Yuka Fukuda

Yuka Fukuda, originally from Tokyo, Japan, trained at Tokyo Junior Ballet and Asami Maki Ballet Arts. Upon coming to the United States, she trained at George Mason University in Virginia and The Ailey School in New York City. On graduating in 1999, she was invited to join Ailey’s second company Ailey II, performing with them from 1999–2002.

Yuka went on to be a company member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre for two years. She performed in six productions of The King and I, including at the venue Papermill Playhouse, as well as several national tours. She played the role of Victoria in Cats at West Virginia Public Theater. She served as an assistant choreographer for the production of Gospel Gospel Gospel directed and choreographed by Otis Sallid. She has worked with renowned choreographers such as Robert Battle, Jessica Lang, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Donald Byrd, Ronald K. Brown, and many more.

As a teacher, she has taught at the Nang Young Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, Dallas Black Dance Academy, and headed up the Modern department at Champs Charter High School for the Performing Arts. She is also a faculty member at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), Lula Washington Dance Theater, and City Ballet of Los Angeles.

She has completed her Horton pedagogy training with Anna Marie Forsyth.

Aaron Williams

Aaron Williams is a virtuosic tap dancing multi-instrumentalist, trained in classical music, jazz, and rudimental percussion technique. He achieved internet fame with his viral video, Mario on Marimba, which has received millions of views on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. He appeared in Coca Cola’s “America the Beautiful” campaign which aired during the Superbowl, the Olympics, and the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. He is the composer of “Jazzy Note Blocks,” the music behind Note Blocks – AVM Shorts Episode 5, which has racked up nearly 70 million views on Youtube.

In addition to his online and commercial successes, Aaron is a world-class music educator. He holds Level 3 Certification in Orff Schulwerk pedagogy, and he has presented teacher training workshops for AOSA, KIPP Schools, CMEA (California Music Education Association), and several colleges and universities. He is a recipient of the ACEMM Winter Spotlight Award, which is granted for outstanding work in learning communities utilizing music and movement. Aaron has done extensive work as a Band Director, Private Lessons Instructor, and Music Specialist for students ranging in age from 2 to 92.

Aaron is one half of the explosive rhythmic, percussion duo, Collision of Rhythm.

Chard Gonzalez

Chard Gonzalez is a native San Diegan, dance artist, educator, and advocate. He has choreographed, performed, and taught dance throughout the USA and Europe. Companies he has performed with include: Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company (NYC), Douglas Dunn & Dancers (NYC), ALDES (Italy), Company Blu (Italy), Compagnia Virgilio Sieni Danza (Italy), Cathy Seago and Dancers (UK), and Jonathan Burrows (UK). Chard received his BFA in Dance Performance from SUNY Purchase and an MA in Dance Studies from Laban Centre London. In 2009, he established Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre in New Orleans. CGDT has since performed throughout the USA.

Chard has over 25 years experience of teaching ballet and modern techniques, improvisation, choreography, and performance skills. He has taught at London Contemporary Dance School, Laban Centre, London Studio Centre, Roehampton University, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, California Ballet School, San Diego Academy of Performing Arts, Pieter Performance Space, and many other private studios. Chard’s balanced approach emphasizes how dancers may reach their goals in their technical, artistic, and professional development.

Victoria Dobson

Victoria is a dancer, teacher, and creator of the podcast Dance With Teachers. Originally from Park City, Utah, her dancing career has taken her from Utah to New York and now Los Angeles.

Victoria received her Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education from The State University of New York at Cortland and her Master of Arts in Dance Education from New York University Steinhardt. She is certified to teach elementary education, English language learners as well as dance K–12.

Victoria is passionate about teaching and has presented her work in dance education with the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), California Dance Education Association (CDEA) as well as taught at Dance Teacher Summit. She served on the Subject Matter Advisory Panel for Dance in Sacramento to further develop the dance credential in California. She has also offered her expertise as a judge in the competition circuit. She has been featured in works by Jordan Matter (Dancers Among Us) and Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York).

Currently, she teaches creative movement within the modern department at the Colburn School. She also teaches dance at Gabriella Charter School in Los Angeles. She enjoys fusing her childhood and dance education training to create interdisciplinary lessons throughout her curriculum.

Julianna Bulgarelli

Julianna Bulgarelli grew up in the Pasadena area, and began studying ballet, tap, and musical theater at Pasadena Civic Ballet. At 15, she was accepted into the Colburn School’s professional training program, under the direction of Leslie Carothers, Glenn Edgerton, and Glen Eddy. Julianna was later accepted into The Ailey School/Fordham University’s BFA Program in New York and in 2015, graduated magna cum laude with honors in Spanish studies. While at The Ailey School, she was fortunate enough to perform works by Nicholas Villaneuve, Germaul Barnes, Matthew Rushing, and Alenka Cizmesija. She also became a member of JUNTOS Collective, a non-profit that uses dance to develop leadership and community building in underserved areas. With JUNTOS, she performed and taught dance workshops in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and New York City.

Currently, Julianna is very proud to be on faculty at the Colburn School’s Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, where she teaches modern dance to young dancers. She is also the dance teaching artist at both Angelica Center for Arts and Music and Hope Street Family Center, two organizations that bring arts programs to youth in the Pico-Union and downtown areas. As well as teaching youth, Julianna also teaches open adult dance and movement-wellness classes at Pilates & Arts in Echo Park.

As a choreographer, Julianna has performed and presented her own work as part of Dance Recourse Center’s Terra Nova Residency program, led by Rosanna Gamson and has also traveled to New Mexico and Costa Rica to choreograph, teach, and perform. In 2019, she became an apprentice with JazzAntiqua Dance and Music Ensemble, under the direction of Pat Taylor and is thrilled to be working with a choreographer whose work is infused with the rich history of jazz and modern dance.

In addition to dancing and teaching, Julianna is also very passionate about music and the global impact that the arts can have on people of all backgrounds. She hopes to continue to share with future generations the power of building cross-cultural connections through the arts.

Lisa Gillespie

In addition to teaching at the Colburn School, Lisa Gillespie is an adjunct professor of dance at Loyola Marymount University and a frequent instructor at the Santa Clarita Ballet Academy. She has taught at the American Musical Dramatic Academy, everybody dance!, Marat Daukayev School of Ballet and Lois Ellyn Ballet School.

Lisa began her training with Thomas and Ilona Russell (National Ballet of Washington DC, Frederic Franklin), Genevieve Damon (Marquis de Cuevas Ballet, Massine), San Francisco Ballet, and on scholarship at North Carolina School of the Arts, as well as with Stefan Wenta.

She recently worked with Polunin Ink to create Satori, an evening of dance at the Coliseum Theatre in London’s West End and in Prague. She has performed as Eliza in the Théâtre du Châtelet’s production of The King and I, directed by Lee Blakeley and reprised the role at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has performed in many operas including King Roger, directed by Stephen Wadsworth and Maometto II, directed by David Alden at Santa Fe Opera. Other operas include Seattle Opera’s Carmen and Pearlfishers and Die Fledermaus for The Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera and Washington National Opera (PBS Grand Performances) and Aida for Pacific Symphony. She has performed in The Merry Widow for LA Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and The Dallas Opera. Other LA Opera credits include Macbeth, directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak, Aida, Queen of Spades, La Traviata, Vanessa and Placido Domingo & Friends Gala. Musical theater roles include Louise in Carousel, Dream Laurey in Oklahoma! and Eliza in The King and I for Musical Theater of Wichita. Lisa was with Ballet Arizona where she performed in ballets such as Balanchine’s Serenade, Four Temperaments, Rubies, Pilobus’ Land’s Edge and The Nutcracker. She has danced original works by Francisco Martinez and worked with Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet for many years touring to London and New York.

Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from George Mason University. She has completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training from Loyola Marymount University and ABT’s National Training Curriculum Level Pre-Primary – Level 3.

Sheila Gonzalez

Sheila Gonzalez was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. She graduated from the Cuban National Ballet School in 2008 as a ballet and character dance teacher. While still a student, Sheila worked with the elementary levels as a substitute teacher and shortly after graduation, she became a faculty member of the Cuban National Ballet School. During this period, she had the privilege to nurture her passion and work alongside great masters of dance in Cuba such as Fernando Alonso.

Ms. Gonzalez also provided professional services as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer at the Ecuadorian academy of ballet and Jazz Pam Dance Theatre from 2011–2013. She coached several students that received awards in dance competitions such as World Ballet Competition in Orlando, US, Danzamerica in Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina and UDA in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Sheila moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and joined Pasadena Dance Theatre as a faculty member and dancer in the company. She currently teaches ballet at Li’s Ballet Studio and at Colburn’s Trudl Zipper Dance Institute.

Sheila’s joyful personality invites her students to approach their lessons in a way so that they can challenge themselves and appreciate the freedom dance can provide while also adhering to the necessary structure of the ballet class.

Timothy Lynch

Timothy Lynch is from Mineola, NY, and received his dance training from the School of American Ballet. In 1993, Tim joined Pacific Northwest Ballet, and performed featured roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Four Temperaments and works by Jerome Robbins, Kent Stowell, and Paul Taylor. He originated roles in works by Donald Byrd, Val Caniparoli, Kevin O’Day, Mark Dendy, Kent Stowell, and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. Tim’s rich performing experience includes character roles such as Carabosse in Ronald Hynd’s Sleeping Beauty, Herr Drosselmeier in Kent Stowell’s Nutcracker, and Gamache in Kevin Mackenzie’s Don Quixote.

Film works include the role of Nick Bottom in the BBC production of Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tim became co-director of PNB’s Outreach Youth Performing Group in 2001 and began teaching in PNB’s Dance Chance program. In 2003, he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet School as a full-time faculty member, where he choreographed and helped shape the men’s program for over 10 years. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Cornish College of the Arts in 2005, graduating summa cum laude. Tim has been guest faculty at Cornish College of the Arts, University of Washington, and Western Washington University.

He founded Seattle Dance Project in 2007, where he was both Artistic Director and a dancer. He has performed works by Donald Byrd, James Canfield, Pat Catterson, Molissa Fenley, Kiyon Gaines, Edwaard Liang, Wade Madsen, Eva Stone, Kent Stowell, Olivier Wevers, Ellie Sandstrom, and Hilde Koch. Tim has choreographed for Cornish College of the Arts, Dance Contemporary, and the Creative Dance Center. He earned the KOMO Kids First Award for mentoring local youth in 2011, and was awarded Educator of the Year 2012 from the Dance Educators Association of Washington. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and continues to find ways to further his professional development.

Tim served as the Academy Director for BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio from 2014–16. He created a boy’s program, expanded the pre-professional trainee program and rebranded its adult dance fitness classes. His choreographic work in Columbus has been showcased at the Ohio Dance Festival and at the Capitol Theater.

In 2016, Tim and his family moved back to the West Coast and in 2017, he co-founded the Lynch Dance Institute in San Diego with his wife Alexandra Dickson. He recently obtained his yoga certification and teaches at Core Power Yoga. Tim began working at the Colburn Dance Academy in 2017 and is grateful to Jenifer and James for including him in the fantastic work taking place at Colburn.

Romy Karz Rapoport

Romy is a native of Southern California. At the age of 15, she became a student on full scholarship at The School of American Ballet (the official school of The New York City Ballet). At 17, she was chosen by Peter Martins to participate as an exchange student with The Royal Danish Ballet, and at age 18 she joined The New York City Ballet, where she danced for nine years. She has performed principal and solo roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Four Temperaments, Who Cares, La Valse, Symphony in Three Movements, Agon, and Concerto Barocco.

Romy has appeared on national television on the Dance in America broadcast of An Evening with Balanchine and the movie The Nutcracker. Ms. Karz Rapoport has 30 years of teaching and choreographing experience for ballet students of all ages, and holds a certification as a yoga instructor as well. She is passionate about helping dancers of all ages maintain healthy technique as they pursue their passion.

Jean Michelle Sayeg

Jean Michelle Sayeg began performing on Star Search, international commercials, and film from age nine. She trained at Le Studio and San Francisco Ballet. Sayeg became a principal dancer with State Street Ballet and Smuin Ballet, dancing title roles of Carmen, Medea, Petit Mort and originated Trey McIntyre’s Oh Inverted World!.

Broadway’s National Tours include Cats (Victoria), and Camelot (Lady Sybil). She has been featured in aerial silk ballets, and productions at Lincoln Center, Hollywood Bowl, and LA Opera.

Choreography includes And As the World Goes Round (Interplayer’s Theatre), Picnic (Anteus Theatre Company), Dancing Lessons (Ensemble Theatre Company) and original works in South Africa (CAPA) and the townships in Philippi and Gugulethu.

Sayeg is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of California and Pilates certified (BASI). Awards include the Music Center Spotlight Award, Lester Horton Award, Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival, and winner of the Jerry Herman Award for Best Choreography for Thoroughly Modern Millie. She enjoys teaching various styles to all ages and levels of dance. Sayeg is a proud member of Actors Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and AGMA.