NCAD FACULTY

Courtney Kelly

Ballet/Tap

Courtney Kelly has recently relocated to sunny San Diego from Columbus, Ohio where she has been active in the dance community for over 30 years as a dancer and teacher. Her love of dance started at age 3 and she studied ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical at a local studio that has been in business over fifty years. In her many years of dancing, Courtney danced on the studio’s competitive team in tap, ballet and lyrical and won multiple regional and national awards at Dance Masters of Ohio and America, Headliners Performing Arts Competitions, American Dance Awards and KAR Nationals. She was a featured performer in Capitol Holiday Lights performing at the State House, the Miss Ohio Competition, and the United Way Fundraiser at Nationwide Arena with Dionne Warwick in 2000. Courtney has danced professionally for Six Flags Theme Parks, in New York City, and was an original member of the Columbus, Ohio branch of New Vision Dance Company. In New York City she studied with such masters as Frank Hatchett, Jackie Patterson, Ann Reinking and Dana Moore. While performing is something she loves, nothing compares to the joy teaching brings. Teaching is her biggest passion and she loves watching students grown, learn and become more confident through the art of dance. Courtney has been teaching for the past twenty years, choreographing multiple award-winning competition routines in musical theatre, tap, jazz, ballet and contemporary. As a dance educator, Courtney is proud to be an active member of Dance Masters of America, certified in ballet and jazz, as well as having completed Level 1 of Dance Masters of America’s Teacher Training School in Buffalo, New York. Before moving to San Diego, Courtney was the Ballet Director at The Dance Space, having created a pointe program and new syllabi for the studio. Well versed in dance history, she taught all levels of adult and children’s classes at Artisan Dance Studio and all levels of tap at BalletMet Academy. Courtney has a BA in Italian from The Ohio State University and loves everything about her Italian heritage. She is excited to start a new chapter in her teaching career here in California.

Victoria Veling

Beginning/Preschool Classes

Victoria began dancing at the age of 4, and started her training under Pablo and Cassi Infante at the age of 7.  She has enjoyed many roles while growing up at NCAD.  Her favorites are Clara and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker.  She was invited to New York at age 10 to participate in Youth America Grand Prix master classes, and has advanced to the YAGP finals in 2016 and 2018. She is currently dancing her third year on varsity dance team at Classical Academy High and continues to train at NCAD.  She is thrilled to be able to teach at the studio she grew up in, and can’t wait to see where her amazing training takes her. 

Reka Gyulai

Ballet

Reka Gyulai received her professional training at the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, Hungary, where she was trained by prominent ballet figures including Imre Dozsa, Zoltan Solymosi, and Mark Diamond. Reka was a finalist at the International Ballet Competition in Vienna in 2004. In 2006, she received the prestigious Elvina Vecsei Prize and a Scholarship of the Republic from the Hungarian Ministry of Education.

Ms. Gyulai has performed with the Hungarian National Ballet, Columbia Classic Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, New Jersey Ballet Company, International Ballet Company, and Dance Alive National Ballet in Florida. She toured extensively with these companies to Russia, Transylvania, Brazil and throughout the United States. Her repertoire includes principal roles in Cinderella, Wizard of Oz, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Walpurgis Night, Swan Lake, Phantom of the Opera, and others. She has danced works by Adam Hougland, Edward Liang, Ashley Page, Marcello Angelini, Ma Cong, Kevin Jenkins and Septime Webre.

Jacque Ford

Jacque discovered her love for dance after taking adult classes at NCAD in many different genres.  She began studying under Matt Malufau and developed a true appreciation for dance and soon thereafter began teaching whenever needed.  She is passionate about passing on her love of hip-hop in our younger dancers and is excited to be joining the NCAD teaching staff .

Abbie Tilton

Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical

 Abigail Tilton began her dance training in San Marcos under Ben and Laurie Michelle Houk, Shawn Black and Nancy Robinson. As a student she was accepted and attended summer programs such as Ballet West, Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. Miss Tilton trained at San Francisco Ballet pre-professionally under Lola De Avila, Patrick Armande, and Tina LeBlanc for 4 years. She performed multiple works with San Francisco Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet.  Such works included “Paquita”, “Western Symphony”, Helgi Tommason’s “The Nutcracker”, Helgi Tommason’s Ballet “d’Isoline”, “Napoli”, “La Sylphide”, and many more.  After being accepted as a Trainee with Ballet West, she performed with the Company in “Swan Lake”, “The Nutcracker”, “Le Petit Merveilles”, “The Little Mermaid”, “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Giselle”. Miss Tilton temporarily retired from dancing professionally because of health reasons, but hope’s that she can help the mentoring and growth of the students at NCAD during her stay.

Katharine Miller

Ballet, Preschool Classes

Over the course of her training and 19 year teaching career Katharine has studied many forms of dance with a focus on Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Pre-school and young dancer training and curriculums, Child Development, and technique.  She holds a certification for Junior - Advanced levels in Progressing Ballet Technique and will complete her Acrobatic Arts certification in levels 1-6 this fall.  

Her personal training includes studio instruction, college study, and participation in the pre-professional intensive training program at the Academy of Performing Arts (formerly in San Diego).  She continues to pursue growth as a dance educator through master classes, teacher training courses and conferences, as well as certification programs.  Katharine has been privileged to take both master classes and teacher training courses from: Bruce Marks, Roni Mahler, Joe Tremaine, Mia Michaels, Laurie Ann Gibson, Stacey Tookey, Shannon Mather, and many others.  In 2010 she participated in The Pulse Teacher’s Workshop in NYC, and has attended the Dance Life Teacher Conference directed by Rhee Gold in 2011, 2013, and 2015 as well as attending the Mather Dance Company teacher training intensive in 2016.

 

Katharine has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of students ranging in ages from 2-adult in beginning through advanced levels.  She owned and directed her own dance program and studio for 15 seasons as well as having experience teaching at multiple studios all over the San Diego area, was director of the dance program at Calvary Christian School for two years, and has received overall high point, 1st overall, and choreography awards at various dance competitions including Starquest, Rainbow, and Kids Artistic Review for many of her pieces.  She is also in the process of developing her own curriculum for young dancers.

 

As a dance educator Katharine strives to bring fun, structure, and technique to each of her classes, “My goal is for all of my students to have a lifelong love of dance and to carry that into their adulthood, to give them an appreciation for the arts that will enrich their experience of the world.”

 

When not teaching Katharine enjoys travel, natural living, and spending time with her husband and three children; Shayden (5), Maddox (3), and August (9 months).

Jessica Carpinelli

Ballet

Jessica Carpinelli began dancing at New West ballet when she was three years old. She trained there for 10 years before meeting Sue Gilson, who encouraged her to add jazz, tap, and lyrical to her repertoire at Georgia’s School of Dance and Palomar College.

 

Ms. Carpinelli has been blessed to have taken master classes around the country with some of the most prominent names in dance. She studied Economics at San Francisco State and during her time learned how to teach children. After graduating, she taught dance full-time and performed with the Bay Area Dance Company. 

Ms. Carpinelli moved back to San Diego and brings 8 years of teaching experience to NCAD. She is passionate about passing on her joy for dance and music as well as producing educated dancers. Ms. Carpinelli is excited to be joining the NCAD teaching staff and to be sharing her love of children with this community.

Ashley Lee

Jazz, Contemporary, Turns and Legs and Leaps

Ashley Lee is a native of San Diego, California, and has taught at various studios and high schools throughout the San Diego and Orange County areas. Ms. Lee has won various Regional and Nationals titles for high school, All-Star and collegiate competitions. She is also a four-time world champion in International Jazz and Pom. 

 

Ms. Lee has participated in several parades, Holiday Bowl half-time shows and the Super Bowl. Most recently she studied dance with Unity Dance Ensemble under the direction of Tessandra Chavez. This opportunity has allowed her to dance on stage with Kupono, Ade, Shauna Noland and other contestants from the hit TV series “So You Think You Can Dance”. 

 

Ms. Lee is a graduate of SDSU with a bachelors in Kinesiology: emphasis on fitness, nutrition and health, and she plans on pursuing her teaching credential this year to teach health education. In her spare time Ms. Lee sings in a 10-piece reggae band called "Shoreline Rootz".

Anna Alcorn

Ballet, Pilates

Anna has danced her whole life- mastering many different styles that all contribute to the versatile dancer she is. 

 

In addition to teaching high school oceanography and AP environmental science for 10 years, she's competed, performed and taught Brazilian samba, African Dance, swing dance, and all levels of ballet. She has performed for numerous events, including samba at the US Cup Soccer game in 1993, swing dance at Disneyland, and African dance at spiritual retreats and sweats.

 

She competed and placed in nationwide competitions for Lindy hop and Hollywood styles of swing dancing, but ballet has always been her passion.

 

Her performing ballet appearances include supporting and corps de ballet roles for California Ballet, Terpsicorps Ballet of North Carolina, and NCAD.

Brenda Simonsen

Acrobatics

Brenda has enjoyed dancing since she was two years old. Taking various classes including Acrobatics, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Tap at Georgia's School of Dance. Brenda has attended many workshops and Jazz dance world congress.   Brenda's passion has always been acrobatics and she began teaching it in 1999. Short there after she started competition Acrobatics at Georgia's School of Dance.  

Brenda believes in being a role model to her students, and building their self confidence. Brenda is outgoing and believes in hard work and practice. Brenda's loves to tell stories when she choreography's and loves to use props. She believes in the mottos "Never say you can't always try" and "Things happen for a reason".  Brenda's has learned a lot from dance, she has learned  discipline, respect, stage presence,  patience, and building lifelong friendships that she hopes to pass that onto her students.

When Brenda is not teaching she has her own DJ business "Dancin DJ B ", she works as a Lead EMT at Tri-City Medical Center in the Emergency room, she is married and has three dogs (Piper, Penny and Diggity), she loves movies, musicals and she loves to just hang out with family.

Matt Malufau

Hip-Hop

Matt Malufau has danced since he was sophomore at Castle High School in Kaneohe of Hawaii, receiving his early training in the art of dance from Dora Luna and Marcelo Pacleb. Initially trained as a Jazz Dancer, Mr. Malufau was always drawn to Hip Hop, and he was offered a scholarship to dance with 24-VII Dance Force where he improved his style and technique in this dance genre. 

 

Mr. Malufau quickly became an accomplished performer, participating extensively in multiple dance concerts and events with both Castle Dance Force and 24-VII Dance Force. 

 

After High School Mr. Malufau decided to join the Marine Corps to serve his country, but he has continued to broaden his training as a Hip Hop dancer, teacher and choreographer. His styles of Hip Hop include Lyrical Hip Hop, turfing, hard style, Jump style and pop and lock, among others.

Sarah Preston

Ballet, Preschool Classes

Sarah Preston began dancing at the age of three.  In addition to North County Academy of Dance and New West Ballet School, Sarah has received ballet training from other schools including Peridance (a Capezio Center), The Joffrey Ballet School and Anaheim Ballet.  Some of Sarah’s favorite past roles include Snow Queen, Dew Drop Fairy, Arabian Princess and French Marzipan in the Nutcracker;  Principal in Les Sylphides;  Soloist in Paquita and Coppelia;  Pas de Trois in La Bayadere and Sleeping Beauty;  Cheshire Cat in Alice and Wonderland, and a member of the Corps de Ballet in many other Nutcrackers and other classical ballets.  In addition to her years of training in ballet, Miss Preston has received jazz, lyrical and contemporary training, all of which served her well as she was on Biola University’s dance team during college.

In addition to dancing, Sarah has been teaching dance for over ten years in Southern California at locations including North County Academy of Dance, New West Ballet, Georgias School of Dance, San Diego Dance Center, Oceanside Dance Academy, The Royal Dance Academy, Thrive Dance Center and The Edge.  Miss Preston is experienced in teaching beginning through advanced levels of ballet, lyrical, jazz and contemporary.  She is also currently coaching JV dance at The Classical Academy High School.  Having graduated from Biola University in Los Angeles with a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education she continued on with her graduate work and is now a credentialed teacher in Adapted PE.  Miss Preston feels incredibly blessed to be teaching at North County Academy of Dance and is excited to see a love for dance grow in her students.

Melanie Veling

Studio Manager

Melanie has managed NCAD from May of 2013 to present.  For the past 6 years, she has worked to keep our studio running and our dance families happy.  Melanie is in the office on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for most of the day and can be reached via email at info@northcountyacademyofdance.com on her days at home.

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5256 Mission Rd #806, Bonsall, CA 92003, USA

(760) 703-4958

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