ballet n' tap
Westlake School for the Performing Arts
How to start the year right
What to Wear in Class
Parent Orientation and Artists in Motion General Meeting
New Teachers Joining WSPA
Quick Links
topA BIG Welcome to All Our Beginning and Continuing Students!!! Don't forget classes start on Tuesday, September 3.



We are excited to start another year of exploring dance in WSPA!!!  We will do our best to make your child happy, inspired, and motivated as she/he explores the art of dance and performance.

WSPA is honored to attract top notch teachers this year.  Read all about them here. 

Hip Hop Program

Jazz Program

Ballet Program

Polynesian Program

The new WSPA signature dancewear will not be available for purchase in September as planned.  This won't be a problem since students will not be required to wear the signature uniform until January.  Meanwhile, here's what your child should wear for class when they start next week.

Proper attire is important so click on the class of your child for the proper dress code.

Ballet n' Tap Combo Class

Classical Ballet Class

Tap Class

Jazz Class

Hip Hop Class

Hula/Tahitian Class

Musical Theater Class

Some reminders to start the year:

1.  Dont forget to bring your pre-schooler to the restroom before class.  We want their full attention the entire hour.

2.  You're invited to attend the Parent Orientation meeting on September 10, 2013, at 7:15 pm.  This is a chance to be well informed of what's ahead.  Stay for the general meeting of our non-profit organization, Artists in Motion (AIM), right after the parent orientation.  


3.  Here are some Tips on How to Start the Year Right - a "must read" for new students and families who are joining us for the first time. 

Our studios have been painted and cleaned.  The courtyard is luscious with green grass, and the office has put away the clutter from last year.   We are working with the City in keeping the building and restrooms maintained.  Please help us keep our school a safe and clean environment, conducive to inspire learning and discipline.  Be reminded that scooters, bikes and skateboards are not allowed in the courtyard.

Cheers to another exciting year ahead of us but first, read about our Amazing Summer!!!
Malu Rivera-Peoples, School Director

HereHere's how to start the year right:
 1.  School policies and regulations were set to support the faculty in their efforts to provide your child with the highest professional
training possible. Should you as a parent have any concern
regarding your child's class, teacher, the school's policy
or its staff, we highly encourage you to come to the office
and voice your concerns. If that is not possible, a letter to
the school director would be appropriate.



 will inform you of school practices, rules and regulations, recital preparations, fees and tuitions, and the calendar of events that concern your child.




 NEWSLETTER AND WEBSITE. We will be emailing the newsletter to you and we encourage you to visit our website regularly.   


 4. COME ON TIME FOR CLASS. It would be good to
arrive about 5 minutes before your child's class begins to give
her/him a chance to change shoes and prepare for class.
Every minute of training is important and the more they learn in
an hour, the better for your child and the teacher.
5. DRESS IN PROPER ATTIRE. A dress code encourages
discipline and concentration especially for little children. The
type and color of shoes required for each dance discipline will
be followed very strictly. Hair must be neat and brushed away
from the face. Ballet students must regularly come to class
with their hair in a bun and all others may wear their hair in a
pony tail.

6. PARENT OBSERVATION. Check the handbook calendar
for observation week. Meanwhile, please try to stay away from the
windows as it distracts the children in the class.


sponsible for your child while she is in class. Please advise
your child to stay in class until you come.


8.  PLACE YOUR ORDER FOR WSPA SWEATS AND SHIRTS - The climate in Daly City is regularly cold and overcast.  Make sure you keep your child warm in our personalized WSPA jackets and sweats.  You can place your order in the office now.


Important Note: 
In the month of September, there will be many students trying

out for classes. This is the month when the teachers will see the

composition of their classes for the first time. The teachers will continue to assess and direct the students to the appropriate class where the child can train best. We ask for everyone's patience as this shuffling of students and classes occur. By the month of October, each class would have settled down to the right composition.


Classes in the General School (except for Musical Theater) are limited to 16 students per class. Ballet n' Tap classes are limited to 12 unless the teacher approves to accept more.  Enrollment will be ongoing until November.  Students entering after November will be strictly under the teacher's approval only. The next registration for beginning students will be in January.



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BnTBallet n Tap Combo Class and Classical Ballet Class
1.  Hair in a Ballerina Bun for Girls, Neat Hair for Boys
2.  Black leotard for Girls, White Short Sleeve Top for Boys
3.  Pink Tights for Girls, Black Tights for Boys - GIRLS, DO NOT WEAR UNDIES/PANTIES/ UNDER THE TIGHTS. Boys wear dance support underwear.  NO CUT TIGHTS, FOOTLESS TIGHTS, OR LEGGINGS.

4.  White Tap Shoes for Girls, Black Tap Shoes for Boys - LABEL WITH A SHARPIE BOTH the LEFT AND the RIGHT SHOE WITH YOUR CHILD'S NAME
5.  Pink Ballet Shoes for Girls, white ballet Shoes with white socks for Boys - LABEL WITH A SHARPIE BOTH the LEFT AND the RIGHT SHOE WITH YOUR CHILD'S NAME
6.  Warmer - purchase a WSPA sweatshirt or tank shirt to wear over her leotard on cold days.

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TapTap Class
Your child can wear all of below and add on a black pair of booty shorts or black leggings to wear over her leotard.

1.  Hair in a Ballerina Bun for Girls, neat hair for Boys
2.  Black leotard for Girls, White top for Boys
3.  Pink tights for Girls - only if she is transitioning to or from ballet on the same day.
5.  Warmers - purchase a WSPA sweatshirt or tank shirt to wear over the leotard on cold days.

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 JazzJazz Class

1.  Hair in a Ballerina Bun for Girls, neat hair for Boys
2.  Black leotard for Girls, White Top for Boys
3.  Pink tights allowed only if she is coming from ballet on the same day.
4.  Black booty shorts or leggings for girls, Black sweat pants or jazz pants for Boys
5.  Warmers - purchase a WSPA sweatshirt or t-shirt to wear over the top on cold days.

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MTMusical Theater Class
Your child can wear all of below and add on a black pair of booty shorts or black leggings to wear over her leotard.

1.  Black leotard or White WSPA MT T-shirt for Girls, White WSPA MT Shirt for Boys
2.  Pink tights - only if she is transitioning to or from ballet on the same day.
3.  Black Jazz Pants or Sweats for Boys and Girls
4.  Warmers - purchase a WSPA sweatshirt to wear over the top on cold days.

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  HulaHula and Tahitian Class
1.  Hair tied and away from her face
2.  Black Te Orama Tank top or T-shirt (order from the office)
3.  Black Booty shorts or leggings (NO JEANS)
4.  Pareo for Tahitian
5.  Pau skirt for Hula (if your child does not have this yet, you may order from the office)
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 hiphopHip Hop Class
Be ready to sweat!!

1.  Top - WSPA T-shirt or Sweatshirt
2.  Bottom - WSPA Sweats
3.  Shoes -  Black or White Chucks (Converse)

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OrientParent Orientation Meeting
For All New Students in the General School and the New Members of the Performance Program


Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 - 7:15PM - Studio C

Learn how you can maximize your child's dance
training!  Discover the potential future your dancer
has in WSPA.


Get a quick course on the different dance styles available and be guided along the extraordinary journey of dance training.

Be informed of what is expected of you in the Performance Program.


Meet and Greet the staff, teachers, and the Artist in Motion Bay Area - a non-profit parent based organization serving the artistic needs of the Performance Program.


Please let the office know if you are able to attend the meeting so we can prepare refreshments sufficiently for all the attendees. 


Hope to see you at the meeting!

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It was an amazing summer full of challenges.  Each challenge was taken in stride as if it was choreographically planned.  Each event had a significant impact on the individual's life - a dancer's love for her work and her team, a father's pride for her daughter's achievements, and a student's life changing experience that lead to a difficult decision.  


June 30, 2013 in San Diego - The Company taking 2nd Place at Body Rock.  Read Michelle Abuyaghi's love for dance and her team.

The Company 2nd Place - Body Rock 2013
The Company 2nd Place - Body Rock 2013

"I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint, and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also.. Allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.

Some of us have been here since the beginning, while some of us just arrived. Regardless, we do what we love.. With others, for others, and that perhaps, makes us successful."

Body Rock 2013 will always be one to remember. It was such an exciting moment to hear we would be putting together a one-song medley for the biggest competition of the year. Our past one-song medleys have been well received by audience members at Urban Paradise, and the risk of competing with one allowed for a great reward. Upon first listening to the song together as a team, we all knew that this was going to be different than anything we've presented at previous competitions. The title of the song is "Now or Never", and this describes our journey perfectly.

Pat Cruz, Jason Rillera, and Aggie Loyola put their hearts into the creation of this set. With the help of our team captains, sections of the song were split up to continuously offer something new and different at each verse or chorus. Dedication to our mutual goal at hand, numerous amounts of 12 hour practices, and continuous hard work and persistence successfully prepared us to present our craft.

Before stepping on stage, a number of us found ourselves in tears. Aside from being teammates, we all share such a strong connection that we consider each other family. We've been told numerous times that our love for one another shines on stage, and that is one of the reasons that our team is so special and refreshing. I've never felt more connected with everyone on stage than I did for those 5 minutes of our performance. We left our hearts on stage, and for that we were successful.

We never expect anything when it comes time for awards, because that's never been the main focus for us. We do what we love for ourselves, for the team, and for others. We were all in shock hearing the announcer say our name for the 2nd place title. It was the most amazing and unexpected ending to the competition. Such a proud moment for our team will never be forgotten, and it only pushes us to work harder to share our passion with others. - Michelle Abuyaghi, Company Member


June 29 to July 7, 2013 - The New York City Dance Alliance NY Finals was conquered by our classical and modern dancers. 
WSPA delegates to the New York City Dance Alliance Finals
WSPA delegates to the New York City Dance Alliance NY Finals
Here is a recap of their winnings:

Jasmine Cruz - 1st Place National High Score Mini Soloist
Jasmine Cruz - National Mini Outstanding Dancer
Isabella Triunfo - 17th Place National High Score Mini Soloist
Hannah Hapin - 16th Place National High Score Senior Soloist
and to our other soloist Tanya Santos and Alyssa Viray

Scholarship Recipients:
Hannah Hapin - $100,000.00 college dance scholarship to Point Park University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a $68,000.00 scholarship to Mercyhurst University, Erie, Pennsylvania
Kira Fargas-Mabaquiao - Summer Intensive Scholarship in Mercyhurst University.

Junior's "Young Rebels" - 1st Place Junior National High Score Lines, 1st Place Junior National High Score Contemporary, 2nd Place Junior National High Score Overall and for Junior National Critics Choice Nomination

Mini's "Epaulement" - 1st Place National High Score Mini Lines, 1st Place National High Score Mini Ballet, 1st Place National High Score Mini Overall and for National Mini Critics' Choice Nominations

Mini's "Epaulement" - Mini National Critics' Choice Winner and National Mini Distinguished Achievement for Outstanding Technique

Seniors "After Dark" - 10th Place National High Score Senior Group, 4th Place National High Score Senior Contemporary, and for National Senior Critics' Choice Nominations

Teen "Soldier of Love" - 6th Place National High Score Teen Lines, 5th Place National High Score Teen Contemporary

Outstanding Dancers Finalists:
Isabella Triunfo(Mini)
Tanya Santos(Mini)
Ian Debono(Junior)
Alyssa Viray(Junior)
Kylie Abucay(Teen)
Erik Debono(Teen)


July 7, 2013, in San Jose - Te Orama won the San Jose Tahiti Fete Hura Tau "Professional" Division

WSPA Tahiti Fete San Jose 2013
Te Orama in Tahiti Fete San Jose 2013

Official San Jose Tahiti Fete Results

Then came the August fun and surprising news!
Pistahan 2013
Sixty highly spirited students paraded on Market Street and ended with a performance on the open air stage at the Yerba Buena Gardens.  Partaking of some lumpia and vegetable rolls sponsored by AIMBA, WSPA celebrated the Filipino heritage with thousands of Filipino-Americans gathered that weekend.  It was a great event of giving, celebrating, and collaborating with the community.

Heiva i Reno 2013
Te Orama' Tamarii Otea and Aparima took First Place for their performance in Heiva i Reno.  Jonacy Montero received a special award for being a young Ra'atira.  Morgan Chang was Te Orama's representative and acting manager for the entire weekend and her leadership proved to be exceptional.  Morgan's father, John Chang, shares his story.

Morgan in Heiva Reno
Uncle Coco Hota Hota presenting the First Place Award to Morgan Chang, Te Orama's acting leader in Reno

Despedida for Consul General Paynor at the Crowne Plaza 
Jasmine Cruz and the company modern dancers of Soldier of Love wowed the audience and delighted the Consul General and his wife.  WSPA thanks Mayor Ray Buenaventura as well as Angie Louie for the invitation to perform.

YAGP Young Medalist Gala for the Miami International Ballet Festival
Jasmine Cruz and Tristan Brosnan were invited to perform on Aug. 27 and 28 as WSPA's representatives to the YAGP Young Medalist Gala in Florida.  WSPA and AIMBA joined together to support this opportunity for both Jasmine and Tristan.  They will be performing the virtuosic pas de deux of "Flames of Paris".

Tristan Brosnan moves to Canada
Upon his return from his intensive in Canada, Tristan announced to his family that he had decided to accept the scholarship offer to study and dance in Canada's National Ballet School.  Read all about it here:   "Oh Canada" by Tristan Brosnan.

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There were about a hundred and fifty participants spending at least 3 hours of daily training in dance and musical theater during the day.  In the early evening, about the same number of beginning students took twice a week classes in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and musical theater.  At the end of the three weeks, parents of the dance and musical theater intensives were treated to a short culminating performance where young choreographers Kira Fargas-Mabaquiao, Hannah Hapin, Bernadette Noonan, Brigette Guldbech, and Alexis Pineda premiered their choreography.  Each choreography afforded a pleasant surprise if not an emotional experience for all, surpassing the expectations of both parents and teachers.  The Young Emerging Choreographers program was a huge success for all the choreographers and the dancers they worked with.

After three weeks, Viktor Kabaniaev and Katie Kerwin continued on to their fourth and final week of intensives in WSPA.  Meanwhile,  students who attended  other schools returned to Daly City.

Jasmine Cruz - Full scholarship to Patel Conservatory Next Generation Ballet
Tristan Brosnan - Full scholarship to Canada's National Ballet School
Caitlyn Vergara - Acceptance to Bolshoi Ballet Academy
Hannah Hapin, Nikiya Peoples, Kira Fargas-Mabaquiao, Samantha and Jessica David, Melany Saulog, Isabelle Rabelas, Ian and Erik Debono - Joffrey Ballet

Kabaniaev's Summer Intensive - Afternoon Group
Viktor Kabaniaev's Intensive with students in the Afternoon Session.

It was also a busy and productive month not just for dance but for saying "I Do's".  Former students Christina Wood and Adri Beltrami both married their beaus in a garden wedding while teacher Mayo Sugano celebrated in Tahoe with her local friends and family after the official nuptials in Japan.
Adri and Adam Clark
Mr. and Mrs. Clark

Christina and her father
Christina walking down with her father.

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YPIPlease welcome the wonderful teachers joining us this year as we bid goodbye to others.
 General School teachers Taylor Ullery and Brittany Boon are unable to contract with WSPA this year.  They send warm sentiments to all the students and they will forever treasure the wonderful memories of working at WSPA.  We wish them all the luck in their endeavors - Taylor Ullery as head of the dance department in a local elementary school in San Mateo and Brittany in a pursuit of her teaching credentials at SFSU.  Michelle Abuyaghi, on the other hand, has bowed out graciously from teaching the lower levels of the jazz performance program because of the new challenges of having a full-time day job.  She will continue to teach the company level once a week.

Entering WSPA as their replacements are:

MaiaMaia Siani, former member of the Savage Dance Company.

Taking over the lower levels of the jazz performance program and the general school is Maia Siani, long time member of the  Savage Jazz Dance Company in Oakland.  Ms. Siani joined the company in 1995, while attending San Francisco School of the Arts.  She not only blossomed as a beautiful dancer but as a choreographer whose work Mr. Savage highly approved of for the company.  Maia Siani began studying Ballet at an early age with Ballet Celeste International and with the Lines Ballet Program.  Her dance education continued at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, as a fellowship student at Alvin Ailey American Dance School, with Dayton Contemporary Second Company and in the Alonzo Kings professional workshop. Upon her return to the Bay Area; she trained and performed with Savage Jazz Dance Company. While the majority of her teaching career has been with Oakland School for the Arts Dance School, she has taught in the outreach programs for San Francisco Ballet, Oakland Ballet and Performing Arts Workshop of San Francisco. For the last twelve years Maia has developed excellent teaching and choreographic skills, she is able to inspire and motivate children of all age groups and dance interests. Maia believes that dance can be used to inspire discipline, elevate self-esteem, and create personal success for young people.

Check out Maia's most recent work for the Oakland School for the Arts Spring Concert.
OSA 2013 Spring Concert-
OSA 2013 Spring Concert- "Tobi Ilu"

MystiqueWSPA's General School Hip Hop Program under Mystique and Armando from Embodiment (Top Ten Dance Company in 2012) - Embodiment Project (EP) is an urban dance theater company based in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Nicole Klaymoon in 2009.  As part of a new generation of artists that practice urban dance forms, Embodiment Project (EP) pays tribute to the forgotten struggles of marginalized pioneering street dancers and promotes a visionary perspective on tradition.  EP is deeply invested in arts education and community arts practices.  Two members of Embodiment come highly recommended by their director Nicole Klaymoon to provide WSPA General School a hip hop program with some house dancing, popping, and breakdance.

'World renowned Michelle 'Mystique' Lukmani is no stranger to the dance & circus world with over 20 years of experience. Working with many talented names varying from musicians, to broadway & circus talents, she has shared the stage with the best. She is also internationally acclaimed through her performance in London's festival for women "B. Supreme", and touring with the off-Broadway show, "Break!". Known for her unique style of Popping, as a performer, she brings entertainment and versatility to any stage, giving the audience something to remember.

Armando Davila is a dancer / performing artist and graduate of Long Island University Global with a major in Global Studies, Armando has traveled throughout Europe & Asia gathering global perspective. With Butoh masters Koichi & Hiroko Tamano he has formed a Butoh troupe EarthChild.  Armando seeks collaborative enterprises where spirituality, dance, social change, new media, somatics and the future converge. He specializes in breakdancing, applying his knowledge of the Axis syllabus.  It will be a great opportunity for our young hip hop students to learn breakdanceing in a regulated safe method.
The Axis Syllabus.m4v
The Axis Syllabus.m4v

LeilaniGeneral School Ballet Program with Leilani Neal, former Peninsula Ballet Theater

Leilani Neal began her training at The Dance Network in Fairfield, Ca under her mother, Melinda Neal. She has also studied with Contra Costa Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and was a scholar of Lines Ballet. She continued her training at Academy of Ballet under Richard Gibson and Zory Karah. She graduated from San Francisco School of the Arts Dance Department in 2011.  She was on scholarship with Joffrey Ballet and just this summer at Miami City Ballet.  Leilani has danced professionally with Peninsula Ballet Theatre under the direction of Bruce Steivel. This is her first season with Bay Pointe Ballet under the direction of David Fonnegera.  Leilani will be teaching ballet in the General School.

PolynesianPolynesian Program - Kumu Anthony Manaois will be visiting his family in Tahiti more often this year and has appointed Junelle Mallari, Katrina De Jesus, and Bernard Tubera to teach in his absence.  Kumu Anthony will continue to direct Te Orama and assures continued education of the music and culture of Tahitian and Hula.  Morgan Chang and Camille Edralin will continue teaching the General School.
Junelle Mallari
 Born in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Junelle was destined to become involved in the Polynesian dance.  She joined Otea Api in 2001 and began her Tahitian Dance training under Kumu Anthony Waipa Manaois .  She graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 2002 with a B.A. in Mass Communications.  In 2004 she received the Nathanson Fellow Scholarship to Hong Kong working for the Voice of America.  In 2005 she received her Masters Degree from the University of Southern California in Broadcast Journalism.   In 2006 she became a public school teacher and has taught grades Kindergarten , 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th.  She is a member of the Filipino American Educators Association of California (FAEAC) .   Junelle actively began dancing with Otea Api Professional Performance Cast in 2006. Tours and performances include;  Guadalajara , Mexico 2006 and 2007.   As well as Tahiti 2009 where along with other members of Otea Api performed with the group TE MAEVA in the annual  HEIVA I TAHITI 2009.  In 2011 Kumu Anthony gave her the passage to become an assistant teacher at OTEA API.  And in 2012 she was also given the passage to assist here at WSPA , as an assistant teacher to Kumu Anthony here at WSPA 's - TE ORAMA Program.
Bernard Tubera
 Bernard is a musician for OTEA API under the direction of Kumu Anthony.   He started as a dancer with Otea Api in the early 1990's.  He competed with Otea Api and was part of the cast that won 6 years consecutively at the SAN JOSE TAHITI FETE.
Kumu Anthony has given him the passage to teach Tahitian Drumming , where he will begin and assist Kumu Anthony at both Otea Api and WSPA.
Katrina Hali'imaile Dejesus
Katrina is an  instructor, choreographer, Tahitian Dance School / Group "Otea Api" in Fremont. Her mother is Kumu Hula Ruth Nalua Manaois. She is a graduate of Kumu Hula Aunty Loeklani Noeau Thomas and graduate/understudy to the late Kumu Hula Master Joseph Kamohai Kahaulelio. Katrina graduated along with her brother Anthony KUMU HULA in 2000.   She has helped lead OTEA API to be one of the leading Tahitian dance groups here in the United States.   In 2011 she graciously assisted her brother in leading TE ORAMA in winning the OVERALL Title at the SAN JOSE TAHITI FETE.  She is a daughter , she is a sister , she is a mother , she is a grandmother , she is a care taker of her Culture.



Looking forward to an exciting year,

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