Ballet, Jazz/Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Leaps & Turns, Musical Theatre
Julie Paige is both a classically and commercially trained dancer and actress. She began dancing at the age of 5 and immediately fell head over heels in love with dance! At 7 she stumbled upon the world of acting & musical theatre and found a second love. Throughout her childhood Julie called acting her “heart” and dance her “soul.”
In college, Julie went on to study in some exclusive BFA Dance and Acting programs at top college conservatory schools including the University of Arizona, The Boston Conservatory of Music, and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, receiving her degree from NYU.
After college, Julie spent 6 years performing professionally in NYC and Los Angeles. As a Dancer & Actress, she performed in repertory theatre, national tours, music videos, commercials, and as a featured dancer and actress in film and television. Her favorite dance credit was dancing with Britney Spears in a live televised concert on Mtv. She’s also choreographed for both stage and the Warner Brothers CW television network.
After 6 years of performing professionally, Julie experienced a pivotal life moment when her agent called her with an audition for a role on a popular television show. The audition was at the same time as her favorite dance class in NYC. She did not want to miss her dance class for the audition. It was then that she realized that, while she enjoyed performing, her true love was in the classroom. She preferred the challenge of constantly learning new material and working on improving the different aspects of style, technique, and artistry that the classroom provided. Based on this realization, Julie tried her hand at teaching. As soon as she did, she immediately realized that teaching was her soul’s calling!
As a teacher Julie feels like she’s truly being of use in the world in a positive way. Helping to educate and inspire children and teens to reach their dance dreams, while also instilling in them a sense of confidence and self esteem that comes with working hard and setting up disciplined healthy habits to achieve goals, is of the utmost importance to Julie. She loves watching a student’s eyes light up with joy when they finally achieve a move they’ve been working hard to master. She also loves the camaraderie of the classroom and encourages all of her students to support and uplift each other in reaching their goals.
Soon after her first teaching engagement, Julie opened her first studio The Paige Conservatory of Performing Arts in Massachusetts. After several successful years with this studio, Julie’s love for teaching continued to grow, but her soul was missing a more creatively artistic community where she could, not only take her teaching to greater heights, but where she could consistently grow as a dancer, educator, and person.
TODAY, Julie is sooo thrilled to be back in sunny Los Angeles. She feels so incredibly blessed to be living in a place that inspires her; to have a job that she loves; and to be working with such an elite faculty whom she completely respects and admires. She is beyond excited to welcome students and families into the INSPIRE Dance Studio family!
Lyndsi Zapata is a Portland, Oregon native, and studied dance throughout her childhood. In her high school years, she would spend her mornings receiving her diploma (Lincoln High School) and dance from mid-day into the evenings (Jefferson High School) as she danced with companies Jefferson Dancers II, and Urban Arts. Dance brought Zapata to further her training at California Institute of the Arts, where she invested in her passion for choreography. Her craft has also opened travel opportunities, such as studying in Seoul, South Korea (Korea National University of Arts) as well as Lucca, Italy (Dance Italia). After graduating from CalArts in May 2016, she started her own dance company, Siza, as a movement platform for young artists in the Los Angeles area who share complimentary interests of social and political topics. Additionally, she is fully trained in the nationally recognized Twinkle Star Dance Program for pre school children and loves working with children of all ages. She is thrilled to teaching the Inspire Dance Studio family!
Carissa Songhorian, a BFA in Dance and Dance Composition graduate from California Institute of the Arts, began her training at Los Angeles Ballet Academy under the direction of Andrea Paris and Conny Mathot. Throughout her years as a dancer, she has performed professionally with Ate9 Dance Company, Fabe Dance Company, String Theory Harp, Strange & Elegant Dance, Voices Carry, and Dream Walker, as well as in works by choreographers and artists such as Danielle Agami, Christopher Bordenave, Gustavo Ramirez-Sansano, Troy Powell, Julie Bour, Ryan Mason, Laurence Blake, and Kira Blazek among many others. Carissa has also appeared in several short dance films, commercials and pilots for television, Solange Knowles’s “Metatronia,” and a movie that was produced by James Franco.
Music Director/Musical Theatre
A recent transplant from the Boston area, Jennifer D'Onofrio is thrilled to join the talented staff at INSPIRE Dance Studio as their Musical Theatre Director and Voice Instructor. A classically trained singer, she has a passion for musical theatre and for helping singers of all ages find their healthy, true voice and express themselves through song. Jennifer has been teaching private voice and musical theatre at her studio in Massachusetts for twenty years. Her students have gone on to study classical voice, CCM and musical theatre at top colleges across the U.S. Some have earned roles on Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatre, some started recording careers in pop, acoustic and new age styles, and a few have even become teachers themselves. Her greatest pleasure is working with the students who choose to pursue their own passions outside of the studio yet continue to study voice for personal enjoyment and improvement!
She has spent the past decade working side by side with her dear friend, INSPIRE Dance Studio Director Julie Paige, as Musical Director at Julie’s performing arts studio on the East Coast. She is ecstatic that her own personal circumstances have brought her to the West Coast where she can continue their collaboration at INSPIRE Dance Studio!
Jennifer holds a degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Vocal Pedagogy from the University of New Hampshire. She has performed in Italy studying with professionals from Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music. Jennifer is active in her local NATS chapter, currently serving on the board of the San Diego National Association of Teachers of Singing. She currently resides in South Orange County where she lives with her husband and son.
Joan Holly Padeo
Twinkle Stars Dance, Ballet/Pointe, C.I. Training/Stretch
Joan Holly Padeo is a first generation, LA-Based artist. She is currently a dancer with LA companies Acts of Matter, B. Dunn Movement Dance & Theatre Company, and immersive dance-theatre creators, IRIS Company. Commercially, she has worked on Solange Ferguson’s latest project with the Hammer Museum and assisted in choreographing a commercial nominated in the 2017 Tongies Awards (Australia). Her independent choreographic works have been presented by Redcat Theater, Highways Performance Space & Gallery, and Santa Fe Springs Art Festival.
She has worked with notable choreographers Glen Eddy (Nederlands Dans Theater), Don Martin (Lester Horton Dancers), Julia Rhoads (Herb Alpert Award Winner), Zoe Scofield (Zoe|Juniper, Guggenheim Fellow), and Yuanyuan Wang (Artistic Director of Beijing Dance Theater). Joan studied dance pedagogy under distinguished dance science researcher and teacher Dr. Donna Krasnow. She is additionally certified in C-I Training™, a system created for dancers that prevents injury by addressing muscle imbalances, promoting correct alignment, and accessing efficient patterning. Joan attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and is an associate alumni of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She holds a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography from California Institute of the Arts.
Learn more about Joan here: www.joanhollypadeo.com
Ashleigh Hunter Avery
Twinkle Star Dance, Jazz
Ashleigh Hunter Avery comes from a family of dance. She began her early training at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville in North Carolina under her mother Desiree LeFebvre and later with the Corpus Christi Ballet under the direction of Cristina Stirling Munro. Ashleigh's versatility has enabled her career to include concert and commercial dance work both on stage and screen. Some of her credits include dancing with Carolyn Dorfman Dance in NYC, performing in Michael Turco's "Magic & Mayhem" in Las Vegas, appearing on Good Morning America (LMFAO), The Late Show with David Letterman (Martha Wash), and Fuller House on Netflix. She's had the privilege of working with choreographers such as JoAnn Hunter, Otis Sallid, Carolyn Dorfman, Peter Chu, and Kyle Hanagami. Dancing professionally has given Ashleigh the opportunity to not only perform in NYC and LA, but across the US and Europe. In addition to performing, Ashleigh began assisting her mom with dance classes at the age of 13 and teaching on her own at 16. She has taught, choreographed, and adjudicated at numerous studios, conventions, and competitions across the country. She is currently represented by MSA Talent Agency and recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York City with her husband and fellow performer, Gerald Avery.
Modern, Contemporary, Hip-Hop
Alan L. Perez was born in Lancaster, California and was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. He received his BFA in Dance at California Institute of the Arts (2016) and attended the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company International Dance Journey (2017). When he returned to the states, he started dancing for multiple dance companies in Los Angeles such as B.Dunn Movement, Kybele Dance Company, Siza, and Pasadena Dance Theatre. He is also apart of a dance company in New Orleans named FLOCK. He has also guest for companies such as Charlotte Katherine & Co., Santa Clarita Ballet, DanielDiazDance (DDD), and Akomi.
A Los Angeles native, Marisela Miranda has been surrounded by dance all her life. Dance moved into her childhood at an early age and shaped her adult life. Guitar lessons, violin lessons, and percussion lessons—wait, there was also the semester of trumpet lessons. None stirred the passion in her soul, but she found what moved her when she used her body as her instrument. She fell in love with the intricate sounds and the elaborate technique of tap, ballet, and folklórico. She has trained under master tap artist, Bill Bartlett, for over 20 years, exploring the unique tap style he has developed from dancing with tap masters of the Golden Era of Hollywood.
Bill Bartlett started dancing at Paul Armstrong studios in Salem, OR at age 12. He studied tap with Carole Long, Gene Gebauer, Paul Armstrong, and Emery Clay at Clay Brother's Studio in Portland, OR. Ballet with Robert Erwin, Ballroom dancing from Don Allen Studios and Dale Rittermeyer at Arthur Murray Studios. After completing his training at Arthur Murray Studios he began teaching and recieved high school credits in his senior year for his work teaching. Winning 1st place with his tap in Carl Hawley's Mr Talent statewide competition awarded him a one week, expense paid trip to Hollywood. With in a year he moved to California, studying tap with with Eddie Gay (noted teacher of film star Vera Ellen) and jazz with Bill Roberts. Some of the highlights of Bill's exceptional professional career include: Appearing as a solo tap dancer in Amato's Supper Club show starring Sophie Tucker. Dancing in a Gene Kelly special for NBC with Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Carol Lawrence. Don Knott's Special. Disney On Parade (touring nationally and internationally). Chandler Conspiracy Nigh Club Act. Madeline Kahn's Find Me A Primative Man number in Peter Boganovitch's film At Long Last Love. No! No! Nanette with Martha Raye. Ghost dancer with his wife Deborah in the Disney film Haunted Mansion. Technical Dance Advisor on The O.C. tv series. Dance coach for Felicity Hufman and Michael Gambon in the film Path to War,...as well as choreographing and dancing in several more films, tv series, theatre productions, and commercials. He received LA Weekly's 1998 Production Design Of The Year Award for Choreography for The Last Tycoon.
Ballet/Pointe (Guest Choreographer/Teacher)
Tatiana A'Virmond began her classical ballet training in Brazil where she was a member of Guaira Ballet Theater Foundation winner of a Gold Medal in the Brazilian National Ballet Competition and Silver Medal in the Latin Ballet Competition. In New York City, she studied with Finis Jhung, Maggie Black, David Howard; performed with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Connecticut Ballet and Dance Brazil. In San Francisco,Tatiana studied with Michael Smuin, Shannan Bresnoshand and worked as a Principal Dancer for Theater Ballet of San Francisco, Western Ballet, Mark Foehringer Dance Project and was a dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director of Dance Through Time. In 2005 she moved to Los Angeles where she has been training with Mario Nugaro and had performed and choreographed for Patrick Franz's dance company LaDanserie, danced as a Principal Dancer for Pacific Ballet Dance Theater (Media City Ballet) and have been a Principal Dancer for California Contemporary Ballet. Mrs A'Virmond has been teaching and choreographing Ballet for over 20 years in prestigious schools in USA, Brazil and Australia including Western Ballet, Lines, LABA, Colburn, Rosann- Zimmerman Ballet Center, Media City Ballet, California Contemporary Ballet, LAmusart,, Byron Balllet (Australia) and Vera Bublitz Ballet Academy (Brazil). Her choreography won Gold Medals at a National Dance Competition in Santa Cruz, Bento Dance Festival in Brazil and it also created an opportunity for a student to get a scholarship in Canada through YAGP in New York.
Tatiana is a certified Yoga teacher at Yoga Blend, she is also specialist in Historical and Latin Dances. As a teacher, her mission is to inspire students to love dance.
Fitness/Dance Workshop and Guest Choreographer/Teacher
Courtney Briggs has been in the fitness industry for the past 5 years and is a licensed fitness trainer. Additionally, she has been instructing in many styles of dance from beginner to advanced levels for the past 11 years. She focuses on a wide range of training modalities and has worked with clients of all ages, skill sets, and goals. Courtney has a great passion for fitness and assisting others in their fitness goals and is excited to begin a new Adult Fitness/Dance Workshop at Inspire!