Meet the Teachers!!
Tanner Clark – Hip Hop
Yudi Jo – Dance Conditioning and Technique
I have been training in all styles of dance since grade school under my father, Hodgie Jo. I danced along side my father rehearsing for multiple performances. I performed at multiple fundraisers, fashion shows, rectials, etc. My training is based in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. I also have experience in acro-dance, tap, and contemporary. I briefly attended American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City taking classes there. I have been teaching at Alice Cooper’s The Rock Teen Center for about 2 years now. I teach dance technique applicable to multiple styles of dance, as well as hip-hop.
Karen Burns – Musical Theater (singing, acting, dancing)
A former Rockette, Karen trained in NYC with Alvin Ailey and Steps, and LA where she honed her voice, acting and dance skills. Karen’s credits span television, film and theater. She is versed in jazz, tap, ballet, swing, salsa, choreography, a classical pianist, improv and physical comedy. Karen teaches at Rhythm and Motion Dance Center and has choreographed their routines as week as those of The Middle of Somewhere, both troupes appearing in our show.
Kayley Thompson – Musical Theater Tap and Jazz
Kayley Thompson has been dancing since the age of five, and trained for thirteen years at Royal Dance Works. There she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern/contemporary, hip hop, and musical theater classes. She performed and competed for many years in Royal Dance Works’ top performance companies, being part of several national 1st place competition wins. She has trained and taken master classes under some of the best dance teachers and choreographers in the nation including: Mia Michaels, Jackie Sleight, Justin Giles, Doug Caldwell, Jaci Royal, Wes Veldink, Travis Wall, Katie Spreadbury, Logan Lipton, Roberto Villanueva, Becky Jung, Alex Ketley, Kenny Jezek, Sheryl Cooper, Summer Lee Rhatigan, Michael Williams, Mike Esperanza, Elizabeth George, Cory Finn, Sasha Mallory, Danielle Horn, and Tyce Diorio. Kayley graduated with both her Associates in Arts and Associates in Fine Arts- Dance from Glendale Community College in December, 2012. Under the GCC dance program she won 1st, 2nd, and honorable mention awards for her solo choreography at Maricopa Community College’s Artist of Promise competition, as well as 1st and 3rd place for her group choreography and performance. She is also a Lenna DeMarco Dance Scholarship recipient. Her work has also been showcased at the Center Dance Ensemble’s American Voices concert several times. In the summer of 2013, she was one of 18 choreographers chosen to present choreography in the Scorpius Dance Theatre’s Kick-A show. She has appeared in 4 musicals at both GCC and PUSD’s Faculty/alumni show, and has choreographed for The Drowsy Chaperone musical in 2015. Kayley graduated in 2015 from Grand Canyon University with a BFA in Dance Education. In addition to teaching and choreographing, her interests also include acting and filmmaking. She hopes to pursue those in the future. Kayley enjoys teaching all styles that she has trained in, and currently teaches tap, jazz, contemporary, musical theater, hip hop, ballet, legs and feet, and Twinkle Star classes at Elite Dance Academy, in addition to teaching tap and musical theater jazz at Dance Fusion. For the last 3 years, Kayley has been the director of her own professional dance company, ClassicalFusionDance with the goal of telling stories by fusing her love of the past (film/music/choreographic styles) with a twist of the present.
Ivy Rose – Hip Hop
My name is Ivy Rose and I am a dance major at Grand Canyon University. I have been dancing for 12 years and have had training in ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. I have also been teaching dance for three years and have found joy in encouraging my students to use dance as a creative outlet to express themselves and to put their best foot forward. I am extremely excited to be working with Dance Fusion and to offer a fun and growing environment for everyone!
Velva Ball – Ballet and Contemporary
Natalia Magnicaballi – Ballet private lessons and workshops
Natalia Magnicaballi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has been a principal dancer with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet since its conception in 1999 and with Ballet Arizona since 2002.
A graduate of Teatro Colón, she became a principal dancer at the age of 19 with Julio Bocca’s Ballet Argentino. In Europe, she joined the Italian company Aterballetto under Mauro Bigonzetti’s direction. Her repertoire includes the lead roles in 36 Balanchine creations such as Tzigane, Don Quixote, Apollo, Divertimento No. 15, Duo Concertant, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Agon, La Valse, Serenade, La Sonnambula, Allegro Brillante, Ballade, Four Temperaments, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act II pas de deux, Who Cares?, Clarinade, Bugaku, Meditation, Episodes, Diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds, Liebeslieder Walzer, Prodigal Son, Monumentum Pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Variations for Orchestra, Intermezzo from Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, Pas de Dix, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Mozartiana, Walpurgisnacht, Gounod Symphony, Western Symphony, Dances Concertantes and Swan Lake, as well as in Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun and In the Night. She has also danced the leads in the most beloved classic ballets such as Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Raymonda, Paquita, La Sylphide, Don Quixote, Coppélia, and Giselle, as well as in works and premieres by Jirí Kylián, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, Mauro Bigonzetti, Dwight Rhoden, Paul Mejia, Ib Andersen, Oscar Araiz, Mauricio Wainrot, Ana María Stekelman, Alberto Méndez, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky.
She has toured and performed in the main houses and arena theatres around five continents including the Paris Opera Garnier and the Mariinsky Theatre.
Natalia has been featured as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” and named “Best Dancer” by The Arizona Republic.
Gabriela Banuet – Beginning Fundamentals of Dance, Jazz, Contemporary/Lyrical
Hello my name is Gabriela Banuet I own a training company specializing in training dancers in state and out state. I have an immeasurable passion for my method which I have created for over 9 years. My desire is to share my program with others to help the Dance Community. I specialize in cutting edge training that is designed to go beyond the do’s and don’ts of dance technique, strengthen your dancer(s) and connect the right biomechanics of flexibility and balance with a background of Kinesiology. My method is to provide unique training that focuses on technical skills and movement quality, as well as providing an understanding of a dancer’s anatomy through Pilates, Body Mechanics, Kinesiology and Functional Movement. I have combined my love for dance with over 25 years of experience and knowledge and created an entirely new approach to training dancers. My program offers classes with various styles for students to participate. These methods are innovative ways of training and conditioning for dance that will increase power, strength, flexibility, alignment, and balance with incredible results! My philosophy is preventing injury and allowing the dancer to explore their body connection through new techniques that it’s easy to comprehend and apply to achieve their goals.
Shlomit and Itzik Sholem – Israeli Folk Dance
Linda Machado and Ricardo di Cristobal – Flamenco
Linda is a professional Flamenco & Spanish dancer and Master Instructor with 25+ years experience. Class will be accompanied by Master Flamenco Guitarist and Flamenco historian Ricardo de Cristóbal, music director of Un Corazón Flamenco. Linda and Ricardo are going into their 13th year performing at El Encanto Restaurant in Cave Creek every Sunday evening. Their performance group, Un Corazón Flamenco performs in concert halls, theatres, museums, restaurants and night clubs throughout the Southwest.
Dance Fusion Youth Academy is the creation of Dr. Linda Simon, a Scottsdale Chiropractor and Bob Mace, a valley realtor. Two entrepreneurs who share a love of dance and fitness. Dance Fusion Youth Academy is a safe, fun, supportive NON-COMPETITIVE environment for all levels of dance and fitness fusing the benefits of both. “Fusion” describes our complementary, eclectic mix of disciplines. Linda and Bob are also the owners of Dance Fusion Adult Studios.
Located in the Scottsdale Airpark, our studio features two dance and fitness spaces with real maple sprung floors, professional sound equipment, a one-of-a-kind dance library stocked with books and DVDs, shower facilities, and a showcase area for parties, trunk shows, and special events.
Meet the Owners!!
Linda Simon is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She moved to Scottsdale and established Simon Chiropractic in 1986 with her husband Dr. Ira Simon. They have two wonderful sons. Linda is currently an online faculty member of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic and faculty member of Life West Chiropractic College for their off-site continuing education program. Dr. Ira is a published author and lecturer. Linda studied jazz and tap with Fred Kelly (Gene Kelly’s brother) at Pace University, NYC. She rediscovered her love of dance a few years ago and now enjoys tap, jazz, belly dance, ballet, Pilates, and yoga.
“Dance is for joy. There is no reason for anyone of any profession or age to stop dancing just because they have passed 18. With Dance Fusion, there is a new and exciting home.”
Bob Mace is a lifelong resident of the Valley and a top-ranked realtor. Active in the community, he volunteers for the Scottsdale League for the Arts, Scottsdale Culinary Festival, Eat, Drink & Be Pretty Extravaganza, Ballet Arizona, and Arizona Diabetes Association. He is married to Marian and has two grown daughters. Bob is passionate about all forms of dance. He discovered Zumba about six years ago, started a Zumba class at his church and began teaching classes for anyone who couldn’t afford a club membership. Bob dreamed about opening his own dance studio, a dream that recently came to fruition with Dance Fusion.
“Dance has given me a community, a family, and a place where all are accepted. Once you discover the joy, emotion and friendship of a dance community, you want that to continue. That’s why we created Dance Fusion.”
Meet the staff!!
Carolina Lee has been with Dance Fusion from the start. Her passion for dance comes from her mother, a Hollywood professional Belly Dancer (see her in the film Quo Vadis with Peter Ustinov). Carol brings her joy and love for dance to our studio. She works the front desk and is responsible for our deep cleaning, scrubbing and washing as well as keeping us supplied. Carol is proficient in Hungarian and can be seen chatting with clients and Csaba, our ballroom teacher in their native tongue. Meet Carol on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday afternoons. Thank you, Carol!
Gabriella Squicciarini has lived in the valley for over 40 years. She, along with her husband, are proud parents of two teenagers. Gabriella started dancing when she was in her 20’s. She was part of the Scottsdale Community College Dance Line in her early years of college and then started taking ballet classes at Arizona State University, while enrolled in the business college. She has been dancing in the adult ballet program at Ballet Arizona for over 25 years. In 2012, Ballet Arizona invited to perform an acting roll, as a lady in waiting, in in their production of Swan Lake. Her passion for dance continued as also danced at Acrosante’s Vivaldi’s festival for Terspicore Company.
Bianca Squicciarini is a recent graduate of Desert Mountain High School attending SCC with ambitions of Fashion Design and Marketing. She has an extensive background in dance including Ballet, Contemporary and Hip Hop. Bianca is a whiz at Social Media Marketing and is responsible for inspiring Dance Fusion to create Photo and Video art around the studio. Dance Fusion is thrilled to have Bianca working for us.
Diana Tomasi has performed as a featured soloist for several exclusive vocal ensembles in Northern & Southern California. She has a degree in Music, Vocal Performance from Irvine Valley College. Diana is an avid hiker and loves to sing, dance and perform. She is dedicated to promoting community education, awareness and involvement with the performing arts. In Aptos, California, Diana performed with the Dance Synergy Troupe in numerous Cabaret Shows. Diana has been the Executive Director of 2 non-profit artistic performing organizations and she is excited to bring her experience to Dance Fusion to help promote the growth and awareness of the performing arts in a non-competitive environment. She’s married to Bob, who is a retired Executive and has two grown sons living in Colorado. Diana recently moved to Scottsdale and to her delight, discovered Dance Fusion. She is thrilled to become part of their family and contribute to their outreach & growth.
Resident Mural Artist!
Brittany Michelle Johnson is a local artist, musician, and muralist in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated in 2017 from Arizona State University with a master’s degree in music performance, and has since been teaching private music lessons and exploring her passion for art and painting. Brittany enjoys traveling, camping, and hiking with her fiancé; the national parks, forests, and cities they travel to are inspiration for many of her paintings. Brittany works with mostly acrylic paints and canvas. Her paintings are brightly colored and bold, with attention to detail and defined brush strokes. Recent painting series have included desert flowers, flower bouquets, landscapes, and endangered species. She also works on commissioned paintings and murals. Brittany loves to perform and teach music. She plays clarinet seasonally with the Tempe Winds, and currently has over 30 students learning to play clarinet, flute, saxophone, piano, guitar, ukulele, and music theory. She teaches private in-home music lessons and at Linton-Milano Music in Mesa.
Brittany M. Johnson
M.M. Music Performance: Arizona State University (2017)
B.M. Music Performance: Otterbein University (2015)
Member, International Clarinet Association