INSTRUCTORS

Dyan Lopez-Fiamengo

Teaches: Ballet/Tap/Acro Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Acro, Tricks & Turns, Choreo. Prep

Dyan Lopez-Fiamengo has been teaching dance for over 30 years. She has an extensive background in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theater and tumble. She has a BA degree from CSULB in Physical Education with a specialty in coaching men’s sports. She minored in Theology at Colorado State University. Before switching to PE, Dyan was a linguistics major for 3 years studying Spanish, French and Italian. Dyan started dancing at the age of 4 with ballet, then picked up hula, tap and baton where she started performing in local parades. At the age of 13, Dyan made her television debut dancing on Channel 11 where she was a featured dancer for a holiday special as a "Raggedy Ann Doll." She also performed on the Jerry Lewis telethon for 3 years, performed at the White House, toured the east coast, did a Hawaiian tour and performed at the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington, where she had the privilege to perform on the same stage as Pat Boone and his family.

Dyan was also chosen to be a part of Dick Clark’s Puttin on the Hits (An hour TV special). She was also a contestant on the show and won. She has been in various videos. Two of her favorites were Earth, Wind and Fire's “Magnetic” and "How to Plan the Perfect Wedding with Marion Ross" from Happy Days.  In the 80's, she toured with the Hollywood Starlets, which gave her the opportunity to perform through out the United States. She has done some commercials with her latest one being the lead in a "Depends" commercial. Dyan has made many guest appearances on TV and radio through out the U.S. Her latest one being with Rick Dee’s "Movin 93.9". Her first movie was with Lisa Hartman and James Brolin. Dancing behind Gregory Hines in the movie "Tap" was an honor.

When she was a dancer for the WNBA LA Sparks "Ole Skool Crew" she danced on "Keeping up with the Kardashians" (Season 2, Episode 4), "Home and Family" with hosts Mark Steines and Cristina Ferrare and guests Tia and Tamera Mawry, "Dancing with the Stars" behind the scenes with Nancy Grace, Channel 5 with Gayle Anderson, Channel 11 with Christine Devine, Alarma TV, Despierta America and was featured in many magazines and newspaper articles.  

Dyan has been on many games shows with her favorite one being "Win, Loose or Draw," where she won and her least favorite was "Wheel of Fortune," where she lost. She has choreographed the half-time show for the Clippers Happy Clinic for years, numerous field shows, fashion shows and dance competitions. She assisted Jon Ingstrom at the MSL Cup with the band Switchfoot. When she was the choreographer for the American Youth Express, the group was chosen to be in a five month run at the Pantages Theater with Michael Damien in the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".

Dyan had the first All-Male dance team for high schools in Southern California, where one of her dancers Andre Fuentes went on to dance with Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Prince and various artists. Andre also choreographed the "Womanizer" video for Britney Spears. Dyan’s Bishop Montgomery High School's All-Male and Co-ed dance teams were state champions for two years in a row out of the three that she had the team. The All-Male dance team was requested to perform at the opening ceremonies for the Olympics held in Los Angeles. They were also featured at a national Crystal Light convention hosted by Dana Carvey. Dyan also directed a drill team where their Field shows won first place for three years. 

Dyan started a professional Tap Company with Tita Boulger called “The Hot Cotton Candies” with the orchestra Le Jazz Hot. Their group opened for the Mandrel Sisters, many celebrity and charity events such as The Dinah Shore Classic where the Infamous O.J. Simpson, Rodney Dangerfield, etc. were present. The opening of the Hollywood Roosevelt performance was a memorable one where Tony Curtis, Kirk Douglas, Lloyd Bridges, among many old world stars were present.  Her all song and dance troupe "Trademark A.D." opened for the Four tops at the Super Bowl 23 extravaganza and many other gala events. Dyan was chosen out of a nation-wide search to be on the Queen Latifah show for the "Ultimate Dance Mom’s challenge". Dyan was featured on three segments of the "Doctors" show, "The Ultimate Make-Under”, “Air Filters” and a “Fitness” segment. Dyan’s new hobby is doing infomercials and can be seen on the following: “Pilates Power Gym,” “Sassy Shaper,” "Shot for Slim," "Tap Fit," Luminesce, Keranique and “Denese” skin care products. 

Some of her theatre performances include Universal Studios, Disneyland, Wiltern, Maxims Dinner Theatre, La Mirada Civic Light Opera, San Diego Terrace Theatre, Caesars Palace (high rollers), Wadsworth, Ordway and Norris Theatres. Steve Allen hosted the Wadsworth performance where the Nicholas Brothers and Cab Calloway were the headliners. Many of Dyan’s students have gone on to perform on and off Broadway. Many were leads on Broadway tours and have danced in shows such as Tarzan, 42nd Street, The Producers, Fosse, Fun Home, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Newsies, etc. Some were Rockettes and back up dancers for famous artists. One of her students Cole Morgan played the son of Kevin James in the movie "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," where he featured his mad tap skills.

Dyan judged dance competitions for Aspire Dance Competition (Aspiredancecompetitions.com), LA’s Best, and Miss Drill Team USA as well as done master classes throughout the US. Dyan hopes to continue her love of dance, choreography, and mentoring her students for years to come. 

Akari Takahashi

Teaches: Contemporary

Akari is a dance educator and founder of Embody You Dance, a step-by-step curriculum using dance to help non-dancers to become the most confident and expressive self.

 

She graduated from Cal State Long Beach as a Dance Major and have trained extensively in Modern dance with Keith Johnson, Summer Brown, Gregory Dawson and Rebecca Lemme. She also trains and fuses her dance background with martial arts, Tai Chi, and Jiu Jitsu (Kron Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy). 

 

From her training and experience in Dance and Martial Arts, she found her purpose to help others to connect back into their creative, authentic self using elements of the voice, body, and breath in dance. Unlike many dance forms, Akari’s purpose of her movement practice is to not show you how to look like a certain way but to uncover one’s unique true expression and strength within.

 

She danced for Aerie and Darling Magazine for their documentary, Self(ie), on the struggles of body image women face.

 

During her high school years at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Akari won Dancer of the Year and Improver of the Year at the West Coast Elite Dance Competition. She was also a finalist (2nd) in USA Nationals as a soloist. 

 

Website: www.akari.com

Alyssa Joscelyn

Teaches: Lyrical and Hip-Hop

Alyssa Joscelyn is 19 years old and has 17 years of experience in Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Contemporary, and more. Her credits include: Soul Fresh Fam Core, World of Dance, Dancers Paradise, Collaborations, and Miss Dance San Pedro

Lisa Buhl

Teaches: Ballet

Lisa began dancing at the age of 3 studying all types of dance but found her passion for ballet by the age of 9. Performing with Ballet Petit during her formative years and finally finishing her career with the Los Angeles City Ballet. A wife and mother of 2 who lives locally in Palos Verdes and who shares the joy of living in this community. 

Nikole Cezus

Primary Ballet & Ballet/Tap

Nikole began dancing at age 3 with her mother in Louisiana. She spent summers in NY training in all styles with Lee Theodore’s American Dance Machine & Eglevsky Ballet. After attending summer ballet with Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski former directors of San Diego Ballet, she was invited to audition for the Alabama School of Fine Arts, where she was accepted and continued performing with Alabama Ballet. After graduating, she auditioned and received a partial scholarship to Oklahoma City University’s dance dept. She then received a full dance scholarship to study at Gus Giordano’s Jazz Dance Chicago where she then went on to dance with Hubbard Street’s sister company River North Chicago, performing concerts as well as various industrial and commercial gigs. She taught at several studios in the Chicago area and started the 1st children’s tap program at Gus Giordano’s. After leaving Chicago, she performed several musicals with Galveston Island outdoor musicals,before moving to NY to be a scholarship student at Steps NY,studying with Mia Michaels, Joe Lanteri, and Bob Rizzo. Credits include the National tour of West Side Story and A Chorus Line with both Carnegie Hall and South Bay Civic Light Opera. 

Mady Brann

Teaches: Tap and Jazz

Mady's tap choreography has received the highest scoring tap routine of the weekend and this past year one of her tap groups received the Critic’s Choice award at New York City Dance Alliance, their highest achievement award of the weekend (only one is given in each age division across all group sizes and genres). She has had dancers in the running for National Outstanding Dancer at New York City Dance Alliance, Best Dancer at The Dance Awards, and most recently one of her students was named Miss Junior World Dance at the World Dance Pageant put on by the Star Dance Alliance in 2018.

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Marcus Jackson

Teaches: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Hip Hop

Marcus has worked as a judge, stage manager, and MC at Starpower Talent. He has instructed, choreographed, and danced with RKDC. In addition, he has performed at resorts and cruises across the United States. 

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Susie Bartes

Teaches: Latin, Ballroom, Zumba, World Dance, Flamenco, Wedding and Special Occasion Dances

Susie Bartes started dancing ballet at age 3. By age 14 she had discovered Flamenco, and started teaching dance to children at age 18.

She later focused on Latin and Salsa, and had her own fusion dance company Salsa Gitana. With her company she performed all over the state, including the world Salsa Congress, and the Choreographer’s Carnival. She has also danced in music videos, in movies, and on TV.

Susie has travelled the world studying local dances including Flamenco in Spain, Tango in Argentina, and Salsa in South America and Cuba.

Today Susie teaches latin and ballroom to adults and children, teaches group fitness classes, has taught her world dance classes to over 1000 kids in schools in PVPUSD and LAUSD, and choreographs for weddings and special occasion dances. She also performs Flamenco throughout the LA Area for Spanish restaurants and private events. 

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