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.
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 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.
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.
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 moved to West Seattle in 2017 after receiving her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University in NYC. She joined WSPA in 2018 as a choreographer, injury prevention lecturer, and ballet instructor and has loved continuing to teach and choreograph while practicing physical therapy at Kinetic Physical Therapy in West Seattle.
Era has been involved in dance for over 25 years with a dance education that includes Joffrey Ballet, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder Ballet, Chattanooga Ballet, and Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts. While pursuing her B.S. in Exercise Science, Era taught and danced professionally with Chattanooga Ballet in Tennessee.
Era is currently a board member and clinic organizer for Seattle Dance and Performing Arts Medicine (SeaPAM). She is also a member of the Performing Arts Special Interest Group of the American Physical Therapy Association and of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. As a physical therapist, she has worked with dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Company, Joffrey Ballet, Cornish College of the Arts, and Whim W’him.
Era’s teaching style focuses on imparting anatomical and biomechanical knowledge to the dancers to minimize injury and maximize technique while emphasizing artistry and joy of movement in dance.
WSPA is thrilled to welcome Heather Gonzalez, Hip Hop instructor who has relocated to West Seattle from Los Angeles. Heather has been on faculty for 13 years at the renowned "Lab Creative Arts Studio" ( The Lab) where she has specialized in instructing children's Hip Hop. Ms. Gonzalez has worked on the production arts team at the LAB producing professional projects and also coaching young aspiring pre-professionals who desire to break into the commercial dance world. She has also been an dance instructor for the California school system where dance is integrated into the physical education curriculum. Her love and joy of working with students is infectious and we look forward to her growing our Hip Hop program.
Dorienne Raynolds graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Dance. Dorienne is classically trained and began her studies in the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus. She completed with merit all exams and performed in the Solo Seal performance. She then when on to explore the world of modern dance and had the opportunity to perform great works by Zvi Gotheiner, Vaslav Nijinshy, Doris Humphrey, Lar Lubovitch and Jose Limón. She has also worked with local choreographers Corrie Befort, Rob Kitsos, Alice De Muizon, Hannah Wiley and Paige Barnes. She has presented her own choreographic works in 12 Minutes Max and Velocity’s Under Construction. She also went back to school to for her Apparel design degree and currently works as a clothing designer for Cutter & Buck. She is very excited to get back into the classroom.
Sana completed her degrees in Ballet (BFA) and Spanish (Minor) at the University of Utah in 2021. Her collegiate career included classes in Pedagogy, Choreography, Dance History, and Dance Writing. She danced in several classical and contemporary works including Giselle Act 2, Don Quixote Excerpts, Le Jardín Anime, "Preludes" by Rick McCullough, and "Maybe Tomorrow" by Melissa Bobick. After graduation, she began her teaching journey here at WSPA. Sana believes that a joyful and positive environment leads to more productive learning, and has thoroughly enjoyed teaching students ages 4 to adults. She is also expanding her repertoire as a choreographer: creating classical advanced pieces, group children's works, and lyrical dance pieces.
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’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.
Castle Farinas has played guitar for over 40 years. He hails from Hawaii and is influenced by his Hawaiian roots. Castle enjoys the blues, rock, jazz and is comfortable on acoustic and electric. He pulls from those he has admired throughout his musical journey, musicians like Jimmy Page, SRV, George Benson. He loves teaching beginners and introducing them to the technical basics of guitar.