Meet the Staff
Jennifer Thompson-Bosco (Artistic Director & Teacher and co-owner) has been dancing since she was three-years old. A native Southern Californian, Jennifer studied ballet, tap, jazz, pas de duex, adagio, and gymnastics in San Bernardino, CA at Vera Lynn School of the Dance. There she trained under Laura Maruna-Roach and Vera Lynn. Later she danced in Montclair, CA at the California Dance Center where she trained with Lawrence Blake and Victoria Koenig. She has many accolades for her dance performances including winning many southern California dance competitions. In 1988, Jennifer was selected to train at Ballet West in Aspen, Colorado. She also studied voice and piano and has performed with Junior University in San Bernardino, CA. Jennifer started teaching dance through the Burbank Parks and Recreation in 2002 prior to opening The Red Chair School of Performing Arts in 2004. She was also a Gymboree teacher for six years. She is currently an Affiliate Teacher with the American Ballet Theatre. Jennifer is also founder, Director and a Choreographer of The Red Chair Children’s Production Company, which has produced shows such as: The Nutcracker Ballet, Aladdin, Cinderella, High School Musical, and Annie. She received a BA in Political Science from the University of Southern California.
In addition to being the Artistic Director at The RC Dance Center, Miss Jen teaches Preschool Ballet, Tap, Tumble, Kinderdance, Ballet Primary A, B & C, Pee-Wee Hip Hop, Beginning Tap, and Ballet Level 1-7 with Pointe.
Jennifer was recently named “Best Dance Instructor” in Burbank for 2013 by the LA Times Burbank Leader.
Sylvia Kelman (Director of Business Affairs/Co-owner) has had a passion for dance and theatre since she was a little girl. She is native Southern California girl and is a graduate of Cal State University at Northridge with a B.A. in Humanities with a concentration in Film Arts. She also studied abroad, studying Shakespearean plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theater and the Royal National Theater in England. Sylvia has worked in accounting for the film industry, bookkeeping for small businesses and as a Gymboree teacher. Along with her fellow founders, Sylvia opened The Red Chair School of Performing Arts in 2005. Sylvia is also a founder, a producer for The Red Chair Children’s Production Company, a non-profit theatre company that which has produced shows such as: The Nutcracker Ballet , Aladdin, Cinderella, High School Musical, Annie and numerous dance showcases for children.
Gabrielle Edinburgh-Wald (Founder, Acting/Theatre Teacher) is a graduate of Cal State University, Northridge with a B.A. in Theatre Arts. She has been teaching Acting Scene Study at The Red Chair School of Performing Arts for the past five years. Gabrielle is a founder of The Red Chair Children’s Production Company where she has co-produced and directed Cinderella and Aladdin. She has also directed High School Musical and Annie. This is Gabrielle’s fifth year performing as Clara’s Mother and Mother Ginger in The Nutcracker, which she also co-produces. She studied acting under Robert F. Lyons and Ann Eldridge, voice under Victoria Cutler and tap and jazz under the direction of Marge Patka. She was accepted into the Mark Taper Forum Musical Workshop in Los Angeles and has acted in lead roles including Bonjour La Bonjour, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gypsy, David and Lisa, and Women Behind Bars. Gabrielle has performed in children’s touring theatre productions including Cinderella and Stone Soup and taught preschool for ten years and worked as a Gymboree music teacher for six years. She recently got married and would like to dedicate this performance to her new husband, son and stepdaughter.
Miss Gabi teaches Acting-Scene Study and Stage Play.
Alina Navar has been dancing for 18 years. She was a member of Burbank High’s Varsity Cheer Team. She was also a student at RC Dance Center for five years, where she has participated in our Nutcracker Production in lead roles such as Dew Drop Fairy, Chinese, and Spanish. She has also choreographed hip hop pieces in our spring productions. She currently works for the City of Burbank in the Parks and Recreation department, she works with children ages 3 1/2—10 years old teaching classes including afterschool care, basic ballet classes, arts & crafts, pre-school classes etc.
Miss Alina currently teaches classes from our preschool and our commercial department such as Nursery Rhyme Dance, a beginning and intermediate Hip-Hop, Jazz Combination Class.
Joanne Parada started her dance training at six and by age 18 owned her own dance studio. She studied at the San Francisco Ballet Company, the American School of Dance, and studied stage dance in London. She has a degree in Theatrical Arts from Fresno State University. During a three-year international and nationwide tour, Joanne was the lead dancer, starring as “Cinderella” and “Snow White” in “Disney on Parade”. She has appeared in numerous television shows for NBC and Walt Disney Productions. She is a member of the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists and AGVA. “Miss Joanne” has taught at Bailey’s Dance Studio, Huntington Beach (25yrs); Garri Dance Studio, Burbank (25yrs); was the Dance Director for children at the Los Angeles Athletic Club (22yrs) and has taught dance at Sonshine Preschool, Glendale for the past 10 years.
Miss Joanne teaches Miss Joanne’s Ballet, Tap and Tumble, Kinderdance and Preschool Dance.
Monica Sorce was born and raised in New Jersey. She started her dance training at the age of six. Later she studied with such notables as Phil Black, Lulgi, Donald Wessler, Peter Genaro and Ballet Arts in Carnegie Hall in New York City. She was the Founder of the Master Art Dance Co. in New York before moving to Los Angeles in 1993.
Miss Monica teaches Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Primary B/C Ballet and Irish Dance.
Katie Rose Cunin has trained and performed with The Sacramento Ballet, Regional Dance America/Pacific, The Folsom Lake Civic Ballet, The Crockett-Deane Ballet, The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Steps on Broadway, and Sacramento Music Circus. Some of her finest and most influential teachers have been ballet luminaries Gelsey Kirkland, the late David Howard, ABT’s Alaine Haubert, Reid Olson, Nicole Harlan, and Carinne Binda. She has been awarded for performance and choreography by the National Parent Teacher Association, The Miss America Scholarship Organization, and the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance, including an Elly Nomination for her choreography of a full-length production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. In 2013, Katie Rose began coaching students for the Youth America Grand Prix. Katie Rose is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Ice Skating Institute.
Dominique Napolitano has been dancing for 18 years. She trained at Art of the Dance Academy, Media City Ballet, and continues to study at The Red Chair School. She has been a student with RC Dance Center for the last 6 years. In the summer of 2009 she participated in the New York City summer dance program at The Broadway Dance Center. She was President on the John Burroughs High School Junior/Varsity Dance Team. She has engaged in various Showcases and stage plays receiving a principal part as Lily in Annie Jr, including The Nutcracker at The Alex Theater performing the lead role of The Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian, and Snow Queen. She has has had the honor of being a part of The Mayor’s Burbank Tree Lighting Ceremony for 2 years in a row as a Red Chair Rockette. Dominique started off as a student and and progressed to becoming an instructor, you may also see her on office duty. Dominique has experience teaching toddlers all the way up to teens. Her style comprises ballet, jazz, tap, and hip hop.On top of
performing and teaching she aspires to work with dance injuries and one day have her own dance facility. She is grateful to her loving Mother Miss Monica for introducing her to the world of dance at a young age and encourages everyone to “Dance like no one is watching!”
Faye Viviana was originally raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and her first passion was dance. At age 15, she moved to New York City to study at the Jacqueline Ken-nedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre as a full scholar-ship student. While she was 16, she was invited to join the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company (now ABT II).
April Ayers started dancing in Northern California at the age of 5. By 13 she was being awarded a full scholarship to train at the San Francisco Ballet and at 16 she attended a summer intensive at the School of American Ballet in New York City. April continued her education and ballet training and became a proud graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts. She also studied with David Howard in New York and Alonzo King in San Francisco. April danced professionally with Ballet Metropolitan in Columbus, Ohio and performed Balanchine’s ballet Serenade, staged by Vicky Simon. Unfortunately her career was cut short by a injury and April went on to have a career on stage and in film and television as an actress. She is a Member of The Actor’s Studio and a Mom of three beautiful children. April Ayers is an ABT Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.
Ami Mattison is a teacher and choreographer. Originally from Michigan, Ami spent several years training and teaching in New York City before relocating to Los Angeles. She is on faculty at the Edge Performing Arts Center and has traveled nationally teaching master classes at studios and universities like Loyola Marymount University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Joffrey Academy of Dance. Ami teaches and sets choreography on many top competitive studios. She has won several Choreography Awards and trained top national soloists. Ami was an original member of collidE dance (Erica Michelle Sobol, artistic director) and was featured in several of collidE’s evening length company shows. Her focus has turned to her own choreography and her passion of training dancers as artists. She has showcased pieces for Medium.Live.Art, Talent Lab, Mashed Up Contemporary Dance, and Choreographer’s Carnival. Ami’s company, Mattidance performed two sold out shows in May 2014.
Christine Dent is new to the Los Angeles area, having recently moved from New York City, where she was pursuing her professional dance and musical theatre career. Christine holds a BFA in dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. There, she studied ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, and musical theatre. Christine has performed as a guest artist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, danced off-Broadway in a production of Petrouchka, appeared in countless musicals across the country, and danced at sea with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Christine has been a teacher all the while, and loves to share her love of dance with all of her students!
Mariana Oliveira is originally from Brazil and has been teaching and choreographing in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Brazil. She has also been coaching young students to the Youth American Grand Prix.
Her career started as a ballet dancer. At the age of 17 she travelled to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dance where she graduated. She also did a traineeship with the National Dance Company of Wales where she had her first contact with contemporary dance. As a young dancer in Brazil she participated in many dance festivals, including the Rio de Janeiro Festival, Joinville Festival and Brasilia International Festival. At the age of 19 she was invited to perform the ballet Giselle with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami.
In 2007 she moved to New York and started to study contemporary dance at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and DNA. She studied with teachers and directors, such as Azsure Barton, Stephen Petronio, Brice Mousset and Philip Gardner. The New York life style inspired her to start a small group with the idea of integrating artists from different backgrounds. In 2009, she founded The Union Project Dance Company. The company performed at the Tribeca Performing Arts and Lincoln Center.
Now residing in Los Angeles, Mariana has recently been the winner of the Breaking Glass Project 2014, affording her the opportunity of being produced in a evening length show in 2015. She won People’s Choice at the World Dance Awards, and was invited as a panellist to speak at Dance Career Day.
Michael Simmons believes that every step should have an connection to life. Dance is our experiences, emotions and voice. At 12 years old, Michael was hanging with his older brother and his friends, watching them have a “Harlem Shake” freestyle battle. The Harlem Shake was a dance everyone did in the early 2000s. When Michael began putting his own flavor on it, they pulled him into the battle circle. “I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. The feeling was unexplainable and such a rush.” Dance became his world. At the age of 18, Michael was accepted into Columbia College in Chicago as a dance major. He trained intensely in ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop. After a year, Michael decided to leave Columbia College and train at Hubbard Street Dance Company’s studio training program also in Chicago. He trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, jazz funk, modern, contemporary. After 2 years of solid training, Michael decided to make the big move to LA where he signed with MTA. He has credits in music videos, featured film, live performances, tours, etc.
Gracie Whyte originally from Boise, Idaho and now residing in Los Angeles, received her formal training from London Contemporary Dance School, where she was awarded a Master’s degree with merit in Contemporary Dance. While in London, Gracie performed with the postgraduate company EDge, toured internationally, and danced in numerous events throughout the UK and Europe, performing choreography by Hofesh Shechter, James Wilton, Sasha Waltz, Tony Adigun, among many others. Gracie has also choreographed for companies, festivals, collectives, and site-specific events in the US and UK. Gracie has extensive teaching experience in contemporary, improvisation, ballet, tap, and jazz. She has taught workshops in the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Austria, and a weeklong summer residency at Casa Des Artes in Portugal.
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