Brian Dougherty


Brian has been a resident of the Santa Clara Valley for over 30 years.  His daughter Adrianna performed in the SJDT's Nutcracker from 8 years of age to her senior year in high school, when she performed as Snow Queen, Dew Drop and Spanish Chocolate.  As the owner of a software consulting company for most of his career, he brings experience in the business world and an avid appreciation of the dance arts.

Elizabeth Sweeney


Elizabeth began her dance training under the Royal Academy of Dance. She then began training under Paul Curtis and Shawn Stuart at San Jose Dance Theatre. With their guidance she performed in their Nutcracker from the age of eight to seventeen. While dancing at San Jose Dance Theatre under Robert Kelleys’ direction she was given the opportunity to participate in Regional Dance America. She then danced at the former San Jose Cleveland Ballet School under the direction of Denis Nahat before continuing to University. Elizabeth Graduated from California State University Long Beach with a BA in Dance. She is grateful to her professors Keith Johnson, Susan McLain, and Doug Neilsen for introducing her to the world of modern dance.  Elizabeth feels privileged to be invited to be a board member with San Jose Dance Theatre and hopes her contribution will help inspire future dancers to reach their dreams. Elizabeth will be helping regularly behind the scenes as well as guest teaching at San Jose Dance Theatre in Modern dance and Choreography.

Phylis Dougherty


Phylis has been volunteering for San Jose Dance Theatre in 1995.  Phylis has always loved dance and brings her passion for this art to San Jose Dance Theatre.   Phylis has been the liaison for our community program with the Girl Scouts of Northern California for 11 years and has been the Treasurer.   A registered nurse in her "real life”, Phylis hopes to promote the therapeutic properties of the art of dance.

Marji Karlgaard


Marji joined the San Jose Dance Theatre Board in 2015 after studying ballet with Linda Hurkmans, and performing in the 2014 Nutcracker. A life long lover of ballet, she has a degree in Nutrition Science from UC Davis, and a background in sales and marketing, banking, and dietetics.  She has served on the governing board of her 3,500 member church and on numerous committees for schools and non-profit organizations, including Silicon Valley Board of Realtors. The joy of dance for all ages, and the opportunity to educate the next generation of dancers with quality art and performing opportunities drives her board participation at San Jose Dance Theatre.

Linda Hurkmans

Artistic Director

Linda is San Jose Dance Theatre's Artistic Director.  She is also a San Jose Dance Theatre alumnus and board member.  For her full biography, please look under Faculty.


Stino Tapia

Special Projects

After having both of his daughters perform for several years in the San Jose Dance Theatre’s Nutcracker back in 1996, he became passionate about the art of dance and providing dance opportunities to bay area youth.  Both daughters attended the San Jose Dance Theatre academy where they received excellent training in Ballet.   In 1997, Stino began helping with the backstage productions that the SJDT studio produced and later joined the board of directors.  Stino works at a high-tech software company here in the San Francisco Silicon Valley managing an IT department.  When spending 50+ hours a week in technology, it is a welcome change to be involved with something totally different and inspiring, the art form of ballet.

Lee Forbes

Production Director

Lee has been a parent volunteer for San Jose Dance Theatre since 1996, when two of his sons, Danny and Chris, asked to be in the performance after watching this amazing production of The Nutcracker for the first time. His son, Danny, went on to compete in ice skating and found his dance training and performing with San Jose Dance Theatre very valuable.  His paying job over the past 40 years is in the design and engineering of high-tech printed circuit boards here in Silicon Valley. He is currently with Juniper. Lee's personal goal for San Jose Dance Theatre is to keep the legacy of this beautiful production alive, so that his grandchildren can also “Experience the Magic!”

Renee Forbes

Costume Director and Board Member

Renee has been involved with San Jose Dance Theatre since 1996.  When her son Danny was 3 years old, the Forbes family saw The Nutcracker for the first time, and Danny said he wanted to be in the Nutcracker.  Renee volunteered for the costume committee and has been working on San Jose Dance Theatre costumes ever since.  Renee is currently in charge of costumes for all of our productions.  Renee stays involved with SJDT because it opens doors for children to perform that otherwise would not have that opportunity. Though her children are now grown, Renee would like to see the opportunities at San Jose Dance Theatre continue for future generations.

Kay Pettitt

Co-Costume Director

Kay grew up surrounded by creativity; her mother directed children's theater and was a television puppeteer. Kay didn't think anything of this until volunteering backstage 30 years later, when she found latent interests and skills bubbling to the surface. Beginning with simple alterations (in 2009, when her eldest daughter first participated as a mouse and cookie), Kay learned more each year about costuming dancers--about safety of the dancers, and how costumes look from balcony levels--from headpiece to reindeer hoof. She continues to learn how to apply the 3R's: refurbish, rejuvenate, and recreate, so the history and wonderful designs of the founders are preserved and enjoyed for years to come. All three of Kay's children, her son and youngest daughter as well, are now dancing and making ballet, SJDT, and The Nutcracker, a true family affair.

Special Thanks

San Jose Dance Theatre would like to sincerely thank former board members Jennifer Joyce Watson, Michelle Yasuda, Willard Roit, Bronweyn Coleman, and all other former board members for their time, enormous talent, and devotion to keeping our legacy alive!

Jennifer Joyce Watson

Michelle Yasuda, Board

Michelle Yasuda

Willard Roit

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