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 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 year-long 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 to Geneseo and received her Masters Degree in Reading and Literacy B-12 at SUNY Geneseo. This will be Cassandra's fifth year teaching at the Valley School of Dance. She is also a first grade teacher at Geneseo Elementary School, and is thankful for the opportunities she has 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 senior 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 20 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 SUNY Geneseo alumni with a degree in communication and dance. She was a member of the Geneseo Dance Ensemble for four years and 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!
 
   
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 senior at SUNY Geneseo pursuing a major in Childhood Education with a concentration in Human Development, and a minor in Psychology. She has continued her love of dance in college by becoming an active member of Geneseo Dance Ensemble and Knightline Dance Team, and Orchesis Dance Club. Marissa is very excited to begin her second year teaching, inspiring, and sharing her passion for dance with the dancers at VSD!
 
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.
   
   



 
Emily Thamm

Emily Thamm is a sophomore at SUNY Geneseo. She is an Early Childhood Education Major, with a Dance concentration. Emily plays an active role in the Geneseo Dance community, and is a member of Knightline and Geneseo Dance Ensemble, as well as a choreographer for Orchesis. She has been training since the age of 2, and has been very involved in the competition and convention world since the age of 5. Emily has been trained in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theater, Modern, and Salsa. She loves all of the different styles and possibilities that dance has to offer. Emily has spent her summer training at Broadway Dance Center and Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, learning from extremely qualified instructors in various styles. Emily cannot wait to share her love of dance with next generation of dancers at Valley School this year!
   
Sunny Krupnicki

Sunny has been competitively dancing and training since she was six years old at Little Red Dance Studio in Rochester, New York until she graduated in 2015. She has continued dancing at SUNY Geneseo on the Knightline Dance Team, choreographing for Orchesis, and also taking dance classes at the college. She has also recently starting teaching hip hop for Jody B's dance studio in Penfield, New York. Sunny has a strong background in ballet, hip hop and jazz which are her favorite styles of dance. She loves to share her passion for dance through teaching others and also performing as well.
   

Danielle Comerford

Danielle Comerford has been dancing for 17 years, with 16 of those years being trained in Irish dance.  After starting with ballet and tap, she moved onto Irish dance and found her passion there.  First dancing with Solas An Lae: School of Irish Dance in Red Hook, NY and then moving to the D'amby Project, Danielle has exercised her passion for dance in many forms.  While Irish dance is her forte, Danielle has experience in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and musical theater dance.  She continues her passion for dance at SUNY Genseo where she is on the Irish Dance Team, Slainte, and is an active choreographer and director in Geneseo's Musical Theatre Club.  Danielle is excited to be teaching Irish dance at the Valley School of Dance and is eager to share her passion with young dancers.
   

Tess Ramos-Dries

Tess has been dancing for 16 years at Children Dancing school in Great Neck, NY. She has a background in ballet and modern, specifically Isadora Duncan technique. Tess has performed extensively with the company Dance Visions NY, performing Duncan and contemporary works. As a a Senior at SUNY Geneseo she continues to take dance classes, as well as participate in the Orchesis dance showcase and Geneseo Dance Ensemble. She is incredibly grateful and excited to teach at the Valley School of Dance!