Toni Headshot v2Toni Ricci

Toni has been studying dance for almost 30 years. She got her start in Maine where  after her first recital, she fell in love with the world of dance. She attended an arts enriched high school, which allowed her to make dance the primary focus of her high school education. It was here that she began teaching, choreographing, and directing numerous dance shows and musicals. Toni also obtained her first dance certification at that time. She then went on to the University of New Hampshire to further enrich her training in dance.  Shortly after, she was given the opportunity to tour the United States as a dancer in a live musical production. This included performances on Broadway and at the Kodak Theater. After two years on tour Toni decided to move to Los Angeles and further her dance career. Once in California, Toni began studying ballet with the Anaheim Ballet and teaching at numerous dance schools in the area. At that time, she completed her dance certification with a B.A. in Dance from the University of California State Fullerton. She also made numerous television appearances and choreographed many events.   Throughout her life, she has been awarded numerous dance scholarships and awards. Toni is also a proud member of Dance Masters of America.  Last year she was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year for Southern California by the California Senate. Toni has taught and inspired hundreds of students in southern California in the past decade.  The Elite Dance Center is a testimony to her love dance.  “My job isn’t to just teach dance, it’s to teach students to love to dance.

 

KelliKeli Adams

Keli’s formal training began at the young age of three, studying under the direction of Stanley Holden and Kim Maselli at the Pacific Festival Ballet in Los Angeles.  She has fifteen years of performing experience, and ten years of teaching experience. Keli has an eclectic background in classical ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, and contemporary.  She has worked professionally since the age of six  with some of the top pop and R&B artists as well as numerous prestige ballet companies all over the US. Keli currently is a faculty  choreographer at Hale Charter Academy and teaches in the dance department at  Woodland Hills Elementary.  Keli’s choreography has won numerous awards in the competition circuit and she has been named one of the most artistic choreographers in the LAUSD (west  valley) school district.

 

Lyndon Apostol

Moving in the United States from the Philippines at ten years old, Lyndon took his experience and knowledge from his child-performing days to entertain crowds as a member of the Westlake Choral Music Department (Mixed Chorale, Vocal Ensemble, ACA). His first production was Leroy from FAME, followed by Will from Oklahoma! After high school, he performed as a singer and dancer in community theater productions, Les Miserables and Cabaret.  He currently instructs as a gymnastics, parkour, and freerunning coach at Monarchs Gymnastics and attends  University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to study Philosophy and English. Traveling around Ventura County, he volunteers his time to perform and guest teach at schools to present children of the suburbs the origin and growth of hip hop. He shares his story in hopes to instill raw power and individuality within our community’s youth, and ultimately equipping them to dance freely wherever they go, whatever they may become.

 

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Katie Jane Hagen

Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Katie has been dancing since the age of 4 and has been extensively trained in jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, and contemporary/lyrical. In high school, she was a member of her school’s extremely competitive dance team. She has a B.A. in Dance from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. In college she was a member of the student dance company, Companydance, and Captain of the St. Olaf Dance Team. Since moving to Los Angeles shortly after graduating college, Katie has been performing and choreographing for various music videos and pop artists, including Beyonce. Her choreography has been showcased at several dance concerts and festivals throughout LA including Dancescape LA and MixMatch Dance Festival, LA’s largest dance festival. Her greatest achievement in her dance career has been as a member of the world famous Los Angeles Laker Girls Dance Team. She is currently an ongoing choreographer and performer for LA Unbound Dance Company. Katie also teaches dance at elementary schools and has coached high school dance team in LA. She truly loves teaching because she gets to share her passion and knowledge of dance with children. She passionately believes that dance should be fun and make you happy!

 

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Sara Kempa-Leon

Originally from a small town in Michigan, Sara has been a dancer and gymnast since she was 7 years old. She competed in various competitions throughout Michigan and won many top awards at the regional and national levels, including the title of Miss Teen Dance. Sara has also been blessed with the opportunity to travel all over the US with her dancing, as well as being chosen to travel to Australia to perform and take master classes from Australian teachers. After graduating high school, Sara moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for dance. In LA, she trained as an apprentice at the Performing Arts Center in Van Nuys. In 2003, Sara was given the opportunity to perform in a tribute to Sallie Whalen at the American Choreography Awards. After her leaving the apprenticeship, Sara decided to focus on teaching and working with children; she feels it is important to provide a positive environment for students to grow, achieve self-confidence and explore the art of dance. Although Sara loves teaching, she still has a passion for choreography and performance. She has performed in several benefit concerts as well as dance and choreograph in student and faculty shows at California State University Northridge; she is also a regular dancer and choreographer for the dance company LA Unbound.

 

samantha-ketcherside_croppedSamantha Ketcherside

Samantha began her teaching career while still in college. After earning her Bachelors of Science in dance at the University of Oregon she created Project Bounce, a youth hip-hop dance company. She has taught at numerous studios in Eugene Oregon including Musical Feet, The Edge academy of Dance and Gymnastics and Ballet Fantastique. Aside from her college training Samantha has studied and performed with various dance schools including Lane Dance Co., Ballet Fantastique, Dance Northwest, The Foundation, Zapp, Musical Feet, Central Oregon School of Ballet, Eugene School of Ballet, and more. She has trained in both RAD and Vaganova methods for ballet. Since her move to Los Angeles she has worked in film and music videos and currently dances with Sypher Elite Dance Company. Samantha has taught locally over the past year for Ballet Barre, Best Foot Forward and Kids Music N Motion. Samantha enjoys her time sharing dance with many young students and looks forward to the years to come sharing her love of dance.

 

annamarie-klucevsek Annamarie Klucevsek

Annamarie is an experienced tap dancer, choreographer, and instructor with eight years of experience. She has danced professionally on tour with a tap and music production called “Rhythmic Circus”, and is the member of two working LA based tap companies; The FYV Group and Tap That. She has taught at many recreational and competitive dance studios, performing arts centers, and even college universities. She value’s keeping the arts alive in our youth and is excited to join the Elite Dance family.

 

 

 

 

Flo's HeadshotFlo Miniscloux

Born in France, Flo Miniscloux is professionally trained in many dance forms including ballet, jazz, tap and modern. She primarily studied Vaganova ballet technique under Kristina Kambalov and Russian-born Pasha Kambalov and Lev Assaouliak at the First State Ballet Theatre. There, she performed countless roles in ballets ranging from The Nutcracker and Coppélia to Swan Lake and Paquita. From 2003 to 2004, Flo toured the US playing the lead role of Emmy in the musical, Dragon Tales Live!. During summers, she participated in esteemed ballet programs at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in New York and The Harid Conservatory in Florida. She has placed in the Top 12 in both solo and ensemble categories at the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix competition. Flo was also a recipient of numerous dance scholarships. Her lifelong passion for dance and strong technical ballet background make her a great asset to the Elite staff. Since graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Cinematic Arts, Flo also pursues a career in corporate event producing.

img_4258Christine Peace

Christine grew up in Southern California with a love for the ocean and it’s many activities.  In her teen years, she fell in love with dance.  After spending years training in ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop, Christine graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance.    She studied many years of Pilates with Karen Clippinger and was awarded a scholarship to become certified in Pilates through Body Arts and Science International with a specialization in dance.  She truly believes the practice of Pilates was key in her growth as a dancer and an aerialist. After graduating college, Christine took her first aerial class, quickly discovering a new passion.  After training for several years at Hollywood Aerial Arts, she began performing professionally throughout the country.  Christine has starred on television, in music videos and live awards shows, and in Debbie Allen’s “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.” She was accepted into Cavalia and also played a main role in one of the biggest theme parks in California and all of the world.  She teaches dance and aerial in Southern California, while continuing to perform aerial on silks, hammock, lyra, and cube.

 

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 Heidi Prendergast

Heidi Prendergast began her performing career at a young age traveling around Asia and Europe. She started her classical training at the age of fourteen studying at Cleo Parker Robinson, Lemon Spongecake and Longmont Dance Theater she continued her education receiving her BFA in dance and choreography from the University of Colorado. During that time she trained and performed with Gabriel Mason, Onye Ozuzu, Michelle Ellsworth, Robin Haig, Rennie Harris, Kevin Wynn and Susan Marshall. After graduating she moved to New York where she continued to perform, with various dance companies and her own work, at Dance New Amsterdam, Triskillieon Arts, The Kitchen, St. Marks and other venues. Heidi recently moved to Los Angeles and has been teaching dance throughout southern California and performing with Out of Habit, a multidisciplinary movement company. Heidi is also a certified yoga instructor through YogaWorks.

 12002607_495915890587543_8145563447134247797_oAmanda Ritchie

Amanda began performing at three years old. By the age of seven she starred in a local South Florida children’s show, KidZone. Her passion for performing blossomed and before she attended high school she was offered the opportunity to study with the Joffrey Ballet School on scholarship. During her academic schooling, Amanda worked full time performing with the Ft. Lauderale Ballet Classique. After graduation, her desire to travel the world led her to run away with the circus as a headlining aerialist/dancer with shows such as: Dezire, Cirque on Ice and Four Spirit of the Elements. In 2009 until May 2015 she made the bright lights of Vegas her home performing with Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity and Michael Jackson ONE.

 

 

CharliCharli Smith

Charli Smith has been dancing since the age of 4 as well as performing. She started teaching when she was 15 years old. In highschool, she was on the Varsity Dance team, and was also team captain for her Varsity Hip Hop team, where she began assisting with choreography and student competitions.  She attended the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Releve Dance Studio.  She’s taught at 4 different dance studios, ranging in different styles – from Ballet to African!

 

 

 

 

pavel-tabutovPavel Tabutov

Pavel fell in love with ballet upon his first demi plié and began training at the  Academy of Ballet and Arts in Chicago. Later, he received extensive jazz and contemporary training at Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Centerand Visceral Dance Center. As a choreographer, Pavel was awarded Best Choreography Award from Hall of Fame for several of his works. Later, he began to work with U.S.A. Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastics National team teaching them different styles of dance to advance their choreography and movement skills. Pavel, then, set out on a mission to inspire young dancers to see the brilliance in themselves by approaching discipline through positive reinforcement. Pavel loves to work with all ages and levels, as he believes in sharing the love for dance and rhythmic gymnastics.