About SBDA's Helper Program...

Purpose of the Helper Program:

  • To assist the classroom instructor in kid-control, modeling proper behavior and demonstrating exercises so the instructor is enabled to teach
  • Student Helpers gain more experience in the dance classroom, and learn what it's like to be a Demonstrator, and eventually possibly a Student Instructor.
  • Gain leadership experience: model behavior, technique, help enforce instructor’s rules and classroom decorum/etiquette and flow of the class curriculum.
  • Learn responsibility, obtain another opportunity to practice and hone the basics in technique.
  • Younger dancers benefit because they have someone to follow in class during exercises and a role model to look up to!

STUDENT Instructors


Megan Vass

Miss Megan has been dancing at SBDA for 11 years, and SBDA has always been her home studio. She has studied various styles of dance including ballet en pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, tap, and acro/gymnastics. SBDA has become her second home. Taking as many classes and workshops as possible to expand her dance education, Miss Megan enjoys master classes by guest instructors and choreographers, learning new techniques and steps, stretching both her mind and body to all its limits.

In SBDA’s 13th annual production of The Nutcracker (2020), Miss Megan was cast as Clara. She is an advanced ballet dancer in our Ballet Level 7 Performance Pointe class as well as advanced classes in all other styles. She began subbing classes two years ago along with teaching both in summer camps and summer ballet sessions. 

As Miss Megan grew in her own dance education, she joined SBDA’s Helper Program in 2016, starting in the Petite ballet classes where she found her love of helping our littlest dancers. Over the course of Miss Megan’s time helping, she has learned leadership and patience! She has also helped with various ages and styles such as jazz, tap, and older ballet classes. Miss Megan’s love of dance and enthusiasm has helped many little dancers form a love of dance.

Miss Megan is beyond excited to be teaching some of the tiniest of SBDA’s dancers, and looks forward to sharing her love of dance and creativity with all of her students, helping them strive for their greatest potential. 
"Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come." -Zig Ziglar

email: sbdastudio@gmail.com for contact info

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Helper Program & Job Description

Things to Consider before applying:

  • Time commitment; consider scheduling of Fall Schedule
  • Helper Meeting Date for Fall Session 2018: Sunday, August 26 at 5pm
  • Responsibility: are you willing to comply with requirements and commit to a code of conduct to model exemplary behavior?

Helper Program at a Glance:

  1. Application (includes recommendation portion)
  2. Interview w/ Director and Instructor Panel
  3. Style/Level/Instructor Assignment, Scheduling
  4. Training & Trial Period (sample class or in-class with instructor)
  5. Evaluation (Instructor & Director feedback)

Click to view Helper Program Packet: Application, Program/Job Description, Evaluation Tools for instructor, self-evaluation, and parent evaluation

Job Description & Expectations:
We typically accept Helpers in the following classes, requiring the following experience/level to apply:

  • Petite Ballet (Lev. 1): helpers from Ballet levels 4+
  • Pre-Ballet (Lev. 2): helpers from Ballet levels 4+
  • Ballet Basics (Lev. 3): helpers from Ballet levels 5+
  • Intermediate Ballet (Lev. 4): helpers from from Ballet levels 6+
  • Tap 1: Level 3 Tap or above
  • Jazz 1: Level 3 Jazz or above
  • Jazz 2: Lev. 4 Jazz
  • Tumbling 1 & 2 classes: an Acro student
  • Lyrical 1: a Lyrical 3 or preferably Lyrical Lev. 4 dancer
  • Lyrical Technique: a Lyrical Lev. 4 dancer

email: sbdastudio@gmail.com for more info

About our Student Instructor Program...

Student Instructors at SBDA are advanced, mature dancers who have years of experience as classroom helpers (under guidance of professional instructors), and demonstrate responsibility, respect, and a passion for dance. Oftentimes juggling heavy academic schedules, extracurricular activities, and rigorous dance classes of their own, they teach 1-2 classes per session at the studio, to gain classroom and teaching experience that will aid them in their professional development and future careers. 
For more info, email: sbdastudio@gmail.com

SBDA Helper program

Nicole Alcalan

Miss Nicole has been dancing since 2012. Her dancing career began when her family relocated from Los Baños, California to Hollister. She first started off with just ballet as a seven-year-old. About a year or two later, she wanted to do another style of dance. She joined jazz and loved it. She loves how there can be fast moments and slow movements. In 2017, she decided to take on some more styles of dance--Lyrical and Modern. 

The following Winter-Spring Session, she was awarded her pointe shoe letter, moving on to the next step in ballet: pointe instruction. She was so happy to be able to start a new chapter of her dance career. As she began her pointe journey, she continued taking ballet, jazz, lyrical, and modern classes. In the summer of 2020, Nicole wanted to take on another style of dance: Tap. She wanted to take this style earlier but had chosen Jazz instead, at that time. So in the summer during SBDA's intensive program offerings, she took the Teen/Adult Tap class. She loved it and decided to carry on with tap alongside the rest of her dance studies. 

Alongside her own classes, Miss Nicole began helping in the younger levels. At first she began helping with Ballet level  2. Later on as the time changed with her classes, she started to help with Jazz 1 and Intermediate Ballet, Level 4. She has been helping with Ballet 4 and Jazz 1 since 2018. Miss Nicole has student-instructed since January 2021.

email: sbdastudio@gmail.com for contact info

101 McCray Street, Suite 104 Hollister, CA 95023 USA        

831-630-0188  ~  call or text!


Ali Gillio

​Miss Ali has been dancing at San Benito Dance Academy for 12 years. She started in the Petite class when she was three years old and has loved dancing ever since. Miss Ali has taken many styles to widen her dance education, ballet en pointe, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, modern, acro, tap, and gymnastics. 

In August 2018 at the age of 12, Miss Ali was awarded her pointe letter. In 2020, she was cast as Clara in San Benito Dance Academy’s 13th annual Nutcracker production. She is now an advanced ballet dancer in Performance Pointe (Lev. 7). Throughout all of her long hours at San Benito Dance Academy, SBDA has become a second home to Ali. 

In 2016, Miss Ali became a helper in SBDA’s Helper Program, and started helping Petites and Ballet 2. Since then she has helped various levels and styles: tumbling, lyrical, jazz, and many ballet levels. She has also taught at SBDA’s summer camp and has stepped in as a substitute instructor for many dance classes, under tutelage of SBDA Staff. Something Ali has learned from her many years in the SBDA helper program is to be patient with little ones. Something she has enjoyed is getting to help and put a good influence in little kids life’s. Miss Ali is looking forward to teaching her students and watching them grow in their dance education.

Outside of the dance studio, Miss Ali has been a hard working high school student both at Sacred Heart Parish School and now at San Benito High School. She has served on Student Council many times in various different roles at SHPS, and is involved with Circle of Friends at SBHS. She is polite to her peers and is an amazing example to others around her.

email: sbdastudio@gmail.com for contact info

Katelyn Vass

Miss Katelyn came to San Benito Dance Academy when she was just three years old as a Petite ballet dancer. SBDA has always been Miss Katelyn’s home studio and as she has continued her dance education by taking other classes like Lyrical, Modern, Tap and Ballet en pointe, it has evolved into her second home.  

Outside of the studio, Miss Katelyn is a diligent student, and has participated in Class Office/ASB and other leadership programs, such as Circle of Friends and Drama Club. She is highly respected among her peers and displays maturity and responsibility, attentive to the needs of those around her.Miss Katelyn was cast as Clara in the 2017 SBDA production of The Nutcracker. With much performance experience, poise, respect, and personality, she is a great role model at the studio. She is an advanced pointe dancer in Ballet Level 7, and also takes a variety of other styles.
Miss Katelyn was a faithful and responsible helper in classes for several years, prior to becoming involved in SBDA’s Student Instructor Program in 2018. She has led audition classes, and taught during summer dance sessions in camps and summer ballet classes. She has been a reliable substitute instructor when called on in a pinch, having much experience with little ones. After four years of helping, a year of being a substitute instructor, and one as a Student Instructor thus far, receiving training and guidance along the way, she is so excited to be student-instructing again this year.
“Change the world by being yourself.” -Yoko Ono

email: sbdastudio@gmail.com for contact info