OUR STAFF

Aliaksandra Smirnova
Arianna Gibbs
Claire Suttle
Emily Aid
Jacqueline Duong
Kallan Christensen
Melinda Malher
Rebecca Ybarra
Sharon de Souza
Suzi Laverty

 

OUR STAFF

 

Aliaksandra Smirnova

Aliaksandra Smirnova has a Master's degree in Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism from Russian State University and a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education from Belarusian State Pedagogical University. Alex has taught students of all ages, from 2 years old through adults. She teaches competitive dance teams as well as recreational classes. Alex views teaching and learning as a dynamic and interactive process she shares with her students. - top

Arianna Gibbs

Arianna was born with dancing in her soul. Her parents finally put her in formal ballet classes at the age of 5 after seeing her mimic ballerinas in the Nutcracker television program. Since then she has trained in styles of jazz, hip hop, and salsa while getting a B.S. degree in business at San Jose State. She loves performing, competing, choreographing, and teaching salsa and hip hop in the Bay Area. - top

Claire Suttle

Claire Suttle, co-owner and director at CLAP Arts, began her studies with RAD ballet in England and expanded her training in the U.S. to include a variety of dance disciplines: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, pilates, yoga. She is a member of Dance Masters of America (DMA) and a graduate of the DMA teacher training, a four-year program for dance educators that specializes in children's dance instruction. She teaches at local schools and dance studios. Claire also holds a B.S. in Computer Science from UC San Diego. - top

Emily Aid

Emily has been training in Music, Dance and Singing for 15 years, she graduated from the University of Chichester in England in 2018 with a BA (Hons) in Theater. Her parents put her into ballet classes at the age of 3 and she never looked back, expanding her experience by taking as many classes in as many different art styles as possible. Emily has performed with many professional companies over the years including Musical Theatre and Dance companies. She has a passion for expanding children's futures and encouraging their development through the arts. She firmly believes that encouraging a child's imagination through movement and art is key to their futures. As the eldest of six children she has extensive experience with children of all ages and abilities. Emily has primarily worked directing and choreographing musicals and teaching theatre and dance in Elementary Schools and for youth theatre companies throughout the Bay Area. When she isn't working Emily enjoys spending time with her family and goddaughter, reading and going on new adventures. - top

 

Jacqueline Duong

Jacqueline Duong recently graduated from Santa Clara University's College of Arts and Sciences where she studied psychology and dance. Today, she continues her education at SCU in pursuit of her M.A. in counseling psychology. Ms. Duong has also performed on Santa Clara University's spirit and dance team. Through SCU's dance and theater department, Jacqueline has taken much joy in both dancing and choreographing in the following shows: Images, Choreographers' Gallery, Abydos, and Senior Recitals. Under the direction of Meghan Horowitz, Ms. Duong showcased her talent in James Williamson's music video "Living in the Night." This music video was selected as one of 2017's top dance videos in San Francisco's Dance Film Festival. Since then, she has taught at various studios across the South Bay including West Valley Dance Company, Studio 10, and Purdance. She has also provided dance instruction to both children and adults with disabilities during her time at MAGIC Dance Arts and College of Adaptive arts. She is excited to be a part of the CLAP Arts family, and hopes that her special love for dance can spread to her students as well!" - top

Kallan Christensen

Kallan Christensen has her MA in Research and Experimental Psychology from San Jose State University and a BS in Psychology from Colorado State University. As a performer and artist, Kallanís experience includes dance, figure skating, musical theatre, band and choir. She danced competitively as a teen and went on to perform professionally with the Colorado Eagles Pom and Dance Team. Kallan teaches a variety of dance styles including jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and hip-hop, as well as drama and musical theatre programs. - top

Melinda Malher

Melinda Malher-Moran has studied dance for over 20 years, including jazz, modern, ballet, tap, improvisation, lyrical and cheer. She received her B.A. in Dance from San Jose State University and her M.A. in Expressive Therapy-Dance/Movement Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. When not teaching CLAP Arts classes, Melinda is a registered dance movement therapist and expressive arts therapist. - top

Rebecca Ybarra

Rebecca Ybarra grew up singing, dancing, and performing. She teaches tap, ballet, jazz, zumba, hip-hop, ballroom, and tumbling. She loves being able to share her passion with her students and watching them grow! Dance is both therapy and art to Rebecca, and she is always amazed at how it can touch people. This is absolutely her passion! - top

 

Sharon de Souza

Sharon de Souza, co-owner of CLAP Arts, brings a wealth of knowledge from years of experience in various industries from biotech to performing arts. She studied business at San Jose State University and has a diversified background with emphasis in marketing. She has spent the last 15 years working in performing arts education, specializing in children's programs, and has been recognized for exemplary customer and community service. Sharon led the way to bringing arts to underserved schools and communities, helping to provide classes to thousands of children. - top

Suzi Laverty

Suzi Laverty is an active artist and teacher in the Bay Area. Having always had a strong passion for the arts, she finds fulfillment in passing on skills and knowledge in hopes of igniting a spark in others. She recently returned state-side from a year abroad in Florence, Italy. There she learned techniques in drawing, painting, and crafts from the masters at Michelangelo's Academy: l'Accademia di Belle Arti. Laverty expects a bachelor's in Studio Art and Art History from San Francisco State University this Fall. She has been performing and training as a dancer through Colorguard and marching band in styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop for over a decade. She has performed in and produced over two dozen dance-based pageantry shows since 2005, which she continues today. - top

 
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ABOUT CLAP ARTS

Creative Learning And Performing Arts! (CLAP Arts!) is an organization specializing in educational and entertaining performing arts... ->

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