(Ballet, Character, Adult Ballet)
Ms. Onipko is a graduate of the Kiev State Ballet Academy, where she studied with Madame Virikundova, a pupil of Vaganova. Ms. Onipko was a soloist with the National Ballet of Ukraine and toured Europe and the United States. Among her awards are the First Prize of the International Ballet Festival in Belarus, and the Special Prize at Serge Lifar International Competition in Ukraine, 1994. Ms. Onipko joined Ballet El Paso in 1996 and appeared as the principal dancer in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and Pulcinella. Additionally, she was a guest artist at the New Mexico Ballet, Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, El Paso Opera Company and El Paso Symphony Orchestra. In 2002, she received her BFA in Dance and graduated with honors from UTEP. Ms. Onipko’s fifteen years of teaching experience include the University of Texas Ballet Academy, as well as other dance schools in New Mexico, Florida and presently in California. Her choreography credits include Assistant to the Director for the El Paso Ballet and the Children’s Ballet Theatre Project in Fort Lauderdale, where she created the original choreography for Alice in Wonderland, Twelve days of Christmas and staged a Divertissement from The Sleeping Beauty.
(Pre-Academy level Ballet, Tap, Academy 1)
Monika Peltz recently relocated with her family to Orange County from Des Moines, Iowa where she was a ballet and tap teacher of 23 years. She trained at Des Moines Ballet and Ballet Iowa under Kennet Oberly, Lynn Andlauer, Stephan Laurant, and Konstantin Uralsky. She went on to perform professionally for Ballet Iowa, Iowa Dance Theatre, The Neuman Project, and recently made an appearance with Ballet Des Moines as Auntie Em in the Wizard of Oz. Monika taught most recently at School of Classical Ballet and Dance, and is the Founder and Co-President of Dance Without Limits, a thriving program in central Iowa providing dance classes for children with disabilities.
(Guest Teacher for Pre-Academy level Ballet, Tap and Adult Ballet)
Ms. Clarke has been teaching dance since 1964. She teaches ballet, tap and teen/adult ballet classes at DKCBA. She has taught students who have danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet, New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet Met, and Joffrey Ballet. Many of her students have become dance majors at major universities. Ms. Clarke is a very well known and respected teacher who has a great following from all over Orange County. Although Ms. Clarke has now retired, she may occasionally fill in for classes as needed!
Rena began her early ballet training with Rosemary McCarter and former Joffrey principal Elizabeth Huebner. At age 13 she started intensive coaching under Stela Viorica of the Romanian National Ballet, studying the Vaganova method for several years. In addition, she received training from Shao-Pen Wang, Vladimir Kolesnikov, Alexander Greschenko, Alaine Haubert, Stefan Wenta, Larry Rosenberg, Melissa Allen Bowman, Michel Gervais and Maria Sifuentes. Rena performed extensively with the Ballet Montmarte in many ballets including Don Quixote, Paquita, Alice in Wonderland, Bluebird pas de deux from Sleeping Beauty, and in a ballet adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, where she performed the roles of Mrs Cratchit and the Ghost of Christmas Past. Afterward, Rena joined the Anaheim Ballet, performing the Arabian Queen in their Nutcracker tour and dancing soloist roles in Hans Christian Andersen, Martini, C
Commercial Dance Faculty
(Lyrical & Contemporary)
Ever since the age of three, Megan Guise has dedicated her life to performing. Growing up, Megan attended Orange County High School of the Arts for six years in the Commercial Dance Department. In high school she received two awards, best choreographer and most stylistic movement award. After graduating in 2009, she moved to go to college and majored in dance at San Francisco State and trained with Wendy Diamond and Susan Whip. She also has worked and studied with many professional choreographers such as Cindy Peca, Liz Imperio, Joey Tarwater, Rochelle Mapes, Jim Kolb and many more. Currently Megan is living in Long Beach, and enjoying teaching dance and performing.
(Contemporary and Westside Dance Project)
Jessie Riley trained with Alicia Head, Paula Morgan, Reid Olson, Stanley Holden and trained across the U.S. and Europe. Commercially Jessie has worked for Disney, Nickelodeon, MTV, and Sony. She assisted Sonya Tayeh for everything from SYTYCD to international workshops from 2006-2010. Jessie has performed works by Peter Chu, Sonya Tayeh, Mike Esperanza, Lauren Adams, Billy Bell, Helen Blackburn, Mia Michaels, and many others. Jessie was a member of Sonya Tayeh’s “Tayeh Dance”, and Mike Esperanza’s BARE Dance Company. She has also previously been in companies for Dee Caspary, Liz Imperio, and Donna Sternberg. Jessie teaches Contemporary/Ballet and Contemporary for various conventions, intensives, and workshops, currently working with Justin Giles on SoulEscape. She has also hosted her own intensives in Englad, and Italy.
In 2009 Jessie Formed her own company, WESTSIDE Dance Project, which is geared towards young dancers training for a career in contemporary concert dance.
(Guest Instructor: Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theater)
Mr. Anderson started out in Musical Theater and at the age of 12, was introduced to dance by his best friend’s sister. This spiraled into a wide interest in the performing arts. Mr. Anderson attended the Orange County High School of the Performing Arts as well as West Coast School of the Arts. He also attended Dance Precisions during his final year in high school, where he was one of the top senior soloists of the season. Mr. Anderson’s professional credits include Stiletto Entertainment (Holland America Cruise Line), Fame, Aida, Dreamgirls (the movie), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (Judah), and his most inspiring role as Mr. Misstoffelees in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. Mr. Anderson is also the Artistic Director of Atlantis Dance Theater, a contemporary dance company which is in residence at the Maple Conservatory, and has recently taught at the American Ballet Theatre’s Orange County Summer Intensive program. Mr. Anderson is passionate about the arts and enjoys sharing his love of dance with his students. He feels that being a part of the arts has truly shaped his life as well as his dancing.
- Certified Pilates Instructor Reformer, Trap-Table, Chair and Mat
- Licensed Gyrotonic® Instructor; Archway, Tower, and Leg Extension units
- Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine
- Certified Adventure Bootcamp Instructor
- Schwinn® Certified Cycle Instructor
Kristi has been a personal trainer in the Health and Fitness industry for 15 years. She began her career with the Sports Club LA/OC where she was named “Personal Trainer of the Year in 1998”. Since then she has trained Pilates and Gyrotonic® clients one-on-one, and in group settings at Body Design in Newport Beach, and Equinox Irvine. She also ran her own OC Adventure Bootcamp location in Tustin Ranch.
While working under Master Gyrotonic Instructor, Donna Place, Kristi continues her education of movement patterns weekly. Over the past 5 years Kristi has incorporated working with dancers of all ages into her training. With her background in gymnastics and fitness, she has built a unique dancer-specific training program. This program incorporates dynamic movement patterns and helps dancers increase flexibility, turn out, strengthens feet, ankles, knees, hips, core and shoulders, all of which help prevent injury.
In 2014, Kristi completed the Gyrotonic® for dancer’s course, facilitated by Alicia Head and has since been certified in other Gyrotonic® equipment including Archway and Leg Extension Unit.
Kristi works with dancers of every genre from many dance studios in the Orange County area. She also continues her body movement education weekly under the direction of Donna Place, Master trainer for Gyrotonic®. She continues her love for Health and Fitness by continually taking classes to keep current with industry trends including; Pilates Mat, Pilates Equipment, Gyrotonic®, Gyrokensis®, Garuda, Foam Roller, Body Rolling, Thera–Band, Yoga, Tai Yoga Massage, Nutrition, Spin, Bootcamp, Bar Method, and Essential Oil Classes.
Kristi’s diverse background, holistic approach and understanding of body movement patterns give her the ability to individualize each dancer’s program both privately and in a class setting. She helps keep strength and balance in dancer’s bodies to aid in injury prevention and help their performance quality on a daily basis.
Kristi has a passion for teaching movement, and loves to work with people of all ages and abilities. She lives in Irvine with her husband and their three children. You can read more about Kristi’s background here.
- Dominique Clemente
- Haruna Furukawa
- Hayley Seitz