Staff - Studio

Meet Our Faculty


Albert Cattaffi

Dancer and Choreographer ALBERT BLAISE CATTAFI was very happily born to parents Albert Sr. and Geraldine in 1985 and has remained equally as happy ever since. Raised in northern New Jersey of Italian descent, his artistic journey began thanks to his sister Eléna while watching her dance classes for countless hours he was only 5 years old. Albert took his first dance class in 1990 and in 2000 he began his training at the world renowned Joffrey Ballet School in NYC, as well as continuing his studies at Kelly Allen's For Dancer's Only, a well-rounded approach to training that would prove to be beyond beneficial throughout his career. Upon high school graduation, Albert won the prestigious title of Mr. Dance of America and shortly after that he was honored to receive a full scholarship into the dance program at Montclair State University, which he attended for only 48 hours when he departed to begin his professional career. In the coming years, Albert can be found in several episodes of “Saturday Night Live”, has appeared as a guest artist on SYTYCD, and was featured in an international Coke Zero Commercial. He has performed on the Video Music Awards for Florence and the Machine and on the American Music Awards with Kelly Clarkson. Known for his technical prowess and artistry, Albert was an original member of both internationally recognized dance companies “Shaping Sound” under the direction of Travis Wall, and “Bad Boys of Dance” under the direction of ballet star Rasta Thomas. To great acclaim he has worked with Tony Award winning directors Des McAnuff as the first human to ever play the role of "Toto" in "The Wiz", and was featured in Jerry Mitchell's "Peepshow", the Las Vegas hit with Holly Madison and Mel B. No stranger to the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip, Albert later returned as a member of Cirque Du Soleil in The Beatles "LOVE" in the role of 'The Walrus'. Choreographically, Albert Blaise has assisted some of the country’s top Broadway choreographers such as Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo and Emmy Award winner Mia Michaels, as well as assisting in the production of major shows including “Spiderman”, “Billy Elliot”, “Tarzan”, and “Flash Dance”. Albert was also the assistant choreographer on Franco Dragone's cirque extravaganza "INDIA". As choreographer, he set and performed work for John Legend, Cirque Du Soleil's “One Night For One Drop”, "Opid" film with music by Sigur Ros, and was an associate choreographer on Nikhil Khorula’s award winning music video “Fade Away”. In 2015, Albert created and directed his first full length contemporary ballet for the Phoenix Ballet, which was world premiered at Lodz International Ballet Festival in Poland. Currently Albert Blaise Cattafi is the Resident Choreographer for the Phoenix Ballet and is a proud faculty member of Los Angeles based dance convention, "L.A. Dance Magic"


Christian Denice

Christian began his professional dance career at Odyssey Dance Theater in Salt Lake City, Utah, and spent the next three years at River North Dance Chicago in Chicago, IL, under the direction of Frank Chaves. There, Mr. Denice worked with such choreographers as Robert Battle, Sidra Bell, Lauri Stallings, and Frank Chaves. He has guest performed with the Montgomery Ballet, Greensboro Ballet, and Company E. Recently, Christian lived in Montreal, Quebec where he danced for Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and had the privilege of performing works by Andonis Foniadakis, Cayetano Soto, Wen Wei Wang, and Barak Marshall. In addition to dancing, Christian teaches and choreographs nationally and internationally. He has created works for Odyssey Dance Theatre, Odyssey II, Expansions Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago in collaboration with Frank Chaves, LEVELdance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, Interlochen Center for the Arts, METdance too, the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, and Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Christian is the 2015-2016 winner of the University of South Florida's Echo Choreographic Competition, and had a two-week residency at the university where he restaged his 2011 work, " raum". He is also the 2016 winner of the Joffrey Academy's Winning Works Choreographic competition where he had the honor of creating a work on the trainee and studio company dancers. This summer, Christian will be on faculty with DanceWorks Chicago Dance360 and AXIS Connect Los Angeles, as well as a new commission with Modern America Dance Company in St. Louis.


Tess Hewlett

Originally from Midway, Utah, Tess Hewlett began her dance training very early. At the age of 18, she was invited to join 19 other young dancers in the Scholarship Program at the Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. Completion of the Edge program prepared her to begin her professional dance career. Tess has enjoyed success in both commercial and company work. She has been featured in music videos, commercial advertising, films and television. A few of her credits include: Transparent (TV); Acura (Ad); Panera (Ad); Jay-Z, Pentatonix, Lawrence Rothman (music videos); EndHIV (PSA); Code Black (Documentary); and High School Musical 3 (film). While these projects have provided an exciting diversion, Tess’ passion lies in live stage performance. She has had the honor of working with several companies throughout Southern California. In her eight years as a professional dancer, she has worked with some truly great choreographers including: Genevieve Carson, Kate Hutter, Nina McNeely, Ryan Heffington, Denna Thomsen, Erica Sobol, Becca Lemme, Holly Rothschild, Marisa Osato, and Will Johnston. Tess has found a home with LACDC and looks forward to continued growth with the company for many years.


Liz Imperio

Liz Imperio has established herself as a major director/choreographer in the entertainment industry, including artistic direction and choreography for Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again” world tour; two world concert tours for Madonna – “Re-invention” tour and “Confessions” tour; director/choreographer of Gloria Estefan’s last 3 world concert tours;. Liz was born and raised in Los Angeles, where her work caught the eye of famed choreographer Kenny Ortega at the tender age of 15. Liz Became Kenny’s Associate Choreographer for 4 years before breaking out on her own for Gloria Estefan's world tour "Into the Light" Her credits make her one of the most sought after choreographer/show director in the business, including: The show stopping tribute performances by Jennifer Lopez on American Music Awards (Celia Cruz) , Latin Billboards Tribute to (SELENA), American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, Billboard Awards, Latin Grammys, NBC J-Lo Live in Puerto Rico, United We Stand with Michael Jackson (assoc. dir.), Lead Choreographer for Latin American Music Awards, VH1 Diva’s Live, ABC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration; Disney Channel original movie “Gotta Kick It Up”. Liz’s commercial credits include L’Oreal (feat. J-Lo), Sheba Cat (feat. Eva Longoria). Liz was Supervising Choreographer for FOX’s and Univision’s first Bilingual television series airing in over 24 countries worldwide “Q’Viva”. She also choreographed Simon Cowell’s and Ricky Martin’s reality TV hit show “La Banda”. Her choreography contribution for the “Goodwill Games” also received an Emmy. Liz Imperio has taught on numerous conventions over the span of 27 years, including LA Underground, Co. Dance, Tremaine Dance Convention, West Coast Dance Explosion, and is currently Artistic Director for Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention and newly founded Dance Ideas Seminar. Teaching has been a life long profession that has allowed her the opportunity to effect hundreds of thousands of lives. Liz's experience in the field of education has inspired her and partner, Chad Carlberg, to create a company called "SUCCESS.dance", which creates Educational Programs for dance families. Currently Liz is offering the first of its kind dance parents live webinar series, Raising Successful Children, this program will help educate our parents to make better informed decisions that will take their children to the next level. Liz Imperio has trained such stars as Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Pitbull, Cher, Eva Longoria, Hilary Duff, America Ferrera, Renee Olstead, Nederland singing sensation Waylon, Gold Olympian Brian Boitano and Rudy Galindo.


Will Johnston

Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, Will Johnston received the majority of his training at A.K.A Dance Company under the direction of Kelly and Alex Velasquez. Will holds an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of California: Irvine as well as a B.F.A in Dance Performance, a B.F.A in Dance Choreography, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Credits include Clear Talent Group, Sonya Tayeh, Stacey Tookey, Justin Giles, Erica Sobol, Donald McKayle, Loretta Livingston, Jodie Gates, Wade Robson, Tyce Diorio, Glee, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, X Ambassadors, Son Lux, and Sigur Ros. In addition, Will is the co-director of Entity Contemporary Dance and a faculty member at West Coast Dance Explosion, Murrieta Dance Project, and Chapman University. He has taught and choreographed across the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Australia.


Kayla Kalbfleisch

A dancer since age eight, Kayla obtained her first part as Clara in Radio City Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular. She later competed on Star Search, won titles at WCDE and NYCDA, assisted on WCDE and Jump, and taught on WCDE Australian tour. Kayla was also a part of Liz Imperio's company Live Instincts performing at the Jazz World Congress in Chicago. After getting her Biology Bachelor's from UCSD, Kayla obtained representation in LA. She was a main dancer on ABC's TV pilot Grace choreographed by Mia Michaels, and danced on XFactor 2011 and 2012 directed by Brian Friedman, on American Idol alongside Rihanna, and on America's Got Talent. Recently she worked on Glee, CBS's series Vegas, and the 85th Academy Awards.


Edouard Kouzmitch

Edouard Kouzmitch studied at the National Ballet Choreographic College of Minsk in Belarus (the same of Ivan Vasiliev and Igor Kolb) for 10 years. He earned his B.A. Degree in Fine Arts from Marii State University in Russia. He has danced with the Belorussian Bolshoi Ballet State Theater, the National Ballet Company of Mexico and the contemporary dance company Gineseo at the University of Guadalajara. He has danced and traveled extensively with companies through Asia, Europe, Mexico and Cuba and also performed as a guest artist throughout the United States. He has been teching ballet at the Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood and LACSA (Los Angeles County School for the Arts).


Caroline Lewis-Jones

Caroline Lewis-Jones, from South Carolina, has been dancing for over 27 years. At the age of 18 she moved to New York City where she performed for six years. Her credits include the VMA’s with NSYNC, the Latin Grammy Awards, WNBA National Commercial, Commercial work, Disney Industrials, Britany Spears “Me Against the Music” video, MTV’s Body Rock Fitness Video, and more. Although successful as a commercial dancer, her true passion lies within contemporary company work, where she has had the opportunity to work for Mia Michaels Company R.A.W, Dee Caspary’s IV Dance Company, Notario Dance Company, Rhapsody and Company, A.S.H Contemporary, and Justin Giles’ Soul Escape. In 2001 she traveled to Seoul, Korea where she performed for Jason Parson’s and POZ Dance Theatre. In July 2010, Caroline performed with Sonya Tayeh from “So You Think You Can Dance” with her company in Chicago. She also choreographs for studios around the country, and teaches for Adrenaline Dance Convention and The Dance Sessions. ​In December 2007, Caroline choreographed and performed a one-woman show, called Finding My Way. It was about the loss of her mother and her life currently without her. It is her greatest accomplishment yet. Caroline also founded Unbound Dance Company in Columbia, South Carolina in 2008. Her goal as Artistic Director of UNBOUND is to inspire and give dancers over 18 years old a new outlet to perform. She wants to show Columbia a new way of moving with No Boundaries. Caroline also has a deep passion for inspiring kids around the country to eat healthier and fuel their bodies correctly for optimum performance. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who sees an overall lack of nutrition and body strength in dancers today. She works with individuals, families, athletes, and non-athletes, to guide them to a life full of health, simplicity, vitality, and confidence within themselves. Her mission in life is to encourage those around her to eat more Whole Foods for prevention of disease.


Leo Morimune

Leo's extensive training began at the age of 8 on a full scholarship with the San Francisco Ballet (under the direction of Helgi Tomasson) and continued for 10 years. Leo studied ballet, jazz, modern, blues, Afro Haitian, and choreography under the direction of Elvia Marta at the School of the Arts San Francisco. His training was also with the Dance Company of SF, under the direction of Chris Jacobsen, where he studied contemporary, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, and jazz and studied backup dancing at Push Entertainment under the direction of Denise Lee. Leo has danced in the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker from 1994-2002, in 1994 also dancing in Ruslan with the San Francisco Opera. In transition of becoming a commercial dancer he has choreographed/assisted/danced for artists such as Carlos Santana, Jackie Chan, Paula Abdul and 50 Cent to name a few. As a company dancer, he has performed for choreographers such as Dee Caspary, Justin Giles & Chris Jacobsen. Currently pursuing a career as choreographer/instructor, he has toured as a convention teacher for LA Dance Magic & iHollywood dance, and now guest teaching in dance events for Universities and numerous dance events across the country.


Shauna Oliverio

Shauna Oliverio was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Oakland University. Some of Shauna’s professional dance credits include: Fox network’s Ally McBeal and The Tracey Ullman Show, Microsoft Industrial for Xbox, Ushers music video “Pop Your Collar” and Shawn Barrows music video “Army of Kings”, Casino Windsor Show Time Lounge production shows, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Shauna also found her love for musical theatre by joining the casts of “Chicago” where she played Liz at the Baldwin Theatre, “Cabaret” at Avon Players where she played Rosie and “Cats” at Tuacahn where she played Etcetera. Shauna danced with Odyssey Dance Theatre under the direction of Darryl Yeager for five seasons and is currently dancing for Ron De Jesus Dance under the direction of Ron De Jesus. Shauna founded an in-studio dance intensive called Rapture Dance Intensive that she tours and teaches with. Inspired by the art renaissance taking place in the city of Detroit, Shauna is currently launching her own dance company, Detroit Contemporary Dance.


Jasmine Rafael

Jasmine is a professional dancer, choreographer, and instructor based in North Hollywood. She started her journey in LA as a part of the Monsters of Hip Hop Cast and from then on went to work under artists such as Tori Kelly, Nicki Minaj, Jojo Siwa, and Alyson Stoner, and has danced for networks like Nickelodeon, MTV, and more. Jasmine choreographed the feature film "Summer Forever" under Relativity Films and also is on faculty at Millennium Dance Complex in North Hollywood. She also teaches across the country, offering her students a place to explore, grow, and be themselves, using her dance foundation as a tool. Her main passion is to help people find their own honesty and convictions within dancing, wanting people to be true to themselves.


Suzi Taylor

Suzi Taylor grew up in Southern California in her hometown of La Canada Flintridge, where she trained at Le Studio in Pasadena, Duprees and Joe Tremaine’s in Hollywood. At 18, Suzi moved to NYC and continued her training at Alvin Ailey, The School of Ballet and Theatre Dance, and with Robert Blankshine and Finis Jung. She is sought after to teach and lecture at universities, schools, and organizations across the U.S., and is proud to have been with NYCDA since its inception. Suzi has set work on companies in Tel Aviv, Rio, Glasgow, Toronto, Scotland, and Brazil. An internationally recognized master teacher and choreographer, Suzi has been training professional and aspiring young dancers for the past 26 years. Combining her talents as dancer, teacher, and choreographer, she has been invited to teach, perform, and adjudicate at 5 National dance festivals in Rio de Janeiro, at the esteemed Theatre An Der Wein School in Vienna, at ABT star Julio Bocca’s school for Ballet Argentina in Buenos Aires, and in numerous workshops throughout Italy, Japan, France and Canada. Suzi currently and for the past 26 years has been on faculty as Steps On Broadway in NYC and previously at Broadway Dance Center, David Howard’s and Theatre Dance. She has also taught workshops at University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts, and Point Park College.


Cat Viger

Originally from a small town in Georgia, Cat Viger, was Introduced to dance at the age of 12. She immediately fell in love. Her passion for the art of dance was undeniable. Cat trained at West Cobb Dance Explosion and began assisting major choreographers at various conventions and competitions national wide. At the age of 18 Cat moved across country to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of becoming a Professional dancer. Though there were struggles she powered through and has been working in the Industry since. Cat can be seen on Fox’s hit TV show “Glee”, as well as a lead in Beyonce’s “Who Run The World” music video. One of Cat's most recent projects was filming "Alvin and the Chipmunks, the roadchip." Cat Viger is the perfect role model for kids everywhere, showing that really anything can happen if you put your heart and mind to it. Cat is still auditioning, but has also found a love for teaching and choreographing. Cat Viger created a professional dance group known as Cat's Kittens Atlanta. She is on faculty at WCDE a technique based studio located in the greater Atlanta area. Cat also teaches at various studios nationwide. Credits: Glee, Beyonce, Nickleback, Alvin and The Chipmunks -The Roadtrip, Halt & Catch Fire, The Originals, Monique Show, Intel Industrial, Amway Industrial, E Plus Entertainment Vegas, Tiffany Alvord, Taryn Southern, Interscope Records, The Identical, Brisk Iced Tea, Layla Lane, Jessica Ferguson, Flirt, Seth McFarlane Benefit, NYE’s Tony Bennett, TVI Awards, Fashion Minga, FACE Fashion Show, Mariah Carey Posers and Madonna Posers.


Hannah Wintrode

Hannah Wintrode is a Seattle based choreographer, dancer and teacher, known for her hard hitting, clear and flavorful style of hip hop. She has trained and taught all over the county, starting her career in New York City where she had the opportunity to study at Broadway Dance Center and perform throughout the area. She then resided in Los Angeles, CA where she taught at the world renowned Millennium Dance Complex and Movement Lifestyle. She co-directed the all girl hip hop crew, Katalyst, performing in shows all across California including World of Dance, Hip Hop International and Posers. Hannah has performed with artists such as Kimberly Cole, Jeremy Lin and Herb Albert and has danced in company industrials in LA as well as on the television show “Homeward Bound". Now rooted in Seattle, she teaches weekly at the prestigious Westlake Dance Center. Her live performances include Bumbershoot Festival and T-Mobile Live Performance in addition to the many shows she has performed in with Seattle based crews, BoomKatz, Potion and Cruz Control. She most recently was a dancer on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s, The Unruly Mess I’ve Made Asia Tour, and you can see her work as a choreographer and featured dancer in their “Dance Off” and “Brad Pitt’s Cousin" music videos. Hannah is the Creator and Director of The Westsiders Company, an intense training program for dancers of all disciplines and backgrounds. This 18 week program is constructed to give dancers the opportunity to perform, explore in different styles of dance taught by Hannah as well as guest master teachers, grow in their craft and create a community of warmth, positivity and encouragement. As a master teacher and choreographer, Hannah travels throughout the country to share her love, knowledge and passion for dance.


Jeff Wolfe

Jeff Wolfe (Clearwater, FL) received his training through the Academy of Ballet Arts in St. Petersburg, FL, followed by the Houston Ballet Academy in Houston, TX, which he attended for two years on scholarship and was accepted into Houston Ballet’s second company. He spent the following four seasons dancing with the A.G.M.A. ballet company BalletMet in Columbus, OH. Wolfe then joined River North Dance Chicago for a season and a half. After a short stint performing with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on their Oasis of the Seas ship as a dancer/aerialist, Wolfe began freelancing around the United States and Canada. Over this six-year period, Wolfe danced with many companies including Montgomery Ballet (Soloist), Eugene Ballet Company (Principal), Ron De Jesus Dance, EzDanza (Montreal) Compagnie Flak (Montreal), Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance and many more. During the past four years, he has taught ballet for dance conventions such as EPIC Dance Weekend and Dance Fever. Wolfe also taught on the ballet faculty at ChiArts Performing Arts High School in Chicago. Wolfe currently Co-Directs two national dance intensives TRIBE and BALLET MATTERS. He has recently joined Fire & Ice National Talent Competition as one of their two new Regional Directors.


Sarah Brinson

Sarah is an author, youth mentor, creative producer, and choreographer. Born in Scottsdale, AZ, she began her journey in the performing arts with a local theatrical company and at 18 moved to NYC to pursue a career in dance — she is a proud graduate of Tisch School for the Arts at NYU and upon graduation founded ‘The AFD Method (www.theafdmethod.com) to help dance artists enhance their performance quality, storytelling depth, and ability to connect to their audience. She is also the executive producer of the Inspire Dance TV (www.inspiredance.tv) created to educate and inspire the next generation of dance artist. Sarah’s experience spans across both Musical Theatre and Contemporary Concert Dance Theatre. Some of her credits include Once Upon A Mattress, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mark Morris' New Song Waltzes, and is a founding company member of Project 20 Collective. Most recently, Sarah launched her contemporary theatre company, Rockridge Dance Theatre, which premiered at the Joyce earlier this year. TV/Film Performances Sarah can be seen in ABC's Once Upon A Time, Date My Dad (UP), So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) , and in various independent films, music videos, and commercials. She’s currently developing a long form dance TV series through her production company, Coal Harbour Pictures. Choreography • Sarah launched her Contemporary Dance Theatre company, Rockridge Dance Theatre which premiered at the Joyce Theater in NYC in early 2017 and is in development for a touring musical adaptation of her book “Lola The Ladybug” the story of a girl who embraced her differences.