West Seattle Performing Arts (WSPA) is proud to host a professional and accomplished faculty. Whether it is ballet for youth or adults, modern, tap, hip hop, acting, voice, drums, electric bass, guitar, rock band, class,jazz ensemble, or music lessons, WSPA offers some of Seattle's best instructors.

 

DANCE FACULTY

Christine Juarez, Executive Director of West Seattle Performing Arts

Ballet, Pointe,  Creative Movement, Pre- Ballet

Christine Juarez, Executive Director of West Seattle Performing Arts and founded the school with her husband Armando Juarez in 2016.Christine 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.

 

 

Kate LeGrand Rehearsal Mistress:  Ballet, Pointe

Rehearsal Mistress

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.

 

 

 

 Madeline Morser, 

Ballet, Modern, Composition

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.

 Kellsie Steele: 

Hip Hop, Pre-Teen Cheer, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap

Ms. 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.

 Era Terry: Ballet, Pointe, Injury Prevention

Erin Cumbess: Jazz, Contemporary, Conditioning,

 

Erin began dancing at the age of fourteen in Westchester, CA. She later moved to El Segundo, where she danced, and competed with Legacy Dance Academy. Erin has been trained by many acclaimed and recognized teachers throughout the United States, attended California State University Long Beach, and was accepted into the dance BFA program in 2014. She has taught for multiple facilities and worked for Disneyland Resort entertainment from 2015-2017, completed her NASM certification, and is a certified personal trainer with a focus in corrective exercise.

Tad Issac: Acting, Scripts ,Musical Theater

 

 

 

Music Faculty

 Mary Ann Lee WSPA  Principal Music Faculty:

Piano Youth/Adult  Beginner/ Advanced

  Mary Ann studied for a BMus in piano performance at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri at Kansas City under Dr. Wiktor Labunski, Artist-Emeritus-in-Residence.

In 1996 she was invited to Germany as guest company pianist for Ballett Frankfurt, William Forsythe, Artistic Director.  She has played company classes for Nacho Duato’s Compañía Nacional de Danza, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Feld Ballets/NY, and Hubbard Street Dance Company.  Presently she is a staff pianist for West Seattle Performing Arts and Cornish College of the Arts.  She has developed a course, Music for Dancers, which she has taught for more than ten years.  Additionally, she is choir director, organist, and pianist for Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle.

 

Mary Ann has more than 30 year’s experience teaching piano to students of all ages.  Her teaching philosophy is to develop the joy of music through a thorough knowledge of technique, theory and improvisation.  She is a member of American Federation of Musicians, Local 76-493, Seattle and American Guild of Organists.

 

Jeff Ferguson: WSPA Music Faculty, Drums Youth/ Adult

Jeff Ferguson’s passion for music, drumming, and rhythm began with playing the snare drum in his second-grade school band.  Garage rock and respect for the blues followed, later overtaken by an intense interest in jazz music, its history, and the ongoing study of jazz drumming.  He and his trio have performed weekly, mostly in West Seattle, over most of the last ten years. 

His goal is for every student to not only have fun during the learning process but to gain the self-respect that comes with developing skills on the instrument, even at the most basic level.  Understanding rhythmic concepts and how rhythm is a fundamental aspect of our daily experience is a benefit that can enrich anyone’s life, regardless of the level of expertise acquired.  Playing music with others and feeling the joy of musical/non-verbal communication is invaluable.