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 over fifteen years' experience in dance instruction in the local area, and has choreographed for local dance organizations and community theater productions (of note: Hello, Dolly! and Mary Poppins). 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.
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.
Sarah started dancing at a young age at The Dance Studio of Kilmarnock. She joined Etudes in 2016, studying ballet, modern, tap, and lyrical until late 2021. She became a class assistant in 2020, with a goal to someday teach, which she began doing in 2023. Sarah loves dance and is so happy to be able to teach up and coming students!