St. Ignatius


The St. Ignatius Dance Program offers opportunities for students through dance instruction and performance in three different areas: Dance IA, Dance IB, and Dance Workshop.

In Dance IA and IB students learn the “vocabulary” of dance – positions, terminology for steps, combinations and develop vital elements of dance including balance, posture, gesture, rhythm, space and breath. The class helps the student to discover new ways of moving and to communicate one’s artistic vision through dance.

Admitted by audition only, Dance Workshop offers dance as an academic performing art. Students will learn to further build technique, personal expression and work in a dance ensemble to gain choreographic experience as an individual by taking risks in creating new styles and ways of moving. Dance Workshop performs in the Fine Arts Assembly and Dance Concert.

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About Dance Director Emily Shick

Emily was born and raised in San Bruno, CA. After graduating from St. Ignatius College Preparatory in 2010, she attended Sonoma State University where she received her Bachelor's degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Dance as well as a Minor degree in Early Childhood Education. Within her college years, Emily was a member of several hip-hop companies, The U.N.I.T. and UDC based in Santa Rosa, CA. She competed and showcased throughout the Bay Area in shows including World Of Dance, Collaboration, North Bay Dance Festival, Mission in the Mix, and opened for musical artists Kalin and Myles. She co-started Sonoma State's first hip-hop dance club on campus called Blue Baronz. Emily was a performer in The American College Dance Festival in Arizona. She was a Student Caucus University Speaker representing Sonoma State at the following American College Dance Festival in Long Beach, CA. Emily ended her career at SSU as a choreographer and assistant director for the university's dance program.

After graduation, Emily connected back with SI and joined their summer school program helping lead the dance and musical theater camps which soon was followed by a dance assistant position with SI's dance program. Simultaneously, Emily was a head classroom teacher for Forest Hill Christian Church Preschool and then transferred to West Elementary School in Hillsborough as a paraeducator/office assistant within their special education department. Gaining larger roles at SI, Emily remained at SI as a choreographer for Dance Workshop, moderator for Dance & Drill, director for SI's Cabaret, and an assistant choreographer for SI's musicals. She also founded the SIHI dance team on campus. Emily became SI's dance program director in 2019. She continues to moderate both dance teams and direct SI's Cabaret. In addition, she has led freshman/sophomore and senior retreats, choreographed for various SI fashion show events, and has been a liturgy speaker. Her work has been presented at Vision Series in SF and various concept videos.

Emily is a member of INQ Dance Company and co-director of their training team QTZ. Both teams are based out of Full Out Studios in Oakland. She has competed in competitions including Prelude and Complex. Emily is an executive coordinator for consecutive dance intensives in Oakland. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization as well as their California chapter. Emily is currently a resident of San Francisco enjoying Golden Gate Park as her next door neighbor. 

About Claire Calalo Berry

Claire Calalo Berry is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer who has been working in the San Francisco Bay Area for over fifteen years. Drawn to dance by way of her first love, musical theater, she began formal training in the modern dance program at Moreau Catholic High School, under the direction of Angela Demmel. She then majored in Dance and Biology at Santa Clara University, and went on to earn an MFA in Dance from the University of California at Irvine. While there, she studied with dance legend Donald McKayle as well as Loretta Livingston, Jodie Gates, and other esteemed faculty. She was invited to perform and direct in Lisa Naugle’s DTM2 Performance Ensemble at The International Festival for Composers in Spain in 2009, and also presented her research paper One Nation Under Art: Using International Dance Outreach to Establish Foundations for Social Justice, at the 23rd World Congress on Dance. Her MFA thesis work focused on democratizing dance by incorporating collaborative processes and empowering dancers through collective ownership of choreographic materials.

As a professional dancer, Claire has performed works by Tandy Beal, Angela Demmel, Sue Li Jue, Nina Haft, Kristin Damrow, Nhan Ho, Lauren Baines, and many others. In 2010, she founded for change dance collective (, a collaborative dance-making ensemble focused on creating innovative dance theater with social consciousness, with whom she both performs and serves as Artistic Director. Formerly an Adjunct Lecturer at Las Positas College and Santa Clara University, Claire has also taught in local community outreach programs, competitive dance studios, high schools, and international programs in Nicaragua, Belize, and Spain. She serves on the Board of Directors of Choreographers Performance Alliance in Berkeley and Teatro Catalina, an arts education program serving children in rural Nicaragua. 
As a dance maker, a teacher, and a dance advocate, Claire’s greatest joy comes from witnessing the small discoveries we make about ourselves when we move. She believes that these expressive moments lead us to finding purpose, joy, identity, and an understanding of our role within our communities, and she cannot wait to begin her teaching journey at St. Ignatius College Preparatory.