Sarah-Jane Measor, Director/Owner
Sarah-Jane Measor was born in England and realized her love for dance at an early age. She was trained in the Royal Academy of Dance & Imperial Society Techniques and holds the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Teaching Certificate with distinction. Her knowledge of dance extends beyond ballet, encompassing tap, jazz and European folk dance. Ms. Measor taught and performed professionally in Hong Kong before coming to the United States in 1990. She joined the faculty of Menlo Park Academy of Dance as a teacher in 1992, became co-owner and Director in 2005, and in 2015, became sole owner and Director.
Ms. Measor is the recipient of numerous regional and national competition choreographic awards, as well as many studio awards recognizing “best technique” and “overall highest scores”. In 2016, under her leadership, Menlo Park Academy of Dance submitted the most student entries of any U.S. school for Royal Academy dance exams. She has successfully coached students through all RAD levels of exams including the prestigious Solo Seal Award.
In 2016 and 2017, she and her husband, Michael Lowe, were presented with the prestigious Outstanding Teacher Award by Youth America Grand Prix where many of her students have placed in the final rounds held in New York City.
Ms. Measor nurtures her students to achieve their best and many have gone on to enjoy professional dance careers, including former student, Cheryl Burke, of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”. Ms. Measor made her professional choreographic debut in 2016 with Menlowe Ballet’s world premiere of Portraits.
Sarah trained in Atherton with Kimiko Sugano Jonsson, Sacramento Ballet and San Francisco Ballet after receiving a Ford Foundation scholarship. After a 10-year professional career in Europe and the USA, she became the Director of Ballet Idaho’s company school as well as directing her own ballet academy for 25 years. She is certified in “Progressing Ballet Technique”, has augmented her studies with David Howard, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Finis Jhung, Jurgen Schneider/Vaganova syllabus, Lisa Howell (Perfect Form Physiotherapy), and most notably, Maria Vegh. Her students have joined companies such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Lines. Sarah is also the creator of “The Accidental Artist”, an online ballet blog and instructional site for dancers and teachers. To Ms. Arnold, teaching is a lifelong pursuit and she is always motivated to share her knowledge and experience with her students!
Faith found a love of ballet at an early age. She was trained in the RAD, Balanchine, and Vagonova techniques. She danced professionally with the Illinois Ballet and the Capital Ballet. Upon retiring she began teaching and found a new passion sharing her love of dance with her students. Faith strives to make her classes both challenging and fun, focusing equally on technique and artistry. She later became certified in Pilates which helps her to have more awareness of how the body works. Faith is excited to be returning to MPAD after taking a few years off welcoming her third daughter.
Julia Ferrari from Scottsdale, Arizona, began studying dance at age three at the Nina Marlow School of Ballet. Her training continued at Master Ballet Academy under Slawomir and Irena Wozinak through high school. She attended intensive programs with American Ballet Theater Alabama, Ballet Arizona, Joffrey Midwest, Master Ballet Academy, Ballet Austin, and State Street Ballet. Julie danced professionally with State Street Ballet and with Ballet Tucson where she had the joy of working with John Gardener and Amanda McKerrow. There, she performed ballets by George Balanchine and Anthony Tudor, and appeared in productions ot Giselle, Swan Lake, Esmeralda, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Graduation Ball. With State Street Ballet, Julia performed many classical and contemporary ballets, as well as touring the United States. Julia joined Menlowe Ballet in 2013, where she performed multiple ballets by Michael Lowe and Sarah- Jane Measor, Val Caniparoli, Greg Dawson, Ray Savage, and many others. Julia graduated from St. Mary’s College in 2017 with her Bachelors Degree in Performing Arts. In 2019, Julia retired professionally with Menlowe Ballet to focus on teaching and growing a family. Julia joined the faculty of Menlo Park Academy of Dance in 2014 and is looking forward to many more years to come.
Peter hails from New York, where he attended high school at the Nassau B.O.C.E.S. Cultural Arts Center and trained at the School of American Ballet. He went on to attend The Juilliard School under the artistic directorship of Benjamin Harkarvy. As a member of Ballet San Jose for twelve seasons, Peter was best known for dancing the role of Johnny in Dennis Nahat’s “Blue Suede Shoes”. His repertoire also included leading roles in “The Nutcracker” and “Rodeo”, as well as soloist roles in works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, Donald McKayle, Dennis Nahat, Twyla Tharpe, and Stanton Welch. In addition to his work with BSJ, Peter was most recently a closing member of Company C Contemporary Ballet, where he was featured in works by Charles Anderson, Maurice Causey, Susan Jaffe, Charles Moulton, and Yuri Zhukov. Peter has performed as guest artist with Menlowe Ballet and has also enjoyed teaching at many ballet schools throughout the Bay Area. He is thrilled to be joining the faculty of Menlo Park Academy of Dance.
Vinnie Jones received her early dance training in Portsmouth, New Hampshire with Mihailo Djuric. She trained in ballet, jazz and modern dance. She went on to attend the University of Utah and obtain a degree in dance teaching with a focus on Ballet and Character Dance. She has toured and performed all over the world including Spain, Canada, Ukraine, Greece, Mexico and France. She has danced with companies including San Diego Ballet, Ballet Tucson, Menlowe Ballet, and LaMov Compania de Danza of Spain. Her professional dance career has included contemporary dance, folk dance and classical ballet companies. She has been teaching for several years and specializes in ballet, contemporary styles, and character or folk dance. Vinnie has a passion for bringing out the potential in her dancers as well as choreographing challenging and engaging works for them.
Jayvin started dancing age of 12. He started off teaching himself styles such as popping, breakdancing, and even turfing. During high school, he then joined local dance teams to learn urban choreography which lead him to compete and showcase. During college, he continued to perform as well as take master classes and workshops with leading choreographers in the Hip Hop community. He was then given the opportunity to teach at multiple studios in the Bay Area. Jayvin has also choreographed Hip Hop numbers with the Foothill College Dance Company. He’s ecstatic about being able to inspire and help more students achieve their dance goals at MPAOD.
Michael danced principal roles with Oakland Ballet from 1972 to 2001. He toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, and worked with legendary choreographers such as Agnes de Mille, John Butler, Leonide Massine, Frederic Franklin, Willem Christensen, Eugene Loring and Mark Morris to name a few. In 2003, Michael won the prestigious Isadora Duncan Award for Best Choreography for his ballet “Bamboo”. His works have been seen all over the US, Belarusse, Poland and in Paris. Michael has also served as Assistant Artistic Director of Oakland Ballet from 1997-2000 and co-ordinated the company’s Outreach program through the East Bay from 1982-1999. In addition, Michael also directed Peninsula Ballet Theatre from 2004-2008, Oakland Ballet in 2009 and served as resident choreographer for Moving Arts Dance. Michael is a company teacher for Smuin Ballet and Artistic Director of his own exciting new company, Menlowe Ballet. Students of Michael have enjoyed success in many competitions including the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Many have gone on to careers with company’s such as San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and Ballet San Jose.
Fabiana Santiago, from Crystal Lake, Illinois, began studying at age four at the Judith Svalander School of Ballet. She attended intensives with Boston Ballet and with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York City, resulting in a full scholarship to study in Moscow, Russia. Fabiana completed her sophomore year with BBA in Moscow training with the international graduating class under the direction of Marina Lionova, and performed on the new and historic stages at the Bolshoi Theatre as the Lead Gypsy in La Fille Mal Gardée and in the Spanish Duet from La Cachucha. She was awarded a talent scholarship to attend Butler University in Indianapolis where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance. Upon graduating, she was invited to perform with New York’s Ajkun Ballet Theatre under Chiara Ajkun. In the fall of 2017 Fabiana moved to the west coast and joined Menlowe Ballet under the direction of Michael Lowe, performing a variety of ensemble and soloist roles. Fabiana’s passion for dance also transcends through her teaching. She was a faculty member at the Rockford School of Dance in Rockford IL, and has also taught at various schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Fabiana has been teaching at Menlo Park Academy of Dance for the past 2 years as a contemporary, jazz, and pre-ballet instructor. She has choreographed contemporary lyrical works for competition and her work has been recognized and awarded in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) and California Dance Classics (CDC). Fabiana looks forward to another year of teaching as a member of the MPAD family.
Isabelle is a performer, director, teacher and creator in works ranging from traditional ballets to interdisciplinary public performance installations. She received her early dance training with Bay Area Royal Academy of Dance teacher, Connie Vaughan, and later studied with RAD examiner Susan Robinson in England. Contemporary dance became Isabelle’s passion after seeing the Mark Morris Dance Group, prompting her to attend the Taylor School in New York and complete a BA in Dance at Mills College. Sjahsam has performed with several Bay Area companies including Em Space Dance, Jenny McAllister/13th Floor Dance Theater and Anna Halprin and Dancers. She appeared in the works of Michael Lowe while working with Moving Arts Dance and Black Diamond Ballet Theatre, and has toured internationally with Leyya Tawil’s Dance Elixir. Currently Isabelle co-directs ArtFace Performance Group, an Oakland based dance-theater troupe with Malinda Trimble.
Lauren grew up in the Bay Area training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, character, and more. She danced professionally with Menlowe Ballet since its inauguration in 2011 up until 2016 under the artistic direction of Michael Lowe. Prior to that, she performed with PBT in 2005 and 2008 and Black Diamond Ballet Theatre in 2010, both under the artistic direction of Michael Lowe. Lauren has been teaching a variety of dance forms to children and adults for the past 12 years, with 9 of those years at MPAD. Lauren has also had the opportunity to teach open classes at Alonzo King LINES Dance Center and summer intensive classes at MPAD and San Francisco Ballet School. She has used her versatile dance background to her benefit as a choreographer, and has had the honor of winning both national and regional choreography awards at dance competitions. Currently, Lauren is finishing up her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at UCSF and San Francisco State with the hopes of improving healthcare for the dance community.
Chantelle Pianetta, a Bay Area native, began her training at the Contra Costa Ballet School. At age 14, she was accepted into the School of American Ballet in New York City. While at SAB, she performed with the New York City Ballet in George Balanchine’s Serenade and Scherzo a la Russe, Christopher Wheeldon’s Scenes de Ballet, and Susan Stroman’s Double Feature. In 2008, Chantelle enrolled in Columbia University’s School of General Studies and was a member of the Columbia Ballet Collaborative. Chantelle joined Company C Contemporary Ballet in 2010, where she originated leading roles in works by Susan Jaffe, Charles Anderson, Patrick Corbin, and Brian Reeder. She has also performed as a principal guest artist with the Oakland Ballet, Contra Costa Ballet, and Central California Ballet. Chantelle joined Menlowe Ballet in 2015. In addition to performing, Chantelle has taught dance and fitness throughout the Bay Area for the past 5 years. She is excited to bring her knowledge and passion for teaching to the Menlo Park Academy of Dance.
Samantha has over 20 years experience teaching, coaching, and choreographic dance and acrobatics. She was an artistic gymnast in her youth, turned rhythmic gymnast in her teen years and eventually made the natural transition to ballet. Samantha danced professionally for 4 years with Southwest Ballet Company in Pittsburgh, PA. Following her dancing years, she also joined the circus! Samantha was a trapeze artist in both Seattle, WA and Culver City, CA. She has taught all styles of dance, but is particularly drawn to acrobatics as it is a mix of everything she loves; dance and gymnastics. In addition to her dance background, she also holds a certification in yoga, pilates and barre! When not in the studio she can be found hiking throughout the bay area or spending time with her husband and four cats!
Dottie danced professionally on Broadway for 10 years. She grew up in the Studio and is now an independent choreographer and director for both stage and musicals. Dottie’s morning and evening Tap classes are fun and challenging.
Lois Wood is a lifelong dancer, choreographer, and performer. Lois trained in New York before continuing her career in California. She initiated the first children’s ballet program at the Menlo Park Recreation Center called “Tiny Ballerina”. Developing an interest in Jazz, and Tap Dancing, she continued to study to under the tutelage of Joyce Aranda, and Menlo Park Academy of Dance founder RoseAnn Sayler. Subsequently, Lois went on to develop a tap program at the Redwood City Parks and Recreation Center, and also added Tap to the dance program for the City of Menlo Park. Lois Wood is married, has one son, and has been a resident in Menlo Park for 40 years. She has also been teaching for the Las Lomitas Elementary School District for over three decades, and is thrilled to join the faculty of Menlo Park Academy of Dance.
Nicole Yip grew up in Colorado where she received the majority of her ballet training. She studied under Mark Carlsen, German Zamuel, and Irina Brecher. After high school, she moved to California to join Ballet San Jose dancing in ballets such as Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Les Sylphide, and the Firebird among other classical and contemporary works. She has also performed as a guest artist with Western Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theater, and other ballet schools and companies in the Bay Area. Nicole has enjoyed teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced ballet classes at many different dance schools in the Bay Area.