Toni began her training with Harriet DeRea in the Los Angeles area and continued her studies with Wilson Morelli, Robert Joffrey, Igor Swetzoff, and Yvonne Cusack. Her pedagogical training was completed under the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) in London, and she has been a registered teacher of the RAD for over thirty years. After dancing professionally with The Morelli Ballet and Ballet Concierto de Mexico, Toni founded Village Dance Arts in Claremont CA in 1969. Toni introduces ballet in progressive stages, providing her students with a solid foundation in both technical and artistic aspects of the art. Her goal is to share her knowledge and passion for dance with students of all ages.
Florencia Abergel, originally from Argentina, began her dance training at age 8, studying with Toni Carrion. She continued her dance studies while attending Wellesley College, where she danced with the Wellesley College Dancers. Florencia has studied Creative Dance and Movement and has continued to pass on her love of dance to young children. She has continued her Royal Academy of Dance studies through the Royal Academy teacher training program.
Miki Amen graduated with Honors while majoring in Dance and Choreography at the University of California, Riverside with a Chancellor’s Performance Scholarship in Dance. Miki toured for two years, traveling around the United States, with the live stage shows “Sesame Street Live,” and “Dragon Tales Live” under VEE Corporation. She is also a member of the Taiko Center of Los Angeles, a Japanese drumming ensemble. And with TCLA, has united tap and taiko at such venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Ford Theatre, and the Japan American Theatre. Some of Miki’s film and television credits include: “187” starring Samuel L. Jackson, “Gilmore Girls,” “Seventh Heaven,” and the “O.C.” In addition, Miki is pursuing the art of teaching dance and has been teaching since the age of 15 at various institutions such as, the University of Redlands, Riverside Community College, Jane Addams Middle School in Lawndale, and Claremont College among others. Miki is currently teaching at Santa Clarita Ballet Academy, Room to Dance in Riverside, The Academy of Music and Movement in La Verne, as well as out of her home dance studio.
Denise Donovan is a certified instructor for the Royal Academy of Dance as well as a Practical Teaching Supervisor. At Village Dance Arts, Denise teaches ballet, tap, modern, and jazz dance. Denise is also the director of the Riverside Community College Tap Ensemble, Co-director of the Riverside Community College Dance Touring Ensemble and adjunct faculty in Dance at RCC where she received the honor of Adjunct Teacher of the Year in 2006. She is a core member of the Taiko Center of Los Angeles.
Anthony Loa is also the Assistant Dance Director for the Dance Company and faculty jazz dance instructor for the Conservatory of Dance at A.B. Miller High School. He has been a part of the faculty at Miller since 2002. He has taught jazz, modern, musical theater dance, and choreography. Anthony is currently the Artistic Director/Choreographer for his professional dance company LoaDanceTheater. IDT is a local dance company representing dancers and choreographers from the Inland Empire. Anthony is a very active and experienced choreographer for many formal dance concerts and musical theater productions. He has also choreographed many high school Cheerleading/Dance teams and Show Choirs. Anthony started his dance training at Riverside Community College and was a member of the Dance Touring Ensemble. He then transferred to UC Riverside where he received a BA in Dance/Choreography. He was a member of the GLUCK Modern Dance Ensemble and has been see on stage in numerous dance concerts and in many musical theater productions such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Fiddler On The Roof, Annie Get Your Gun, Pirates of Penzance, Hello Dolly, and The Who's Tommy. Anthony has also overseen various productions by stage managing full dance concerts and musical theater productions throughout the years.
Angelika Lopez was born and raised in Southern California she began her dance training at Laura's Dance Academy with Ballet, Tap and Jazz. She then left Laura's Dance Academy to move forward into high school and transition into A.B. Millers dance program and Conservatory where she extended her Ballet, Jazz and Modern training. Aside from being involved in A.B. Miller's dance program she was also a choreographer for a Competing commercial dance club, Latin Rhythm dance club and Hip-Hop club on campus. At the age of sixteen Angelika started her own dance company called Breed International Dance Company the company performs at private parties, covers all of the Inland Empire, Orange County and Los Angeles Macys flashmobs and do volunteer entertainment performances for different charities. After high school she joined a hip-hop crew located in Rancho Cucamonga called Elev8 where she trained in hip-hop for a year. She is now currently enrolled at the University of California Irvine and is working towards obtaining a Dance and Nursing degree.
Jeanna Shelton McNamara began her training in Riverside, CA with Jo Dierdorff and continued her studies with many masters including Susan Rose, Stephanie Gilliland, Rebecca Wright, George de la Peña and Pat Hon. Jeanna received her B.A. in Dance from the University of California, Riverside where she was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Performance Award and the Maxwell H. Gluck Dance Fellowship. While at UCR, she began performing professionally with Susan Rose and Dancers and continued with her for 5 years. Prior to teaching ballet and modern at Village Dance Arts, Jeanna was on the dance faculty at Riverside City College for 10 years.
Rachel began her ballet training at the age of four in the Royal Academy of Dance program at Village Dance Arts under the guidance of Toni Carrion and Denise Donovan. In the R.A.D program, Rachel has taken and passed all of the children’s and vocational exams and participated as a candidate for Solo Seal. More recently, she attended and taught at the International Academy of Dance ballet school in northern California and played roles in their ballets, specifically the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker. As an instructor, Rachel has participated in the R.A.D instructor training and works with Toni Carrion as a mentor.
Claire Van Ryswyk began dancing at Village Dance Arts when she was 5 years old, studying with Toni Carrion and Denise Donovan. She continued her studies at Goucher College in Maryland, home of the Doris Humphrey Foundation for Dance. Her studies took her to London to dance at Middlesex University, as well as Arezzo, Italy, to study at the Accademia Dell’Arte. Claire graduated cum laude with a degree in Dance and a concentration in Arts Administration. She returned to Claremont in 2011 and has been teaching ballet and modern ever since. She is continuing to study the Royal Academy of Dance through the teacher training program.