Joan Robinson Borchers, Artistic Director
Joan Robinson Borchers began her professional career at age 13 when cast to play Ginger Rogers’ little sister in “Annie Get Your Gun.” Roles with Robert Goulet, Andy Williams, Barbara Eden, Gene Barry and many other stars followed. At Duquesne University, she was a full scholarship student and a member of the world renowned Duquesne University Tamburitzans. After living and performing in Berlin, Germany, she made her way to El Paso, Texas, where she was a television news anchor for the NBC affiliate. Joan lived in Moraga from 1973-1999 where she, with her late husband Peter, raised their two daughters. She is now married to Doyle Borchers and lives in the Napa Valley.
Doyle Borchers, Managing Director
Doyle Borchers, a native Texan, is a 1965 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he was twice Captain of the U.S. Championship Crew Team. In 32 years of service in the Navy, Doyle was an acclaimed fighter pilot, test pilot, and finally, the Captain and Commanding Officer of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. He retired from the Navy in 1992, and after retiring twice more in the corporate world, Joan convinced him to bring his remarkable management and people skills to CAPA.
AJ Brown, Associate Business Director
AJ is Joan & Doyle’s daughter, and grew up dancing at CAPA. After attending UCLA and Cal and spending 15 years in the media world working for companies like AOL Time Warner, Maxim Magazine and SPIN Magazine, she joined the CAPA family again in 2010 after the birth of her daughter. She lives in Moraga with husband (and official CAPA videographer) Aaron Brown, their daughter Finley and their son Cooper.
Nancy Andrada, Office Manager/Show Coordinator
Nancy discovered CAPA when her family was planning on moving to Moraga and was looking for a dance program for her preschooler. The move never materialized, but in 2008, after 14 years at CAPA, her daughter, Libby, performed her Senior Solo. Nancy, however, was not ready to graduate and remains in the office, always ready to help answer those “mom questions.” Nancy is also indispensable at rehearsals & show time, seeming to always be available and appearing exactly where she’s needed, and to have a ready solution for whatever pops up. Nancy has lived in the Bay Area since she graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1978. She and her husband, Randy, still live in Piedmont where she is a classroom aide at Havens School.
Ann Barrett, a true artist in the field of jazz dance, is one of the most coveted dance instructors and choreographers around. Ann is often defined as having a great sense of humor. This, along with her ability to break down movement with clarity and speed, has enabled her to keep things light in an art form that is extremely demanding. She is able to pinpoint problems in dancers easily allowing for quick progression. The joy she gets from dancing is equal to that of a good laugh, but one thing she’s sure of – laughing is quite a bit easier. Here are just a few of her many credits:
“Time After Time,” Paramount Productions, Feature Film – Specialty Choreographer
“Mannequins,” Walt Disney Productions, Orlando – Asst Choreographer
”The Method,” Pacific Star Productions, Feature Film – Choreographer
“The Emeralds,” Las Vegas Hilton – Choreographer
“Stage Fright,” Paramount’s Great America – Choreographer
“Mediterranean Nights,” Harrah’s Hotel, Reno – Choreographer/Director
“A New Year’s Eve Mardi Gras,” Bally’s Hotel, Reno – Choreographer/Director
“Dance Through Time” Dance Company – Guest Choreographer
Adidas Dance Team, National Productions – Choreographer
Macy’s “International Style” – Choreographer/Asst Director
KPIX TV – Celebrity Choreographer
Lynn Brilhante’s dancing and choreography are often described as dynamic, fluid and gutsy. She brings a fresh and innovative approach to the world of Jazz and shows a unique ability to merge and update various elements, in the process creating her own trademark style. These talents have recently earned her a nomination for the Theatre L.A. Ovation Award for Choreography. Ms. Brilhante has also received the Dance Masters of America Choreographer’s Award and the Robbi Award for Choreography. Her acclaim reaches internationally to the Jazz workshop, Die Werkstatt, in Dusseldorf Germany, where she continues to be invited as a guest artist. Her success in transfering her love of dance through teaching is evidenced by a flock of loyal students, both in her studio classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and at numerous workshops, master classes and camps throughout the world. Ms. Brilhante boasts a long and impressive resume of choreographic and performance achievements, spanning the diverse media of stage, film, television and video. Her contributions will continue to enrich the dance world. CAPA is fortunate to have had Lynn as a major backbone of our esteemed faculty for many years, as she is constantly in demand as one of the top teacher/choreographers in the nation.
Originally from Texas, Dalyn started ballet at the age of six. She auditioned for the San Francisco Ballet School when she was 13 years old and received a full scholarship where she stayed to study for the remainder of her ballet training. Her teachers included Zola Dishong, Linda Meyer, Christine Bering, Jonathon Watts, Henry Berg and Larisa Skylanskaya. Dalyn went on to dance professionally with Ballet West as a corp de ballet member and a soloist/principal with the Smuin Ballet where she worked closely with the late Michael Smuin. Her association with Michael led her to the opportunity to dance at Carnegie Hall in a PBS televised cast of “Ira Gershwin at 100: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall”. Dalyn has taught ballet classes to the young, adults, and company members throughout the years since 1992.
Rachel is CAPA’s Ballet Mistress, and was awarded the George Balanchine scholarship at the age of 11 to study with the School of American Ballet in New York City. She went on to receive full scholarships with both the San Francisco Ballet and Hungarian State Ballet School in Budapest. Upon graduation, she was asked to join Ballet de Santiago in Chile at the age of 18. She was promoted to soloist within the year and went on to dance for Ivan Nagy at the Cincinnati ballet as a soloist and principal. She has also danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Smuin Ballet. A few of the roles she has performed are Snow Queen (San Francisco Ballet), The Great Gatsby, Giselle, Paquita, Cinderella (Cincinnati Ballet), & Romeo and Juliet pas de duex (Smuin Ballet). She is married to former professional dancer Sedley Chew and they have three young boys. She has also taught for the Marin Ballet and Contra Costa Ballet. She joined the teaching faculty at Capa in 2009.
A CAPA alum herself, Katy is a recent graduate from the Clare Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, where she received her B.F.A. in dance performance. While studying at UC Irvine, Katy was able to work with world-renowned choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Jodie Gates, Loretta Livingston and Molly Lynch, as well as performing in numerous graduate and undergraduate performances. Katy has been a participant at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance Summer Intensive where she worked closely with Summer Rhatigan, Alex Ketley and Christian Burns.
Beyond Katy’s love and pursuit for dance, she has a passion for art, travel and teaching. She has had the opportunity to travel the world to countries like Thailand, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and a recent four-month excursion to Peru, Chile and Argentina. She hopes to someday collaborate her love for art and teaching and pursue a career in art education, and is so excited to be back “home” at CAPA.
Justin grew up in the Bay Area and developed a love for dance and theater at an early age. By sixteen he was teaching children’s theatre and performing in high school. He studied musical theatre at San Francisco State University. As a student, he studied tap and jazz while continuing to perform song and dance roles on stages across the Bay Area. He has developed a style that is unique. He began teaching for CAPA in 2000 and now produces wonderful pieces filled with his fresh and creative tap and hip-hop styles. His enthusiasm for teaching and performing shines through to his students, and his infectious energy creates a fun and productive process. His goal is to teach dance and help his students find their true love and passion in dance.
LINDA DUDA CRAIG
“Ms. Linda,” as students call her, is passionate about being a teacher of young people. Since 2009, Linda has been guiding her CAPA students to cultivate joy, creativity, acceptance, and mastery through the art of dance so that both on stage and in life, her students can move with the exuberance and the poised confidence of dancers. As a young dancer herself, Linda trained in tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical at a local East Bay studio and on the dance convention/competition circuit before focusing on ballet and modern—primarily in Berkeley with Sally Streets and Sonya Delwaide (now dance dept. head at Mills College in Oakland) and in NYC with the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive. Linda attributes much of her patience and her enthusiasm for life to her victorious battle with metastasized Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 20. Yes, all of her hair fell out, but it grew back, and she graduated from UCLA summa cum laude in the honors program with a B.A. in English. Linda has also spent 2 years as a K-12 substitute teacher in OUSD, taught children’s theater, and served on the board of directors of the Pinole Community Players. Linda continues to grow and satisfy her professional curiosity, most recently through workshops in Early Childhood and Parent-Child Dance at the Luna Dance Institute in Emeryville.
Megan comes to us with over 25 years experience teaching the art of dance to kids of all ages. Megan has a few other tricks up her sleeve, too…she graduated from the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Clown College! She has tons of theatre experience and we are so excited to have her unique perspective and background here at CAPA.
Jennifer was born in Sonoma County where she received her ballet training from Deborah Palesch, Alexandra Sawicka, and Maria Vegh. In 1994 she became a founding member of Smuin Ballet S/F where she danced until 1998 performing principle roles in the Christmas Ballet, Dances with Songs, Bouquet, Songs of Mahler, the Tempest Suite, and others. With the company she has had the honor of being on film in the Fantastiks, A Walk in the Clouds, and the Return of the Jedi Special Edition. In addition, Jennifer performed in the televised broadcast of Ira Gershwin at 100 live from Carnegie Hall. She has also danced with The San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Sacramento Ballet, and The Ohio Ballet. Jennifer has taught at numerous Bay Area studios including San Francisco Dance Center, Westlake School for Performing Arts, Berkeley Ballet Theater, and Stapelton School of the Performing Arts. In addition to CAPA, she also teaches at Petaluma School of Ballet and Sonoma State University. Jennifer is working on completing her Master’s degree in History and enjoys taking ballet class and spending time with her fiancee and five year old son.
A former CAPA dancer herself, Namita is an interdisciplinary performer, choreographer, and visual and graphic artist. From Bollywood to Jazz, Tap, Vocal and Body Percussion, Namita’s varied dance disciplines have resulted in a variety of achievements nationally and internationally. Her credits include the 1st National Broadway Tour of Bombay Dreams, Bollywood’s “So you Think you Can Dance: Just Dance” with Bollywood film star, Hrithik Roshan; Jerome Robbins ‘The King and I,” Mike Myer’s ‘The Love Guru” with Jessica Alba; the internationally acclaimed tap dance company, “Jazz Tap Ensemble,” and various other national venues form the Joyce Theater NYC, the Supper Club off Broadway and NYC’s Lincoln Center to international performances and teaching workshops abroad in Brazil, India, Italy, Iceland, Japan and Turkey. Namita currently performs with Keith Terry’s all body band, Slammin, working closely with international artists in annual Body Music Festivals in the Bay Area and abroad. Her work also includes collaborations with Bay Area jazz choreographers Lynn Brilhante and Ann Barrett as well as performing Bollywood, Tap and Jazz dance in various venues across the Bay Area. Namita is currently on faculty at ODC and Rhythm and Motion and is responsible for helping to create and promote Tap and Bollywood Dance in both Youth and Adult programs, as well as choreographing works in their annual productions. Namita is a graduate of UCLA with a BA in World Arts and Cultures and Fine Art and has performed works choreographed or directed by Jerome Robbins, Gregory Hines, Marguerite Derricks, Baayork Lee, Farah Khan, Lynn Dally, Maria Gillepsie, Vigi Prakash, John Pennington, Sam Weber, Fernando Barba and many others. Namita currently has her own art studio and works professionally as a visual artist alongside her dance career with large art installations in and around the Bay Area. You can see more of her work at www.namitakapoor.com.
Debbie, a native of San Francisco, is a former soloist with Oakland Ballet Company having performed a wide range of soloist and principal roles with the company, including: Mother Sweetheart in Eugene Loring’s Billy the Kidd; The Daughter in Dick Kuch’s the Brood, Snow Queen, Arabian and Rose Queen in Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Marc Wilde’s Bolero and varied roles in any number of Diaghilev era pieces, such as Boutique Fantastic, Scherazade, Les Noces and Les Biches. Prior to performing with Oakland Ballet, Deborah danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem and as a young dancer with Ballet Celeste in San Francisco. Ms. Pitts has worked with many well-known choreographers including but not limited to, Leonide Massine,Eugene Loring, Ruthanna Boris and Anna Sokolow. Deborah has been teaching in the Bay Area for more than 38 years. Her tenure includes teaching with Pacific Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Ballet Celeste, and for 21 years at Lamorinda Ballet here in Moraga. Many of her students have gone on to dance professionally at San Francisco Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and many other companies. In addition to her love of dance, Debbie is the Manager of Public Affairs for Sutter Health East Bay Region and a mom to daughter Lisa, who is an accomplished young dancer at San Francisco Ballet School.
Megan has written and directed four full-length children’s musicals. She is a specialist in period movement/dance styles. She designs costumes and lighting and has worked as a costume maker and production technician. Her students consistently receive the highest awards at competitions competing her choreography. She has directed and choreographed numerous children’s plays, operas and dance recitals as well as many professional adult productions. Her training includes The Cornish Institute of the Arts/Preparatory Ballet Division in Seattle, WA; The Redwood Empire Ballet School in Santa Rosa, CA; The Palesche Pacific Ballet in Santa Rosa, CA; The Dancer’s Stage School and Company in San Francisco; and The Envoy/Classroom management and teacher workshops in Santa Rosa, CA.
While still in high school, Shirley taught ballet and tap for the Sacramento Parks and Recreation Department. While attending Cal, she continued to take classes at Berkeley Ballet, Shawl Anderson, and Contra Costa Ballet. After graduating from Cal, she taught classes at Contra Costa Ballet from 1983 through 1992. During her tenure at Contra Costa Ballet, she attended several Vaganova training seminars taught by Karen Morell who was certified in Vaganova pedagogy. Shirley started teaching at CAPA in 1992 when there were only 3 levels of ballet classes, and is known for her wonderful pointe classes.