Jacki McCausland, director and owner

Jacki McCausland founded the Valley School of Dance in 1982 and serves as the school's owner and director. Over the years, she has enjoyed studying, exploring and teaching many styles of movement expression - ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap, multi-cultural dances and yoga. Jacki concentrated in dance at SUNY Purchase and SUNY Geneseo, receiving a BPS in dance from Empire State University in 1976. She has taught numerous dance workshops and residency programs in public schools with grants funded by BOCES and the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts. Jacki is also a certified E-RYT 500 yoga instructor with Yoga Alliance, and has been co-owner of Shakti Yoga in Geneseo since 1990.  Jacki has been a dance faculty member at SUNY Geneseo since 1984 and she was a faculty member of the Program of Dance & Movement at the University of Rochester for 15 years.
    "Dancing is enlivening to the body, stimulating to the mind, nourishing to the heart and expanding to the spirit. May each of our dance students experience the benefits of this most joyful expression of life!”
Cindy McKinney, assistant director and recital coordinator

Cindy McKinney has over twenty years dance experience, has been teaching dance for over fifteen years, and is certified by New York State to teach dance.  She has studied dance at many Rochester area dance studios, SUNY Brockport, the University at Buffalo, and SUNY Geneseo.  Cindy has also taken many master dance classes, participated in countless dance competitions, and attended numerous dance conventions in New York City and Orlando, Florida.
Cindy has been teaching at Valley for ten years and is thrilled to be the Assistant Director.  It has been a privilege for her to pass on her love and knowledge of dance to her students.  Cindy has high expectations for her students and wants all of them to be the best they can be.  She believes that dance is a combination of hard work and fun.  Cindy knows all of the benefits and rewards that dance can bring to an individual, and she considers it an honor to teach it to others.
Deb French

Deb French has a minor in dance from SUNY Geneseo and a Masters degree in Dance from SUNY Brockport. She has studied Modern, Jazz, Ballet, African, Flamenco, Latin, Swing and various folk dance styles. She has taught fitness and aerobics classes and most recently has become a certified Zumba instructor. Deb has a passion for dance and movement and loves to share that passion with her students, both at SUNY Geneseo where she is a dance faculty member and Valley School of Dance.
Beverly Henke-Lofquist

In addition to teaching at the Valley School of Dance, Beverly Henke-Lofquist also teaches and supervises college-aged student clinicians in the Communicative Disorders and Sciences Program at SUNY Geneseo.  She has specialized training working with preverbal and verbal preschoolers from the Callier Center for Communication Disorders in Dallas, Texas and is certified as a Speech Language Pathologist from the American Speech Language Hearing Association.  She has studied dance and movement for most of her life, performing modern dance with the Concert Dance Company under the direction of Jane Dakak. "Miss Beverly", as her three year olds call her, has also choreographed synchronized swimming and figure skating performances with children.
  Cassandra Saroli

Cassandra has a love and passion for dancing and teaching children. She has been dancing for over twenty years in styles including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and pointe. Cassandra was a member of her hometown's Regional and National Dance Competition team on Long Island before deciding she wanted to call Geneseo her forever home. She now lives in Geneseo and is excited to be sharing her passion for dance again at the Valley School of Dance. Upon graduating from SUNY Geneseo in 2014 with her B.S. degree in Childhood and Special Education with a concentration in dance, Cassandra decided to embark on a journey through the Disney College Program where she worked in entertainment at Walt Disney World. This was a life-changing experience where she was able to share her love for performing and create magic for guests from all over the world. She returned home in 2015 to continue her education and is currently working towards her Masters Degree in Reading and Literacy B-12 at SUNY Geneseo. This will be Cassandra's fourth year teaching at the Valley School of Dance. She will also be teaching first grade at Geneseo Elementary School and is so excited to bring her passions to the beautiful Geneseo community!
Emily Flaherty

Emily has been dancing for sixteen years and has experience in a variety of techniques. While ballet is her favorite, Emily also has experience with tap, pointe, modern, and jazz. She danced at Positions Dance Studio on Long Island throughout her childhood. Emily was also a student assistant, student assistant coordinator, and a dance instructor during her years at her local dance studio. In addition to dancing at her studio, Emily has enjoyed dancing in the 2014 Sugar Bowl Halftime show, taking master classes, and competing on Long Island. Emily is currently a sophomore at SUNY Geneseo majoring in Childhood Education. Her love for working with children and her love of dancing has made teaching dance a great experience. She is very excited for her next year teaching at Valley School of Dance!
Alyssa Willmarth

Alyssa has been dancing for 18 years, ten of which were spent at Dance 22 on their competitive dance team. During this time, she trained with many different instructors in the styles of jazz, ballet, modern, musical theater, tap, pointe, and contemporary. She has taken many master classes and has received numerous awards for excellence in contemporary, tap, and ballet. Alyssa is a senior SUNY Geneseo who is studying communication and dance and has received a dance scholarship from the college. She has been a member of the Geneseo Dance Ensemble for three years and has also choreographed for the Orchesis student dance organization. Alyssa is very excited to share her love of dance with the students at the Valley School of Dance!

Stephanie Willmarth

Stephanie is delighted to be sharing her love of dance with students, once again, at Valley School of Dance! Stephanie has been dancing for more than twenty years, eight of them as part of the competitive dance team at Dance 22 in Webster, New York. During this time, she completed eight years of extensive private study in ballet, pointe, and lyrical, and took classes with dozens of master teachers from around the US and Canada. As a competitive dancer, Stephanie has received numerous awards, won scholarships, and has been recognized by Dance Masters of America for excellence in tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical. She performed as a company member and soloist of the Geneseo Dance Ensemble for four years, and is the recipient of several dance scholarships through the Dance Department at SUNY Geneseo. Graduating Summa Cum Laude from SUNY Geneseo in May 2014, Stephanie acquired her B.S. Degree in Education, through the Childhood and Special Education program with a concentration in Dance. Throughout the following year, Stephanie attended graduate school at SUNY Geneseo, and recently attained her M.S. Degree in Education, through the Reading and Literacy program. Stephanie is a nationally certified dance instructor through Dance Masters of America in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Modern. Stephanie is also a second year school teacher, working as a second grade teacher in West Irondequoit.
Marissa Berry

Marissa has been dancing for a total of seventeen years, nine of which were spent on the competitive dance team at Mary Lourdes Academy of Dance in New Hartford, NY. At her hometown studio, Marissa studied under various instructors in styles including jazz, lyrical, ballet, modern, pointe, and contemporary. As a competitive dancer, Marissa has received both solo and group awards with her team in Regional and National competitions. Marissa is currently a junior at SUNY Geneseo pursuing a double major in Childhood Education and Psychology. She has continued her love of dance in college by becoming an active member of Geneseo Dance Ensemble and Knightline Dance Team, and has choreographed for Orchesis Dance Club. Marissa is very excited to begin her first year teaching, inspiring, and sharing her passion for dance with the dancers at the Valley School of Dance!
Katherine Estep

Katherine is excited for her first year as a teacher at Valley School of Dance and can't wait to be a part of the studio! She has been dancing for 17 years and has found a passion in teaching all styles of dance to students of all ages. She trained at Dancer's Alley in Horseheads, NY concentrating on Modern technique and Contemporary choreography. Additionally, she has trained in ballet, jazz and tap technique for 15 years. During her years at Dancer's Alley, she spent 4 years as a teaching assistant and 4 years as a teacher for  classes aged 3-18. She is now continuing her education at SUNY Geneseo as a Psychology Pre-Med Major, Dance Minor and is a part of Geneseo Orchesis and the Geneseo Bhangra team. Katherine looks forward to working with the VSD students and to sharing the love of dance with the studio throughout the year.