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. In 2016, Julie made the decision to move back to Los Angeles and create Inspire Dance Studio. She also went back to school to become certified as an ICF (International Coaching Federation) Life Coach.
TODAY, Julie is so thrilled to be living sunny Los Angeles once again. She is both the owner (and teacher) at Inspire Dance Studio and an ICF Certified International Life Coach at www.mostinspiredlife.com. She feels so incredibly blessed to have two careers that bring her such meaning, purpose, and joy; and to be working with such an elite faculty whom she completely respects and admires. She is beyond excited to continue to welcome students and families into the INSPIRE Dance Studio family!
Ballet, Pointe,Variations, Pas De Deux/Partnering, & Stretch/Strengthening
Jahna Frantziskonis was born in Tucson AZ where she trained with Ballet Tucson. After attending summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theater (New York), and The School of American Ballet, Jahna returned to Seattle to train full time in the PNB school’s Professional Division, and joined the company in 2012. In 2015 Jahna joined the San Francisco Ballet and was subsequently promoted to soloist in 2017. She has danced principal roles in “Rubies” by George Balanchine, “Hedda Gabler” in “Ibsen’s House” by Val Caniparoli, “New Suite” and “Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude” by William Forsythe, “Chamber Symphony” by Alexei Ratmansky, among others. Created principal roles by choreographers Alonzo King, and Myles Thatcher. Created featured roles by Twyla Tharp, Justin Peck, Edwaard Liang, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, among others. Did works by Jiri Kylian, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Nacho Duato, Crystal Pite, among others. She has not only trained in classical ballet, but also tap, jazz, Fosse, and modern, Alexander Technique, and acting.
Robert Christopher Gomez
Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Boys Hip-Hop, Ballet, and Front Desk Manager
Hip-Hop, Jazz, Tap, Twinkle Star Dance,
Eli Dewitz, was born and raised in Kansas City, KS and started performing at the age of five. Growing up in the competition circuit she has been trained by and assisted some of the industries top choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh, Talia Favia and Mia Michaels. She booked her first professional choreography job as well as dance job at the age of fifteen and has continued pursuing dance professionally ever since. Although she is trained in many styles and came from a very technical background, her love for dance goes far beyond. The passion that she has for self expression and story telling inspires the way she both dances and teaches. It is very important to Eli as an educator to help guide her students in finding who they are as individuals and celebrate that.
Joan Holly Padeo
Twinkle Star Dance, Ballet/Pointe, C.I. Training/Stretch
Joan H. Padeo is a multidisciplinary, LA-based artist. She is currently a dancer with immersive dance-theatre creators, Iris Company, and Acts of Matter. Joan has most recently worked with Carlōn, Bryn Cohn + Artists, and B. Dunn Movement, and has sung for each of the artists above. She has worked with fellow LA artists Bryanna Brock, Andrea Ordaz, Jordan Saenz, and Carissa Songhorian along with choreographers Zoe Scofield, Troy Ogilvie, and Don Martin.
As a maker, Joan most recently collaborated with Grammy-Award winning musician and composer, Alex Wand, and regularly sings in her own choreographic works. She has been presented by various LA venues including Redcat Theater, Highways Performance Space, and Santa Fe Springs Art Festival.
Commercially, Joan can be spotted in artful music videos by Solange Ferguson, Fyohna, Nana Felix, and James Benton performing choreography by Daisha Graf and Gerard & Kelly. Additionally, Joan assisted in choreographing a Palmolive commercial nominated in the 2017 Tongies Awards (Australia/NZ).
Joan is certified in C-I Training™, attended LACHSA, 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, where she studied Dance Pedagogy under renowned Dance Science Researcher and Professor, Donna Krasnow, and was nominated for the Princess Grace Award. Learn more and stay updated at www.joanhollypadeo.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hip-Hop, Jazz, Tap, Twinkle Star Dance, & Hip-Hop Fusion Workout
Courtney Briggs’ journey with dance began at a young age having deep passion and a clear view of her future plans within the art of dance. She trained under a variety of well known dancers and dance educators in Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin before moving to Los Angeles last year. She was a member of Resilience Dance Company, under the direction of Joey Hernandez. She has trained and performed extensively in a variety of styles including jazz, contemporary, ballet, tap, and hip-hop. Additionally, Courtney has been in the fitness industry for the past 5 years and is a licensed fitness trainer. In addition to her dance and fitness training, Courtney has a deep love for choreographing and seeing her work performed by other dancers. She’s been a choreographer and teacher for the past 7 years. Courtney believes teaching and choreographing are art forms that require passion, guidance and an openness in order to get desired results. She continues to train and expand her talent as a performer, teacher and choreographer here in Los Angeles; so that she can offer cutting edge training to her students and promote her love for dance through all the work she does.