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.
Meagan Van Deren
Ballet, Pointe, Stretch & Strengthening
Meagan Van Deren was born and raised in Denver, CO and began dancing at three years old at Parker Dance Academy. She enjoyed all forms of dance but discovered a natural affinity for ballet. She began serious training at the National Ballet Academy of Denver at age twelve where she focused on Vaganova style ballet. During this time she supplemented her training with several scholarships to Pacific Northwest Ballet intensives. Entering into full-time training, she moved to Manhattan, New York where she began performing and receiving advanced training at the Vassiliev Academy of Classical Ballet. In 2009, she was awarded fourth place at the Denver Ballet Guild competition. Meagan’s repertoire includes variations as the Lilac Fairy from Sleeping Beauty, the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcraker, Paquita Principle Variation and Raymonda Principle Variation. Her repertoire also includes Grand Pas De Quatre, Paquita Corps, and Sleeping Beauty Corps.
Meagan began her professional career in Los Angeles, CA with Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre in 2019 where she has performed in Carmen, as well as excerpts from Gayane, Swan Lake, and Masquerade. She has also danced alongside the Atomos String Quartet and the Burbank Quartet.
In addition to training and performing, at the age of 16, Meagan began to share her love and passion for ballet by teaching at several studios in Colorado and Los Angeles.
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.
Inspire's Remote Office Manager & Dance Educator
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 instructors in Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. She was a member of Resilience, a pre-professional dance company, under the direction of Joey Hernandez. She trained extensively in a variety of styles of dance and learned the business side of the industry. Courtney also found a love for choreographing and seeing her work performed by other dancers, not just herself. Along side her teaching, Courtney currently is the Assistant Director with Dupree Dance Convention and the Remote Office Manager for Inspire Dance Studio. In Courtney’s view, 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 so she can guide and support her own dancers and promote her love for dance through all the work she does.
Music Director/Musical Theatre
Jennifer D'Onofrio is thrilled to be a part of 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.