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Meet our
Dance Instructors

Academy Director / Ballet Divisions

Reese Larsen

Beginning her ballet training at age five at Crockett School of Dance, now Deane Dance Center, where she continued her formal training under the direction of Barbara Crockett, co-founder of the Sacramento Ballet. While training at DDC she also attended Sacramento High School’s Visual and Performing Arts Center and studied under the direction of former American Ballet Theatre guest principal dancer, and master instructors, Stuart Carroll and Sharon Newton. She has attended several summer intensives, summer session, and Master Classes with the San Francisco Ballet, City Ballet, Marin Ballet, and State Street Ballet. Reese has studied at the Joffrey Ballet School and Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She has traveled extensively and has trained, studied, under some of ballet’s most influential teachers specializing in the Russian Vaganova Method such as Natalya Stavro, Olga Dvorovenko, and Maxim Beloserkovsky. Reese’s style is encouraging and positive, and she works to build a strong technical foundation and love for dance within her students.

Musical Theatre / Jazz / Tap

Andrea St. Clair

Originally from the Bay Area, Andrea has been dancing for the majority of her life. With a background in tap, ballet, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre, Andrea danced competitively for many years with Schumacher’s School of Dance under Dolly Schumacher-James and Wendy James as well as technical training with Dance Arts Center with Berle Davis. It was under Berle where Andrea grew to appreciate tap technique and credits his tutelage for her love of the craft. Also, Andrea has had the privilege of studying both in San Francisco and New York under the likes of Cecelia Marta, Michael Raine, Tony Stevens, Marilyn D’Honau, Sam Weber, Jayne Zaban, Katie James, Frank Hatchery and Janie Scott. Andrea holds her BA in Theatre Arts from San Jose State University and is an alumnus of the CAP21 Summer Professional Intensive.

Ballet Academic & Pre-Pointe

Michelle Katcher

Michelle Katcher was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. At the age of seven, she began classes at Anchorage Classical Ballet Academy where she studied for nine years under Farah and Michelangelo Canale. Michelle then moved to Washington D.C. to train at the Kirov Academy of Ballet. Upon graduating as valedictorian, she was invited to study under the legendary American ballerina, Gelsey Kirkland in New York City. Michelle was a founding member of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet. With GKB Michelle danced many principals and soloist roles including Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Marie in The Nutcracker, and Columbine in Harlequinade. After GKB, Michelle danced for Ballet Arizona where she performed in many classical and neoclassical ballets. This is her third season with the Sacramento Ballet.

Ballet Academic & Variations

Bella Velasquez

A native of Orange County, California Ms. Velasquez began her dance training at the Maple Conservatory, under the direction of former ABT dancer Charles Maple in Irvine, CA. She then continued as a trainee dancer with The Washington Ballet in DC, where she performed alongside the company in works by Septime Webre and Twyla Tharp. She completed her dance studies at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program for two years before joining the Sacramento Ballet in 2014. Audiences recall her leaping into the spotlight as the lead ballerina Kitri in Don Quixote, Act I, during the 2016 Sacramento Ballet ‘Latin Nights’ series. Other performance highlights include Ma Cong’s Blood Rush, Septime Webre’s Juanita y Alicia, Gerald Arpino’s Viva Vivaldi (Jumping Soloist), Ron Cunningham’s The Nutcracker (Snow Queen, Rose) & George Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco.

Ballet Academic

Frances Chae

Frances Chae received her primary training at Uptown Dance Centre in Houston, Texas under the instruction of Beth Gulledge-Brown, Adrian Ciobanu and Alex Pandiscio. Upon graduating from Uptown in 2014, she spent a year as a trainee at BalletMet under the direction of Edwaard Liang followed by a year in the studio company at Ballet Arizona under the direction of Ib Andersen and Carlos Valcarcel. She is now in her fourth year with the Sacramento Ballet.

Ballet Academic

Dominique Wendt

Born in San Francisco, California and raised in the East Bay, Dominique Wendt began dancing at the Contra Costa Ballet Centre and at the age of 13 continued her training at the San Francisco Ballet School. She spent one year as a trainee with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio, and two years in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has performed in productions with the San Francisco Ballet, BalletMet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre before joining the Sacramento Ballet. This is Dominique’s second year dancing with the Sacramento Ballet.

Ballet Academic & Tap

Veronica Jarboe

Veronica Jarboe has been teaching dance since 2012. She has trained with the Sacramento Ballet and Deane Dance Center and started dancing at age 5. Veronica has performed in the likes of The Nutcracker many times as well as other ballets and shows. She has also choreographed winning routines for the Headliners competition. She currently is teaching as head tap instructor at Mission Oaks, as well.

Ballet Preparatory & Combo Classes

Hannah Baleme

Hannah Baleme started out in gymnastics at the age of five and was involved in competitive gymnastics and cheerleading shortly after. Later, she transitioned into dance, and she is currently on CCDA’s Senior Company. Hannah is currently a Student Teacher and Teacher’s Assistant. Hannah has been training at CCDA since 2016.