MEET OUR FACULTY!
JAYNE ZABAN (OWNER, DIRECTOR)
Jayne danced professionally with the Atlanta Ballet Company and has instructed many students who now have professional careers in theatre and dance. Jayne has choreographed productions throughout the Bay Area, including Broadway By the Bay, 42nd Street Moon, Bus Barn, Lamplighters, The Aurora Theatre, Diablo Light Opera Company, Hillbarn Theatre, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Peninsula Center Stage, and New Conservatory Theatre. She received three nominations for the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, has been honored with the Garland Award, received the Dean Goodman Award for Out Of This World, received the Hillbarn Subscriber Award for Oklahoma, Chicago, and Ragtime, and a Shellie Award for Anything Goes for CCMT. Jayne is the recipient of the 2017 Bravo Award for dedication and service to the greater Bay Area Arts Community.
PAIGE BENNETT (JAZZ)
Paige feels very blessed to be part of the DAC family. She has been teaching for over 20 years and specializes in teaching children, holding a degree in Early Childhood Education. Paige is a member of Actor's Equity Association (AEA), and was awarded a Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for her portrayal of Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain. She is most proud of her role as a Mom.
Robbie button (hip hop)
Robbie is a senior at Hillsdale High School and is very excited about teaching at DAC. He started dancing at the age of seven. Robbie has been a part of Poise’n Dance Crew, Hillsdale’s Dance Ensemble and other dance groups! He has trained in all styles from ballet to hip hop. He is excited to get the opportunity to express himself through his dancing and be able to share it with his students.
KRISTINE CHAMBERS (BALLET)
Kristine began her dance training with Jayne Zaban at DAC when she was 9 years old. She graduated with a B.A. in Creative Arts and a second B.A. in Dance from SJSU. As a member of the University Dance Theatre Company, she performed around the Bay Area in works by Cliff Keuter, Ann Garvin, and Nolan Dennet. After college, Kristine studied with Berle Davis and joined the casts of many musical theatre productions with Broadway By the Bay. She is a member of the New Ground Theatre Dance Company, a contemporary dance company under the direction of Coleen Lorenz. Kristine is featured in the classical role of the Snow Queen in the annual production of San Mateo's Holiday Festival of Dance.
melissa cheu (tap)
Melissa began dancing as baby ballerina. She started her training in tap, ballet, and jazz under Sabina and Soozi Childers at the Foster City Dance Theatre School. She has continued her training under the guidance of tap virtuoso Sam Weber, as well as attending tap workshops with a variety of tap masters, including Mark Mendonca, Sarah Reich, Dianne Walker, and Terry Brock. She has taught tap for several studios across the Bay Area and is a long-time member of Tap Explosion, a tap dance company based out of San Jose.
kim dodge (ballet/pre-point/Flex & core)
Kim trained and graduated from Professional Ballet School under directors Carmela Zegarelli Peter & Zoltan Peter. She joined Queen City Ballet Company in 2006 under the director Campbell Midgley and was promoted to soloist in 2008. Upon returning to the Bay Area, she has danced and instructed with Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Western Ballet school and company, and Lisa's Performing Arts school. She holds a degree in Radiologic Science and also continues to dance and instruct as a freelance artist in the Bay Area.
AMANDA FARBSTEIN (TAP)
Amanda is excited to teach at DAC where she studied with Jayne Zaban, Berle Davis, and Robin Tribuzi. She also trained at the San Francisco Dance Center and is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, where she performed in many of the company's musicals. She has performed with Broadway By the Bay, NDNU, Summer Repertory Theatre, and Hillbarn Theatre. She is currently an active performer, with recent roles including Judy Haynes in White Christmas, Ilse in Spring Awakening, and Gower inPericles.
Danny HARPER (S.N.A.P.! DANCE)
Daniel is humbled and thrilled to join the teaching staff of DAC. Daniel Joesph “Danny” Harper is a youth theater director, choreographer and combat instructor. He has been an education in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 20 years. His dance studies: Jazz and Tap with Berle Davis, Ballet and Contemporary technique with Angela Demmel and Jeanne Batacan-Harper. Daniel has collaborated with many youth theater companies and public schools throughout the Bay Area. His most recent partnerships have been with: Menlo Atherton High School, Mugglebee Theatre, Ohlone (College) for Kids, Starstruck Musical Theatre, and the Campbell Unified School District. From dance classes, to drama camps, creative writing to speech classes-he enthusiastically brings a wide range of experiemce and joy to educating, nurturing and inspiring the next generation of young artists in the art of storytelling.
sandra kurpjuweit (children's ballet /BALLET/intro-jazz)
Sandra began her dance training in Ballet at the age of six, and at sixteen she joined DAC to pursue Jazz Dance with Berle Davis. She continues to take Ballet and Jazz classes at DAC, and is a demonstrator for our adult beginning jazz class. Sandra is a graduate of SFSU and a California credentialed teacher who has been teaching elementary school for over 15 years. She has shared her love of dance with her school communities by choreographing for many drama productions, directing Christmas pageants, and organizing school talent shows. Sandra strives to instill the same love of dance in her young DAC students.
VIRGINIA MUSANTE (S.N.A.P.!)
Virginia has been directing children, teens, and adults throughout the Bay Area for over 30 years. She is probably most well known as the Drama Teacher at Bowditch Middle School in Foster City, where she directed large school musicals annually. Some of her more recent and noteworthy projects include the Hillbarn Theatre's summer program for kids with "special needs" and a Reader's Theatre project by and for adolescent girls dealing with the topic of bullying. Virginia also teaches Children's Theatre and Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. She is an avid improvisational actor and has spent many years doing improv in San Francisco.
CAROL NICHOLAS (S.N.A.P.!)
Carols has been involved with dance her entire life - first as a student in her youth, as a dance major at U.C. Irvine, a student for over 25 years, and a former instructor of Creative Dance and Ballet at DAC, and currently as a co-creator, coordinator, and instructor of S.N.A.P.!. Carol's inspiration to work with special needs students originates with a family friend who, in 2008, was one of the first students in the program, and who is now one of the S.N.A.P.! assistants.
leeann payne(tAp/musical theater)
Lee Ann has been directing and choreographing musical theatre and dance concerts for over 20 years. She holds an MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University and is a working actor in the Bay Area. With an extensive background in ballet, jazz, tap and musical theatre dance, Lee Ann incorporates a variety of styles into each session. Her classes are fun, upbeat, and inspiring as she welcomes all levels to dance. Lee Ann’s choreography has been seen from San Francisco to Santa Cruz and beyond.
JUDY RECHSTEINER (TAP)
Judy studied tap for several years in San Francisco before moving to the Peninsula where she discovered DAC and Berle Davis. She has spent the last 25 years as an instructor at Palo Alto and San Mateo Recs, and most currently at Reach Fitness and the Veterans Memorial in Redwood City. Through the years she has choreographed for and performed in many local community productions. Since 2008 she has written 3 musicals, performed throughout the Bay Area. Currently, she is a founding director of Sly Foxxe Productions, an organization dedicated to bringing light entertainment to the public, in the form of the 1940s genre 'whodunits'.
Derek Sakakura (Boys ballet/contemporary)
A Bay Area native, Derek Sakakura has trained with some of the area’s legendary teachers, including: Lareen Fender, Sally Streets, Richard Cammack, Sandra Chinn, as well as the faculty of San Francisco Ballet School and “Lines” - SF Dance Center. At 16, his training continued at the prestigious Houston Ballet Academy; he has since enjoyed a 20 year career on the stage as a principal ballet danseur and has spent the past decade refining his teaching methods to prepare his students for their individual goals in dance, whether they are to train to become a professional dancer, to learn and enjoy the performing arts, or to just enjoy dance and its element of camaraderie. The main goal is always to discover what dance means to the student.
Mr. Sakakura’s professional credit includes: “The King and I” Broadway National Tour; The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago (company member); Ballet Austin (soloist); Ballet Met (principal danseur); Bernardo in Woodminster’s “West Side Story;” Taro in Maui’s “Ulalena;” and Diablo Ballet (principal danseur); Rescuer (film actor) in “Hereafter;” and numerous other projects that represent his diverse and extensive performance background.
Although Mr. Sakakura officially retired from performing in 2016, he has gone on to study ballroom, contact improvisation, and fusion dance styles to expand his understanding of the core principles of being a skilled and healthy dancer.
The quote that has become Derek’s teaching mantra is: “Become the teacher you always wish you had.”
DANIELLE SHUB (intro to jazz)
Danielle is so excited to be teaching at DAC after taking classes from Jayne Zaban and Berle Davis when she was younger. Danielle received a degree in Radio, Television, and Film with a minor in Musical Theatre from San Jose State. She has been teaching for over 12 years, including dance, gymnastics, and voice. She has also choreographed numerous musicals for community theatre companies and schools. One of Danielle's specialties is to incorporate acrobatics into her choreography, using her past years as a competitive gymnast as inspiration. Danielle has an extremely supportive husband and three incredible children who share her love of dance and theatre.
SUZANNE SPRINGS (JAZZ/CREATIVE DANCE)
Suzanne is delighted to be reunited with her dance family at DAC, where she grew up studying ballet and jazz with Jayne Zaban and Berle Davis, and performing with their teen dance group "Steppin' Out". while earning her Physical Therapy and Dance degrees in college, she performed as a principal dancer in a professional modern jazz company based in Sacramento. Since then, Suzanne has performed as a guest artist and choreographed for companies throughout Northern California. She danced with Lamplighter's Opera in Merry Widow, and has choreographed the half time show for the Golden State Warriors. She has shared her love of dance, teaching to a variety of ages and abilities for the past 11 years, including individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.