-time, and she couldn’t be more thrilled!

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George Folau

Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop

George Folau has been teaching at Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance since Fall 2010. Having graduated from College of San Mateo with an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Arts and from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism, George chose to follow his passion for dance and teaching post-graduation. George has danced with Mind Over Matter Dance Company, has coached Hip Hop and assistant coached Pom and Lyrical for Mercy High School Burlingame’s Dance Team, and was the Dance Program Coordinator for San Mateo Police Activities League. Here at Kirkpatrick’s, he is continuously evolving the Hip Hop program, most recently by introducing an adult and youth team. He has dedicated himself to his craft and his students as a choreographer, a teacher, a dancer and a coach. George is constantly working on his personal style and enjoys building future dancers that are strong technicians as well as artists.

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Angela “Angie” Fribourgh

Jazz, Ballet, Pre-Dance

Angela took her first ballet class at age six, and hasn’t stopped dancing since! She transferred to Kirkpatricks at age ten, where she trained for eight years in ballet, tap, and jazz. In 2007, she officially joined the Kirkpatricks staff as a teacher. She enjoys teaching all different age groups and levels, from Tiny Dancer to Dance Express Teams! Angela graduated from San Francisco State University in 2014 with a BA in Theatre Arts. She continues to have a strong passion for music, dance, teaching, and choreography!

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Savannah Haley

Jazz, Pre-Dance

Savannah is a senior at Aragon High School. She has been dancing at Kirkpatrick’s since she was five years old and is currently studying ballet and modern. Savannah has been a part of the Petite, Junior, and Dance Express teams at Kirkpatrick’s for the past eight years. She discovered a passion for teaching at a young age and feels fortunate to have the opportunity to apply her love of dance and teaching at Kirkpatrick’s. After seven years of being a Teacher’s Assistant, Savannah is beginning her fourth year of teaching. Savannah will continue teaching dance as she works to pursue her goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. She is excited to incorporate what she has learned as a student into the classes she teaches.

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Alanna Haselbach

Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pre-Dance

Alanna began dancing at Kirkpatrick’s at the age of four. She has studied tap, jazz and ballet throughout the years. Alanna received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been teaching dance since 2005 and is a member of our administrative staff. Alanna teaches tap, ballet, and jazz and she loves sharing the joy of dance with her students.

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Christina Horn

Tap, Jazz, Pre-Dance

Christina grew up in San Mateo dancing at Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance. She grew to love many styles including tap, jazz, and ballet and has been teaching at Kirkpatrick’s since 2008. She earned her Teaching Credential and Master of Arts in Teaching from Saint Mary’s College of California and currently works as a full time elementary school teacher. Christina is so happy to be able to share her love and dance with students of all ages and loves being part of the Kirkpatrick’s family!

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Giana Ludovico

Ballet, Modern

Giana began dancing at Kirkpatrick’s when she was two years old. Throughout her fifteen years of dancing at Kirkpatrick’s, she studied ballet, tap, and modern. After graduating high school, she went on to dance while attending UC Davis, where she taught, choreographed, and led as President of the Davis Ballet Company. She graduated with a degree in Economics, and then went on to receive her Master’s in Business Analytics at Arizona State University. She currently works as a Business Analyst at a local start-up and is so excited to return to her Kirkpatrick’s family, now as a ballet and modern teacher.

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Alina Martinez

Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Contemporary

Alina studied dance at the University of Southern Mississippi; and she graduated in 2017 with a BFA in Dance from Jacksonville University. She recently moved to the Bay Area, and is excited to be joining the Kirkpatrick's family. Alina has a background in ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. She will be teaching Ballet Intro, Ballet 1, Open Ballet, Open Jazz, and Modern Intermediate.

Gabriella O’Connor

Jazz

Teacher Bio coming soon!

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Katherine “Kat” Simms

Jazz, Pre-Dance

Kat is currently a Senior at Aragon High School. She has been dancing at Kirkpatrick’s since she was 6 years old, studying ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. Kat has enjoyed being a member of multiple dance teams at Kirkpatrick’s for the last 4 years and has been a Teacher’s Assistant for the last 3 years. This is her second year of teaching and she is eager to share her knowledge and excitement for dance. Kat is looking forward to another great year at Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance.

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Taylor Snow

Jazz, Ballet

Taylor is currently a student at Carlmont High School, and is in her junior year. She has been dancing at Kirkpatrick's for 13 years taking ballet, jazz, and modern, and is on Dance Express. Outside of Kirkpatrick's, Taylor is a part of Carlmont Dance for the second year, and works as a hostess at Waterdog Tavern. Taylor is so excited to be teaching jazz and ballet for the first time this year, and looks forward to enriching others' love for dance!

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Kristi Tom

Jazz

We'd like to welcome this Kirkpatrick's alum back to the studio! Kristi attended the University of the Pacific, where she studied Graphic Design. She was also a member of the UOP Tiger Dance Team. She currently works for TCHO Chocolate in Berkeley. Kristi will be teaching Jazz intermediate A. We are so excited to have Kristi return to the studio!

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Arianna Wellman

Administrative

Arianna Wellman started out at Kirkpatrick’s School of Dance as a young dancer. Through the years, Arianna became curious and more involved with what happens behind the scenes. From managing multiple projects in the studio office to managing backstage, Arianna has become a staple in the background as well as the forefront of our studio’s administrative needs.

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Michelle Wright

Ballet

Michelle studied ballet, tap and jazz at Kirkpatrick’s from pre-school through high school. She continued her love of dance through college, minoring in dance at Chapman University in Orange, CA. While at Chapman, Michelle was a member of a touring performance group along with participating in the college dance concerts. She also joined a local ballet company and was selected to perform in a large dance festival in Oregon in 1998.

After returning to the Peninsula, Michelle worked in public relations but missed dance, so she returned to teach at Kirkpatrick’s in 2003 and has enjoyed being part of the Kirkpatrick’s family ever since!