Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Dance Academy USA Management

Ms. Crystal

Assistant General Manager and Production Company Manager

Mr. Ed

Acting CFO

Ms. Jane

Artistic Director and Production Company Co-Director

Jane Carter, Founder and Artistic Director. Ms. Jane was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina as the daughter of a three-war veteran---World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from San Jose State University where she was a member of the Spartan Spectrum Dance Team. At SJSU, she studied Human Performance/Fitness with a minor in Nutrition and Food Science.

In 1985, Ms. Jane was selected by Dole Corporation to be the company's ambassador to promote dance, modeling, and aerobics in Japan. That same year, she was on the very first dance team for the NBA Golden State Warriors that consisted of ten dancers. After two seasons with the Warriors, she went-on to dance for the San Francisco 49ers as a Gold Rush cheerleader. She frequently represented the Warriors and 49ers at charity events, promotional business, and television appearances. These unique experiences allowed Ms. Jane to be introduced to some of the best choreographers in the world.

More background. Ms. Jane has been featured in Fit & Runner's World magazines, Evening Magazine, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and several local papers. She also danced in a Jeep commercial as well as Super Bowl XIX. She was the Managing Director of American Spirit Association (ASA), which held 3-5 day dance camps at colleges all over the United States. Ms. Jane was also the Artistic Director of School House Sports (SHS); SHS was the largest dance studio outreach program in Northern California at one time and offered dance classes to pre-schools, public schools, and private schools. She is also the Former Director of the NBA Warrior Dance Team and former Creator and Director of Arena Football's, San Jose SaberKittens.

In 2013, Ms. Jane was awarded America's Dance Educator of the Year by Co. Dance.

In 2014, she won the most prestigious dance teacher award in the United States of America; Dance Teacher Magazine awarded Ms. Jane the 2014 Dance Teacher Award in the Private Studio/Conservatory Category. She was presented this extraordinary honor in New York City; there is no higher honor in the dance education industry.

Ms. Jane founded Dance Academy's USA's competition team in 1991; she named the team, The Production Company. The Production Company has grown from ten members to almost two hundred, and, regarded nationally as a California powerhouse. Ms. Jane's students have won awards and scholarships, received national titles, and attended a wide range of universities including Juilliard, American Musical and Dramatic Arts, UCLA, USC, NYU and many more. Ms. Jane has seen many of her students grow and develop into professional teachers, professional dancers, Broadway performers, and world-class choreographers.

On a personal note, Ms. Jane has been married to Jim Carter since 1988. They met in college where Jim played football and was awarded "All-American". Jim has been involved in the real estate industry since 1993 as a broker, syndicator, investor and now President of the Real Estate Coaching Organization. As somewhat of an empty-nester hobby, he has published two books: A Guide to MAKING IT in Real Estate (non-fiction); and, The Rip-Off (fiction-novel).

Jim and Jane are proud of all three daughters, Jessie, Jamie and Jodie. Jessie graduated from USC and is a former USC Song Girl, NBA Clipper Girl and NFL Charger Girl; she is a sales professional for EMC-Dell and will be starting, a post-graduate business program at Harvard in July. Jamie also graduated from USC and is a former USC Song Girl. She is currently finishing a Master's Degree in Finance (also at USC) and will be moving to Utah in August to work at Goldman Sachs. Jodie is graduating from UCSB in June and will be moving to Texas in August to begin a Master's Degree in accounting at University of Texas. She has a job waiting for her at PWC when she finishes her Master's Degree.

Ms. Jane is exceptionally proud of the DAU staff, parents and dancers for collectively making Dance Academy USA a place of warmth, friendship, encouragement and teamwork.

Ms. Kim

General Manager

Several years ago, DAU had grown to the point that it needed a full-time professional in the area of merchandising and costuming. We needed someone with experience in identifying current & future customer requirements, tracking budget expenses, strategic pricing analysis, vendor relationships, market knowledge, client relationships, market trend formation, online security measures, etc. Kim was the perfect fit!

Before coming to DAU (about three years ago), Kim was the Managing Partner of Jayne’s Hallmark shop at Valley Fair Mall. At one time, Jayne’s was one of the most successful Hallmark stores in the Bay Area – Ms. Jane and many DAU families were frequent customers. She co-owned and managed this location for over 15 years. As the Managing Partner, she handled everything from hiring, training and motivating employees; to purchasing & vendor relationships; payroll, scheduling, etc. As the economy changed and her family grew, Kim took a five-year sabbatical from the business/ workforce. Subsequently, as her daughter entered second grade, Kim was ready to re-enter the workforce – and DAU was excited to have her!

As DAU’s Merchandising Manager, everything relative to merchandise and costuming (primarily show related) moves through her desk. She has recently lead DAU through a complete overhaul of our costume ordering process. Our new process is now user-friendly, efficient and we think is a big win for DAU families, instructors, management and ultimately our students.

On a personal note, Kim was reared in the San Jose Area, is married and has a beautiful daughter (as mentioned) – that is enjoying her dance lessons and friends at DAU! Kim says “I have a work schedule that accommodates my daughter’s school schedule along with a very understanding and helpful husband who can pick her up from school and bring her to dance class for me. I have been part of the DAU Team now for about three years, and am very grateful to have such a fulfilling job working with amazing people and being a part of the lives of so many wonderful kids!”

Ms. Gabby

Tap Director and Production Company Co-Director

Gabriella Bruno (Ms. Gabby) is a proud Bay Area native, professional dancer, choreographer, performer, and educator. She has studied all genres of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, modern, hip-hop, contemporary, world dance, and musical theater. Her dance career and training have taken her to LA and NYC, but her heart has always been in NorCal.

Gabriella received her BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a minor in English in 2014. Since graduating she has performed in various highly-acclaimed venues in both Northern and Southern California as well as throughout New York City. She has been an integral member and performer of companies like Tap Overload, abunDANCE, and Psychosomatic Dance, to name a few. She also had the honor of being a principle dancer in Keomi Tarver's hit 5-woman production of, Love and War, which debuted as a sold out show in NYC in 2016. Gabriella also directed and choreographed for her own dance collective, SHIFT, which gained a lot of traction for their pieces about social issues, more specifically mental health awareness. Gabriella was able to debut her choreography for many popular performance venues throughout well-known dance circuits and venues Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Since relocating back to the Bay Area 3 years ago, Gabriella has been dancing professionally with Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble, a modern dance company based in Palo Alto, as a principle company member. She is proud to be a living example to her students that pursuing your passions, whatever they may be, can take you far in life.

Gabriella is honored to be Tap Director and Production Company Co-Director, along with the many other 'hats' she wears at DAU. She looks forward to having fun creating movement, rhythms, and growing our incredible dance family even more!

Ms. Heather

Illustration Manager

Mr. Jim


Mr. Justin

VP of Marketing

Ms. Karli

Lyrical Director

Karli Koelliker (Moats) began her dance training at Starstruck Academy of Dance in Denver, Colorado, and was a member or their company team for 12 years. She has trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. Karli was also a member of her high school varsity pom team. Her and her team were 3 time state champions and placed top 5 at UDA Nationals in Florida.

Karli went on to dance with the BYU Cougarettes from 2010-2013. She was the head dance captain, and won 4 National titles with the Cougarettes in Hip Hop and Open Dance. Karli graduated from BYU with a degree in Public Health in 2014.

Karli has been dancing on a contemporary company called Divinity Dance Company for the past two years in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has also been able to work with Bonnie Story on multiple projects including a commercial for Marriott Hotels, and most recently the Hallmark Christmas Movie “My Christmas Love”.

The past 4 years Karli has teaching dance in Salt Lake City, Utah and choreographing for dance teams and studios throughout the nation. She recently moved with her husband John to San Francisco and is so excited for the opportunity to start teaching at DAU!

Mr. Ken

Financial Administrator

Ms. Marcie

Performance Team Director

Marcie Shapiro embraces every opportunity she has to build confidence in children, teens, and adults through positive, supportive performing arts experiences. At the age of seven, she herself discovered the power of dance when she enrolled in her first ballet class. From the moment she felt the glow of that recital stage spotlight, she knew she was in for a lifelong dancing journey.

Marcie’s 12+ years of dance, music, and acting training led to cherished performance opportunities in various theaters throughout Northern California. She eventually realized that her greatest thrill is to help children discover the best of themselves through performing arts experiences, just as she had the opportunity to do as a young child. Therefore, Marcie began an incredibly fulfilling career teaching dance at DAU, choreographing and directing shows at local community theaters, and running performance programs for kids and teens all around the Bay Area.

Of all the wonderful experiences she has had as a performing arts educator, she will always consider DAU her home base - a welcoming place of encouragement that made her professional dreams come to life so many years ago. She is proud to be a long-standing member of DAU’s award winning on-demand and recreation dance faculty, and she also finds it exhilarating to spread a love of dance in the DAU community and beyond through her Zumba® and Group Fitness Instructor certifications.

Above all, Marcie understands that her time with students is not just about dance. Studio time is also about discovering an inner confidence, one that will allow her students to shine and be the best they can be in their life ahead. Helping students develop that inner confidence is just about the most rewarding job Marcie can imagine.

Ms. Molly

Ballet Director

Molly, a former dancer with San Francisco Ballet, is a native of San Jose. She is excited to be back in the Bay Area and to be a part of the Dance Academy USA family. She will bring 30 plus years of teaching experience. In addition to teaching Molly has Choreographed productions of Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia and Swan Lake. She enjoys helping students achieve their goals and aspirations. She strives to create a positive and inspirational environment to cultivate a successful experience for each individual dancer. To Dance, To Dream...

Ms. Tami

Teacher Assistant Manager

Tami Burton is a California native and grew up in Palo Alto. She started dancing after graduating from college (proving that it’s never too late to start dancing!), and trained in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and hip hop. She happened to walk by a jazz class at Foothill College and decided it would be a fun class to try and was hooked forever.

She attended San Diego State University and has a Computer Science degree. She worked at Franklin Resources (now Franklin Templeton), Cypress Semiconductor and Electronics for Imaging, Inc. before becoming a full-time dance instructor. She continues to volunteer, dance and assist for the Foothill Repertory Dance program run by director, Bubba Gong. Foothill has community performances and often collaborates with other community colleges, especially City College of San Francisco, West Valley College and most recently was the main performance entertainment for the 2017 Community College League of California annual conference held at the San Jose Fairmont last November. Her groups have also performed at several San Francisco Chinese New Year parades.

Being a director of a performing company and attending conventions on a yearly basis offered her the opportunity to take classes from a variety of master teachers such as Tyce Diorio, Jackie Sleight, Kobi Rozenfeld, Scott Fowler, Gregg Russell, and many more. She took classes from Charlie McGowan in San Jose before he landed roles as an actor in movies, such as A Chorus Line and Grease 2.

She has previously danced with a small modern company, Dogpatch Superstars, and also Allegra Dance. She recently choreographed a piece for Adobe and is currently working with the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre student programs.

Register For A Class Today!

Register Now