About Danspace faculty

Motivated by a passion for the arts, the dance teachers & faculty at Danspace strike a beautiful balance between education and creativity. Their thoughtful approach to dance education motivates & inspires students to learn & grow.

By design, our classrooms have an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. Combined with the technical expertise & instruction of our teachers, students are able to build skill and gain self confidence at a pace that’s just right for them.

Dance lessons are designed so that each student is paired with a group similarly skilled individuals. This is true for our adult classeschildren’s classes, and the Dance for PD® program (which is appropriate for anyone with Parkinson’s Disease, even without any prior dance experience). If you’re looking for advice or you aren’t sure where to begin, you can easily get help from our friendly faculty in person, on the phone, or by email.

Questions for our faculty? Contact Danspace

Founder Beth Hoge - Oakland dance classes at Danspace

Beth Hoge

Founder, Master Teacher

Beth Hoge (aka Beth Brunberg, Beth Jahn) founded Danspace in 1976, after a lengthy dance career in Los Angeles and New York. Her early dance experience included work with Joseph Rickard, in the Southern California Ballet, and with Alicia Alonso and Igor Youskevitch in the Greek Theatre’s summer production of “Giselle.” She then traveled to New York to attend Juilliard. There she studied with Antony Tudor, Margaret Craske, Martha Graham, and Alfredo Corvino who was to become her lifelong mentor, and teacher.While studying at the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School, on scholarship, she performed in the Opera Ballet frequently, appeared with many of the companies who appeared at the Metropolitan: The Royal Ballet , the Bolshoi and the Kirov. She was invited to assist Miss Craske in the Children’s Division of the Ballet School. Other performing experiences included being a charter soloist with Manhattan Festival Ballet, off-Broadway, touring musicals such as Camelot, Oaklahoma and many summer stock venues. She appeared on the Phyllis Diller Television variety show, and in the opening ceremonies at Lincoln Center. Upon returning home to Cailfornia she began her teaching career and founded Danspace in 1976. She taught Ballet at Mills College from 1983 to 1994 where she made an invaluable connection with the Modern Dance community, and greatly enjoyed luring some “fallen away” ballet dancers back to ballet class by sharing the work of her teacher Mr. Corvino. The clean, unmannered style, and clear principles of movement based on musicality and efficiency, bridged the gap for many dancers; some continue to study and teach at Danspace today. Others return regularly for class, in support of their careers as dance professionals around the world.
Claudine Naganuma Danspace Director

Claudine Naganuma

Consultant, Guest Teacher

Claudine started off as a Danspace teacher in 2002. She became the manager in 2005 and eventually served as the director from 2015-2021. Claudine has also served as the program director of Dance for PD®, Oakland (a program of the Mark Morris Dance Group) since 2007. She became a certified Dance for PD® teacher in 2018. Her intergenerational company dNaga is in residence at Danspace. dNaga performed at the 2019 World Parkinson’s Congress in Kyoto, Japan. Her work and dNaga dancers were featured in Dave Iverson’s film Capturing Grace. Claudine is also the founder and director of GIRL Project, a dance and empowerment workshop for middle school aged girls in East Oakland. GIRL Project celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2023. Prior to coming to Danspace she was the Artistic Director of Asian American Dance Performances from 1992-2004 and was a founding board member of the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center. She is dedicated to arts education and the empowerment of children and has studied Early Childhood Education at Mills College and worked in the classroom at Aurora Elementary School. She received her MFA in Choreography and Performance from Mills College in 1992, where she became the student of Beth Hoge, the founder of Danspace. Claudine is proud to have helped transfer the dance floor from the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company into studios 2 and 3 during the pandemic. She currently serves Danspace with financial consultation and bookkeeping support. To learn more about Claudine and her dance company, visit dnaga.org.

KT Mower manager and teacher at Danspace

KT Mower

Program Director, Teacher

KT has been dancing since the age of four. She trained with various instructors at Contra Costa Ballet Centre in Walnut Creek, Pamela Hayes in Sacramento and Kimberly B. Valmore and Beth Hoge in Oakland. She has danced with COterie DAnce Company (CODA) since it was founded in 2002. CODA performs annually at Works in the Works in Berkeley and Spring Forward in San Francisco.

Mary Armentrout


Mary is a teacher, choreographer, dancer, and Feldenkrais Practitioner, and the director of the Mary Armentrout Dance Theater (MADT). Starting to dance at age three, she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1985. Over the years she has taught movement and dance of many varieties to people from ages 4 to 60+. Her understanding of movement and the human body is informed by her decades of study of Contemporary Modern Dance, Ballet, Butoh, Aikido, Authentic Movement, Alexander Technique, and of course the Feldenkrais Method. Her current teaching practice spans Feldenkrais, dance technique, and creative fusions of the two. She teaches on-going classes in the Bay Area, in festivals and intensives, and recently taught master classes at universities in Louisiana, England, and China. Working across disciplines, her experimental choreographic works attempt to viscerally engage and complicate aspects of intentionality, presence, identity, and being-in-the-world for her audiences, and recently garnered an Isadora Duncan Dance Award. Her work has been presented at numerous venues all over the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as across the US and the UK, Europe, and China, recently touring to the Brighton Fringe and appearing in the San Francisco International Arts Festival. She also organizes of the Dance Discourse Project, an on-going series of artist-curated discussions of the Bay Area dance scene, and co-curates The Milk Bar Performance and Residency Space at The Bridge Art Complex in Richmond. Mary has been studying ballet with Beth Hoge since 1987 and has been teaching at Danspace since 1996. Her eclectic background combined with a profound respect for the Corvino Approach and a creative integration of Feldenkrais principles make her classes inviting and accessible to adults who have never danced, as well as those returning after a long absence, and to dancers of all backgrounds looking to clarify the role of ballet in their practice.

Danielle Flores


Danielle has been dancing since the age of 12 and has trained in ballet, modern, jazz, Latin, and ballroom dance styles. She holds a BS in Biopsychology from UC Santa Barbara and an AA in Dance from Diablo Valley College. She has shown choreography at DVC's student showcase and Dance Mission Theater's Fall Harvest Showcase. Danielle has been a member of COterie DAnce Company (CODA) since 2015 and finds performing dance to be one of the greatest joys in life. She has made various costume pieces for DVC, Danspace, and CODA throughout the years and enjoys the ins and outs of technical theater work that makes a dance show possible. Danielle has been learning the tools to become a teacher from the Danspace faculty and is very honored to have joined the staff of brilliant artists and teachers in Fall 2019.

Lucie Jerome


Lucie has been a student at Danspace since she was 7. She has trained with Claudine Naganuma and Beth Hoge in Modern and Ballet, as well as Salsa, Samba, Afro-Brazilian, Swing, Blues, and Jazz at other institutions. She majored in Psychology and minored in Dance at Chapman University in Orange, CA, where she studied from 2014-2018. She has been a company member with dNaga dance company for much of her time at Danspace, performing in works form the Bay Area to New York City. dNaga's work dancing with people with Parkinson's disease has inspired her to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy, and she is applying to graduate programs in this field this fall. She has taught several dance camps and courses to children and is excited to be back in Oakland and teaching at Danspace this year.
Janine Kovac Dance Teacher at Danspace

Janine Kovac


Janine enjoyed a 12-year career as a professional dancer under her maiden name, Janine Bryan. A scholarship student with San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Luc de Lairess in Ghent, Belgium, Janine danced with Smuin Ballet in San Francisco, Fabula Saltica in Rovigo, Italy, and Aterballetto in Reggio Emilia, Italy. She was a soloist with the Icelandic Ballet and Ballet El Paso. As a teacher Janine taught at Shan Yee Poon Ballet School, Lines Ballet School, and with the Lines Pre-Professional Program. Her husband Matt Kovac also teaches at Danspace (pas de deux). They live in Oakland with their three young children.
Janey Madamba Dance Teacher at Danspace

Janey Madamba


Janey has been dancing in local hip hop dance companies since 2002. From 2007-2012, she was the artistic director of Funk4soul a hip hop fusion entertainment dance company. In addition, she has danced with the Academy of Hawaiian Arts, and has graced many bay area stages, shows and productions, including the San Francisco Hip Hop Dancefest. As an architect, Janey graduated from UC Berkeley, and has been practicing in the Bay Area for the past 11 years. She works with Struthers Dias Architects, a local firm that specializes in affordable housing, is committed to green building, and prides itself on service to the community.
Casey Moorehead - Dance teacher in Oakland at Danspace

Casey Moorehead

Front Desk, Teacher

Casey has been dancing since she was 16, and while she has not been dancing since she was little, dance is her passion and her chosen career path. She started her dancing at Backstreet Performing Arts in Riverside, CA. At Backstreet she learned Cecchetti Ballet technique, some jazz and contemporary techniques. In an effort to further her training in dance, Casey began a mentorship under her ballet teacher assisting in the “Pretty Pixies” classes twice a week. She assisted for approximately six months and from time to time was given the opportunity to instruct a class on her own. She is currently studying dance at Diablo Valley College in pursuit of her AA degree in dance. In the summer of 2015, Casey spent two and a half weeks in Ghana, Africa. Studying culture and dance in five of the seven regions, she experienced tribal dances and different artistic forms from each region. Casey has been a student of Kimberly Valmore for four years and has recently become a member of her dance company, COterie DAnce Company. For as long as she can remember, Casey has always loved kids. Whether it was helping her mom in the nursery at Sunday school, or playing with a family friend’s new baby, she has always found joy in making kids smile. Casey has been given the opportunity to teach at Danspace, combining her passions together, teaching dance to kids.

Freesia Paclebar Huth

Substitute Teacher

Freesia is taking a break from Danspace for the 2022-2023 school year. We hope to have her back in the studio next year!

Freesia has been dancing in the Bay Area since she was three. A native San Franciscan, she was a competitive ice skater in her youth, performing atop the Emporium-Capwell building in their yearly rooftop ice show. The love of performing led her to study movement of all kinds. She has collaborated with local artists Ruby and Popo Lee as the principal dancer in their paintings. She went on to study dance at Mills College. She was a founding member of Patricia Reedy and Dancers, and has performed with Colette Bisher-Choate, Unbound Spirit, George Latimer, New York choreographer, David Rousseve’s Reality Company, Purple Moon Dance Project and numerous Bay Area choreographers. Freesia has studied yoga and teaches Tai Chi to adults. She is one of the original partners of Luna Kids Dance, a developmentally based dance school and education program for teachers, where she taught in the children’s program for 11 years. She has choreographed for Berkeley Repertory Theater and the California Shakespeare Festival. She is also the mom of two teenaged boys.

Katie Taylor

Website Design and Maintenance, Teacher

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Katie Taylor is a dancer and teacher. Dancing since 1991 and teaching since 2000, Katie has trained in ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip hop, and contemporary dance and has taught dance at studios across Northern California. Katie teaches classes at Danspace in both the Children’s and Adult Divisions and manages the Adult Division program, supporting brand-new, returning, and experienced adult students in their dance education. In addition, Katie is a founding member of COterie DAnce Company (CODA). Outside of her dance experience, Katie spent 14 years working in nonprofits, supporting artists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders to build hundreds of small businesses and organizations rooted in Bay Area neighborhoods. As part of her nonprofit economic development work, Katie has built and managed volunteer and internship programs, run marketing and impact evaluation departments, and implemented various programs attempting to bring resources to communities in an equitable and accessible way. Katie received a BA in Public Policy and Hispanic Studies from William Smith College, and she lives in Oakland.

Kimberly B. Valmore


Kimberly received her MFA in Dance at Mills College in 1992. Her years of training before and after Mills included San Franscisco Dance Center, Berkekey Ballet Theatre, Brady Street and Mission Dance Theatre. Ms. Valmore was also accepted into the Alvin Ailey Dance Center summer program where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Horton Technique, Dunham and Graham Technique, as well as various Ailey Repertory. Additionally, she is a participant in the Checcetti Council of America Teachers Program and the YogaFit@ Teachers certification program. Her performance credits include Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company, Kim Epifano, Ann Bluethenthal and Dancers, Shakiri / Rootworkers, dance NAGANUMA, and Mary Corbonara / dances. Since 1992 she has been a company member of the politically feminist edged, Dance Brigade in San Francisco; performing Taiko Drumming, Wushu Marital Arts as well as modern dance. Other appearances include music videos with such artists as Bobbie McFerrin and Tandy Beal; Musical Theater and industrials / varieties with Emmy-award winner Marguerite Derricks. Her choreography has been seen throught the Bay Area in venues from musical theater to independent movies. She directs her own contemporary dance company “COterie DAnce.” She has taught ballet, modern dance and jazz throughout the Bay Area for the past 22 years. Currently she is Artist-in-Residence at College Preparatory School in Oakland, and has been a long-time core member of the Danspace teaching staff. She has been a student of Beth Hoge’s since 1985.