Instructors

Wendy Goldthwaite

Wendy Goldthwaite, Artistic Director & Founder

DANCE – Wendy has been teaching dancers, age three to adult, for over 30 years, and continues to pursue her love of educating students, helping them to grow in spirit and as young performing artists.

Wendy is a certified teaching member of the internationally recognized Royal Academy of Dance, based in London, England, from which she earned her teaching certification (RADTC) with distinction, the highest possible honor. She studied in London and New York with many wonderful dancers and teachers from the Royal Ballet School, American Ballet Theater and New York City Ballet including Mignon Furman, Gillian Davis, and David Howard, a Royal Ballet soloist. As a dancer, educator, and choreographer Wendy brings years of experience to her dance and Pilates students. She has performed with Ballet West and danced professionally in New York, and has choreographed for regional and local companies including Northwest Dance Theatre and Oregon Concert Ballet. She is the former Artistic Director of the Multnomah Art Center Ballet School and has trained students who have gone on to dance with the American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Pacific Ballet Theatre, the Jefferson Dancers, and Cirque de Soleil. Together with training pre-professional dancers, Wendy has trained and coached national gymnasts and ice skating competitors, as well as musical theater students.

Wendy founded ABDA in 1999. She is committed to maintaining a high standard when teaching classical ballet and recognizes the dedication and care it takes to properly train each student. She has a passion for the arts and classical ballet, but her greatest inspiration is her students. She encourages her students to persevere and work hard, and is dedicated to providing each one the best instruction. “I believe all who have been students of ballet should be encouraged to experience the joy of dance throughout their entire life.”

PILATES – In addition to teaching classical ballet, Wendy is a certified Stott Pilates instructor. She began her training in Oregon and New York when she was hand-selected as one of five Oregon candidates to become among the first in the state to be certified under the Stott Pilates method. Once certified, she opened her Pilates business to eager clients in 1995. “I love helping people. I’m thrilled to see the life-long advantages my students have gained through learning the Pilates way – it’s a lifestyle not a passing fad and it’s great!”

Contact Wendy for information about Ballet Master Classes and Fundamentals in Ballet Workshops.

Bridgett Francis

Bridgett Francis – Instructor

Bridgett has a Master’s in Education and is also a Stott Pilates certified instructor. She has trained in classical ballet under the Royal Academy of Dance and performed with Oregon Concert Ballet, Ballet West, and Pacific Ballet Theater (now OBT). While teaching elementary school children, she choreographed dances for school productions in the Hillsboro and Forest Grove School Districts. Bridgett enjoys working with students of all ages and is inspired by her students’ achievements.

Gozde dance instructor

Gozde Vaught – Instructor

Gozde began her ballet education in Istanbul, Turkey.  She trained in the Royal Academy of Dance method which led her to teaching and performing as well as successfully earning the internationally recognized Royal Academy of Dance Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS). Gozde has performed the roles of Odette in Swan Lake, Swanhilda in Coppelia, as well as other roles in Don Quixote, Giselle, and La Fille mal Gardée.

Gozde is currently a Registered Teacher with The Royal Academy Of Dance and enjoys teaching this solid technique to her students.

Colleen dance instructor

Colleen Flaherty – Instructor

Colleen brings her passion for dance to ABDA with over 18 years of teaching experience.

Growing up in New Jersey, Colleen’s love for the arts motivated her to begin her dance training as a young child and continue among the best in New York City. She has over 20 years of training in many styles of dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading. Colleen is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. While a student there, she was a member of the UDA National Champion Dance Team, where she was named captain and MVP her last 2 seasons. She was also a gymnastics coach to a top high school gymnastics team in New Jersey. She has taught in many studios throughout New Jersey and Colorado and now resides in Oregon.

Colleen is excited to share her East Coast energy with the students of the Academy of Ballet & Dance Arts, and hopes to pass on her passion, strength and positive outlook to all her students.

Sarina O'Brien

Sarina O’Brien – Instructor

Sarina began her dance training with Wendy Goldthwaite at the age of eight, under whom she received training and foundation from the Royal Academy of Dance method. After successfully passing her international dance examinations, Sarina went on to train in Modern Dance with Melissa Saint Claire. She has also trained under the guidance of Steve Gonzalez, Sarah Slipper, John Gardener, and Michael Lopez.  Sarina performed on Broadway in New York City for a Nationwide Choreographers Showcase with Annapurna Dancers and was first place winner in the Columbia Dance Weiler Choreography Competition. Throughout her dance career she has performed with Oregon Concert Ballet, Pacific Festival Ballet, The Repertory Dancers, and Annapurna Dance Company. Sarina has performed various roles in The Nutcracker for Pacific Festival Ballet, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty as well as Jemima Puddle Duck in The Tales of Beatrix Potter for the Academy of Ballet & Dance Arts. Sarina is currently studying aerial acrobatics and is a ballet instructor for the Academy of Ballet & Dance Arts as well as an apprentice Pilates instructor at the Age-Less Body Pilates Studio while she completes her Pilates certification training.