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Teachers of the Hirschl School

The art of teaching is more than a simple demonstration of dance movements: Each student should be seen, not as they are now, but as they could & should be; at their fullest possible potential.

Every student should be guided to help them develop & define their own unique individual goals, then extra time & effort must be set aside to help with a realistic plan to achieve those goals. No mass producing, no quick-teach, no automaton training, no primary emphasis on trendy popular tricks. Actual teaching; Doing it properly in a well-defined fashion to produce a well-rounded, intelligent & versatile dancer.

Great teachers require two things: An insatiable inner drive to correctly educate and a geniune enthusiasm to teach for the right reasons. There is a large gap between a good educator and a "glorified demonstrator".

HSDA teachers are also trained to include professional direction, mentorship, practical education, artistic application and philosophy of the art. We think of dance arts education as an investment to the arts in our community as well as to the individual.

Teachers at the Hirschl school all follow the Hirschl School of Dance Arts Mission Statement.


Laurie Hirschl has choreographed, danced and taught with various schools in Southern California, and with the University of California at San Diego. She hold a California Multiple Subject Teaching credential from the University of California, Irvine, and a Masters of Science Degree in Education, Curriculum and Research from California State University, Fullerton. Laurie teaches at the Hirschl School and is also a full-time curriculum coach (TOSA) for the Anaheim City School District. She is currently the artistic director of the Sunrise Ballet.




Debra Kaye owned and taught at her own studio in Riverside for 30 years (1968 to 1998). Her training includes Paul DeRolf, The Edge in Los Angeles, Gus Giordano, Michael Rooney and Bob Fosse. Debra has been a teacher at Riverside College and University of California at Irvine. In addition to teaching at the HSDA, she is a certifed Pilates teacher, and also teaches at the prestigious Freddy Finn studio in Riverside. She started her PILATES training & certification in 1998 with Karen Klipinger, with emphasis on training methodology for dancers. She attended the Long Beach Body Balance Core Intelligence and Mat programs & Seminars. She is also working with Karen Scarano at the Plexis Pilates studios in Riverside.


Born in Toronto, Canada, Richard Hirschl studied with Mme. Tamara Elganova of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Stanley Holden (Royal Ballet, Sadler Wells Ballet), and Yuri & Erglis Smaltzoff (Father & son, Erglis danced with George Balanchine as a member of the Bolshoi Ballet). He also studied with David Lichine (just before he passed in June 1972). Richard toured with the Ballet Folklorico of Mexico, Stuttgart Ballet, Orange County Ballet Company and a short-run production of Romeo & Juliet with the American Ballet Theater. He began to teach and choreograph full-time in 1972, and has taught, choreographed and lectured local colleges and universities and has been a guest teacher at several Southern California dance studios. in the last 30 years, many of his students have gone on to become professional dancers and dance teachers throughout Southern California.

Sarah Mann

Resume for Sarah to added soon!

Additional Staff and Interns at HSDA:

Megan Imber

Amelia Morgan

Nina Wachter

Staff members not pictured: Mallory Dirks, Irene Watson, Yumiko Crumly and Pearlene Brar.