Instructors

We Believe Dance is for Everyone!

Patti Smith - Owner & Master Instructor

Patti Smith - Owner & Master Instructor

Patti Smith is the owner of CSP Dance Studios that was established in 2009. She has been a professional certified dance teacher since 2001. She holds certifications in the Fred Astaire and the DVIDA syllabi. Patti has had the pleasure of working in all aspects of her industry from teaching the beginning student to training teachers, to choreographing and training actors for television and film.

She enjoys teaching beginners as well as advanced students and thoroughly enjoys competing with her students at various NDCA and UCWDC competitions. “My philosophy is that fun should always be the number one priority and everything else comes with time.” Patti also believes that everyone is dancing for a different reason, and it is her job to help them meet THEIR goals.

Kiersten Taylor - Dance Manager and Social and Competitive Dance Instructor

Kiersten Taylor - Dance Manager and Social and Competitive Dance Instructor

Kiersten Taylor has been dancing since she was four years old. She has a ballet and jazz background but transitioned into ballroom in 2000. She has been a professional Ballroom, Latin, Swing, and Country instructor since 2001. She has also competed professionally as well as with her students in various NDCA (ballroom) and UCWDC (country) competitions. Kiersten enjoys bringing her love of dance to all her students.

Nicolás Rael - Dance Instructor

Nicolás Rael - Dance Instructor

In 2000, Nicolás was introduced to partner dancing at the age of 18 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He began with Ballroom and Latin dance, and instantly fell in love with the sport and shortly after became a teacher. He absorbed as many different styles as he could from various coaches across the nation. During this time, became a certified dance instructor and shared with many the joy of dance. He also judged several collegiate and independent events as well. After competing for several years, Nicolás began to attend Country Dance Events, specifically open role, which brought much joy to his life. In 2016, he created a fully open role event, the Rio Grande Dance Classic, which is open to all styles of partner dance. The Rio Grande Dance Classic was a fully independent event, but when approached by the ACDA, Nicolás cheerfully joined the organization and is proud to have the Rio Grande Dance Classic as a member of a fun loving dance family.
Cheryl Noonan - Dance Instructor

Cheryl Noonan - Dance Instructor

Cheryl Noonan is a Santa Fe native with over 16 years of experience teaching and performing partner dance in and around the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas. She is a competitive dancer as well and enjoys putting on a good show.  She enjoys working with both beginner and experienced dancers. She is patient and thorough and will break down the dance to give you a better understanding.  She loves seeing the light in her student’s eyes when everything just clicks. Her focus is not just on teaching you steps, but also on teaching you how to connect with your partner and making you a better dancer. She Iooks forward to sharing her love and knowledge of dance with you! 

Frances Burch - Dance Instructor

Frances Burch - Dance Instructor

Frances Burch first started dancing when she wandered into a local swing club at college over 10 years ago. She spent several years dancing socially before deciding to broaden her dance knowledge into other partner dances, eventually deciding to compete in rhythm and ballroom. Frances found that dance helped her develop confidence, patience, and empathy for others, and finds nothing more fulfilling than watching her students learn and grow. Frances enjoys teaching brand new beginners as well as advanced dancers, and looks forward to competing professionally and with her students.

Zephaniah Pilcher - Dance Instructor

Zephaniah Pilcher - Dance Instructor

Zephaniah has learned many different dances: Ballroom, Latin Country, Swing, Country, Salsa, Argentine Tango. He teaches over 20 different dances – and is always looking for opportunities to learn more! Some of his favorite dances are Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing, and Bachata. Dance is how he likes to express himself and have fun.

Zephaniah became a full-time professional dance instructor in 2018. He has been a competitive dancer and coach. Whether you want to learn dance for fun or have ever dreamt of competing one day, he looks forward to helping you reach your dance goals and helping you become the best dancer you can be – whatever that means for you!

Brittany Sanchez - Dance Instructor

Brittany Sanchez - Dance Instructor

Brittany  has been competing and social dancing since 2008 in both ballroom and country. She was a member of the UNM Ballroom Dancesport Team while she completed two degrees.  She is been a member of several social dance groups,

Brittany became a professional teacher during the pandemic. She enjoys competing and getting out on the dance floor at any party. Some of her favorite dances are West Coast Swing, Two Step and so much more. She loves helping her wedding couples get ready for their big day and helping others realize that dance is for everyone. 

Vanessa Chow - Dance Instructor

Vanessa Chow - Dance Instructor

Vanessa Chow started her ballroom journey at San Jose State University on the Dancesport team in 2016, where she trained with top coaches in the Bay Area. Vanessa started learning international standard and international latin and decided to compete in them. After college she joined the Cal Berkeley ballroom team with her husband. She and her husband currently compete in international standard, international latin and american smooth. Vanessa enjoys teaching all the styles of dance: Ballroom, Rhythm, Latin, Swing, and Country. She loves to watch her students improve and become more confident in their dancing.

Larisa "Larry" Chavez - Dance Instructor

Larisa "Larry" Chavez - Dance Instructor

Larisa has been dancing for 26 years. She has a minor in dance from UNM and has done choreography for independent films. Larisa started with ballet at the age of 4. Since then, she has studied multiple forms of dance and is a certified yoga instructor.

Now Larisa is focusing on her passion of teaching partner dance and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join our team.

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Kathryn- Administrative Director

Kathryn- Administrative Director