Meet the Team

Carolyn Dutra

Founder, Director, President
Miss Carolyn Dutra
Miss Carolyn was a member of the world famous Radio City Music Hall “ROCKETTES”. She also performed with the Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company and was a Soloist and charter member of The Festival Ballet of Rhode Island. Carolyn is a former member of the original “Sherry Gold Dance Co.” Miss Dutra is a former Miss East Providence and model. She has done numerous commercials as well as print ads.

Miss Dutra performed with the Rockette Alumnae at the New York Plaza Hotel and in “The Nutcracker” on Broadway. Carolyn has been tested and is certified to teach dance by The Dance Masters of America, as well as, the Dance Teachers’ Club of Boston and has served on both boards of DMA and DTCB. She is a member of the Dance Alliance of Rhode Island and the National Dance Education Organization, as well as ASCAP, BMI & SESAC and the Warwick Rotary. Miss Dutra has taught and adjudicated throughout the U.S. and Europe and is a coach and evaluator for Dance Proficiency in RI.

Students have been accepted into the Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and Festival Ballet Summer Programs, as well as the Mark Morris Summer Intensive and Alumni have gone on to Broadway, movies and television and more!

In addition to her illustrious career in dance, Miss Carolyn is the proud mother of Blair-Victoria, and grandmother to Carolina!

Blair-Victoria Dutra

Studio Director of Operations, Teacher
Blair-Victoria Dutra is the Studio Director of Operations and  for the three locations,  Co-Director of Dance For Art, Inc. and a dance instructor.  She has been with the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio from the very beginning, and is a former CDDS Company member, dance captain, and Southern RI Youth Ballet Company Member.  She performed in Europe, competitions, with the Moscow Ballet, at Carnegie Hall and more during her 16 years dancing with CDDS. In 2017 she performed as a backup dancer for Weird Al Yancovic at PPAC, RI! She is a current member of the National Dance Education Organization and Dance Alliance. Blair-Victoria pursued her educational career receiving a Masters of Social Work from Boston University and a B.A. in Psychology from Roger Williams University. She served a year with AmeriCorps and then worked at Westbay Community Action in Warwick, RI. Her graduate school internship was at My Life My Choice, a survivor-led non-profit organization fighting to end commercial sexual exploitation of children. She later worked as a project manager at American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Blair completed a 200hr yoga teacher training through Providence Power Yoga, is certified to teach children's yoga through Karma Kids Yoga and a certified POUND Pro instructor. Blair is the proud daughter of Miss Carolyn and mother of Carolina!

Chryssa Mitchell

Faculty, Bookkeeper, Management Team
Chryssa Mitchell  is a Certified Instructor with Rhythm Works Integrative Dance. RWID provides inclusive dance classes created specifically for kids and adults with individual learning differences and other special needs. She is an instructor at the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio, a former Carolyn Dutra Company Member, former member and soloist with the Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Company, and was accepted into the prestigious Pennsylvania Ballet School Summer Program. She has successfully completed the Dance Teachers Club of Boston’s certified dance instructor program and received the award for highest Ballet scores, written and performance, in her graduating class. She is an Early Childhood Educator with a bachelors degree from Wheelock College, Boston, MA and has completed coursework in the Special Education Masters program at Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. In continuing her dance education, Chryssa has also attended the “8 and under curriculum” and “ballet intensive” workshops at the DanceLife Retreat Center, Norton, MA.  Miss Chryssa is the coordinator for CDDS National Honor Society for Dance Arts - junior and secondary chapters.  She LOVES to continue learning.  Currently, she is taking classes through the NDEO Online Professional Development Institute and attending  the national conference in October!

Rachel Ferrara

Faculty, Management Team
Rachel Ferrara is a member and scholarship recipient of National Dance Education Association (NDEO) and Rhode Island Dance Alliance.  Rachel is a graduate of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, Dance Education Training Course, received an award for the Greatest Aptitude for teaching dance, and the Caitlin Ledwell award as Faculty Choice.  She is a former CDDS Company Member and Southern RI Youth Ballet Member.  Rachel performed on cruises, in Disney, competition and more with CDDS, and as a backup dancer for Weird Al Yancovic at PPAC, RI! She is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a degree in Youth Development. Rachel was the recipient of the Paulette Harwood Ballet Scholarship at the 2015 DETC, the highest written and performance scores in Ballet.  Most recently, Miss Rachel received her Acrobatic Arts Certification Primary-Level 6.  She received a perfect score on her written exam.
Miss Rachel is now a certified POUND Pro Instructor, licensed Zumba Instructor and a member of the Dance Teacher's Club of Boston!

Christie Staudt

Company Faculty
Christie Staudt has been with the Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio for over 20 years! A teacher for the past 15 years, she is a former CDDS Company Member and Southern Rhode Island Youth Ballet Soloist. Miss Christie also studied with the Dance Teachers Club of Boston. She is a former Member of the WNBA Solar Power Dance Team, performed on stage for Rascal Flatts and is Graduate of CCRI. Christie is a versatile teacher, instructing all levels from Preschool to adult and all Company Levels.

Jenna Mae Mixner

Recreational & Company Faculty, Office Staff
Jenna Mixner is a Dean College alumni and is very excited to continue her journey as a staff member at Carolyn Dutra Dance Studio. Jenna started dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, Carolyn Dutra in Warwick, Rhode Island. After high school she decided to pursue a career in the dance field and continued her education at Dean College where she earned her Bachelor’s in Dance Performance and Choreography. With the help of Miss Carolyn, she was awarded the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston Dean College scholarship worth $70,000. During her time at Dean, Jenna choreographed more than 10 of her own pieces to be shown on the stage, as well as assisted in producing a show her senior year. She has also performed in original works by Bill Evans, Kristina Berger, Jeremy Howes, Todd Shanks, and more in Dean College’s Dance Company. Jenna is also certified in Acro Arts.

More recently, Jenna’s choreography has been displayed at the Savannah Theatre, New England Cheer & Dance Competition, Dunkin Donuts Center, as well as various dance competitions at the regional and national level. She is elevated to continue her journey at CDDS and share her passion of dance for years to come.

Ashley Andreis

Company Faculty
Ashley began dancing at the age of 5 and received her early ballet training at Eastern Connecticut Ballet. She attended several summer programs including Boston Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, as well a performing in the Youth America Grand Prix for 2 years.

Ashley completed her last three years of schooling with Festival Ballet in Providence, and soon after joined the company at age 17. She has performed in numerous productions, such as Balanchine’s Rubies and Donazetti Variations, Antony Tudors Leaving are Fading, danced the lead in Romeo and Juliet, and various soloist roles in Nutcracker, including the Snow Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Other various works have included pieces by Viktor Plotnikov, Avichai Scher, and Mihailo Djuric. She also has danced as a guest artist for many schools and companies throughout the New England.

Ashley’s passion for the art of ballet has not only allowed her to perform, but has also lead her to quite the career as an instructor. She shares her art as a faculty member at several studios in and around Massachusetts, Rhode Island and in San Diego. She is always excited to train and influence her students in the wonderful world of ballet!

Shane Farrell

Company Faculty
Shane Farrell is a choreographer, dancer, and educator from Providence, Rhode Island. In 2009, Shane joined the Island Moving Company (IMC), a classically trained contemporary ballet company in Newport, RI. During his ten years at IMC, he performed in several national tours and two international tours to Kazakhstan. Shane danced in many amazing venues with IMC’s site specific repertoire: Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff Mansion, Dracula at Belcourt Castle, and Second Star To The Right: A Tale of Hook and Pan aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry tall ship. He has also performed in collaboration with Pasadena Dance Theatre (CA), Missouri Contemporary Ballet (MO), Owen/Cox Dance (MO), Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre (FL), Staycee Pearl Dance Project (PA), Houston MET (TX), and Samruk Dance (Almaty, Kazakhstan), and danced as a guest artist with companies throughout the northeast. Outside of the concert dance world, Shane has appeared on MTV’s Made, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, and the 2010 film Hachi starring Richard Gere.
As a choreographer, Shane’s work has been presented nationally and internationally, most notably at the Abay Opera House in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He has choreographed six world premieres for Island Moving Company (RI) and three original works for their 2018, 2019, and 2021 Newport Dance Festival summer intensive program to critical review. Writing for Motif Magazine, Mark Morin described Luminous (2013) as “raw…and passionately graceful…The suggestiveness and the musicality of Farrell’s choreography...make this piece a guilty sensual delight.” He has additionally choreographed original works commissioned by Wheaton College (MA), Salve Regina University (RI), Sacred Heart University (CT), and is currently adjunct ballet faculty at Dean College (MA).
Please visit for additional information and up-to-date news on Shane Farrell.

Ashley Picard

Company Faculty
   Ashley Picard began her dance career at Cheryl’s School of Dance when she was four years old and danced competitively at her studio for twelve years. She is trained in various genres, including ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyric, contemporary, hip-hop, musical theatre, modern, and acrobatics. Throughout her time at CSD, Ashley has had the opportunity to train with renowned choreographers and performers such as Emily Brown, Billy Griffin, Michael Susten, Andrew Burleson, Travis Wall, and many more. During her competitive years, Ashley was awarded numerous high-score awards, special awards, and prestigious scholarships from Power Pak and the World Dance Pageant. Additionally, she received the Elizabeth Reilly Donabedian Dance Award when she competed in the Miss Rhode Island Teen Scholarship Competition. Ashley has also received title awards as a soloist and was crowned Miss Imagine and Miss Believe at the regional level through the Star Dance Alliance. She even had the opportunity to compete at the World Dance Championship against nine countries and placed Top 10 in the world.
   During her college years, Ashley was a member of the University of Rhode Island’s dance team, the Ramettes. As a Ramette, Ashley performed pom, jazz, and hip-hop style routines at the men’s and women’s basketball games as well as football games. She also received annual training by attending UDA summer camp, a one-week intensive that strengthens dancers’ technique, team-building skills, performance and entertainment quality, and ability to master dynamic routines quickly. Her time as a Ramette has developed her dedication towards providing necessary life skills to her students through dance that can be implemented in every aspect of life.
   Ashley graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and plans to pursue a career as a physician associate in the near future!

Kaitlyn Hutchins

Company Faculty
Kaitlyn Hutchins studied at the Diane Kelley Dance Studio in Massachusetts where she was an award winning dancer. She went on to become an award winning Choreographer for studios all over New England. We are so fortunate to have had Miss Kaitlyn on our staff for the past 10 years as an advanced Company Instructor with her focus on Contemporary. Her choreography has won many awards for our dancers, but most importantly it encourages the dancers to move and express themselves in new ways. And usually leave the audiences with a tear in their eyes. She was recently certified in Acrobatic Arts. When not creating for CDDS, Miss Kaitlyn is a Health and fitness coach and a clinical specialist for a medical device company.

Sari Thaler

Acrobatics Faculty
Sari Thaler has been involved with gymnastics and dance for over 15 years. She recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ball State University with a B.S. in Applied Behavioral Analysis. At Ball State she was also part of the Division 1 gymnastics program. During her dance career Sari won numerous national and regional overall championships and titles. Some of these include National Miss Dance America, National Elite Miss Dance, National Teen Miss Dance and National Teen Elite Dance. Her Acro solos have also received Highest Scoring Solo, Duo or Trio at two national championships. Sari is excited to bring her passion for education and dance to Carolyn Dutra Dance Studios.

Gricelda Orellana

Office Staff
Gricelda has a fun extended background of dance with TDC for about 16 years. She enjoyed being captain of the MPHS Majorette Squad and continued being coach 2 years after graduating high school. Along with dance, she has been in many pageants and has done print and runway fashion shows in Rhode Island & Guatemala. She has been doing receptionist and administrative work for 13 years & hope her bilingual skills will bring diverse opportunities to grow our dance family.

Olivia White

Office Staff
Olivia is a former CDDS dancer who is currently studying Family Sciences and Developmental Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. She has experience in dance and music, focused primarily on choral singing. She is a current member of the URI Dance Company. She is excited to return to the CDDS family and be able to showcase her outgoing personality whether in the office or the classroom.

Kaila Raymond

Office Staff
Kaila grew up dancing  at Academy of Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop in Bellingham, MA and assisted as a classroom demonstrator. She received a bachelor's degree in English and minor in Psychology from Rhode Island College. With many years of customer service and administrative experience, she hopes to make a great impact on parents and children alike. Growing up as a dancer and demonstrator, she is happy to be back in a dance studio assisting others in their passion and fun!