Nona loved to dance at an early age. She began with Polynesian dancing where her roots are from and continued training in ballet, tap, jazz and rhythmic gymnastic with Rose Ann Saylor. Being from a large family Nona had to clean the studio to pay for all her dance classes and costumes. Her drive landed Nona to receive marks of distinction in all of her RAD syllabus ballet examinations, qualified and attended a Junior Olympic camp for rhythmic gymnastics and competed throughout her childhood in all styles of dance wining numerous awards. Nona started assisting Rose Ann at the age of 12 in ballet, jazz and tap classes. By the age of 15 she was teaching her own classes with a large student following and teaching at other local studio. When Nona was 18 she was also crowned Miss Redwood City/San Mateo County and won the talent award in the Miss California Pageant. Shortly after, Nona was invited to the World Jazz Congress with Gus Giordano in Bufflo, New York in 1996 where she was introduced to Mia Michaels and danced her first contemporary dance and fell in love with it immediately. As a young adult, Nona was a dancer on Culture Shock, a hip hop crew, that performed at various venues.
Nona also performed in concerts as a back up dancer and performed in musicals including 42nd Street, South Pacific and Sweet Charity. Nona performed in various shows and productions and made cameo appearances on television shows and movies.
Since her return to the Bay Area, Nona has taught dance at local studios where she has enjoyed tremendous success and popularity. She has also been the coach for Menlo Atherton High School's highly acclaimed dance team for the past 11 years in which they have won numerous competitions. Several of Nona's students have been accepted to prestigious dance programs at major universities, including some who have earned scholarships.
The fall of 2006 she opened Captivating Dance by Nona with 33 students. Her dreams of opening a dance studio came true and the studio has grown every year. As a performer, Nona always captivated the audience and she wanted to teach her dancers to do the same. Nona always knew that she wanted to teach dance. She knows how to make a special connection with each student. Nona inspires, motivates and pushes her students to reach their fullest potential.
Nona, with the support of her family, husband Erik and 3 children, is proud and excited to support her with Captivating Dance by Nona.
Kate Lynn Roberts | Artistic Director
Kate Lynn Roberts is returning for her 5th year as a teacher and choreographer with Captivating Dance by Nona. She received her training at Dance Dynamics under instruction of Nick Lazzarini. She studied and furthered her love of dance under the guidance of Nona Ybarra. She attended San Diego State University and completed her dance degree at San Jose State receiving a Bachelor of Arts.
Kate Lynn has experience in teaching and choreographing dance for students ranging from preschool through high school including Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary and Jazz in both recreational and competitive levels. In addition to teaching, she has performed in numerous dance competitions and performances. This will be Kate Lynn’s fourth year as a dance coach for Menlo Atherton High School.
Kasey Baldini | Faculty
Kasey Baldini has been dancing since the age of four and has been teaching for almost ten years. She trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, hip-hop and musical theatre in Menlo Park,and in pointe under the Royal Academy of Dance. She has performed in many dance competitions locally and nationally and was a member and co-captain of the Woodside High School Dance Team for three years. She majored in dance at SJSU and studied under the direction of Fred Mathews, Gary Masters, Heather Cooper and Jill Yaeger.
During her time at SJSU she choreographed numbers for a variety of performances and showcases. Kasey was been a member of SoulConspiracy, a local hip-hop performance group, from 2009-2012. She has performed at numerous events with SoulConspiracy including Christmas in the Park, Great America and Hip-Hop Dance Fest. Kasey currently works as a barre instructor at a local studio, in addition to teaching dance. She is excited to be starting her second year at CDBN and loves working with future generations of dancers.
Sierra Drew | Faculty
Sierra Drew is a Bay Area native who started dance at the age of four. She grew up dancing and trained for 10 years under the direction of Leyla Boissonnde, Sarah-Jane Measor and Nona Pahulu Ybarra. Sierra was also a dancer on the Menlo Atherton High School dance team. She competed with both studios and won various awards such as Miss Teen Dance at Kids Artistic Review (KAR) and the Tina Turner Award For Best Legs at International Dance Challenge (IDC). Sierra has trained with San Francisco Ballet and American Ballet Theater. Apart from competing, she was an apprentice of the Peninsula Ballet Theater where she danced in The Nutcracker for 5 years and Carnival of the Animals for 2 years.
Recently she performed with the Alayo Dance Company in San Francisco. Her passion for dance reaches across several genres including Ballet (Distinction in the Royal Academy of Dance technique), Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Salsa, and Bachata. Sierra is a double major in Dance and Spanish Language and plans on sharing her love of dance for many years to come. This year wil be her second year teaching at Captivating Dance By Nona and is greatful and excited for another great year!
Samantha Bell | Faculty
Samantha Bell, from Orange County, CA, trained with the Anaheim Ballet on full scholarship and joined their company in 2008. She won third place at Youth America Grand Prix SF, and went on to the finals in NYC for three years. From 2010-2015, Samantha danced with the State Street Ballet where she performed soloist roles including the Autumn Fairy in Cinderella and Bianca in Sund's Taming of the Shrew. Her piece titled, “Pistolero” became the first-ever dancer choreographed creation to be added to the repertoire. Bell toured extensively with the company, traveling both internationally and nationally, including a recent two month tour of China. Since 2012, Samantha has taught dance at Santa Barbara Dance Arts under the leadership of Alana Tillim and is very excited to join the team at Captivating Dance by Nona. In 2014, she performed alongside Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora in their number one hit, “Black Widow” at the MTV VMA’s. Currently, Bell is entering her first season with Menlowe Ballet. She holds a BA in History from UCSB and is a certified Zumba® instructor.
Chelsea McLaughlin | Faculty
Chelsea McLaughlin was raised in Menlo Park, CA. Her dance training began at the age of 4 where she studied ballet, jazz and lyrical. Chelsea received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Fordham University and the Ailey School in New York where she added modern and hip hop to her list of techniques. She then went on to complete two years as a Knicks City Dancer where she performed center-court during Knicks basketball games at Madison Square Garden. She is now back in the Bay Area sharing her knowledge and love of dance with young students.
Sharon Kung | Faculty
Sharon was born in New York, and currently resides in the Bay Area. She received her early training in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus at the Jean M. Wong School of Ballet in Hong Kong, and continued at dance here in the Bay Area. She completed the Royal Academy of Dance grade and vocational exams with distinction marks. In addition to her training, she placed in the “Top 12 Seniors” category at Youth America Grand Prix, and was 2nd runner-up to Miss Global Dance International at the International Dance Challenge. She attended summer intensives at the American Ballet Theater, Kirov Academy, The Juilliard School and American Dance Festival. In 2008, she graduated from the University of California, Irvine as a Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Bachelor of Arts in Economics. During her time at Irvine, she had the opportunity to perform George Balanchine’s Serenade, and was featured in works of Donald McKayle and Molly Lynch. Upon graduation, she danced for Thodos Dance Chicago, Menlowe Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and also as a freelance artist in Amsterdam and Morocco. Sharon joined Dance Theater of San Francisco for the 2014/2015 Season.
Alongside dancing professionally, Sharon is a dedicated dance teacher and mentor to students of all ages across the Bay Area. She is also a guest teacher and choreographer for intensives at studios in the Bay Area (most notably at the Oakland Ballet Company) and Hong Kong. Her favorite part of teaching is watching her students grow and develop throughout the course of her classes. Her philosophy is to teach the importance of self-expression, musicality, discipline and creativity through movement.