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About Us

Artistic Creativity, Movement & Passion

Established in 1995, Dance Creations has been the dance home to so many families in Simi Valley and it's surrounding communities.  Offering recreational and professional dance training in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Tap, Hip  Hop, Acrobatics and Tumbling.  

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Our Space

We opened our location on Easy Street in 2010 giving our dance family over 7,000 square feet of studio space!

 3 Studio Floors equipped with state of the art marley sprung floors,

sound equipment, barres and mirrors

~ Ailey 1 and Ailey 2 (2400 sq. ft.)

~ Misha (1230 sq. ft.)

~Kelly (850 sq. ft)

Large Lobby which allows viewing into all 3 studios and a Student Lounge

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Our Directors:

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Chris McCarty loves to teach young children to dance and experience freedom and joy in movement.  Since her earliest days, she has studied dance and music and has been actively involved in musical productions throughout her entire career.  on any given day, you can find her tapping her feet to the classic tunes of yesteryear or playing cello  for local ensembles and venues.  She is a credentialed teacher and serves on the board of the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Foundation.  The studio is her greatest source of inspiration; she loves her partnership with Joanna, applauds the artistry and teamwork of creative teachers, admires the hardworking students and loyal dance families that flourish at Dance Creations.

Joanna Santor established Dance Creations in 1995 after sucessfully teaching and running ballet programs for studios in the southland.  A native of the Philippines, dance has been a part of Joanna's life since the age of 3.  She began her studies in the Philippines and continued in the United States with various professionals in the Los Angeles area.  Joanna holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from California State University at Northridge in Liberal studies.  She is a proud mother of three and has lived in the Simi Valley community since 1980.  Teaching is her passion and Dance Creations was established to allow her to pass on her love of the art to aspiring dancers. 

Our Teachers:

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Kristin Benjamin

Kristin Benjamin has more than 30 years teaching experience throughout the Los Angeles area and as director of the Lawrence School of Ballet in Lawrence, KS.  Her students have gone on to dance on Broadway and with ballet and modern dance companies across the United States.  Kristin is founder and former artistic director of the Kaw Valley Dance Theater Lawrence, KS, where she choreographed and produced The Nutcracker Ballet.  Her company received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and her work has been showcased for diverse programs as the American Music Symposium, MTV, Musing in Museums, Nebraska Educational TV and liturgical dance.  She is the first American invited to the British Arts Festival in London to present her choreography, set on advance students from Simi Valley's Dance Unlimited.  She has conducted dance workshops for dancers of all ages, coached athletes. body builders, singers and actors.   She has also worked with students with physical disabilities, blind dancers and deaf dancers.  

Kristin trained with Tomi Wortham (NYCB), Elizabeth Sherbon (Martha Graham Company), Tatiana Dokoudovska (Ballet Russe) and the renowned Finis Jhung.   She earned her degree from The University of Kansas, and is a certified Pilates instructor.

Born in Lima, Peru and California bound at the age of 6, Guynemer’s love for the performing arts started at a young age. Now teaching in the styles of hip hop and jazz funk Guynemer has appeared in national commercials for Target and has been featured in music videos for artists such as Selena Gomez, Katy Perry and Natasha Bedingfield. He has choreographed and worked with numerous studios, high schools and dance teams all over the west coast. His enthusiasm to create fun-filled dances has taken home top prizes and entertainment awards at various competitions throughout Southern California. He is signed to one of LA’s top dance agencies and also holds a Masters Degree in Psychology . 

Guynemer Caceres
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Hannah Curry

Hannah has been dancing since the age of 3, training in Ballet, Tap and Hip Hop.  Hannah grew up dancing at Dance Creations for 15 years and competed with our award-winning team for 8 years.  During her years of training and competing, Hannah was able to assist numerous choreographers, which lead her to find a love of teaching dance, specifically in the genres of Hip Hop and Tap.  Hannah spent 4 years on the Simi Valley Hight School Dance Team and is grateful to have been given the opportunity to choreograph for her high school team.  She has recently done work with the advertising team for Gabby's Dollhouse and hopes to continue expanding her experience in similar avenues.  She is currently attending California State University at Northridge, pursuing a degree in education.  Hannah is proud to be part of Dance Creations dance faculty and competition teams; bringing home Regional and National awards for her coaching and choreography.

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Patrick Frantz

Patrick Frantz was born and raised in Paris, France.  He began his training at the Paris Opera ballet School while simultaneously pursuing serious musical studies. At the age of 22 he became Premier Danseur with the Paris Opera Ballet, then shortly after, Pedagogue and Choreographer with the company - all the while continuing his second vocation as a concert pianist.

Later, Mr. Frantz moved to the United States where he became Principal Dancer and Resident Choreographer with the Pennsylvania Ballet and continued his career as choreographer and teacher.  In 1975 he was named Artistic Director of Ballet Tucson and founded its company-affiliated school.  Three years later, he was named Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre where he also founded the Pittsburgh Ballet School. 

Mr. Frantz critically acclaimed ballets have been performed internationally by companies including Pennsylvania Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Ballet Tucson, and the Ballet de l'Opéra National du Rhin.  He has worked with the greatest names of the dance world including George Balanchine, Mikhael Baryshnikov, Maurice Bejart, Yvette Chauvire, Kenneth MacMillan and Jerome Robbins.

Mr. Frantz was Artistic Director and Choreographer of La Danserie, a contemporary Ballet company in Los Angeles and faculty member of Idyllwild Arts Academy.  He also is a guest teacher at: The Colburn Schools, Trudi Zipper Dance Institute, Ecole Supérieure De Ballet Contemporain, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Point Park University, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and the University of Utah.  Mr. Frantz also guest teaches regularly in Montpellier, France, and has been invited to teach and choreograph for the Paris Conservatoire and the Dansheus in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Michelle has taught ballet for Dance Creations since 1995, helping students grow as dancers and self-confident individuals.  Classically trained in ballet since the age of five, Michelle received scholarships from American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet Company.  She also holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and manages the Cardiac Fitness Center, Echocardiography and Electrocardiography departments at Glendale Memorial Hospital.  Fusing together her extensive background in classical dance training and exercise physiology, Michelle delights in teaching the art of dance while educating students on the importance of proper technique for injury prevention.  Michelle's energetic and passionate classes illustrate her personal philosophy; "Dance is not something you do when you are young, but something you will enjoy for the rest of your life."

Michelle Galanti
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Sam began dancing at the age of 6 and has been trained in the art of ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical and tap.  She has competed and received Platinum Awards in numerous dance competitions in Southern California.  She was named Miss Dance of Southern California in 2001, which led her to Dance Masters of America competition in New York, where she was able to learn various technique and styles from top teachers and choreographers.  An alumni of Dance Creations, she has been able to assist many dance instructors throughout the Southland at the The Edge, Tremaines and Millenium Dance Complex.  She holds a degree in Marketing from California State University at Northridge and has been a part of Dance Creations' faculty since 2006 and is an award winning choreographer for our competition teams.

Samantha Herrero-Bonesteel
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Alex Porter

Alexander started dancing at Dance Creations when he was 10 years old after moving with his family to Simi Valley. As a youth dancer he trained and competed in regional and national dance conventions and competitions all over Southern California and the country. Alex also trained at professional studios such

Millennium Dance Complex, the former studios of Debbie Reynolds, The Edge Performing Arts Studio and the Sweat Spot. As a young adult he received a bachelors degree in Psychology with an emphasis on youth and child development from San Diego State University, while continuing to dance and work

professionally in the Los Angeles area. Alex has performed on stage and television commercials for clothing companies and brand representation such as Nike, American Apparel and Bonobos and can be seen on the Amazon series Transparent. As well as teaching dance at the studio, Alex teaches dance to elementary school students in two of our neighboring school districts and works with his high school Alma mater Royal High as the Dance Team Coach. Alex uses his love of movement and passion for helping students of all ages to cultivate a welcoming place to come and explore dance.

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Ashley started dancing at Dance Creations when she was 3 years old. She has been trained in Classical Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and Tap.  After graduating high school, Ashley went on to receive her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in Child Development from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  During her time there, Ashley danced in Cal Poly's dance company, Orchesis, for 3 years.  After receiving her BS, Ashley earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSUN.   Ashley has experience teaching 1st grade and TK for Simi Valley Unified School District.  She loves teaching young children in the school setting and is ready to expand her passion and teach young children dance at the very studio where she fell in love with dancing.

Ashley Sepe

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Pavel Tabultov

Pavel Tabutov, born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria in August 21st 1987 is the second son of his mother Liliya Kostadinova, a spiritual healer, leader, and a TV host of the Bulgarian TV Show in Chicago called First Aid and his father Volodia Tabutov, a truck driver. Pavel migrated to the United States at the age of 15 with his family and settled down in Chicago, IL. He began to work as a Theatre Actor, best known for his work in the play Right As Rain as Chance and his lead role in World On Fire as Tolbert Slade. Later, Pavel was cast as Ben Donaldson in the TV Show Living With You. He was also a part of the TV Show The Playboy Club on NBC. Other works include Narcissus and Echo as Narcissus, The House Theatre, Stage 773, Gotham City. He is residing in Los Angeles California where he is working as an Actor and a Writer. Aside from his work as an Actor, Pavel holds an extensive training in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop. Trained with Peff Modelski from Steps on Broadway, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center, and with Nick Pupillo, owner of Visceral Dance Center.

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Marielle Thomas

Marielle is an experienced, passionate dance-artist. She started training at the young age of 3 under Liza O. Mata of St. Anne's Ballet in the Philippines, who is now the dance director of Coastal Dance Centre in South Carolina.  Marielle is trained in Jazz, Hawaiian Hula, Classical Ballet and Modern, where she recieved remarks of Highly Commended and Distinction from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD London). She entered the University of the Philippines in 2000 as a Dance Major where she continued her training in Classical Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and expanded her dance repertoire, training in styles such as Pangalay, Classical Indian Bharatanatyan, Flamenco and other forms of Ethnic Dance.  She has performed and taught all over the Philippines and Asia and participated in the Tari Dance Festival in Malaysia.  Upon graduating from the University of the Philippines, Marielle became a member of the Philippine Ballet Theatre training under Anatoly Panasyukov (Ballet Master), dancing roles in both Classical and Modern Ballets.  She later joined Airdance Company where she became a more versatile dancer adding Hip Hop and Aerial to her skills.  She also traveled the world as a dancer for Royal Caribbean International.  She moved to the Ventura County area in 2012 and has enjoyed sharing her talents with many dancers of all ages at various studios and high school dance programs.

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Charlene has been told that her love of dance started in the womb, but her official training started at the age of 4.  She has since had the pleasure of teaching, mentoring and training students since 1999.  Her love of teaching led her to complete her BA in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Teaching and Learning and Child Development.  For over 20 years she has seen many successful routines take the stage but as of yet, her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her daughter Charlie.  She is grateful to have the opportunity to share her love and passion for dance with the students of Dance Creations.

Charlene Valle
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Austin toured internationally with the pop singer Kesha for 6 years as a back-up dancer and has done numerous television appearances and performed in front of thousands. Austin has worked for leading choreographers, including Ryan Heffington and Fatima Robinson. He has also had the pleasure of being a part of film projects directed by Hype Williams and Alma Har'el.

Some of his more recent credits include music videos for Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk, Sigur Rós, and Arcade Fire, as well as being featured in the second season of the hit show Transparent. Throughout the years, dance has gracefully lead Austin onto the path of yoga and the healing arts.

Dr. Austin specializes in Acupuncture and Traditional Chines Medicine, offering a form of holistic medicine that he has be cultivating over the past several years. He was fortunate to attend Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, one of the leading schools of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where he completed a rigorous dual degree program and earned both his Master's and Doctorate degrees in TCM.

Austin Westbay

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Megan’s love for dance blossomed during her time as a student at Dance Creations from 2013 to 2018. Her years of gymnastics and acro experience since the age of 5 provided a unique foundation and influence in her dancing. Megan has had the pleasure of performing ballet roles such as Arabian, Snow Queen, Dew Drop, Emerald, and Cinderella, as well as being a part of many prop, modern, jazz, and contemporary performances. Megan is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She previously trained at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as a Dance Major in Balanchine and Graham technique under former NYCB principals Monique Meunier and Nilas Martins, as well as Christina McCarthy and Valerie Hutson. Her love for teaching grew alongside her passion for dance as she began assisting classes in 2016. Since 2019, Megan has taught ballet, modern, jazz, creative movement, contemporary, and acro technique for various studios in the Santa Barbara and Bay Area.Though she is no longer pursuing a professional dance career, she can’t imaginelife without dance. She finds joy in sharing her love for dance through teaching and looks forward to new opportunities to choreograph and teach whenever she can.

Megan Wu

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