Lisa Cuizon began her training at age 8 at Rozann/ Zimmerman Ballet Center in Chatsworth, CA; a noteworthy studio as it was directly affiliated with Balanchine’s School of American Ballet. With that affiliation, Sheila Rozann had access to the ballerinas and male danseurs of New York City Ballet who would come as guest teachers to impart their knowledge. In addition, Sheila Rozann and her partner, Eleanor Zimmerman, who taught the younger division, would attend a yearly seminar taught by Balanchine himself on what he was streamlining from his Russian Imperial Ballet training. So, at age 12, Lisa received a Ford Foundation scholarship for her local training and by age 15 she was awarded a full scholarship to attend The School of American Ballet by prima ballerina, Violette Verdy. At The School of American Ballet she would be trained by noted Russian ballerinas, Madame Danilova and Madame Doubrovska as well as Russian-trained Madame Tumkovsky and Madame Kosmovska. In addition, she was fortunate to also have Muriel Stuart of Royal Ballet and Stanley Williams of Royal Danish Ballet and his Bournonville training. Her world of dance was opened up and she knew then this was the life she wanted to pursue!
At 17, she would be taken under Melissa Hayden’s tutelage, prima ballerina assoluta of NYCB who had just retired after 30 years. She would remain under her watchful eye and then would join her at Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1976 as a soloist. Following this, she continued her 10 year professional career dancing with Pennsylvania Ballet, Arizona Ballet, Puerto Rican Dance Theatre, Cleveland Ballet and then returning to her native Los Angeles to dance with Los Angeles Chamber Ballet. She is also very proud of her training under her mentor and friend, Wilhelm Burmann who through their many years of friendship would always be there to guide her.
Lisa has been teaching for over 38 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 whose 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.
Lisa’s students have gone on to be professional dancers in both the ballet world and contemporary world. They have also been accepted to the top ballet schools of this country, Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, Suzanne Farrell’s, Miami City Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Alonzo King’s Lines and Boston Ballet. In the contemporary world they have attended Hubbard Dance, Complexions and Alvin Ailey. Her students have been accepted to the top University programs which include, University of Oklahoma, University of Indiana, Butler University, Fordham University/ Ailey program, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Arizona, Point Park University, Duke University, SUNY Purchase College, Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute, and Chapman University.
Ashleigh Hunter Avery
Intro To Ballet
Ashleigh comes from a family of dance. She trained at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville in NC under her mother, Desiree LeFebvre, and later with the Corpus Christi Ballet. Ashleigh’s versatility has enabled her career to include concert and commercial dance both on stage and screen. Some of her credits include dancing with Carolyn Dorfman Dance in NYC, Good Morning America (LMFAO), The Late Show with David Letterman (Martha Wash/Paul Shaffer), Fuller House, and commercials for Spotify, VRBO, and Lexus. Ashleigh’s had the privilege of working with and performing works by choreographers such as JoAnn Hunter, Otis Sallid, Peter Chu, Kyle Hanagami, Doug Elkins, and Carolyn Dorfman. Dancing professionally has given her the opportunity to not only perform in NYC and LA, but across the US and Europe. Most recently, she can be seen dancing in Carlos López Estrada’s (Blindspotting, Raya and The Last Dragon) newly released film, Summertime, with choreography by Andrew Winghart. In addition to performing, Ashleigh also teaches, choreographs, and adjudicates throughout the country. She currently resides in Los Angeles and is represented by Independent Artist Entertainment.
Jonathan, an L.A. native, trained at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, and received his BFA in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, he had the honor of dancing with Beyonce in a surprise benefit concert in New York, thus jumpstarting his career in dance. Career highlights include: the National Tour of Movin’ Out (working with dance legend Twyla Tharp); both the Broadway and Touring companies of Wicked; and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, starring the Rockettes. He is currently a judge and teacher for GROOVE Dance Competion, where he’s able to use his training and experience to inspire dancers across the country. He can also be seen dancing alongside Rhapsody James in her instructional DVD Street Jazz with Rhapsody, as well as being “Rotten to the Core” with Sofia Carson for ¡Feliz 2016! You can currently see Jonathan in “Tale of the Lion King” at Disneyland.