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Pointe Safe Certified Ballet Teachers

Who We Are

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Kendall Alway, PT, DPT

Kendall Alway, PT, DPT is the founder of Pointe Safe. As a former professional dancer with over 20 years of ballet training, she has been devoted to the field of dance medicine as a PT since 2001. Understanding the pressures dance instructors face, she developed Pointe Safe to support these professionals. She is the owner of SF Performing Arts PT and was formerly the director of the ODC Healthy Dancers' Clinic. She has presented at the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), Harvard University’s Spaulding Rehab Hospital, and at the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA). She has worked closely with the Dance USA Taskforce on Dancers’ Health and is a clinical instructor for the UCSF/SFSU PT Department. Kendall has had the honor and privilege of treating dancers from most of the major dance companies in San Francisco. Her SF practice welcomes students, professionals, and individuals of all ages (including non-dancers).

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Asia Bui

Born in Tampa, FL, Asia Bui began her classical ballet training at America’s Ballet School. She continued her training at the Harid Conservatory of Boca Raton, FL and in Houston, TX as a member of Houston Ballet II. Asia is currently dancing professionally with the Oregon Ballet Theater in Portland, OR, following her time in Houston Ballet as a member of the corps and with Sarasota Ballet as a soloist from 2015-2022. As a ballet instructor, Asia enjoys sharing her passion for dance with students of all levels. She has spent multiple summers teaching ballet, repertoire, and pointe work to students in Florida and the California Bay Area. In addition to her dance career, Asia has a Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Florida.

You may contact Asia directly through her email at


Sonja Dale

Sonja Dale is a Bay Area native, trained by Sally Streets at Berkeley Ballet Theater. She later attended UCLA and the Boston Conservatory, and then began her dance career in San Francisco, where she performed with Peninsula Ballet Theater, FACT/SF and The Mark Foehringer Dance Project. Sonja moved to New York City in 2010, where she performed with SYREN Modern Dance and began teaching contemporary dance for Notes in Motion Outreach Dance Theater. She then moved to Boston, where she taught ballet at The Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Sonja moved back to the Bay in 2015 and is currently dancing for Liss Fain Dance, Sharp and Fine, and the Mark Foehringer Dance Project, and teaching for many ballet schools around the Bay Area, including Steppin’ Out, Marin School of the Arts, and Conservatory of Classical Ballet. Sonja also has over 400 hours of training as a yoga instructor, and is completing prerequisites for physical therapy school.

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Christopher Lam

Christopher Lam was born in Brisbane, Australia and studied with Betsy Sawyers before joining the Australian Ballet School. A recipient of the prestigious Graeme Murphy Scholarship Christopher graduated from his studies passing the Royal Academy of Dancing's Advanced examination with Honours. Performing with The Australian Ballet he covered a vast classical repertoire and worked with illustrious master teachers and choreographers including Eugene Polyakov, Natalia Makarova, Gelsey Kirkland, Johnny Eliasen, Olga Evreinoff and Sonia Arova. Christopher has danced for the Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve, Gothenburg Ballet, Croatian National Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal expanding his repertoire to include ballets by Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato and Jean-Christophe Maillot. Since retiring from the stage he has taught dance and staged works in Australia, Europe and the United States of America. A resident of the Bay Area since 2016 he has taught in youth and adult divisions as well as the professional companies of Smuin Ballet, Oakland Ballet, ODC, BayPointe Ballet, Dance Theater of San Francisco, Diablo Ballet, Jessica Lange Dance and Alonzo King Lines Ballet.

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Andrea Basile

Andrea Basile is originally from Albuquerque, NM. Ms. Basile began training under the direction of Karen Alwin and Lynn Cox.  After high school, Ms. Basile continued her training at the San Francisco Ballet School before starting her professional career. During her time in the Bay Area she enjoyed a 20 year professional dance career and was able to work with many dance companies such as The San Francisco Ballet, ODC Dance, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Kate Weare Company, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Smuin Ballet, The Lawrence Pech Dance Company, and The Foundry.  Alonzo King also choreographed "Pas" for Ms. Basile and Homer Avila which premiered with Axis Dance Company, toured across the United States, and was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine.


Ms. Basile’s teaching career spans 23 years and she has taught at many dance schools including LINES Ballet School, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Cincinnati Ballet Academy, Marin Dance Theatre, the ODC School, and Magnify Dance Center. She moved back to New Mexico in 2015 and became Co-owner of Magnify Dance Center. She also led Magnify Dance Ensemble as Artistic Director before taking on her most recent move to Colorado. Ms. Basile now serves as School Director at the Boulder Ballet School where she is integrating The Five Point Dancer Method into the school. This multifaceted program works with students to create a more mindful and well rounded dancer through workshops, trusted resources, and a curriculum based on five points of wellness; Mindset, Work Ethic, Nutrition, Injury Prevention, and Cross Training. Ms. Basile is excited to continue to keep dancers safe and strong by integrating The Pointe Safe program into her Injury Prevention curriculum. 


Rachel Spivak

Rachel’s love for movement began at an early age when she started dancing. Throughout her dance experience, Rachel witnessed the immense need for healthcare practitioners who understand the unique demands of dance, which ultimately led her to pursue a career in physical therapy. Rachel earned her B.S. in Kinesiology, Exercise Science at California State University, Long Beach and she is set to graduate from the UCSF/SFSU Doctor of Physical Therapy program this June. Rachel has trained extensively in a multitude of dance styles including ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap. She has also spent several summers in NYC attending dance intensives such as the Rockettes Summer Intensive and Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary Intensive.


Kelly Mathieu

Kelly Mathieu has studied dance nationally in San Jose, Seattle, San Francisco & New
York, and internationally in Paris, France and Zurich, Switzerland. In 2002 she completed
her BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts, with an emphasis in teaching and
arts administration. Kelly has danced professionally with Seattle based companies:
Fusion Dance Company, Deborah Birrane's Unexpected Company, Heart & Soul Dancers
and International Ballet Theatre. She has worked with Seattle Choreographers Wade
Madsen, Llory Wilson, KT Niehoff, Amii LeGendre, 33 Fainting Spells, Mark Kane,
Deena Dunning, Maureen Whiting and Vera Altunina. Mrs. Mathieu was also the Artistic
Director and lead Ballet Instructor of Rainier Ballet Academy from 2006-2012.

Kelly’s dance teaching styles includes ballet, pre-pointe, pointe, jazz, modern and
introduction to choreography and anatomy. Most recently she has also become a Certified
Personal Trainer and Physical Therapy Aide, to help dancers increase their strength and
conditioning, endurance, and flexibility with a focus on injury prevention.

She is currently a member of Doctors of Dancers (DFD) and the International Association
of Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) encouraging all dancer to be happy and healthy.

Mrs. Mathieu is currently based in SW Washington and enjoys teaching at local studios
and online. All her dance classes are taught with fun, creativity, musicality and caring,
while emphasizing proper body alignment, core support, and building strong dance

You may contact Kelly directly through her website: or email at


Tiffany Kadini

Tiffany Kadani trained in the Royal Academy of Dance method with Pamela Hayes in Sacramento, California. She went on to major in ballet and modern dance at Brigham Young University where she performed with both the ballet and contemporary dance companies and studied dance education. Upon graduation, she danced as a principal with Dangerous Lorraines Dance Theatre for seven years. During that time, she taught dance at California State University, Sacramento and at the Northern California Dance Conservatory. She then accepted a faculty position at the Washington School of Ballet with The Washington Ballet. While there, she was a Performance Ensemble choreographer, ballet teacher, contemporary teacher, and heavily involved in their outreach program. She was nominated for a scholarship at American Ballet Theatre through Project Plie to become a certified teacher with ABT. This experience led her onto a path to focus on helping all dancers achieve their ballet dreams by focusing on correct alignment, dance medicine, and dance science. As well as teaching in the studio, she’s also a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and runs her own practice as a private ballet instructor specializing in corrective movement and injury prevention.


Marinna Kus

Marinna Kus is a freelance dancer, teacher, and choreographer based in San Francisco. Born and raised in South Florida, she spent her early career with Ballet Palm Beach, during which time she also completed her B.S. in Accounting online. Over the course of her carrier, she has performed and toured nationally with multiple companies, including Ballet 5:8, Charlottesville Ballet, City Ballet of San Diego, and Oceanica Ballet. During the COVID lockdowns, she also completed her 200 yoga teaching certification and co-founded and directed Digital Dance Project.

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Molly Davis

Molly grew up on the Eastside in Seattle starting dance training at 4. At 7, she was accepted into Pacific Northwest Ballet School, where she studied classical ballet. During summers she also attended School of American Ballet in New York, San Francisco Ballet, and Alvin Ailey in New York. At 16 she was offered a spot in Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division. Molly attended the University of Washington and graduated with a degree in Arts & Non-Profit Management, a degree she created with faculty and staff at the University of Washington. During university, Molly continued her dance education at UW, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Westlake Dance Center. She also taught Pacific Northwest Ballet and All That Dance. In 2021, Molly founded Eastside Dance, a welcoming and inclusive studio where anyone can learn to dance. Eastside Dance provides high-quality dance training that builds technical excellence, creativity, healthy minds, and healthy bodies. Molly has incorporated Pointe Safe into the Eastside Dance curriculum as part of this mission.


James Liley

James is a professional Dance and Musical Theatre teacher from London. He studied dance at The Hammond School in Chester from the age of 11-16 and continued his professional training in London at Millennium Performing Arts where he graduated in 2012. Favourite credits include Bob Enright in 9 to 5 The Musical (West End, Savoy Theatre), 42nd Street (West End, Theatre Royal Drury Lane) Mungojerrie in CATS, Eddie in Mamma Mia! (Cyprus) and Mamma Mia! (International Tour). James most recently played Link Larkin in Hairspray, and is now very happy to be a permanent teacher at the Hammond.




Whitney Rowley

SPT Whitney Rowley is in her second year as a doctor of physical therapy student at Arcadia University. She earned her masters degree in exercise science with a concentration in rehabilitation sciences from California University of Pennsylvania and her bachelors degree in athletic training from the University of Pittsburgh. Whitney has six years of experience working as an athletic trainer with dancers in the conservatory of performing arts at Point Park University where she continues to teach an online dancer wellness and injury prevention course. Whitney has wanted to be a physical therapist since she was twelve years old and could not be more excited to join SF Performing Arts Physical Therapy as a student physical therapist. Whitney's hobbies include open-water swimming, triathlons, and rock climbing.


Ann-Charlotte Colomb

Born in Paris, Ann-Charlotte started her dance studies at the age of 10 with Paris Opera teachers. At the age of 13, she was awarded a 1st Prix (Médaille d'Or) of the National Conservatory with special authorization from the Ministry due to her young age. She continued her training abroad with various companies, prestigious Ballet Masters, and renowned Choreographers (V.Nebrada, A.Danielson...), before starting her professional career at the age of 16. An accident brought her career to an end in 2004. Approached by several professional dancers to become their coach, Ann-Charlotte has taught Ballet, Contemporary and Partnering throughout France, Italy, Switzerland, Latin America, the USA and Morocco. She is the founder of First Act, a pre-professional Ballet and Contemporary dance studio in the Paris area, where she also teaches the GYROTONIC® Method.

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Maddie Mendes

Miss Maddie has been practicing and studying ballet since the age of three. After studying human physiology at the University of Oregon she returned to the Bay Area and has been teaching dance ever since. Currently, Maddie is a full time instructor at Lareen Fender’s The Ballet School Performing Arts in Walnut Creek, Ca. She teaches ballet, contemporary, dance conditioning, Progressing Ballet Technique, and pointe. In 2017 she helped implement a pointe preparation class into The Ballet School’s curriculum and has since successfully and safely transitioned many young dancers onto pointe.


Jacqui Young

Jacqui Young graduated from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary (NYC) with a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in Choreography and Creative Theory and Deviance and Victimization of Women. She also holds an Associates Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northern Essex Community College (MA) and a Master of Arts from John Jay College in Criminal Justice (NYC). She currently teaches at Sole City Dance, the only non-profit dance studio in New Hampshire. She also teaches online at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has certifications from American Ballet Theatre, Progressive Ballet Technique and Giordano jazz technique.

After obtaining her Masters in Criminal Justice from John Jay College Jacqui began teaching dance classes inside prison. Her first job was at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. An all male maximum security prison. 

Jacqui has enjoyed an extensive career as a professional dancer, concert producer, stage director, artistic director, choreographer, studio owner and educator. She has devoted her entire life to the field of dance. She feels that dance is therapeutic and brings joy to all who experience it. Dance is life.


Sarah Mills

Sarah Mills is a ballet teacher based in Toronto, Canada. She is a graduate from George Brown College receiving a Diploma in Dance Performance Studies and the Certificate of Achievement. She also trained at summer intensives at Ballet Jorgen, Cadence Ballet and Arts Umbrella. She danced with several Toronto companies and in independent projects. Sarah graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and is a ballet teacher at Ontario School of Ballet in Toronto.

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Emily Zimmermann

Emily Zimmermann is the owner of Dream Ballet School in Westford, Massachusetts.

Emily has been a dancer, choreographer and dance educator for over 20 years. She danced with Peninsula Ballet Theatre and Cabrillo Stage in the Bay Area, California. She then became Ballet Mistress and Director of Development at Missouri Contemporary Ballet Company and School. She founded Dream Ballet School in 2021. Emily is certified in Pointe Safe, Progressing Ballet Technique and American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum.

Emily believes that ballet is for everyone and strives to promote total dancer wellness. Please visit to learn more.

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Sophie Day

Sophie Day, an accomplished dancer and revered teacher, began her dance journey at age three. Her early training at The Hammond School Associates led to her joining the National Youth Ballet of Great Britain. At 11, she received a scholarship from MBNA for her vocational dance training at the Hammond School, Chester. By 16, she had a Dance and Drama Award and eventually graduated with Distinction, the title of Most Improved Dancer, and a Level 6 TRINITY diploma in Professional Dance.


However, Sophie's real passion was teaching. After gaining her Registered Teachers Status from The Royal Academy of Dance, she founded SGDA, a dance academy dedicated to creating a fair, positive, and encouraging environment for children. Her skills in recognising and nurturing talent have guided many young dancers to realise their potential.


Sophie was awarded the 'Recognised Teacher' status by the UK’s Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT) in 2016, and soon after, her academy also received the CDMT's 'Recognised School' status. Among her many qualifications, Sophie holds certifications with The Royal Academy of Dance, the Acrobatic Arts, and several other professional and safety certifications, underscoring her commitment to providing a secure and nurturing learning environment.

Sophie is based in Chester, England, UK.


Lucia Mancha

In Spring of 2024, Mancha will graduate Case Western Reserve University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both dance and human nutrition. Afterward, she plans to further her education with a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance with a focus in pedagogy and dancer wellness. Seasonally, she teaches modern (Graham), ballet (Cecchetti), and tap as a guest teacher at her local dance school. She joined the Pointe Safe community in an effort to supplement her educational passion for dancer wellness and better impact the strength and technique of her students. Although her primary focus is modern dance, she finds the ballet assessment knowledge she took from this program to be invaluable in all studio settings.


Ericka Goss

Ms. Goss began dancing at Bohaty’s School of Dance in Michigan and was also a member of the Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan. She later became a member of the senior trainee division of the Grand Rapids Ballet through high school, working under Laura Schwenk-Berman and Gordon Pierce-Schmidt. Accepted into Pacific Northwest, Boston Ballet, and Joffrey Midwest summer intensives, she attended Joffrey on full scholarship. After four years in Grand Rapids, Ericka was accepted into Atlanta Ballet’s Pre-Professional Division on full scholarship. Promoted to the company as a Fellowship dancer, she danced as a Fellowship for two years under Sharon Story and John McFall. In the summer of 2011 she attended the LINES Ballet Summer Intensive in San Francisco under full scholarship. After 3 seasons with The Atlanta Ballet, Ericka was hired into the Saint Louis Ballet in St. Louis, MO. She danced with SLB for 7 seasons performing soloist roles and had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Christopher D'Amboise, Emery LeCrone, Twyla Tharp repeteur Matthew Dibble, Francis Patrelle, Kevin Jenkins, Pam Tanowitz, Gregory Dolbashian, and Michael Uthoff. She danced roles in Balanchine's Western Symphony, Serenade, and was a tall girl in Who Cares? as well as performing soloist roles in Gen Horiuchi's The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Giselle. She is also a founding member of Deos Contemporary Ballet in Grand Rapids, MI.

Ericka is PBT certified and has been teaching for 16 years, both with Atlanta Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet School, as well as at the Belleville School of Ballet, Academy of Performing Arts, and Turning Pointe School of Dance.

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