Bruce L. King
Gabrielle Chaplin comes to NSB with 23 years of teaching experience in tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, ballet, and tumbling/acrobatic dance. Additionally, she holds a BA and MA in psychology from CSU Chico and is a credentialed school psychologist. Gabrielle combines her knowledge in developmental child psychology with her expertise in dance to maximize the learning of the student both emotionally and physically. This teaches them valuable skills that can positively impact the rest of their lives while inspiring and instilling her love of dance in them.
Gabrielle’s training began when she was seven in Sunnyvale, CA. While initially studying ballet, her training soon grew to include lyrical, tap, jazz, and gymnastics through Lynn’s Dance Arts, Oroville Gymnastics Academy, and under Marci Chinchen, former director of the Butte College dance program. While earning her college degrees, Gabrielle took multiple courses in technique and choreography, and joined the Chico Dance Theater performance company at CSU, Chico as both a dancer and choreographer.
She began teaching at the age of 17 in Gridley, CA. Throughout her education and teaching career, Gabrielle continued to train and perform in multiple genres of dance, excelling in ballet, contemporary, and lyrical. Gabrielle won the Miss Butte County title in 1993, with awards and commendations in both the talent and interview sections. She went on to compete in the Miss California State Pageant, again winning the talent award for her dance solo. As a result of her honors and awards during these productions, she was invited to join a professional dance company in the Bay Area.
Between 1994 and 1999, Gabrielle’s teaching experience expanded and flourished. She coached Biggs High School cheer teams, whose routine won their division and went on to participate in the Hollywood Thanksgiving Parade. During that time, multiple varsity cheerleaders under her tutelage went on to cheer and dance for various collegiate level teams. Gabrielle was also asked to join the dance staff for American Spirit Association and traveled throughout California and Nevada, teaching and choreographing for high school and college level teams.
Beginning in 2002, she taught and choreographed for California Dance Company, a nationally renowned competition dance studio in Anderson, CA. She worked with both their recreational and award-winning competition teams, earning top awards for her pieces.
In 2009, Gabrielle began teaching tap, ballet, jazz, and lyrical for HYPE Dance Studio in Chico, CA. She also developed a tumbling program there, which quickly became a thriving attraction for the studio. Additionally, she taught multiple divisions of their competitive dance team from mini to senior levels. The students under her coaching won high and top awards in multiple categories.
Gabrielle’s choreography and teaching skills have been sought after for several competitions, performances, conventions, musical theater productions, and pageants. Her talent, organization, and creativity ultimately earned her an invitation to direct the lyrical and contemporary ballet program at North State Ballet school in Chico, CA. She now also serves as the Director of North State Dance, a branch of NSB that offers technical and artistic training in multiple dance genres.
Her passion for learning and striving to be better has made her a competent, well-rounded, and beloved instructor in the dance community.
Gabrielle is especially grateful for her amazing and supportive husband, Nick, and their two children who have enabled her to pursue her passions and skill set.
Gabrielle is additionally available for private and group classes, workshops, and choreography.
Laurel Tennant created and co-founded the North State Ballet school in Chico, CA in 2015. Its program features a comprehensive curriculum and graded level system designed to instill a passion for dance that cultivates individual artistic expression built on technical excellence. Whether her students are striving for a profession in the dance world or taking their first ballet class for fun, Laurel hopes that her teaching and guidance will inspire her students to live their dreams and dance with passion.
Laurel has been teaching for nearly 14 years and is trained in multiple ballet pedagogies, including Cecchetti, Balanchine, Royal Academy of Dance, and Vaganova. She utilizes various qualities of each and blends them into a well-rounded curriculum. Laurel believes that exposing students to diverse technical styles will allow them to adapt easily to any classical or contemporary work.
Laurel began her classical ballet training at the age of six with Northern California Ballet in Paradise, CA. Throughout her training she studied during the summers on scholarship with the Houston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre (ABTⓇ), and the Boston Ballet.
In 2004, her training continued in Seattle, Washington with Dennis Marshall and Marjorie Grundvig at the Washington Academy of Performing Arts. Her stage credits include roles in nearly every classical ballet including the leading roles in Paquita, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella. Her dance repertoire includes original classical and contemporary works by Sonja Dawkins, Bruce Wells, John Mello, Bruce King, and Melissa Gould. A serious knee injury in 2006 took her out of the performance lights and shifted her focus to her teaching career.
From 2007 to 2011, Laurel directed the successful ballet program at HYPE Dance Studio in Chico, CA. Together with Heather Wysong, she trained the ballet faculty there and co-created a thriving curriculum that doubled ballet class enrollment.
Prior to that, she was on faculty at the Washington Academy of Performing Arts and Northern California Ballet Company. Her love for original choreography exhibits her diverse style and enjoyment of contemporary ballet.
In 2011, she directed and choreographed her first original ballet The Big Top, taking the performers and audience on a journey of life and society through the characters of a circus.
In the fall of 2011 she accepted a job offer with the Boston Ballet School in Boston, MA. While on faculty there, she completed certification training in the Children’s Program curriculum for ages two through seven, as well as becoming well versed in teaching school curriculum for the Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of the Classical Ballet Program. She also taught in the highly successful Adult Ballet Program for levels Beginning through Advanced. In 2013, she served as a Children’s Ballet Mistress for The Nutcracker, setting and rehearsing the children’s cast for the company production.
In the spring of 2014, Laurel returned to California to be closer to family and loved ones. In addition to teaching ballet again at numerous ballet schools and dance studios in the north state, Laurel also has directed and taught the Pre-K through 2nd Grade classroom at The Progressive Schoolhouse in Chico, CA. This small private school is designed to nurture, validate, and support the unique learning potential of each student, concepts which Laurel carries over into all of her teaching. By honoring a child as an individual, their growth and excitement for their learning is exponential.
Along with Heather Wysong, Laurel was hired by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to choreograph and direct Into the Wardrobe, an original full-length ballet based on C.S. Lewis's novel, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It debuted in Chico in December of 2016.
Laurel is an ABTⓇ Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABTⓇ Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABTⓇ National Training Curriculum.
Laurel is additionally available for private and group classes, workshops, and choreography.
Photo coming soon!