Faculty

Each member of our staff at Rhythms has been hand picked for their expertise, positive attitude, love of children, and enthusiasm for their craft. They are all incredibly dedicated and love their jobs!

Kate Kenyon

Artistic Director

 

A Novato Native and graduate of Chapman University, Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in both dance and primary education.  She performed for several years with the Young Americans, a professional non-profit show choir.  Kate loves all things Broadway and finds there is nothing more gratifying than belting out a great showtune in her car!  When not at Rhythms, you can find her choreographing musicals throughout the Bay Area or possibly glueing rhinestones onto whatever object she can find!  She loves her job at Rhythms and thinks it is just about magical as Disneyland.  Each student holds a special place in her heart, and she looks forward to going to work everyday!  

Amanda Nelson

Music Director, Bookkeeper

 

Amanda Morando is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara in Vocal Performance. After working for four years as Youth Program Director/Conductor of Singers Marin, she now helps direct the performing arts programs and classes at Rhythms.  She also teaches private voice lessons, works as choir director for the UUCM Choir.  Amanda keeps busy performing in many local musical theater productions herself in between watching as many Warriors games as she can squeeze in.  Amanda is now a new mom to Jasper, who spends enough time at Rhythms we are all pretty sure he will be a future superstar!  

Debbie Ogden

Dance Director

 

Debbie has been teaching throughout the Bay Area for 20 years.  She has been invited to be a guest artist at the Next Step Dance Convention and over the past 18 years she has attended over 60 dance conventions throughout California and Nevada.  Debbie is known for her emotional and heart-wrenching contemporary pieces, sassy, dark jazz numbers, and classic and challenging tap dances!  Debbie is an avid fan of  the Seattle Seahawks and the Rohnert Park Warriors.  She has a loving (and non-dancing) husband, Ron, and two kids, Logan and Kylee, the latter of which is following in her footsteps (literally and figuratively) by dancing at Rhythms herself.



Megan   Ochoa-Fountain

Director of Operations

 

Megan has been dancing in Novato since she was just a little girl.  After performing in musicals, show choirs, and dance performances throughout high school and being awarded Outstanding Dancer at San Marin High School, she moved onto more administrative work at Rhythms Performing Arts.  Megan also works at aCross Marin Christian Fellowship as the Office Administrator and one of the Sunday School Teachers.  When not at work, Megan is usually taking her dog Cali out on walks around the pond.  She loves her work at Rhythms and being surrounded by the performing arts.  

Stephanie Morgan

Ballet and Modern Instructor

 

Stephanie Morgan began dancing at the age of three  in Columbus, OH.  After graduating high school, Stephanie attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she majored in Recreational Therapy and minored in both Dance and American Sign Language. While in college, Stephanie decided to expand her love of dance to those with disabilities and started an Adaptive Dance class at Encore School of Performing Arts in Sanford, NC. She has since taught pointe, modern, ballet, jazz and tap and started adaptive dance classes at several studios.   Stephanie has always been a believer that dance can be for anybody and she is excited to continue to share this passion at Rhythms Performing Arts! 

 


Dana Soto

Hip Hop and Breakdancing Instructor

 

Being born and raised in Novato, Dana is excited to be instructing at RPA. Dana has been dancing for as long as she can remember.  She was the co-choreographer/captain for the Feather River College Dance and Cheer Team in 2006 and has instructed classes, workshops and coached competitive teams throughout Marin and Sonoma County. Her favorite dance memory is the time she spent training in breaking with (her now husband) Mike. Whether training, competing, performing, instructing or just jamming, she finds joy in the gift of dance. It is her goal to share that joy with her students. Dana has experience in hip hop, jazz, lyrical, acro, tap and ballet. Integrity, team work, determination and a lot of fun is what she injects into her dance classes. She wants her students to remember that “dance is a form of self expression and there is only one you.”

 

Cristina Ghirardo

Competition Coach

 

Cristina Ghirardo has loved dancing at Rhythms since the very beginning. After high school, she brought her RPA background to UC Berkeley, where she was able to perform in and lead dance teams of all shapes, sizes, and genres. Not only did she dance, but also she fell in love with the study of psychology and all things science. Since her graduation, she has become a researcher by day and dance coach by night. She couldn’t be more excited to lead our competition teams and give back to the RPA community that started her love of dance all those years ago! 

Leah Nemerovski

Junior Instructor

Leah Nemerovski has been dancing since she could walk. From day 1, she has loved being a part of the Rhythms family and is now very excited to be on staff!  Leah is currently attending Marin School of the Arts at Novato High School. In addition to playing many leads in the Rhythms musicals (Audry in Little Shop, Donna in Mamma Mia) she is also a member of the prestigious a capella group, 'Til Dawn.  She is passionate about all things performing and loves to sing, dance, act, and play instruments! Leah aspires to pursue both performing arts and science after high school. She hopes to spread her love of dance and inspire others!