Lesley Ruzon, Director: Lesley grew up near Boston and studied at the Judith Clark Academy of Dance. She started teaching there as well, completing a three-summer teacher's training course through the Dance Teacher's Club of Boston, in association with the American Society. Lesley attended the University of Southern California, where she performed with the School of Theatre's Dance Theatre Troupe and with the student-run troupe DanSCers. After graduating with a B.A. in theatre and a teaching credential, Lesley moved to the Bay Area and has taught drama and dance in area high schools and junior high schools as well as private studios. In addition, she has performed in and choreographed numerous musical theatre productions. As a mother of four she brings a unique perspective to teaching and directing a studio.
John Ghera, Teacher: John studied dance at California State University, Northridge, where he danced jazz and hip-hop and was in the Debbie Reynolds Dance studio work/study program. From there he worked with NappyTabz on their TV show Mobbed, and he performed and choreographed for LA's Carnival: Choreographers Ball. After graduation John went to London and became part of the Masters of Movement family. From there he signed with the Box Artist Management Agency and worked on shows such as Britain's Got Talent and Sky1 Sports. After two years of living in Europe, John moved back to the Bay Area, where he hopes to spread his love for dance and inspire and educate the next generation of dancers.
Rachel Schmidt, Teacher: Rachel was born and raised in Santa Cruz and began dancing at the age of 3. She received her dance training from Diane Cypher and Robert Kelley while a member of Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre and attended numerous summer intensives including American Ballet Theatre, Ballet West, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and LINES Ballet. She recently graduated from Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University with a BFA in dance and is currently a member of the LINES Ballet Training Program.
Virgil Angulo, Teacher: Virgil has been teaching dance in the Bay Area for 20 years. He started his training at Allison Porter's Dance School in Campbell and got his first professional job with Oakland Ballet as a teenager. He moved to New York and worked for Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo and Eglevsky Ballet. He started teaching ballet in Modesto and now teaches tap, jazz as well. He is also an AFAA certified aerobics instructor and works with autistic and children with learning disabilities. He continues to perform with Valley Dance Theatre at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. In 2011, he received a BA through St. Mary's College LEAP Program for arts professionals, graduating with honors.
Ms. Lesley is an amazing teacher! My girls love her. I like the way ballet and tap are taught together in an hour class. I enjoy watching the children through the viewing window. -- Ann W.