Pope Flynn

(West African Dance) Ghanaian performer/composer/educator Paul Ackah, a.k.a. Pope Flynn, is best known as lead vocalist for the legendary Sweet Talks band of Ghana, where he brought the art of highlife music to new heights. When not on stage, he shares his joyful spirit and vast knowledge of African folk music, dancing and percussion with his legions of American students. He joined the Performing Arts Department of Saint Mary’s College in 2001, where he is percussionist/accompanist in dance classes and … Read More

Claire Toner

(Pre-Ballet through Ballet 7 Instructor) Claire (Stallman) Toner started dancing at age four in Saratoga, California. She studied ballet with Karen Millar before joining the San Francisco Ballet School, where she received training from Gloria Govrin, Pascale Leroy, Shannon Bresnahan, and Jocelyn Vollmar. She also attended summer intensives with the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Claire has performed with Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Diablo Ballet. She … Read More

Calvin Thomas

(Ballet 5-7 Instructor) Calvin Thomas hails from Maysville, Kentucky, and received his foundational training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet. He has supplemented his studies at Boston Ballet School, The School of American Ballet, Ballet Austin Academy, and The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Performing with the Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Austin, Company C Contemporary Ballet and NY Theatre Ballet are among some of the highlights of his career. His repertoire includes works by Thang Dao, Gregory Dawson, … Read More

Nicole Haskins

(Ballet 5-7 Instructor) Nicole Haskins, originally from Venice Beach, California, is a dancer, choreographer, mentor, and writer. Her love of ballet and enthusiasm for choreography emerged during her training at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica under the direction of Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire. She then went on to dance professionally with Sacramento Ballet, Washington Ballet, and Smuin Contemporary American Ballet in San Francisco, retiring in 2019. While dancing professionally, Nicole’s choreographic career flourished, including commissions for … Read More

Laura O’Malley

(Contemporary Instructor & Choreographer) Laura O’Malley was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and trained on full scholarship at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. She has danced as a soloist with Stuttgart Ballet and Dutch National Ballet. Among the leading dramatic roles performed by Laura were Giselle in Giselle, the Sylph in La Sylphide, Olga in John Cranko’s Onegin, Lulu in Christian Spuck’s Lulu, and Olympia in John Neumier’s Lady of the Camelias. Falling in love with self-expression and … Read More

Emilie Skinner

(Director of Operations & Ballet 2-7 Instructor) Born in Houston, TX, Emilie Skinner began her classical training at the age of six with Gilbert Rome and Victoria Vittum, performing with their company Houston Repertoire Ballet until graduating High School. She has attended summer intensives at the Joffrey Ballet, Austin Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and the SIBA international training program in Salzburg, Austria. While the primary focus of her training is classical ballet, she also has experience in modern, jazz and … Read More

Julie Lowe

(Adult Ballet) Julie Lowe serves as Associate Artistic Director of Menlowe Ballet, based in Menlo Park, California. She received her earliest dance training in New York with Mimi Kellerman, and went on to study with teachers including Audree Ismailloff, Meredith Bayless, Lawrence Rhodes, Wilhelm Burmann, Sally Streets, Howard Sayette, Betsy Erickson, and Ronn Guidi. For over a decade, as a Principal Ballerina with the Oakland Ballet Company under the artistic leadership of Ronn Guidi, Ms. Lowe toured the United States … Read More

Gail Voss

(Substitute/Former Ballet 3 Instructor) Gail McCarty Voss has a BS in physical education with a concentration in dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was a soloist in the university dance theater. Her early training began with Tatiana Rousseau and Oleg Tupine at the Virginia Ballet School. She performed for several years with the Virginia Ballet Company in the Washington, D.C. Performances. Later she performed with Music ‘n Motion, NYC Opera in Hawaii, and Oakland Ballet. … Read More

Karin Jensen

(Dance with Me, Pre-Ballet & Ballet 1 Instructor) Karin Jensen trained in classical ballet at Oakland Civic Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and Alameda School of Dance. She has performed with Berkeley City Ballet, San Jose Dance Theater, Alameda Chamber Ballet, as well as Alameda Civic Ballet in both corps and soloist roles. Karin is a graduate of Ballroom Dance Teacher’s College and is an instructor at Just Dance Ballroom in Oakland. She also performs modern liturgical dancing with Omega West Dance Company … Read More