Kirsten Raven Asturi
Kirsten Raven Asturi began her journey in the arts as a ballet dancer. Classically trained, Kirsten began teaching at the age of 18 under the mentorship of Jane Vann Bryan in Merced, CA. In 2002, Kirsten created and implemented a performing arts program within the structure of The Enrichment Center, an art program for adults with different abilities in Merced, CA. This inspired a devotion to inclusion that positively influences her teaching style.
She performed with Central West Ballet in Modesto before branching out to explore and perform modern dance with Off-Balance, a performing company in residence at Modesto Junior College, under the direction of Kim T. Davis and Lori Bryhni. In 2006, she was honored to perform twice during the Gala Evening performance of the American College Dance Festival, in Sacramento, CA.
As a ballet instructor for over 15 years with Juline School of Dance in Modesto, Kirsten honed her craft of teaching to students of all ages. Kirsten’s most treasured arts experiences come from the classroom, and in working with dancers as they learn and grow.
She was able to have the opportunity to work with and learn from David Arce, formerly of San Francisco Ballet, and current Artistic Director of Juline Regional Youth Ballet.
As the former director of Outreach for The Juline Foundation for Children, she has also been able to provide dance experiences to children in public schools throughout Stanislaus County, working with students aged K-6, including students with ranges of abilities.
She has directed numerous performances combining these public school dancers with mentors from Juline Regional Youth Ballet, with magical results.
Kirsten has been able to attend teaching seminars with David Howard, and had the opportunity to observe and learn from many master teachers including Alaine Haubertof Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theater, and Laura Alonso, of Ballet National de Cuba, a world renowned teacher, and the daughter of prima ballerina Alicia Alonso.
Kirsten’s love of sewing and creating started early, and along the way she began costuming the various productions she was involved in. She began to formally design and create costumes in 2003, and this has since led to her creating costumes for Kim T Davis Dance, Central West Ballet, Juline Regional Youth Ballet, San Jose State University, sjDANCEco, Nickerson-Rossi Dance, and Sacramento State University, among others. Having transplanted to the peninsula recently, Kirsten is thrilled to join this wonderful team at The Dance Center, where a new chapter in dance will begin. Kirsten lives in Pacific Grove, with her husband Ira, and son Owen.