Cuizon Ballet Centre has been serving the Conejo Valley for over 17 years. We are a pre-professional Balanchine technique school dedicated to giving our students the finest dance training. We offer classes for ages 6 years and up.
Ongoing enrollment for our Fall Schedule begins September 4th, 2018
Lisa is an alumnus of Rozann-Zimmerman Ballet Center and received her first scholarship to the School of American Ballet at age 15. She continued her training under Melissa Hayden, former prima ballerina of New York City Ballet. At Pennsylvania Ballet, she trained in the apprentice program under Lupe Serrano, ballerina with American Ballet Theatre. She danced professionally for 10 years with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Arizona Ballet, Puerto Rican Dance Theatre of New York City, Cleveland Ballet and Los Angeles Chamber Ballet. A student in the Balanchine tradition, she believes it is the preferred style of the 21st Century. It is the technique taught at Cuizon Ballet Centre.
Lisa has been teaching for 34 years and opened her own studio in 2001. It was her dream to offer training at a professional level since she had seen her own dream of being a dancer come true. She wanted to make that a reality for other students who’s dream it was to pursue a career as a dancer. She chooses her staff carefully, making sure that each teacher has had a career of their own and therefore, knows what it truly takes to choose the life of a dancer.
Romy Karz was born in Northridge, California and began her dance training at Rozann-Zimmerman Ballet Center in Chatsworth, California. She became a student on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet at the age of 15. In the summer of 1986, Romy was chosen by Peter Martins to participate in an exchange program with Royal Danish Ballet. She became an apprentice to the New York City Ballet in November of 1986 and a full member of the company in March of 1987, where she danced until July of 1995.
Romy has toured extensively with the New York City Ballet in the United States as well as Europe and Japan. She appeared in the “Dance in America” broadcast of Balanchine’s Serenade and Western Symphony, “An Evening with Balanchine” and the movie “The Nutcracker.”
Romy has over 28 years teaching experience throughout New York and California.
Romy’s warmth and creative ballet combinations are greatly enjoyed by our students. We are pleased to have her as an integral part of Cuizon Ballet Centre.
Hai was born in Beer-Sheva Israel and trained at Bat Dor dance school where he was awarded the American-Israel Cultural Scholarship. Hai completed his training as an apprentice with Bat-Sheva Dance Company.
For five years Hai toured internationally as a soloist with Aylot Anegov Israeli Folk Dance Company. He was a member of Kamea Contemporary Dance Company and joined Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, under the direction of Rami Be-er in 2007. Hai has toured internationally with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company and currently teaches Kibbutz repertory throughout the world.
Hai danced with the Los Angeles based Contemporary company BODYTRAFFIC from 2010 – 2013.
Hai’s strong understanding of Modern/Contemporary technique and innovative choreography are inspiring to our students, and a great addition to Cuizon Ballet Centre.
Amanda was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Receiving the first Terry Sanford Scholarship she attended the North Carolina School of the Arts/UNCSA. In NYC she studied at Melissa Hayden’s studio on scholarship and other ballet and modern studios. Her professional career began with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet, the Deutschen Oper Berlin and collaborated with independent art events in NYC and Berlin. In 1984 William Forsythe invited her to Ballett Frankfurt. In 1986 she became resident choreographer for Frankfurt Ballet and began free-lancing with renowned ballet and contemporary dance companies.
In 1992 Amanda Miller founded Pretty Ugly Dance Company. PUDC was a unique inter-disciplinary performing ensemble. 1996-2004 PUDC collaborated with the city and civic opera house of Freiburg, Germany creating PrettyUgly/BallettFreiburg. In 2000 Yummy Dance in Matsuyama, Japan, a sister city of Freiburg was formed. 2005-2009 pretty ugly/ tanz köln was founded. PUTK launched the aid organisation Art for Tibet, which supported Tibetan exiles in India.
Amanda Miller has won numerous awards. In 1993, Wexner Center Prize and created the production “Night by Itself”. In 1994, the Rencontres Choreographies International de Bagnolet prize. PUDC performed at the 1997 Whitney Biennial and 2002 Venice Biennial. The contemporary ballet ‘Four for Nothing’ received the The Golden Swan Dutch accolade for choreography. The “Kunst der Fugue” was a 10-year video installation for the opening of the Johannes Bach Museum in Eisenach, Germany.
2009, she returned to North Carolina. As instructor, choreographer, performer or visiting professor she has been on the faculty for ADF, Dominican University, Duke, Palucca Hochshule, Germany, Hollins University, UNC, USC, UNCG, MTSU, Samford University, Spelman College, Mills College. In 2012 was nominated for the NC Fellowship Award. Choreographed new works for Alonzo King’s Lines BFA program and Lines Training Program. Choreographed for the Netherlands Dance Theatre, Ballett am Rhein /Dusseldorf and the Core Performance Company, Atlanta GA and Houston, Texas.
In May 2012, she re-located to Birmingham, Alabama. Within the Birmingham community she has guided classes at CDF, ARTPLAY/ASC, YMCA, Arova Contemporary Ballet and Alabama Dance Festival. Volunteering with therapist and various Birmingham out-reach art programs providing movement workshops.
She continues to create, instruct, perform, choreograph, collaborate, give inter-disciplinarian improvisational workshops and expressive art projects that support dis-advantaged children and young adults.
In 2017, she completed and received her MFA in performance arts and dance at Hollins University. She now resides in the Los Angeles area.
We are happy to have Amanda teaching our students. Her wealth of knowledge, experience, and in-depth teaching style are a vital part of the training we offer at Cuizon Ballet Centre.
Pas de deux
Ikolo was introduced to ballet in 1983 through San Francisco Ballet School’s Dance in Schools Program, and after ten years of training was the first outreach student to join the San Francisco Ballet company. He won the Princess Grace Award for Dance in 1993, and went on to dance professionally for over 20 years as a Principal Dancer with, Dance Theatre of Harlem in NYC, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Smuin Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and The San Francisco Opera .
Ikolo now brings his passion, classical training and world class experience to students in a fun and energetic way. For the last three years (2015-2018) he has been teaching full time in Los Angeles, SF Bay Area, Central California and Portland. Teaching Ballet Technique, Pointe, Men’s Technique, Pas de deux, and Adult ballet. Ikolo attended the World Class teachers training program at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) in Central Pennsylvania in 2014.
We are excited to have Ikolo teaching with us at Cuizon Ballet Centre.
Zippora is a former soloist ballerina with the New York City Ballet where she performed for 16 years on stage and in televised performances. She was featured in a variety of roles choreographed by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins as well as works choreographed for her by such choreographers as Peter Martins and Lynne Taylor Corbett. Miss Karz danced with the New York City Ballet from 1983 through 1999. She now serves as a teacher and repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, rehearsing and staging Balanchine’s choreography for a host of national and international dance companies. She is also a diabetes spokesperson and educator who regularly addresses major diabetes conferences and organizations worldwide.
Zippora’s memoir “The Sugarless Plum,” published by Harlequin, has inspired people all over the world to live happy and healthy lives. “The Sugarless Plum” is now translated in Slovenian.
Zippora also authored a children’s book, “Ballerina Dreams.” The story teaches children, with and without Diabetes, that they should not give up on their dreams no matter what challenges they face.
She is currently guest faculty at the Colburn Dance Academy in Los, Angeles, Cal., as well as, an artist in residence at the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance.
Zippora hopes to continue to inspire people to live healthy active lives through her work as an author, teacher, and motivational speaker. We are pleased to have Zippora teaching our students at Cuizon Ballet Centre.
When I walked into Cuizon Ballet Centre, my life was forever changed. I had my first private with Lisa and I remember walking out thinking that I had never learned so much in just a short hour. From that point on, Lisa has invested her energy, her love, and her time into my life and my dance career, and I could not be more grateful to have a mentor like her.
Lisa has not only guided me as a dance teacher, but she has taught me so many life lessons that I will forever cherish. Lisa completely altered my view of dance. She made me realize what a special art form dance is and how it matters what you as an artist are bringing to the table, not just as a dancer.
I owe so much of who I am to her: the way I work, the way I dance, and the way I love this art form so much. Cuizon Ballet Centre is a special place and Lisa will always remain very close to my heart.
Peridance Contemporary Dance Company
I first started with Cuizon Ballet Centre when I was 11 years old. Before then, I wasn’t fond of ballet, in fact, it was my least favorite form of dance. One summer day, I attended Lisa’s Summer Intensive. At first, I was shocked. I hadn’t seen so much structure in a ballet classroom before. Every girl there was hard working and talented. After the first day, I craved more. I was always eager to get into the studio. I could tell that I would be able to improve there quickly, and all the girls were very friendly and inviting. A few days later, I walked up to Lisa and said “yes.” And she asked what I meant and I said “yes, I want to be a ballet dancer.” And she told me it would take a lot of hard work, but that I could do it. Ever since then, I have been pursuing my dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer.
I was homeschooled, and attended almost every class that Cuizon had to offer. One week after my 12th birthday, I was ready to go en pointe. Lisa worked very carefully and specifically to my body. If I had gone somewhere else, I would not have gotten that kind of attention. Lisa gives everyone corrections that are specific to what they need, and one can not find that anywhere else. I learned the disciplines of Balanchine technique. It involves fast footwork, attention to detail, and expressive port de bras.
Through Cuizon, I was able to attend prestigious ballet summer intensives, such as Pacific Northwest Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, and Ballet Austin. Every step of the way at Cuizon is fulfilling and rewarding. Though these summer intensives are beneficial, and I learned a lot from them, Cuizon Ballet Centre’s Summer Intensive is where a dancer can improve the most. For boys and girls who want to be professional dancers, this is the place for you. There are many dancers who grew through Cuizon. I am now studying at Colorado Ballet with their Pre-Professional Division. I am doing very well in Colorado, getting very close to becoming a professional and getting offered many performing opportunities. I would not be where I am if I hadn’t become a part of Cuizon.
I had studied at Cuizon for 7 years. I am so grateful for all the support and love all the teachers had to offer. Lisa and I have become very close, and I am so glad to have her in my life, to help guide me through my professional career as a ballet dancer. She is full of wisdom and experience, and is always willing to share it.
Cuizon Ballet Centre is one of the best ballet studios in Southern California. The unique class format (start with Pilates, then moving into the class) is efficient and prevents injury. I highly recommend Cuizon Ballet Centre to anyone looking to improve quickly and achieve their dream of becoming a dancer.
Colorado Ballet Pre-Professional Division
When I first started with Lisa I did it to become a better ballroom dancer. My coach said that in order to keep up with the competition I needed strong ballet training. I found Cuizon Ballet Centre and Lisa. I had no idea how dedicating my time to her capable hands would change the shape of my future.
I continued to compete in ballroom as I took classes with Lisa, and I placed very well. I found that my love for dance shifted and became focused under her direction. I experienced great improvement in a short time. I went from relatively nothing to something because of her. I already loved to dance, but I began to breathe it. This led to my confident decision to move to Manhattan and study ballet as a 6’2″ pre-professional dancer. I moved June 2017 and was accepted to a pre-professional program as well as obtained an invitation to study with Lisa’s mentor Wilhelm Burmann a Balanchine master. I couldn’t have come this far without Cuizon Ballet, Lisa and my family. I’m looking forward to many good things to come and sincerely recommend Cuizon Ballet for all levels of dancers.
Lisa shares life lessons that span past the dancing. I use the things she taught me every day and I feel very grateful to Lisa for her direction, dedication, and determination to see me succeed.
I am forever grateful for my training at Cuizon Ballet Centre. I trained with Lisa for over 10 years, from when I was 6 years old until I graduated high school and went to college. Ballet is still an enormous part of my identity, and to this day, whenever and wherever I take a ballet class, the precision and clarity of my footwork, and my ability to move FAST, allow me to stand out. My excellent Balanchine training is clear. My exceptional training afforded me the opportunity, in high school, to attend summer programs at some of the most prestigious ballet companies in the country. I will remember forever those amazing, challenging, rewarding, formative experiences! Aside from a lifelong love of dance and excellent technique, I bring the discipline, poise, confidence, resilience, and grace that I learned in the studio into every situation I encounter. I hope that many more students in years to come will be as fortunate as I have been to enjoy the lifelong artistic, personal, and professional rewards of training at Cuizon Ballet Centre.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering
Chaudhuri Lab for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology
Cuizon Ballet Centre represents a sanctuary for me to push myself mentally and physically. My understanding of my body and the complexity of its movement improves exponentially every time I take class with Lisa Cuizon.
More importantly, Cuizon Ballet Centre is where I learned the value of work ethic and self motivation. It is where I learned to work both efficiently and effectively. Lisa has taught me that with persistence of the spirit and an openness and willingness to commit myself to my craft, I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I have learned to be patient and persistent.
There has not been one day at Cuizon Ballet Centre where my teachers did not push me to feel something different or new in my body. Hard work does pay off, and Cuizon Ballet Centre is one of the few unique places I have experienced where the instructor at the front of the room never gave up on me. The unwavering faith Lisa, Romy, and Zippora have in me has inspired self confidence and faith in my own abilities. I apply the lessons given to me by Cuizon Ballet Centre both in dance and in other areas of study.
There is no better place to learn the power of the mind and the potential it holds than at this unique studio. Cuizon Ballet Centre does not just foster smart dancers, it fosters persistent spirits who will stop at nothing to accomplish their dreams.
The effect of studying ballet at Cuizon Ballet Centre is hard to put into words, but I’ll give it a shot. In short, studying with you made me who I am today. Ballet was a foundational experience, but so was having you as a teacher and mentor and third parent. It wasn’t just that it gave me the discipline, structure, and work ethic that I needed then and that I still use today, but it gave me skills that have helped me in every domain of life, even long after leaving the studio.
Professor of Psychology
University of Pittsburgh
Thank you Lisa.
As I grow older, I continue to gain a deeper understanding of what Cuizon Ballet Centre has done for me.
I have known for almost my whole life that dance was important to me, but having a place of high standards to study the art and discipline of dance so close to where I grew up was truly fortuitous. I am lucky to have the physical, emotional, and intellectual intelligence that comes with rigorous dance training. Not only can I walk into almost any dance class and stand on my own, but I can also face life’s other challenges with the same confidence and skills. I have searched, but I can’t find anything else that fulfills me quite like a good dance class.
Cuizon Ballet Centre was a place where I forgot the stresses of being a teenager (and remembered the stress of POINTING MY FEET!) That was a very happy time in my life. Every day I got to work hard doing what I love, and I went home dripping in sweat and contentment.
I also had experiences teaching and choreographing at Cuizon Ballet Centre, and I made some great friends, not the least, was you, Lisa. You have been a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend to me. You have done a super job providing high quality classes, teachers, and experiences for your students. Scott, and I’m sure your whole family, have also done a great job supporting you and making Cuizon Ballet Centre what it is today, an unbelievable resource for many young people to enrich their lives like I have. Every community should have a Cuizon Ballet Centre.
I am so proud to have been there at the beginning to help set up the studio. I still remember walking in there for the first time and seeing the sun piercing through the blinds on those large windows.
It wasn’t only because I was tired or sore or a very responsible stretcher, but I was usually the last one to leave after class because Cuizon Ballet Centre felt like home. I get a bit of the same feeling anytime I enter a dance studio. I had a home away from home growing up, and it will follow me for the rest of my life.
Dancer, Choreographer, Physical Therapist
See more on our Testimonials page.