Over the years we have been blessed to have some amazing teachers on our staff. Every teacher has left their mark on our program. That has been one of the keys to our success. We are starting a series of articles catching up with some of our former staff members. Many have moved to other parts of the state, or the country, but continue to dance and teach dance.

Today we catch up with Katrena Cohea, who we recently saw perform live at CSUEB. Katrena taught some of our East Bay classes a couple of year ago, and was beloved by her students, and the directors of the schools she taught. She is now living in the North Bay where she continues to teach dance, perform, and run her business, The Ballerina Birthday. We with her the best of luck! 

Catching Up With Katrena

Q: What is your dance background/ Where did you learn to dance?
A: I started taking ballet when I was 6 at Benicia Ballet School. I studied and participated in the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) syllabus and exams, and completed one of their highest exams offered in my 20’s, around the same time I was dancing with the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and was trying out as many different dance disciplines as I could: modern, contemporary, jazz, and musical theater. I also danced with a flamenco and Spanish Dance company, Brisas de Espana, for about 4 years. The great thing about dance is you never stop learning! I’ve been doing it for over 20 years now, and I’m still learning!
Q: What is your favorite style of dance to teach or perform?
A: I feel most at home performing ballet or contemporary, with flamenco coming in a close second. When I’m teaching it’s hard to beat experiencing creative movement with young and beginning dancers; they’re so curious and uninhibited! Hip Hop is a newer style for me, but I love taking class and teaching it as well. I’ve found it to be a very community driven style of dance, and you can’t beat that high energy movement and music.
Q: Are you performing anywhere soon?
A: I’ll be performing in a flamenco show with Sol Flamenco, where I currently take classes, this fall. Until then I’ll be keeping busy teaching in the North Bay and have several summer dance camps lined up to teach, including a 2 week musical theater camp in St. Helena where we’ll be putting on Mamma Mia; I can’t wait!
Q: What was your favorite thing about teaching the preschool age groups? 
A: They’re so willing and ready to explore, create, and throw themselves fully into the movement that it gets me excited to do the same. Every time I teach a creative movement class I learn something new from my students. Dancing with all the fun props isn’t bad either!

The Ballerina Birthday 

If you have friends in the North Bay be sure to let them know about Katrena’s awesome parties, and look for her dance classes through City of Napa Parks & Rec. We highly recommend her!

The Ballerina Birthday is an event service specializing in ballet themed children’s dance parties with a focus on creative play. We believe that celebrating is best done in a tutu, that twirling is enhanced by singing, that no craft project is complete without at least a little glitter, and that shared giggles are always the best presents!
Katrena Cohea is the Director & Founder of The Ballerina Birthday and a dancer, educator, and choreographer who has been dancing for over 20 years and teaching for over 10.  She has performed and taught across the United States and Canada and is currently a freelance dancer and teacher in the North Bay Area. Katrena has a deep love for books and baseball, aspires to have a disco ball in every room in her house, and believes that a day well spent should involve at least one dance party.  Learn more about Katrena and her work at www.katrenacohea.com