Instructors

MICHAEL CORNELL

ALIGN BALLET METHOD creator and artistic director, Michael Cornell, is a graduate of the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois. Here, he studied classical ballet with the Royal Ballet dancer Petrus Bosman and American master teacher Robert Dicello. After completing a scholarship with the Pennsylvania School of Ballet, Michael joined the innovative BalletMet of Columbus, Ohio. He remained with the company for 10 years. Michael’s contemporary dancing skills led him to his principle roles in original & signature work by David Parsons (The Parsons Company/New York), James Kudelka (Former director of The National Ballet of Canada), Liz Lerman (Harvard Artist in Residence & Genius Award Winner) and Alonzo King (Lines Ballet/San Francisco). He has perfomed several principle roles in La BayadèreLe Corsaire, Cinderella, and has appeared in George Balanchine's Serenade.

 

After relocating to L.A., Michael began his career as a Hollywood personal trainer, where he developed a number of unique fitness industry concepts. He produced Transformation, one of the first MP3 guided workouts for the iPod. After this success, Michael created the ALIGN BALLET METHOD by combining forms of contemporary American ballet training and elements of sports science. This technique allowed Michael to work with a variety of individuals at all levels of fitness. His classes & workouts have been featured in ANGELENO, HEALTH, BETTER HOMES & GARDENS, THE NEW YORK TIMES and on KTLA. Find out what it's like to take a class with Michael Cornell as he describes the physical benefits of The ALIGN BALLET METHOD on POP SUGAR.

 

Headshot-150x150Kiara Kinghorn
Kiara holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance with honors distinction from UC Santa Barbara, along with a BA in English. She has been teaching, choreographing and performing dance throughout California and nationally for the past ten years. Her training began with The Channel Islands Ballet and later with the Footworks Youth Ballet. She has attended notable summer intensive programs with Ballet Austin in 2003 and NYC's Joffrey Ballet School in 2004. Kiara toured New York and San Francisco with the UCSB student dance company and consequently achieved the 2010 Corwin Award for her choreography. After graduation, Kiara danced professionally with Ballet Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet. Kiara is newly certified with Yoga Alliance 200 hour in Vinyasa Flow and is a writer for LA Yoga Magazine.

 

 

 

ALIGN 1 instructor Desire

Desire Destefano
Desire is an ALIGN success story. As one of our very first ALIGN students she has excelled to our advanced classes including pointe. She began assisting ALIGN classes last year and has been promoted to an ALIGN 1 instructor for her knowledge, dedication, and communication skills. She has also publicly performed in the styles of ballroom and african dance. Desire is a true dance machine and you will love her enthusiam for movement. 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Allison McCarthy studied ballet in southern California with Julia Bourlina and Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky. She was accepted and became the first foreign student at the Korea National University of the Arts, Department of Ballet where she studied under Director Sun-hee Kim, and retired Kirov Principals, Rita Kulik and Vladimir Kim. During her two years in Korea she won several ballet competitions including the Gold Medal at the Korea International Ballet Competition, the Grand Prix, twice, at the YAGP Regional's and was a top Finalist at the YAGP Finals in NYC. Grace was awarded a YAGP Full Merit Scholarship to the John Cranko Schule in Stuttgart, Germany. Professionally, Grace has danced with Stuttgart Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet.

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Aileen Hui began her ballet training the Shiomi’s Ballet Studio in Tokyo, Japan. She later studied at the London School of Ballet in Hong Kong where she trained under the Royal Academy of Dancing and passed the Elementary Examinations of the RAD. She is currently a company member of Pasadena Dance Theatre and has performed various pieces from Coppelia, Swan Lake, Raymonda, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. Beyond her ballet beauty Aileen is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry at Caltech and conducts research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.