Beth Hoge (Founder/Teacher)
(aka Beth Brunberg, Beth Jahn), founded Danspace in 1976, after a lengthy dance career in Los Angeles and New York. Her early dance experience included work with Joseph Rickard, in the Southern California Ballet, and with Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch in the Greek Theatre’s summer production of “Giselle.” She then traveled to New York to attend Juilliard. There she studied with Antony Tudor, Margaret Craske, Martha Graham, and Alfredo Corvino who was to become her lifelong mentor, and teacher.While studying at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, on scholarship, she performed in the Opera Ballet frequently, appeared with many of the companies who appeared at the Metropolitan: The Royal Ballet , the Bolshoi and the Kirov. She was invited to assist Miss Craske in the Children’s Division of the Ballet School. Other performing experiences included being a charter soloist with Manhattan Festival Ballet, off-Broadway, touring musicals such as Camelot, Oaklahoma and many summer stock venues. She appeared on the Phyllis Diller Television variety show, and in the opening ceremonies at Lincoln Center. Upon returning home to Cailfornia she began her teaching career and founded Danspace in 1976. She taught Ballet at Mills College from 1983 to 1994 where she made an invaluable connection with the Modern Dance community, and greatly enjoyed luring some “fallen away” ballet dancers back to ballet class by sharing the work of her teacher Mr. Corvino. The clean, unmannered style, and clear principles of movement based on musicality and efficiency, bridged the gap for many dancers; some continue to study and teach at Danspace today. Others return regularly for class, in support of their careers as dance professionals around the world.
Claudine Naganuma (Director /Teacher)
has been at Danspace since 2002. She is the Artistic Director, Choreographer, and Costume Designer/Creator of dNaga, a multi-ethnic, multi-generational dance company created in 2001. With the support of David Leventhal and PD Active, she helped to bring the Dance for Parkinsonís program to Danspace, as the first school outside of Brooklyn to offer Dance for PD. She served as the Artistic Director of Asian American Dance Performances from 1992-2004 and continues as a leader in the Asian American Arts field, serving as the board chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center. She is dedicated to arts education and the empowerment of children and has studied Early Childhood Education at Mills College and worked in the classroom at Aurora Elementary School. She received her MFA in Choreography and Performance from Mills College, where she met Beth Hoge.
KT Mower (Front Desk)
has been dancing since the age of four. She has trained with various instructors at Contra Costa Ballet Centre in Walnut Creek, Pamela Hayes in Sacramento and Kimberly B. Valmore and Beth Hoge in Oakland. KT is trained in ballet, modern and jazz styles of dance. She has danced with COterie DAnce Company (CODA) since it was founded in 2002. CODA performs annually at Works in the Works in Berkeley and Spring Forward in San Francisco.
Mary Armentrout (Teacher)
received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1985, concentrating particularly on dance and philosophy. While there, her choreography was selected to represent Sarah Lawrence College at the American College Dance Festival. During her years in the Bay Area as a choreographer, she has created numerous works of hybrid dance-theatre fusion which she calls performance installations. She formed Mary Armentrout Dance Theatre in 2000. Her choreographic works as well as her teaching are informed by her study of Cunningham, Limon, Release, Contact Improv, as well as the Corvino Approach, butoh, aikido and Feldenkrais, Authentic Movement and Alexander Technique. Her insatiable curiosity has led her to explore and implement in her work elements of theatre, voice, video and visual arts. Her work has been seen regularly in the Bay Area as well as Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, London, Berlin, and Paris. She has been a Djerassi Resident Artist and serves as President of the Board of Dancers Group in San Francisco, and is co-curator of the new performance salon, The Milk Bar at the Biscuit Factory in Oakland. She has taught modern technique and composition, and been teaching Beginning Ballet Technique for Adults at Danspace since 1996. Her ecclectic background combined with a profound respect for the Corvino Approach have made her classes inviting and accessible to adults who have never danced as well as those returning after a long absence.
Brooke Byrne (Teacher)
trained in classical ballet at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and jazz, tap and musical theater at the Melodia Arts Center. She double majored in dance and theater at Bard College in New York, graduating with honors. Upon graduation, Ms. Byrne was invited to perform classical ballet and modern dance with Festival Ballet USA in England. She then moved to the Bay Area where she became a founding member of Moving Basis, a modern dance collective and a member of Khadra International Dance Theater, of which she is now artistic director. She is also a founding member of Las Estrellas performing the Argentine boleadoras and as soloist with Ballet Afsaneh, performing central Asian dances from the ancient silk route. Ms. Byrne has been teaching several dance styles to adults and children as young as 18 months since 1982. Her classes at Danspace emphasize the joy of movement while introducing very young dance students to basic dance movements, musicality, and classroom etiquette; reinforcing colors, numbers and sequencing; and encouraging visual, auditory, special awareness, and experiential learning. Class use of directed free movement with a story line based on ballets and dance pantomime emphasizes the performance process.
Tanya Celeste Chianese (Teacher)
obtained a BFA in Modern Dance and BA in Art
History from the University of Oklahoma, before her performing career
took her dancing across the United States and parts of China. Tanya
currently creates art with Paufve | Dance, Venture Dance Project,
Blind Tiger Society, and Katerina Wong, and used to be a Terpsichore
with Clawson Dance Initiative, Sarah Bush Dance Project, Media City
Ballet, and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma. Ms. Chianese passionately
teaches movement primarily at Danspace, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center
and ACE Dance Academy. She has also worked as an administrator for
Oklahoma City Ballet, Epiphany Productions, and Dance Anywhere.
Janey Madamba (Teacher)
has been dancing in local hip hop dance companies since 2002. From 2007-2012, she was the artistic director of Funk4soul a hip hop fusion entertainment dance company. In addition, she has danced with the Academy of Hawaiian Arts, and has graced many bay area stages, shows and productions, including the San Francisco Hip Hop Dancefest. As an architect, Janey graduate from UC Berkeley, and has been practicing in the Bay Area for the past 11 years. She works with Struthers Dias Architects, a local firm that specializes in affordable housing, is committed to green building, and prides itself on service to the community.
Freesia Paclebar Huth (Teacher)
has been dancing in the Bay Area since she was three. A native San Franciscan, she was a competitive ice skater in her youth, performing atop the Emporium-Capwell in their yearly rooftop ice show. The love of performing led her to study movement of all kinds. She has collaborated with local artists Ruby and Popo Lee as the principal dancer in their paintings. She went on to study dance at Mills College. She was a founding member of Patricia Reedy and Dancers, and has performed with Colette Bisher-Choate, Unbound Spirit, George Latimer, New York choreographer, David Rousseve’s Reality Company, Purple Moon Dance Project and numerous Bay Area choreographers. Freesia has studied yoga and teaches Tai Chi to adults. She is one of the original partners of Luna Kids Dance, a developmentally based dance school and education program for teachers, where she taught in the children’s program for 11 years. She has choreographd for Berkeley Repertory Theater and the California Shakespeare Festival. She is also the mom of two teenaged boys.
Kimberly B. Valmore (Teacher)
received her MFA in Dance at Mills College in 1992. Her years of training before and after Mills included San Franscisco Dance Center, Berkekey Ballet Theatre, Brady Street and Mission Dance Theatre. Ms. Valmore was also accepted into the Alvin Ailey Dance Center summer program where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Horton Technique, Dunham and Graham Technique, as well as various Ailey Repertory. Additionally, she is a participant in the Checcetti Council of America Teachers Program and the YogaFit@ Teachers certification program. Her performance credits include Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company, Kim Epifano, Ann Bluethenthal and Dancers, Shakiri/Rootworkers, dance NAGANUMA, and Mary Corbonara/dances. Since 1992 she has been a company member of the politically feminist edged, Dance Brigade in San Francisco; performing Taiko Drumming, Wushu Marital Arts as well as modern dance. Other appearances include music videos with such artists as Bobbie McFerrin and Tandy Beal; Musical Theater and industrials/varieties with Emmy-award winner Marguerite Derricks. Her choreography has been seen throught the Bay Area in venues from musical theater to independent movies. She directs her own contemporary dance company “COterie DAnce.” She has taught ballet, modern dance and jazz throughout the Bay Area for the past 22 years. Currently she is Artist-in-Residence at College Preparatory School in Oakland, and has been a long-time core member of the Danspace teaching staff. She has been a student of Beth Hoge’s since 1985.
last updated: 5/3/2013