Born in Cuba, Mr. Almaguer graduated from the school of Ballet de Camaguey, where he began his professional dancing career under the direction of the Father of the Cuban Ballet, Fernando Alonso. Mr. Almaguer was hired as a Soloist with the National Ballet of Cuba in 1989 fallowing his two Gold Medals in 1988 in the International Ballet Competition in Peru. While being a Soloist with BNC (Ballet Nacional de Cuba) under the direction of world-wide legendary Prima Ballerina Alicia Alonso, Mr. Almaguer toured extensively throughout Europe and Latin America, and performed as a Guest Principal Dancer in several International Ballet Companies.
Following his defection to the United States in 1993, Mr. Almaguer has been a Guest Artist with several American Ballet Companies, including the Miami City Ballet and the Ballet Cubano of Miami and has been a Principal Dancer in companies such as Cleveland San Jose Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, The State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, etc. His guest artist work has taken him to a variety of companies in the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Spain, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, UK , Italy and Canada. He has been featured in TV in many of these countries and the USA.
Director of PSPA
Tita Boulger, founder and director of Peninsula School of Performing Arts, has a well-known reputation, having taught dance in the South Bay area for over 40 years. She studied tap with Melvin Kaiser, Eddie Gay, Henry LeTang, and Paul Kennedy, ballet with Olga Fricker and Patricia Stander, and jazz with Bill Hyden, Jimmy Mack and Luigi. She has taught in the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program for 20 years choreographing West Side Story, Anything Goes, The Mikado, and 42nd Street. Her students have danced in Broadway shows, The Rockettes, and Broadway touring companies as well as attending university dance programs. She performed for many years in the Hot Cotton Candies and with Le Jazz Hot and is currently featured in PeiChen Wei's book Tap on Tour Hollywood.
Director of PSPA Dance Company, Hip Hop & Lyrical
Joanna Burt is a graduate of AMDA: College and Conservatory for the Performing Arts LA/NY and has been seen recently in productions of Cabaret, Hairspray, Pippin and the Wiz. Joanna has also recently choreographed productions of Legally Blonde, Cinderella, Orange is the New Musical, Beauty and the Beast Jr., The Wizard of Oz Jr., and Annie Jr.
Sam Chlanda started tap and ballet in the South Bay at the young age of four. By 13 she had branched out to various styles of dance including jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and even ballroom.
She honed her craft in the Commercial Dance Conservatory at the Orange County High School of the Arts and later studied dance and musical theatre at the American Musical Dramatic Academy in Hollywood. Currently Sam performs in the contemporary dance ensemble, Synapse and teaches throughout the South Bay.
Tracy Jones received her early training at PSPA, San Pedro Ballet School, and Lauridsen Ballet Centre. She has danced professionally with Ballet Austin, Sacramento Ballet, Anaheim Ballet, Kenneth Walker Dance Project, South Bay Ballet, Borealis Dance Company, Silverlake Contemporary Ballet, and San Pedro City Ballet. She has worked with such choreographers as Ron Cunningham, Lila York, Robert Kelly, Kenneth Walker, Gina Patterson, and Stephen Mills.
ALEXANDER KALININ (Guest Artist - Russian) was born in Moscow, Russia and began his dancing career at the age of four with his father. Mr. Kalinin graduated from the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy. He has performed and toured as a soloist in over 60 countries with the most prestigious dance companies in the former Soviet Union.
After immigrating to the United States in 1981, Mr. Kalinin has performed on stages from New York to Las Vegas, Reno and Australia as well as throughout Southern California. He has appeared on television including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Life with Bonnie on ABC. He and his dance troop… have performed for Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. He regularly performs in Southern California with many ballet companies including recently the role of Sancho Panza in Don Quixote and Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty with Southland Ballet Academy of Orange County. He also performs other notable roles with Pacific Festival Ballet and Santa Clarita Ballet among others.
He has taught dance for over 30. Years in the U.S. as well as abroad, including teaching the summer program with ABT for 4 years Irvine CA. The Kirov Ballet Academy – Washington DC . He is known throughout the world as a teacher and performer of great skill and strength rivaled only by his “feel” for the music. Kirov students said that Mr. Kalinin gets the students excited about character and brings interesting life experiences to class. The Reno Gazette Journal praised him as a choreographer able to set new standards in Russian Dance. Gelsey Kirkland of the New York City Ballet said of him, “Character Dance is greatly needed in this country, and Alexander Kalinin is a true inspiration as an artist and teacher.”
MARINA KALININA, born in Moscow, Russia, graduated from the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy. While a student she danced as a soloist in Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella. Marina start her professional career with very prestigious dance companies, Igor Moiseyev and Beriozka where she danced for 25 years, performing as a soloist in over 60 countries of the world. After immigrating to the USA in 1981 with her husband Alex Kalinin, the two performed on stages from New York to Las Vegas and Australia to California as members of the Kalinin Dance Company. Reviewer Jacqueline Erickson from Australia wrote,
“The stage lights up with this love match.”
Ms Kalinina start teaching ballet classes in 1990 for Southland Ballet Academy of Orange County and has continued until present. Some of her students have started professional careers with prestigious ballet companies including American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and New York City Ballet. Ms. Kalinina began teaching for Peninsula School of Performing Arts in 2006 and continues to teach and coach young dancers training for professional careers.
Born in Australia, Ms. Ninkovic studied ballet at The National Ballet School in Sofia, Bulgaria and the State Ballet School in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. While studying at London Studio Center, she was voted Dancer of the Year and performed for HRH Prince Edward. She completed her training at the Royal Ballet School in London, receiving the R.A.D. Solo Seal Award. She was a semi-finalist in the 1991 Pric De Lausanne IBC, and later joined the Basel Ballet In Switzerland. She Performed as a soloist with the Perth City Ballet in Australia and Los Angeles Classical Ballet. She has taught at several venues including the Ana Cheselka Dance Center and the Marat Daukaev School of Ballet.
Ms Ortega began her ballet training at the age of 8 in Holguin, Cuba. In 1980, upon graduating from the Escuela Nacional de Artes, she joined the Ballet de Camaguey of Cuba, dancing throughout Europe and the Americas as the featured soloist of the company. In 1988, she joined Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and in 1989, Ms Ortega won the gold medal from the International Ballet Competition in Peru. In the U.S., she danced with Cleveland Ballet and later San Jose Ballet. Today, she is a freelance ballet teacher.
Ballet & Pilates
Chelsea grew up dancing with Dance Peninsula Ballet and PSPA where she learned from some of the finest ballet teachers and artists who inspired her deep respect and appreciation for the art form. She continued her education in dance at CSULB graduating summa cum laude with a BA in Dance Science. She is Pilates certified through BASI pilates and is a teacher at PSPA. By approaching technique from an anatomical and biomechanical perspective, she aims to help dancers prevent injuries and achieve optimal performance. Amongst the roles she has performed in the classical repertoire, the sugar plum fairy is one of her favorites, and she is delighted to be dancing it again in this year's Nutcracker.
Boys Tap, Tap, Broadway Jazz
Chad was most recently seen in the Broadway production of Mary Poppins! He also performed in Irving Berlin's White Christmas on Broadway (Tony Nomination for Best Choreography). Other credits include West Side Story (International Tour), 42nd Street (U.S. Tour), No, No, Nanette (Encores! City Center), Footloose,A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, and others. Chad was thrilled to perform with President Obama for Ted Kennedy's birthday at the Kennedy Center. He also graduated from Wabash College with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Business.
Jazz, Lryical & Hip Hop
Marie has over 19 years of experience training dancers. She has studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, modern, acro-dance, hip hop and musical theater. At the age of eleven, she was chosen to join a modern dance company performing with A Wing and A Prayer, touring the western United States. In 2003, she moved to Los Angeles where she has enjoyed performing at various venues for choreographers such as Malaya and Ryan Heffington. She has trained at Edge Performing Arts Center, Millennium Dance Complex and Debbie Reynolds with teachers such as Chris Dupre, Christina Woodward, Malaya, Ryan Heffington, Havic, Scott Hislop, Terri Best, Denise Leitner, Dante7, Kitty McNamee, Eddie Garcia, Mandy Moore and Jayson Wright. Marie has been teaching at numerous studios in the Los Angeles area, as well as, choreographing and preparing dancers for competitions since 2003. Her dance piece Tribal Tap won the 2006 Encore Choreographer's Award. She can also be seen in "sugar" a music video by Connie Lim. Marie is Acrobatic Arts Certified. Acrobatic Arts is endorsed by Cirque Du Soleil. Marie is an excellent technician and has an uncanny ability to bring the best out of all dancers from young dancers to advanced pre-professionals. Marie teaches jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, ballet, acro-dance and hip hop at PSPA. She is the Director of the PSPA Dance Company, our award-winning Competition Team.
Ballet, Tap, Acrobatics
Ms. Cindy teaches all the BAT combo classes and beginning Tap and Ballet.
Kenneth Walker has danced professionally for several companies and performed throughout the United States, Canada and South America. He trained in dance-making with many choreographers including William Forsythe, Alonzo King, Donald Byrd, and Bella Lewitzky. As a sought after instructor, Kenneth has taught as a guest and summer intensives from Simi Valley to San Clemente as well as serving as the former director for Ballet Etudes of Huntington Beach. He currently teaches for CSU Dominguez Hills Dance Department, The Wooden Floor, and studios throughout the South Bay. He has created dances for Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Sacramento Ballet, Chico Community Ballet, Southern California Dance Theatre, San Pedro City Ballet, South Bay Ballet, Petaluma City Ballet, Dance Peninsula, DanceCorps, Peninsula Dance Theatre and Pasadena Dance Theater. Kenneth is the recipient of the young choreographer’s award from the Southern CA Dance Theatre, and is the youngest finalist to ever compete in the Sarasota Ballet of Florida International Choreography Competition. Kenneth has a B.A. from UCLA in World Arts and Cultures and is a dual Masters of Arts in Arts Management and MBA graduate of Claremont Graduate University. He is the director of Kenneth Walker Dance Project.
Ballet, Acro, Tap and Jazz
Laura Whitesides has been teaching dance in the South Bay area for 15 years. She received her training at Ballet Pacifica with Louis Carver, Jimmie De Fore Dance Studio with Jimmie De Fore, Dupree Dance Academy and Edge Performing Arts Center.
Her dance career has taken her to several states and countries abroad including international tours in Italy, Germany, and Japan. She performed and toured as a real-life dancing Barbie for Mattel Toys.
She has choreographed and coached for local Cheer and Song tryouts, local events, and choreographed and costumed shows in Italy and Germany. She has also taught Ballet and Jazz workshops throughout the U.S. and also in Japan.
Laura also choreographs and conducts theme dance birthday/special event parties in the South Bay
Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary
Tatiana started her dance training in Albuquerque, New Mexico at “New Mexico Dance Barre”. She danced competitively earning numerous awards and invitations to international competitions such as Top 12 at YAGP and Top 10 at World Ballet Competition. She danced as a contract dancer with the New Mexico Ballet Company for six years. Later on she auditioned and gained acceptance into the prestigious Edge Performing Arts Center Scholarship program, under the direction of Randy Allaire and Bill Prudich. She studied dance from many outstanding teachers and choreographers including, Helene Phillips, Michael Rooney, Eddie Garcia among others. After completing the Edge program she signed with The Movement Talent Agency in Los Angeles and has been in numerous films and projects such as "This Is Us" (NBC network), In Plain Sight (NBC network),Transparent (Amazon Prime), “Dirt” (Brat network), AZRA “Dimensions” (VEVO Music Video), Eddie Garcia skeleton crew 2019 Oscar commercial "American Idol", Santa Monica pier “To the sea” for Vincent Paterson and more. Tatiana has assisted choreographers like Karine Newborn on the movie Faith, Hope & Love and Michael Rooney setting a piece for Final Cut. She is currently on faculty at Edge Performing Arts Center’s youth program. Tatiana loves sharing her extensive knowledge of dance by teaching the next generation of up and coming dancers.
Brianna grew up in California and received most of her early training under the prestigious ballet masters Patrick Frantz, (Paris Opera Ballet), Rebecca Wright, (ABT) and Marat Daukayav, (Kirov Ballet). Brianna then trained and danced with the Pennsylvania Ballet before going on to perform leading roles in many other Nationally recognized companies including: State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara, LA Classical Ballet, City Ballet of LA, California Festival Ballet, LA Opera, and Luminario Ballet of LA, where she was also the assistant rehearsal director and assistant choreographer to Mr. Stefan Wenta and Jamal Story of Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Brianna also has many film and T.V. credits including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Castle, Emmy Awards, Deal or No Deal, and Dancing With The Stars. Brianna loves teaching ballet and is very excited to pass on all of her incredible knowledge and joy of dance.
Office Manager, Ballet
Bria grew up in the South Bay and started dancing at PSPA at age four. She was a member of Dance Peninsula Ballet for 6 years under the direction of Patricia Stander. She continued dancing at Scripps College where she graduated summa cum laude, earning a B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology and a minor in Latin American Studies. Each summer, she runs the registration for 250 at risk kids to attend P.S. I Love You Foundation’s annual Day at the Beach Event. Bria is happy to be part of the PSPA Family!
SHARON PALMER. comes to us with a performing background of singing, dancing and acting. She was a member of the Young Americans for three years, has a BA degree in dance from UC Irvine, and is the dance director at Palos Verdes Intermediate School
MICHELLE MAY is a dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker originating from Los Angeles, CA. She began her training at the Peninsula School of Performing Arts, and at the age of 10, she attended the LA Tap Fest, where she was chosen to be a part of Chloe Arnold’s opening choreography for the 2008 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. From there, she studied heavily with Sarah Reich, attended the Monday Night Tap Experience, and performed with Reich’s Tap Music Project as well as Gregg Russell’s Tap Sounds Underground. Since then, Michelle has performed internationally as a principle dancer in Jason Janas’s company, Co.MMIT, at Fall for Dance at NY City Center & White Bird Portland with Caleb Teicher and Company, and the National YoungArts Gala under the direction of John Heginbotham. She has also performed at the Capezio ACE Awards, UCLA’s Spring Sing, Hapag- Llyod Cruises, a VR Installation for Cannes Film Festival, and most recently performed alongside Regina Spektor at the 2020 Guild of Music Supervisors Awards. Michelle is a National YoungArts winner in dance, Presidential Scholar in the Arts semi-finalist, and was Dance Spirit Magazine’s 2015 Cover Model. She is also an alumna of the School at Jacob’s Pillow and UCLA where she received her BA in Dance with a minor in Film, TV, and Digital Media and performed works by Lynn Dally and Kyle Abraham.
Lena Oren grew up in Palos Verdes, where she began dancing at the age of three. After training in classical ballet, character, and contemporary at PSPA and Dance Peninsula Ballet, Lena went on to pursue a BFA in Dance at the University of Michigan. In 2016, she earned her BFA in Dance and BA in Art History, and was awarded the Earl V. Moore Award in Dance. Upon graduation, Lena joined Joshua Peugh’s Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (DCCD) in Dallas, TX. During her three seasons with the company she performed in works by Sidra Bell, Jonathan Campell and Austin Diaz of MADBOOTS Dance Company, Gregory Dolbashian, Bridgette Moore, Gabrielle Lamb, Mark Caserta and Mikey Morado, Eoghan Dillon, as well as works by Joshua Peugh. In her third season with the company, she was promoted to the role of Rehearsal Director and Outreach Coordinator. Lena created and oversaw all outreach programming for the company during this time, as well as taught company class and lead rehearsal in the absence of the artistic director. Besides working for DCCD, Lena has worked with Bombshell Dance Project, StashiTanz, Gushue Moving Arts, as well as premiered her own work and collaborative work in Tel Aviv, Dallas, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor.