About Us | Faculty

Our Faculty

Our esteemed staff hail from all over the Portland-Metro area and beyond and have years of experience teaching children and dance. They use their patience and experience to elicit dramatic improvements in students’ technique, physical awareness and discipline. Each teacher is hand picked by the Director for their dedication to teaching, compassion, energy, and sense of artistry.

Sarah Rigles
Sarah Rigles
Director
Sarah Rigles has taught all levels of ballet in the Portland Metropolitan area for over fifteen years. Sarah originally received her technical training at a small ballet school in Coeur' d' Alene, Idaho, directed by the renowned Ceci Klein, she then went onto train in the Vaganova method, accepted full...
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Candalee Wrede
Candalee Wrede
Assistant Director
Candalee began her dance training at age four with Marcelle Renoux, founder of the oldest dance studio in Portland. Her training included both RAD and Cechetti methods plus many techniques Miss Renoux learned from studying the Balanchine technique in New York. Candalee's dance studies were primarily in ballet and extensively...
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Sissy Dawson
Sissy Dawson
Contemporary Faculty & Office Manager
Sissy Dawson has studied dance in Portland since age 3. While maintaining a primary focus on ballet, she has also trained extensively in jazz, modern, West African, and contemporary dance. She graduated from the Pre-Professional Program at Classical Ballet Academy at age and was asked to join CBA staff in...
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Susan Fischer
Susan Fischer
Ballet & Contemporary Faculty
Susan Fischer first studied ballet in her home town of Pittsburgh, with Audrey Trojenowski, spent a summer session in New York studying with School of American Ballet, then Washington DC with the National Ballet, then Atlanta where she studied and danced with the Atlanta Ballet, before taking a break from...
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Michelle Johnson
Michelle Johnson
Ballet Faculty
Michelle Johnson is from Portland, Oregon and found her desire to dance and perform in her youth with the Metro Dancers encouraged by Nancy Yeamans and Maria Moreno.  She trained in summer programs with Jeremy Ives, and at Jefferson High School where she studied ballet under Mary Price Boday and...
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Lauren Michelle Sprague
Lauren Michelle Sprague
Ballet & Modern Faculty
Lauren Michelle Sprague graduated from Portland State University in the Spring of 2007 with a BA in Communications and a Minor in Dance. Lauren was formerly a member of Polaris 2 (Polaris Dance Theatre), Kinetic Images Dance Company, and Legacy Dance Company. She has performed in local collaboration projects with:...
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Kelsey Adams
Kelsey Adams
Contemporary Faculty & Office Staff
Kelsey Adams, a native of Portland, began dancing at the age of 4. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop, and has since taught dance for over 8 years. In addition to dancing with Pure Dance Company and Nonsense Dance Company, Kelsey has also danced with Agnieszka...
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Merlin Benneth
Merlin Benneth
Ballet Faculty
Merlin Benneth grew up in Portland and began studying dance at the age of 10. In his youth he trained at several studios in the Portland Area, including Laurelhurst Studio, da Vinci Arts Middle School, Hollywood Dance Studio, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. While he mainly focuses on ballet, he has...
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Rick Gonzalez
Rick Gonzalez
Ballet Faculty
Rick is a former Principle and Soloist Dancer with the Washington Ballet, The Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Nashville City Ballet and Miami Ballet Company.  He has also danced on Broadway and through out Europe, in Productions of Cat’s, West Side Story, Victor Victoria and Miss Saigon to name a few....
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Alyssa Zadan
Alyssa Zadan
Creative Movement Faculty
We currently do not have a bio for Alyssa Zadan. We plan on having one up soon, so come back to find out more about this faculty member.
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Nicholas Petrich
Nicholas Petrich
Hip Hop Faculty
Nicholas Petrich was born and raised in Portland, OR. From the age of four to fourteen years old, he competed on a national level as a gymnast for Oregon Gymnastics Academy. After gymnastics, he started his dance training in many styles: hip hop, jazz, vogue, waacking, house, modern, contemporary, and ballet at...
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Ariella Frishberg
Ariella Frishberg
Ballet Faculty
Ariella Frishberg began dancing at 5 years old and studied R.A.D. at June Taylor's School of Dance until she came to Classical Ballet Academy at age 14. At CBA she performed such roles as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, the Evil Queen in Snow White, and various featured roles in numerous...
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Gail Black
Gail Black
Jazz Faculty
We currently do not have a bio for Gail Black. We plan on having one up soon, so come back to find out more about this faculty member.
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