Kristen Portner, M.A.
Artistic Director / Owner

Kristen grew up in Cupertino, CA dancing and competing as an equestrian vaulter. She began representing the USA internationally at the age of 9 and spent her childhood summers traveling and competing throughout Europe until she left the sport to focus solely on dance at 16. She went on to complete her undergraduate degree in Dance Performance and then graduate degree in Dance Education from New York University while dancing professionally in both LA and NYC.


Kristen went on to serve on the faculty of over 30 different public and private dance institutions as a dance teacher, lecturer, curriculum writer and program administrator. She served as a lead teacher for the award winning dance-themed Gabriella Charter School in downtown Los Angeles for 4 years, co-wrote the GCS and ABC Unified School District's VAPA dance curriculums for 3rd - 5th grades in 2009, and worked as a teaching artist for world renown programs like the 92nd Street Y Harkness Center for Dance, Peridance Center NYC, Leeds University U.K., and the NYU Steinhardt School of Education as well as completing an editorial internship and then feature writer highlight with Dance Teacher Magazine. 

After moving to Belmont with her then 3 month old son and husband Josh she began teaching for Professional Ballet School. Over the past 7 years what began as teaching Ballet 1 for the program blossomed into establishing it's first Lyrical division and award winning Competitive Program leading the team to multiple Championship titles as well as prestigious industry Choreography and Performance awards.


Kristen became the new Artistic Director and Owner of Liv DanceArts, Professional Ballet School in August of 2017 bringing with her a passion to continue the high level of technical instruction the program has become known for. Her husband Josh and her two young sons Logan and Lucas are integral members of the school's behind the scenes support team.