Faculty

Mandy CottengimMandy Hi, I am Mandy Cottengim.  I grew up in the south bay and found my love for dance early. I started dancing at the early age of 2 under the direction of Miss Patty and Miss Tina (my mom and aunt) here at JPA. After years of dance training I began performing with the Fancy Dancers, and traveling the world dancing.  

I decided to continue my dance education and attend San Jose State University in 2001. Under the direction of Gary Masters, Fred Matthews, Janie Scott, and Heather Cooper, I graduated with a BA in dance and a minor in Business. Throughout out my four years of college I developed a love for teaching and performing. I have performed in many Great America shows, The Abigail Hosein Modern Dance Company, Weird Al Yankovic, and various local companies. After a few years of teaching and performing, I was hired as the dance teacher at Milpitas High School where I teach beginning and intermediate dancers the love of dance. In 2007, I went back to school to earn my teaching credential and Masters in Education.

I am married to my husband Ryan and we have a beautiful daughter named Makenna. She is now a budding dancer at the ripe age of four. 

 

Joanna JensenJoanna

I am Joanna and I literally grew up at JPA.  I studied tap, jazz, ballet, Mexican Folk and every new dance form that came along.  I been teaching dance now for 9 years. I enjoy teaching kids the love of dance and to have fun through movement.

I have a Masters degree in Educational Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Sociology. When I am not teaching dance, I can be found working in Fremont Unified School District as a high school counselor. I enjoy working with students of all ages and love to see kids faces when they hit the big stage each year during recital!

 

Sumiko Curtin

I am from Osaka, Japan, and have been teaching ballet class at Jensen Performing Arts since 1998.  I teach Ballet levels 1 ~ 6, technique, point, and competition team. 

As a little girl, I would always pass by a small ballet school on the way home from school.  I would be mesmerized as I stared through the window and fell in love with the art.  After watching each day’s lesson I would quickly rush home and practice by mimicking what I had seen each day.  After relentlessly asking my parents, soon enough, they allowed me to take ballet lessons. 

The passion I had as a little girl never died, and after many years of practice, I made it into the Homura Tomoi Ballet Company in Osaka Japan.  I have danced in many classic ballets, including: The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Esmeralda, Graduation Ball, Paquita, La Bayadere, The Stone Flower and many more. (I also studied early childhood education at Tokiwakai College, following her love for children.)

 

Arielle ColeArielle I started dancing at Jensen’s Performing Arts when I was 3 years old. During my time at JPA, I was a member of TNTs, the Ballet Competition Team and the Fancy Dancers. I attended Lincoln High School in San Jose, CA where I was a member of the award-winning dance team, the Lincoln Convertibles.  Upon graduating from high school in 2007, I became certified to teach ballet through Dance Masters of California, Chapter 13. 

I later graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Buffalo with a BFA in Dance. Throughout my training, I have studied Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Improvisation and Acrobatics. In 2012, I traveled to Israel and danced in the MASA Dance Journey program with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. After my experience in Israel, I danced with various companies including World Dance Fusion in San Francisco, CA, Keshet Dance Company in Albuquerque, NM, and am now dancing with Montage Contemporary Company here in Santa Clara, CA.

I am very excited to be teaching again at my home studio where I can pass on my knowledge and love for dance to future generations. 

 

Cristina BustamanteTina  I started dancing when I was four.  Yes, I too grew up in JPA.  I quickly learned to love tap the most but have taken classes in all dance forms.  I started assisting classes at JPA when I was very young and discovered my love for teaching.  After high school I attended San Jose State where I graduated with a Creative Arts Degree.  I am also a member of Dance Masters of California.

Along with teach dance I also teach school in San Jose.  When I am not teaching school or dance you can usually find me watching my wonderful son, Eli, playing one of his many sports.

 

Joni YabutJoni  I am Miss Joni.  I began dancing at a young age in the Bay Area, starting off with the tap & ballet combo classes. I tried various dance studios but found my home at Jensen Performing Arts, training in tap, ballet, jazz, and tumbling. At the age of ten, I joined the Fancy Dancers where I got to compete in several dance competitions across California and performing for various local and national events, including a Stanford football game and a Hawaiian cruise.

In high school and college, she joined and choreographed for several clubs and dance teams, including the Filipino club and Boston University's premiere hip-hop group Vibes. I continue to take classes whenever and wherever I can, locally, in SF and even New York City. 

After graduating college, I moved back to San Jose and began to teach at the dance studio that helped shape me to be the dancer/person that I am today - Jensen's. I am very excited to be part of the JPA teaching team and love working with young dancers. 

 

Jackie LeeJackie  I am a Bay Area native and started dancing here at JPA at the age of 4.  I training in styles such as Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tumbling, Lyrical, and Musical Theater, and began competing at local dance competitions at the age of 7.  I attended Presentation High School in San Jose and was a member of the competitive and nationally ranked dance team, focusing in Hip Hop, Jazz and Contemporary.  During my time on the team, I won various awards including, but not limited to, 3 time Super-Sensational Dancer at the United Spirit Association (USA) dance camps, first place at all USA regional dance competitions for my solos, and placed in the top 10 for my solo at the Contest of Champions Nationals in Orlando, FL and USA Nationals in Anaheim, CA.  Alongside my high school dance team, I continued to train and compete with Jensen Performing Arts throughout the week.  In 2009, I was crowned Miss Dance of California and continued to compete in the Miss Dance of America Scholarship Pageant in Washington D.C. 

After graduating from high school, I was offered a position as an instructor on the United Spirit Association’s Dance Staff and continued my love of dance by coaching, teaching, and choreographing for various high school dance teams along the West Coast.  While being on the USA Dance Staff, I decided to focus on my education and attend Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, ultimately pursuing a degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Management Information Systems.  I was a member of Gonzaga’s Dance Team and led the team for two years as captain.

I returned to the Bay Area to grow my career in Finance.  I also continue to choreograph and teach for many high school dance teams as well as studios in the Bay Area.  I am extremely glad to be back at my childhood studio, teaching and sharing my love for dance. 

 

Michaela ZeitzMichaelaMy name is Michaela Zeitz and I’m currently a student at Ohlone College. I’ve been dancing for 16 years, been a Fancy Dancer for six, and held the title of Dance Captain for two consecutive years. I started teaching when I was 16 years old and have continued to do so ever since. It’s a pleasure to pass on the art of dancing as well as a great joy to see my students’ progress each year and grow into beautiful dancers.

I have been trained in many genres of dance: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Acro, Hip-Hop as well as taken Modern/Contemporary, Ballroom, and Swing Dancing classes. I have also taken many master classes from professional dancers including Travis Wall, Twitch, Sonya Tayeh, Kenny Wormald, Stacey Tookey, and many others.

Dance has brought me to multiple cities to both compete and perform. It is something that I truly love and I am so thankful that I can hand it down to the next generation of dancers. 

 

Casey KitazumiCasey

I have been dancing at Jensen’s School for the Performing Arts since the age of 3, training for over 15 years in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, acro, hip hop, contemporary, modern and musical theater. I was a Fancy Dancer for several years, where I got to perform with the Raiderettes and at The Vision Series Dance Festival.  I was FD Team dance captain in 2014 and I continue to teach and choreograph for their annual show.

I am currently a full-time college student, studying child development and aim to give back to my community by teaching dance classes at Jensens and working at Little Stars Learning Academy for Miss Tina and the City of Milp[itas. 

 

Tina Gonzalez JensenTina Gonzalez Jensen

Hi, I am commonly known as Miss Tina. I too grew up in a dance studio and took more classes than I could ever count.  I have been teaching dance since 1979.  Being one of the founding teachers of JPA, I am so proud to be part of the growth we have achieved over the years. 

Currently I am the Director of the JPA Children’s Dance Program.  When I am not teaching at JPA you can find me at the City of Milpitas Learning Stars Preschool Program where I am the Director.  I am also an active member in Dance Master of California. 

As you can see my life is pretty full with dance but I still had time to raise two kids, Matt and Dana.  Now that they are adults I have adopted the cutest furbaby named Darby and he keeps me quite busy at home.  

 

Sharon Stoeppel photo unavailable

I started dancing at the age of five and trained in acro, tap, jazz and Hawaiian.  I graduated from San Jose State University with a BA.  I have been with JPA since 1995 and am currently the Director of Acrobatics.  

I have been an Acrobatic instructor for over 35 years. In those years I have become a skilled choreographer for both show and competition routines.  I keep my skills sharp as an 11 year member of Dance Masters of California.  I teach all ages and all levels.  

 

Marcy Balbas - coming soon!

 

Staff

Karen ZeitzVP of Operations – Some of my many hats include managing the front office, registration, in-house functions, recital……..

Lorraine BeltramiVP of Marketing and Communication– I work offsite 98% of the time.  I answer the phones before classes, manage incoming emails, registration, the JPA website Chat……

Jackie KeithVP of The Dancewear House– I manage inventory, sales, ordering, fittings……..