Areté Dance Center was created to provide excellent dance instruction in an aesthetic and inspiring environment in our Los Altos dance studio. Our dance instructors are artists with very deep backgrounds in the styles of dance they teach.
Kristina Mola Kuvshynov
A lifetime of experience in classical ballet and modern dance brought Kris to pursue ballroom dancing. In addition to training the outstanding community of ballroom dancers within Areté Dance Center, she loves inspiring people to move freely in her LaBlast fitness classes and is certified in Zumba and line dancing. Kris attended the Juilliard School, graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and holds a BFA from the Ohio State University in Dance Performance.
Dima and Olga Sukachov
Dima and Olga Sukachov are a professional Latin couple from the San Francisco bay area. They are former United States Professional Rising Star Champions, Grand National Finalists, and World Quarter Finalists in the International Latin division. Trained by the legendary Ray Rivers, Dima and Olga bring a strong passion for dance and authentic technique into their private coaching and Master Workshops.
Mark is well known in the dance community for his expertise in many styles of partner dancing. He is a classically trained dancer who also has studied jazz and theater arts extensively. Mark also teaches and judges competitions for the Bay Area’s large ballroom community and beyond.
Yuriy started his dance teaching career assisting nightclub and ballroom dance classes at Foothill College. From there, Yuriy began teaching International Standard and International latin dance full time at Arete Dance Center. Yuriy teaches private lessons as well as ballroom and latin technique. He cross trains in ballet, jazz, Zumba and other martial arts and dance forms.
First introduced to the Fine Arts through Theatre, Richard approaches Ballroom Dance with a unique perspective. Using concepts and skills learned through theatre performance, Richard curates his dancing to showcase his independent spirit. Combined with a deep technical understanding of movement and dance, Richard crafts unique performances that deliver an artistic message. Richard enriches the lives of his students through their dancing and hopes to make a contribution to the history of partner dance.
Alejandra developed a passion for dance by training in classical ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance throughout her childhood. In search of exploring other dance styles, she began to take social ballroom dance classes at Foothill College and from there began her serious training and teaching at Areté Dance Center. She recently made her competitive debut with a cabaret style routine in the showdance category at the 2019 International Grand Ball competition, partnering with Mark Scolieri. She currently teaches private ballroom dance lessons at Areté Dance Center in both Latin and Standard.
Zi first started ballroom dancing at community college in 2017. He remembers feeling so nervous for the first few weeks that he couldn’t step into the classroom, but over time, he was able to learn and have fun. His dance journey has given him many different experiences, from performing in front of an audience to meeting amazing individuals he would have never met in any other circumstances. Since dancing has changed Zi's own life for the better, he wants to share this positive experience with others and help them learn to dance as well.
Amanda Janesick heads our ballet program. She trained in the Vaganova method and is formerly a soloist with Nevada Ballet Theatre. Her passion for classical ballet was first inspired in an adult class learning environment, and she leverages this experience to tailor her Sunday morning class specifically towards adults, emphasizing artistry, movement, and musicality. Amanda encourages the emulation of original ballet choreography as a method to cultivate technical skill and also incorporates education in partnering (pas de deux) in collaboration with Mark Scolieri.
Olivia's dance journey started in gymnastics and ballet at the age of 7. In high school, she shifted her focus to jazz and competitive ballroom, where she earned many gold medals in American Smooth and Rhythm. In college, she found her true love for dance through contemporary, improv, and ballet, where she studied the Vaganova style. At ADC, Olivia uses her diverse dance history alongside her experience working in healthcare to help students grow as dancers in technique, strength, flexibility, and in finding their own voice and expression through their bodies. Olivia teaches ballet, stretch and flexibility, and strength and conditioning classes for dancers.
Annie grew up in Los Altos where she began dancing at the age of four. She continued her dance training through her high school years with a strong focus on jazz and tap. Shortly after graduating she moved to Spain where she continued to train in ballet, ballroom, and Sevillanas. At ADC, Annie teaches a wonderful, all levels dance fitness class that incorporates stretching and strengthening.
Lori is deeply invested in the vintage swing-era social dances known as Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, and Solo Jazz. She has participated in all facets of the SF Bay Area dance community including DJ’ing, emceeing, competing, organizing both large annual events and weekly community classes, and teaching groups as large as 100 students and as small as a private lesson. She brings her trademark enthusiasm and extensive knowledge to the classroom to help both leaders and followers master their fundamentals, practice improvisation, and get jiving to that rhythmic, swinging jazz sound.
Cortez, Rex, Sophie, and Gemma
Cortez: Chief Resource Manager
Rex: Human Rexources
Sophie: Branch Manager
Gemma: Barketing Intern
Cortez (tricolor), Rex (ruby), Sophie (blenheim), and Gemma (black and tan) are our studio mascots! They are all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and have been a staple in the studio's office since 2017. They enjoy long naps, lots of toys, and the occasional waltz around the ballroom. Will work for treats and cuddles.