Kimberly kjersten, instructor

Kimberly has been teaching dance for 14 years and is currently in her first year with SDA. She teaches with a special emphasis on cultivating a fun, positive, and encouraging environment to facilitate the growth of her students’ confidence in and outside of the classroom. She has designed and honed her teaching method to fit her own teaching style as well as regularly restructuring to fit the needs of each class and individual student. 

Miss Kimberly started taking gymnastics at the age of 2 and tap and jazz at the age of 6. She later added many other styles to her repertoire including hip-hop, ballet, and lyrical, among others. In high school she was on the Newberg High School Dance Team. She was also a member of the Senior Performing Company at her home studio, Chehalem Valley Dance Academy (CVDA) where she was named Dancer of the Year in 1998. In 2008, Kimberly earned a spot as a BlazerDancer for the Portland Trailblazers. She danced with the BlazerDancers for 6 seasons and was co-captain her last 2 years on the team. Her experience as a BlazerDancer included intensive dance training in Portland, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas and included travels to Estonia, The Philippines, and South Korea. Kimberly was chosen twice to represent the BlazerDancers at the Pro Action Dance workshop in Las Vegas to learn choreography to teach the team for the seasons’ performances. After retiring as a BlazerDancer, Kimberly has continued taking dance classes and is continually expanding her dance education via classes, workshops, and online lessons.

In her 14 years teaching, Kimberly has taught at multiple studios, including 12 years at CVDA Newberg and 2 years as the CVDA McMinnville Artistic Director. She has been a guest choreographer for several dance companies and for elementary, middle and high school plays and dance teams. Kimberly is also the new coach of the George Fox Dance Team as of September ’16!

Kimberly studied at Portland State University and earned a Bachelor degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis on Family Studies and Pre-Physical Therapy. Her plans for furthering her education are still in the works. She also owns and operates a music editing business, Kimberly Kjersten Music Editing, where she splices music for fellow dance or gymnastics teachers, coaches, and performers. Miss Kimberly has a 2-year-old daughter named Jaxin, who is the light of her life, and who also takes classes at SDA!

She teaches: Acro, Jazz, Tap, HipHop

Get to know Kimberly better:

When did you start dancing and why did you keep dancing?  I started gymnastics when I was 2 (mommy & me!) and tap and jazz when I was 6. I kept dancing because none of the other activities I did (baseball, volleyball, track, horse riding, among others) lived up to the feeling I had when I danced. Also, it kept me so busy that I didn’t have time to get in trouble, so says my mom. J

Why did you want to become a dance instructor? I loved dance so much and wanted to share my passion and knowledge about it with as many people as I could. Dance has opened up so many opportunities for me in my personal and professional life. I am so happy to be a stepping-stone for my students to help them reach their goals and aspirations too, like has been gifted to me by my instructors and mentors growing up.

Do you still dance or take dance lessons even though you are an instructor? I do! I have taken random classes here and there since having my daughter and I got to practice and perform with the other SDA instructors for the 2016 Spring Recital. I often dance at home taking online classes (definitely not the same as in-person instruction, but still fun) and am planning to take regular classes this fall! 

What is your favorite style of dance and why?  That’s a toughie. I loooooove lyrical and sassy jazz. I think it’s a tie between the two with a couple close runners-up including tap and hip-hop.

What is the hardest part about dance to you and why?  The hardest part for me is finding the time to take class! It’s also tough now that I’m a bit older to perform at the level I used to. 

What is your favorite thing to do outside of the studio or besides teaching dance?  I love hanging out with my daughter, Jaxin!! She’s two and is hilarious and fun. I also enjoy hiking, camping, and reading.

What is your favorite dance quote and why?  “I dance because there's no greater feeling in the world than moving to a piece of music and letting the rest of the world disappear.” I don’t know who said this, but it’s true! I never realized how much of an outlet dance was for me until having my daughter and not getting to do it daily as I did before. I love finding myself in the flow of classes and performances. Dance definitely keeps me in the moment.