Meet our team of qualified instructors
Kara began her dance training on the Middle Peninsula in 1987. From 1995-2003 she performed as a member of the Bayside Youth Ballet, a student performing company, based in Gloucester. Kara studied at East Carolina University as well as Radford University, and holds a Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Radford University. Performing credits include a soloist role in Bayside Youth Ballet's Paquita, Marzipan in Radford University Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker, and Zaneeta Shinn in Court House Players' The Music Man. Kara has fifteen years' experience in dance instruction in the local area, and has choreographed for local dance organizations and community theater productions. She opened Etudes Ballet School in 2016.
I grew up dancing in a small-town studio. It was a converted service station with no bathroom, a kerosene heater, and two support columns in the middle of the dance space. Not much to look at, but I loved it there. It was my happy place, my safe place, the place where I could let go of everything else that might be causing me stress and just focus on dancing to feed my soul. That little studio behind the public library in Mathews is no more, but it lives on in my heart along with the lessons I learned there: Point your feet, reach for the stars, and never forget where you come from.
Tiffany found her love for dance at the age of 5 when she danced as a toy solider in her first ballet recital and from that point was hooked! She was classically trained in ballet, jazz and tap through high school. Her favorite form of dance and one she advanced in quickly was tap. Tiffany continued her passion and love for dance in college where she performed at local events with a dance company. She was also on the Christopher Newport University Cheerleading team. After graduating college Tiffany coached a competition cheer team in Newport News and then moved to the Northern Neck and was given the opportunity to teach tap and hip hop classes at the Dance Studio of Kilmarnock. Tiffany is also an elementary school teacher.
preschool dance, ballet, modern
Olivia Fearing is our very first home-grown teacher. She began dancing at The Dance Studio of Kilmarnock as a very young child, and after a brief hiatus, returned to dance at Etudes beginning in 2016. After four years as a class assistant, she is being promoted to teacher. We are so incredibly proud of her and her dance journey!
Rebecca Taylor Ruse
tap, modern, hip hop
Taylor is from Richmond, VA, where she began dancing at Ann Catherine Cross School of Dance. She holds a BFA in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her time at VCU, Taylor spent a semester abroad at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. After graduation in 2019, she moved to Brooklyn, NY, where she taught, choreographed, and performed. Taylor returned to VA in 2021.