Meet Our Instructors
Executive and Artistic Director, Lead Instructor
Since the age of 7, I’ve had a love affair with ballet and dance of all kinds. Through dance, I’ve been blessed in countless ways, including having met Danny O’Reilly.
Danny and I met in a ballet class in San Francisco. We would go on to marry and have 2 daughters, Erin & Siobhan. Sadly, on April 19, 2004, Danny was killed by a drunk driver.
With faith, the support of loved ones and the community, and the grit I learned in ballet, I came through that life-changing tragedy with a newfound appreciation for the transformative power of dance and its ability to rally people together and work to heal and inspire.
Over and over again, life after Danny’s death has steered my family and me down paths that lead back to dance. I have been humbled to be a part of so many amazing stories, whether it was my daughter Erin’s focus on dance as a therapeutic outlet for her grief and now professional career in Europe or the wonderful memories created with the many students and families I have been able to share the gift of dance with during my time as Artistic Director of Sonoma Conservatory of Dance.
I continue to follow this passion because I want to nurture young people and their dreams and to give the community of Sonoma what I strove to provide for my daughters: easy access to quality technical training provided in a loving environment full of patience, something I wish I had for myself as a student.
My involvement with Restorative Justice since Danny’s death has reaffirmed for me the importance of teaching young people the essential elements of ballet: beauty, joy, patience, and perseverance. I believe the curiosity awakened in our students not only enegergizes them to explore how to be better dancers but also to transfer that curiosity into every part of their life — from the way they carry themselves, to the way they treat others.
Ms. O’Reilly received her teaching certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance andcompleted the Elementary I, Intermediate and Advanced Executant Examinations after extensive training with Katie Heil, graduate of the Royal Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program in London, England. Ms. O’Reilly performed professionally with Oakland Ballet, Santa Clara Ballet and Khadra International Dance Theatre before devoting her career to teaching her passion: ballet.
Dance & Yoga
Krissy has been teaching children and adults at Sonoma Conservatory of Dance since she moved to the North Bay from Los Angeles in 2000. Classically trained in Vaganova Ballet and Modern dance since age 9, Krissy has danced professionally for Modern and Hip Hop companies in NYC, Boston, Los Angeles, and Sonoma for the past 27 years. Krissy brings her passion for empowering her students into teaching world styles of dance and yoga. Her teaching style is energetic and nurturing.
BFA Dance The Boston Conservatory MA Dance Education UCLA
RYT Yoga Alliance
Michelle Dondero is a New York native with a passion for dance and movement education. Her training began at age seven in ballet, jazz and contemporary at Anita's Studio of Dance and Theatre Arts, Ohman School of Ballet and the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in New York City. After her internship at Broadway Dance Center in 2010, her commercial dance career began. She was signed with MSA and appeared on NBC, ABC and FOX television networks. In 2014, she began to establish her own voice of movement with young dancers through workshops and has been recognized for her choreography at On The Edge, Inc. and Turn It Up National Dance Conventions. In 2016, she moved to California for a mentorship program with choreographer and creative director Dana Foglia. Here she found a deeper desire to work with body dynamics and began to focus on Pilates technique through Balanced Body. She continues to learn and teach in Sonoma. Her classes focus on technique, musicality and dynamics. She enjoys creating a safe place for students to take risks, push boundaries, and challenge themselves. She recently embarked on a design project for young dancers called Mad & Moiselle. There she designs accessories to help the young dancer feel independent and