Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life at APA as a Dance Scholarship Student

APA Dance Scholarship Recipients Erika Martinez, Maria Plascencia, 
Tamera Irish, and Angela Marx ready to perform Bollywood.

It has only been a few months since the scholarship auditions took place at the Academy of Performing Arts Studios in San Diego and this dance experience has already made a big difference in my life. From ballet to Bollywood, I have been exposed to more dance styles in four months than I have ever been in my life.  This opportunity has made a big difference in my life, and it has given me a new perspective about what dance is really about.
I won’t deny it, coming in as a high school student into an adult setting filled with talented dancers was quite intimidating, but these are the type of situations that allow me to grow as a dancer. I knew I was going to be surrounded by talented people, and that’s definitely one of my favorite things about APA, the passion and talent these people share for dance. I know I don’t have the extensions or turn out some dancers in my classes have, but I know that having them as examples only pushes me further. It definitely makes my day when I see people from all over the age spectrum and backgrounds come together to do what they love and try to perfect it as much as possible. 
Dancing isn’t easy. Trust me, it is not easy. There will be times when I feel like giving up because I think I’ll never be good enough, and these are the times I need some inspiration.  Inspiration is definitely something I find at APA. There were times during the few months I have been on scholarship that I had a really bad day or something happened in my life that had my mind running in circles. Later on those days in my contemporary class they happen to teach a combination that is in sync to what was going on. It is a gift, to be able to end such a bad day with an awesome combination that makes you realize that things eventually get better. 
APA Dance Scholarship Recipient Maria Plascencia
In the three month period I have been a scholarship student at APA, I have been fortunate enough to take master classes from great teachers such as Tiffany Billings, Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba, Mandy Kerr, and Michael John Saltus. From each of these teachers I took something special. They were all very different, yet rewarding classes. Apart from technique, I learned how to give my heart to the music and just dance.
                Overall, being a scholarship student at the Academy of Performing Arts has been an amazing opportunity I never imagined I would have. It has taught me more than how to properly point my foot or execute a switch leap. My understanding of the dance discipline and responsibilities has grown, which allowed me to mature overall.  I feel like I have been improving, but I still have a long way to go.  Regardless, I know that continuing my dance education at APA will help me reach my goals as a dancer and one day I’ll be the performer I’ve always wanted to be. 

By Maria Jose Plascencia

Academy of Performing Arts-San Diego
5120-C Baltimore Dr.
La Mesa, CA 91942
San Diego Dance Studio

Saturday, December 4, 2010

MASTER CLASS with TV/Film Choreographer LIZ IMPERIO for San Diego Dancers

Starting January, APA will be joining forces with, Los Angeles dance agent, Jim Keith's THE MOVEMENT for monthly Master Classes with Dance Industry Master Classes!! FIRST UP: Director/Choreographer LIZ IMPERO

Liz Imperio has established herself as a major director and choreographer in the entertainment industry, including the staging and choreography for Jennifer Lopez's "Live From Puerto Rico" concert; director/choreographer of Gloria Estefan's most recent concert tour; and three numbers for Madonna's "Re-invention Tour 2004".

A proud Cuban-American, Liz was born and raised in Hollywood, California. Her credits make her one of the most sought after choreographers in the business, including: "The Latin Grammys (last 3 years); American Music Awards; "United We Stand" with Michael Jackson and *NSYNC" (assoc. dir.); ABC's 50th Anniversary Celebration; Disney Channel's "Gotta Kick It Up"; James L. Brook's feature film "Spanglish", CBS TV series, "Dirty Dancing" and commercials for Jack In The Box, and many others.

Imperio has also choreographed music videos for Cher "If I Could Turn Back Time," Myra, Gloria Estefan, Bloodhound Gang, Selena, Garcia B, B & B, and MTV Rock and Jock.

Liz Imperio has trained such young stars as Hilary Duff, America Ferrera, Camille, Myra, and Valaria. Her most touching assignment was working closely with Gloria Estefan after her major accident years ago and not only assisted with the physical therapy to help her walk again, but later choreographed Gloria's comeback concert tour.

Liz Imperio's works have been commissioned all over the United States and Europe, having worked with such dance companies as: Gus Giordano Jazz Dance in Chicago; The Houston Metropolitan Dance Theatre; K-Broadway from Japan; and numerous European companies from Italy to England. Liz Imperio is very proud to be the Artistic Director and founder of her own Los Angeles-based dance company "Instincts--Live Media Dance".

Academy of Performing Arts-San Diego
5120-C Baltimore Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942
619-460-4500 /Phone
619-460-4544 /Fax
San Diego Dance Studio

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Broadway on the Pacific - Dance Studio Life Magazine

How San Diego’s APA prepares students to go pro

By Gina McGalliard
In the dance meccas of New York, L.A., and Chicago, many studios offer training that sets students on a track to a dance career. Then there’s the Academy of Performing Arts (APA). Though its home is San Diego—probably not what most people think of as a bustling dance town—the school has an impressive track record of sending its students into the worlds of concert and commercial dance, including Broadway.

APA students and choreographers take dance outside the studio to San Diego’s beaches. (Photo courtesy Academy of Performing Arts)

The school offers many of the kinds of classes that you’d find almost anywhere: contemporary, classical ballet, jazz, African, modern, hip-hop, even Bollywood. Not so typical are APA’s multiple companies in residence and a faculty with an impressive track record of professional credits, even some with union credentials (Screen Actors Guild, Actors’ Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, and American Guild of Variety Artists), who hail from various dance companies and performing-arts organizations.

Setting the school apart still further is the fact that it often hosts auditions for films (Bring It On with Kirsten Dunst), TV shows and commercials (Allstate’s nationally aired ad), national tours (CelticFusion, Selena Forever), Las Vegas shows (Jubilee! at Bally’s), cruise ships, theme parks, and other events, such as No Doubt’s NFL halftime show. Gwen Stefani came to the studio looking for dancers for her show for her Super Bowl performance and chose several APA scholarship students.

Feeling its way Today APA is a hub of activity, but in its early years co-owner Kevin Patterson wondered if it would ever take off. Realizing that San Diego had sparse offerings of adult dance classes, Patterson had decided to open a studio featuring professional-level classes in various genres.
He broached the idea with a college pal, Liam Harney, a two-time world champion Irish step dancer who was teaching Irish dance classes in a local church. Patterson’s performing career had included everything from musical theater to being a dance captain on cruise ships to playing Prince Charming at Disneyland. The two men had shared a love of musical theater in college, and Harney was game to team up on the new venture. The two founded APA in September 1993.
But except for the Irish classes, nobody was showing up at the facility they opened in San Diego’s Mission Valley. “I was twiddling my thumbs, and I said, ‘This isn’t going to work,’ ” says Patterson, who ended up going around town with flyers advertising the new studio because he couldn’t afford any other marketing. “And little by little, college kids [brought] in their friends, and then more college kids [came].” Enrollment soon snowballed, and APA eventually nearly quadrupled in square footage. Today APA’s enrollment numbers in the thousands.

Another catalyst for growth was CelticFusion, a show choreographed by Harney and Patterson that toured the United States, Australia, and South America. Harney describes it as “the American answer to Riverdance,” the mid-’90s show that made Irish step dancing famous. (He had briefly performed as the lead male dancer for London’s West End production of Riverdance.) The number of high-caliber artists in the show (including several APA dancers) created buzz in San Diego’s performing-arts community, Patterson says, attracting more students to APA.

Hand-picked faculty From the beginning Patterson and Harney were committed to finding the best instructors possible. “[Kevin] went after every teacher and personality that he brought into the studio,” says Harney. “He knows how to make connections.” The APA faculty includes contemporary/lyrical instructor Chrischell Robinson, who has appeared with the Radio City Rockettes and with Hugh Jackman at the Tony Awards, and ballet instructor Xavier Hicks, a former Alvin Ailey dancer.
APA is also home to four professional companies in residence. Butterworth Dance is one company that has used APA as a springboard. “Kevin is very generous to give other artists time and use of dancers, and I think that’s a rare thing,” says Traves Butterworth. “So I would recommend everyone in the world to come here.” APA’s students benefit from the relationship as well. Some company directors teach on the faculty, and Butterworth has choreographed a piece for the school’s scholarship students.

Paths to success Tiffany Daniels, who played Squeak for a year in the national tour of The Color Purple, says APA was invaluable to her success. She trained at APA as a teenager while attending a performing-arts high school, and after graduating from Cornell University she moved to L.A. to attack the commercial dance scene. After enjoying a yearlong scholarship at Edge Performing Arts Center and securing representation from bloc talent agency, she began doing commercials and regional musical theater. And she became a Laker Girl. Then she got a call to audition for The Color Purple, a gig that lasted three years.
“[APA] prepared me for different styles and different techniques,” says Daniels. Her previous training, she explains, didn’t offer enough variety. “We had the same teachers every week, same warm-up every week, same everything. APA broadened my entire spectrum of what dance is and what it can be, and it opened my eyes to the fact that doing this can be a career.”

While most performers spend years honing their craft before gracing the professional stage, Sarah Jenkins nailed a part in the national touring cast of Swing! right out of high school. Jenkins, a recent dance captain for the Legally Blonde national tour, was a competition kid before training at APA. “I didn’t actually learn how to perform as a dancer until I went to APA,” says Jenkins.

For Annette Ye, APA was the avenue to a career offstage, as a union stage manager for San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse, where many productions start before heading to Broadway. After a dance career that included Disney Cruises and regional musical theater, she felt she belonged behind the scenes. APA gave her dance training and a path to her new role as a production assistant for CelticFusion.
“Kevin and Liam essentially taught me how to learn; they taught me how to achieve and move forward. And the training in dance can apply to anything else in life. It teaches you how to be a perfectionist, how to critique yourself and figure out how to improve,” says Ye. “So APA definitely changed my life.”
Ana de la Torre, who has danced in industrials and for local companies and judged competitions, is a former
APA student who made the leap to faculty and is now teaching jazz. “It’s where I’ve grown,” she says of APA. “It’s always home, and it’s always a comfort zone. It’s not only helped me artistically [but] professionally as a person” by helping her blossom socially along with developing her dance and teaching skills.

The current crop of students shows the same enthusiasm. “I thought I was pretty good, but then APA has just pushed my talent that much higher,” says John Fulgham, 19, who trains in ballet, contemporary, modern, and tap. He hopes to transfer to UC Irvine and pursue a professional dance and teaching career. “I’ve only been here three months, so I’ve seen a fast improvement. I love it here.”
“It’s just really cool being around people who are all working really hard,” says student Skylar Ivy, 20, who plans to move to New York to pursue a dance career. This coming winter she’ll be performing in the ensemble of the Texas/Florida tour of Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She says APA is like a family. “Here, everyone around you is working to be a dancer. So being around that all the time, it makes you want to come in and work, and it makes it not like work. It makes it enjoyable.”

Growing by leaps and bounds Today’s dancers must be versatile, so APA offers acting and voice in its extensive curriculum. “I want acting and singing to have as strong a presence as the dance,” says Patterson. “It’s called the Academy of Performing Arts for a reason. We want it to be everything, not just the Academy of Dance Arts. I would love it if we could point to any one [of the students], and if an acting audition came up, they could audition for it and be fine. If a vocal audition came up, they could go to it and be fine. It’s really [about] getting all these people ready for the performing arts, for all aspects.”
Undoubtedly, another contributor to the studio’s success is what Patterson describes as its “warm and welcoming environment.” Although APA has sent many students into professional ranks, those who dance for enjoyment are as welcome as those who see themselves on Broadway or in a music video. “It’s the studio’s culture,” says Patterson, whose dog, Princess, the unofficial studio pet, often wanders APA’s halls. Students on scholarship are informed of the importance of welcoming everyone who takes class at APA, Patterson says.

After being in Mission Valley for almost two decades, in early 2010 APA relocated to the nearby San Diego suburb of La Mesa, to a new four-studio facility that includes a vocal room. APA currently has approximately 50 teachers on staff, including substitutes, and in the last three years 4,300 students have come through its doors, more than 800 of them in the last several months. And the studio’s reputation is steadily growing: APA’s Facebook page has legions of fans from the United States, of course, but also from Italy, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Venezuela, and South Africa.
A dance presence Patterson hopes that APA will not only make a significant contribution to the performing arts but will put San Diego on the map as a presence in the dance world. “I’m starting to feel confident that with us being in the eighth-largest city in the country and having this really diverse schedule, having the number-one climate in the world, we could eventually be a much stronger force nationally than we are right now,” says Patterson.

As APA leaps into the future, L.A. and New York might not be the only places for aspiring triple threats to have a dance career.

Go to the magazine at: http://www.dancestudiolife.com/2010/11/broadway-on-the-pacific/

Academy of Performing Arts-San Diego
5120-C Baltimore Dr.
La Mesa, CA 91942
San Diego Dance Studio

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

4 Week ON CAMERA acting workshop at APA

Sun 1/9/2011 - 1/30/2011
from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
“Breaking into Hollywood”
This is an ON CAMERA acting workshop that meets Sundays from 10am-1pm. It covers everything you need to know and be ready for with on camera auditions for FILM & TELEVISION.
5120-C Baltimore Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942
619-460-4544 /Fax

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

APA Presents "SHOWCASE 2010", a fundraiser & industry showcase featuring dance

at  San Ysidro Performing Arts Center
5353 Airway Road
San Diego, California 92154
November 6-7 at 8pm

$25 at the door
$20 online
Save an additional 25% with the EARLY BIRD SPECIAL by 10/31/10 $15 online click this link to
This is a Fundraiser Showcase featuring exciting DANCE groups and works of choreographers from Southern California.
  • Butterworth Dance
  • Boogiezone's ENTITY
  • Flamenco Arana
  • Positive Energy Dance
  • Devine Desi Dance
  • APA Dancers
  • Jane Downey (Tap)
  • Natalie Vilos
  • Tiffany Billings
  • Rrecording Artist: Chloe Jordache
  • somebodies dance theater (Sunday Only)
  • City Ballet (Sunday Only)
  • & Special Guests



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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Master Class in San Diego with Los Angeles Choreographer Tiffany Billings @ APA Studios

Thursday: 10/21/2010 - 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Class Description: Tiffany teaches a class grounded in contemporary dance

$15 online ($20 at the door)

Master Class with Tiffany Billings at APa Studios
Click this photo to sign up now!!

Bio - Tiffany Billings, professor, choreographer, director, singer, actor and performer, is a wonderfully gifted all around entertainer. Tiffany began her training with the Sacramento ballet under the esteemed Barbara Crockett, as well as with Sound Of Music film and stage star Dan Truitte. She has also trained and performed with such notables as the San Francisco Ballet under Tom Rudd, and the School of American Ballet in New York with Suki Schorer. Tiffany has assisted Sally Whalen, trained with Joe Tremaine, Jonathan Watts, Stanley Williams, and the legendary Donald McKayle, who served as her mentor and advisor for choreography.

Tiffany's extensive training has led to performances and awards ranging from the lead ballerina in Cinderella, set by David Allen, to winning a Tommy award for Best Jazz Dancer, and awarded the ACDFA American College Dance Festival Associations highest honors by being chosen to present her choreography at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Also an accomplished choreographer, Tiffany has created many powerful pieces, which regularly leave audiences clamoring for more. She has choreographed for Edge Time Stories, with Randy Allaire and Bill Prudich; Starting Here Starting Now with director Al Valetta, and Bre Rabbit, with Award winning director and Yale graduate Loni Berry. Tiffany has set pieces for the American Cancer Society AIDS benefit, and the Choreographers Carnival Ball at the Key Club, in Hollywood, CA. She has worked with award winning dancer William Lu on her original piece, Blind Faith, which premiered to standing ovations each night.

She has also won a Gold medal in Japan in an international singing competition, was a NFL San Diego Charger Dancer, and also served as the voice of "Lucy" on the animated Peanuts cartoon series. In regional musical theatre productions, she has performed at Long Beach Civic Light Opera, San Diego Civic Center, Starlight Theatre, Moonlight Theatre, Lyceum Theatre and the California Center of the Arts, Escondido.
As well as being an accomplished performer, Tiffany has also directed a short film, Fallen Star, which premiered in Irvine and Hollywood, CA, where the film received rave reviews. Fallen Star is currently being distributed in Japan and the United States, where it continues to change perceptions of what a 'dance film' is, while also leaving audiences with a lasting emotional impact.

Tiffany has instructed at the Edge in Hollywood, while also serving as an honored performer and instructor in various cities across the country for the past fifteen years. She has choreographed several full-length performances, industrials, and videos, while also serving as a guest artist, setting and premiering dance pieces at highly renowned universities. The world premiere of Tiffany's choreographic work, NOISE, at California State University Long Beach was quoted as "the most striking piece by far", "creating a climatic, resonating experience that was unforgettable."
Tiffany serves as an instructor and judge for national Dance Masters of America conventions, while also acting as a guest artist, setting and premiering dance pieces at highly renowned universities. In her role as a judge for the American Choreography awards, Tiffany has enabled many of her students from Chapman University to participate and perform in the awards show held at the Orpheum Theatre, in Hollywood, Ca.

Tiffany was Artistic Director for the City of Long Beach's Grand Prix opening ceremony, titled "Thunder Thursday". The event brought in over 3,000 people to the streets of Long Beach, revitalizing the area. The crowd enjoyed an evening filled with dancing, live music, and DJ's. The city of Long Beach was so pleased with the event; they hope to make this an annual celebration, with Tiffany at the helm.

A graduate of CSU San Marcos, she has also received her Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography at the University of California, Irvine. Tiffany was full time faculty at Chapman University, Tiffany instructed Advanced Jazz, Ballet, Artistic Direction, Choreography, Dance Repertoire as well as the new special studies course "Dance & Multi-Media". Tiffany led the Chapman University students on a State wide dance tour, traveling throughout California performing in over 20 shows in 3 weeks.

While still teaching Master Classes, choreographing and directing, Tiffany started her own clothing line called TIF WEAR in 2007. In less than 2 years, TIF WEAR has taken the country by storm. Changing the face of active wear and reinventing the way performers present themselves. TIF WEAR has been sold at Equinox Fitness Clubs nationwide, Boutique shops, and Dance and Yoga centers through out the country. 2009 TIF WEAR started a partnership with Mia Michaels, world famous contemporary choreographer from the hit FOX reality show "So You Think You Can Dance".

Currently, Tiffany was accepted to the renowned Graduate College Saybrook to obtain her PhD. in Dance and Choice Theory Psychology.

For updates on TIF WEAR and Tiffany's career, please visit the events page on this site! For representation please contact


For Tiffany's Choreography Demo Reel--visit youtube and type in 'TIFFANY BILLINGS'


Friday, October 1, 2010

Boogiezone Contemporary comes to La Mesa, CA

Boogiezone Contemporary comes to San Diego County
REGISTER NOW:  click here

Boogiezone Contemporary comes to La Mesa, CA



A new era is emerging. A social movement garnered by dancers of all styles and backgrounds and a growing interest in all things related to dance by fans of every age around the globe. Thanks to the media, television shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars,” dance inspired commercials, and movies like “Step Up,” dance is reaching a broader audience. Similarly, the internet has allowed us all to reach areas of the world where dance does not readily exist.

On the forefront of this new movement is Boogiezone.com – YOUR online dance community connection! First established in 2002, Boogiezone is known by thousands worldwide for offering a place where aspiring and professional dancers, choreographers, dance groups, and the fans that love them come to meet, greet, inspire, be inspired, network and build relationships in the process. Four years ago the concept of “Community” in the dance scene was unheard of. Now, Boogiezone is responsible for bringing groves of dancers together, known by many worldwide as the most active online dance community to join. The idea of Boogiezone and the massive grass roots movement which emerged from it has definitely influenced the way the entertainment industry runs and behaves.

Simply imagine a communication hub that bridges the gap between aspiring and professional dancers around the world. That is Boogiezone. The dance community hotspot where anyone who wants to share with others their passion for dance and performance can meet, greet, inspire, be inspired, make connections and build relationships in the process. Together, we represent a fresh, new, community comprised of passionate people, ready to take dance to the next level.

Currently, Boogiezone has over sixteen thousand registered members online, with thousands upon thousands visiting our pages every month. We can’t forget to include the thousands of subscribers who watch our extensive collection of nearly 1,900 class videos on Youtube and the hundreds of hungry students that fill our ten regularly scheduled Community Classes worldwide! As a result our community continues to grow at a remarkable rate. The attention we have received has enabled us to sponsor the largest dance competitions like “Hip Hop Interna­tional,” shows like ‘Groovaloo’, work with the largest dance conven­tions like “Monsters of Hip Hop” and partner with movie powerhouses like Lionsgate Films and Sony Pictures. We are also supported by the industry’s top talent agencies like MSA and Bloc, major dance studios like Millennium Dance Complex, dance groups like Quest Crew and countless choreographers to the stars like Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, and Mariah Carey.




Will Johnston has been training in dance since the age of four. Coming from San Jose, CA, he received the majority of his training at A.K.A Dance Company under the direction of Kelly and Alex Velasquez. Will graduated from the University of California: Irvine with a B.F.A in Dance Performance, a B.F.A in Dance Choreography, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. While at UCI, he was a four-year member of the legendary Donald McKayle’s UCI Etude Ensemble as well as a performer in works by renowned faculty members Loretta Livingston, Jodie Gates, Lisa Naugle, and Israel “El” Gabriel. Will is also a member of Tayeh Dance Company, performing works choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, one of which premiered at the City Center in New York City in November 2009. In addition to performing for Tayeh, Will assisted the choreographer on season five of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance as well as the national commercial for ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Will’s passion also lies in the art of choreography. He has choreographed numerous works for local studios in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as for various UCI dance productions. He has had the honor of showcasing twelve works at UCI, one of which was invited to perform by former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater member, Stephanie Powell, in Long Beach, CA. Most recently, Will along with co-choreographer, Jenna Otter, was awarded the Grand Prize Award at the prestigious Dancing Under the Stars Choreography Festival, in Palm Desert, CA, for their duet entitled "Amongst the Hedges." Currently, Will is a member of CADC, a teacher at the Team Millennia Dance Studio, the assistant director of Westside Dance Project, as well as Co-Director of Boogiezone’s contemporary company, ENTITY.


Ashley Paige, originally from San Jose California, has been studying dance since she was 6 years old. While living in Northern California she was a part of Teen Dance Company of the Bay Area and had the chance to work with many top choreographers including Carlos Jones, Mia Michaels, Tabitha and Napoleon DíUmo, and Jason Parsons. She then moved to Los Angeles and attended Loyola Marymount University and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in dance and an emphasis in education. Since moving to LA Ashley has become a part of BARE Dance Company based in Orange County, run by creative director Mike Esperanza. After being signed with McDonald Selznick and Associates in 2006 she has worked in various areas of commercial dance as well. So far she has worked with such artists as Wayne Brady and Gladys Knight at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as Rihanna in the video ìUmbrellaî, and the 2008 Video Music Awards as a principle dancer in ìDisturbiaî. Ashley also worked with choreographer Margueritte Derricks in a commercial for the television drama Nip/Tuck. Most recently, Ashley has become a part of Boogiezone's newest contemporary company, Entity. Dance has been and will always be more than an art; for her, it is a seamless means of passionate expression and a never-ending learning experience.


Marissa Osato is the co-artistic director of Boogiezone’s new contemporary dance company, ENTITY, as well as the co-founder and host of the Boogiezone Contemporary Community Class. Marissa recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A. in Dance and B.A. in Literary Journalism. She has danced with modern dance legend Donald McKayle’s repertory company, Etude Ensemble, Boogiezone’s professional hip hop team, BREED Dance Company, and Tessandra Chavez’s Unity LA. Marissa currently teaches at Team Millennia Dance Studio and Cutting Edge Dance Center and choreographs for various studios and teams across the United States. Her unique style fuses lyrical jazz, modern, and hip hop. Represented by DDO Artists Agency in Los Angeles, Marissa views dance as her avenue of impact. She is all about positivity, support, and shared inspiration!


Erica Michelle Sobol has spent a lifetimesofar studying performing arts in both New York and Los Angeles. She has earned a BA in dance-theater from Barnard College at Columbia University. She has created and trained with so many brilliant choreographers, including but not limited to: Gil Duldulao, Kevin Maher, Victor Rojas, Craig Hollamon, Matt Cady, Rhapsody James, and Tucker Barkley. Erica has worked as a master instructor at several dance studios all over the world, including Manhattan’s Peridance, LA’s Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, BDC in Tokyo, Japan and Skip on Guam. And she is on faculty at the Edge Performing Arts Center. Erica Michelle Sobol is the founder and artistic director of collidEdance, an ever-evolving professional dance company dedicated to blurring the line between dance and theater. Erica feels lucky, so lucky, to be inspired everyday.










“Fire Bomb”


“First Love” (Boogiezone class)


“Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”



“Sex Therapy”


“High Price” (Boogiezone class)








Thursday, August 26, 2010

4 Week Acting Workshop at APAStudios

4 Week ON CAMERAActing Workshop

with Robert Dahey

WHEN: Sundays September 5th - 26th, 2010, 10am-1pm

WHAT:Cost: $200.00. (25% discount if purchased at the same time as a dance pack, or for: Union Members of SAG/AEA/AFTRA/AGVA/AGMA; Actors' Alliance Members, & College Students all with valid Membership Cards and/or ID's )

“Breaking into Hollywood”

This is an ON CAMERA acting workshop that meets Sundays from 1-4pm. It covers everything you need to know and be ready for with on camera auditions for FILM & TELEVISION.

Open level (Especially effective for actors focusing on audition preparation).

Academy of Performing Arts-San Diego
5120-C Baltimore Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942

Click here to REGISTER.


View Larger Map

Sunday, August 22, 2010

AUDITIONS for Dance Scholarship at APAStudios

Dates:   Sun  9/12/2010   2-5:00 PM  

Be prepared to do all styles of dance (all material provided by a panel of choreographers, no prepared material necessary).

DESCRIPTION: Interested in increasing your dancing skills, and potential, for an employable career in dance? This well rounded program can help you!

ABOUT: The Academy of Performing Arts is home of an extensive TRAINING PROGRAM for pre-professional/professional Adults. The program was specifically designed to provide all forms of dance essential to the current trends of professional dance. The goal of our program is to provide dancers with the best training available. This training helps our students to become very well rounded and competent dancers. Our program has proven to be one of the West Coast's most successful training programs in dance.

SCHOLARSHIPS are by audition only. Recipients may be asked to participate in various performance projects with various notable choreographers.


SIGN UP NOW, click here

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Meditation Workshop - Academy of Performing Arts-San Diego, La Mesa, CA 08-29-2010 - AmericanTowns.com

Meditation Workshop - Academy of Performing Arts-San Diego, La Mesa, CA 08-29-2010 - AmericanTowns.com

Meditation Workshop @ APA

"Meditation is a mysterious ladder which reaches from restless to abiding peace, from ignorance to knowledge. Meditation is considered the most important of all yoga techniques."


Himanshu Kapoor (Hari)
  • This workshop provides……………
  • Introduction in the basic techniques and theory fro beginning your meditation practice.
  • Why meditate?
  • How to establish meditation practice?
  • How to develop concentration?
  • How it balances emotions and peace of mind?
  • Introduction to mantras – tools for mediation.
Aug. 29th 2010 Sunday – 1.00pm – 4.00pm

$45.00 online now / $55 at the door

APA Instructor Hari studied under the lineage of Swami Sivananda & Swami Vishnu-Devananda at the Sivananda Ashram, Kerela,India. At the completion of his studies Hari remained at the Ashram as a teacher for 5 additional years. His goal is to open his students to their own powers of healing and balance, and to integrate yoga into their everyday life.

Click Here to Register:  http://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ws.asp?studioid=8667&stype=-109

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

La Mesa get a "Performing Arts" boost with APA Studios

In the fall of 2009 long standing training facility ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS-SAN DIEGO moves a few exits from Grantville/San Diego to La Mesa, CA. While APA "was" 2 exits West of SDSU in Grantville, it is again only a few exits from SDSU but this time it's to the East (off Fletcher Parkway). With this move APA is now in the La Mesa Crossroads complex 2 city block from downtown La Mesa, CA. It's been wonderful to have this new location with plenty of shops and restaurants right outside our front door. For students without cars, the trolley station is within walking distant (only a few city blocks away @ La Mesa Blvd).

A fantastic component with our move is having Discount Dance Supply in our complex. They're one of the largest distributors of dance supplies and it's the only DDS store in San Diego County (IN OUR COMPLEX). Just walk across the parking lot to get new shoes, leotards, tights, etc...
Within our new complex we've had the pleasure of welcoming the fresh new modern dance company community's: somebodies dance theater. For a list of all of the APA san diego dance companies in residence, visit: APA's San Diego Dance Companies We look forward to seeing this san diego dance company making it's mark.

somebodies dance theater: for PRESS RELEASE, click here.

DENNIS PHERMSIN: APA Studios' San Diego HIP HOP Dance Teacher Spotlight

APA is proud to bring more new energy to its' current staff withDennis Phermsin of FORMALity (a HIP HOP dance company).

Dennis Phermsin, better known as Dmagic, revolutionized the meaning of dancer/performer with his booty basics, power moves, and unforgettable stage presence. Little did he know that auditioning for San Marcos All-male back in 2000 (only to satisfy a simple request from a good friend, Jesse Sims) would forever change his lifestyle as he discovered his passion for dance - dancing with San Marcos from 2000-2004 and earning leadership as Captain. Unsurprisingly, Dennis was dubbed Mr. Street Dance in 2004. Dennis continued to hone his skills as he joined Formality (HIP HOP dance company) in 2003 and proudly represents the premier all-male group to this day as a seasoned member.

Further training under Culture Shock San Diego’s Sherman Shoate (for Hip Hop dance classes) and some of the best choreographers from LA’s Millenium Studio (Kenny Wormwald, Super Dave, and Marty Kudelka), Dennis is now on the rise as a multi-dimensional choreographer who stays up to date with the newest styles but always keeps the hip hop fundamentals of breaking, funk, locking, and popping. Dennis’s signature style features big movements that can be read on stage and fluid choreography. A former teacher at Studio 429 in Encinitas, Dennis now teaches at APA and StudioFX.

His words to live by: “Stay humble, Stay loyal, and stay true to your roots.”

For Dennis' classes please visit our website: CLICK HERE

Friday, July 23, 2010

Meditation workshop with Hari Yoga in La Mesa at APA Studios

”Meditation is a mysterious ladder which reaches from restless to abiding peace, from ignorance to knowledge. Meditation is considered the most important of all yoga techniques.”

Himanshu Kapoor (Hari)
This workshop provides……………
 Introduction in the basic techniques and theory fro beginning your meditation practice.
 Why meditate?
 How to establish meditation practice?
 How to develop concentration?
 How it balances emotions and peace of mind?
 Introduction to mantras – tools for mediation.

Aug. 29th 2010 Sunday – 1.00pm – 4.00pm

Advance $45.00 online now / At Door #55.00

APA Instructor Hari studied under the lineage of Swami Sivananda & Swami Vishnu-Devananda at the Sivananda Ashram, Kerela,India. At the completion of his studies Hari remained at the Ashram as a teacher for 5 additional years. His goal is to open his students to their own powers of healing and balance, and to integrate yoga into their everyday life.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Prana Fundamentals (in La Mesa, CA) with Hari YOGA

Here's a workshop designed to strengthen, purify, and balance the breath utilizing yogic technique.

Bring your own yoga mat along with your own towel
Loose and comfortable clothing is required
All the text material will be provided during the course.

Learn to direct your Prana
Learn to align your energies
Boost your energy and stamina
Counter tiredness
Relieve tension in your body
Enhance your ability to deal with stress
Bring vitality to your complexion and eyes
Boost your immunity
Promote self-healing
Increase concentration
Bring calmness and mastery of your emotions

Do I..................?
Do I breathe deeply and fully, using my full lung capacity?
Do I nourish my body and mind with prana in the form of clean air, healthy food and stimulating ideas?
Am I able to absorb the beauty around me? How does it strengthen me?
Do I tend to “bite off more than I can chew”? Does this deplete my prana?
Is my life chaotic? Is this because I am unable to direct my energy?
Do I permit people to drain me emotionally? Or do I drain other people’s prana by making unreasonable demands on them?
Do I waste time by being unfocused? Or do I allow others to waste my time?
Am I overly negative and self-critical?

New YOGA Classes, & Services at Academy of Performing Arts-San Diego, APA Studios

Pictured above: Dr. Rodriguez


APAStudios has added new
Classes & Services
Starting 7/12/10

  • YOGA:
    • Tues @ 7pm
    • Sat @ 9am
  • Health care Consultations with Dr. Rodriguez
    • For dancers and fitness enthusiasts (This is a complimentary service for all registered APA students/customers).
    • Tuesdays 5-8pm


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cristina Santana makes Top 10 on Season 7 of SYTYCD

Cristina Santana has been training with us at APA since her last television appearance on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" (Season 6). She has been training this last year in preparation for getting further in the competition. That's what she was hoping for, and that's exactly what happened!! We're excited to see what happens next. As of 6/9/10 she's one of only 5 women selected for the top 10 dancers from all over the United States. The next of SYTYCD episode airs Thursday 6/10/10. When it comes time to vote, we'll be cheering on our San Diego resident Cristina!!!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

MASTER CLASS with Beyonce choreographer Kobi Rosenfeld

Bio, Kobi is most noted for his recent choreography for BEYONCE's World Tour, as well as his nationally aclaimed work on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE-Isreal (described by critics as "CREATIVE" and "PASSIONATE". He was born in Rehovot Israel and has been dancing and choreographing all his life. He performed in local Israeli productions of Fun Tazi, Cabaret, Peter Pan and K’Mo Be Seret., and has choreographed the Israeli version of Little Mermaid. Rosenfeld has won contests in choreography at the International Carmiel Dance Festival and the Israeli Jazz Contest in Haifa, and choreographed the steps for the videos and tours of singers Roni Superstar, Mali Levi and Shiri Maimon.

Since trying his luck in the US, he’s choreographed 11 pieces for the California-based Keshet Chaim dance troupe and has been teaching dance at several top studios such as BROADWAY DANCE CENTER.
Take a look at some of his work in the video:

Kobi Rozenfeld - Choreography Reel from kobi rozenfeld on Vimeo.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010



WHEN: June 13th, 2010 @ 11:30am

Class Description:
Evan describes this class as a "Totally awesome 80's New Wave Jazz Class".
This will be a FUN FUN FUN departure from regularly scheduled classes around town.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

New York's Naganuma Dance comes to San Diego


WHEN: June 6th, 2010 @ 11:30am

Class Description:
Fusing elements of release technique, ballet, street dance, martial arts, and Japanese dance, Naganuma's students enjoy full-bodied movement that is at once aggressive, sensuous, virtuosic, and spirited. Approaching movement from a skeletal level, students are challenged to move with less tension and greater efficiency without losing the dynamic bite that has become Naganuma's trademark. Naganuma encourages a warm, friendly classroom community, where students feel comfortable taking risks and pushing themselves to their own outer limits. Her classroom is a place where solid technique and artistic invention exist in active interplay.

Note: For those of you interested in classes on the East Coast, Darcy is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center (NYC), Logrea Dance Academy (Westchester), Boulevard Dance (Long Island). and DNA/Dance New Amsterdam (NYC)


Monday, May 10, 2010

Zumba Fitness for everyone in La Mesa, CA

Special Zumba class with
Lola from Las Vegas!!

Sunday, May 16, 1:00 pm
$10 drop-in

Lola is a dynamic Zumba teacher. Her classes in Las Vegas regularly have over 100 students. Her choreography is being danced all over the country. Her videos have over 90,000 views on YouTube. Lola has over 20 years of dance and choreography experience that she brings to Zumba fitness.

What is Zumba??
Zumba is a Dance-Cardio-Party! It breaks most of the rules of regular cardio classes. Using International music and basic dance steps, you groove and sweat for an exciting hour. Never danced before? No problem! Zumba is designed for everyone.
You can see Lola’s classes by searching YouTube for Lola’s Zumba


Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Day of Dance" Classes in all styles of dance!!!


This is a full day of unlimited dance and/or fitness classes for only $10.00 online ($20 at the door). We would like to finish the day with a choreographers' in-house showcase of works in progress.


Through the years, APA's "Day of Dance" has proven to be one of the most popular activities we've ever had. This event acts as both a fundraiser for the studio as well as an excellent opportunity for students to experience new classes and new teachers.

Our cureent list of classes will be from our own schedule including (but not limited to):

FINAL SCHEDULE FOR THE "Day of Dance & Fitness" - coming soon (classes will be every hour on the hour from 10am-6pm).

REGISTER, click here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The PGK Project performs with APA artists

The University of the Arts invites
you to join us for a North Park party

and enjoy the arts in a whole new way!

“4 x 4 x Floor”

Looking for performances to feature
by emerging and established San Diego artists

and produced by our very own
UArts Peter G. Kalivas ’88 and The PGK Project!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 7:00 p.m.

Bluefoot Bar & Lounge
3404 30th Street
(between Myrtle & Upas
San Diego, CA 92104
$5 cover, cash bar

Come share your talent or
simply support your fellow UArts graduates and local artists!

The Director of Alumni Relations,
The University President and Dance, Theatre, Music faculty from the University
of the Arts in Philadelphia will be in attendance.

Kevin Patterson (Founder/Director of The Academy
of Performing Arts), Liam Harney (World Class Irish dancer, co-founder of
APA), Khamla Sompahn ( ODC/San Francisco, faculty at APA) and Peter G. Kalivas
(formerly of Malashock Dance & Company, The San Diego Ballet, Sean Curran
Company in New York, Artistic Director of The PGK Project and faculty at APA)
are all University of the Arts Alumni.

The PGK Project is hosting The
University of the Arts, and sharing the work of our local artists
during the UArts West coast audition tour for undergraduates in Dance,
Theater, Music and design.

If interested in performing simply
contact ThePGKProject@aol.com to have your work presented and your voice
included in the performance.

The PGK Project
Peter G. Kalivas, Artistic

Upcoming EVENT!
Technique with The PGK Project Wednesday nights 5:30-7pm at APA

19th "Dance Moves" at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater featuring Temecula
Valley Cathy’s Dance, Tango Caminito, Julie Freeman, Svetlana’s Dance Academy,
Sue Roginski with Alexis Weisbrod

Local contact:
National/International: 646-337-6164


For PGK San Diego Modern Dance Classes visit: APA Studios' Class Schedule

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 @ APA in San Diego

Get ready folks. We're about to start many new classes. This means many new opportunities for the artists and enthusiasts involved. New classes include:

West African Dance
Yoga M-F @ 9am
& Zumba

Start the new year with new activity!!!



APA in San Diego

APA in San Diego
Scholarship students from mid-2005 photoshoot.

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