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CWDA Staff


Jane Venezia


School Director

Ballet Instructor

Jane’s early ballet training was at the Jordan College of Music, in Indianapolis, IN. She was a scholarship student at the Boston Ballet School, an apprentice with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company and a company member of New Hampshire Ballet. As a member of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre she danced in productions of "Giselle", Nutcracker" and "Swan Lake". In NYC she was a member of the Radio City Music Hall ballet ensemble. She moved to New Jersey and taught at the Mercer High School for the Performing Arts. She founded Montgomery Dance Arts in the fall of 1992. She is in the 1994 edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She has set works on companies/schools in Iowa City, IA, Bainbridge Island, Grand Rapids, MN and Ellensburg, WA.

She has been the director of the Central Washington Dance Academy for the past ten years. She founded the Central Washington Dance Ensemble (CWDE), the performing company of the school, in order to give dedicated dance students more opportunities to perform and to share the beauty of dance with the Ellensburg community on a larger scale. CWDE has presented five ballet productions under her direction , several in collaboration with the CWU theatre and dance depts. Within that same time period she has directed annual productions for the school featuring all levels and dance styles from the school.

Jane is also an American Ballet Theatre (ABT) certified instructor obtained through her ongoing seminars and testing in New York City at ABT headquarters.

Cindy Bruns

Ballet & Conditioning 


Cindy studied ballet with Toni Pimble, Riley Grannon, and Susan Zadoff at the Eugene School of Ballet.  She attended summer intensives at Whitman College and at the Royal Academy of Dancing's summer program in Toronto, Canada.  She began touring with the Eugene Ballet Company (EBC) at age 14 when she was cast as Clara in the Nutcracker.  After that, she began performing corps de ballet roles with EBC on a regular basis.  In addition to The Nutcracker, in which she danced various roles including Chinese and Waltz of the Flowers, she performed in Cinderella, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and Bolero.  As an instructor, she has taught at the Eugene School of Ballet, Berkeley Ballet Theater, and Berkeley City Ballet.  She has been teaching ballet at Central Washington Dance Academy (formerly Stage Door Dance) since 2010.

Taylor Bir
Office Administrator
Tap, Contemporary & Ballet
Preschool, Kinder, & Combo

Taylor Bir began dancing at three years old, receiving the bulk of her training at Dance Expressions in Maple Valley. Taylor was a member of Ensemble Ballet Theatre, dancing with the company for eight years. She also danced at Summer Dance Lab in Walla Walla, Washington, where she has taken classes from members of Spectrum and Eugene Ballet, Allison Keppel and Jennifer Martin, respectively. Taylor is a graduate of Central Washington University where she received a MS in Administrative Management, BA in Communication Studies and a dance performance minor. Taylor is a former dancer and choreographer for the Orchesis dance company at Central Washington University, although she has graduated, she continues to work closely with the company. Taylor works with the Physical Education, School Health and Movement Studies program at CWU teaching classes ranging from tap to dance fusion. Taylor enjoys community outreach programs choreographing for various organizations throughout Ellensburg, most notably, Distinguished Young Women of Ellensburg. Taylor still attends national conventions and conventions such as NUVO and Radix to grow as a dancer, choreographer and Instructor

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Rhodes Van Houten
Ballet & Contemporary 

Rhodes is from Vancouver, Washington, where they trained at Northwest Classical Ballet, and is now a student at Central Washington University studying nutrition and clinical physiology. They trained at the Ballet West Academy's year-round program in 2018, and participated in several productions including The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. They have been to several summer intensives, including the Oregon Ballet Theater, Long Beach Ballet, Joffrey Chicago, Ballet West, and the Houston Ballet. They also have training in contemporary dance, and have competed in both ballet and contemporary at YAGP and NYCDA. In more recent years, Rhodes has been part of productions such as Coppelia, the Nutcracker, and Swan Lake, some of their most prominent roles being the Sugar Plum Fairy and Odette. Rhodes had been teaching at their home studio for a year while still a student before coming to Ellensburg, and will continue to do so over summer breaks. At Central Washington Dance Academy, they teach ballet and contemporary, and assist with younger level classes.

Christina Kowalski-Holien
Musical Theater Instructor

University of Washington Doctoral Candidate Christina Kowalski-Holien is a native of Germany, where she received her Masters in Music at the Hochschule fuer Music und Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. Christina began her stage career at the age of six and has since then been engaged in numerous stage productions in Germany and the U.S. She was a part of the University of Puget Sound Affiliate Artists for 16 years, where she coached voice students, preparing them for graduate programs and placing students regularly at prestigious graduate schools like the Royal Conservatory of London and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, NYC.

Christina has been a private voice instructor and coach since 2005 and is currently the director of the Windy City Voice Studio, a nationally based online and in-person studio; home to professional musicians such as the Pipeline Vocal Project and former American Idol contestant Adriana Latonio. Christina’s Musical Theater teaching experience includes choreographing dance routines and directing and conducting group Musical Theater classes, camps, and performances at the Community Music School, Tacoma. She is also the original creator of the Musical Theater program at the Ellensburg Dance Ensemble (EDE). .

Christina is excited to join the ranks of professional and experienced teachers at Central Washington Dance Academy.

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