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

Gabrielle has received Teaching Certifications from Bolshoi Ballet (Moscow) and CLI Studios (US). She is also a Member of the International Dance Council CID at UNESCO, Paris. She has studied dance for 35 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.
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 awards for Choreography at Artists Simply Human, On Point, StarQuest, Bravo Talent, L.A. DanceForce, Hall of Fame Dance Challenge, Revolution Talent & Access Broadway. She was also the recipient of the CAPEZIO/NEW TALENT GENERATION Scholarship.
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 6 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 North Star 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 19 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.


Arissa Anderson

Instructor/ Choreographer - Co-Director of STARZ Tutu Academy, Assistant Director of 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. 


Amaya Brooks

Instructor - STARZ Music Academy

Amaya has grown up in Bluefield, WV, her entire life and loves this area. Her love for music began when she was very young. She started performing at 15, and is now a 22 year old college student with a major in Music at Bluefield University.

Amaya is part of the Bluefield University Choir, as well as one of the worship leaders for their chapel services every Wednesday. She has had the honor of performing at Universal Studios Orlando FL, BB King’s, and several schools along the East Coast.

Amaya enjoys teaching others to sing and giving the gift of music. “The process of watching someone grow into their gifts and really shine is what makes everything worth it. Being able to provide a person with the tools to find their own voice and empower them to pursue their dreams, no matter what that may be, is such a humbling and beautiful experience.”


Makenzie Phipps

instructor - STARZ music academy

A small-town girl raised in beautiful southwest Virginia, Miss Makenzie Phipps has been making her way around the music scene for quite some time now. Growing up, Makenzie began performing at a young age. From singing the National Anthem at local sporting events to now paving her own way in country music. From playing fairs, festivals, and honky-tonks, to now professionally recording her own music as a Nashville recording artist Makenzie is spreading her love for music everywhere she goes. Makenzie began taking piano lessons at the age of 10 and by the age of 14 she was performing for others. Makenzie was given “Future Star of Tomorrow” at the 2016 North America Country Music Association International Awards and has now won two Josie Music Awards. Her music has now been heard around the world with the help of her combined 45,000 social media followers. Makenzie has been very blessed for all of the opportunities she’s been given at such a young age. In June she was given the opportunity to perform on the Grand Ole Opry Stage to celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Sunday Morning Country”. Not only that, but her new country single, “Drag”, premiered on People.com. While working full time as a musician she continued her academics and just graduated from Southwest Virginia Community College with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies Music. Makenzie is looking to teach kids the beauty in music. “I want to show young and aspiring artists in the world what music is all about. I feel a life without music is an incomplete one. Come start your musical journey with me!”

Madison Jackson
Instructor/ Choreographer - Dance Dept

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 is a graduate of The Institute for American Musical Theatre. Her 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 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.

Kyla Meadows
INSTRUCTOR - STARZ Music Academy/ Dance Dept

Kyla is a first year student at The Institute for American Musical Theatre in NYC. She received a $60,000.00 Scholarship to study at the prestigious school. She 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 is heard in dance studios and recitals all around the world, as a featured vocalist for BEAUTY OF DANCE: MUSIC FOR PROFESSIONAL DANCE INSTRUCTION.

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

Chloe Browning
assistant - dance dept/ Aerial arts academy/ STARZ tutu academy


Marissa Kagarise

Instructor - Yoga & wellness

       “Hari Om Tat Sat. And just like that, through sat-sung, meditation, community, education, contemplation, and curiosity, I began to let go. I surrendered myself to my heart, I surrendered myself to the guidance of others, to the guidance of myself when I take the time and space to listen. The YTT200 program called my soul home; and just as we sang in unison during one of the opening classes, “I release resistance, I let go now, I come home now,” I began to unfurl the petals of my inner sacredness.”

        A child born and blinking starlight into the world, Marissa has always been insatiable and free, “I learned to crawl on carpets woven with fairytales and daydreams, and eventually strung the prose up my spine as I stood into adolescence and adulthood.” From a young age, she would read, write and dance fantasies in reality. Unsurprisingly, she entered into college to pursue a creative career; however, after two years of shifting from an English major to Digital Humanities with a double minor in Psychology and Philosophy, her heart didn’t sing as it had when she was a child. She left University and traveled to Guatemala, seeking out her Yoga Certification with the School Yoga Institute after years of independent practice. After graduating, she traveled throughout the United States from festival to festival as a henna body artist, eventually making her way to her hometown in Central Pennsylvania. With a desire to deepen her practice and connect with a community, Marissa moved to Princeton, West Virginia where she now leads yoga classes at various locations.

        Her classes are grounded in the dynamic connection between mind, body and spirit. She offers flows similar to vinyasa, power, hatha and mandala, inviting you to listen to your body’s rhythm and move with fluidity on and off the mat. She has a passion for intuitive movement that channels and transforms energy and emotion into creativity. In synergy with her education and experiences as a certified Reiki Practitioner and current student with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach, Marissa leads through a heart-centered and naturopathic approach to all-encompassing wellness.

        We are thrilled to have Marissa on staff at STARZ. Yoga Classes for all ages begin Monday, April 10th. ENROLL NOW!

Read More

Lily Comer

Instructor - STARZ Music Academy

Lily Comer is a 20 year old junior at Bluefield University. She is majoring in music education. Lily is originally from Welch, WV but grew up in Bluefield, VA. Lily started performing at the age of 14. She won several local talent competitions. People were amazed at this young girl with the big voice. Lily was the lead In her high school musical, “The Little Mermaid Jr,” playing the part of Ariel. She has also performed in musicals at Bluefield University and participates in the choir there. 

 In 2020, she won a National Talent competition, “My Pigeon Forge Path to Fame.” And as in the words of her voice coach , Alandra Blume, “This is an organization of merit, where Lily was selected based on her talents, efforts, and aptitude by music producers and professionals out of Nashville.” Lily also came in second to a contestant from “The Voice”, winning a spot to perform at Blake Shelton’s “Ole Red” restaurant in Gatlinburg, TN. She has also been invited to perform at Country Tonite Theater in Pigeon Forge, was noticed by a talent agent from Dollywood and was asked to perform In Dollywood last summer. Lily has never had a promotional agency to help her; she just works hard to perfect her talent and chases her dreams. 

Lily loves performing but what she loves even more is teaching. “I truly love seeing my students on stage singing or playing the guitar or piano. I watch their faces and the pride in their parents’ faces, and my heart is full. When I was really young I took dance at STARZ, so I’m excited that this has come full circle! There is no greater feeling than giving someone the gift of music. Music is my passion. Music is my dream.”  


Beri Bishop

instructor - STARZ Music academy

Beri Bishop is from Fairfax, Virginia and has been interested in music since she was a kid. She began guitar lessons at twelve years old and joined her school choir that same year. In high school, Beri sang in two of the top choir ensembles: Select Women's Ensemble and Select Vocal Ensemble. She was also awarded a scholarship in high school that recognizes promising students who are pursuing music in college.While at Bluefield University, Beri’s focus instrument was voice, and she participated in two college ensembles: Variations and Praise Singers. Twice a week, Beri led worship for Chapel and Elevate services.Beri is excited to help students get involved with music and develop several new skills. She hopes to show students how music can serve as an outlet for stress and be a rewarding hobby to pick up. Beri wants to help her students take their talent to the next level and grow their self confidence.


Gracie Walker

assistant - starz acrobatic 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. 


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.  

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.  

Read More


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.  

Read More

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.  

Read More

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.

Read More