Faculty

Students at The Dance School learn from a faculty of current and former professional dancers. They provide the highest quality instruction, while focusing on enjoyment and cooperation. Every class, our teachers bring their personal love of dance to the studio and are an inspiration to kids and parents alike!

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Sarah Bordenet
Sarah Bordenet

Sarah has been tapping for nearly 25 years and has performed in musicals such as 42nd St., Anything Goes and On Your Toes.  She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Point Park University and has taught dance and theatre classes around the Northwest and Chicago.

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Mari Engel
Mari Engel

Mari received her early training at Makie Naoi Ballet School. During her Ballet studies, Mari was accepted to the prestigious Butai Geijustu Gakuen (Academy for Performing Arts) in Tokyo Japan where she studied Modern, Ballet and Jazz dance. After graduation Mari continued to study at Chacott Ballet in Japan, Ballet Pensacola & Kaleidoscope in Florida and Modern at the Wurzburg Dance Theater in Germany. She started her professional dance career with Nakura Kayoko Jazz Dance Company performing on stage and screen. She continued performing professionally with Kazco Takemoto’s Dance Venus and Swerve in Pensacola Florida. Ms. Mari was also a contract dance teacher for U.S. Navy Japan’s Morale Welfare and Recreation and has choreographed and taught locally at Reflections School of Dance.

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Coty McGowan
Coty McGowan

Coty’s been dancing, performing and competing nationally for over 10  years.  He teaches and performs a wide variety of urban dance styles ranging from hip hop to new jack swing to popping.  His training includes DC Dance Factory and RocketTown in Tennessee.

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Erica Olavarria
Erica Olavarria

Erica has been dancing since the age of three. She trained primarily at Studio 1 Dance Studio, under the direction of Beth Ith, as well as at Westlake Dance Center and Tap Dance Seattle. Erica has been involved in several local annual dance performances, including Sign of the Times and En L’air. Erica studied for two years under the esteemed dance faculty at Oklahoma City University, where she graduated. In 2011, she founded the OCU Tap Club and served as its president during the 2011-2012 year. Additionally, Erica served as an assistant during tap workshop classes at Dance Educators of America.

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Sarah Seder 
Sarah Seder

Sarah has been teaching dance and choreographing musical theater productions in the Seattle area for the past 5 years. She is on staff here at The Dance School, as well as with Everett Village Theater, Taproot Theater, Vashon High School and Rainier Dance Center, where she choreographs musicals and teaches musical theater dance, jazz, tap, contemporary, ballet and creative movement. Sarah is a founding member of Sapience Dance Collective, a modern dance company based in Seattle. With SDC, Sarah has toured to Vancouver, and Martha’s Vineyard, MA and they have performed extensively in the greater Seattle Area. Sarah is passionate about helping people of all ages discover the joy of dancing.

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Emily Smith
Emily Smith

Emily Smith is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop.  She studied and performed with WWU’s Dance Department while earning her B.A. Emily has been teaching dance for ten years, and has a Masters in Teaching for Secondary Education.

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Christine Weh
Christine Weh

Christine began her dance training with Mary Hunt, Heather Renk, and Lila Zali protege Cynthia Tosh, in Portland, Oregon, performing with the Portland Community Ballet. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, working with such choreographers as Pat Hon, Tonya Lockyer, Gary Masters from the Limon Company, and Mary Sheldon Scott. She has studied Creative Movement under Gail Heilbron and Christine Juarez, and has been teaching her love of dance in creative movement, ballet and modern techniques since the year 2000. Currently she is a member of Weaving Dance Company, performs locally in Seattle modern dance projects, and is the Administrative Assistant for Preparatory Dance at Cornish College of the Arts, where she also teaches ballet. She has worked with the Catherine Mayer Foundation in multidisciplinary arts education since 2006.

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Zhenjun (ZJ) Zhang
Zhenjun (ZJ) Zhang

ZJ danced with the Jose Limon and Martha Graham Companies, appeared in The King and I New York and London productions, and served as choreographer and dance captain in other productions. ZJ trained in ballet, Chinese classical dance, folk dance, acrobatics and choreography. In 2007 he completed his BFA at Cornish College of the Arts.