Meet the Faculty
Susan Borgeson - Co-Owner
Susan Borgeson first trained with the Santa Rosa Ballet School, and while in high school, danced as a member of the Santa Rosa Ballet Company under the direction of Julien Herrin. During this same time, she danced summer musicals at Oakland's Woodminster Theater. She studied at both the San Diego and England campuses of the United States International University School of the Performing Arts under the tutelage of John Hart, Elaine Thomas and Betty Cavanaugh. Ms. Borgeson also attended California State University in San Diego.
After returning to Sonoma County, Mrs. Borgeson became the director of the Santa Rosa Ballet School, and is an original member of the Redwood Empire Ballet. She was associate director and choreographer with Robert Ronan of Santa Rosa's first full-length productions of The Nutcracker in 1980-1982, sponsored by Ballet Circle of Santa Rosa. In 1987, Mrs. Borgeson became director of SRB Production, a non-profit ballet company. Here she produced her original children's ballet, Once Upon a Butterfly, scored by singer/songwriter Carol Ann Eberly. Later, she would join the Karen Campbell Ballet School in Sebastopol to produce a full-length The Nutcracker. And through the Sebastopol Ballet, The Nutcracker has continued to be an annual holiday tradition for the city of Sebastopol.
Mrs. Borgeson's students have received national and international acclaim. They have gathered awards in competitions and received scholarships at some of the world's most highly visible ballet schools such as The San Francisco Ballet, the School of American Ballet in New York, the Bolshoi Academy in Vail, Colorado and the National Ballet of Canada.
Lois Hartman - Co-Owner
Lois Hartman trained at the Royal Academy of Ballet for ten years, studied at United States International University School of Performing Arts in San Diego with highly regarded Nancy Johnson. Mrs. Hartman has more than 20 years of experience in performing, choreography, costume design and execution, and instruction.
As a performer, Mrs. Hartman danced with San Francisco Dance Theater (Penelope-Lagios Johnson), Santa Rosa Ballet (Julien Herrin), Redwood Empire Ballet (Jean Hart), and Ballet Circle (Robert Ronan).
She teaches pointe classes, advanced levels and pas de deux classes and has been actively involved in all phases of Sebastopol Ballet School productions. Mrs. Hartman has choreographed several parts of Sebastopol Ballet's The Nutcracker, most notably the Grand Pas de Deux.
Paula Martens - Co-Owner
Paula Martens began studying ballet at the age of seven with Lodena Edgecombe and continued with Shirley Ray of the San Francisco Ballet through her high school years. In 1966, she was a recipient of a Ford Foundation scholarship with the San Francisco Ballet School.
Mrs. Martens graduated from UC Berkeley in 1970 and she began teaching for the Sebastopol Union School District in 1972. That same year, she began teaching at the Santa Rosa Ballet School, which was under the direction of Julien Herrin. She is an original member of the Redwood Empire Ballet and became assistant choreographer for Ballet Circle under the co-directorship of Sue Borgeson and Robert Ronan. She has choreographed for Sebastopol's The Nutcracker since 1992.
Mrs. Martens recently retired from teaching 2nd Grade at Park Side School in Sebastopol.
Bio coming soon…
Hannah started taking gymnastics at the age of four and began taking ballet lessons at age 10 to supplement her dance skills as a competitive gymnast. She has studied ballet at SBS for over 10 years, and has had many roles in their productions, including four years as the Sugar Plum Fairy in "The Nutcracker." She has also studied jazz, lyrical, tap and modern at SRJC. She attended summer dance intensives at Joffery Ballet School (NYC), ABT, Ballet Austin (TX), and Mills College (Oakland). Hannah has received her certification as a Pilates Mat instructor. Hannah also teaches dance and Pilates at Sonoma Academy.
Bio coming soon…
Jessica has been a student at Sebastopol Ballet School for many years. She has performed in The Nutcracker Ballet, most notably dancing the roles of Snow Queen and Rose Queen. She is currently attending college while continuing to teach at SBS.
Nichele Van Portfleet
Nichele took her first dance class at age four. After exploring other forms of movement, she became focused on ballet at 13, studying at Sebastopol Ballet until she left to major in dance performance at UC Irvine. Nichele is currently finishing her BA in Theater and Dance at Sonoma State University. Nichele has performed many roles in The Nutcracker, including Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy.