Toni Ricci - Director/Instructor

- Jazz/ Leaps & Turns/ Lyrical/ Ballroom

Toni has been studying dance for almost 30 years and teaching dance for 20 of them.  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 live musical productions. 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 education with a B.A. in Dance from the University of California State Fullerton.  She also made numerous television appearances and choreographed many events.

Toni proudly opened the Elite Dance and Performing Arts Centers in 2012 and has spent the past ten years devoted to the growth and success of the business.  She still teaches several classes a week in jazz technique, lyrical, and ballroom.  Being a teacher is still her most important role at the studio.  With an award-winning competition team with over 120 members, she also spends her hours choreographing and overseeing the company.

In 2015 she was awarded Cameo’s Entrepreneur of the year award for California Senate. She has also been awarded three Women in Business awards.   Toni is also a proud member of Dance Masters of America and More Than Just Great Dancing.

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 of dance.  “My job isn’t to just teach dance, it’s to teach students to love to dance.

Keli Adams - Assistant Director/Instructor

- Contemporary/ Leaps & Turns

Keli's formal training began at the young age of three, studying under the direction of Stanley Holden + Kim Maselli at the Pacific Festival Ballet in Los Angeles. Keli has an eclectic background in classical ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary + Improv (GAGA).  She started working professionally at a very young age with some of the top pop and R&B artists as well as numerous prestigious ballet companies. Keli has taken on the role of Assistant Director at The Elite Dance Center, as well as running the competitive dance company.

Keli currently runs the Contemporary Department at EDC with a heavy emphasis on improvisation. Influenced in the GAGA techniques, Keli's improv class offers a creative framework for students to connect their bodies and imaginations, increasing physical awareness in a welcoming atmosphere connecting mind, body + spirit. Keli’s contemporary choreography has won numerous awards in the competition circuit and her contemporary classwork can be seen in #keliadamschoreo on Instagram. With a heavy base of improvisation, students will explore a yoga warm-up, improvisational exercises, and phrases set to music in Keli's contemporary class.

Keli strives for a fast-fulled class that brings mind + body strength together, centralizing energetic moment transcending style + a few essential oils. Check out @keliadams on Instagram for the daily on Keli.

Marissa Kiser - Office Manager

Marissa Kiser grew up dancing in the San Fernando Valley at the Christian Perform Arts Center, where she trained in many different styles of dance from 7-18 years old. After high school, she continued to take classes in college at the College of The Canyons while she worked toward figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up.

Through the next 5-7 years of trying to figure out her life's course, she stumbled upon stage-managing through a friend who brought her on for a project, although she had no experience. This sparked her love of being a part of the production side of entertainment. In 2017 Marissa graduated with a BA in Business Entertainment from the Los Angeles Film School, where she has applied the business skills she has learned to help The Elite Dance Center grow in the last 4 years of coming aboard as Office Manager.

Lesli Todd - Ballet Director/Instructor

- Ballet

Lesli began her life-long journey in dance at age two when she began her dance training at The Dance Center owned by her Mother in Mobile, AL. Her technical dance training includes ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, tap, lyrical, and acrobatics.  While training, she discovered her passion for teaching at the age of fourteen.  Even though at that age her focus was to have a professional performance career she continued teaching throughout her professional dance career. 

Lesli was awarded scholarships and had the opportunity to train with world-renowned teachers at The Joffrey Ballet School, The Ailey School, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and Broadway Dance Center. After graduating from a communication and arts high school Lesli moved to Chicago, IL. While in Chicago she became a company dancer with Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre and Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. 

After her performance career in Chicago Lesli moved back to her hometown and took over the position of Artistic Director of her family-owned dance studio.  Becoming the director of the studio fueled her passion even more for teaching and choreographing.  During this time she also served on the board and was a resident choreographer for the Alabama Contemporary Dance Theatre and casting director and assistant choreographer under the direction of Ray Collins at Children’s Musical Theatre.  In addition, she performed as a Guest Artist for Mobile Ballet and served as assistant choreographer and rehearsal director for many full-length ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, and many more. 

In 2007 Lesli moved to Charlotte, NC where she continued her dance career as a performer, teacher, and choreographer.  During her time in Charlotte Lesli was a company dancer for The Moving Poets, taught dance and choreographed for the Union County Youth Ballet, served as the director of the Dance Davidson Jazz Company, and served as a teaching artist for the outreach program and guest faculty for the Charlotte Ballet.  Independently her choreography was nationally televised in collaboration with the NBA Charlotte Bobcats and McDonald's corporation. In 2010 Lesli opened her own dance studio Harmony Dance Center where she served as artistic director and cultivated a pre-professional dance company for aspiring youth dancers.  Lesli has been the recipient of several prestigious choreography awards from UNCSA, the Panoply Festival of the Arts, and several national dance competitions. 

Since moving to Los Angeles in 2017, Lesli has continued teaching and choreographing, and sharing her expertise and love for dance with dancers of all levels.  She is sought after for her ability to teach technique and has been a guest teacher at many different studios throughout Southern California and the US. She currently teaches at Elite Dance and Performing Arts Center where she also serves as the Ballet Director and The Artist Collective as Ballet Mistress.  Her choreography was also featured on the Nickelodeon Network for “Kids Pick the President” hosted by KeKe Palmer. 

Throughout her career, Lesli has trained and mentored hundreds of students that desire to have a professional career in dance. Her knowledge, passion, and unique ability to mold a dancer for a career in dance have proven successful throughout the years. Lesli has seen many of her former students follow in her footsteps and go on to have successful dance careers on Broadway, Music, Film/Television, Professional Dance Companies, Teaching, and Choreography.  

Bailey Hansen - Team Coordinator/Instructor

- Hip-Hop/Leaps & Turns/Future Stars

Bailey began her dancing career when she was 6 years old.  She joined the Elite Dance Center eight years ago and was highly involved as a Dance Company member. She traveled and trained with some of the top teachers and choreographers in the business.   Bailey began teaching and assisting at the age of 16 and has loved every second.  She graduated in 2020 and has dedicated herself to teaching and working at Elite as the team coordinator. She is beyond excited to have now switched roles from a student to an instructor and give back to the community that helped shape her as a dancer and instructor.

Lauren Pafford - Front Desk Enrollment Concierge 

Lauren Pafford is originally from Arkansas where she began dancing at a young age and went to a Performing Arts elementary and high school. She always knew dance was where she belonged. She later received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she was classically trained in Ballet and Modern. Before coming to us she honed her customer service and guest relations skills working at the Disneyland Resort and CLI Studios. It was through these organizations that she decided to pursue working in Dance Administration to help others find the art form she loves so much. In her free time she uses her experience with operations and retention to serve as an advisor for two different organizations; the University of Arkansas Dance Exploratory Committee and the Kappa Delta Sorority Chapter Advisory Board in Little Rock.

Rylie Norby - Front Desk Receptionist 

Rylie Norby has been working in the office and subbing classes at EDC since the fall of 2019. She grew up dancing at the Academy of Dance in San Luis Obispo. Rylie was a company dancer with the Civic Ballet of SLO from 2015-2018. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Jennifer Thoma Memorial Ballet Scholarship which she used to attend Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Program. She is currently a senior at CSUN studying Kinesiology Dance.

Nikki Blakeslee - Aerial Silks Instructor

Nikki has taught all over the United States and Internationally. She freely shares her passion for dance and the aerial arts with the intention to inspire and encourage our inner authentic artists. As an Artistic Director, she inspired and created a state-of-the-art Aerial Dance Program with groundbreaking success. She is currently dancing, teaching, and choreographing in Los Angeles. Nikki has worked professionally with Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Lenny Kravitz, Jane’s Addiction, and Debbie Allen on stage and on television. She has appeared on Dancing with the Stars, the Annual American Music Awards, Billboard Live Music Awards, and Fame the reality series. She is also well versed in Hoop, Hammock, Tissue, Cube, and many innovative aerial apparatus. Currently, Nikki can be seen performing with Terry Beeman’s, Mental Head Circus now playing at Tim Robbin’s theater, The Actors Gang, and Hollywood’s King King Club.

Justin De Vera - Instructor

- Hip-Hop

Justin is a Professional Dancer, Teacher, and Choreographer with over 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry. He grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles watching his sister dance growing up. He soon followed in her footsteps and at the age of 6 began studying hop-hop, jazz, tap, ballet, and contemporary. He booked his first professional job at the age of 12 on the Gilmore Girls.  After graduating high school he attended the University of Arizona with a major in dance.   In his first semester of college, he booked his first job at 19 for a Britany Spears world tour.

Since then, he has worked with some of the biggest names in music including Madonna, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Camila Cabello, Usher, Chris Brown, and many more.  Justin is a sought-after dance teacher and choreographer and has taught for years all over California.  Justin is excited to bring his experience and new energy to the students here at EDC!

Robson Freire - Instructor

- Ballet

Robson is a dancer and actor who first stepped on stage at age 10. After training in his hometown of Manaus, he moved to São Paulo city in 1996 on a full scholarship with the historic Brazilian dance company, Balé Stagium. Freire studied with some of Brazil’s most prestigious professionals (Liliane Benevento, Ricardo Ordoñez, Décio Otero, Ismael Guiser and Yoko Okada), joining ventures in opera, theater and dance, including the 1996 Youth Coke Award Winner, O Pássaro do Limo Verde.

Returning to Manaus in 1998, he joined the first generation of the Corpo de Dança do Amazonas/CDA (resident company of Amazonas Opera House), touring between 1998 and 2004 while receiving training from Ivo Karagueorguiev (National Ballet of Sofia/Bulgary), Ronald E. Brown (Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre/NY) and Ivonice Satie (Grand Théâtre de Genève/Switzerland). He then became the Ballet Master of the Balé Folclórico do Amazonas. He has choreographed for CDA, The Amazonas Opera Festival(The Magic Flute/Mozart and the Brazilian opera, Pedro e Malazarte).

In 2001, Robson founded his own company, Elenco Alternativo de Dança, with the support of Villa-Lobos Cultural Foundation (2001), the Government of Amazon State (2006), FUNARTE (2003) and the Manaus City Hall Counselor of Culture (2007). In 2006, he was invited by Ronald E. Brow to attend the First Dance Seminar of Long Beach State University.

Now based in California, Robson has danced as a guest dancer and soloist in local companies such as Pacific Ballet Dance Theater, Brockus Project Dance Company, Project 21, Lion’s Pounce Dance Theatre, Lake Arrowead Classical Company, Ballet Collective LA, Belly Twins Production, La Danserie , and Le Studio Dance. He has performed roles in several classical ballet productions. Robson has been teaching all over the state of California bringing Ballet for regular students as well as those brand new to the discipline and wishing to learn in a dynamic setting. He is now excited to share his knowledge with the students of The Elite Dance Center!

Annie Grove - Instructor

- Ballet

Annie is a Los Angeles-based dancer, choreographer, actor, and teacher. Originally from Napa, She left home at 15 to study at the Interlochen Arts Academy, a boarding school for young artists. After graduation, her journey continued all around the world, from Philadelphia to Milan, Annie has studied not only dance but Tae-Kwon-Do, stage combat, and more. Her dance training comes from notable studios such as Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco, Koresh in Philadelphia, and San Francisco Ballet. She eventually went on to earn her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of music. Going on her fourth year in Los Angeles she has danced professionally with many artists including Finneas, Sam Fischer, and more. She spends time traveling and choreographing for schools around the country and has recently started judging the competition circuits. She loves to bake and will stop and pet every dog on the street no matter what!

Breana Jackson - Instructor

- Hip-Hop/Contemporary

Breana Jackson is an LA native who began dancing at the early age of five. Currently a professional dancer and dance instructor, Breana has recently received her degree as an Early Childhood Development major while counseling children and teenagers throughout the years. She began teaching at 16 as an assistance choreographer for her praise dance team as well as at her home studio. At 21 she went on to assist and choreograph for an adult hip hop company, The Brian Drake Company, where she would help maintain the training when the creator traveled for dance-related work.

Breana has instructed at other various studios in the Los Angeles area including: West Coast Dance Theater, Zulu Dance Studio, LivArt Dance Studio and DanceTime by Stephanie to name a few. Breana teaches multiple dance styles including: Ballet, Contemporary, Improv/Freestyle Movement, Hip-Hop, and African. Her previous and current students have ranged from 1-year-olds to 21+. She has also presented her work at Los Angeles dance events/showcases including: The Brian Drake Showcase, 8th wonder, Friday Night Raw, Infusion Live, and Elixir at the Federal Bar. Dance credits include: Kanye West, Travis Scott, Nav and Gunna, Daddy Yankee, BET Awards, 2019 Magic Holiday Christmas Parade, Staple Centers halftime entertainment, Choreographers Carnival Anniversary Showcases as well as a backup dancer for various artists.

 

Sara Kempa-Leon - Instructor 

- Lyrical/Jazz Instructor

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 choreographs 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 - Instructor

-Adult Ballet/Acro/Stretch & Conditioning

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.

Kateryna Klishyna - Instructor

- Ballroom

Originally from Kharkov, Ukraine, Kateryna has enjoyed dancing ever since she was a child at age of 8, Kateryna’s parents took her to her very first ballroom classes, and her passion for dance was kindled into a lifelong career.

With a strong desire to excel and be the best she can be, Kateryna has amassed an impressive catalog of titles, including Ukrainian National Champion, IDSA World Open Champion, Blackpool Quarter-Finalist, 3rd at Austrian Open Champion, Finalist of German Open, and Dutch Open Championships.

Kateryna television credits include being a 3rd place Super-Finalist on “So You Think You Can Dance, Ukraine, “Real Dirty Dancing” channel 7 Australian TV, and Professional Dancer on “Dancing With The Stars, Georgia”. Has also had the opportunity to perform on famous stages of Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Art Center, and Emmy’s Event at Television Academy.

Cassidey Mawhinney - Instructor

- Cheer/Tumble

Cassidey has been cheering for 7 years, she switched from dance to cheerleading in 7th grade after dancing for 11 years. She started All-Star Cheerleading in her freshman year of high school. She was on the varsity team as a freshman and competed in Regionals twice and won. She had the opportunity to go to D2 summit and placed third in the world. Cassidey helped coach multiple teams throughout high school and ran tumbling classes and private lessons with her teammate. In the last year of her high school career, her team got a Regionals win and was named Class A State Champions with her as the team captain. After graduation she moved from Maine to California.  She started cheerleading at the Peirce College where she helps her new teammates with coaching, is an assistant at Saint Mel’s school, and has now joined the staff at the Elite Dance Center on all things tumbling.

Brooke Melilo - Instructor

- Tap

Brooke has been dancing for 14 years, since the age of four. She started competing at the age of 5; winning many individual awards, overalls, and titles. Brooke was a part of the very first hip hop number in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. She performed in her first professional show at the age of 16 in LA. She is trained in all styles of dance from ballet, tap, jazz, ballroom, and hip-hop. Brooke is originally from Connecticut but now resides in California where she is pursuing her career in the dance industry. She travels the country all year long, taking classes from the most high-demand choreographers in the business. Brooke has been teaching dance since she was 15 years old. She loves to choreograph and teach all subjects. When she is not teaching, you can find Brooke in class. She believes the classroom is where you grow the most. Every class is a great class!


Mai Ostrow - Instructor

- Petite Acro

Mai has been dancing with Toni for 12 years and has been with Elite since it opened. She competed with the studio for 6 years and was part of the growth of EDC. Mai is known for being super flexible and having incredible jumps, along with being advanced in acro, which she now teaches. She has always been a straight-A student and is currently a junior at El Camino. Mai still currently dances at elite, attending jazz, ballet, contemporary, and acrobatic experiences. She has always had a passion for teaching, which was discovered through her many years of being a dance teacher assistant and substitute teacher. She is very honored to be part of the EDC staff and is excited for the years to come!

Hailey Piano - Instructor

- Preschool and tap

Hailey has been dancing since she was 3 years old. In her 13 years of dance she has trained in all styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and more.  She started dancing at Elite when it first opened 10 years ago and has been highly involved in the Dance Company for 6 years.  She has also trained with some of the top choreographers and teachers in the business including Mia Micheals ,Teddy Forance, Travis Wall and more!

Hailey has been an assistant for many years in all styles and began teaching last season.  She is excited to share her passion and knowledge with the next generation of dancers!

Heidi Prendergast - Instructor

- Ballet

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.

Miss Princess - Instructor

- Preschool Combo/ Mini Hip-Hop

Princess began her dance training at the age of 2 .  She trained in all styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, pointe, and Modern.  She went on to attend and graduate from the University of the Arts. As a professional dancer, she has worked for various artists/companies such as: Beyoncé, Nike, Target, GA Lottery, Kelly Rowland, and Keith Sweat. Princess has been teaching children or as she likes to call them “her muffins,” for over 15 years all over southern California. In her time teaching, she has been the director of several pre-school programs.  Princess can teach all ages but is specialized in working with pre-school dancers.  Her class is a great blend of structure and technique and imagination and fun!  She is thrilled to be teaching the next generations of dancers here at the Elite Dance Center.

Dominic Rayman - Instructor

- Acro

Dominic has been dancing for 10 years and has been teaching for 6 years, he started training in South Ogden Utah with Elite Dance Force under former owner Misty Robbins, Utah Jazz dancer. He was on the high school dance team at Cathedral City high school and was titled, dance captain. Dominic is a part of our acrobatic program! He teaches acrobatics, contemporary, jazz and technique classes. He has worked with Abby Lee Dance Company, Dance moms, Todrick Hall, Kendal Vertes, and more! He is going to continue his journey in the arts and wants to bring great assets to students who love the art and are very passionate about what they Love! Dominic is very honored to be a part of Elite Dance PAC and looks forward to tremendous, amazing years!

Jessee Robinson - Instructor

- Tap

Jessee Robinson is from Moorpark, California she grew up training in all styles of dance at a local studio. Through this avenue, she discovered that tap dance was her true passion and decided to invest all of her time into the art form by taking as many classes as possible.

Since then, she has been part of two youth tap companies and has had the pleasure of being mentored by many influential tap dancers like Derick Grant and Sarah Reich. She has created multiple one-woman shows under the mentorship of Derick Grant, as well as a live two-person show at Riff Dallas. She teaches/subs at many different studios in the area. She loves teaching Tap dance to people of all ages. Jessee has goals of becoming a professional tap dancer. With hopes to get the opportunity one day, to travel around the world sharing the joy of tap dance!

Charli Michelé Smith - Instructor

- Hip-Hop/ Tap

Charli, originally from the Bay, has been dancing since the age of 4. She trained at Debbie Allen Dance Academy learning different styles, however, Charli has excelled in tap and hip hop. She has been teaching since the age of 16 and is currently the head hip-hop coach at Calabasas High School. Since graduating from CHAMPS high school in 2012 she has been a part of multiple dance productions, music videos, and danced for artists such as Lizzo. She has also gotten her certificate to teach preschool and kindergarten with an emphasis on special needs movement. Currently, Charli can be seen in commercials such as Old Navy and Total Wireless 2021.  She is a representative for the Plus Size dance and modeling community!

Maggie Smith - Instructor

 - Preschool Combo/ Hip-Hop/Acro/Jazz

Maggie Adams grew up in Norfolk, Va. She has been trained extensively in all areas under the direction of Denise Wall. She has worked with choreographers Cat Rendic, Dana Foglia, Richy Jackson, Mandy Moore, and many more! She has been a part of numerous live shows and performances in Los Angeles and in New York City. Maggie also recently had the pleasure of appearing in Netflix’s “I Dream of Dance.”  Maggie’s main objective as an artist and teacher is to be equally great in each area of dance and continuously share in the process. She is thrilled to be starting her career in Los Angeles and to be an instructor here at the Elite Dance Center!

Alison Stroming - Instructor

- Ballet

Alison Stroming is a professional dancer, model, and entrepreneur. Born in Recife, Brazil and raised in the heart of New York City, she started her formal ballet training at nine years old at the School of American Ballet. She continued her training at the prestigious American Ballet Theater. In 2010, Alison won the title of “Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen” and represented the state of New York at Miss America's Outstanding Teen where she won Overall Talent.

As a professional ballerina, she has performed across the country and overseas in Spain, Lithuania, Guatemala, Tel Aviv, Poland, Budapest, and Italy. Alison also had the opportunity to perform with legend, Aretha Franklin, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Alison has been featured in national campaigns for Under Armour, Free People, Aeropostale, Adidas, McDonalds, Canon, and American Eagle, which was featured on Times Square billboards. She has been featured in several publications and media including Marie Claire, BET, Popsugar, Interview, Nylon Magazine, and ELLE Magazine. In 2018, Alison launched her very first dance wear line and company, AS Dancewear, with focus on female empowerment. In addition to ballet, Alison studies all styles of dance, acting, voice, and serves as a mentor to young dancers across the country.

Pavel Tabutov - Instructor

- Acro

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 Center and Visceral Dance Center. As a choreographer, Pavel was awarded the Best Choreography Award from Hall of Fame for several of his works. Later, he began to work with the 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 his love for dance and rhythmic gymnastics.

Alex Yonkovich - Instructor

- Jazz/Acro/Hip-Hop/Leaps & Turns

Born & raised in Fullerton, CA, Alex began her dance training at a young age. After dancing both competitively & artistically, she is now a graduate of The University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance (2015). She has also been a guest resident for UNLV dance department.

Alex has spent inspiring summers with Interlochen Arts Camp, Brockus Dance Project, Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop, & River North Dance Chicago. She had the opportunity to tour 14 cities of China with Art. If. Act Dance Project in The Great American Dance Tour, as well as assisting Sam Watson at the Bolzano Summer Dance Festival in Bolzano, Italy.

She has had the pleasure of teaching all ages of dance at Millennium Dance Complex Las Vegas, The Rock Center for Dance, The Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre, and Theatre Arts Prep School Las Vegas.

Alex performed on Dancing with the Stars: Showstoppers, danced with Walk The Moon at Life is Beautiful and has performed in several events presented by Cirque Du Soleil. She most recently wrapped up her five years as a full-time ensemble dancer & soloist in The Beatles LOVE by Cirque Du Soleil, where she assumed Dance Captain and Artist Coach (2015 - 2020). She has now relocated to Los Angeles, CA, recently working in different music videos and commercials and also teaches the students of Pasadena Dance Theatre and The House Dance Complex.

Talya Zaken - Instructor

- Petite Ballet/ Petite Jazz

Talya began taking dance classes as a young child. Her love for dance kept growing stronger as the years went by and she made the big decision of moving studios to expand her passion for dance. Coming to EDC helped Talya improve tremendously all while creating long-lasting relationships that are unforgettable. She has taught at training camps, competed for several years, and assisted in many dance classes along the way. This will be Talya’s third year at Elite and she cannot wait to start teaching young dancers that are ready to learn.