Summer Intensive Instructors

Elyssa C. Arias - Owner/Artistic Director

Originally from The Bronx, New York, Elyssa was introduced to the art of dance at the age of four. She started her training at Fancy Feet Dance Studio in Bronx, NY and then excelled in the renowned Broadway Dance Center in the heart of Manhattan. Elyssa is trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary, street jazz, and latin dance. Her unique style and unmatched talent has given her the chance to dance with the top choreographers in the country including "So You Think You Dance" choreographers Wade Robson, Mia Michaels, Brian Friedman and Brian Green among others. She has performed in numerous spaces in the New York Metro area and most notably on the Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney World and Hershey Park. While traveling, Elyssa has also won numerous dance competitions and has been offered Scholarships at “Jump” conventions by famous choreographer Dan Karaty. Having moved to Virginia Beach, Elyssa has set her eyes to take over the dance scene in the 757 teaching all genres of dance for the past 10 years. She has choreographed for the Grande Illumination parades in Virginia Beach and Norfolk as well as giving free community dance lessons in our area. With her love of children and studies of so many genres of dance, Elyssa has helped in creating some of the most well-rounded dancers in Virginia Beach who have been selected to join Salem High School’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy as well as Old Donation Gifted Visual Arts and Dance. Now opening her very own dance studio in 2018 Elyssa has set a goal to build a Legacy and create Legends here in the Hampton Roads area.


Joppa Whitehead - Instructor

Raised in Portsmouth, Virginia. Miss Whitehead trained locally with Andrei Yemelianov at Academie De Ballet, where she competed in competitions receiving high gold, performing variations from Don Quiote and Markintanka. She has taken summer Intensives at Richmond Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Chacott Ballet in Yokohama Japan, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Complexions, few on full Scholarships. In 2009 she joined Virginia Ballet Theatre, where she performed in the Nutcracker, Graduation Ball, La Sylphide, and Paquita, as well as Wrist of Twilight and Sonata in C, both original pieces by Joni Petre Scholtz. The following year, she joined Todd Rosenlieb Dance, performing in numerous repertoire concerts, as well as world premier by both Todd Rosenlieb and Ricardo Melendez. Additional, Joppa has performed in the International Tattoo, Virginia Musical Theatre in Oklahoma, Lyric Opera Virginia in King and I, and Virginia Symphony Chorus to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Stravinsky in Les Noces. Also having the privilege to perform with Elbert Watson Dance Company, dancers from Ballet De San Juan, Louisville Ballet, and worked with guest choreographers Ryan Corriston in Escape Velocity, David Keener in Twighlight, all original Ballet and Modern pieces, and performed in John Leher, and Bill Evans piece, restaged by Todd Rosenlieb.


Sara Lector - Instructor

Sara is a San Diego, California Native. Born and raised, she graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication. Her dance credits include: San Diego Ballet conservatory, San Diego Dance Centre, TS Body Arts, Academy of Performing Arts, Culture Shock Dance Training Academy, back up dancer for local artists, MTV Productions: NSync’s Becoming, Mesa Dance company, 220 Hip hop team, UFX hip hop team, Mel7 performance team, NYR under the direction of the reknowned Erik Saradpon and Melissa Adao, and Disney. Sara has choreographed for numerous high schools up and down the California Coast and charitable organizations such as MADCAPS. She was also the founder of the University of San Diego High School Dance Team in 2002 which inevitably became the prestigious Cathedral Catholic High School Dance Team. having coached and directed both Varsity and JV for thirteen years. Sara was also the Executive Director of Outreach Through Dance, a charitable organization that worked closely with Make-A-Wish San Diego to produce dance shows to grant wishes for wish kids. Years later dance is still a driving force in her life and now since her daughter has shown so much interest she's happy to call herself a dance mom as well.


Aliayah Brunt - Instructor

Aliayah started dance at the age of two and instantly fell in love. She has trained in all styles of dance for many years. Through elementary and middle school, she was part of ODC’s gifted dance program and was later accepted into Salem high school dance academy where she studied throughout high school. In high school Aliayah competed at many local and national competitions in solos, duos, trios, and groups. At these competitions Aliayah received many scholarships and special awards, including two scholarships to Broadway Dance Center, Dancer of the year finalist three years in a row, and Senior miss leap 2017. In high school Aliayah lead Salem High School’s academy dance company as part of the board of directors, and student taught and taught classes of all ages. Aliayah is currently a student in a nationally ranked program at the George Mason School of dance where she studies modern and ballet. Aliayah believes in hard work and dedication and hopes to inspire the next generation of dancers to be the best they can be.


Sherri Hughes - Instructor

Sherri is a native Virginian who grew up in the city of Chesapeake, where she first started her formal dance training at the age of 8 years old at Mary ANN Woods school of Dance under Teresa Joy Mae and Mary Ann Wood. Her studies included Ballet, Tap and Jazz for 10 years. She continued her performance and studies with the Great Bridge High School Performing Art Dance Company where she was directed under Karen Comaford-Star for 2 years, which add to her repertoire modern (Martha Graham Style) and German Folk Dancing. One of the most exciting moment on stage in Sherri’s performance career was as a woodland fairy, in The Mary Wives of Windsor Shakespeare festival at William and Mary College. She has also performed at Chesapeake Public Schools and the JMU German Festival. As a young adult, Sherri took her love and passion for dance and transformed from student to teacher, where she taught at multiple Parks and Rec centers in Chesapeake. She has had over 20 years of teaching experience at numerous studios in the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach area. Sherri has instructed aspiring dancers as young as 2 years old in creative movement, to an adult fusion workout and ballet class. She was also a director/instructor of a junior dance company for jazz and hip hop for 3 years.
It is her mission as a teacher to help her students develop self-confidence, discipline and creativity through dance. As well as her belief that these fundamental characteristics, learned through dance, will be an asset to her students as they grow in to adults.


Donna Mendez-Young - Instructor

Coming Soon


Veronica Hansel - Instructor

Veronica grew up loving to dance, but got a late start at the age of 10 when her family finally settled down in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was enrolled at the Nice School of Dance where studied under many great teachers in all genres, but fell in love with ballet and modern/contemporary. Her dedication to dance was noticed and she moved from student to assistant, and finally to teacher. As a dancer Veronica has had the opportunity to be the lead in her annual dance recital, as well as many other large roles. She has also danced in parades in the tidewater area and had the chance to perform in Disney World with her dance company. Growing up and evolving with the studio, Veronica is close to many students and hopes to help them all achieve their goals and dreams in dance.


Alanna Bobulinski - Instructor

Alanna Bobulinski – Acting Coach/Musical Theater
Alanna Bobulinski has been a fixture at the studio for many years, providing assistance and directing from behind the scenes. She is excited to once again open up her talents to the studio in teaching acting and Musical Theater to our amazing dancers.
Started acting in 1986, she was inducted into The International Thespian Society at Patch, in Stuttgart Germany. After graduating high school Alanna attended college at Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating from the Medical College of Virginia in 1993. For the next 10 years she built a life with love of family, teaching, volunteering, and church. Today, Alanna currently teaches preschool at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.
In 2014 the renewed love of acting was kindled and she taught acting classes with Musical Theater productions to dancers and aspiring actresses at Nice School of Dance 4. Since then during rehearsals, recitals, and private lessons she has continued to encourage those to learn “being more then they dared” and using “creativity” to bring a dream to life. Acting is not a skill to learn but a skill to love.