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Studio Owner/Artistic Director - Julianne Thompson comes from a family of dancers and dance teachers. Having her own dance studio has always been a dream and she considers herself lucky to own The Dance Factory School of Performing Arts. Julianne began dancing at the age of two, learning many different styles of dance including tap, jazz, acrobatics, ballet, and lyrical. Her studio was performance based with competition level classes. Although her team won various awards at competition, they were most well known for their tumbling abilities. At the age of sixteen, Julianne began teaching ages two through adults and by seventeen was running Mary Ann’s Dance Center for one year. She continued her training at Orange Coast Community College, where she perfected her skills in tap, jazz, ballet, and modern dance.
Before becoming the studio owner in 2010, Julianne has been a part of The Dance Factory staff since 2005 and her jobs have included managing front desk, Program Coordinator, Artistic Director, and most of all, Teacher for both recreational and competitive level students. She continues to train students from ages 2-18 in tap, ballet, acro, and jazz. As each class at The Dance Factory is structured by levels with rigorous content focused on each individual dancer’s ability, Julianne has been trained and prepared to meet the needs of all her students within the specific genres of dance. She has worked with students taking class for fun, as well as students training towards a professional career in dance.
At the competitive level, Julianne teaches various styles of dance to soloists, duets, trios, and teams. Many of her students have earned top scores at competitions and her teams have placed in Overalls consistently throughout the years. Julianne has also choreographed for professional dance teams which include the Orange County Ravens, Orange County Titan Starlets, and the OC Cowboy Starlets. She has earned the Teacher of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012 at the Kids Artistic Revue Dance Competition.
Studio Director/Manager - Michelle Monreal has over 20 years dance experience. She has trained in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Cheerleading, and Gymnastics. Michelle has performed in many competitions, parades, and halftime shows. She has been a part of The Dance Factory Staff as instructor and Artistic Director since 1997. Michelle has been teaching and choreographing for over a decade recreational and competition dancers. Her pieces went on to earn top scores at National Competitions and her students have received numerous competition awards and scholarships for their talents. Michelle has also choreographed for the Disneyland Summer Dance Classic Parade and many other independent shows and camps. She has received her Associate in Arts degree in Childhood Education at El Camino Community College along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies at California State University of Long Beach. In addition, Michelle currently holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She has been an integral part of the success of The Dance Factory and we are thrilled to have her apart of our family as Studio Director.
Teacher—Ami Mattison is a teacher and choreographer who has made her home in New York City and then Los Angeles. In New York, she taught at Broadway Dance Center and was on faculty at Peridance Center for six years. She has also taught and set choreography for many studios on the East Coast. Since moving to Los Angeles, Ami has become a faculty member of the Edge Performing Arts Center. She has already choreographed award winning routines for studios in and around Los Angeles. She is also a guest teacher at several colleges and universities. As a performer, Ami danced in collidE dance under the direction of Erica Michelle Sobol for many years.
Ami has recently showcased choreographic work at Choreographer's Carnival, Mashup Benefit, and Out on a Limb; she is looking forward to presenting more pieces in the year to come. Ami has been teaching at The Dance Factory School of Performing Arts for four years. She teaches ballet and contemporary jazz as well as choreographing for the Elite Competition Team. For more information or to view videos of her work, visit www.amimattison.net.
Teacher – Briana-Marie Monreal has been dancing from the time she could walk – as her mom has been her dance teacher at The Dance Factory since she was two years old. Briana became a part of the TDF competition team when she was five winning top awards with her solos and teams throughout the years. She has competed in numerous competitions, performed in parades and halftime shows, and has been a Teacher’s Assistant for 3 years. Briana has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. She has joined The Dance Factory staff as Teacher working with ages 3 – 8 year olds. This will be her15th year as part of The Dance Factory. Briana’s passion is to share her knowledge and creativity in dance with children of all ages.
Teacher – Ashley Dragon holds her BFA in Dance from California State University Long Beach. She grew up in a household of artists and began training in several movement practices at a young age. She has appeared in both concert and commercial work at locations such as the Crystal Cathedral, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, and the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. Having studied dance with wonderful instructors such as Keith Johnson, Linda Sohl-Ellison, Alaine Haubert, Mike Esperanza, and Shana Menaker she has been inspired to continue the spread of knowledge she has so far acquired. Her work has been presented at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, Martha B. Knoebel, and American College Dance Festival. Most Recently Ashley has become a Certified GYROTONIC (r) Apprentice and is excited to combine elements of all her movement experiences into her teaching here at The Dance Factory.
Teacher - Caley-Ryan Carr has been a tap and hip hop instructor at Team O.C. for the past three years and is a guest at Jimmy DeFore. He studied with Linda Sohl-Ellison at Orange Coast College and was an active member of international touring company “Rhapsody in Taps.” He performs frequently as a hip hop dancer and has competed with Pace All Stars dance team in international competitions; the team placed 5th in the world in 2009. Caley is the director/choreographer for World War II swing dance and reenactment group in which raises money to support the Noble Cause Foundation. You may have seen him on Season 9 of “So You Think You Can Dance” LA auditions. Caley has most recently joined “Taps Sounds Under Ground,” directed by Greg Russell. This is his first year teaching at The Dance Factory and is excited to be a part of the staff.
THE DANCE FACTORY school of 'performing' arts. 28901 South Western Avenue, Suite 113 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Phone: (310) 519 3600 Fax: (310) 519 3601. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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