Cindy Gebelein - Owner, Director & Dance Instructor
Cindy started dancing at the age of six and has been teaching dance for over 35 years. She performed at military bases and with marching bands all over the country and world, including travels to Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, and Japan. She studied dance with Gus Giordano of Chicago and Joe Tremaine of Los Angeles. Cindy spent over four years as a dancer and choreographer for the variety show La Cage Aux Folles in Hollywood. With all that performing, her greatest love was always, and is still teaching dance.
Laura Grissom - Dance Instructor, Dance Spirit Director & Coach
As the Children’s Musical Theatre Director at Gotta Dance Studio from 2008 – 2011, Laura produced and directed four productions a year, including two shows each summer for the studio’s summer camp program. Since starting Kismet Kids Musical Theatre in 2011, Ms. Grissom has directed Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, 101 Dalmatians, Snow White, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, The Jungle Book, Seussical the Musical, Alice in Wonderland, Annie, The Aristo Cats, Hairspray!, Mulan Jr, Shrek the Musical!, Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, High School Musical!, Mary Poppins, Aladdin Jr., Willy Wonka, Beauty and the Beast, Grease, The Lion King, The Sound of Music, The Addams Family!, and Into the Woods! Laura teaches Song & Dance and Musical Theatre at the studio and has been a coach for the competition team, Dance Spirit, since 2010, for which she is currently the team director. In addition to running Kismet Kids Musical Theatre, Laura also directs children’s musical theatre programs at elementary schools in Chatsworth and Simi Valley. Ms. Grissom studied Musical Theatre, Children’s Theatre, Theatre Production, and Dance at the University of Nevada, Reno where she performed in many theatrical productions including Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, Gypsy, Cabaret, Chicago, Sweeney Todd, Oliver!, Hansel and Gretel, and Stop the World, in addition to receiving hands-on training in production support. Her greatest accomplishment remains her three wonderful children. For more information about Laura’s musical theatre program, please visit www.kismetkids.com
Mariah Grissom - Dance Instructor, Dance Spirit Coach
Mariah began her dance journey at a young age and is trained in jazz, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, hip hop, tap, musical theatre, pointe and has performed and competed all throughout high school. Mariah has been teaching since age 14, focusing on educating dancers on the purpose of technique and self-expression. In addition to teaching, Mariah is also a coach for our competitive dance team, Dance Spirit. Her choreography has been awarded several Judge's Choice, high point placements, and choreography awards over the years. Mariah began choreographing for Kismet Kids Musical Theatre in 2014, as well as annual holiday productions and musical theatre programs at local elementary schools. Mariah's goal is to help people of all ages express their passion for dance and movement while using the art as a creative and progressive outlet! Mariah is thrilled to be a part of the Gotta Dance Studio family!
Grace Leavitt - Dance Instructor
Grace has been dancing since she was 3 and has been with Gotta Dance since she was 5 - training in all styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, pointe, lyrical, and contemporary up into high school. Upon graduating, she continued her love of dance through training at facilities such as Edge PAC and Evolution. She worked with and trained under big names such as Tina Landon, Alvin Ailey reps, and many more. She is currently a senior in college working to graduate with degrees in both Health Science and Performing Arts: dance with an emphasis in contemporary, jazz, and modern training. She currently also teaches dance to college students at her university. With all this, she uses her love for dance and performance etiquette and proper knowledge of a healthy body to keep dancers strong and moving forward. She is a strong believer that correct body mechanics and connectivity is the key to a successful dancer; she strives to transfer all her knowledge on to her students to help them develop healthy habits. She is a competent choreographer and teacher, able to translate her creative movement ideas and concepts to others simply. She prides herself on creating a safe space and environment needed for growth in dance in her classes. She teaches her students to be fearless in their dancing and their passions and is excited to be back teaching in the Gotta Dance family!
Marina Martinez - Dance Instructor, Pure Energy Choreographer
Marina started her training at age 5 in a ballet and folklórico class at Sylmar park where she noticed her love for dance. She then joined the Gotta Dance family at age 6 where she trained in various styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary/lyrical, and pointe. She has also been a part of the Dance Spirit Competition Team and Pure Energy Performance Team which she now coaches alongside her former teammate. She hopes to continue sharing her passion and to soon bring more diversity into her dancers as she continues with her most recent training in Latin Ballroom.
Nicole Turner - Dance Instructor, Dance Spirit Coach
Nicole began her training at Gotta Dance Studio at the age of three. Growing up she trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Modern, and attended numerous competitions and conventions throughout the years. At age 16 she decided to continue her training at some of the top studios in Los Angeles, such as Movement Lifestyle, Edge PAC, and Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Since then, Nicole has strived to be a triple threat in the dance, acting, and modeling industries. She has been in commercials for companies such as Apple, danced in a variety of music videos, and appeared on Disney channel.
Although she continues to grow her professional career, she has found a passion for choreography. She has choreographed over 20 musical theatre productions for Kismet Kids since the age of 17, and began teaching and coaching for Dance Spirit at Gotta Dance 4 years ago. She is a firm believer that proper technique and body awareness are key to succeed as a dancer and pushes herself to become a better teacher every day. Her main goal is to give her students a positive outlet to express themselves through movement and to make a difference in their lives. She truly loves her profession and is excited to be working at Gotta Dance!
Taylor Nunemaker - Dance Instructor, Dance Spirit Coach
Originally from Ohio, Taylor moved to Los Angeles and began her dance career in 2012 training extensively in tap, contemporary, jazz funk, and hip hop! Taylor is now an accomplished dancer, choreographer and teacher who enjoys performing, choreographing, dancing in live shows and music videos under representation by Movement Talent Agency. She is also a professional tap dancer currently a part of tap companies Rithem Dance Company (Ryan Lohoff) and Tap Sounds Underground (Gregg Russell). Taylor's passion for this industry has led her to judge competitions internationally, dance and work for multiple national conventions, teach across the U.S, and currently work at Hollywood Connection Dance Convention. Taylor is so excited to share her passion of tap and dance with you!
Udee McGeoy - Dance Instructor
Udee has been a professional dancer & choreographer in the entertainment industry for over 10 years in Los Angeles. Udee trained in jazz, ballet and modern while living in San Diego but ultimately found her love in hip hop. Udee’s love for dance and music runs deep and she believes that both music and dance are therapeutic for your mind, body, and soul. Udee has built up her resume working in all facets of the industry. You can see her as sexy bar-tending dance double and assistant choreographer in Walt Disney’s Coyote Ugly and a cheerleader with Lil’ Bow Wow in Like Mike. She has had numerous television appearances on several episodes of The Tonight Show, the ESPY, Video Game, American Music Awards, and The Jimmy Kimmel Show, amongst others. Udee is not only a veteran in film and television but has also danced on stage with artists like Snoop Dogg, Monica, Limp Bizkit, Bon Jovi, and Mya. She has been in music videos with the legendary artist Stevie Wonder, the much missed Notorious B.I.G., Marcus Houston, Christina Aguilera, and J.C. Chasez.
AU Choreography is the name of her choreography company along with her partner of many talents, Amy Allen from St. Louis. They have choreographed commercials for Mejii Coffee and Gap kids, videos for Paulina Rubio and Dear Jane and are contributing choreographers for Neyo, Ciara, Amerie, and Usher. They are also developing hot new artist Miss Issa in contributed freestyle segments in the animated film Chicken Little. Udee says that different styles of dance all have a very different feeling, culture, lifestyle, circumstance, or emotion that inspired them. She has been all over the world teaching and performing and loves to teach those who want to learn and give forth maximum effort. She doesn’t require you get it right but just that you try.
Yvette Tarrio - Dance Instructor, Pure Energy Coach
Yvette was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She grew up singing, dancing, acting and tumbling since the age of 7. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Theatre from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Yvette began her teaching career in 2010 teaching in all dance styles, specializing in tumbling and hip-hop. She is best known for touring with Grammy award-winning singer Miguelito, dancing professionally for Norwegian Cruise Line, dancing for Cristina Quinones and opening for recording artist Tyga at the BET Pre-Party Show. Yvette's most recent acting job was with Telemundo in the telenovela Terapia De Amor. She has performed at the House of Blues, Universal City Walk and the Staples Center. Her experiences in the industry only make her more motivated to share all of her knowledge and experience with the new upcoming generation of performers! She plans to teach her students as many tools as she can to help shape them into their best selves here at Gotta Dance!
Vanessa Yniguez - Dance Instructor
A Southern California Native, Vanessa Yniguez began her dance training at the age of 4. She has been classically trained in ballet under the direction of Janaina Faustino-Watkins and in other genres of dance such as modern, lyrical, jazz, contemporary, ballroom, and hula. She has danced in the corps de ballet with the Philippines' prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and the Ballet Manila Company at the age of 16. Vanessa attended Mt. San Antonio College and was a very important member of the Repertory Dance Company under the direction of Amy Nakamura and Lee Martino. She has worked closely with former Dance Theater of Harlem member, Anjali Austin and choreographers Amy Siewert, Gabriel Williams, Antonio Brown, Daryl Williams, Alex Ketley, and John Pennington. Vanessa also performed in excerpts of “Dido and Aeneas” by Teri Weksler, who is a founding member of the Mark Morris Dance Group in addition to performing the “Dying Swan” as a soloist in Ballet Manila. Aside from performing, Vanessa also enjoys teaching. She has choreographed for numerous studio performances and has been teaching for over 4 years. She is currently finishing up her Bachelor’s degree at California State University, Northridge with a major in Child & Adolescent Development and a minor in dance. She will be graduating in December 2018. Vanessa is a passionate dancer and teacher, hoping to instill in her students the same ardor she possesses for the amazing art that is dance.