Our Instructors:

We are very excited to announce two exceptional teachers joining us in spring: Melissa James (RAD Ballet) and William Prusinowski (Ukraninan).  We feel extremely blessed to add their enthusiastic, kind and professional energy to our loving studio family! 

unnamed Ms. Melissa James  Melissa is originally from South Africa and has been involved in the dance industry since the age of four, completing examinations and performing various dance genres such as ballet, tap dance, modern dance, Irish dance, Spanish dance, and jazz. After high school, she pursued her passion for dance through studying, performing and teaching abroad in the United Kingdom. Melissa has 19 years experience teaching ballet, tap, jazz, Irish, Spanish dance and was also a faculty member at a prestigious private school in Cape Town, South Africa teaching middle and high school dance as a subject before relocating to California. Melissa has been successfully entering students for R.A.D. ballet examinations for more than 12 years from Pre–Primary to Advanced and has an excellent reputation with dance students and families wherever she has been. Ms. Melissa will be joining us as one of our Royal Academy of Dance Instructors and heading up the exam program.

unnamedMr. William Prusinowski  Billy Prusinowski is a co-founder of the SF Bay Area’s “Burevisnyky” Ukrainian Dance Group. Originally from Upstate New York, he grew up dancing with the Odesa Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Syracuse and later participated in Roma Pryma Bohachevsky Dance Workshops at Soyuzivka Ukrainian Heritage Center. He has also performed with groups across the state, including Syzokryli of New York City, and Rochester’s Mamai and Dunai. Billy lives in Santa Cruz and has been active in cultivating the Bay Area’s Ukrainian culture by attracting dancers to his group, Burevisnyky, and joining us this spring semester at South Valley Dance Arts. 

South Valley Dance Arts is a collaborative of artistic professionals with a united goal of creating life-long lovers of the arts.

Our instructors either hold a degree in dance education or choreography from a university, are members of the Royal Academy of Dance or are Pilates certified. Most instructors have three of these certifications. Teachers will only be hired in the 2018 year with at least three recommendations from well-known institutions, a nationwide background check, California livescan and will be required updated CPR training for the additional safety of you, or your student.    

Instructors are past professional ballet, modern and Ukrainian dancers who use clean and safe techniques while creating a joyful learning environment for their students. From the recreational 3-year-old dancer just starting out to the pre-professional dancer auditioning for their first job, these goals and values are our priority.

Instructors 2018:
Anne Cirone, Jennifer Willis, Juliet Smith, Meghan Horowitz, Melissa James, William Prusinowski, Wadeaa Jubran


Morgan Hill Dance StudioPaula and class

Left to right: Current instructors left and center, last picture on right was taken 1977 with founder Paula Valentine!