castro valley performing arts staff

“Behind every dancer who believes in themselves is a teacher who believed in them first!!”

The Castro Valley Performing Arts faculty are professionals in their field of study. CVPA’s faculty is comprised of some of the most sought-after teachers in the Bay Area who understand that teaching dance is not just about teaching good technique. It is inspiring, encouraging and nurturing the artist in every student.

janet nordgren-taddie

With over twenty-five years of experience in the entertainment industry, Janet has toured with such names as the Temptations, JoAnn Castle, Bob Hope and Dorothy LaMour. She also spent several years performing aboard Princess Cruise Lines (The Love Boat) singing and dancing in their nightly musical productions. Her television credits include “Dick Clark’s Special of the Year Show” and various commercials for Princess Cruises and American Express. Her choreography credits include a dance fitness television pilot featuring Joanie Greggins, Billy Hufsy from FAME and MC Hammer; The Teen Miss California Pageant; Miss CA Pageant; Outstanding Teen of California Pageant; Ohlone College Summerfest theater productions of “Grease” and “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to The Forum;” and numerous industrials throughout the state of CA. She also served as dance director of the syndicated television program “Morning Stretch.” Prior to opening Castro Valley Performing Arts, Janet was the director of The Academy for the Performing Arts in Fremont and Newark and a member of the faculty in the drama department at Ohlone College in Fremont.

gia solari

As a director, choreographer, educator and administrator, Gia has been involved with performing arts production for over twenty-five years.  Creative credits include Legally Blonde, The Musical (Dir./Chor. – Diablo Theatre Company)Sweet Charity (Dir./Chor. – American Conservatory Theater MFA3 Series), Dreamgirls (Assistant Dir. – West Coast Tour), Little Shop of Horrors (Assistant Dir./Chor. – AMTSJ), Evita (National Youth Theater Award, Best Choreography – CMTSJ), national projects for the Golden State Warrior Girls Dance Team, America’s Junior Miss, Universal Dance Association, regional work with American Musical Theatre of San José, Diablo Theatre Company, Center Repertory Company, Willows Theatre Company, Theatre on San Pedro Square, Pocket Opera, Children’s Musical Theatre of San José, among others. A member of Actors’ Equity, Gia’s favorite performing adventures include national tours of Evita (25th Anniversary Tour / Dance Captain, Dir. Harold Prince) and The Hot Mikado (Dance Captain), twelve shows with American Musical Theatre of San José, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Nickelodeon. An adjunct faculty member at California State University, East Bay and Notre Dame de Namur University, she has taught for the Universal Dance Association, Mills College, U.C. Davis Experimental College and Music Theatre Conservatory. She proudly served as Artistic Associate for American Musical Theatre of San José and Producing Director for Diablo Theatre Company and was a member of the Castro Valley Arts Foundation Board of Directors from 2009-2012. She holds a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Health and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance with an emphasis in Choreography and Performance. Gia’s MFA thesis is entitled “Curriculum Implementation in Dance Education: How Benchmarks and Goal Setting Affect Student Learning Experiences and Outcomes.”

Cassidy Stoker

Cassidy began her classical ballet training 30 years ago under the direction of Laura Gurdus Dolid of the Sund brook Arts Centre and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Pre-professionally, Cassidy trained with Mallet Internationale and Indianapolis Ballet under the guidance of Eldar Aliev of Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre and she later received a scholarship to attend the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts.

While there, Cassidy received extensive training under celebrated former dancers of American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, and Martha Graham Dance Company among others. Cassidy has had the privilege of performing  original works of choreographers such as Nicolo Fonte ( Accidental Signals), Asun Noales (The Five), Jacqulyn Buglisi (Suspended Women) and Takehiro Ueyama(One). Her most beloved performance at SUNY Purchase was William Carter’s  Bach Concerto , a piece which includes both Allegro and Adagio sections originally created for Gelsey Kirkland and requiring an acute sense of musicality, technicality, and artistry.

Upon graduation, Cassidy accepted a full-time position with Tania Pérez-Salas Compañía de Danza in Mexico City, Mexico. Cassidy has graced stages from the quaint, contemporary, and historic across the globe. Some of her favorites include Stadttheater Fürth in Germany, Shanghai Grand Theater in China, and Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center in Israel. Cassidy later continued as a traveling solo artist, during which time she also discovered her passion and success as a ballet instructor and private coach.

Cassidy’s primary goal as a classical ballet instructor is to assist her students with the development of strength and agility, self-discipline, and passion to apply classical ballet technique correctly. Having had versatile training herself, Cassidy understands the importance of cross-training and injury prevention. Her classes are versatile in dynamics and musicality, and include a blend of methods of ballet technique. She makes it a point to speak about the variances of methods and encourages her students to explore the differences for themselves.

Equally important, Cassidy focuses on the acute details of ballet technique and aims for precision. She finds unique ways to explain the mechanics of each movement so that every student has a clear understanding of how their muscles should work together to create strength, length, and efficiency.

Many of Cassidy’s full-time students have earned scholarships to renowned summer and year-round boarding programs such as Arts Umbrella, Colorado Ballet, Hubbard Street, Kirov Academy, Miami City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and other notable programs.

CVPA welcomes Cassidy to our staff!!

kristina dresen

Ever since Kristina eagerly slipped her feet into her first pair of ballet slippers at the tender age of five, it has been difficult to keep her out of them! Kristina has studied at three different dance studios in Castro Valley, but CVPA was always been the place that felt most like home to her. After being a passionate student at CVPA, Kristina was inspired to give back to the community and spread the love of dance to children of a variety of ages. She dabbled in choreographing and teaching for Douglas Morrison’s theater camps and has been teaching at CVPA since 2007. Helping to foster positivity, creativity and self-confidence in children is her number one passion in life. She currently has a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in childhood studies and a multiple subject teaching credential for grades K-6. While she is not dancing her heart away at CVPA, she can be found molding the young and eager minds at Stanton Elementary where she teaches Kindergarten. Kristina’s dance classes are both fun and challenging. She has a large following of tiny dancers who adore her – appropriately calling her the “the little old lady who lives in the shoe” – tap shoe that is!

amanda marquez

Amanda is a versatile Performer, Instructor and Choreographer in multiple dance styles including Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet and Latin Dance.  She specializes in Latin Jazz and NY Style Salsa On 2, otherwise known as Mambo.

Amanda has been an instructor at some of the most prestigious dance institutions in NYC including The Joffrey Ballet School, Ballet Hispanico, Alvin Ailey, Broadway Dance Center, and Peridance.

In 2012 Amanda signed with MSA Talent Agency in NY and worked closely with Latin Choreographers Sekou McMiller and Maria Torres.  Performance credits include Broadway Bares Equity Fights Aids at the Hammerstein Ballroom, The Latin Billboard Awards, where she danced for pop star Don Omar, The New York Knicks Latin Family Night at Madison Square Garden, The 33rd New York Salsa Festival at the Barclays Center,  featuring Willie Colon, Grupo Niche, Eddie Palmieri, Frankie Negron, Eddie Santiago and Jerry Rivera, multiple benefits for The Latino Commission Against Aids, The Latin Nutcracker, television appearances on Telemundo, Univision, The BBC Vancouver and The Fox Upfronts featuring Terry Bradshaw and Regis Philbin at the Marquis Theater.

Amanda is a certified Yoga Instructor through Greenpath Yoga in San Francisco and holds her BA in Sociology with a concentration in Family Studies from San Jose State University.

michelle tara lynch

Michelle Tara Lynch hails from Los Alamos, New Mexico. She earned a BA in Environmental Studies and a BFA in Dance from the University of California Santa Barbara.  While at UCSB, she received the Patricia Sparrow Dance Scholarship, the Tonia Shimin Award for Excellence and Promise in the Field of Dance, and graduated with honors after creating a full-length evening work, entitled Roots. After graduating, Michelle was asked to reset one of her works, Through the Valles,  for the UCSB Freshman Company.  Michelle moved to New York City in 2012, where she became a company member and instructor with Jennifer Muller/ The Works. While with JMTW, she had the privilege of touring throughout the United States, as well as internationally in China, and Italy.  During her time with JMTW, Michelle worked as a teaching assistant to Jennifer Muller, also assisting Ms. Muller with residencies at the University of California Irvine, Cal State Fullerton,and Jacksonville University.  Michelle taught regular technique classes to  JMTW company members, scholarship students,and apprentices. She also coordinated programs for young choreographers, and taught creative workshops for elementary schools.  Outside of her work with JMTW, Michelle presented her own choreography in California at the HH11 Festival in Santa Barbara, as well as in New York at Greenspace, Hatch Series, and Columbia University.

Michelle recently relocated to the Bay Area, and is thrilled to be teaching and performing on the west coast again. In her classes, Michelle emphasizes the importance of proper alignment, specificity of detail within choreography, and the importance of individuality. Each student receives direct attention, as she believes that every dancer has a unique and tremendous ability to perform.

chlo waldrep

Chlo Waldrep grew up dancing at Castro Valley Performing Arts. Their love for dance and love for children along with their advanced skill levels in a large array of dance genres eventually landed them a teaching position at CVPA. For the past 7 years, Chlo has been a popular teacher at CVPA teaching tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop and creative movement classes. They are currently a teacher for CVPA both at our studios and through the Hayward Area Recreation Department. Students find their classes to be both fun and challenging as they encourage their students to step out of their safety zone in a safe and nurturing environment. In addition to teaching at CVPA, Chlo attended CSU East Bay where they graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration. Their dance goals are to continue teaching and to encourage young dancers to have fun while gaining valuable mental and physical skills.

dallas martin

Born in to a family that owned their own dance studio, Dallas has been dancing since she could walk. Dallas began her dance studies at her family’s dance studio. Upon its closing, she joined Castro Valley Performing Arts. Throughout her teenage years, she studied tap, ballet, jazz and hip-hop at CVPA where she quickly became known as the girl with the “fast-talking feet.” While in college, Dallas continue studying tap dancing with an emphasis on “rhythm tap”. Dallas is now the “rhythm tap” specialist at Castro Valley Performing Arts. In addition to her teaching at CVPA, Dallas is also a first grade teacher in the Dublin Unified School District where she can often be caught tapping down the hallways of Frederiksen Elementary School!

kimberley pereira satele

Kimberley’s dance training began at the age of four from various dance studios and companies throughout the Bay Area. During her teen years, she attended many conventions throughout the United States. Through these conventions, she was awarded numerous scholarships which provided her with extraordinary training opportunities which included the opportunity to travel to New York City to study with notable dancers such as Mia Michaels, Brian Freidman, Laurieann Gibson, Dave Scott, Christ Judd, Wade Robson and Gil Duldulao. Kimberley also studied on scholarship at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. Kimberley was featured in Trendy Trends’ Dance Catalog. She and her dance partner were also semi-finalists in the CBS television show, “Dance Revolution”.

Kimberley has been a member of two renowned Bay Area Dance Companies: “Independent Dance Company”, based out of San Jose and “APT” (aka Apprentice), directed by members from “The Company” based in Daly City.

Kim joins the CVPA faculty, where she teaches hip-hop and contemporary classes. Kim’s classes are very popular.  She prides herself in always providing a fun and welcoming dance environment for both advanced dancers and beginning dancers alike! CVPA is excited to have Kimberley join our faculty this year!

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Specializing in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Tumbling, Stretch and Strengthen, Turns and Leaps, Musical Theater and Zumba for children and adults of all technical levels from beginners to the advanced. Group, private and semi-private classes are available. Boys’ classes are also available.