Dance at the Dome Teacher Bios

Michelle A’Dair has been living and dancing in Tuolumne County for 40 years. Her certifications are in dance and fitness with Zumba Gold as her next conquest. She has studied Ballet/ Point, Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop in New York City with top choreographers Charles Kelley, Charles Hughes and Jimmie DeFore in LA. As a teenager, Michelle attended Summer Intensives with Juilliard, Dance Educators of America and Dance Masters. She was the All Around Competitor for Western MA Gymnastics and coached at Sonora High. She has also dabbled in baton twirling, pageant competitions and musical theatre by performing in many plays, parades and directing and choreographing elementary/junior high aged children, all while successfully owning and operating Michelle’s Dance Studio in Soulsbyville, CA.

She has been a large part of installing and opening the new Arts Alliance Dance Studio at KASA which has taken off in the last months as Dance At The Dome. Miss Michelle is also a very busy Real Estate Agent and the CFO of A’Dair to Build Const. Co. Inc. She will be offering Gentle Yoga, Dance and Fitness Classes to both children and adults.

Very Gentle Yoga Classes Tuesday and Thursday 5:30-6:15pm
45 minutes of Very Gentle stretch and strengthen designed for people that just want to get started. Especially folks with limited mobility or are recovering from injury or a body repair or a mind in despair. Our students have remarked that they have tried other Yoga Classes and they are just too intense, Michelle’s class is just right. They love the $5.00 price too.

Jazz/HipHop Classes
Youth ages 7-12
This class is designed to be a hootenanny of a good time. We will dance for fitness and fun exploring all types of dance with emphasis on hip-hop and jazz routines. Dancers will also learn basic tumbling moves and choreography.

Ballet/Tap Combo  ages 9-16
Dancers will learn basic ballet moves with an emphasis on posture, grace, and poise. The Tap portion will have an emphasis on learning  tap basics, routines and steps that are required for a Theater audition.

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Bonnett Saussol moved to Sonora in 2013 from the Bay Area where she taught adult tap dance classes at the Campbell and Sunnyvale community centers since 1992. She also danced and choreographed at Bay Area community theaters. Originally from the East Coast, she has been dancing since childhood and studied with tap legends including Al Gilbert, Sam Weber, Savion Glover and Dianne Walker. Bonnett appeared on national TV on Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.
Adult Tap
Tap I Friday 10:30pm
Adult beginner class for those who have never tap danced before or want a refresher to get back into it. Basic tap technique, terminology and simple dance combinations will be taught in an encouraging and fun way! No experience necessary … just an excitement to tap your troubles away!

Tap II Friday 9:30am
Adult advanced beginner class for those who know the difference between shuffles and flaps and want to learn more skills in a controlled, relaxed and fun manner! Tap dancing promotes coordination and flexibility. Entertaining routines will be taught.

Tap 1-0-FUN!    Wednesday 5:30pm
Adult tap class to become a better tapper. It’s all about sound and rhythms. Fundamental drills to improve tap skills will be introduced to be light on your feet and move faster. Have fun, too!

Sharp as a Tap!    Wednesday 7:00pm
A faster paced tap class for the adult tapper with crisp, clean, clear tap sounds … whether your tap shoes are dusty or not! More complex and intricate tap footwork and combinations will bring back the joy of tap dancing.

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Suzanne Hennessy started to take college dance classes in her 20’s first in San Diego, then at Columbia. In 1978, she became an aerobic dance instructor for California Aerobic Dance, a San Diego company. After moving  to Sonora at the end of 1978, she started classes in the Sonora area, hired new instructors on behalf of California Aerobic Dance, successfully expanding the business into neighboring counties. From 1982 to October 1986 she owned her own business, Aerobic Workout. She decided to return to school to complete a degree in English. She received her credential and began teaching at Oakdale High School. The following year, she was hired by Soulsbyville School, teaching there until she retired in 2010.

Two years ago she discovered Zumba Gold at Catherine Gordon’s Sonora studio.  She has recently completed Zumba basic instructor training and Zumba Gold training, becoming an instructor with Catherine’s studio in July. Geared to mature exercisers, the 45 minute sessions are a great way for beginners to get started and get comfortable with the moves. Fitness goals include aerobic conditioning, developing flexibility and balance, and socializing with like-minded people who love to dance.
Zumba Gold

Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:15am.
Zumba Gold is a 50 minute class focusing on cardiovascular health through dance routines. The instructor leads the group through gradually more challenging warm-up routines over 10 minutes, then the core dances follow the interval training concept. One dance is quicker, the next slower, or one is longer and the next shorter. These are followed by a slow stretch routine and, unique to this Zumba class, 5 minutes of yoga stretching. Zumba dances cover a variety of styles such as salsa, rock & roll, Cumbia , disco and Merengue. Clients tend to be over 50 or getting back into an exercise program.

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Catherine Gordon, ACE-CPT  is well known as an ACE certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. She has a BA in Theater from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame Indiana. She will be teaching BodyCon: a total body conditioning class that gives you the energy, strength, mobility, and balance you need in order to live life to the fullest. BodyCon stands for body confidence, conditioning, and contour. This 60 minute class begins with a dance based total body warm up, followed by bodyweight intervals and resistance training. Balance and flexibility training come next, with a restorative cool down to complete the session.

Modifications are offered for beginners, and progressions are suggested for advanced exercisers. Comfortable fitness attire and athletic shoes should be worn, and please bring a yoga mat for the restorative portion of the class.
Catherine has helped her clients and readers lose literally thousands of pounds and inches with her training, and she is delighted to be bringing her most effective techniques to you with BodyCon
BodyCon
Mondays at 5:30PM and Wednesdays at 9AM ongoing.  
Tuesday/Thursday classes at 6:30AM and 8AM starting September 5th for an 8 week session.
Catherine’s Broadway Bootcamp gives you all of the strength, balance and flexibility you need for the life you love.  This one hour class includes a simple dance based warm up, barre, resistance training instruction, and stretch.  We will spend about 15 minutes of each class learning the dance number for this session: “All That Jazz,” from the musical Chicago.  You will see improvements in posture right away, and you will be leaner by the end of the session: guaranteed!

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Henrietta Plessas

I grew up with the love of dancing starting from a very young age. My mother put me in Ballet classes which I truly enjoyed but I knew something was missing for me. As I endlessly watched Fred Astaire films I longed to be able to dance like THAT!!

At the age of 16 I moved on my own from England to San Francisco and the person I was staying with insisted of two things from me …running each day and learning to ballroom dance Well needless to say I  “walked” every morning (saying I ran!) but fell in LOVE with ballroom dancing. At the age of 18 I started dancing at the Metronome Ballroom San Francisco and at the age of 20 I was teaching there under the instruction of Diane Jarmalow for Ballroom and Latin and Rosemary Zachary for swing. With a long break in between I resumed my career of teaching swing , ballroom and Latin at Dance Arts ballroom San Rafael. And with my passion for West  Coast Swing I have the privilege  and honor to call Kelly Casanova, my Mentor and coach; substituting for her when asked.

I have  now have fulfilled my dreams of living in our Twain Harte cabin which we’ve been coming to for years. I can’t wait to share my love of teaching and dancing with you all and hope you’ll soon join me on the dance floor ..

Ballroom, Latin and Swing

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Nicole Kikugawa

From the time Nicole could remember, she always wanted to dance! She started dancing with Randi Murray’s Dance Studio at the age of 9 and continued her training into adulthood at various schools including; Suzanne Katarsky’s Academy of Classical Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City & The San Diego Academy of Ballet. She has experience in both teaching and performing. Her true passionis for ballet and she’s excited to be part of the dance program at TCAA.

Nicole holds a B.S. from San Diego State University and has built a career as a Financial Advisor. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors (running, skiing, golfing, camping) and spending time with her family.
Youth Ballet/Tap Combo (ages 5-9yrs); Open Ballet (Teens/Adults)

Tap Combo Monday 4:00pm
Ages 5—6yrs. Basic Ballet and Tap exercises for the placement of the body, legs, arms & head, and developing elementary skills in the coordination of the steps. Children learn to work in lines and on the diagonal. Basic movement themes such as; jumping, balletic runs walks, spinning and skipping are explored as an introduction to classical Ballet & Tap.
(Dance attire and Ballet/Tap shoes recommended)

Ages 7-9 yrs. Progression on Level I with Basic musicality & rhythm. Traveling movements learned previously are given more complexity with the addition of forward & backward exercises. Students will develop the ability to retain basic movement combinations and may learn to perform short dances.
(Dance attire and Ballet/Tap shoes recommended)

Adult Ballet Monday 6:30-7:45pm
This adult ballet class is designed for dancers with various levels of experience (some experience is recommended). The class consists of traditional barre work, center, and corner work with combinations adjusted for different levels of ability as needed.   We start with traditional barre exercises that warm, strengthen and prepare the body for movement.  Here the mind and body are challenged to train together throughout various routines. We focus on proper alignment, balance and flexibility. Then moving to the center floor & corner where we perform classic variations, challenging yourself to execute steps and turns with the illusion of effortless ease and grace. It is a discipline and an art form that can be enjoyed by all!
*Adults are always welcome to “pick and choose” what they want to do during class and are not required to wear a leotard or tights.

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Katryn Weston

Katryn began dancing at the local Randi Murray’s Dance Studio at the age of five.  In high school she joined the Academy of Classical Ballet with Suzanne Katarsky.  She has more than five years of experience teaching ballet and tap to students of all ages.

Katryn has used her dancing skills to perform in many local plays through Columbia Actors Repertory and Sierra Repertory Theatre with shows including Gypsy, Me and My Girl, Crazy for You and Idiot’s Delight.  
 
Previously, Katryn taught mathematics at Sonora High School and Columbia College, but is now focusing her energy on raising a family and helping with her family business, Blue Oak Farm.
Pre-Dance (Ages 3, 4, & 5)
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Corine Elwart

This class is designed for all levels of skill and experience.  We will start with a few warm-ups, then dive right into learning basic moves, combos, and spending the last part of the class on choreography.
 
My personal style is more “cabaret” than “tribal” or “fusion” (the three most basic styles taught in the U.S.) but the class will cover all these styles.  “CoMotion” is dedicated to simplicity of movement, coupled with the complexity of group movement.  Musical styles include traditional Middle Eastern all the way to contemporary Pop.
 
Wear comfortable clothes: skirts, yoga pants, etc., and plan to dance barefoot, or in comfortable dance shoes.
Co-Motion Belly Dance
Every Friday 5-7:30pm