Director, Kiirsten Flanders started dancing at the age of four and continued on through high school. She started as an assistant teacher at the age of 14 and later began teaching her own classes. For the past several years, she has been attending Teachers Training School held at the State University of New York at Buffalo through Dance Masters of America. She is currently certified through test to teach Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. She is also currently a member in good standing with Dance Masters of New England, Chapter 5. Her choreography has won numerous Specialty Awards as well as many High Score and First Place Overall Awards at many regional and national dance competitions. Kiirsten is certified to teach Zumba Basic 1, Zumba Basic 2, Zumba Gold, and PulsePointe Barre. She also has degree in Business Management. Kiirsten opened Pirouette Dance Academy in September 2008 and hopes to pass her love of dance on to all that attend her school.
Jocelyn Vander Kaaden
Assistant Director, Jocelyn Vander Kaaden began her dance training at a young age and became a teacher’s assistant at 15 years old. In 2006, she began teaching her own classes and for the past several years, she has been a student of the Dance Masters of America: Teachers Training School held at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Through Dance Masters of America, she is nationally certified by test to teach Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. She is also currently a member in good standing with Dance Masters of New England, Chapter 5. She is also a certified member through the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) which qualifies her to teach various pom and acrobatic classes here at Pirouette Dance Academy. Her choreography has won numerous Specialty Awards as well as High Score and First Place Overall Awards at many regional and national dance competitions. In addition, Jocelyn is certified to teach Zumba Basic 1, Zumba Basic 2, Zumba Gold, PulsePointe Barre, and has a Master’s degree in Education. She joined the Pirouette team when they first opened back in 2008 and truly enjoys educating all of her beloved dancers.
Instructor, Taylor Burns has studied the art of dance for over 15 years. She was also a former student of Pirouette Dance Academy while growing up. Taylor has had the opportunity to broaden her dance education through participating in seminars such as the Dance Masters of America Convention, Dance Teachers Club of Boston Convention, East Coast Edge Dance Convention, and the Disney Performing Arts Workshop in Orlando, FL. Taylor has also danced in numerous dance competitions at both the regional and national levels for several years. As a dancer, her routines have been awarded many Overall 1st Placements, High Score awards, Specialty awards, National dance off selections, and Scholarship prizes. In 2013, Taylor was also one of the Pirouette dancers that performed in Walt Disney World for the Disney Performing Arts On Stage Showcase! In 2017, she successfully completed Grade 2 of the Dance Masters of America: Teachers Training School held at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Taylor now hopes to carry on the Pirouette tradition of teaching young children the art of dance through fun and age-appropriate learning.
Instructor, Chelsea Cousineau spent her early dance and performance training in various towns and cities in Southern Massachusetts. She studied at Rhode Island Ballet Arts Academy under Nancy McAuliffe for classical ballet and pointe. In her teenage years, she studied at Miss Janice’s Dance Studio under Janice MacDonald and expanded her dance education to include styles such as jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, and musical theater. She continued this training while joining several performance groups in high school including show choir and dance squad, which she was captain of for three years. These groups also gave her the opportunity to dance in Walt Disney World twice! Chelsea attended Bridgewater State University for Dance Education where she had the opportunity to work with the Anna Sokolow Dance Company. She served both as Public Relations and as President for the BSU Dance Company during her years there as well as dancing in thirteen performances on the main stage and choreographing over fifteen pieces. After University, she worked with children’s theater groups and competitive show choirs as an instructor and choreographer as well as local studios in the area for various styles. In 2015, Chelsea had the opportunity to be the guest teacher for the Emerson College Dance Company and work as the Dance Counselor at a camp for international students from Thailand, China, and Australia. Chelsea currently dances with Kinetic Synergy Dance Company out of Boston and teaches at dance schools in the area. She is excited to continue her dance education story here at Pirouette!
Instructor, Holly Shillan began cheerleading at the age of three and started gymnastics shortly thereafter. She began competing for both sports in elementary school and continued throughout high school. Holly was the captain of the Yale Cheerleading team, a collegiate cheer team supporting both the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams at Yale University, where she pursued a BS in Neuroscience and pre-medical studies. She was a coach for the Seekonk Junior Warrior’s cheerleading team from 2009-2013. In 2015, Holly tried out to become a staff member for the Universal Cheerleading Association and was selected to join the team. She was trained at the University of Scranton by veteran UCA staff and management, and she has since traveled throughout the Northeast teaching cheers, dances, and stunting skills and technique at different UCA cheer camps. Holly is certified through the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) and has loved working as an instructor for acro and pom classes here at Pirouette since 2014.
Instructor, Kermin Liu teaches Ballroom dancing here at Pirouette Dance Academy. He has been a part of the Pirouette team since 2013. He specializes in Ballroom, Latin, and Swing dancing. He performed a variety of Ballroom dances at the Providence Performing Arts Center in 2003. In addition, Kermin also had the fortune of dancing with U.S. National Champion, Karina Smirnoff, at an event in North Providence, RI. Kermin offers a wide variety of Ballroom class options such as group classes and private lessons here at Pirouette Dance Academy. He is eager and willing to help all interested individuals of all levels!