Faculty

Meet our brilliant staff of master teachers

Kyle Robinson

Contemporary

Kyle Robinson began dancing when he was 11-years-old at The Gold School in Brockton, MA. By the time he was 18, he received the Gold Award in Modern Dance from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). It was also during this time that he met legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov who began to mentor Kyle from that point on. He went on to fine-tune his abilities by training at the Julliard School, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Throughout his college experience Kyle continued to take his skill to the next level, and worked as a freelance dancer with Aszure & Artists as well as the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. His hard work paid off, and he landed the role of Diesel in West Side Story’s first national tour. Continuing with this success, Kyle performed a special ballet piece on Dancing with the Stars this past season and remains active in the dance community. He now resides in LA where he starred in a reality documentary series on the Oxygen network titled All The Right Moves. Currently, he mentors and dances with Shaping Sound Dance Company, as well as independently. Follow Kyle!

Dejan Tubic

Hip Hop

Dejan Tubic is “lighting the world on fire with his fierce moves” according to Fox News Los Angeles. From The New York Times, YouTube, The Ellen Show, and even PerezHilton.com, everybody is talking about it. With over 40 millions views all over the world, Dejan Tubic is becoming the most watched Choreographer on-line. Aside from his on-line achievements, Dejan is also a working dancer and choreographer in the industry. He was last seen on MTV’s The Electric Barbarella, working all season long as their choreographer. Recently, Dejan was hired with his partner Janelle Ginestra, not only to dance on America’s Got Talent, but also to choreograph an episode, including the Rebecca Black Performance, and Youtube sensation, Keenan Cahill featuring Nick Cannon. Dejan has danced for several artists including Usher at the American Music Awards and dancing for the legendary Toni Braxton in her music video “Make My Heart”. Traveling abroad, not only to teach workshops in countries all over the world, including Russia, India, and Mexico, he also Choreographed for their artists such as Vivi from China and Kele Okereke from the U.K. Dejan is a faculty member of International Dance Academy (IDA) in Hollywood, CA, where shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew film. Whether it is traveling world teaching classes or choreographing music videos, Dejan Tubic is leaving his mark on the dance industry. Follow Dejan!

Brooke Paulsen-Zelus

Tap

Brooke hails from Toledo, Ohio where she learned how to dance from her masterful mother Brenda Paulsen. She has worked with tap heavy weights such as Jason Samuel Smith, Chloe Arnold and Fayard Nicholas. She continues to travel the world sharing her knowledge and love for dance. Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, she was quickly recruited to be in Gregg Russell’s company Tapsounds Underground. Brooke has performed with many artists including Pink, Sisqo, Paulina Rubio, David Bisbal and T.A.T.U. featuring the Pussycat Dolls. She has performed in the The MTV Movie Awards, The Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, which won an Emmy for choreography and industrials including Adidas, Domino’s, Rainsoft, Google, IBM and Sunrider. She also works with the group iLuminate, which was featured on America’s Got Talent. She appeared on television shows like Sabrina: the Teenage Witch, The Nikki Cox Show and The Young and the Restless. Today, Brooke works as an associate choreographer to Kevin and Marcel Wilson. Together, as Mister Wilson Entertainment, they choreograph for television, movies, commercials, music videos and stage shows. Their latest endeavors include stage shows at the Rio Hotel & Casino: The Show in the Sky and they continue to choreograph New Year’s Eve shows for the Bellagio Casino, Aria, Atlantis and Mandalay Bay. For video, they have choreographed the Jery Sandoval music video “Sexy” and a VIV Magazine commercial. Recently they were featured on “Dancing with the Stars,” where they choreographed a “James Brown Tribute” starring Wayne Brady. Currently, she is working as an assistant choreographer for Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. Follow Brooke!

Kathryn McCormick

Contemporary

Dedicated wholly to her craft, Kathryn McCormick is a dancer who passionately seeks and desires to perform with purpose and meaning. She throws herself into choreography with reckless abandonment, becoming humbly submitted as a vessel for artistic expression, so that each performance may allow every movement to offer significance and translate emotion. Aside from dance, Kathryn invests herself into others lives, building relationships with anyone who may cross her path. She also has a compassionate heart that seeks to use her own blessings to provide for the less fortunate. While training in her home state of Georgia, Kathryn began to show that she had the potential to dance at a professional level. Early on, she competed with “Augusta West”, her home studio, at national dance conventions. During her junior year of high school Kathryn realized that performing and dancing professionally were her true passions and dreams for her future. In late 2008, after securing her first professional role as a supporting dancer in the FAME remake, Kathryn packed her bags and moved to Los Angeles. As she began to settle into the Los Angeles area, training and auditioning began to open doors for her and presented her with the opportunity to perform with choreographers such as Doug Caldwell, Joelle Martinec, Nichelle Bane, Lillian Manansala, Mecca Vazie Andrews, and most recently, Tessandra Chavez. Kathryn joined the Urban Poets, a performing arts company, based out of her church, Mosaic. With the Urban Poets, Kathryn traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland to dance in the production of “Scribble,” for Edinburgh’s acclaimed “Fringe Festival.” In the latter part of 2009, Kathryn made her way onto the 6th season of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Her impeccable work ethic, adaptability, and desire to touch the hearts and souls of America won her the honor of top female dancer for Season 6 and the opportunity to be an “AllStar” on Season 7, 8 & 9. The beginning of 2011, Kathryn invested her time as a motivational speaker with “The Revolve Tour”, a conference devoted to encouraging teenage girls to chase their deepest desires and most importantly know they are loved unconditionally. Most Recently Kathryn can be seen in her first leading role as “Emily” in the feature film STEP UP REVOLUTION that opened in theaters July 27, 2012. Follow Kathryn!

Brad Taylor

Hip Hop/Creative Director

Brad Taylor was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, SC and was influenced by dance through music videos and concert tours at an early age. His early training came from many hours in front of the TV watching Michael Jackson. At age 12 Brad started training extensively around the country and has worked with many of today’s top hip hop choreographers and performers. Brad moved to New York at age 21 where he performed with America’s Best Dance Crew, Iconic. Now living in California, Brad has taught workshops and conventions all over the country, including Broadway Dance Center, and many studios in the California area. Brad is now the Creative Director of DanceMakersInc and has expanded his education and creative interests into the area of graphic design, videography/photography, and social media marketing.

Seth Zibalese

Contemporary/Jazz/HipHop

Though Seth has just entered into his early twenties, he’s already a pro, working in the entertainment industry since age 7. He booked his first tour with Bear in the Big Blue House LIVE when he was 11 years old. Ever since then, he knew dancing and sharing his love for performing was his passion. Seth has worked as a dancer with some of LA’s top choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Dave Scott, Shane Sparks, Sonya Tayeh, Matt Tseng, Joelle Martinec, Sabrina Phillip and many others. Seth has appeared on Americas Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, shows on Disney XD, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and T.V. spots. He was a member of the athletic Diavolo Dance Theatre, and also just became a member of Solevita Dance Company. You can see Seth’s own contemporary choreography in LACDC, The Choreo Show, and Jete’. Seth is an actor as well. In 2004 he won an Ovation Award for La Boheme Ensemble. In 2004 he was recognized with the Young Artist of the Year Award in the city of Simi Valley, where he grew up. Seth received his black belt in martial arts and weapons training, and is also an expert in gymnastics. He is now teaching at Edge Performing Arts Center, August West Dance Studio and traveling around the world doing what he loves as a choreographer/instructor. He can’t wait to see what is in store next. Follow Seth!

Keith Clifton

Jazz/Ballet

A dancer/choreographer/ musician, Keith has appeared in over 45 national commercials including Dr Pepper, Wendy’s, McDonalds, Dodge and Levi’s. He has also appeared on the Academy Awards; with Donald O’Connor; and in various TV specials. His most notable theatrical shows include 42nd St, George M, Pajama Game, A chorus Line; and, many, many others. He has re-structured the entire jazz and tap syllabi for the New Zealand Association of Modern Dance and has taught in Japan, El Salvador, Guatemala
and Australia. He recently returned from New Zealand where he was once again invited to present his amazing choreography and master classes. He and his wife Linda have owned The Clifton Dance Project in Huntington Beach CA for the last 15 years and they have a 5 star rating on Yelp! He’s currently working with 2 bands – one in California and one in Kansas and continues to pursue music as his love, passion and career.

Becca Retter

Children’s Work

Becca Retter is a multi-talented Master Teacher residing in New York City. She is proud to carry on the work of the Legendary Mr. Al Gilbert, creating age-appropriate songs and dances through her product “Dance Advantage” for MusicWorks.   Becca was featured in the “Terrific Tap” issue of Dance Studio Life Magazine. She has performed at the House of Blues in Los Angeles; Las Vegas and on MTV, and she has danced internationally in Canada, Denmark, Guatemala and Russia. Volume 4 of her popular preschool series, “Dance Adventure” is now available! Becca’s love and enthusiasm for dance make her a favorite among students and teachers and she always enjoys sharing her talents. Follow Becca!

Tom Alexander

Jazz/Lyrical

In addition to Judging and Choreographing nationwide for Dance Makers, Southern Association of Dance Masters, Chicago National Dance Masters, Jazz On Tap Festival and Jazz On Tap Tour, Tom is an instructor of Jazz, Tap and lyrical. He began dancing at age 12 with Master Teacher ~Ray Hollingsworth and has worked with stars such as Debbie Reynolds, Dolly Parton, Rita Moreno, Marie Osmond, Ella Fitzgerald and Bob Hope. Tom’s beginnings on the professional stage were with Carowinds, Busch Gardens and Tokyo Disneyland, theme parks. Tom also taught in Japan for two prestigious dance companies! He has performed, choreographed and trained dancers for Crystal Cruise Lines. Tom is always looking for new talent over the age of 21 to submit to his directors for Crystal Cruises. He teaches full time in the Washington DC area and has taught for Dance Makers since 1997! He feels so blessed to do so! Follow Tom!

Darryl Retter

Jazz/Lyrical

Master Teacher, Entrepreneur, Producer, Dance Teacher Advocate, Composer, Lyricist, Creator of Danceography Educational Videos, Co Owner Music Works Unlimited, Partner Moho Productions, Director of The Dancers Bridge in Los Angeles, Director of Retter’s Academy of Dance and father of one! Darryl Retter is a veteran name in the Dance Industry and Convention Circuit, teaching Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, Studio Management Classes, Teaching Studio Syllabus, Technique, and Choreography for his Dance Educational videos and inspiring dancers and teachers for the past 28 years! Originally from Kentwood, Michigan, Darryl grew up in his mother’s dance studio, Retter’s Dance Center, and credits Betty Retter for his early dance training. Darryl was discovered by the legendary Mr. Al Gilbert at the age of 13 yrs. and became his protégé, friend, and carries on “The Mission” as Co Owner of Music Works Unlimited (formally Stepping Tones) for the past 10 years.Darryl’s passion, expertise, relentless energy, work ethic and talent make him one of the most respected names in Dance. Darryl and his wife, Linda Bernabei Retter, are owners and Artistic Directors of their dance studio, Retter’s Academy of Dance (RAD). In it’s 22nd year of operation, RAD has received National and Regional recognition for their positive philosophy, award winning Rhythm Machine Dance Company, Dancers Bridge Company, humanitarian efforts and Thoughtfulness Committee including “Top 5 Dance Studios in LA”.  Darryl and Linda, their Studio and Companies have been recognized in National publications Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Dancer, Dance and Fitness, Dance Teacher Now, and were featured on the cover of Dancer Magazine. As Director of The Dancers Bridge, Darryl has created a unique program designed for dancers moving to LA to pursue a professional dance career. Developing potentials is his passion! Many of his former students and protégés are now teaching on National Conventions (Gina Gadone, Becca Retter, Lilian Manansala, Brooke Paulsen-Zelus, Heidi Jarret and Chris Rogers to name a few!) were trained or mentored by Darryl and Linda. Their students have also appeared in Puff Daddy world tour, Lakers Girls, Broadway productions of The Lion King, Hairspray, The Color Purple, and Purlie, and, choreographed for Disney and Nickelodeon productions, appeared in numerous videos and stage productions and so much more!
He also works with Moho Productions where he writes songs for artists such as Ashley Argota (Nickelodeon’s “Lulu” on Tru Jackson VP and “Kelly Peckinpaw” in Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures) and licenses music to Television, Industrials, Shows, and Feature Films including “My Dog’s Christmas Miracle”, “Gabe the Cupid Dog”, “Golden Christmas 3”, and “A Star for Christmas”. From his 90’s debut in Debbie Gibson’s classic “Electric Youth” video (choreographed by Barry Lather) to teaching Nationally and Internationally, Darryl Retter remains an Artistic Force of Nature!

Janice Barringer

Ballet

A New York City ballet teacher, Janice danced professionally for thirty years with ballet companies and a free-lance guest artist. She appeared as the lead dancer and spokesperson for a Kymberly Clark commercial; as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra educational programs; and, was spotlighted in a Special Public Television Series called “Dance in America”. Janice was a principal dancer in special performances for two Presidents of the United States; was assistant to the choreographer for the outdoor drama, “The Lost Colony”; and, was the ‘Entertainment Critic’ for an ABC-TV affiliate. She has taught for Harkness House, The Alvin Ailey School, Steps on Broadway, Ballet Hispanico and Pace University in New York City, as well as for numerous schools, universities and companies throughout the US, Canada and China. Her many instructional ballet CD’s, DVD’s and Teaching Syllabus, all produced by Music Works, have been especially created as invaluable tools for teachers who are in dance education. Janice has also written numerous articles on dance for all the major dance magazines and is the author of two highly respected books on pointe work. The 3rd Edition of THE POINTE BOOK is now available.

Gina Badone

Children’s Work/Lyrical

Gina Badone currently resides in Los Angeles where she is known for her award winning choreography and energetic master classes. She has taught dancers around the country and recently traveled to Mexico, and Guatemala to share her love of dance. She is a versatile dancer and has performed in many Los Angeles events including WB’s Christmas at the Grove, Moulin Rouge’s Live Billboard, and corporate events for NBC and Universal. She also choreographed for the Big Bad VooDoo Daddy’s and featured in American Girl’s Molly Film. Gina currently teaches on the MusicWorks convention that features her creative products for educating young dancers in multiple styles. She currently teaches at Retter’s Academy of Dance and is a seasoned choreographer and co-director for the R&B Bridge Program. Follow Gina!

Doug Shaffer

Executive Director

With degrees from Heidelberg Conservatory of Music and Michigan State University in both music and theatre, Doug Shaffer’s theatrical career led him to directing dance shows and concerts. In addition to private teaching, teaching at the high school for the performing arts, giving seminars and classes, and judging competitions, he has been director for dozens of professional musical theatre productions. He has produced and directed TV variety shows and has been director of his own musical variety show called (what else?) “The Doug Shaffer Show.” Doug was the musical and tour director for the Young Americans for National Tours throughout the U.S. and the Orient. In that capacity he also toured with the famous Liberace. Doug has been the National Tour Director for Tremaine Dance Conventions and continues there as National Tour Administrator. Doug’s newest venture is that of owner and director of Dance Makers Inc. continuing the legacy of Marjorie Perry. DMI is a dance convention and competition that tours the country offering the best of dance training with Master Teachers who excel in the art of teaching. DanceMakers offers “Back to Basic” dance training and competition opportunities for young dancers in all genres of dance from beginning to advance. Doug currently resides in Southern California.