Meet our teachers

betsyBetsy Melber

Artistic Director

Agoura Hills Dance Betsy Melber has been teaching dance for over 25 years. Dance has been in her life since early childhood. At the age of 4 she performed in her first dance recital, “Alice in Wonderland.” Her extreme passion for dance and music led Betsy to studios across the United States and extensive training in Southern California. With a passion for the rhythmic styles of tap and musical theater, as well as an innate talent and ability for acrobatics, kept her on the move, constantly creating shows and musicals and plays at a very young age. Her professional experience began as an original company member, scholarship student, and apprentice dance instructor with ‘Danny Daniels Dance America’ Tap Company, based in Santa Monica, California. Betsy worked extensively with Danny and his program receiving the finest training in Tap, Ballet, Jazz and Musical Theatre. The group performed in dance concerts throughout Los Angeles, as well television appearances. Later, her passion grew for ballet and she studied for many years at the World Famous ‘Stanley Holden Ballet Company,’€ in Los Angeles, while simultaneously studying Tap and Jazz from movie, television, and stage choreographer Paul DeRolf. Additional teachers that have made an impact on her life and style are Caroline Dyer, Harriet DeRea, Margaret Hills, Steffan Wenta, Joe Tremaine, Marge & Cower Champion, Milton Greene, Jim Taylor, Fayard Nicholas, Mark Mendoca, Linda Sohl-Donnell, Sam Weber, Steve Zee, Lynn Dally, Bernice Danylchuck and Helen Costa, to name a few. Betsy’s performance credits include Dance Concerts, Television, Films, Industrial shows throughout the United States. Betsy has worked as co-choreographer for stage review shows for lake Tahoe, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Betsy opened Agoura Hills Dance in 1998 as a natural progression from an extensive commercial dance career, teaching and choreography, and as a way to enable her to develop a program that expands her passions, and to provide a place for other like-minded teachers, choreographers, dancers and their families. Many of her students have gone on to professional dance careers, appearing on Broadway, in movies, television, videos, touring companies, and various Dance Companies. Betsy’s love and passion for dance makes it a joy to be able to have a special place that others who share this passion can come together to sing, dance, create, laugh, grow, and to develop each person’s potential. The support and love from her family, husband Chuck, Chuck Jr., and Carly have been her greatest blessing, and she is filled with gratitude for the joy and love they have always given her.

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Forest Roy

Forest has been teaching hip-hop dancing since 1998. She graduated High School in 2000 and then went on to work with high school and college cheer leading teams. She also appeared on the MTV show "Becoming" where she portrayed singer Pink in a music video. After having trained with Joe Malone as an apprentice in 2002, Forest came to teach at Agoura Hills Dance. While finishing college for a degree in Child Development, Forest continued teaching dance classes because that was what she loved. Since then, Forest has choreographed for several music videos including 2012's "Minimum Day" by the Cold War Kids. She has also choreographed for many episodes on various Disney web shows including "Electric Spoofaloo" by Take 180, "Rule the Mix" by Disney Online Originals, and the animated show "Talking Friends" for Disney Interactive. Forest loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and inspiring them to enjoy this wonderful outlet throughout their lives.

Brim

Brim got his jump in the industry by being one of Orlando’s hottest and most sought-after choreographers. After working with the likes of the Backstreet Boys, Blaque, and Aaron Carter–just to name a few–he decided to move deeper into the industry by taking on acting, developing stage shows, and producing music. Soon after, he became the Creative Director for Big 3 Records/Entertainment, where he created, developed, and delivered a spectacular show in Monte Carlo, France, for the Prince of Monaco. Brim recently appeared in the smash hit movie You Got Served (Sony/ Columbia Pictures) and now calls Los Angeles home. He has teamed up with Mad Tasty for a film which he is writing and for which he is producing the soundtrack. It is currently in pre-production.

 

 

 

 

Marielle Alonzo

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Marielle started training at the young age of three under Liza Mata of St. Anne's Ballet Studio in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. She took lessons in Jazz, Hawaiian Hula and Classical Ballet where she received remarks of Highly Commended and Distinction from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD London). Marielle enterd in the Universtiy of the Philippines in 2000 as a Dance major to further hone her skills. With the guidance of Professor Basilio Esteban Villaruz, Angel Lawenko-Baguilat and Chrisitne Novales-Maranan. Marielle became an even more graceful dancer formidable not only in Classical Ballet but in Modern and Contemporary as well. Marielle also learned Pangalay (Ligaya Amilbangsa), Classical Indian Bharatanatyam (Shanti Shreedhar), Flamenco (Tatiana Balashova) and Philippine Folk and Ethnic Dances (Leilani Gonzalo) during her study in UP. She participated in the Tari Dance Festival held in Malaysia in 2005 as a member of UP Dance Company. Upon graduating from UP, Marielle became a company member of the Philippine Ballet Theater. She had the opportunity to dance lead roles in ballet like La Bayadere, Giselle, Paquita, Don Quixote, Carmina Burana and Esmeralda. She also trained with Carlos Garcia from the highly-acclaimed Trockadero Company in the US. Her other teachers are Nonoy Froilan, Tony Fabella, Myra Beltran, Paul Morales, Enrico Labayen, Krisitin Jackson, and Sheron Wrey. Marielle was a member and faculty of Airdance Company. She also handles the ballet classes of the Philippine Ballet Theater School. She has appeared in several music videos, television, commercials and a budding choreographer. She has worked with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as Revue Cast for the production shows from 2010 to present.

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Cierra Crowley

Cierra Crowley graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BFA in Dance Choreography and a BFA in Dance Performance. Native to Los Angeles, she has trained in contemporary, modern, jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, and a variety of aerial arts including tissue and hoop. She performed with Donald McKayle’s Etudé Ensemble for two years and performed with Sheron Wray’s Jazz Dance company, JazzXchange. Cierra has choreographed for numerous shows at UC Irvine along with creating a full length concert as her senior BFA in Choreography thesis. She has also choreographed for El Camino Real High School. Cierra is also very interested in dance leadership and reaching out to the community. She was the Co-Chair of Bare Bones Dance Theater, a non-profit organization that focused on providing performance opportunities and spreading dance to the Irvine area.

 

 

Cristina McKeever

is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher originally from Palm Springs, CA. She is a passionate "old soul" that has an affinity for rhythm and movement. Cristina holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance and a minor in Italian Studies from Chapman University, located in Orange, CA. She has trained extensively in Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Ballroom, and Irish Dance over the past 16 years. Cristina has been presented with awards for Outstanding Performance and Choreography throughout her collegiate career. She is currently represented by Go2Talent Agency in Los Angeles, CA. Her most recent performances include Tiffany Billing's, "Club Jetè", the L.A. Sparks' game (Staples Center) representing Chloe Arnold's "Syncopated Ladies", J.ournal Poem's newest music video: "Nine Twelve", "Make Your Move L.A.", soloist for Chapman University's "Fall Dance Concert", and dancer/choreographer for "Spring Dance Concert" and "Technology for Live Performance Showcase". Cristina lives by the quote, "Fai quello che tu ami e non lavorerai un solo giorno della tua via"..."Do that which you love and you will never work a day in your life."

 

 

Emily Kennedy

Emily is from Phoenix, Arizona and has been dancing since she was two years old. Before entering competition dance, Emily mainly trained in ballet, jazz and modern. She attended Arizona School for the Arts and had the opportunity to also train and perform with Center Dance Ensemble, a modern company in Phoenix. For the modern dance company, Emily was given the opportunity to perform as a featured soloist at age 13 during their annual show “Poetry in Motion”. After entering competitive dance at 14, Emily began to train in more styles such as Lyrical, Tap, Contemporary, and Hip Hop. Over the the course of her time in competition dance, she has been awarded many overall titles and scholarships. Emily has recently moved to LA in hopes of making a career as an industry dancer.

 

 

Victoria Pizzo

 

 

 

( Bio and photo coming soon)

 

 

 

 

Ilze Mattson

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Native to Studio City, California, singer, dancer and actress Ilze Mattson grew up in a family of musicians where she was exposed to the arts from a very young age. Ilze recently graduated from the University of California Irvine with a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Education Sciences. Throughout her college career, she had the opportunity to volunteer for several nonprofit organizations including Orange County Therapeutic Arts Center, Bare Bones Dance Theater, Los Angeles Latvian Folk Dance Group Perkonitis and upcoming this summer, Shining Stars. Ilze is very passionate about outreach and finding ways to inspire the community through dance and musical theatre. Ilze has performed/ choreographed for UC Irvine productions as well as for musical productions in the Los Angeles Latvian Community. She absolutely loves working with children and strives to bring out the best in each and every one of her students.

 

 

 

Molly Flippen

Born and raised in Ventura County, California, Molly Flippen began her ballet training at the age of seven under the direction of Clarissa Boeriu. At age 12, she began to supplement her training with various summer intensive programs on scholarship at the Rock School for Dance Education, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Molly also trained under the late Stanley Holden. At age 16, Molly was accepted at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia as a resident student under full dance scholarship. In 2006, she joined Pennsylvania Ballet II where her work included an outreach program that took ballet to underserved youth in inner city schools in Philadelphia. Joining Pennsylvania Ballet as an Apprentice in 2008, Molly danced in numerous productions including George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals, Matthew Neenan’s Carmina Burana, performed the Fall variation in Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella. While with Pennsylvania Ballet Molly had the honor of performing in New York City at New York City Centre and in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center. In 2010, Molly joined the Los Angeles Ballet. Now in her third season, she has danced in numerous productions including works by George Balanchine, the classics and original works from So You Think You Can Dance choreographers, Stacy Tookey and Sonya Tayeh. During the course of her career, Molly has shared her love of dance by teaching all levels of dance students who share her passion for the art.

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Amanda Kofsky

Amanda Rabin Kofsky was born and raised in South Africa. She joined the PACT Ballet Company of Johannesburg at 17, where she performed in numerous productions, including as a soloist in Faust. She also appeared regularly in TV shows, films and commercials. After moving to France in 1983, she became a soloist at the Paradis Latin and Alcazar before joining choreographer Redhas’ company Friends, with whom she danced until 1998. She has danced with Roland Petit, Patrick Dupont, Gloria Gaynor, Sylvie Vartan, and YES among others. She was awarded a Volonine International Choreographic Prize and received numerous grants and commissions worldwide. Ms. Kofsky has choreographed and taught throughout Europe (serving as faculty member at the Academie Internationale de la Danse de Paris for five years), Asia, the U.S. and South Africa. Her works include Scrambled Heads for PACT Ballet and numerous pieces created for companies, stage productions, films and television. She also choreographs regularly for Y.A.G.P and other competitions. Amanda is a passionate and dedicated teacher and choreographer.----

Diana Schoenfield

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Diana Schoenfield moved to California to pursue an education and career in dance. She graduated from the Honors Program at University of California, Irvine, with a BFA in Dance Choreography and a BFA in Dance Performance. She worked with Modern Dance legend Donald McKayle in his Etude Modern Repertory Ensemble for two years. She is currently a fourth year member of Entity Contemporary Dance Company, under the direction of Will Johnston and Marissa Osato. She danced with Boogiezone’s Hip Hop Company Breed under the training of Boogiezone’s creator Elm Pizarro. She has worked with a variety of other established Hip Hop choreographers in the LA Industry, such as the David Lee, Gina Hong, Jasmine Rafael, Hannah Wintrode, and Nicholas Bass. She is also a member of Sheron Wray’s JazzXchange Organization, training in Jazz Dance and Improvisation. She has performed in both community Hip hop shows and a variety of Choreography Festivals in Southern California. She is a free-lance choreographer, teacher and performer with immense passion for creation in all visual arts, including theater, film, dance, and studio art.

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Sarah Chavez began her dance training at the age of 4 in San Luis Obispo’s Pat Jacksons American Dance. By the age of 10 she was winning competitions as a member of the American Dance Studio’s Competition Team. In 2008 Sarah went to Los Angeles to audition for EDGE Scholarship and competed against hundreds of dancers. Only twenty including her made it. A year later after the program was over she signed with BLOC talent agency. In 2010 Sarah was invited to perform under the direction of famed choreographer Anthony Thomas at the Carnival Choreographer’s Ball in Hollywood. Sarah performed most recently as a dancer in the music video “One Day” by charice.

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Carly Melber

Carly grew up dancing and competing in all styles of dance at Agoura Hills Dance and is very excited to be back teaching this fall. In May 2016, Carly graduated with Honors Cum Laude from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Minor in Business Administration. At SDSU, Carly began her training in contemporary, yoga, and improvisation techniques. She also performed with the University Dance Company for two years, created several of her own pieces, and spent her senior year as Vice President of the SDSU Dance Club. In addition to her technical training, some SDSU classes that Carly found most valuable to her future as a dance teacher were Pedagogy, Choreography, Improvisation, Dance History, and Somatic studies.
Carly is also very interested in dance from a global perspective. During her junior year at SDSU, Carly spent a semester studying abroad at Coventry University in the UK. At Coventry, Carly continued her contemporary training while collaborating with her colleagues to create an evening length ensemble. Finding her study abroad experience so valuable, Carly spent the summer after graduation at ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria. During the four-week intensive, Carly trained with choreographers and dancers from around the world as well as completed the ATLAS program, which was designed for emerging choreographers. Overall, Carly credits the versatile dance career she has had thus far to the training she received growing up at Agoura Hills Dance and is so excited to be back from her travels to share what she has learned with everyone here.

Melinda Sullivan

Agoura Hills Dance Melinda Sullivan is a dancer, choreographer and actress. She appeared on the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine's spring 2003 issue, representing the next generation of tap dance. In 2005, Dance Spirit Magazine also named Melinda one of the Top 20 upcoming Young Hoofers. In 2004, Melinda won the coveted Music Center Spotlight Award in Non-Classical Dance, culminating in a solo performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. She is best known for her work on the U.S. version of So You Think You Can Dance, where she was a finalist in the television series' seventh season, and as the 2012 winner of the Capezio A.C.E. Award. That entry, "Gone", debuted in expanded form in New York in August 2013. She has also made appearances on "Dancing With The Stars" and "Glee". She is also a dancer in Chloe Arnold's tap band "Syncopated Ladies". She was recently seen in her video "End of Time", a Beyonce Tribute. She was both a dancer and Creative Director. Melinda was a former student of Betsy Melber from ages 7-14.

Mandy Kerr Mandy

_DSF5723copyMandy Kerr Mandy began dancing, singing and acting at the age of three in her hometown of Edmonton, AB, Canada. After moving with her family to San Diego, CA and graduating high school, she then moved to New York City where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College and began her  professional career. Since her move to the United States she has  performed and toured with some of today’s top musical artists such as CHER, *N SYNC, NICK CANNON and the 2004 United States Olympic Gymnastic team. She also was the assistant choreographer for MICHAEL JACKSONS “Miracle on 34 th Street” at NYC’s Madison Square Garden. Some of her television appearances include DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, SEX AND THE CITY, SESAME STREET, and VH1’s Big in ’05 Awards with DEF LEPPARD. Mandy shot a pilot for Fox with comedians Bob Sagat and Jeffery Ross as well as the pilot for the CBS television series SMITH starring Ray Liotta and Amy Smart. She has also worked with such companies as AFLAC and TJ MAXX and has been seen in commercials for both PROGRESSIVE and MAC IPOD SHUFFLE. As well as dancing professionally she can currently be found choreographing, teaching and judging both nation and world wide at multiple conventions, workshops, studios, intensives, and companies such as ELITE DANCE CONVENTIONS, STARSYSTEMS, TERPSICHORE, THE PERFORMER, BIGGAR DANCE FESTIVAL, NORTH BATTLEORD DANCE FESTIVAL, FUSION, SURREY DANCE FESTIVAL, HARBOUR Dance Center, SOURCE DANCE, and SKIP Entertainment. Mandy was the in house choreographer for ADIDAS Asia-Pacific working on numerous Pre-Olympic events as well as co-creating an instructional Hip Hop DVD called ADIDAS STREET HOP. She has traveled to China, Canada, Guam, Australia, New Zealand and Holland where she was added as a judge at the 2006/2007 World Hip Hop Championships. Some of her most recent accomplishments include choreographing for the Netherlands new artist “EVA”, privately training actress Chloe Grace Moretz, and choreographing the THEA Awards at the Disneyland Hotel. She was also recognized for her choreography in 2 theater for over 15 years
and loves to inspire and share her passion for dance to anyone who wants to listen!!!