Aggie Eidson: Director
Aggie opened Studio A with the dream of inspiring students to develop creativity, artistry and a love for dance. She is a credentialed teacher and has been teaching dance for over thirty years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education/Dance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University at Hayward. She is also a part-time dance instructor at Carondelet High School. As a dancer, Aggie was a featured performer in numerous dance revues and as a member of the Olympic Dance Corps, she performed in the Opening Ceremonies for the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles. She has choreographed local theatrical productions including They're Playing Our Song, Bye Bye Birdie, Mame and The Sound of Music. Whether choreographing a flash mob for the City of Pleasant Hill or a routine for the "Shoe Guys," at the Wine, Women and Shoes event , Aggie loves contributing to the local community. In addition to teaching dance, Aggie choreographs posing routines for professional body builders. Her clients include Miss Olympia, and her work with body builders has been featured in Flex Magazine. Aggie works with athletes on increasing their flexibility and agility, and for over twenty five years she has been the stretch and agility coach for De La Salle High School's nationally ranked football program. Her expertise in stetching / flexibility has been highlighted in Biomechanics Magazine. Aggie has been awarded numerous accolades for her competitive dance choreography, including being selected to perform in the Choreography Festival in Palm Springs. Aggie's students have been acknowledged for their outstanding technique, performance, teamwork, spirit, and sportsmanship. Many of her students have gone on to study dance at the collegiate level, attending prestigious colleges such as Boston Conservatory, Loyola Marymount, Cal Arts, and Point Park University, prior to pursuing professional careers in dance.
Andrea Brosnan: Ballet
Andrea studied at Berkeley Ballet Theater and quickly excelled under the direction of Sally Streets. At the tender age of 15, Andrea became an apprentice and joined the company shortly thereafter. She has performed with Santa Clara Ballet, Patricia Banchik's Kineses, Danny Nguyen Dancers and Musicians, Aileen Kim, and is currently working with ChingchiYu. She was recruited and hired as Artistic Director of the Balletschule Gassmann Dance Academy in Germany, where she choreographed for the resident company, taught in the school, and traveled with the company. Upon returning to the States, she graduated with honors from the LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) program at St. Mary's College, earning a BA in Performing Arts/ Dance. She has been teaching ballet in the Bay Area for over 22 years and absolutely loves sharing her passion for dance with aspiring artists.
Mackenzie Canton: Tap, Jazz
Mackenzie’s passion for dance started when she was two years old. She trained under the direction of Aggie Eidson at Studio A and spent 13 years as a competitive dancer with their award-winning team, where she won multiple awards and placed in the top 10 at numerous regional competitions. Mackenzie spent the 2017-2018 dance season as a teaching assistant at Studio A for jazz, ballet, and children's combination classes. She has trained in many different dance styles including tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and pointe; and has a passion for working with young children and special needs students. Mackenzie is thrilled to be part of the Studio A faculty this year and to share her love of dance with her students.
Kamryn Chadwick: Hip Hop
Kamryn Chadwick has trained in Hip Hop for 13 years. She danced with Chapkis Dance for 12 years and during that time she competed at competitions in the Bay Area and LA. She was on America's Got Talent Season 10 and World of Dance Season 1. Kamryn has taught around the Bay Area, and is currently training with The Pack Dance. We are so excited to welcome Kamryn to our teaching staff!
Nicole Cook: Tap
Nicole Cook started dancing at the age of 3 and quickly discovered her passion for tap dance. She grew up in the Bay Area and has competed nationally since the age of 5. She was a part of many different dance companies throughout her teenage years, including Tap Explosion, an adult tap company based out of San Jose. She has learned from some of the great tappers including Dianne Walker, Steve Zee, Mark Mendonca, Sam Webber, and Bob Macke. She danced in a multitude of shows, including Beat It Down, and Break the Floor which was an Off-Broadway show in New York. Throughout her competitive years she won multiple top overall awards, national titles, and was the recipient of Dance Spirit Magazine’s “Future Star Award,” earning her a feature in the magazine. She began choreographing her own competitive solos and duets at the age of 14, which also won many top overall awards. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Sacramento State University and a Master’s Degree from National University. She has taught competitive tap throughout California and Washington State. When she is not dancing, she is a full time teacher and reading specialist in Fairfield and loves to spend time with her husband and two children.
April Taylor: Children's Combination
April began dancing at the tender age of 5. She received her dance training under the direction of Aggie Eidson, Karyn Lee Connell, Holly Morrow, Susan Stone, and Kimberly Valmore. She was a member of the Studio A competitive team, which has won numerous 1st place awards as well as special recognition for outstanding performance. Early on, Aggie recognized April’s gift of working with children and encouraged her to hone her skills by working as a teaching assistant. Upon graduation from high school, April was hired as a teacher and has become a valuable member of the Studio A faculty. From 2005-2012, April danced for the contemporary modern ballet company, Coterie Dance in Oakland. April has been teaching dance to children since 1999. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal and Civic Studies, Minor in Performing Arts Dance, Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Single Subject Dance Credential and a Master of Arts in Teaching, all from Saint Mary's College of California. When she's not at the dance studio April is teaching fourth grade at a local elementary school.
Mary Cooper Harkin: Ballet, Children's Combination
Mary Cooper Harkin began her studies at the Lodena Edgecombe School of Dance in Vallejo, California at the age of three. She continued her studies with Wanda Martin McGill at Napa Valley College who later employed her as a Ballet Teacher at the Napa Regional Dance Company. Miss Mary has also studied at Contra Costa Ballet Centre in Walnut Creek, Broadway Dance Center and Steps Dance School in New York City, and has taught at many local dance studios.
Mary uses her skills and experience as a dancer, student, teacher, parent and patron of the arts to inspire dancers of all ages to follow their passion as an artist. She is also the author of a published children’s book entitled “The Ballet Slippers” that is available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.com.
Ineke Madsen: Ballet
Ineke received her ballet training at the school of the Dance Theatre of Harlem under the direction of Arthur Mitchell. She is a graduate of Professional Children’s School in New York City. She joined the company of the Dance Theatre of Harlem (NY, NY) after graduating high school and went on to dance with Cleveland San Jose Ballet (Cleveland, OH and San Jose, CA), Ballethnic Dance Company ( Atlanta, GA), and Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre ( Cleveland, OH) as well. She has taught ballet at the School of Cleveland San Jose Ballet (Cleveland, OH and San Jose, CA), Ballethnic Academy of Dance (Atlanta, GA), and various dance studios around the Bay Area. She has judged dance competitions for “Sheer Talent” including an episode of “Dance Moms”. Ineke is also a certified Pilates instructor and the owner and director of Mindful Movement Collective, LLC, a Pilates studio with locations in Newark and Pleasant Hill. She is currently on faculty at Ohlone College in Fremont, teaching ballet, Pilates, and Yoga. When she isn’t working with bodies in motion, Ineke enjoys spending time and enjoying life with her husband, 3 daughters, and 2 dogs in Martinez.
Stephanie Marcinkowski: Tap
Stephanie Marcinkowski has been dancing for over 20 years in a variety of styles including tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and pom. Stephanie has competed and performed across the United States, including tapping in an Off-Broadway production of Break the Floor in New York. She also works with the United Spirit Association as both an instructor and a judge. Stephanie is a former two-time USA national champion and a four-year collegiate dancer at University of the Pacific. Aside from dancing, Stephanie is still able to continue her passion for working with children as a 4th grade teacher.
Deidre Neal: Ballet
A native of New York City and Miami, Deidre Neal studied with Martha Mahr (a student and company member of Alicia Alonso). Deidre won a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet, where she studied in the Vaganova, Bournonville and Balanchine style with Suki Schorer, Stanley Williams and Alexandra Danilova. She graduated from the School of American Ballet in 1983. Following graduation Deidre danced with San Francisco Ballet, The American Ballet Theater (under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov) and The Vienna Stats Oper Ballet (under the direction of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet graduate Elena Tchernichova). Eloquent and expressive, as well as a classically graceful dancer, she went on performing a long list of leading Soloist roles in major classical ballets, such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Paquita, Raymonda, Don Quixote, and Balanchine ballets. After touring Japan, Italy, Germany, and the US Deidre became a massage therapist, completed her training in Pilates, Iyengar yoga and the ABT teacher training program. Deidre is known as a talented and extremely dedicated pedagogue who has been teaching classical ballet for the past 10 years. In her teaching Deidre pays much attention to the quality of movement, focusing on technical precision paramount in developing long and graceful lines in her students.
Laura Sefchovich: Ballet, Conditioning
Laura Sefchovich studied at the Escuele Nacional de Danza in Mexico City, and continued her training at The Boston Conservatory of the Arts, Boston Ballet, and Jacob's Pillow. She trained under notable teachers such as Elizabeth Neumann, Gloria Mohr, Karen Millar, Paul Curtis, Shawn Stewart, Kristine Elliot, Benjamin Harkavy, and Marie Stinnett. Professionally, Laura danced with Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Festival Ballet, Santa Clara Ballet, Margaret Wingrove Modern Dance Company, Zohar and Company C Contemporary Ballet. Many of her students have gone on to perform with prestigious dance companies including Batsheva, the Swedish National Ballet, Twyla Tharp, and San Francisco Ballet. Laura began her Pilates training as a dancer, and her interest deepened when she met her mentor Lisa Goldin. Laura received her teaching certification after four years of studying with Goldin, and then received a second teaching certification in 2005 from Power Pilates in New York. She opened her own studio in April 2007 to offer the finest in Pilates education. Additionally, Laura trains dancers at the San Francisco Ballet School and Company in the classical Pilates tradition.
Melissa Thompson: Ballet
Melissa’s love for ballet began at an early age, taking her first ballet and tap classes when she was just 3 years old. She began her serious ballet training 5 years later at the Novato School of Ballet under the direction of Christine Walton. Melissa has studied with a number of notable instructors including Richard Cammack (ABT and former Director of SFB School), Milissa Payne Bradley (Oakland Ballet; Founder, The Milissa Payne Project) and Karen Portner-LaPointe (former Soloist and Principle dancer, Nashville Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet Company). Melissa continues to take regular classes at Contra Costa Ballet with respected artists Charles Anderson (Founder and Director, Company C Contemporary Ballet) and Sheri LeBlanc (former Soloist, SFB), and has taught ballet to both beginning and intermediate ballet students throughout Solano County for 5 years. In addition to dancing, Melissa holds a BA in Communication Studies from CSU, Sacramento and is a certified Balletone Instructor. Melissa’s true passion, however, remains ballet and she is excited to be working with the students at Studio A.
Roberta Vassallo: Ballet
Born in Italy, Roberta began her dance education at the Ballet School Capiferri in Genoa, under the direction of Maria Luisa Capiferri. She continued her training Balletschule Steib Elsbeth in Bochum, Germany, before travelling to the United States and joining the Saint Louis Ballet Company under the direction of New York City Ballet former principal dancer Gen Horiuchi, where she performed roles in the Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, Valse Fantaisie, as well as original works by choreographer Francis Patrelle. She also studied at Steps On Broadway, training with such notable master teachers as David Howard, Alexnder Filipov, Emilietta Ettlin and Fabrice Herrault. In addition to spending the past ten years teaching dance throught the country , Roberta is a practicing lawyer. She is delighted to be teaching at Studio A and sharing her love for ballet with the students.
Mary Vines: Children's Combination
Mary Vines started dancing at the age of 10 under the direction of Aggie Eidson, Stacy Sheffield and Karen Kovac. She was a competitive dancer until the age of 18, as well as performed in many different productions. Mary was also a performer with the Tom Lois Singers. She began teaching at Studio A when we opened in 1998 and quickly found her niche teaching our youngest dancers.