Enriching the Lives of our Students

Molly McKiernan
Program Director

MOLLY'S first ballet class was at the age of 5 at Mary Coudin Snyder's Dance Studio. Her dance training continued at American Dance and then on to Academy of Dance in San Luis Obispo where she spent many years studying ballet and jazz as a young dancer. At the age of 10, Molly auditioned for the prestigious Ballet Austin and was accepted to their Junior Company program for 3 years of classical ballet training under the direction of Eugene Slavin and Alexandra Nadal of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She performed many of the children's roles in their acclaimed production of The Nutcracker.

Upon returning to Academy of Dance, Molly became a member of the Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo. For more then 12 years she performed corps de ballet, solo and principal roles for the ballet company including Snow Queen, Rose Queen and Sugarplum Fairy. Contemporary roles in Alice in Wonderland,  West Side Story, Where the Wild Things Are and soloist for Jon Anderson's "Earth Mother Earth". She was hired as Lead Guest Artist for 2 seasons of Ballet Fantastique's Nutcracker and went on to further her training with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Molly's devotion to dance transitioned seamlessly into teaching and choreographing. She was appointed Artistic Director for 2 seasons of the Civic Ballet's well received Sleeping Beauty at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center, Master Ballet Teacher for Dance in Action's Summer Convention in Hawaii, Guest Choreographer at The San Luis Obispo Little Theatre for "Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison Legends Shows" and Co-Director for their ACT Children's Broadway Camp programs, Artistic Director for The San Luis Jazz Dancers, Choreographer/Master Teacher for Mission College Prep, Morro Bay High School, Alan Hancock's Spectrum and Cal Poly's Orchesis Dance Company, performer/choreographer for Academy of Dance's International Dance Festival in China, Cuba and Spain, creator and Teacher for San Luis Coastal Unified School District's Elementary PE/Dance program which provided an enrichment through dance for over 2000 students a year. She most recently has been recognized for her collaborative efforts with the San Luis Obispo Symphony in "Carnival of the Animals".

Molly is incredibly proud to be the Artistic Director of Coastal Chamber Youth Ballet and takes great pride in nurturing her Company dancers into exceptional artists.

Deanna Duarte

Special Abilities Instructor

DEANNA has a degree in education and holds an Education Specialist Credential. She has worked for over 10 years with children, beginning with the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education as a Behavior Health Specialist, where she worked directly with students on the autism spectrum or with other behavior needs, and as a Special Education teacher, working with a variety of students in different circumstances. She is trained in the MOVE Program (Mobility Opportunities Via Education/Experience), has collaborated with Adaptive PE teachers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, music therapists, art teachers, and other professionals to develop and implement programs to enrich the lives of her students.