Instructor Bio

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photos (above) courtesy of Michael Kinear

Hamel Dance Academy owner and instructor Christine Hamel started her dance training when she was just three years old. She went on to train at the School of Pacific Ballet Theater (now known as Oregon Ballet Theater), Summer Dance Lab at Whitman College, Smith College, and Studio Flay Ballet in Geneva, Switzerland. Upon graduating from Smith College, with a degree in political science and French, and a minor in dance, Christine returned to Portland and danced professionally with St. Clair in Company for several years as well as performed in various classical ballets under the direction of Barbara Remington. She has taught for Portland Public Schools, Beaverton Arts and Communications School, Portland Parks and Recreation, and several private studios including Stites Performing Arts Center.

Christine is currently on staff at the YMCA in Sherwood. She also completed the Summer Dance Institute for Teachers Program at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, Washington. She is passionate about teaching and enjoys watching her students progress in their training. Many of Christine’s former students have been accepted into leading dance programs such as Summer Dance Lab, the Joffrey Ballet School’s summer dance program, the Da Vinci Performing Arts Magnet School, Dance West, Jefferson High School performing arts program, and various college dance programs. Christine has three sons and a daughter.

“During my training at Hamel Academy of Dance, I didn’t just learn to dance, I learned how to express myself. Christine first taught me when I was five years old. Eleven years later, I realize how blessed I am to have learned from such an amazing, knowledgeable teacher. She gave me the foundation I needed to be the best I can be in dancing, and for life. From learning first position to trying on my first pair of pointe shoes, she has been there for me as she is for all of her students. Christine doesn’t just run an academy, but brings children of all ages together and helps them grow in their love for dance through her passion to teach and inspire. This past summer I attended the Joffrey program in New York City on a full scholarship.  Now I’m training as a pre-professional with The Portland Ballet, but I wouldn’t have made it here without her guidance and unending support.”
~ Emily Rapp (below)
former Hamel Dance Academy student

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