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Instructors

Kim Reckers

At the age of 4, Kim, started her dance training at a studio in her home town of Arcata, California. This studio was owned by LaVerne Krei, who had a distinguished professional background and was one of the first dancers to be honored by The National Tap Dance Association in their Hall of Fame. She continued to train with LaVerne until they both moved to the Sacramento area in the early 1970′s.

Once in Sacramento, LaVerne opened Carmichael School of Performing Arts, and Kim trained and performed as part of the studio’s company. Later, she was chosen to became a member of LaVerne’s Teacher Training Program and taught tap, ballet and jazz at her studio. LaVerne trained her teachers to uphold a very high standard of technical precision. Her studio’s well known tap choreography was clearly recognized by it’s style and grace, which was the product of a strong ballet foundation. Through this training and experience with LaVerne, Kim came to realize the joy of teaching and went on to open her own studio in 1981.

Kim taught her first students out of her in-home studio (which is still there today). In 1984, she expanded into a 2,000 square foot studio at Sylvan Corners in Citrus Heights, California, called Sylvan Dance Studio.

In 1988, Sylvan Dance Studio had to develop waiting lists for classes and it became evident that a larger facility was needed. The new studio opened one mile north of the first, and took on the new name, Conservatory of Dance. This new location continued to have steady growth and eventually expanded into a second location in Rocklin, California. In 1998, the Rocklin Conservatory of Dance started to have open auditions for their performance of The Nutcracker, which has become an annual tradition for the city. Many of the alumni from Sylvan Dance Studio and Conservatory of Dance went on to pursue professional careers in Dance Instruction, Dance Studio Ownership, Hollywood Films and Broadway Musicals.

In 1999, Kim decided to sell the Conservatory of Dance and try retirement for a while. This gave her some well deserved time off with her husband, their 5 children and their first grandchild. Eventually, she missed teaching so much, that she began teaching ballet and tap for Deane Dance Center, and tap for the Sacramento Ballet’s Dance Education Training Program. Later opening Citrus Heights Dance Academy in 2011 with her daughter, Quinn, for the next generation of dancers.

Quinn Castle

Quinn started taking dance lessons from her mom when she was 3 and added private tap lessons from LaVerne Krei at the age of 5. She became a cast member with the Sacramento Ballet at the age of 7 and performed with them in 8 consecutive seasons of The Nutcracker. During this time she developed a love for Ballet and started studying with Barbara Crockett in Carmichael, CA. She went on to become a member of the Crockett-Deane Ballet Company in Sacramento, CA.

After graduating high school she traveled as a Dance Camp Instructor for the National Dance Alliance, performed as a Sacramento Kings Royal Court Dancer and attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, San Fransisco. With her degree in Merchandise Marketing Management she started her career with Nordstrom, while continuing to teach dance for Deane Dance Center and The Sacramento Ballet Dance Education Training Program. In her 9 years at Nordstrom she had the opportunity to serve many customers and employees in the roles of Savvy Manager, Personal Stylist Manager and Customer Relationship Manager.

In the Spring of 2011, Quinn was led to carry on the family tradition of dance instruction by opening Citrus Heights Dance Academy. In the Fall of 2013, her and her husband Ryan, along with their son Cody and daughters Audra and Hannah, were blessed with the newest addition to their family, Emily. Over the past 4 years she has been amazed by the determination and progress made by so many young dancers and thankful for the opportunity to work with each and every one them.

Angela Barker

Angela started teaching Jazz / Hip-hop for us in the Fall of 2011. Over the last 4 years she has added classes in Pre-Ballet 1-3, Ballet 1-4, Ballet / Contemporary, Tap / Jazz and Tap 1.

Dance has always been a part of Angela’s life. She started dancing at the age of three. When she was 8 years old, she began dancing at what would become her “home away from home,” Sylvan Dance Studio in Citrus Heights. There she learned the arts of Ballet, Tap, and Jazz taught by many brilliant teachers, including the owner, Mrs. Reckers. Angela made many good friends at the studio and loved dancing with all of them, including “little” Quinn. During her years at Sylvan and Conservatory, she participated in competitions and performed at numerous community events. Among the most memorable for her were the years she performed with The Sacramento Ballet in their annual production of The Nutcracker. She also studied ballet with Barbara Crockett, which helped her passion for Ballet grow. Eventually she started teaching children’s classes at Conservatory of Dance. As the granddaughter of a Montessori teacher, it was no surprise to her how much she enjoyed working with children.

In 1997 Angela went away to California State University, Chico where she continued to dance with Expressions, CSUC Dance Team, and choreograph for them. There she majored in Psychology and minored in Child Development. The wonderful technical training she had received, earned her the title of Team Ballerina. She performed around the Chico community including The Chico Dance Theatre Showcases and Chico State basketball games. In college Angela and her team also received trophies in various dance competitions, including winning a gold medal at LA Danceforce, a national competition.

Angela and her husband Ben have two daughters, Gabriella and Lillyana. Since dance gave Angela a mentally and physically healthy way to grow up, she desired to give the same to her daughters. Angela is grateful to be part of Kim and Quinn's dance family again, and to all the parents for the opportunity to instruct their little ones. She hopes to share with them a passion for dance that they will enjoy throughout their lives.

Erin Keith

Erin started teaching the Teen/Adult Tap class with us in the Summer of 2014. She attended her first dance class when she was 3 years old. It was a Tap/Ballet combination class taught by Mrs. Reckers at her In-Home Studio. She continued her study of Ballet, Tap and Jazz, while performing as a Company Dancer with Sylvan Dance Studio and Conservatory of Dance until High School graduation. Her continued dedication to Ballet training allowed her to study en pointe for many years as a Company Member. Erin was on the Loretto High School Dance Team for 4 years as well as the American River College Performance Team for 3 years. She graduated from college with a degree in Organizational Psychology and Development. She has worked for Holy Family School for 16 years. She taught the Junior High School Dance Elective for 4 years and is currently the Extension Director at the school.

Sarah Gross

Sarah started teaching Ballet 1, Jazz 1B and Ballet 2 with us in the Summer of 2014. She studied Gymnastics for 8 years before transitioning to dance. She trained with the studio that is now home to Lodi Musical Theatre and performed in their productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and West Side Story. Her continued dedication to Ballet training allowed her to study en pointe while there. She was also a member of the production team for their presentation of South Pacific. Sarah has studied and performed with our CHDA Adult classes in Ballet, Tap and Jazz over this last year. She was also an interim teacher for Mrs. Castle during her maternity leave. She entertained our audiences holding the lead role as The Grinch, in our 2013 production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Sarah and her husband Adam welcomed their son Kenny in 2012 and their daughter Florence in 2015. She is excited to help her students continue to develop their love for dance!