Dance Teachers in Los Gatos & Sunnyvale, CA
Dance Attack Studios offers dances classes in Los Gatos, CA and Sunnyvale, CA. We are proud to be the dance studio students of all ages choose to enhance their skills, build their confidence and improve their technique. Whether you are looking to dance competitively or recreationally, our team of instructors are experienced in a variety of dance styles. They are passionate about sharing their love of dance and are proud to teach a range of disciplines including: hip hop, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern dance, Latin jazz, and ballet classes.
Meet Our Dance Teachers
Graciela Acedo (GA) began her dance training in Caracas, Venezuela. She earned multiple scholarships to train with elite programs in the United States such as Boston Ballet and Harkness Ballet, NY. She studied pedagogy in Cuba and began her professional career with Ballet Teresa Carreno. Graciela moved on to dance with Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas and soon became a principal dancer. She traveled the world with Ballet Nuevo. In the U.S., Graciela has danced with Oakland Ballet, Margaret Wingrove Dance Co., Pacific Dance Theatre of San Francisco, Western Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Santa Clara Ballet, and Princeton Ballet. Currently, she teaches at Dance Attack, U.S.F., Berkeley Ballet, SOTA S.F. School for the Arts, Ayako Ballet School, and Diablo Ballet pre-professional program. Graciela has been a guest teacher for several Bay Area and international dance schools such as Pacific Dance Theatre of S.F. and University of Nebraska, as well as assistant director to programs at Western Ballet.
Lauren Kato (LK) is the Assistant Artistic Director of Dance Attack’s Contemporary Performing Arts Company, DAC PAC. She graduated with a B.A. in Dance and a Minor in Biology from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. Growing up, Lauren was a member of Dance Attack’s Performing Company, as well as one of the original members of DAC PAC. Over the years, she has had opportunities to work under esteemed artists and choreographers including Cheryl Copeland, Katie Langan, Igal Perry, Lorna Ventura, Sheila Barker, and Flavio Salazar. In 2016, Lauren served as the Teen Summer Intensive Coordinator at NYC’s Peridance Capezio Center, where she organized and ran a 3 week dance program for young dancers from all around the globe. After living and dancing in NYC for a handful of years, Lauren is excited to be back at her “home studio” teaching and inspiring the next generation of dancers.
Michelle Klaers D’Alo (MD) attended the University of California, Irvine under the William J. Gillespie Scholarship, where she received her B.A. in Dance and trained with David Allan, Larry Rosenberg, Donald McKayle, and Bonnie Homsey. There she also studied extensively in William Forsythe’s technique with Douglas Becker of Frankfurt Ballet. In 2001, she studied at the Conservatoire Nacional De Paris in an exchange with UCI.
In 2004 she joined the original cast of Disney’s Snow White an Enchanting Musical directed by Eric Shaeffer and choreographed by Karma Camp, where she performed multiple roles and helped originate the role of the “Bluebird.” Then she went on to perform for Tokyo Disney Sea in their Broadway review show Encore. Michelle is an American Ballet Theater® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.
Jessica Egbert (JME), Jessica Egbert’s dance training spans two decades, culminating into her undergraduate studies at California State University, Long Beach as a BFA major in Dance and a minor in Communication Studies.Upon her graduation, Jessica received the Most Outstanding Graduate Award for the College of the Arts, as well as the Betty DuPont, Richard and Joanna Baker, and COTA Scholarships. Jessica has received extensive training in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Improvisation, and Choreography and performed in multiple venues in Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. She is currently a dancer for The Anata Project and Reach BC Dance Company, both San Francisco based dance companies and has performed in works by Gabriel Mata, Andrew Vaca, Keith Johnson, Gerald Casel, Rebecca Lemme, and Rebecca Bryant. Jessica has a breadth of experience teaching dance including Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Ballet, Hip Hop and Tap, to students ranging in age from 2 to 18 years old. In addition to her performance work and teaching, she also works as a Production Assistant for a few dance companies in San Francisco.
Jessalyn Espiritu (JE) is a native of the Bay Area. She is a graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Psychology and Sociology and also has an extensive background of choreography and dance. With her education and passion for dance, Jessalyn has taken two roads of success in her life. In the world of dance Jessalyn has been a dancer and choreographed for several professional dance teams and hip-hop crews which include Richmond Rocket Girls, Silhouette, THYCK, Fusion Latina, Culture Shock Oakland, Phase II, Oakland Raiderettes and the NLL Stealth’s Spy Girls. Currently she is working on several projects and is the choreographer for California’s Great America’s CULTure Pop. She was also a feature performer in the show “Mixed Element”, had the lead role of Doris in the “School of Rock Live” Musical and was a part of the traveling Las Vegas “Legends in Concert” production. Jessalyn also had the privilege of working with artists such as LL Cool J, Amerie, “Weird Al” Yankovic and choreographed the Oregon tour for the Universal Recording Artist Dol Re’. While working with all the groups and artists she has also managed to keep the movement and inspiration of dance alive while currently being a Master Instructor and Choreographer for several dance studios and youth dance teams in the bay area. With her passion in Psychology & Sociology, she is currently a Case Manager for the Bill Wilson Center working with at-risk adults in the Bay Area. She is committed to empowering today’s society through counseling, the teachings of education and values. Jessalyn is devoted to her craft, committed to sharing her dance knowledge, education, and passion for life with students and dancers of all ages. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself,” George Bernard Shaw. In her free time Jessalyn enjoys traveling and exploring the world. Spain, Turkey and Hawaii are amongst her favorite vacation spots. She enjoys baking for family and friends and loves to sing, play the piano and watching movies.
Theresa Hoyer (TH) is currently a student at San Jose State University as a special major in Musical Theatre and a double minor in Dance and Elementary Education. Dancing and performance has always been a pastime of Theresa’s. At age 16 she was introduced to theater in high school. Credits include Briar Rose, The Interview, Halloween Screams, Seussical, Beauty and the Beast, Bury the Dead, and 42nd Street. Theresa also had the opportunity to be an extra in High School Musical: the National Tour. Theresa has worked as a stage manager and tech crew for various productions at SJSU and community theaters such as The Gifts of the Magi (Tabard Theatre Co.), Annie (Sunnyvale Community Players), Of Corpse! (Company One) and The Seagull (SJSU). She is a member of several performance companies at SJSU such as S.T.E.P (school touring ensemble program), Magic Carpet Theatre as a choreographer/dance instructor, and was last seen in Company One’s production of Filthy Rich. Theresa’s current goal is to become an elementary school teacher as well as get involved with other theatre companies to pursue a career in outreach, bringing theater into schools and encouraging kids to be more confident and enthusiastic about the arts.
Michael “Mappy” Mappala (MM) is best known for his R&B and soulful influence, as well as his passion and commitment to dance and the community. Mappy has been affiliated with dance companies like Ronnie Reddick’s City Slam, Culture Shock San Francisco (later renamed Culture Shock Oakland), freestyle dance crew Mystic Disciples, Mind Over Matter, Funkanometry SF and Phoenix Dance Company. He has taught classes and companies all over the Bay Area, throughout Southern California, and in Las Vegas. He has also worked on a variety of projects, dancing and choreographing for Bay Area recording artists Malyssa, Desi, Immij and Kim Del Fierro. And he also choreographed and danced for Black Eyed Peas, in the music video “Bebot.” In September 2006, Mappy co-founded reDEFINE youth urban dance company. With Mappy as Artistic Director, reDEFINE went on to perform at several major venues in their first year, such as the Golden State Warriors Game and Battlefest Live 360. As a full-time hip-hop director at Dancemakers Studio of the Arts in Newark, a PDC dancer and a director for reDEFINE youth urban dance company, Mappy continues to live out his passion for dance in his daily life. He is constantly teaching and inspiring up-and-coming dancers, and looking for ways to bring recognition to the Bay Area dance community.
Amanda Marquez (AM). Amanda’s dance background is versatile and extensive with her core training from The School of the Garden State Ballet, NJ in classical ballet, modern and jazz. Her studies continued into New York Style Mambo, International Latin and Latin Jazz. Amanda has made television appearances on Telemundo, Univision and the BBC Vancouver, and has done many live performances including TheLatin Billboard Awards in Miami dancing for singer Don Omar under Director/Choreographer Maria Torres and assistant Jermaine Brown. Amanda resides on staff teaching Jazz and Salsa at Ballet Hispanico and has taught and performed alongside director Sekou McMiller and SMc Dance Co. in Vancouver, China, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Chicago. In addition Amanda is certified in Ashtanga yoga and holds a BA degree in Sociology and Family Studies from San Jose State University.
Dasha Maximovich (DM) has been serving on the faculty of Dance Attack since 2010, where she is currently Co-Directing the award-winning Performing Company. Dasha brings a wealth of professional training and performing experience to her teaching at DA. Her recent choreography has earned her special recognition and honors. Dasha is proud to have received several Choreography Awards for her work. A native Russian, Dasha was trained in one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the country and was trained in the classical Vaganova’s technique. After moving to the U.S., she continued her training at San Jose State University and graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Dance with an emphasis in ballet. While studying at SJSU, Dasha was a member of the University Dance Theatre, directed by Gary Masters, and a member of the musical theatre Company One, directed by Janie Scott. With the inspiration of her professors at SJSU, Dasha moved to New York City, where she danced and studied at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and Peri Dance. Throughout her performing career, Dasha has performed in Las Vegas, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and is currently represented by VEP Events Agency, LV. Dasha is also a staff member of Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA and at USA Spirit Dance Association. Her love and passion for dance is something that she is determined to pass on to her students. Dasha believes, “dance is an art form that teaches you discipline, hard work, concentration, and gives you an unbelievable work ethic, which you will carry on for the rest of your life”.
Tina McLean (TM) graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in dance. She was one of Dance Attack’s first students in Santa Clara and she went on to become a member of the Performing Company. She was in SJSU’s University Dance Theatre and has performed at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, the American College Dance Festival, and in several dance program concerts. She was a member of Funkanometry for several years and is currently dancing with De La Femme. She teaches combo, jazz, and hip hop at Dance Attack!
Lindsey McLevis (LM) A dancer from the age of 3, Lindsey moved to Southern California to pursue her dance career. Through her time there, she was lucky enough to work with Beyonce, Lil’ Wayne, Kat Graham, Savion Glover, Neil Patrick Harris, and Charlie Sheen. She was requested to train Charlie for his dance scene in the Roman Coppola film “A Glimpse in the Mind of Charles Swan the III,” in which she also appeared onscreen as a dancer and actress. Recently, she did motion capture for a new Dreamworks film yet to be released. She has been a part of the Olympics, Grammy’s, and Latin Grammy’s, and was top 35 on So You Think You Can Dance season 6. Lindsey has appeared on TV shows like America’s Got Talent, First Look LA, Paula Abdul’s Live to Dance, and KTLA News. Commercial credits include Old Navy, SENSA, and Salon Pas, with industrials for NIKE, Amway, Sexy Hair Co., and Oakley Sunglasses, amongst others. She has performed and taught internationally in places like Costa Rica, Guam, Canada, and the Bahamas, and has also performed for the Saudi Arabian royal family. Lindsey helped train a troupe of chinese acrobats and was assistant choreographer and dance captain for “The Dream” overseas. Her company credits include Terry Beeman’s Dance Co. as a dancer and aerialist, Joelle Martinec’s SoleVita Dance Co., and RhetOracle Dance Company. Most recently, Lindsey founded and created PERSPECTIVES Dance Company, a contemporary dance company in the Bay Area.
Stephanie Mihalyi (SM) began dancing at the young age of three. Her first debut in the dance industry was at the age of eight, when she was featured as a character in the video game, Dance Dance Revolution, which was influenced by Tap and Hip Hop. Stephanie then went on as a representative for her studio, Castro Valley Performing Arts, to audition for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She was invited to join the opening number of parade in New York City for two consecutive years with Camp Broadway. Stephanie has also had the privilege to work under many amazing dancers and choreographers. Learning most of her dance knowledge from Janet Taddie, Stephanie has also worked under Sam Weber, Al Blackstone, Jason Samuel Smith, Mark Goodman, Lisa Hopkins, Heather Cooper, Gary Masters, Fred Matthews, as well as many others. She has danced at halftime at Oracle, home of the Warriors, and at Candlestick, the retired home of the 49ers. Stephanie also danced as the entertainment between events at the Miss California pageant for over ten years, and was employed as a professional Miss California dancer. In her third year as a dance major at San Jose State University, Stephanie is currently part of University Dance Theatre, a modern company run by Raphael Boumaila.
Juliet Pinto (JP) graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in English. She started tap dancing with Dottie White at the age of 5, and then added Jazz and Ballet once she started dancing with Sioux Lehner at Dance Attack! She started breaking and danced several years with the hip hop outreach group, Culture Shock S.F., while she was in high school. In 2000, she was honored by LA Dance Magic as a Magic Performer and she moved to L.A. to pursue a dance career. She was a member of the Groovaloos while she lived in North Hollywood and was a founding member of the all female dance crew, Beatfreaks. Juliet has appeared in several music videos including Dimples by John Lee Hooker, Written on my Heart by Plus One, Block Party for Lisa Lefteye Lopez, and Tainted Love for Marilyn Manson. She has also appeared in commercials for American Express and Dr. Pepper and in the movie Legally Blonde 2 as a cheerleader. She danced with Mindtricks in the tribute show One4Gee for her first Hip-Hop teacher, the legendary Gary Kendell (Mindtricks/Jabbawockeez), who passed away December 2007. Juliet teaches Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Funk Styles, and Breaking.
Patricia Retanubun (PR) graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance, with Jazz emphasis. She has been dancing and performing since three years old in various styles including ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, and modern. During her time in the dance program she was fortunate enough to be involved in the University Dance Theatre under artistic educators of Gary Masters and studied under Jill Yager, Heather Cooper, Dominique Lomuljo, and Keith Pinto. Patricia also focused in dance composition under the guidance of Fred Matthews. She has performed at the American College Dance Association at Cal State Long Beach. Prior to her education at San Jose State University. Patricia studied Royal Academy of Dance under the direction of Bambi Fleeman, Sandra Burnham, and Isabelle Sjahsam. Patricia is currently a performer at Disney World, Florida. She is a recipient of Outstanding Student in Dance award from Ohlone Community College and studies under the direction of Janel Tomblin-Brown.
Brooke Serio (BS) began dancing at Dance Attack! when she was just six years old and quickly became a member of the Performing Company. During her ten years in the Performing Company, she learned from countless choreographers, served as a member of Team Rave SF, performed at various halftime shows and community events, and also won a Leadership Award. During this time, Brooke was also one of the first members of Archbishop Mitty High School’s dance team. She began teaching at Dance Attack! immediately after graduating high school while pursuing her degree at San Jose State University. In 2009, Brooke began choreographing for the Performing Company. She is now Co-Artistic Director of the Performing Company and Director of Minis Performing Company in Sunnyvale, where her routines have won many judges awards and overall medals. In addition to teaching and directing PC, Brooke is also pursuing a career in corporate event planning. Brooke teaches tap, jazz, and combo class at Dance Attack!
Anton Pankevich trained at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, School of American Ballet in New York City, and San Francisco Ballet School. He has danced with New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Ballet in London, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet San Jose. As a teacher, Anton has taught as a ballet master at English National Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Leipzig Ballet, Hanover Ballet, Wiesbaden Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet San Jose.
Maria LaMance received her classical ballet training at the San Francisco Ballet School. As a dance major at San Francisco State University, she broadened her training in Modern Dance, anatomy, and kinesiology. Maria has performed professionally with numerous companies including Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Dance Through Time, Huckabay McAllister Dance, and Moving Arts Dance, with whom she performed principal roles on tours to Belarus, France, and Scotland. Most recently, Maria has been performing with Oakland Ballet, Run for your Life Dance Company, Art Face Performance Group and Menlowe Ballet Company.
Maria has instructed children, teens, and adults in ballet, modern, drama, and character dance. In her teaching, Maria respects the individual anatomical and developmental capacities of every student, and emphasizes the importance of musicality and self-expression.
Owner Murphy Rowan started singing and dancing at age 5 right here in the Bay Area with Children’s Playhouse of San Jose. This early immersion, plus her theater degree from UC Davis, led to a busy performing career, including jobs at Great America (Yogi’s Great Election – 1988 – really!), American Musical Theater of San Jose (Grand Hotel), The Willows (Spitfire Grill), The Western Stage (The Who’s Tommy and City of Angels), 42nd St. Moon (Leave It to Me!), and TheatreWorks (Kept and Gypsy), as well as 5 years at sea, performing roles like “Lola” in Copacabana on the Crown, Cunard, and Holland America cruise lines.
Murphy and her husband, Bryan, are so grateful to Elaine and Lee Pinto for entrusting the now 30 year legacy of Dance Attack! to them. They believe deeply in the importance of nurturing a love of learning as well as excellent education in the Arts, and are excited to continue the programs the Pintos have built, including classes and camps, professional dance instruction, and student choreography experience.