After spending a year watching and dancing from the sidelines while her big sister took classes, OLIVIA LEI BYERS-STRAUS officially began dancing at Steppin' Out when she was three years old, studying ballet with Avilee Goodman and tap with Angela Dorantes. She is currently a member of the Special Needs Company at Steppin' Out, taking classes twice a week and performing at the annual showcase.
While attending Ruth Asawa School of the Arts High School, Olivia studied dance with Elvia Marta and performed in the musicals Wedding Singer and Seussical. When she was a freshman she performed in Carnival at Riordan High School. For many summers she performed with KidStock, a musical theater camp. When she got too old to be a camper, she worked as an assistant to Angela, choreographing and teaching dances to the younger children.
After graduating from SOTA, Olivia moved to Los Angeles to participate in Pathway at UCLA, a 2-year post-secondary program, from which she earned her certificate in June 2015. Now she's happy to be back in San Francisco, living in an apartment in Laurel Heights and teaching Steppin' Out's creative movement class for children with disabilities, which allows her to share her love for dance with her young students.
For the 2016-17 season, Olivia will be teaching Special Needs Creative Movement on Tuesdays from 5-6 p.m.