Denise is the studio owner and a teacher of ballet, jazz, tap, broadway & ballroom. While she graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Psychology, she found she couldn't resist the call of teaching after a decade spent in Human Services. She is certified to teach by the Dance Educators of America & Dance Masters of America. Over her career she as also served as Director of Dance for the Empire State Institute of Performing Arts at the Egg, Choreographer for over 20 musicals for the Schenectady Light Opera Company, Lake George Theater & Local High Schools, Choreographer for the St. Lucia National Youth Choir and Director of the Dance Enrichment Program at the Brown School. On top of all that, Denise is a certified teacher of Tai Chi, which she has taught not only locally, but as far away as Oregon and the Caribbean. Denise not only takes great pride in helping instill a sense of strength and confidence among her young pupils, but also the fact she is fortunate enough to provide scholarships each year to deserving students of need.
Kyle is the daughter of Denise and Granddaughter of Dance School Founder Irma Baker. Dancing since the age of 2, Kyle grew up taking lessons from both before heading off the SUNY to pursue other interests and Collegiate Swimming. While away, the call of dance also spoke to Kyle, as shortly after college she decided to return to the Baker School of Dance, this time as an instructor. Kyle is certified by the Dance Educators of America & Dance Masters of America. Besides teaching at the main studio, she also runs the satellite programs at the Schenectady Jewish Community Center, Albany Jewish Community Center and the Brown School in Schenectady. At the Glenville studio she teaches ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, broadway, ballroom and also heads the Baker School of Dance Performance Group - who travel the capital region performing their Hip-Hop focused numbers at venues such as Joe Bruno Stadium and the Times Union Center and events such as NiskaDay and the Scotia Memorial Day Parade.
Erin teaches ballet, jazz & contemporary dance at our studio for both teens and adults. As seems to be the case for most of our instructors, Erin grew up dancing from a very young age, went out to explore the world and was pulled back in by the call of dance. After moving to the Capital Region from Long Island, a chance meeting with Denise lead her to our Glenville studio. Erin is trained in ballet, jazz & modern dance. Erin has also performed in additional studio projects, including the Annual GE Retirement Show, Hieronymus The Musical and choreographed as well as performed in We Will Survive: A Night of Music & Dance.
She'd also like to add "I am eternally grateful for being introduced to Denise and the Baker School of Dance - she and her many wonderful students have renewed my passion for the art of dance and have assured me it's a love I never want to be without again"
Joanne McFadden has the privilege of working with our studio’s
youngest dancers, introducing them to the wonderful world of dance. Joanne grew up in California where she studied Irish dance, tap, jazz & ballet. At Goucher College in Baltimore, she further studied ballet & modern dance, while majoring in Russian & International Studies. Upon moving to the Capital Region in 1996, Joanne discovered the Baker School of Dance and the joys of passing on her passion for dance to the next generation. Outside of the studio Joanne works as a freelance journalist and continues to pursue the knowledge of Consciousness Studies after receiving her Master's.
She'd also like to add “It is one of the great joys in my life to introduce our
preschoolers and kindergartners to the art of dance and watch them
learn new ways to express themselves through movement.”
Jaimie is our acrobatics specialist who discovered her love of dancing with Irma as a young girl. She then continued her acrobatics training with Denise at the Glenville Studio. Eventually she started assisting and then teaching while attending the College of Saint Rose. When she's not at the studio, she's applying her degree in Computer Information Systems for the Department of Information Technology in Albany. Besides teaching acrobatics, Jaimie continues to take lessons in Ballet, Jazz & Contemporary with Miss Erin. This year, she's team teaching an Acrobatics + Hip-Hop class with Miss Kyle on Saturday afternoons.
Not only does Amie teach Ballet, Tap & Jazz at our studio & the Schenectady JCC, but she's also our Social Media Manager! She has been dancing since the age of 2 with Denise & Kyle, even getting tips on her figure skating choreography. After Graduating High School she took an opportunity to work at Disney World before returning to the area to attend Saint Rose in pursuit of a Childhood/Special Education Degree. She will be teaching a few Summer Workshops, Wednesdays at the SJCC and you'll likely see her subbing occasionally at the Studio or taking a teen/adult class.
She'd also like to add "I feel that dance is such an amazing way to express yourself. No matter how I felt outside of the studio, I was able to come in and have fun and get everything off of my mind. Dance to this day brings me happiness and peace, and I love to be able to share that with the dancers that dance with me. I am so happy to be a part of this dance studio. It is like my second home. It is like one big happy family."
Kaiti is our newest teacher, taking over our Saturday afternoon 3-6 year old Combination Class. While new to running her own class, Kaiti has been dancing since 4 and with the Baker School of Dance since 6 years old. She has taken Tap, Jazz, Ballet & Contemporary while expanding her participation to Assisting in 2012. Kaiti is a recent graduate of Scotia-Glenville High School and will be attending Siena College, where she intends to dual major in Psychology & Creative Arts.
She'd also like to add "Dancing has always been an integral part of my life and I am excited to be furthering my Baker Dance experience, now as a teacher. I love to ignite that spark of creativity in our littlest dancers, setting a foundation for them to explore themselves. Seeing the pure happiness in the kid's eyes as they twirl around the dance floor is so rewarding."
Christiana Joy Catchpole-Loveless, as with many of our teachers, has been dancing since she was 2. Recently, she has been an assistant instructor in acrobatics & jazz and the lead instructor for hip hop at the Hudson Valley Consortium. Her dance training includes the Boston Ballet, among other schools, training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, acrobatics & lyrical. Over the years she has won High Gold for 3 solo performances, 1st place in contemporary small group and SDA champion for contemporary small group (judges award). We're excited to have her joining the Baker School of dance as our weekday, morning pre-school instructor and versatile substitute.
Olivia attended the Baker School of Dance as a child, taking both tap & ballet with Miss Denise. After graduating from Hartwick College, she returned to the area to run the family business with her sister. Oliva will be joining the Baker School of Dance as our resident Zumba instructor, which she's been teaching for 3 years now - a great workout that combines various dance styles and rhythms into a fun way to work up a sweat.
Irma’s teaching career began with her 1st Dance Recital in July of 1935 at the Eastern Star Hall in Albany. Over the next 80 years, her Studio migrated from Albany to Marathon to Auburn to Red Creek to Camillus to Seneca Falls to Clifton Park and finally to Scotia. Her former students have gone on to become Tony Award Winners, Rockettes, Broadway Dancers and Dance Studio Directors.
In 1997, Irma was honored by the Dance Masters of America with their 50 Year Membership Award. During her esteemed career, she served as Secretary, Vice President and President of the Dance Masters Chapter 8, on the Board of Directors for Chapter 26 and as a part of the Membership Examining Staff.
In April of 2007, the Rochester Institute of Technology honored Irma for her outstanding dedication to her students after being nominated by her then 14 year old student Kate Page. One month later, Irma received a citation from New York State behind the sponsorship of Senator Farley. Irma, class of 1939, was also sighted in Maryville College’s Focus Magazine as an “ICON” for her lifetime career in dance.
June 10, 1917 - November 9, 2015