Faculty

Jo Bliss holds a bachelor’s degree in dance education from the University of Central
Oklahoma, studied Dance on a Dance Scholarship at Oklahoma City University and
took class with Ballet Oklahoma for over 10 years. She was the owner of Jo’s School
of Dance in Oklahoma City from 1989 to 2005 when she moved to California. She
performed in over 20 musicals including My One and Only, Crazy for You, Annie, was
Oona White in Guys and Dolls, Andie in Steppin’ Out and Dance Captain for Dames at
Sea.


Jerry Kokich took his first serious ballet class the week he graduated from high
school. Fortunate enough to live in New York, have Broadway performers as parents
(and a Father who had danced for the Ballet Russe), and access to great teachers,
less than five years later he was dancing for The Joffrey Ballet. If you ask him, he’ll say
he was not gifted in any way, he just worked really hard. His teachers, including Tina
Youskevitch, Gabriela Darvash, Stanley Williams, Andrei Kramerevsky, Robert Joffrey
and Gerald Arpino, prepared him for 14 years as a professional, 8 of those with The
Joffrey.


Tatiana A’Virmond began her classical ballet training in Brazil where she was a
member of Guairá Ballet Theater Foundation winner of a Gold Medal in the Brazilian
National Ballet Competition and Silver Medal in the Latin Ballet Competition.
In New York City, she performed with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Connecticut Ballet
and Dance Brazil. In San Francisco, Tatiana worked as a Principal Dancer for Theater
Ballet of San Francisco, Western Ballet, Mark Foehringer Dance Project and was a
dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director of Dance Through Time. In 2005 she
moved to Los Angeles and had performed and choreographed for Patrick Franz’s
dance company LaDanserie, danced as a Principal Dancer for Pacific Ballet Dance
Theater (Media City Ballet) and have been a Principal Dancer for California
Contemporary Ballet.

Mrs. A’Virmond has been teaching and choreographing Ballet for over 20 years in
prestigious schools in USA, Brazil and Australia including Western Ballet, Lines, LABA,
Colburn, Rosann- Zimmerman Ballet Center, Media City Ballet, California
Contemporary Ballet, LAmusart, Byron Ballet (Australia), Academy (Brazil). Her
choreography won Gold Medals at a National Dance Competitions and it also created
an opportunity for a student to get a scholarship in Canada through YAGP in New
York.


Tatiana is a certified Yoga teacher at Yoga Blend, certified teacher of Progressing
Ballet Technique, she is also specialist in Historical and Latin Dances. Overall, she
contains a caring and passionate personality, and her mission as a teacher is to bring
anatomical awareness, focus and inspire students to love dance.

GiGi Hartman attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA majoring in dance.
She is a graduate of the Dance Masters of America Teachers Training Program,
where she returns annually to further her dance education.
GiGi is an active member of the Cecchetti Council of America where she holds the
Intermediate Professional Level VI Certification. In addition, GiGi is a member of
Dance Masters Pacific Coast where she is on the Board of Directors and is a National
Examiner. GiGi enjoys sharing her love of dance with the BDA dancers.


Steven Nielsen is proud to be teaching at Burbank Dance Academy for the last 3
years. He has professionally performed and choreographed for film, television, and
theatre all over the world. He was Cirque Du Soleil’s original Dance Coach for The
Beatles LOVE show, at the Mirage Resort/Casino in Las Vegas. He has 3 World’s Best
Choreography awards in acro-sports and coached 3 National High School
Cheerleading Championship squads. He travels throughout the year choreographing,
adjudicating and teaching all over the U.S. Basically, doing what he loves and is most
passionate about.


Ina Haybaeck‐Rogers was born, raised and educated in Austria. Classically trained
and certified as a pedagogue, trained in Modern Jazz by legendary Jaime Rogers, her
resume include: Ballet-Master & Rehearsal-Director for The Joffrey Ballet’s “Cinderella”
and “Nutcracker” in LA , Choreographer for the movie “Wedding Crashers”, and coach
for “Dancing With The Stars” contestants, Associate Dean at Debbie Allen Dance
Academy, Faculty at Champs Charter High School for the Arts. Ina is multi-disciplinary
and multi-faceted. She is extremely passionate about her students’ individual goals and
thrives in seeing them succeed!


Winkee Krick is originally from Grand Rapids, MI. She began taking classes on her
first birthday and never looked back. Winkee’s dream since the age of twelve has
always been to move to California to pursue her career as a dancer, choreographer,
and teacher, and to share her passion for dance with others. Winkee has trained
intensively in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, and contemporary. She has won several
scholarships from many conventions including CoDance and Shock the Intensive and
won the title of “National Tap Champion 2008” at the Star Systems National Finals.
Winkee has been seen around the country assisting Darryl Retter, Keith Clifton, and
Tom Alexander at regional and national DMI conventions. This summer she has
traveled to set competition pieces on some of the nation’s most prestigious studios!
The music video, Acid Rain, that Winkee choreographed, has over 18,000,000 views
on YouTube and won the UK MTV award for Best Dance Video of 2015! Winkee is
honored to be a member of the Burbank Dance Academy faculty!

Ami Mattison is a teacher, choreographer, and the artistic director of Mattidance
Company. She is on faculty at the Edge Performing Arts Center and Debbie Reynolds

Legacy Dance Studio. Ami travels nationally teaching master classes at studios and
universities like Broadway Dance Center, Loyola Marymount University, and Joffrey
Academy of Dance. She has won several Choreography Awards and trained top
national soloists and YAGP finalists. In 2014 Ami launched Mattidance with a two sold
out performances. Mattidance has since performed at Los Angeles area festivals
including Dance Resource Center’s Home Grown, Pasadena Dance Festival and the
So-Cal Dance Invitational. Most recently Ami and Mattidance were selected as finalists
for the McCullum Theater’s 20th Annual Choreography Festival. For more information
visit amimattison.net

Christine Dent began dancing in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Christine holds a
BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she studied ballet,
jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, hip hop, and musical theatre. Christine relocated to
the Los Angeles area in 2013, after having lived in New York City for several years,
where she was pursuing her dance and musical theatre career.
Christine has performed as a guest artist with the Martha Graham Dance Company,
performed at Carnegie Hall, appeared in countless musicals across the country, and
danced at sea with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. A teacher all throughout her
performance career, Christine has set award-winning choreography on competitive
dance students all across the country. She has also served as a competitive dance
judge for StarQuest Talent Competition. Christine is grateful to educate young dancers
and feels privileged to share her passion with others!

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