MEET THE TEAM

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Gina Francis

OWNER

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KAYLA

KALANI

STUDIO MANAGER

DIRECTOR OF PART TIME COMPANY

HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR

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TARYN SHULAK

DIRECTOR OF FULL TIME COMPANY

JAZZ INSTRUCTOR

COMBO INSTRUCTOR

Taryn began dancing at age 3 and started competing at age 8. She has studied several different genres of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, ballroom and contemporary. She trained under the direction of John Culbertson and Cookie Ramos at Dance Attack in Miami before attending Florida State University where she was a Golden Girl dance team member. As a two-year captain of the Golden Girls, Taryn helped lead her team to four top 5 placements at UDA College Championships. After graduating from FSU, Taryn began teaching Pre-K while also dancing for the Miami Heat. As a leader of the Miami Heat Dancers she danced with various artists and earned opportunities to travel to Paris, The Philippines, and China. 

 

Taryn has been teaching at Studio 61 Dance Company for 9 years and her background in early childhood education guides her into teaching every level of dancer. She believes that children of any age, from 3 to 18, are capable of extraordinary things through dance. As an educator, Taryn is dedicated to bringing out the best in each of her students and helping them reach goals they once thought were out of reach.

 

Most recently, Taryn has been named Competitive Company Director at Studio 61. Combining her passion for competitive dance and developing young minds, she leads this elite group of dancers, alongside Gina Francis, to national competitions and conventions. Her choreography has won several awards and she is dedicated to growth within the industry with ongoing education such as The Dance Teacher Summit and CLI training. Taryn’s classes at Studio 61 are very similar to her - high energy and heartfelt!

SHERINA

KING

OFFICE PERSONAL

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ELENA

ESPINOZA

STUDIO INTERN

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MEGAN

DUNN

BALLET INSTRUCTOR

Ms. Megan’s training started at a young age at Miami City Ballet and Ballet Florida. She spent her summers training with Fernando Bujones at Orlando Ballet, Miami City Ballet and The Joffrey School in New York where she later joined their pre- professional company. Her professional career started at age 20 dancing for Ballet Palm Beach for 6 years. Megan has performed classical ballets and contemporary works all over the world. She has performed in Russia, Cuba, Croatia, Hungary, France and Bosnia. Her favorite roles include Cupid from Don Quixote, Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker and Myrtha from Giselle. This will be Ms. Megan’s third year with Studio 61 and she is the head coordinator of our ballet curriculum.

BEN

SLAYEN

BALLET INSTRUCTOR

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CHRISTINE LLOYD

DANCE CONDITIONING

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KATHY

VOURTSIS

CONTEMPORARY INSTRUCTOR

Born and raised in Miami FL, Katherine, has been dancing since the age of 10. First trained in ballet and modern and then specializing in contemporary, Katherine is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique. She has also danced in a few international commercials and a movie directed by Kenny Ortega. With much experience in the competitive world, Katherine has coached several high school dance teams and taught in dance studios all across south florida. Going into her 5th year at Studio 61, she teaches contemporary and works with the Performance Company.

DANA

BONILLA

MUSICAL THEATRE INSTRUCTOR

Born in Lima, Peru moved to the US at the age of 9, and Miami at the age of 12. Although there was a lot of moving around dancing has always been a part of Ms. Dana’s life. At the age of 4 she began her Ballet training as well as some Italian and Peruvian Folk Lore. Once she moved to the US she began to explore Hip Hop, Jazz and Musical Theatre, and at the age of 12 she also discovered the art of gymnastics and became a competitive gymnast for 4 years, still continuing her dance training. At the age of 14 she became a competitive dancer and got the chance to also train in contemporary and ballroom styles as well. This is Ms. Dana's first year with Studio 61 and we are very excited to add her to the team teaching Musical Theatre! 

CHRISTIAN

CASTILLO

HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR

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JP

CAJINA

HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR

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MARIO TOLEDO

BREAKING INSTRUCTOR

Born in Queens, NY and raised in Miami, Florida, he was introduced to breaking in 1996. Since winning his first title in 2001, he has competed, showcased, and traveled across seas to France, Spain, the Virgin Islands, as well as competed and showcased all around the U.S. He placed 1st at Proam Dance Expo 3 times, was the 2013 silver medalist at Hip Hop International U.S.A., and in 2014 placed 11th in the world of out of 77 world country dance crews. He has worked with Sean Kingston, PitBull, KRS One and many more! He is the founder and one of the main choreographers of Illmatik Phlow Crew since 2009. Aside from his personal dance career, Mr. Mario has organized and thrown successful hip hop dance events since 2006 in Miami. He has been teaching breaking since 2005 and is a full time dancer ready to get better and inspire the whole world. Mr. Mario has ran our breaking program at Studio 61 for 7 years. Along with building the newest generation of bboys and bgirls, his ultimate goal is to bring out the character and confidence from his students!

CHRISTIAN

CASTILLO

HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR

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JP

CAJINA

HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR

At the age of 14, JP eagerly sought out to learn how to translate music into movement. JP began his training at Catalyst Hip Hop as well as investing his time learning the art of BBoying. He continued his training into adulthood and has has multiple opportunities to perform for stations like Univision, Telemundo, Nickelodeon and The Dolphins Cheerleaders. JP has performed on various award shows, television programs, NFL, MLB, NSL Half-Time shows and so much more! Most recently JP was a member of the Marlins Energy Team. Filling the room with energy and style, this is Mr. JP's 2nd year teaching hip hop on Fridays!

ASHLEY

GROB

BALLROOM INSTRUCTOR

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ASHLEE

FOWLER

COMBO INSTRUCTOR

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ISABEL

ACOSTA

ACRO INSTRUCTOR

She was born & raised in South Florida and started learning gymnastics at the age of 5. Training on tricks and skills, she strives to build her students in her Acro classes! She has taught Pre-School gymnastics, competitive gymnastics, cheerleading, and acrobatics for over 15 years and recently got certified as an official Acrobatic Arts Teacher. This is our 4th year having Ms. Isabel as our Acro teacher!

CHRISTINE

THOMAS

BALLET INSTRUCTOR

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2020 BY STUDIO 61