Faculty

Gabrielle Colombo Massie
Owner/ Artistic Director/ Instructor/ Choreographer - STARZ Ballet Academy, STARZ Competition Team, Dance Dept.

Gabrielle is a Member of the International Dance Council CID at UNESCO, Paris, as well as a CLI Studios Certified Instructor. She has studied dance for 32 years, beginning with her mother - Lisa Colombo - at the age of two. Gabrielle has competed in many styles of dance - winning top awards at regional and national competitions - beginning at age five. She has been interviewed and featured on dance related television shows, studied with top professionals of the dance world, and competed all over the U.S. Gabrielle is the official spokesperson for Beauty of Dance, Music for Professional Dance Instruction, and creator of the custom costume label, VLNTNA Couture.
In addition to numerous Master Classes and Conventions, Gabrielle has also studied dance at BROADWAY DANCE CENTER (NYC), STEPS ON BROADWAY (NYC), MYRTLE BEACH SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS (SC), NORTH PHOENIX DANCE SCHOOL (AZ), BETTY JOHNSON SCHOOL OF DANCE (AZ), ACTION ARIZONA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (AZ), THE GREATER YORK CENTER FOR DANCE EDUCATION (PA).
Gabrielle is a Star Systems Solo Champion, Access Broadway REGIONAL & NATIONAL Triple Threat Award Winner, and has received over one thousand Regional and National Awards for dance, voice, and acting.
Gabrielle has won top awards for Choreography at StarQuest, Bravo Talent, L.A. DanceForce, Hall of Fame Dance Challenge, Revolution Talent & Access Broadway. She was the recipient of the CAPEZIO/NEW TALENT GENERATION Dance Scholarship which allowed her to study at Steps on Broadway in New York.
Gabrielle has received performing arts scholarships from Access Broadway, L.A. Elite, & New Talent Generation. She was awarded the Grand Prize & Scholarship at Hollywood Vibe Regional Talent Competition in 2005, including a Team Hollywood Vibe Scholarship & Scholarship to study at Millennium Dance Complex (Los Angeles, CA).
Gabrielle’s Miss America Organization titles include Miss Princeton 2006 and Miss Southern West Virginia 2005. Gabrielle was 1st Runner Up to Miss West Virginia 2006. She received a Dance Scholarship at the 2006 state pageant, and was awarded the title of "West Virginia's Sweetheart", giving her the opportunity to compete at 2006 Miss America's National Sweetheart Pageant. Gabrielle was a Top 5 Finalist at the Miss West Virginia USA Pageant in 2007. In 2008, she won the title of Miss West Virginia International and advanced to the Miss International Pageant.
While living in Arizona, Gabrielle studied acting with Donna Pippin of Actor's Connection (Scottsdale, AZ). Gabrielle has studied with Casting Directors & Acting Coaches in Arizona, California & North Carolina, including Becka Korby, Jean Fowler, Bobby Clark, and others. Gabrielle began modeling at age 7 at the Jean Kennedy Modeling Studio. She continued modeling (on scholarship) at the Arizona School of Modeling (Scottsdale, AZ), and was a Top Finalist in the Great American Modeling & Talent Search in Los Angeles, CA at the age of nine. Gabrielle also attended the Manhattan Model Search Finals in Washington D.C. in 2001.
Gabrielle has been featured as a print model for Tucson Tourism (Tucson, AZ) and The Clay Place (Phoenix, AZ). She was also featured as a cover model twice for Prerogative Magazine in her hometown of Bluefield, WV. Gabrielle has been hired for commercials, dance videos, and magazine print work. She was represented by Action Talent of Tucson, until leaving AZ (Phyllis Boyd, Agent).
Gabrielle studied voice at Bluefield College (Bluefield, VA), where she is noted for her performance as Hodel in the musical, "Fiddler on the Roof". Gabrielle began studying voice at the age of 10 in Phoenix, AZ (Quicks Music), and continued with Dee Wilkins at Action Arizona Performing Arts Center while living in Pima, AZ.
Gabrielle was a Drug Free ALL STARS Program Facilitator at Bluefield Middle School, where she had the opportunity to work with 6th grade students. She was also the host of a television show in Charleston, WV.
Gabrielle has had the pleasure of serving as a Dance Pro, Choreographer, and Judge for WV United Way’s annual Dancing with the Stars event for 4 years, helping raise thousands of dollars for the local organization.
Gabrielle remains dedicated to her craft; researching, studying, and taking classes in many disciplines of dance. She resides on the Massie Farm in Summers County, WV with her husband, Gabe, and their son, Jude Luka.

Heather Raskosky
Instructor - STARZ Acrobatic Academy

Heather has been teaching Gymnastics & Tumbling for 18 years. Her love of gymnastics began at the age of 14. She was a Cheerleader for her high school for 4 years and served as Team Captain her Senior year. During that time, she attended NCA & UCA Cheer Camps and Tumbling Clinics. Heather is USA Gymnastics Safety Certified and CPR Certified, making her a valuable asset to STARZ Faculty. She has also completed STARZ Performing Arts Academy's Teacher Training Seminar.

After high school, Heather became an EMT and studied Nursing. She currently maintains her Nursing License. It wasn't until after her daughter, Morgan, became interested in gymnastics that Heather returned to her roots. In 2003, she began coaching gymnasts at Gym Dandy's in Bluefield, VA. In 2004, Heather took over as Director of the Tumbling program at STARZ. During her time at STARZ, she began coaching the award-winning STARZ Acro Team.

Heather has had the opportunity to work with students from many local schools and organizations. She has choreographed competition pieces for Bluefield Middle School's Show Choir, Talent entries for pageants (as seen on Toddlers & Tiaras), and WV State Pageants.

Heather is proud to offer classes for all ages and skill levels at STARZ Performing Arts Academy, working with groups age 2 1/2-Adult, and offering Private Lessons for all. She enjoys working with her students at STARZ, alongside her daughter, Morgan Raskosky.

Madison Jackson
Instructor/ Choreographer - STARZ Ballet Academy, Dance Dept, STARZ Competition Team Dance Captain

Madison Jackson began her dance career at the age of 10. While at STARZ, she has won numerous awards in regional competitions including several Platinum and Double Platinum awards, specialty awards, and has placed in multiple overall divisions. She is a founding member of the STARZ Apprentice program, and the STARZ Production and en Pointe companies. In 2018, she was accepted into the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. In February of 2019, she was awarded the Grand Prize in Bella Moxi’s Emerging Artists Choreography Festival with her original work, “After a Dream” in Charlotte, NC. She was also awarded a $44,000 scholarship to study at the Institute for American Musical Theatre in their 2-year program in New York City. Maddi is a certified CLI Studios Instructor and former trainee, and a certified Cornell Nutritionist. She is also NRF Foundation certified in Advanced Customer Service and Sales. She has an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree from Southwest Community College, and is a Graham High School Alumni. In 2018, Maddi began traveling with Liberate Artists as an assistant. There, she assisted dance workshops in multiple cities for an entire season. In 2021, she was promoted to an Apprentice, where she assists at a higher level. In addition, she has recently been in concept videos filmed in North Carolina. During quarantine in 2020, she began taking singing lessons, guitar lessons, and music theory lessons. She also loves to write, cook, and learn as much as she can about anything she can! Her dream is to inspire the people she meets to be kind, be unique, and to chase their dreams relentlessly.

Morgan Raskosky
Instructor/choreographer - Dance Dept. & STARZ Acrobatic Academy

Morgan's passion for dance began at the age of two. She has been training at STARZ for the past 16 years. Morgan was a member of the award-winning STARZ Competition Team from age 6 to 16. She was the youngest member of the original STARZ Acro Team and was also a member of STARZ Mini Lyrical Company, STARZ Models Club, STARZ Elite Company, STARZ en Pointe, and a founding member of the STARZ Apprentice Program.

Morgan recently auditioned for NYC's Institute of American Musical Theatre's 2 year program. Not only was she accepted, she was also awarded a $36,000.00 Scholarship to study at the performing arts school. Morgan will begin her 2nd year at IAMT this Fall.

Morgan is an Acro Dance Adjudicator: Certified Founding Member of the Acro Dance Teacher's Association. She is also an Acrobatic Arts Certified Instructor. The Internationally recognized Acrobatic Arts Teacher Training & Certification Program is designed to teach dance educators how to safely & effectively instruct AcroDance in the dance studio. Morgan has also completed STARZ Performing Arts Academy's Teacher Training Seminar.

Morgan is a CLI Studios Certified Dance Instructor, and has also completed one full year of training as a CLI Studios Trainee. She is a Radix 2018 Cutting Edge Scholarship Recipient for Jazz & Contemporary, awarding her scholarships to study at DancerPalooza in CA & The Main Event in NYC. Morgan attended The Main Event in August 2018, giving her the opportunity to study with Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, & Wade Robson. In addition, she has attended many workshops and conventions over the years including NYCDA, where she was most recently awarded a High Gold Achievement and the Outstanding Concept Award for her self-choreographed original Solo, "Moments Passed" .

Morgan has worked with many industry icons such as Tessandra Chavez, Tyce Diorio, Alex Wong, Emily Buffard, Valery Lantratov, and Fikshun, and continues her study of dance, acting, and voice at STARZ & through online courses with CLI Studios.
Morgan is a Brand Ambassador for JUST BE STRONG Activewear, an active lifestyle brand designed to empower & motivate women. Throughout her years of competition, she has earned many prestigious Awards & Overall rankings. Morgan has also been a competitive gymnast and cheerleader, and was invited to cheer in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC in 2016.

Morgan's most recent accomplishments include auditioning for and obtaining a spot in the Broadway Dance Center's AIM Invitational where she had the opportunity to perform on a Broadway stage for the first time. She also earned the Title Miss StarQuest 2017, and was named National Dance Champion of the ECAEDA. Morgan auditioned for and was accepted into the Joffrey Ballet School's summer jazz/contemporary program. She was also awarded acceptance into their prestigious four year Trainee Program.

Morgan studies all genres of dance and enjoys sharing her love of the arts with her students. She is First Aid and CPR certified. Morgan plans to continue her dance education with the goal of turning her passion for dance into a dream career.

Arissa Anderson
INSTRUCTOR - STARZ TUTU ACADEMY/ DANCE DEPT.

Arissa is a CLI Studios Certified Instructor specializing in Elementary Dance Education. She began dancing with STARZ at the age of 3. Arissa started performing as a member of STARZ Kidz and continued to Rising Starz (Mini Competition Team). She first became a competitive dancer at the age of 6, under the direction of Lisa Colombo. She was a member of the STARZ Competition Team for 4 years, as well as STARZ en Pointe, and was a part of 2018's undefeated STARZ Production Company. Arissa has always enjoyed traveling to Dance Conventions and competing with her teammates. Now, as a teacher, she has had the opportunity to study with greats like Broadway Legend Mary Ann Lamb, and former Radio City Rockette Trina Simon. 

Arissa has completed STARZ Performing Arts Academy's Teacher Training Seminar. Her favorite dance styles include Musical Theatre and Tap. She was a STARZ Models Club Model for many years and has always enjoyed being a part of the STARZ Family. As Co-Director of STARZ Tutu Academy, Arissa feels it is crucial to create a relationship with each of her students.

Miss Arissa enjoys teaching each and every student and creating magical moments for children of all ages. 

Elizabeth Marie Tinsley
Instructor - STARZ Music & Acting Academy



  Elizabeth is a classically trained vocalist who has been studying music for over 20 years, and has been teaching it for almost half as long. Her musical journey began very early, growing up in the church with both parents participating in the choir--something she grew to do, as well. From there Elizabeth obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Bluefield College where she was awarded multiple scholarships for Voice and was selected for the audition choir Variations. Under the direction of Dr. Barbara Hudson and Bryant Moxley she attended many vocal workshops and masterclasses and performed at various events and venues including the National Association for Teachers of Singing competition (NATS), Lincoln Center in New York City, and the annual Vienna Summer Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. After her time at Bluefield College, Elizabeth attended the University of Florida where she received her Masters of Music in Music Education. Elizabeth is currently a member of the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) and Virginia Choral Directors Association (VCDA). Her choirs at Graham High School have performed concerts at Disney World, as well as various locations around Bluefield. They were scheduled to compete in choral competitions at both Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA and Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 2020 but were unable due to the global shutdown. A number of Elizabeth’s students have gone on to study music at the collegiate level and have found success as performers themselves.   



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Ryland Luikart

Instructor - STARZ Music Academy

Ryland Luikart is from Shady Spring, WV, and currently attends WVU Tech. He began playing piano at 9-years-old and quickly progressed. He studied under Michelle Hontz (M.A. in Piano Performance, former Music Faculty at Appalachian Bible College). He currently is being mentored by Roger VanMaasdam (M.S. Music Education, former Chair of Music Department at Appalachian Bible College) in performance, composing, and arranging.

For 3 summers, Ryland attended the CODA Music Festival an intensive two-week, residential music program participating in the Classical Music and Composition and Song Writing tracts studying closely with faculty from top music schools and conservatories across the United States.

In 2019 he placed first in Classical Solo Piano and third in Sacred Solo Piano in the West Virginia Christian Education Association’s (WVCEA) statewide Fine Arts Festival. 2018 he placed first in Classical Solo Piano and first in Sacred Solo Piano. In 2018 he helped raise money for the Hinton Hope Foundation by participating in Hinton’s Got Talent. In 2017 he traveled to Oklahoma as a musical missionary supporting a minister preaching to small churches. Ryland also enjoys playing for a local assisted living facility.

He has been a member of Daniels Bible Church’s Worship Team for 5-years.

Ryland believes music can heal and strengthen our minds. But most importantly it enables us to exercise our human right to express our feelings to others. Ryland was gifted the ability to play music and he wants to teach others how to create and express with music.

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Kyla Meadows

INStructor - Dance dept, STARZ Music Academy  Assistant - STARZ Ballet Academy, Dance Dept.

Kyla has loved to sing and dance since a very young age. She started dance lessons at the age of three. From 6th through 11th grade she studied voice, ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap, pointe, musical theatre, acting, ballroom dancing and piano with Lisa Colombo at Lisa’s School of Music, Dance & Design (Summers County, WV). She then advanced to studying at STARZ – and has been a member of the STARZ Competition Team, STARZ en Pointe & STARZ Production Company since the spring of 2020.

Kyla attended the three week intensive BROADWAY BOOT CAMP at IAMT in New York City during the summer of 2021. She also attended JOFFREY BALLET SCHOOL'S PRE-PROFESSIONAL JAZZ & CONTEMPORARY INTENSIVE in NYC during summer of 2021.  

Kyla placed second at HINTON’S GOT TALENT in 2018 (vocal & tap dance selection) and won the “PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD” at HINTON’S GOT TALENT in 2020. She was a guest performer at The United Way’s “DANCING WITH THE STARS” event in 2019, and also performed at “WONDERLAND OF TREES” (2019) – sponsored by The United Way.

Kyla has competed at Showstopper Dance Championships & Southeast Showdown Competition (2020/2021). She has also studied with Artists Simply Human in Greenville, SC.

Kyla has taken master classes at STARZ from guest artists - including Mark Sampson, Olivia Cece, Cassy Surianello, Victor Smalley & Tessa Hogge. She also attended Ballet Boot Camp at Beckley Dance Theatre School.

Kyla’s voice will soon be heard in dance studios and dance recitals all around the world – as she is a featured vocalist for BEAUTY OF DANCE MUSIC FOR PROFESSIONAL DANCE INSTRUCTION. Their products will be available through MUSICWORKS UNLIMITED as of October 2021.

Kyla loves to share her knowledge of voice and dance with young students.

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Cayley Moulder

Instructor - STarz music & acting academy

As an experienced Facilitator, Cayley is passionate about the personal progress of her students. Cayley also offers private classes with our Creative Acting Academy and Music Academy. STARZ Acting Academy’s classes are focused on mastering and exploring The Stanislavski Method, The Classical Acting Technique, Method Acting, Meisner Technique, Chekhov Technique, The Four Elements of Practical Aesthetics Technique, Hagen Technique, and The Viola Spolin Technique. STARZ Music Academy is highly technique focused and includes infusion of Music Theory and Aural Skills from the very first class. A vast collection of classes are offered. Piano, in which extensive knowledge of written music and music improvisation is instilled into our students. Vocal Studies explores vocal health, understanding of how the voice works at each age level, and how to properly train the voice to adhere to classical training without endangering the developing voice. Guitar is taught at the beginner level, while heavily concentrating on preservation of joint health and instrument care. Music Theory, and Aural Skills are concentrated courses to excel music knowledge to a college level. Music Composition is the study of vocal and instrumental pieces, in which each piece is broken down and studied to understand musical construction at every level, and in this class students have the opportunity to compose original pieces. Cayley has been studying Music for nearly 20 years. She began studying with her Grandmother, Carol Moulder, and continued study under the instruction of many other exceptional teachers including but not limited to, Julie Kade, Dr. Fernanda Trocan and Dr. Scott Connell. Cayley has studied under Sara Golden-Hamrick, Allen Kade, Chandi Plummer and world renowned soprano Sherezade Panthaki. Cayley has passionately pursued her studies of theatre under the instruction of Mary Gaspersich and has corresponded with Sierra Boggess and additional professional performers regarding musical theatre, and Broadway acting techniques. She plays various other instruments recreationally, and has studied those instruments under the instruction of Julie Kade. Cayley began performing in second grade in a show choir under the direction of Linda Peak. She continued her love of performing through elementary school and middle school. While in high school, Cayley had the privilege to be very active in the performing arts at Princeton Senior High. She was first chair soprano and alto saxophone during her senior year as well as captain of the auxiliary team. She was a member of two different bands and a choir at Boyce College, where she studied music and linguistics. Cayley has worked closely with the Planet Xtreme teen center theater productions, where she acts or helps with the production of the musical numbers included in the productions. She has been awarded many times over the last decade for her performances in instrumental, vocal and theatrical productions. She was named actress of the year for the state of West Virginia in 2015. Cayley was also chosen as one of the top 10 vocalists in the state of West Virginia and completed the course study of a vocalist at Governor’s School of the Arts in 2015 as well. At age 10 Cayley began studying music theory and aural skills. She has intensively studied vocal health and the Alexander Technique over the years. Her number one priority is the health of the body and voice while training in the musical or theatrical field. Cayley has been teaching performing arts for going on 7 years now. She has taught previously at Stages Music School, and also at STARZ in the past. She took a year break from STARZ and taught in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and Louisville, Kentucky. Cayley is continually taking workshops and classes from some of the best performing arts instructors to ensure the best curriculum for her students. She currently lives on a farm in Princeton, West Virginia where she spends most of her free time in the open air and sunshine with her husband and two sons.

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Shawn Howell

Instructor - STARZ Music Academy

Shawn Howell always loved playing instruments from a young age. Several years later, that passion became a profession. With twenty years of piano experience, and ten years of guitar experience, Shawn enjoys sharing his knowledge with students of many different ages. With a background in Classical, Spiritual, Improv/Jazz, and Composition, there's no limit to achieving the unique goals set by his students.

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Bethany Sims

Assistant instructor - STARZ Acrobatic Academy

Coming Soon!

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Bayley Gill

ASSISTANT - STARZ Tutu Academy/ dance dept.

Bayley began dancing at the age 6 at Middlesboro Dance Academy in Middlesboro, KY. At age 9 Bayley moved to Richlands, VA enrolled at Richlands/Bluefield Dance Theater until the age of 14. She was a member of their competition team for 2 years, during this time she had many opportunities such as participating in Dance The World Broad during which she performed in Times Square; performed on the stage at the Historic Minskoff Theater, home of the Broadway musical “The Lion King”; and trained at Broadway Dance Center and Pearl Studios in New York City. At the age of 15, she joined STARZ Performing Arts Academy and became a member of the STARZ Competition Team. During her time at STARZ, Bayley has participated in many auditions for programs such as The Institute For American Musical Theatre, Joffrey Ballet School, and the American Ballet Theatre; being accepted to summer training programs at both IAMT and Joffery Ballet School and receiving a $1000 scholarship to attend IAMT’s Broadway Bootcamp in New York City. Bayley has also received honors such as: a scholarship for STARZ Performing Arts Academy summer classes; an invitation to perform at Southeast Showdowns nationals as a Southeast Showdown Legend; received the Southeast Showdown Dancer Award which is given to dancers that show good character; and received a scholarship to Liberate Artists Pheonix Fire Blaze program in New York. During Summer 2021 Bayley trained for three weeks at The Institute For American Musical Theatre’s Broadway Bootcamp in New York City where she trained under many broadway professionals such as Andrew Drost, Michael Minarik, and Nicholas Cunningham. Bayley has also trained at various dance conventions such as: Artist simply Human and Align, where she learned and took classes from many professionals in the dance industry. Bayley cannot wait to share her passion for dance with other students at STARZ Performing Arts Academy!

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Gracie Walker

Assistant - STARZ Tutu Academy

Gracie started dancing at the age of 3. She later joined STARZ Competition Team at the age of 5, participating in several productions and group numbers. Gracie is the recipient of the Liberate Artists scholarship to attend dance & performing arts classes in New York City in the summer of 2022. Gracie was also a member of her middle school and high school choirs. In 6th and 7th grade, she was selected for all county choir. She has performed in her church’s Christmas play singing a solo. Gracie has performed in many plays and hopes to participate in more. Academically, Gracie is among the top students of her 2024 class. She finished middle school with the seventh highest grade point average. She was the top female students in math, P.E. and history. Gracie has been invited to participate in multiple S.T.E.M. summer camp and an engineering program. Gracie would like to pursue a career in cosmetology, eventually owning her own salon. She would also like to take part in acting. 

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Aurora Davis

Assistant - STARZ Tutu Academy/ Dance Dept.

Coming Soon!

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Julie Kay Stallcup

adjunct instructor - cli studios

Julie Kay is a nationally recognized leader in dance education. Her seminars and engaging keynote addresses are sold out at dance teacher conferences and conventions across the country. Her success is a result of integrating high quality, rigorous dance training, commitment to mentor each dancer with integrity, and compassion. In 2006 Julie and her husband Darrell opened their own studio, Revolution Dance Center in Southern California and she has been able to foster commitment to these ideals as the foundation of not only her dance company, JKDC, but its host studio, RDC. Since opening, Julie has assembled a faculty as well as staff members that share an exceptional ethic and dedication to their dancers. Revolution Dance Center’s service project group, Chasing Butterflies conducts community service projects year long.

Julie Kay has taught for Dance Life Retreat Center for Rhee Gold, Dance Teacher Web Live, Dance the Magic, Hollywood Dance Jamz, La Dance Magic, Encore Performing Arts Dance Competition, Dance Teacher Network Convention and is now honored to be a part of the Dance Ideas Seminars. Julie Kay is certified in teaching special needs children dance through the Rhythm Works Integrative Dance method. She volunteers at The Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, Glendale Unified School District and The Pasadena Pioneer Club teaching dance to special needs dancers.

Julie Kay's New Curriculum, "Dance Along with Julie Kay", is used in many of our Beginner & Intermediate level Ballet, Jazz, and Tap classes at STARZ.

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Melissa Sandvig

adjunct instructor - cli studios

Melissa Sandvig is a professional ballet dancer and certified Pilates instructor. Her career began as a member of the Los Angeles Ballet, and she then performed as a member of the Milwaukee Ballet for six years. Melissa is well-known for her appearance as the first classically-trained ballerina on season five of So You Think You Can Dance, where she finished in the top six. She has performed with Sacramento Ballet, Helios Dance Theater, Luminario Ballet, The Los Angeles Opera, motion/TRIBE, BODYTRAFFIC, String Theory, and more. Her television credits include Glee, Bunheads, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, Grey’s Anatomy, Hart of Dixie, Mobbed, Vegas, The Young and the Restless, and Legion of Extraordinary Dancers. Melissa was a featured ballerina in Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” music video and she has performed in motion capture work for Shrek, Puss in Boots, and Madagascar 3. Melissa teaches at Velocity Dance Convention, Coastal Dance Rage, Starbound National Talent Competition, Dance Revolution, and Hollywood Vibe. 

Melissa's specialized Ballet & Pointe techniques and exercises are part of the STARZ Ballet Academy Curriculum.

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Sugarfoot Therapy

adjunct program - cli studios

Sugarfoot Therapy is a revolutionary injury prevention training program that brings the exercises of sports physical therapy and sports conditioning to dancers. Created by Doctor of Physical Therapy Nicholas Cutri and professional dancer and choreographer Katie Schaar, this program bridges the gap between the principals of functional biomechanics and traditional dance technique. They create functionally authentic movements that are specific to dancers and that support the most efficient and effective way to warm-up, mobilize, and stabilize the body in all three planes of motion.

Most orthopedic dance injuries are caused by a repeated movement pattern that places continued stress on a tissue over a period of time - commonly known as overuse injuries. The program, when practiced regularly, is proven to help prevent the occurrence of injuries. Sugarfoot Therapy provides an easy-to-implement cross training program for dancers, and uses the same science that prepares elite level athletes for peak performance, while dramatically decreasing their chances for injury.

STARZ Performing Arts Academy utilizes the knowledge and research behind Sugarfoot Therapy to keep our dancers safe and strong.

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Allison Holker

Adjunct instructor - cli studios

Allison Holker is a performer best known for her appearance as a standout contemporary dancer on So You Think You Can Dance. She appeared on season two of the show and has consistently returned as an All-Star ever since. Allison’s career began as a featured performer for Earth, Wind & Fire at the 2002 Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. She was a featured dancer in both High School Musical and High School Musical 2. Her television credits include Ballroom with a Twist, American Idol, Hit the Floor, and The X-Factor. She has performed with many musical artists including Rihanna, Demi Lovato, 50 Cent, Clay Aiken, and Christina Perri. Allison has been featured as a professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars and regularly collaborates with her husband, fellow dancer and performer Stephen “tWitch” Boss.  

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Kathryn Mc Cormick

Adjunct instructor - cli studios

Kathryn McCormick is a well-known contemporary performer from So You Think You Can Dance season 6, where she placed in the top three and as the top female contestant of the season. Since then, she has consistently returned as one of the franchise’s most beloved All-Stars. Kathryn’s film debut came when she was cast in the 2009 remake of Fame, and she has gone on to play leading roles in Step Up: Revolution and Dance-Off, and was a principal performer in Ted 2. She has performed on Dancing with the Stars and at The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards, and The Kids’ Choice Awards.


Kathryn has worked with some of today’s top music artists, including Christina Perri, Timbaland, Ne-Yo, Lea Michele, Vienne, John Torres, The Blanks, and Muse. She has had guest-starring appearances on CSI: Las Vegas, Chasing 8s, and Sketchy. She was the co-creator of Like Air, a documentary that highlights competition dance and her mentorship with several young students. She has performed in Shaping Sound, Movement One, and Still Motion as a leading dancer.

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Alex Wong

adjunct instructor - cli studios

Alex Wong’s dance career began in Canada, where he trained in ballet, tap, modern, and jazz before focusing more directly on ballet. In 2004, he became the first Canadian to win the prestigious Prix de Lausanne, a ballet competition in Switzerland. His professional ballet career began in 2005 when he joined American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, and he later joined Miami City Ballet where he was promoted to Principal Soloist. At Miami City Ballet, Alex danced leading roles in many of the company’s celebrated repertoire, including works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Edward Villella, and Paul Taylor. He auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance in season 6 and made it to the top 10 before withdrawing due to an injury. He was praised for his versatility on the show, even winning two Emmys for routines with Mia Michaels and Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo.


Alex has expanded his versatility even more with recent ventures into theatrical and television work. He has appeared on Smash, Glee, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, Flesh and Bone, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and was a semi-finalist on American Idol. He played Sniper in the original Broadway cast of “Newsies”, receiving the ACCA award for Outstanding Original Chorus in the 2011-2012 season. Alex regularly appears as an All-Star on So You Think You Can Dance and had a dancing role in the movie The Greatest Showman.

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Teddy Forance

adjunct instructor/ mentor - cli studios

Teddy Forance, co-founder of CLI Studios, is a notable contemporary performer and choreographer in the dance industry. He grew up dancing at his family’s studio in Massachusetts before launching into a professional dance career at the age of 17. He is well-known for his choreographic work and performances on So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Teddy has worked with many celebrated artists in the music industry, including Madonna, Lady Gaga, Janet Jackson, P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Florence + the Machine, Usher, and more. He’s traveled as a lead performer with Cirque Du Soleil’s Delirium and has performed at the Oscars, Emmys, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Good Morning America. Teddy’s choreography was recently featured in the trailer for Red Sparrow and an Apple commercial. He is also a founding member of Shaping Sound and teaches dance globally.  

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Twitch

adjunct instructor/ mentor - cli studios

Stephen “tWitch” Boss is best known in the entertainment industry as the DJ on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and the co-host of Ellen’s Game of Games. He was the runner-up on season four of So You Think You Can Dance, specializing in hip-hop, and has since returned as an All-Star, choreographer, and guest judge on the show. His performances on So You Think You Can Dance with Katee Shean and Alex Wong have received Emmy Awards. tWitch’s career began on MTV’s The Wade Robson Project and the talent competition Star Search. His film credits include Hairspray, Stomp the Yard: Homecoming, a recurring role as Jason in Step Up 3D, Step Up: Revolution, and Step Up: All In, and as the character Malik in Magic Mike XXL. tWitch was the first dancer endorsed by Gatorade, recognizing dance as a sport. He has choreographed for Korean pop star Se7en and worked directly alongside Ellen DeGeneres and Paul Feig to create the 2013 Oscar promotional video featuring 250 dancers. He met his wife, fellow dancer Allison Holker, through So You Think You Can Dance and they frequently collaborate on teaching and choreographic workshops around the globe.  

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Nick Lazzarini

adjunct instructor - cli studios

Nick Lazzarini was the Season One winner of Fox's hit show So You Think You Can Dance. He has since been featured in multiple films, including Step Up Revolution, and countless publications. Nick has performed at the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards,the American Music Awards, and the TV Video Music Awards. He has also danced with music sensations such as Adele, Kelly Clarkson, and Florence and the Machine at the. Nick teaches regularly at JUMP Dance Convention, and tours with Shaping Sound as a dancer and choreographer.  

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Misha Gabriel

adjunct instructor - cli studios

Misha Gabriel is one of the entertainment industry’s most sought-after performers and choreographers. His career began on tour with Aaron Carter at age 16, and he quickly gained notoriety as one of Janet Jackson’s featured performers over the next three years in TV appearances, videos, and live performances. Misha has worked with other artists, including Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Pharrell, Christina Aguilera, Kylie Minogue, John Legend, and many more. His TV credits include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Today Show, The Voice, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and more. Misha was scheduled to perform in Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour, and can also be seen featured dancing for Michael in the This Is It documentary.

Misha continued in the film industry with roles in Footloose, The Muppets, Center Stage, and more. In 2012, Misha was featured in a starring role in Step Up: Revolution and reprised his role in Step Up: All In in 2014. His choreography has been featured in Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience” and “FutureSex/LoveShow” tours, The Pussycat Dolls’ “Domination” tour, Hilary Duff’s “Dignity” tour, and Cheryl Cole’s “A Million Lights” tour. He has also choreographed for So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, The X-Factor, and the American Music Awards. Recently, Misha received a World Choreography Award for Best Choreography in a music video for Mark Ballas’ debut music video in 2015.

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