We Believe Dance is for Everyone!
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/ 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. She is currently competing in couples Division I in ACDA and UCWDC with Nicolás Rael. Kiersten enjoys bringing her love of dance to all her students.
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 became a teacher. He absorbed as much as he could from various coaches across the nation. During this time, became a certified dance instructor and shared the joy of dance. He has judged several collegiate and independent events. After competing for several years, Nicolás began to attend Country Dance Events, specifically open role, which brought much joy to his life.
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.
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!
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 a member of several social local dance groups. She recently started competing in WCS and other country events as lead/follow.
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 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.
Janelle Gonzalez - Dance Instructor
Janelle received her Bachelors of Arts with a Concentration in Dancesport at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and performed with their Dancesport Team.
While studying, she connected with CSP as an intern during her school breaks. This opportunity allowed her to learn even more about dancing and teaching. She is very grateful for the opportunity!
She has been exposed to many types of dances i.e Ballet, Flamenco, Hip Hop, Modern, and Country. Of course her favorite is Ballroom, no surprise! She competed in local events recently and is excited to move forward with her dance journey. Janelle joined CSP’s team straight out of college and is so happy to be with us!
Larisa Chavez - Social Media
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/massage therapist.
Larisa is now focusing on her passion of massage, dance and creative dance marketing.