- Amanda Klinke Hernandez, Artistic Director
- After 10 years of professional teaching and choreography in Illinois and Michigan, Amanda Klinke Hernandez brought her teaching talents to the Seattle area in 2005. In 2008, Amanda and her husband Karim took ownership of Wendy's School of Dance in Bothell and rechristened it the Washington School of Dance with the goal of providing superior dance education while supporting the performing arts in the community at large.
Amanda has been trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance, studying with Carolyn Lubecker, Michelle Holzman, Kathryn Irey and Annie deVuono, and performing with Chicago's Northwest Ballet Ensemble and the University of Michigan's Impact Dance Theater. In 1998 she helped create the Dance Ypsilanti program which used public schools and parks programs to bring creative movement curriculum to hundreds of students in Southeast Michigan.
Amanda believes in the power of arts education to change lives, and is committed to providing a positive, uplifting dance experience for every child.
- Sharon Riedy, Operations Manager
Sharon Riedy was first enrolled in ballet and folk dance at Immaculate Conception Academy and the Philippine Cultural Center at the age of five. Since then, her training has expanded to jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theater and contemporary.
In the year 2000, Sharon earned her Master of Arts in Dance at York University in Toronto, specializing in Education and Arts Administration. Upon graduation, Sharon worked for a number of organizations, including Adair Dance Academy, Omega Gymnastics, and Kids Body Shop. She was also a faculty member at the Omaha Theater Dance School and a freelancer for various community centers in Los Angeles, Toronto, and Omaha.
Sharon loves to incorporate new ways of teaching in her classes that she learned at various local and international workshops. She has completed numerous programs, including Sanna Longden’s World Dance and PNB's Teachers Seminar in Seattle, and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre's Aboriginal Dance Training in Toronto.
In 2010, she earned her certification as a Brain-Compatible Dance Educator under Anne Green Gilbert's Summer Dance Institute for Teachers. Sharon is also certified to teach Total Barre™, ZEN•GA™, and is working on completing her STOTT PILATES® Certification.
When she is not busy teaching, she can be found trying new cuisines around Seattle and shuttling her three boys to art class, soccer practice, and tap class. Sharon is ecstatic to be part of the WSD family since 2009!
- Annie DeVuono
- An emphasis on personal enrichment and a contagious joy for movement are integral to every class Annie teaches. Ms. deVuono integrates beautiful choreography with the proper execution and terminology of each step, unraveling the mysteries of different rhythms and sharing the energy of fellow dancers.
Annie deVuono comes to teaching with a wealth of practical and professional experience. Trained in Cecchetti method for her first seven years, she then studied at Ruth Page, home of the Chicago Ballet, Gus Giordano and then attended Cornish College of the Arts.
She began teaching in 1979 while dancing with the Tallahassee Ballet. Long a favorite teacher at BellTown Ballet here in Seattle, Annie is delighted to now be working at WSD Studio and warmly welcomes her new students.
In addition to dance, deVuono began working with costume design after moving back to Chicago in 1985. Still performing and teaching, her passion for headwear had begun. Shortly thereafter, she introduced her own millinery line; this was followed by numerous private commissions and eventually international recognition for her headwear. www.devuonohats.com
- Megan Ess
- At the age of five, Megan Ess began her first ballet class and discovered her passion. She started dancing at Wendy’s School of Dance in 1998 and stuck with the studio through its transformation into Washington School of Dance until she graduated high school in 2012.
She has studied classical ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, lyrical, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and West African dance. Megan is currently completing her undergraduate degrees in both Biology and Dance (Creative Studies) at the University of Washington in Seattle.
In 2010 she began the Work-Study program at WSD, student teaching under the instruction of Amanda Klinke-Hernandez from 2010-2011 and Catie Wilkins from 2011-2012. While a student at WSD Megan was a member of the WSD Jazz Company from age 10 until age 18. For a couple years she was also a part of a hip-hop performance company that travelled around the Seattle area. Megan has been a part of Brown Bag Dance Company, a non-profit dance organization founded by Sharon Riedy, from 2010 to present.
With her dance degree, Megan hopes to develop her technique even more and present dance to others in a very accessible manner. She is so inspired by other dancers & choreographers and enjoys the freedom that dance gives her to express herself. Her body is an instrument, an instrument to create and share art with others.
Megan is so excited to finally be a faculty member at WSD! After dancing there for most of her life and substitute teaching over the years, she is so excited to share her knowledge and ideas with all the willing and excited dancers she is privileged to dance with.
- Heather Hatada
- Heather was raised all over the West Coast and then spent her college years in the Southeastern United States. She started dancing when she was 3 and has been able to continue throughout all her moves. Although most of her passion is with Jazz, she also has experience with Ballet, Pointe, and Tap (not to mention a class here and there with any dance style she could find).
Heather started teaching in High School and continued by choreographing many musicals in College. She received a Master's in Biology at Eastern Kentucky University but was also a dancer and choreographer for the EKU Dance Theatre where she received 2 best Choreography awards.
- Anne Motl
At five years old, Anne Motl began classical dance training with the Stroia Ballet Company in Little Falls, Minnesota. She moved to Washington in 1997 to pursue a career in dance and graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 2002 with a BFA in Dance.
Teaching dance during college and then formally in 2002, it has been her goal to make dance accessible to all. She specializes in many genres including ballet, creative movement, jazz and modern. With over 10 years of teaching experience at local dance studios, private and public schools, she currently teaches at Washington School of Dance and eXit SPACE School of Dance.
In 2003, Anne co-founded NorthWest Dance Syndrome (NWDS) a collaborative Seattle modern dance company with Teresa Hanawalt and Maya Soto. NWDS created several dance pieces, produced shows locally, performed at many festivals and venues and created two dance films. She has performed various other works by local choreographers including Aiko Kinoshita, Kristina Dillard, Paige Barnes, Ellie Sandstrom, Maya Soto/Soto Style and most recently Alana O Rogers. Anne is currently a company member of Marlo Martin's badmarmarDANCE company with whom she's been performing with since 2009.
- Noelle Price
Noelle Price is a native Detroiter dedicated to spreading the love of dance to all ages through community projects. She enjoys blending cultural rhythms with formal training in order to both challenge the advanced dancer and invite the novice to engage in the art of dance. Since receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University, Noelle developed and implemented several community dance projects in the Kalamazoo area including the establishment of the Arts for Change Scholarship through the Kalamazoo Black Arts and Cultural Center. During her years at WMU Noelle had the pleasure of working with many professional dance artists including Arturo Fernandez, ballet master of Alonzo King LINES ballet, while learning King’s contemporary ballet Koto. She also performed as the featured soloist in the historical reconstruction of Loïe Fuller’s La Mer by Megan Slayter and Jessica Lindberg Coxe, was the premiere dancer in an original piece by contemporary choreographer Peter Chu of Chuthis and performed for three seasons with the WMU chapter of the Chicago-based hip hop company, Hip Hop ConnXion. Noelle is very excited to make the transition from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and get moving!
- Wendy Tacey
- Wendy Tacey is wife & mom of two daughters and is the Author & Founder of the GLOSS for Girls Curriculum as well as the newly formed “Beyond GLOSS” Ministry and Discipleship classes for girls in grades 7-12. Wendy is a graduate of the University of Washington Dance Program and spent 20 years in the dance business as Founder and Artistic Director of Wendy’s School of Dance in Bothell, now renamed, Washington School of Dance. WSD was birthed in 1988 in the recreation room of Wendy’s childhood home. In 1996 upon the completion of her degree, Wendy formalized the school in Bothell with a following of 70 students. WSD was home to over 250 students when Wendy began seeking an exit strategy from the business in an effort to focus more attention at home.
Wendy was grateful for the gifted teaching and management skills that Amanda Klinke Hernandez brought to WSD in her 3 year employment at Wendy’s School of Dance. Upon Wendy’s decisions to retire from the business in 2007, Amanda became the perfect candidate to purchase and direct WSD. Through a thoughtful and professional process, Amanda purchased WSD in 2007 and together one year later in 2008, Amanda and Wendy announced Amanda’s role as Owner/Director. It was truly a God- orchestrated transition that served both Amanda and Wendy for the new seasons they were about to enter. Amanda has maintained the legacy and vision of WSD with continued growth, excellent staff, performances and programs that benefit dancers of every age.
In the middle of parenting, Wendy’s heart was burdened for the grace, poise, body awareness and inner beauty that seemed to be disappearing amongst young girls outside the dance classroom. Wendy was motivated to dig deep into God’s Word on the subjects of True Beauty, Value and Worth and discovered that all the years of teaching teens provided the necessary insights into the hearts and needs of young girls that motivated the writing of GLOSS. Wendy desires that girls would discover early the messages of the GLOSS Curriculum and know that they are Treasured and Loved by the One who created them! www.glossforgirls.com
- Catie Wilkins
- Catie began dancing at a young age and was trained in contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet, and hip-hop. She performed with the award-winning Dance Studio of Fresno for five years and has also performed as a guest artist for the Miss California Pageant, the Central California Dance Conference, and other benefits throughout California. Catie enjoyed teaching for several years at The Dance Studio of Fresno as well as The Dance Company in Kingsburg. She was also a member of the contemporary dance company, Altered Modalities, for six years. Catie currently attends Antioch University, Seattle and is working on her M.A. in Art Therapy and Couple and Family Therapy.