DeeAnn Valine is the owner and director of the Academy of Danse. Born and raised in the Napa Valley, DeeAnn has been dancing for over 40 years. She began taking tap at the age of four, and soon fell in love with dance – including Ballet, Jazz, and Pointe. DeeAnn attended Solano Jr. College and continued down her path in various dance classes, five days a week, under the careful eye of Sherri Stockdale (who received many Shellie Awards for her amazing choreography throughout the Bay Area). DeeAnn then auditioned for her very first musical production and discovered an additional love for musical theatre.
Even as a young girl embraced by dance, DeeAnn always knew she would follow her dream to one day own her own dance studio, allowing others to fall in love with dance and make other dreams come true. DeeAnn became the proud owner of The Academy of Danse on January 1, 1994. She taught up to 25 classes a week for the first three years while owning the studio. She started the first Academy of Danse Competition Company in 1995 and has been coaching and directing various teams ever since. The Competition Company has done very well competing at many different bay area competitions in all styles including Musical theatre. She always has high hopes and expectations for all of her students and loves watching them grow and improve over the years.
DeeAnn prides herself and the staff on the merit that Academy of Danse offers an atmosphere that is both encouraging and challenging to dancers of all levels. She feels a true sense of family created at the studio, and many students consider it their home away from home.
Alex was born in Wisconsin and moved to Napa with her family as a baby. She was first introduced to dancing at the age of three, when she began taking tap and ballet classes through the Rec Department. She loved dance from that moment on. First dancing at Napa Valley Dance Center and then joining Academy of Danse at age seven, Alex started with tap, progressing through the years to learn ballet, hip-hop, jazz, pointe, contemporary and musical theater.
Alex has danced on the Academy of Danse Competition Company for many years and was team captain for two years. She enjoyed the community of the team and is grateful for the close friendships she made.
Alex graduated from Vintage High School in 2019. During her four years there, she was a part of the dance program, as a dancer for three years and as a choreographer/teacher during her senior year. Alex enjoyed the creative outlet that the Vintage jazz program gave her.
Alex has been enrolled full time at Napa Valley College for the last three years and has transferred to focus on her major studies in Medicinal Biochemistry. While studying at NVC, Alex received an Associate’s of the Arts Degree in Spanish and her IGETC certification.
Alex currently works for a retired SF neurosurgeon in administration and medical research.
Alex has worked as a nanny for many years. She loves working with children and works for many local families, helping with their childcare and children’s tutoring needs.
During her years as a young dancer, Alex aspired to become a dance teacher herself. It is her dream job as it combines her love of dance with her love for children. After assistant teaching a jazz class at the studio for a year, Alex was very excited to lead her own Hip Hop class the following year. This will be her fourth year teaching Hip Hop, her third year teaching Jazz and her second year teaching Ballet.
In previous summers, Alex has taught Hip Hop/Jazz combo classes to younger dancers, ages six to eight, through the Napa Rec department. This was a very rewarding experience for Alex as it was through a Napa Rec dance class many years earlier, that she had first developed her love of dance. Getting to share her passion with a younger generation of dancers was incredibly meaningful to Alex.
Alex enjoys teaching dancers of varying ages and abilities as she loves to see the individual personalities of her dancers shine through in class and onstage while performing her choreography.
Alex loves teaching and the great relationships she has with her students. She finds progressing her students’ dancing to be so rewarding and really looks forward to seeing them each week. She is excited for another great year of dance at the studio!
Beth’s passion for dance started with a Bella Ballerina Home Ballet Studio which she quickly outgrew and begged her parents for actual classes. She has been taking classes at Academy of Danse since the age of 7. For the first few years, she took Ballet later adding Jazz, Contemporary and most recently Hip Hop. Her favorite style of dance is Musical Theater because it allows her to play a character while also incorporating many other styles of dance.
Ever since she was 3 years old Beth has been performing, even if it was just to her family. She loved being her yearly school plays and participating in voice and piano recitals. Over the past 13 years, Beth has only missed one dance recital and that was due to a knee injury that she wishes never happened. Performing has become such an important part of her life and her hope is that she can teach children to love being on stage as well.
In 2011, Beth was invited to join the first ever Pre-Competition Company. The next year she became a member of the Competition Company and competed for 6 years. Travelling with the company to conventions and different competitions allowed Beth to experience a multitude of techniques and disciplines that she has brought into her classes as a teacher. Her time on the company taught her how much hard work and dedication are needed to achieve goals.
Growing up in a large Catholic family, Beth has been around children all her life. She has learned that patience really is the greatest virtue when teaching. She hopes that she can continue to learn from her students as well as teaching them something new. This is her fourth year of teaching Tiny Tots and her third year of Musical Theater, and she is excited to see where the year takes her!
Bianca Rodriguez has been a teacher here at the Academy of Danse for 6 years. She has been a dancer with us since the age of three. She was first inspired to take dance classes by her God sister Skye. As the years have gone by she has learned and enjoyed different dance styles including; tap, jazz, ballet, musical theater, contemporary, hip hop and was even in DeeAnn’s Disney Princess pointé dance in 2009. At the age of five she joined the Napa Valley College Ballet Folklorico dance group and participated in it for about seven year. She had the opportunity to perform dances from different regions of Mexico.
After the seven years she was asked to audition for the Academy of Danse competition team. Being the youngest on the team that year she loved having a group of girls, not only on the junior team but also the senior team, to look up to. She was on the team for five years and loved all the team bonding moments. Going out to dinner at crazy hours, hair and makeup before competitions and team practices during the week. Through out the years she also loved growing as a dancer and as a person.
Upon graduating high school in 2013 she registered for classes at the Napa Valley College for the up coming fall semester. But it only worked out for a year. Bianca hopes to return to school but at the moment is focusing on work. In April 2014 applied at the Napa Marshalls/Homegoods store. Bianca, along with a few others, was able to see the store grow from an empty building into what it has become today. In September 2015 she was promoted to part-time CEC (customer experience coordinator). Bianca has gained a confidence that she never thought she had and hopes to help others find theirs. She, along with being a teacher at the studio, has been working with kids at an in-home preschool since July 2017 and loves it. In becoming a teacher Bianca hopes to, again, help others build a confidence in dance and teach them to enjoy dance as much as she does.
Caitlin was born and raised in the Napa Valley. She began dancing at the age of 4 in a tiny tots class at Academy of Danse and hasn’t stopped dancing since. Over the years Caitlin has studied tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, modern, and contemporary.
When Caitlin was a freshman in high school she was invited to try out for the Academy of Danse Competition Company and competed with them for four years. While on the company, Caitlin had the opportunity to dance, take class, and perform at Disneyland for Magic Music days twice. She also attended multiple dance conventions including The Pulse on tour and Monsters of Contemporary. In addition to being on the Competition Company she was an assistant teacher for five years here at the studio.
After graduating high school Caitlin attended Napa Valley College where along with continuing her education she was a member of the dance department. She then attended Butte College while living in Chico, California for two years. While living there she found a love for dance fitness classes. It was because of these classes that she decided to get certified in Zumba fitness in 2012. From there she got her certification to teach Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids Jr as well.
Caitlin has always had a passion for working with children. Starting at a young age she began volunteering at West Park elementary school, where she now works as a paraeducator. She has also worked at many summer camps over the years. This past summer she volunteered for Experience Camps, grief camps for kids that have lost a parent or sibling, as a camp counselor. While there she got to teach dance to girls ranging in age from 4th grade through 12th grade. Caitlin recently went back to school to pursue a degree in psychology and hopes to continue working with children in that field in the future. Caitlin has enjoyed being back at Academy of Danse for the past 8 years and can’t wait to continue sharing her love of dance to more students this year!
Erin found her passion for dance at age 4 when she joined the pre dance program at Academy of Danse. Since then, her love for the craft as only grown. She danced at AoD growing up, participating in the pre competition team for a year and the competition team for three years. In high school Erin moved to Chapkis Dance to pursue her interest in professional hip hop. She competed and performed with Chapkis all throughout high school. Erin was given opportunities to perform at half time shows, travel for paid performances and compete in national competitions with Chapkis.
In 2016 Erin competed for the company with two teams at Hip Hop International, placing 1st in the USA on both teams. Erin taught open classes at a few locations, but her love for teaching expanded when she joined her sister Devin in 2020 as an assistant to her Hip Hop 5 class at Academy of Dance.
The 2022-2023 season marks Erin’s second year as an official assistant to Hip Hop 5 and co-coach to the advanced Hip Hop competition team alongside her sister. There is nothing that makes her more proud than to bring her experience back to her home studio and watch her students flourish.
Devin knew she wanted to dance from the moment she could walk. Her parents signed her up for classes at Academy of Danse when she was four years old, and she trained in all styles there for eleven years, competitively for four. She created and taught her own classes at the age of twelve to help pay her competition fees, and since then has fell in love with teaching.
In high school she trained and competed with Chapkis Dance Family on their senior team Prophecy for three years, and with the Lisa Clark Dancers for two. She also had the opportunity to teach at local middle schools and high schools throughout her teen years, giving her valuable teaching skills she could carry with her for the future. In college she danced and competed with Urban Dance Company at UCSB for three years, serving as artistic director and choreographer. During this time she also taught beginners hip hop at local Santa Barbara studios as well as returning home to teach master classes whenever she could!
After moving back home to Napa Devin knew she wanted to keep teaching, and came back to Academy of Danse as the new Hip Hop 5 teacher in 2019. A full circle moment! In 2020 her younger sister Erin joined her as an assistant and is now her co-coach for competition. Working with her sister and sharing their passion for dance is something she is the most thankful for and proud of!
Jaycie Valine has been dancing since she was two years old, it has completely consumed her life and she loves it that way. She has been a part of the Academy of Danse Competition Company since 2010 and has been a very active coach since 2014. Jaycie continues to expand her coaching presence every year and choreographs numerous routines as well as teaching the two advanced levels of both contemporary and jazz, an advanced ballet class, and a technique class. Jaycie is also the coach of the Pre-Competition Company.
Jaycie graduated from Justin Siena High School in 2016 and then attended the Napa Valley College where she got her associates degree in natural sciences and math. She also completed a program to earn her certificate of nursing assistance through clinical hours worked at the Holderman Hospital in Yountville. She transferred to Arizona State University and is earning her bachelor’s in biology and will graduate in May of 2023, then she will go on to teach medical science at a secondary education level.
Jaycie has grown up working alongside teachers as an assistant for different styles and now has enjoyed teaching her own classes since 2013. She loves her current and future students and hopes to see them improve throughout the years she teaches them and after. Jaycie looks forward to creating more memories this year while coaching, teaching, and continuing to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Jaycie has been taught many things from her most admirable and inspirational hero, her mom. DeeAnn Valine has owned the Academy of Danse with Jaycie’s father, Matthew Valine for over two decades. Jaycie has grown up watching DeeAnn teach, coach, and raise the Academy of Danse family. The other teachers and staff of Academy of Danse have been a big part of Jaycie’s life since she was born and she considers them all, past present and future, a part of her family.
The past competition seasons have been very successful for the company and Jaycie. She has received choreographers awards from multiple competitions and her routines have scored high and been placed in overalls. This last season she had one of her routines earn a first place overall award. She loves seeing the hard work the dancers put in and the time they sacrifice pay off. Jaycie looks forward to another impressive season with her dance army and cannot wait to watch them do it!
Jaycie has been instructed by an exceptional group of teachers and choreographers and will continue to use the lessons she has learned in her own teachings. She loves all styles of dance and has taken classes in Jazz, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, and Technique. Jaycie hopes to continue to strengthen her dancing ability along with the support of her amazing Academy of Danse family as it continues to grow.
Jessica has been dancing at Academy of Danse since 2006. Her mom, DeeAnn Valine, put her into Tiny Tots as soon as she could. Jessica never stops dancing, even when she is out of class; she is always practicing on her own or with her sisters Julia and Jaycie Valine who are both teachers at Academy of Danse as well.
Jessica was on the Pre-competition Company for the 2014 season and has been on the Competition Company since 2015. She is currently a dancer in the highest-level competition pieces and is enrolled in the highest-level classes for every style offered at Academy of Danse including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Pointe, and a weekly Technique class.
Through years of classes, competitions, conventions, and growing up completely immersed in the dance world she has learned so much and continues to do so every day. Jessica is very excited to pass down what she has learned to her students and help shape the future dancers of Academy of Danse.
Jessica loves having fun and creating a welcoming and beneficial environment for her dancers. She has watched and learned from her mom and her sisters as they all share the same passion for dance and creating an inclusive dance family.
Julia Valine started dancing at the young age of two at Academy of Danse where her mom and dad owned the studio. When Julia started dancing she instantly fell in love with it. Julia had two sisters that also grew up dancing with her. Her older sister Jaycie and her younger sister Jessica. Julia got to always have her mom by her side at the studio. Julia has been dancing for over the past 17 years here at this studio and it has become a second home to her and all her teamteames and students have become a second family. Julia started with tiny tots, then pre dance, then tap and ballet, and soon after added jazz and hip hop, and later down the road she added pointe. Once she started she could not stop she knew she wanted to dance as much as
she could for as long as she could. Julia auditioned for the AOD Pre-comp team in 2012, and started competing that year. Just after one year on the precomp team Julia auditioned for the AOD competition company in the spring of 2013 and made the team! Each year Julia excelled by adding dances and competing various styles.
Julia is going on year 11 of competing and although it’s lots of time, work, and commitment Julia would not have it any other way. Over the years of competing Julia has done group numbers, duets, and has competed two solos that were both very successful and received top scores for multiple competitions. Julia also started coaching for the AOD team in 2021 and has been coaching for the team ever since. Although Julia loves the dancing and the competing aspect If you were to ask her what her favorite part would be she would say working and building relationships with her students. Julia has a heart of gold and cares so deeply towards every child or student she has had.
From a young age Julia showed excellent leadership skills and was picked to be team captain in 2021 because of the way she puts people first and cares for everyone else. Julia started teaching at the studio her sophomore year of high school, she started with hip hop 1/2 , and then as time went on she added hip hop 3, and Jazz, along with some one on one private lessons. Julia attended Justin Siena high school and graduated as the class of 2021. Julia always found a way to balance school and dance. Julia Is attending NVC right now and working on her associates in Psychology, in hopes of transferring to a four year and being a therapist or counselor in the future. Julia believes her calling is to help others, and through dance she discovered that she loved working with teens and kids and wants to continue with that as her life goes on. Julia loves being at the studio, and is a friendly face you can always come to if you ever need something. Julia started an anti-bullying campaign and has done it each year during the month of October. Julia wants to make an impact on kids’ lives.
Just as much as dance means to her, creating a safe environment with no judgment and so much love is also a top priority. Julia has loved being a part of her family’s studio for practically her whole life. Dancing and getting taught by her sisters and mom created the best life she could have asked for. Dance is something that Julia will love forever and will take with her wherever she goes. Julia says Academy of Danse had a part in shaping who she is and she is
so grateful this studio has been such a close community and she feels like everyone here is family. Julia hopes that she can make the studio as special as it was for her for other people as well.
Mackenzie Cole was born and raised in Napa and has been dancing since before she could remember. Mackenzie began dancing at the age of 2, taking ballet classes at different dance schools until she started at Academy of Danse at age 7 and fell in love with her dance family. Gradually, Mackenzie went from ballet, to jazz, to contemporary, and at age 11, she was invited to the Junior Competition Company. Since joining the competition company in 2013, Mackenzie has been doing ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre, and pointe.
Mackenzie graduated from New Technology High School in 2019. During her 2019-2020 school year, she completed a one year Portland Bible College program which she took through her home church, The Father’s House. As of now, Mackenzie is a student at the Napa Valley College. Mackenzie plans on continuing her schooling at UC Davis, after her two years at the junior college. Mackenzie will then go on to medical school, her residency, and continue as a doctor.
Mackenzie has always loved working with children! She has three younger sisters herself! Mackenzie is a leader in her church’s kid’s ministry and youth ministry. Mackenzie began student teaching a few years before becoming the Intermediate 1/2 ballet teacher in 2020. The next year, she also began as a competition company coach for the junior lyrical dancers.
Mackenzie is looking forward to helping her students strengthen their skills and grow as young dancers.