SAN JUAN DANCE
Faculty & Staff
Suzanne San Juan
Owner / Director
Miss Suzanne grew up in the 3rd St. studio, and much to Mrs. San Juan's delight, she absolutely fell in love with all things performance related. She is a member of the Royal Academy of Dancing (London) and Dance Masters of America. Skilled in all facets of Theatre Arts, Suzanne performed extensively throughout the Bay Area in dance, drama, and music before moving to Los Angeles in 1983. There she worked in commercials, film and television, as well as writing and performing Country music. When she returned to Northern California in 1990, Suzanne was in constant demand as a choreographer for the Los Altos Youth Theatre, countless Castilleja school events, fashion shows, and more. In 1994, Suzanne opened an additional San Juan Dance location in Willow Glen, which was in business for an extremely successful 18 years.
With 30+ years of teaching experience, Miss Suzanne is adept at instructing all styles and finds joy in helping students to believe in themselves and dance from their hearts. She is the founder of the award-winning San Juan Sensations competition team, which she Directed for 20+ years. She completed two years as President of Dance Masters of California, Chapter 13, and also served as a National Delegate for the 2010 and 2011 Dance Masters of America conventions held in San Antonio and Orlando. Miss Suzanne recently completed teacher certification for Progressing Ballet Technique.
When not teaching, Miss Suzanne loves "just being a mom" to her 15-year-old son, Jake.
Miss Jordan has danced with our studio since age 3; she is a former San Juan Sensation and assisted Mrs. SJ and Miss Suzanne for several years before taking over her own classes as a teenager.
Jordan grew up participating in an incredible amount of sports, extracurricular activities, and community service outlets, though dance has remained her true passion. She is well-rounded in many styles of dance and brings an abundance of knowledge and energy to her classes, including particular focus on technique. While attending Loyola University Chicago, Jordan was a force in their athletic department, as captain of the collegiate dance team.
She brought those skills home to her roles as Director of the San Juan Sensations dance teams and the Sparkles Enrichment program. Hired by LAHS to run their dance team program, Jordan has now added 9 successful seasons as "Coach" to her resume. She is also a ten-year certified member of Dance Masters of America, and achieved Acrobatic Arts certification in 2015. Miss Jordan also completed Progressing Ballet Technique certification in 2018.
Jordan proudly taught 2nd grade for four years, but then made the decision to jump into the “grown-up” world! She experienced life at 5 startups and is now working at Sequoia Capital Global Equities.
Instructor / Team Assistant
Janie Dent has grown up at SJD. In addition to her weekly classes in all styles, she was a member of the San Juan Sensations for 8 years. During this time she trained with outside teachers & choreographers such as Jason Coosner, Drew Burgess, Lacey Schwimmer, Dusty Button, and more. As a teenager, Janie took on leadership roles as Assistant to the San Juan Sparkles Enrichment Program and Team Assistant to the Petite Sensations. She also demonstrated for and taught classes on her own throughout her high school years. In the summer of 2019 Janie attended the Radio City Rockettes Summer Intensive in NYC.
Janie was also a 4-year member of the Los Altos High School Dance Team, and was appointed Captain for her Junior & Senior years.
Born & raised in Los Altos, Janie has participated in many local extracurricular activities including Girl Scouts (Silver Award) and TEDx (President at LAHS), as well as various community events including the Festival of Lights.
She is loved by all the students at San Juan Dance and acts as an incredible role model both in dance and academia; Janie is currently in her freshman year at UC Berkeley.
18-19 Guest Teachers: Diane Allison, Drew Burgess, Dusty Button, Jason Coosner, Francisco Gella, McKenzie McGrath, Mark Nash (Acrobatic Arts), Lacey Schwimmer, Jasmine Sohn, and more!
Mrs. San Juan
Founder / Female Entrepreneur
Dear San Juan Dance Family & Friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know that my Mom, our dearly beloved Mrs. San Juan, passed away Saturday morning, November 9, 2019. Through her gifted teaching, genuine caring and wonderful humor, Mrs. SJ touched so many lives, and I know how deeply she will be missed. It’s comforting to imagine her in Heaven, seated at her piano happily teaching again, smiling and encouraging the angels to try the exercise, “One more time!” My Mom loved to teach, and she loved us, her students. The memories we made, the lessons we learned, and the happy times we shared with her and one another will hold a special place in our hearts forever.
Mrs. SJ started dancing in England at age 4, and began attending a boarding school for Ballet at age 9. When she graduated at 15 she had obtained the advanced degree in Ballet from The Royal Academy of Dancing, London, as well as her advanced in National dancing, Tap, and Natural Movement (Greek) for the Imperial Society, Teachers of Dancing. She opened her first school at age 18, and after moving to the United States as a new bride, began her family, giving birth to my brother Mark in 1960, and to myself in 1963. In 1966, she opened the 3rd St. studio we dance in today. Due to her 40 year record of students receiving the highest attainable level in the RAD exams, Mrs. San Juan was appointed as one of the original four “splinters” — the first ever RAD examiners residing in the United States. In 2004, Mrs. SJ proudly added “Nana” to her resume, when my son Jake was born. The two shared a very special bond and many happy times together.
Mrs. San Juan taught and inspired three generations of dancers, both young and “not so young!” and at age 80, had no intention of stopping, coining the phrase “I will never retire, but rather expire here at the studio doing what I love.” Unfortunately in 2012, a stroke forced her in a new direction, whereby Miss Jordan and I vowed to carry her legacy forward with everyone who attends San Juan Dance, and we will continue to honor her memory in this way.
Mrs. San Juan was an amazing woman who left an indelible mark on many hearts, none more so than mine. She will always be my hero, my best friend, and my strength... I am privileged to be her daughter.
Please visit our Facebook page to leave photos/stories/memories, etc. to be included in a “Life and Times Of” book.
Thank you for being a part of my Mom’s life journey!
In loving remembrance,
Suzanne San Juan