Rose Kirshner, owner
Rose Kirshner started dancing at Berkeley Ballet Theater at age four, and she continues to dance in the Bay Area. She studied ballet and modern dance through high school and college. Rose graduated magna cum laude from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle with a BFA in Dance. Since returning to the Bay Area she has performed with Hanna Rose Stangebye, Catherine Liu, Blue Scorpion Dance Theater, and No Strings Attached Dance Company. In addition to dancing, Rose also worked as a pointe shoe fitter at San Francisco Dancewear for four years. When she learned that San Francisco Dancewear was closing its doors, Rose started making plans to open a new dance store. SF Dance Gear is the result. Rose is happy to be sharing her passion for dance with the Bay Area dance community.
Dominique Nigro, store manager/pointe shoe fitter
Many of you probably already know Dominique as she has been professionally fitting pointe shoes in the Bay Area for the past 13 years…but for those who have not met her yet, you will find she loves fitting shoes just as much as (if not more than) she did when she first started! Dominique grew up in the Mojave Desert of Southern California and moved to the Bay Area after being admitted to San Francisco State University School of Music and Dance. She has since graduated and also studied (and continues to study) dance at local favorite locations: ODC Dance Commons in SF and Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in Berkeley. While her formal training in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Gymnastics began at Stardance Studio in Apple Valley, CA at age 4, she remembers “…bouncing around the house and yard, moving to whatever music was blaring from my Dad’s stereo or jukebox well before…[being]…enrolled in dance classes.” Now, Dominique can add many Modern/Contemporary forms, Contact Improv, Butoh Dance Theatre, Afro-Brazillian, and Belly Dance to the techniques she has learned. Feel free to ask her about anything from pointe shoes to more specifics about what styles of dance she is knowledgeable, and not only will she be happy to share, but her passion for dance will be immediately apparent.
Gen Rochefort, marketing and communications manager/sales associate/pointe shoe fitter/shoe sewing technician
Gen started dancing at Inwood Performing Arts on the East Coast at the young age of 3 years old where she trained in Ballet and Ballet en Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Irish Step. She has since moved to the Bay Area where she successfully graduated from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. While in the program, she gained more ballet training, Contemporary, Modern, Improvisational Styles as well as her introductiong to the GYROTONIC® method. When asked what her favorite styles of dance are now, she cited Contemporary and Pointe. This past summer, Gen was choreographing for several dance intensives in Houston and Boston, premiered work at SAFEhouse Arts as a RAW artist, and created 2 new works for the Regional Dance America festival. In addition to her work at SF Dance Gear, Gen is an Office Assistant and the Marketing Coordinator for San Francisco GYROTONIC®. When she isn’t out dancing or choreographing around the Bay Area, she might be spotted baking late at night, singing along to Marianas Trench, drinking tea, journaling in her itty-bitty handwriting, or creating new dessert recipes. Her favorite color is green.
Kat Flipse, sales associate/pointe shoe fitter
Kat comes to SF Dance Gear from San Antonio, Texas as she is currently a junior at University of San Francisco. There, she is the Business Manager for the College Players, which is the oldest student-run theatre organization west of the Mississippi. How old are they? “Older than cars,” Kat replies. When she is not holding it down at SF Dance Gear, or managing the College Players, she can be found choreographing on USF’s campus. She started dancing at two years old in “Middle-of-nowhere,” Texas. Now, she is trained in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, and Musical Theatre, with her favorite styles being Modern and Musical Theatre. Her favorite food, however? Coffee.
Morgan Lavin, sales associate/pointe shoe fitter
Morgan leapt into dance classes when she was just three years old beginning with baby ballet and tap classes in Southern California. Since jumping over to the Bay Area, Morgan now majors in Psychology at San Francisco State University where she also minors in Dance and trains in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop. Her favorite styles are ballet, tap, and jazz. When Morgan is not at SF Dance Gear or at school, she can often be found at home enjoying a lovely vacation at Disneyland, frolicking down the main street with her Mickey Mouse ears.
Katie Roy, sales associate/pointe shoe fitter/shoe sewing technician
Katie hails from the Boston Area of Massachusetts, which is where her dance story begins. She started as a “baby ballerina” at New England Ballet in Wayland, Massachusetts. As she got older, she had the opportunity to dance with Dance Prism, a Boston-based touring dance company. Later, “young adult Katie” she found herself at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, where she has since graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Physics and Mathematics. Katie’s most recent achievement is as a graduate from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training program, where, in addition to continuing her ballet studies, she explored Contemporary and Improvisational styles. Contemporary and Ballet remain her favorite styles to this day. When she isn’t improv-ing about or working at SF Dance Gear, you can catch her at Alonzo King LINES Ballet as the new Training Program Coordinator.
Elodi Schwendener, sales associate/pointe shoe fitter/shoe sewing technician
Elodi began frolicking in fields at the wee age of three years old! She began her formal training at The Dance Complex in Boston, MA where she trained in the Isadora Duncan technique. There, she fell in love with dance and was moved to pursue new styles of dance. Elodi moved to Cape Town, South Africa to dance at the Cape Academy for Performing Arts, where she later became an apprentice with Cape Dance Academy. Her most recent training hailing from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program, and is now trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary, improvisation, Horton technique, Isadora Duncan technique, jazz, and salsa. Her favorite styles are contemporary, ballet, and contact improvisation. This past summer, Elodi has branched out to Europe, where she danced and got to collaborate and experiment with interdisciplinary art. She can often be found dreaming of cooking new recipes, prancing around grassy fields, or teaching GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS®.
Tania S., sales associate/pointe shoe fitter
Tania is a Bay Area native who knew she wanted to be a ballet dancer at the age of 9 when she saw Lucia Lacarra perform Raymonda at San Franciosco Ballet. Since then Lucia Lacarra and Sylvie Guillem have been her main inspirations. She started training at age 6 in Millbrae, and has since learned Character and Historical Dance as well. After her start in Millbrae, she continued training at San Francisco Ballet School. After San Francisco Ballet School, she continued on to Universal Ballet Academy in Washington D.C, and, following two years there, studied one year at the Moscow Choreographic Institute in Moscow, Russia. She has performed holiday classic, “The Nutcracker” with Peninsula Ballet Theatre. Tania’s favorite ballets are Kenneth Macmillan’s Manon, William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated and La Bayadere. Tania did her MSc at University College London in Archaeology. She greatly enjoyed the rich cultural opportunities that London has to offer such as the Royal Ballet and Sadler Well’s. In her free time Tania takes advantage of the variety of recreational activities in California like hiking and rock climbing and yoga.
Saharla Vetsch, sales associate/pointe shoe fitter
Saharla joins the SF Dance Gear team as Bay Area transplant from Minnesota. When she’s not in the store, she’s doin’ her thing at USF where she is currently a student studying Performing Arts and Social Justice. Saharla fell in love with dance at age 16 when she started dancing at Main Street School for Performing Arts. There, she started training in Jazz, Hip Hop, and Afro styles. Since moving to the Bay Area, she has added ballet to her repertoire. When asked what her favorite style of dance was, she gave the all-to-relatable answer of “Anything danced to a good beat.” When she’s not studying hard for classes or fitting pointe shoes, Saharla also shines as a youth tennis coach.