Ballet Intensive Instructors
Tiffany Brown-Certo joins us from Panama City Beach, Florida as our ballet intensive guest instructor. She began dancing at the age of seven and dance quickly became her love and passion! She had the opportunity to train with instructors who have been regarded as “the elite” in the ballet world, such as: Bernadette Clemons of Northwest Florida Ballet, Shamil Yagudin of The Kirov Ballet/Ballet Stars of Moscow, Gaynor Grange of the Bolshoi Ballet/Atlanta Ballet Company, Fionna Fairre of the Royal Ballet of London, Petris Bosman of North Carolina School of the Arts, Anne Finch of the Milwaukee Ballet, Sue Simpson of the Royal Academy London, Todd Eric Allen of Boston Ballet, and Winthrop Corey of Mobile Ballet.
Tiffany began dancing professionally and teaching at the age of 15 with the Northwest Florida Ballet and continued on with many other ballet companies and studios throughout the southeast. She taught and danced as a guest artist for numerous professional ballet companies throughout my college and law school career and cherish every experience I had. After completing her professional dance career after performing leading roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Giselle, Napoli, Les Sylphides, and Sleeping Beauty with multiple ballet companies, Tiffany relocated to Panama City Beach upon law school completion in 2002. While practicing law she has continued teaching dance and enjoys sharing my expertise with her wonderful students interested in all aspects of dance, from preprofessional to recreational passions.
The Dance Center is honored to have Tiffany join us for our first annual Ballet Intensive as our primary instructor.
Tia A. Brown, Co-Owner / Artistic Director is a nationally recognized dance professional and an award-winning team director with 20 years of instruction experience. She specializes in dance education for children and has taught in elite ballet and competition programs in Florida and Alabama as well and in pre-professional dance programs on the Monterey Peninsula. Tia focuses on curriculum development; ballet, jazz, and lyrical/contemporary technique training; pre-professional training tracts for ballet, jazz and contemporary dancers; and Youth America Grand Prix solo and group coaching. During Tia’s teaching career she has had the honor of instructing many students who have been accepted into programs and companies such as: San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet (jazz, contemporary, and ballet programs), Ellison Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Tisch School of the Arts (NYU), Ballet Chicago, and LINES Pre-professional Training Program.
While Tia has had the opportunities to work with many students on a pre-professional path she also has a strong passion and love for working with those children who are focused on dance as a recreational passion. She finds it very important to foster those learning experiences in a fun and nurturing environment where dancers are still able to learn proper technique and education. Tia’s training in ballet, pointe, jazz, and contemporary encompasses nationally and internationally respected instructors; including the renown Fiona Fairre’ of the Royal Ballet, Shamil Yagudin of the Ballet Stars of Moscow, Samuel Abramian of the Bolshoi Ballet, Todd Eric Allen of Boston Ballet, Bruce Marks of American Ballet Theater / Ballet West and Boston Ballet, Kathy Kozul of Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts, and Rhee Gold founder and director of Dance Life Retreat and Training.
Competition teams under Tia’s direction have won consecutive regional titles. Her choreography has consistently received recognition and highest of honors at regional and national dance competitions. Tia has been the Artistic Director of local pre-professional companies as well as tour director for an eleven day China Tour with twenty-one dancers.
When Tia moved to the Monterey Peninsula eleven years ago she continued to follow her passion for dance as well as medicine. Her fifteen years in the field of medicine as an administrator and medical director have broadened her expertise in establishing and operating all aspects of startup and established businesses. Tia and her husband, Dr. Leland Rosenblum (a local ophthalmologist), live on the peninsula with their children / step children and dogs.
Kirsten Raven Asturi began her journey in the arts as a ballet dancer. Classically trained, Kirsten began teaching at the age of 18 under the mentorship of Jane Vann Bryan in Merced, CA. In 2002, Kirsten created and implemented a performing arts program within the structure of The Enrichment Center, an art program for adults with different abilities in Merced, CA. This inspired a devotion to inclusion that positively influences her teaching style.
She performed with Central West Ballet in Modesto before branching out to explore and perform modern dance with Off-Balance, a performing company in residence at Modesto Junior College, under the direction of Kim T. Davis and Lori Bryhni. In 2006, she was honored to perform twice during the Gala Evening performance of the American College Dance Festival, in Sacramento, CA.
As a ballet instructor for over 15 years with Juline School of Dance in Modesto, Kirsten honed her craft of teaching to students of all ages. Kirsten’s most treasured arts experiences come from the classroom, and in working with dancers as they learn and grow.
She was able to have the opportunity to work with and learn from David Arce, formerly of San Francisco Ballet, and current Artistic Director of Juline Regional Youth Ballet.
As the former director of Outreach for The Juline Foundation for Children, she has also been able to provide dance experiences to children in public schools throughout Stanislaus County, working with students aged K-6, including students with ranges of abilities.
She has directed numerous performances combining these public school dancers with mentors from Juline Regional Youth Ballet, with magical results.
Kirsten has been able to attend teaching seminars with David Howard, and had the opportunity to observe and learn from many master teachers including Alaine Haubertof Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theater, and Laura Alonso, of Ballet National de Cuba, a world renowned teacher, and the daughter of prima ballerina Alicia Alonso.
Kirsten’s love of sewing and creating started early, and along the way she began costuming the various productions she was involved in. She began to formally design and create costumes in 2003, and this has since led to her creating costumes for Kim T Davis Dance, Central West Ballet, Juline Regional Youth Ballet, San Jose State University, sjDANCEco, Nickerson-Rossi Dance, and Sacramento State University, among others. Having transplanted to the peninsula recently, Kirsten is thrilled to join this wonderful team at The Dance Center, where a new chapter in dance will begin. Kirsten lives in Pacific Grove, with her husband Ira, and son Owen.
Anna fell in love with ballet when she began studying as a child here in Monterey County, and by the age of 16, Anna was offered a scholarship to train with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She was able to follow her dance dreams as she continued her training in New York with Gelsey Kirkland Academy and Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in year round programs complimented with additional classes from PariDance and Steps on Broadway. Training under incredible teachers like Francesca Corkle, Era Jouravalev, Gelsey Kirkland, Tracy Inman, Dudley Williams, and George de la Peña developed Anna’s expertise in ballet and contemporary. Anna is thrilled to pursue and share her passion for dance and pass on her training by teaching students and helping to instill in them the love for dance. She is thrilled to be back on the peninsula and joining the TDC teaching faculty.
Pamela Keindl began her training locally on the Monterey Peninsula, in addition to spending summers at San Francisco Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She graduated with a BFA in Ballet and a BS in Psychology from the University of Utah and was a Utah Ballet scholarship dancer for four years.
While dancing with Utah Ballet, she had the opportunity to perform on tour in Taiwan, and in the regional and national American College Dance Festivals. Pam performed professionally with Ballet West, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Company C Contemporary Ballet before returning to the Monterey area where she has taught ballet and other dance forms. She also performed locally as a SpectorDance Company member for several years and danced as a guest artist with other local organizations.
Besides teaching at The Dance Center, she is currently on faculty as a ballet instructor at Monterey Peninsula College. In addition to teaching, she has choreographed for non-profits, private high schools, and collegiate programs. Additionally, she holds an MA in Spanish from UCSB and performed with their dance department while completing her degree.
Pam is very excited to teach at TDC and loves the opportunity to work with dancers and see them grow as artists and young people (or young at heart!). Away from the dance studio, Pam enjoys spending time with her two little boys, new daughter, and husband, especially participating in outdoor activities, hiking and going to the beach.
Laura Lobo is a native from Massachusetts and recently relocated from snowy Boston to the “snowless” Peninsula. She began dancing at 9 years old and completed her formative and professional training in all genres of dance (including ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, acrobatics, hip-hop, and tap) at the Kalia Karr Studio of Dance. Laura was specifically inspired by her teacher Kolleen Carchio. She attended college in Worcester, MA and has been teaching dance for the past 13 years. Laura is a respected choreographer and team director. Her teams have won awards nationally for her choreography, including overall high scores and special awards honoring her artistry and choreography. Her soloists have been title winners, awarded placement on dance teams, and assistant positions at conventions. Along with instructing dance classes and competition dance teams full time, Laura also recently worked as a Dance Consultant at the Burncoat High School Dance Department. Concurrently, Laura worked as choreographer for the Boston Midsummer Opera in 2013 and 2014 under the direction of the wonderful Antonio Ocampo-Guzman.
Laura’s desire is to help create confident, beautiful dancers that appreciate the art of what they are doing. She has adopted a positive competitive dance framework. Laura believes dancers are among the most talented athletes but loves that dance is a means to express yourself, and therefore, even in the competitive realm, a self-expression should always be viewed within the context of a “win”.
Harmony True just relocated to the Monterey Peninsula from San Luis Obispo with her husband, Sean and their little girl, Mina. She was a teacher at The Academy of Dance, SLO for the past 8 years. Harmony’s experience with The Academy of Dance, SLO was teaching ages 3 and up in various dance genres. She was also the Director for the Children’s program that consisted of placement for dancers ages 3 to 9, special birthday events, and dance camps.
Harmony was a principal dancer for the Civic Ballet Company in San Luis Obispo. She had wonderful opportunities to dance in The Nutcracker with a live orchestra and original contemporary Spring and Summer performances. Harmony also performed with Deyo Dances and with the Opera of San Luis Obispo. Some of her roles were Sugar Plum Fair, Rose Queen, and Snow Queen. Harmony love that her path in dance has given her the opportunity to travel to places like China and be able to perform, take in the culture, and meet new people. Harmony is very excited to be a part of the staff at The Dance Center, the beautiful community, and wonderful dancers.
Laurel Weingand grew up outside of LA in the high desert. She started her journey of movement with gymnastics and musical theater, eventually finding her way into dance. Laurel studied in multiple disciplines and performed in many dance and theater productions during her youth. She also choreographed for her high school’s spring musicals and attended numerous master classes, workshops, and intensives (State Street Ballet, CalArts, and The Rockettes). From a young age, Laurel knew she wanted to instruct and assisted in dance for 4 years before leaving to attend college. She then mixed her love of dance and interest in science and pursued her bachelors in dance medicine. Attending multiple universities, including UC Irvine, she graduated and was awarded with “Summa Cum Laude” and “Distinction in the Major” from CSUMB, with a B.S. in Kinesiology, focusing on dance wellness and injury prevention.
While attending CSUMB, she also performed with the SpectorDance Company. Since then, she has attained a yoga teacher training certification and became a Certified Massage Therapist. She has been enthusiastically teaching ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary ballet, pointe, acrobatics/tumbling, and yoga throughout the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz area since 2010.
Laurel loves to learn and continually expands her knowledge and education in aspects related to her teaching. She also has a massage and wellness consultation practice near the Barnyard–where she often works with local dancers, teachers, and their families.
Beyond the dance world, Laurel also continues to study traditional healing therapies including Chinese medicine and planetary herbalism. Although, most of her time these days is spent with her loving husband and running after and snuggling her tenacious toddler. Laurel loves to cook, spend time in our abundant and beautiful outdoors, and still tries to find time to indulge in taking dance classes herself. She is grateful that her passions are her work and that she can share her enthusiasm and knowledge with the next generation.