Faculty & Staff


Marisa Visnaw- Artistic Director

Marisa Visnaw is an accredited Cecchetti teacher with a broad background in Classical Ballet. She began her training as a young dancer with Glenna Bell Moening of Dance Art Studio, completing all Cecchetti grades with Certifications. Later, she continued her training with Denise Rinaldi (FCUSA, FCI, FISTD, & Executive Director of Cecchetti USA) to complete her teaching Certification. Marisa has been dancing and teaching for over 34 years, with many experiences throughout the professional world.

Juliet Smith - Instructor

Juliet Smith is a member of the Royal Academy of Dance with a well established background of teaching dance in the South Valley. She has been named Teacher of the Week in San Jose Mercury News and Teacher of the Year in her hometown. Juliet began her dance training with Paula Valentine at the original Morgan Hill Dance Center under the Vaganova style of ballet, and later studied Cecchetti with Glenna Bell Moening and Balanchine at the PNB school. Juliet was an apprentice at San Jose Cleveland Ballet where she had special training from Georgina Coleman in both Vaganova and Bournonville. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Dance Education, and continued on to dance professionally in both modern and ballet, performing major roles including Lise in La Fille mal Gardée, and Arabian Princess, Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Juliet has danced with Oakland Ballet and has been a guest artist for numerous schools. In 2004, she become Valentine’s successor and owner of South Valley Dance Arts. After passing the studio on to Marisa Visnaw in 2019, Juliet now continues to teach at Ballet Academy of Silicon Valley.

William Prusinowski - Instructor

Billy Prusinowski is a co-founder of the SF Bay Area’s “Burevisnyky” Ukrainian Dance Group. Originally from Upstate New York, he grew up dancing with the Odesa Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Syracuse and later participated in Roma Pryma Bohachevsky Dance Workshops at Soyuzivka Ukrainian Heritage Center. He has also performed with groups across the state, including Syzokryli of New York City, and Rochester’s Mamai and Dunai. Billy lives in Santa Cruz and has been active in cultivating the Bay Area’s Ukrainian culture by attracting dancers to his group, Burevisnyky, and joining us at Ballet Academy of Silicon Valley.

Kathryn Schieb - Instructor

Kathryn Schieb has been dancing since the age of ten and found a passion dancing both ballet and modern. She studied dance education at Utah Valley University and is currently studying kinesiology closer to home. Kathryn has over three years of experience teaching and is certified in progressing ballet technique (PBT). Dance has always been a part of her life and she hopes to instill in others the joy and vitality this art form can bring.