Director, Kiirsten Flanders started dancing at the age of four and continued on through high school. She started as an assistant teacher at the age of 14 and later began teaching her own classes. For the past several years, she has been attending Teachers Training School held at the State University of New York at Buffalo through Dance Masters of America. She is currently certified through test to teach Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. She is also currently a board member in good standing with Dance Masters of New England, Chapter 5. Her choreography has won numerous Specialty Awards as well as many High Score and First Place Overall Awards at many regional and national dance competitions. Kiirsten is certified to teach Zumba Basic 1, Zumba Basic 2, Zumba Gold, and PulsePointe Barre. She also has degree in Business Management. Kiirsten opened Pirouette Dance Academy in September 2008 and hopes to pass her love of dance on to all that attend her school.
Jocelyn Vander Kaaden
Assistant Director, Jocelyn Vander Kaaden began her dance training at a young age and became a teacher’s assistant at 15 years old. In 2006, she began teaching her own classes and for the past several years, she has been a student of the Dance Masters of America: Teachers Training School held at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Through Dance Masters of America, she is nationally certified by test to teach Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. She is also currently a member in good standing with Dance Masters of New England, Chapter 5. She is also a certified member through the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) which qualifies her to teach various pom and acrobatic classes here at Pirouette Dance Academy. Her choreography has won numerous Specialty Awards as well as High Score and First Place Overall Awards at many regional and national dance competitions. She has also choreographed for collegiate dance teams in the area. In addition, Jocelyn is certified to teach Zumba Basic 1, Zumba Basic 2, Zumba Gold, PulsePointe Barre, and has a Master’s degree in Education. She joined the Pirouette team when they first opened back in 2008 and truly enjoys educating all of her beloved dancers.
Instructor, Taylor Burns has studied the art of dance for over 15 years. She was also a former student of Pirouette Dance Academy while growing up. Taylor has had the opportunity to broaden her dance education through participating in seminars such as the Dance Masters of America Convention, Dance Teachers Club of Boston Convention, East Coast Edge Dance Convention, and the Disney Performing Arts Workshop in Orlando, FL. Taylor has also danced in numerous dance competitions at both the regional and national levels for several years. As a dancer, her routines have been awarded many Overall 1st Placements, High Score awards, Specialty awards, National dance off selections, and Scholarship prizes. In 2013, Taylor was also one of the Pirouette dancers that performed in Walt Disney World for the Disney Performing Arts On Stage Showcase! In 2018, she successfully completed Grade 3 of the Dance Masters of America: Teachers Training School held at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Taylor now hopes to carry on the Pirouette tradition of teaching young children the art of dance through fun and age-appropriate learning.
Instructor, Chelsea Cousineau spent her early dance and performance training in various towns and cities in Southern Massachusetts. She studied at Rhode Island Ballet Arts Academy under Nancy McAuliffe for classical ballet and pointe. In her teenage years, she studied at Miss Janice’s Dance Studio under Janice MacDonald and expanded her dance education to include styles such as jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, and musical theater. She continued this training while joining several performance groups in high school including show choir and dance squad, which she was captain of for three years. These groups also gave her the opportunity to dance in Walt Disney World twice! Chelsea attended Bridgewater State University for Dance Education where she had the opportunity to work with the Anna Sokolow Dance Company. She served both as Public Relations and as President for the BSU Dance Company during her years there as well as dancing in thirteen performances on the main stage and choreographing over fifteen pieces. After University, she worked with children’s theater groups and competitive show choirs as an instructor and choreographer as well as local studios in the area for various styles. In 2015, Chelsea had the opportunity to be the guest teacher for the Emerson College Dance Company and work as the Dance Counselor at a camp for international students from Thailand, China, and Australia. Chelsea currently dances with Kinetic Synergy Dance Company out of Boston and teaches at dance schools in the area. She has continued her dance education story here at Pirouette since 2016.
Instructor, Sydnie Faria has studied the art of dance for 15 years and counting. She began dancing at the young age of three and by the time she was eight, she was competing for this very studio in several genres. She has also assisted many classes here at Pirouette. Sydnie has competed in a multiple dance competitions and over the years, she was fortunate enough to receive a countless amount of Overall 1st placements, high score awards, National Dance Off Selections, and many scholarships. One of Sydnie’s proudest moments of her competing days was when she was awarded the 1st placement award and title of “Senior Miss Diva 2018” at Diva Dance Competition for her solo performance. Sydnie has also attended many intensives, including traveling to New York City for a week to broaden her dance education through the MPower Dance Program. She has additionally attended many dance conventions which have allowed her to grow not only as a dancer, but now as a teacher. Sydnie has been fortunate enough to perform twice in Walt Disney World for the Disney Performing Arts On Stage Showcase, both in 2013 and 2018. She is also currently in the process of studying at the University at Buffalo, through Dance Masters of America and has successfully completed Grade 1 of the DMA Teacher’s Training School program. Sydnie is so excited to begin this journey of teaching on her own, but most importantly, she feels lucky to be able to pass her love of dance to the upcoming generations.
Lead Receptionist, Jensen Riley, began dancing at age three and grew up dancing here at Pirouette through middle and high school. She was also a teacher’s assistant in her high school years at Pirouette. Jensen has performed in numerous dance competitions at the regional and national level. As a dancer, her routines have been awarded with Overall 1st placements, High Score Awards, National Dance Off selections, Specialty awards, and Scholarship prizes. Under Pirouette Dance Academy, Jensen has been fortunate enough to perform in Walt Disney World for the Disney Performing Arts On Stage Showcase as well as at the TD Garden for the Boston Celtics and the Providence Bruins. She is currently in her second year at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and is studying Psychology in hopes of going on to complete her masters and become a licensed psychologist. Jensen dedicates her time in our office, ensuring all classes are running smoothly and that our clients receive the best possible customer service.
Instructor, Holly Shillan began cheerleading at the age of three and started gymnastics shortly thereafter. She began competing for both sports in elementary school and continued throughout high school. Holly was the captain of the Yale Cheerleading team, a collegiate cheer team supporting both the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams at Yale University, where she pursued a BS in Neuroscience and pre-medical studies. She was a coach for the Seekonk Junior Warrior’s cheerleading team from 2009-2013. In 2015, Holly tried out to become a staff member for the Universal Cheerleading Association and was selected to join the team. She was trained at the University of Scranton by veteran UCA staff and management, and she has since traveled throughout the Northeast teaching cheers, dances, and stunting skills and technique at different UCA cheer camps. Holly is certified through the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) and has loved working as an instructor for acro and pom classes here at Pirouette since 2014.
Instructor, Meghan Soares began dancing when she was five years old. She is a former Pirouette Dance Academy student who grew up dancing here all the way through high school. Meghan was on the competition team for many years. She performed in several dance competitions at the regional and national level. Her training experience primarily consists of ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop. In addition, she performed at Walt Disney World for the Disney Performing Arts Showcase in 2013. After high school, Meghan continued her love for dance at Bridgewater State University by joining the competitive hip hop team “Kinetic Edge.” Meghan served as an E-board member on the team for three years. She was the Vice President for one year and the President for her last two years. In 2017 and 2019, Meghan attended NDA Nationals with her dance team in Daytona Beach, FL. She competed at the collegiate level in the genre of hip hop. Meghan has furthered her dance education by attending Dance Masters of America: Teachers Training School held at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2019, she successfully completed Grade 4 and passed the Tap and Jazz exams. She is looking forward to completing her national certification by also testing in Ballet. Teaching is something that Meghan finds truly rewarding. She is excited to teach her own classes at the same place where she gained her passion for dance. Meghan hopes to pass on her passion to all of her students here at Pirouette.