Meet Our Amazing Team!
CEO, Owner/Artistic Director, Company Director, and Instructor
Kristen has been teaching dance for twenty years and is currently in her 12th year as the Owner/CEO and Artistic Director of Chehalem Valley Dance Academy. Kristen also directs and choreographs for the company and teaches technique, jazz, and Kinstretch at both locations.
As a teacher, Kristen is known for creating a professional atmosphere in her classes where she works to develop confidence, leadership, and a strong work ethic in her dancers. Kristen’s main goal as a studio owner and teacher is to help the dancers grow not just as a dancer, but also as a person. “Together with the staff at CVDA, I work to develop the skills and tools each child needs to be successful in whatever life path they ultimately choose.” As a result, CVDA has won numerous Sportsmanship Awards and the Class Act Award three times under Kristen’s direction. “I work to turn out CVDA graduates who are successful, happy, healthy, motivated people with a strong connection to the community,” she says. Kristen enjoys being an active member of the business community as the past President of the Young Professionals of Yamhill Valley, the President of the Newberg Education Foundation, a Newberg Early Bird Rotarian, executive leadership council for A Family Place, the Co-Founder of the Community Wellness Collective, and many other networking associations.
Kristen is happily married to Francisco Stoller, a local real estate agent and their number one priority is raising Vada, 14 and Riley, 13, and Stella, 6 years old. Kristen was awarded the Chairman’s Award in 2014 by the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce, Early Bird Rotary’s Norm Aldred Ethics in Business Award in 2015, Citizen of the Year for 2018, and received the Volunteer Organization of the Year for 2019 for her work of the Community Wellness Collective.
Kristen is proud of her 13 choreography awards, but enjoys watching her children, dancers, and staff receive recognition for their successes even more so than her own.
Lindsey Palmer Rutten
Director of Operations
Lindsey has been with CVDA since the Spring of 2014. She was born and raised in Yamhill County and is happy to be a part of the community she grew up to raise her own child in.
She has one son, Kason, who is 6 years old and is active in the community as well. After having Kason, she knew McMinnville was where she would start this new parenting chapter in life and started as the Office Manager when he was only 2 months old.
Lindsey’s background includes attending the University of Oregon, where developed a passion for business and social knowledge and development. Lindsey is happy to be tin he Director of Operations role to support the growth of CVDA.
Better known to his students as Mister Casey, is currently the Director of Ballet/Pointe at Beaverton Dance Center and Innovative Dance.
He was the director of ballet for Chehalem Valley Dance Academy for 8 years prior, building their ballet department; has taught on faculties including Stites Dance Center and daVinci Arts Middle School while guesting at numerous schools.
He has choreographed in partnership with Chehalem Valley Symphony/CVDA, “P.I. Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker”, Bram Stokers DRACULA to McMinnville audiences, Cinderella and The Nutcracker at SMJ Performing Arts among many other independent works, both classical and contemporary for competition and recitals. It has always been his hope that all performances give back to his communities, in 2009- in partnership with CVDA, THE SWEET SUITE was staged and secured over $2000.00 in donations for the Oregon Food Bank which gave rise to a full length productions of The Nutcracker which gained over $5000.00 for three local charities. Always looking for more feedback, he mobilized friends to give guest master classes at the studios.
Mister Casey has a wide, varied repertoire that has included founding choreographer of a cabaret company in Portland earning him recognition in the Willamette Weekly and Oregonian publications and membership of Oregon Dance and Drill Coaches Association; He has also staged choreography for several high school dance teams, theatre depts and Clark College.
His alumni dancers have gone on to study with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Dance West, The Jefferson Dancers, The Edge, Millennium and Broadway Dance Centers, San Francisco Conservatory of Arts, several ballet scholarships through NYC Dance Alliance, and have performed with Moscow Ballet and Portland Festival Ballet.
Mister Casey’s foundation training came from Caroline Kaiser, founding director of High Desert Dance Arts and continued his studies with James Canfield (founding OBT Art. Dir.), John Gardner (SFB/ABT/ PFB), his coach Sarah Rigles (PNB/ Joffrey) and many other Masters.
He has performed Petipa works such as Bluebird Pas and many original soloist roles with high recognition as well as contemporary and modern roles which remain his favorite. His passion is clearly teaching; a fusion of Vaganova and Balanchine Method training and style. His dedication to his own development is apparent by his consistent participation in lectures, dance medicine conferences, taking class and consistent attendance at Pacific Northwest Ballet Teachers Seminar and other conferences.
His joy in ballet is impacting as many students as possible with quality, conceptual training & humor; currently broadening his teaching by including master classes, workshops and teaching at CAMP STARLIGHT, a Cascade AIDS Project camp for children infected or affected by HIV for their 20th Anniversary.
A lifelong dancer turned educator, Casey has taken pride in growing his students as artists, technicians and people: independent, focused, disciplined and constantly striving to give back to not only the dance community and art form, but, their friends, family and community at-large. His teaching centers around independent thinking process, constant focus, analyzing, debate and interactive learning.
Active learning and advancement are his goals for not only his pre-professional, career minded dancers entering the workplace, but his recreational and college bound students. All his students are held to the same level- Dance Skills are Life Skills and this remains the cornerstone of Mister Casey’s ballet class, Musical Theatre and training systems.
Teaching philosophy: “I love encouraging students to find joy and self-reliance within their learning process, and challenging them to each become their own instructor.”
Besides competitively dancing for over 10 years, Ashley has preformed on the set of “Portlandia”. After moving to California to continue her dance training, she completed Gigi Torres’s “Establish Your Empire” program and joined Chapkis Dance Family’s professional hip hop company “Prophecy”, going on to perform with them at various events across the US, and competing with them at invitational competitions Body Rock and VIBE (2016) where they placed 3rd. For the past 4 years after moving back to Oregon, she has worked with a small team to put together an annual full length hip hop/urban movement dance show.
Ashley first got hooked on teaching after she starting assisting classes at the age of 15, and began her teaching career at 16. She has coached and taught at The Goddard School, Rose City Rhythmic Gymnastics and Performing Arts Collaborative, various national and international workshops and intensives, and in the Portland area where she is currently a competitive choreographer and instructor.
Newberg & McMinnville Instructor, Company Choreographer
McMinnville & Newberg Instructor, Company Choregrapher
Charlie Chheath has been teaching Hiphop/Industry Combos for 12 years, he has choreographed for multiple recording artist and received numerous awards for competitive routines, receiving national recognition from various events and competitions for his work.
He has experience in television, including dancing with performing artists on BET networks “106 and Park”. Dancers who have trained with Charlie have gone on to book industry level work such as appearing on NBC networks “World of Dance” and performing with KPop sensations BTS on AGT.
Charlie believes teaching technique, history and various other skillsets such as stage presence, confidence, performance quality and work ethic, help him too develop passionate dancers with authentic ability, style and originality.
Courtney teaches a variety of dance classes at CVDA Newberg & McMinnville, and is an instructor/choreographer for our company teams.
She is also the Head Dance Coach for the Newberg High School JV & Varsity dance teams. Courtney has been dancing for over 18 years in various genres including jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, lyrical, tap, and musical theater.
As a senior member of the CVDA Newberg Performing Company, she was recognized in 2007 & 2010 as Outstanding Dancer of the Year, 2008 Ballet Dancer of the Year, and in 2014 as Jazz Dancer of the Year. Additionally, Courtney’s competition team won Overall Teen Large group at Spotlight Nationals in 2015 for their production “My iPhone”.
While in high school, Courtney was co-choreographer for Mr. Mac High, an event benefiting Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. She was also the Dance Director/Choreographer at McMinnville Christian Academy’s after school dance program for 4 years.
She has been a chorus member in several musicals at Gallery Theater with her most notable roles being as lead dancer in Oliver, Louisa in The Sound of Music, Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka, and Assistant Choreographer for the theater’s 2008 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
More recently, she has received a special judge’s award for her choreography for the 2016 Minis group dance, as well as the team being recognized as category winner for their age group. In her free time Courtney loves to travel with her husband and daughter.
A seasoned CVDA pro, Courtney has been teaching with us since 2015 and she is looking forward to continuing to grow her students into confident youth and empowering them to reach their fullest potential as dancers and future good citizens.
Newberg & McMinnville Instructor, Company Choreographer
Newberg & West Salem Instructor
I grew up in Newberg, OR. I have a dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading background. I did gymnastics at a few gyms around the area for 6 years.
I then chose to switch gears to combine both my talents and begin cheerleading at Newberg High School where I was on the Varsity team for four years coached under my amazing mother, Lisa Berg. Also during high school I was a member of the all star cheerleading gym Oregon Dream Teams where I was on their Senior Level 5 team and competed in the Cheerleading Worlds three years in a row.
After high school I made the National Cheerleaders Association Staff and taught high school cheerleading camps all over the west for three years. I made the University of Oregon Cheerleading’s dance team in 2009 where I was a dancer for four years and captain my senior year.
In that time I performed at four BCS bowl games and traveled all over the country to cheer on my favorite team, the Oregon Ducks. When I wasn’t in class or in Autzen, my junior and senior year I coached Marist Catholic High School’s Varsity cheerleading team.
I was recruited my senior year of college by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and auditioned for their team in 2013 and 2014, making it to finals both times. I graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. I coached the University of Oregon’s cheer dance team from 2014-2015 and then moved back to Newberg.
I accepted the head cheerleading coach position at George Fox University where I coached for two years from 2016-2018. I currently work for Graduation Alliance which is an online high school where I work with at risk teens in a drop out credit recovery program to help students get their diploma and I am also a full time graduate student through Grand Canyon University going for my Masters in Teaching.
I have a passion for dance, cheerleading and gymnastics and I’m very excited to work here at my old dance studio that was the foundation to all of my achievements!
Newberg, McMinnville, and West Salem Instructor; Company Choreographer
Dane grew up in Oregon were he started training in dance at the age of 10. He quickly fell in love with movement and exploring through improv.
Dane moved to Los Angeles when he was 18 with a scholarship to EDGE Performing Arts Center. After completing his training he continued to train, study and perform in the area. He worked as an assistant with Tremaine Dance Convention for 5 years in the office and on the road. He has worked for Move Dance Competitions where he judged and taught master classes around the US.
In 2008 Dane moved to Austin, TX. There he Co-director Rise Dance Company and Reverence Dance Project. He has worked with numerous studios and high school dance teams across central Texas. Dane is excited to bring his knowledge and dance moves back to the northwest. Ready to connect, communicate and DANCE!!
Bridget Derville-Teer is a born and raised CVDA alumni. She competed under CVDA for eleven years before graduating in 2018. After graduating, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in dance and choreography.
She was featured on season fifteen of So You Think You Can Dance, making it to the top forty dancers. She returned to the show for season sixteen and made it to the top fifty.
In 2017, she earned a spot in the top twenty for the title of Senior Female Best Dancer at The Dance Awards. Bridget is currently in the contemporary company, MarInspired; The Storytellers, under the direction of Emmy award winning Marinda Davis. Bridget performed in her full length show, “UNbreakable” in 2019 for the annual “Dancing Under The Stars” summer performance at the Scera Theater.
She also performed with MarInspired as the guest company at Young Choreographer’s Festival in New York City. Bridget has kept up her training by taking part in Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester program.
Bridget’s biggest dream is to choreograph for movies and television. She has been pursuing choreography since she was fifteen.
Thanks to her mentor, the owner of CVDA, Kristen Stoller, she has been graciously given the opportunity to choreograph competitive pieces for CVDA for the last three years. Bridget loves giving back to CVDA as much as she can because of all the wonderful things this studio has done for her.
At ten years old, Rachel started taking dance classes at Westside Dance Academy in Tigard, Oregon. Within a few short years of taking classes, Rachel was offered a position teaching at Westside, eventually leading to a position teaching dance classes for Chehalem Parks and Recreation in Newberg. After graduating from Newberg High School, Rachel founded the Chehalem Valley Dance Company which was the catalyst for Chehalem Valley Dance Academy. In her years of teaching, Rachel has passed on her love of dance to hundreds of students, many of whom have become professional dancers or career dance teachers themselves.
In addition to teaching dance, Rachel loves spending time with her children, loves pampering her two adorable dogs Miss Harley and Mister Wilson, and loves a plethora of outdoor activities. You can often find her hiking with her pups, cooking new and adventurous meals for her adult children when they visit, or doing headstands in picturesque places.
Rachel is overjoyed to be given the opportunity to teach dance once again at CVDA. It is her honor to work with the outstanding team of dance instructors that Kristen has brought together. CVDA is a safe place for all to foster the love of dancing, a love that changes lives.
McMinnville and West Salem Instructor
Newberg Instructor and Admin, Company Choreographer
I have been dancing at CVDA for 15 years, with 12 of those spent on our competitive performing company and 10 taking part in our production of The Nutcracker.
Throughout my time here I have trained in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, contemporary, acro, and hip hop. Being a member of this performing company has also allowed me to train in various parts of the country at Edge PAC, The Broadway Collective, Dancerpalooza, and The Dance Awards. In 2020, I got to experience dancing on camera as I choreographed for and stared in Tall Dark Whimsy’s “Judge Mental” music video, as well as danced in the “25” concept video.
This fall I will be starting my senior year at Newberg High School where I’m fortunate enough to be involved in student government and National Honor Society. Other activities I enjoy in addition to dance are singing, acting, and writing.
Over the last three years I have been given the opportunity to teach classes, run company rehearsals, and choreograph my very own solo. Those experiences along with the five years I spent assisting some of my amazing fellow faculty members, have given me the knowledge and inspiration to continue teaching and choreographing at CVDA.
I cannot wait to help the next generation of dancers discover the confidence, work ethic, and overall love that comes with being a part of this studio!
McMinnville Instructor and Admin
Hello Everyone! I’m a sophomore at McMinnville High school. I teach Dance Party!, Tiny Hip Hoppers, and Preballet/Tap/Jazz. Along with teaching, I also dance here at the studio.
I’ve been dancing at CVDA for 11 years, 5 of which have been on Performing Company. I feel incredibly lucky to teach the same classes that started my dance journey, and watch young dancers fall in love with dance like I did. I will also be lucky enough to work in the office, where I’m so excited to meet new faces outside of the classes I teach! Im the youngest of my siblings, and I have two amazing parents that have supported me more than I ever could’ve asked for.
Outside of dance, I love hanging out with my family, going on walks, and baking. I’m over the moon excited to start this year!
McMinnville Instructor and Admin
I’m 15 years old, and a Sophomore at McMinnville High School. I’ve been dancing at CVDA for 11 years now, and this will be my third year on Company! I’ve had the privilege of assisting in classes for the past two years as well. I’ve gotten to volunteer my time at St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen, elementary schools, YCAP, and also had the chance to volunteer with CVDA at A Family Place. I hope to watch all my little dancers fall in love with dance like I did. I’m so excited for this year and to meet and reunite with all of you.
Hi there, I’m Miss Ashley. I have been dancing at CVDA since I was 11 and I am coming up on my 6th year here. I have found such a passion for dance through my training and that is what I am aiming to offer the next generation of dancers. I have been assisting for the past two years and I absolutely love being able to connect with and mentor these children. I have also volunteered in a Red Cross blood drive, many opportunities my school has given me through student government and National Honor Society, and I have taught dance classes over Zoom on a volunteer basis. For the last two years I have been competing with CVDA and I have had numerous parts in Nutcracker over the last three years. I am thrilled to be teaching in the fall and I cannot wait to meet everyone!
Vada Coats Ogrenics
Hi everyone! I am so excited to join CVDA’s incredible staff! I started dancing when I was 2 years old. I started in the mommy and me class, then once I was old enough, I started taking tap, jazz and ballet.
Slowly but surely, I fell in love with dance and started competing at age 6. Also at age 6, I started participating in CVDA’s annual production of The Nutcracker. I began assisting at age 8 and became an apprentice and substitute for teachers at age 13.
Currently, I am taking tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, musical theatre, acrobatics, lyrical, contemporary, and pointe. Not only have I been able to participate in parades and shows through CVDA, I have also gotten to volunteer through and go to school at CVDA.
I really love performing, which is one of my favorite parts about dance. Aside from dance, I love singing, acting, and playing musical instruments. Dance has been a huge part of my life and even helped me learn to love myself. I love teaching and can’t wait to watch other kids grow and find their own confidence!
I’m very excited to be teaching Beginning Ballet this fall as part of the amazing team at CVDA! I’m 14 years old, and have been dancing for ten years: seven years with CVDA, and six years on Performing Company. My dance training consists of: ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, tap, hip hop, acro, and musical theatre. Competing both regionally and nationally, I’ve received numerous high placement awards, scholarships, and titles including: Teen Spotlight Title Winner at Spotlight Dance Cup for Portland 1 (2021), 10th overall Teen Solo at RADIX Dance Competition in Seattle (2021), Act 1 Teen Artist of the Weekend for Portland (2020), and VIP Runner-Up scholarships from JUMP Dance Convention.
One of the highlights of my dance experience with CVDA has been performing in The Nutcracker. Some of my favorite roles have been Clara and Spanish. I’ve also been fortunate enough to assist a number of the incredible faculty members over the years in various genres, and from 2020-2021, I was Kristen’s Apprentice for the Juniors in Performing Company.
This fall, I will be a freshman at Veritas School. Outside of dance, I enjoy sketching, painting, and studying French. I love learning how things work, and since dance is so complex and fun, there is always something more to discover. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to share this amazing art form with others. Going into my first year of teaching, I hope to teach my students to enjoy the process and to always work hard.
West Salem Instructor
Bella is thrilled to begin her teaching career with CVDA! Bella comes to CVDA with exceptional dance training and teacher training from Kelli Pinkerton of Ballet Arts NW. Bella has spent the last two years as an assistant teacher working with students of all ages and abilities.
She is excited to pass on that she has learned.She has passed her RAD exams with exceptional marks. She has also danced several lead roles in BANW’s Nutcracker and annual Spring recitals. Bella was a member of West Salem high school’s dance team and participated in AVID throughout middle and high school. Bella will be attending CCC in the fall working toward a transfer degree.
Newberg Instructor and Admin
Please welcome our newest member of the CVDA team, Savannah Hamilton!
As a George Fox University student, she is pursuing her degree in Nursing while also on the George Fox Dance Team’s Performance, Lyrical, and Competition teams. Before CVDA, she recently danced professionally at Inspire Dance Centre for two years under the teaching of Debbie Pierce. Savannah can’t wait to share her love for dance with the CVDA family!
You can see her (or have seen her) in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Newberg, as well as occasionally substitute teaching. She can’t wait to get to know the dancers and staff better, so please introduce yourself if you see her!