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Westlake School for the Performing Arts

Summer has come and gone, but the passion for dance is here to stay!  Your WSPA family is excited to see you and your child back in dance.

Just a reminder, make sure your child has been registered and listed in our teacher's roster prior to the class.  If you will be registering on the day of your child's first class, make sure to get a slip to present to the teacher.

Needless to say, the strict dress code for every dance style will be enforced.  Make sure you order your child's sweatshirts and pants for the colder days to come. 

We had a great turn-out for our Nutcracker auditions which promises an exciting production.  The final cast with alternates and understudies will be posted by mid-September or sooner.  Congratulations to all those who auditioned.  Miss Mayo, Ms. Tina and myself were very pleased and impressed.

Our Modern/Contemporary/Jazz Program boasts of three passionate and excellent teachers.  Read here to see who they are.  WSPA apologizes for the sudden change of faculty.  Please be reassured that we always have our students' best interest in mind.

For all of you who are interested in purchasing action shots from our past recitals, productions, and events, visit our non-profit organization the Artists in Motion SmugMug website.  In it are thousands of photos labeled by event and performance, taken by Lem Abdon, Antoinette Oliveros, and Benson Choy - who are donating all the proceeds to AIM Bay Area.

Our future newsletters aim to better serve and guide you as a DANCER'S PARENT.  Different informative articles on health, injury prevention, best deals in dance apparel, etc.  will be helpful as you support your budding artist.


Thank you for entrusting your child's training to us.   Let's work together to assure your child's success.

A happy dance year to you all,

Malu Rivera-Peoples
School Director
Westlake School for the Performing Arts


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FREDERICK GAUDETTE began his life as a dancer/artist near his hometown of Salisbury, MA with his first tap class where as he puts it, "They gave me shiny patent leather tap shoes, and for one hour a week let me run around and make as much nose as I could; I was hooked." He went on to earn his BFA in Dance Performance from Stephens College in Columbia, MO before moving to Seattle, WA to begin his professional career with Spectrum Dance Theater. He served on the teaching faculty of the Washington Academy of the Performing Arts where he found his love and gift for being "in the front of the studio" teaching/coaching/and directing rehearsals for the academy's students.

Frederick now lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area where he has worked with numerous artists in the area, most recently with Enrico Labayan (LabayanDanceSF) and Ronn Guidi (Oakland Ballet) which has continued to broaden his love, curiosity, and understanding of dance as a vital art form. He strives to make dance available to all those who have a desire to experience, understand, learn, and enjoy the visceral, kinetic art that is dance.  Frederick will be teaching the upper levels of contemporary/modern and jazz classes in the Performance Program.


MICHELLE ABUYAGHI is one of the celebrated members of WSPA's and the Bay Area's respected hip hop crew, The Company. She has a very strong background in classical ballet, tap, modern/contemporary, and jazz having reached the highest level in the school's performance program in her teens under Inna Bayer, Tina Fargas, Malu Rivera-Peoples, and Amy Beltrami.  She competed as a soloist in both modern/contemporary and classical styles in YAGP and has performed the Reed Flutes and the Dancing Doll in the Nutcracker.  She continued to train in jazz while she pursued ballet and tap each year, competing and showcasing in every gala.  In her latter years in high school, Michelle gravitated to hip hop where her passion and discipline for dance reached a personal and deeper level under the guidance of Patrick Cruz. She travelled with them to Macau, China, in 2010.  Michelle is excited to take over the Jazz Performance Program where she intends to share her choreographic skills in a fusion of ballet, hip hop, and jazz to create her own unique style.


BRITTANY RUSSEL joins WSPA with a ton of experience working with children, especially high school students. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree on Dance, Performance, and Choreography. She continues to train in ballet, jazz, and modern/contemporary from ODC Dance Commons and Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco and performs for both Oberlin Dance Company and University Dance Theater. Her teaching and choreographic abilities have been proven and tested in Mercy High School and Lowell High in San Francisco, where she is responsible for the Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginning Classes in Modern Jazz, Hip Hop/Jazz Funk, as well costuming, lighting, and staging. She will be teaching the ballet/jazz technique and Jazz classes in the General School.



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