Artistic Director

 

Traci-Ann Pearce

Traci-Ann Pearce was born in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and began her training by attending the BAK Middle School of the Arts followed by The Alexander Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts. She furthered her studies at Peggy Brown’s Dance Academy in Wellington, FL.

At the age of seventeen, Traci-Ann moved to Purchase, NY, to join the S.U.N.Y Purchase’s Dance Conservatory, where she performed works by Kevin Wynn and Sidra Bell. A year later, in New York City, she trained at the Ailey School, working with various choreographers and also graciously performed a piece by Troy Powell.

Over the next three years she attended Marymount Manhattan College, located in New York, NY, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Business. While studying for her Business degree, Traci-Ann joined the Synthesis Dance Project, a contemporary dance company under the direction of Tracie Standfield. During her time with Synthesis Dance Project, she traveled the United States, performing in states such as: New York, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. During the course of her dance career, she has also performed in productions and competitions including, but not limited to: The International Dance Festival, Save the Music Concert (benefiting Hurricane Katrina victims and survivors), The Dicapo Opera Theatre, AIDS Benefit Concert at the Pulse Convention, So You Think You Can Dance, and the White Wave/D.U.M.B.O Festival.

In August of 2010, Traci-Ann followed her dream by opening Dance Universe: a dance studio located in Royal Palm Beach, FL. Ms. Pearce continues to dedicate herself to asserting the prominence of the arts in our culture. The studio’s devotion to the art of dance combined with her passion for teaching the students an artistic form of self-expression are the foundations on which Dance Universe will forever thrive.


 

FACULTY

 

Eileen Hebron

During Eileen’s formative years she trained with Mme. Valia Seiskaya, a featured soloist of the Greek National Opera. She set herself apart by winning numerous awards, the most coveted of which was winning first place in the Empire State Chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters Ballet Career Award. In 1982, Eileen was accepted at the advanced level to George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet on a full scholarship provided by the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. She learned the Balanchine aesthetic from their internationally acclaimed staff, participated in the NYCB’s Educational Outreach Lecture Demonstration programs, and performed principal roles in the school’s workshop performances.

She also performed the pas de deux from Balanchine’s Nutcracker for Mayor Edward Koch at City Hall. While at the School, she guested with the NYCB in “A Tribute to Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine.” She was coached by Prima Ballerina Alexandra Danilova, Helene Dudin, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Antonina Tumkovsky, Andre Kramarevsky, Stanley Williams, Peter Martins, Bart Cook, John Taras, and Jacques and Christopher D’Amboise. In her final year at SAB she was selected to dance for a Nestle commercial and a Walt Disney film, which gained her entry into the Screen Actors’ Guild. In 1985, she was hand-picked from her class by Mikhail Baryshnikov to join one of the world’s most prestigious ballet companies, The American Ballet Theatre.

While in ABT she was coached by Agnes DeMille, Irina Kolpakova, Natalia Makarova, Susan Jones , Georgina Parkinson, Twyla Tharp, Wendy Walker, Sir Kenneth Mac Millian, David Richardson, and Terrence Orr. Trained in ABT’s extensive repertoire and touring internationally for eight years, she won numerous plaudits across the globe for her versatility, grace and technical merit. Television credits include: “Live at the Metropolitan Opera House,” and the award-winning Frederick Wiseman documentary, “Ballet,” which aired on PBS in 1993. She retired from dancing professionally to raise her two daughters Nicole and Alicia. Her passion for ballet has never led her far from the studio; she has been teaching classical ballet in New York and West Palm Beach for over twenty years.

She has been an adjunct professor in classical ballet at Palm Beach Atlantic University since 2004. She has staged numerous classical ballets for the undergraduates in the performing ensemble, many of whom have gone on to perform and teach internationally. Principle dancers with ABT, NYCB, and Ballet West have also come to take class and receive coaching from her. Since the founding of the PBA Preparatory Dance Department three years ago she has been leading students to discover that the arts truly can teach us more than we ever imagined.

Students have traveled interstate, cross-country, and internationally to receive private coaching. In the 2010 spring issue of Dance Magazine, a three-page article featured Eileen’s solutions to common problems in the studio along with photographs of her students at PBA. Her students have appeared at benefits for such organizations as the American Ballet Theatre and the Junior League of the Palm Beaches. She is honored that several of her preparatory and undergraduate students have been accepted and successfully participated in the Bolshoi, ABT, Joffrey, La Scala, and Alvin Ailey summer programs. Dance enabled Eileen to discover great things about culture and she has always loved to travel, so it is a thrill for her to see the next generation bridging the international gaps through the arts today.

Charlotte Campagnuolo

Charlotte Campagnuolo began here training at the age of 3 at The Academy of Ballet Florida. She attended both the Bak Middle School of the Arts and The Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of the Arts as a dance major. After attending the American Ballet Theatre, New York City summer program in 2005 she was named a National Training Scholar and was accepted into The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre on a full scholarship. She was one of only 20 dancers from around the world to be accepted into the school. Charlotte was only 15 years old, making her the youngest dancer to be placed in the advanced level at JKO. During her 3 years with the JKO school, she trained under the likes of Franco De Vita, Gelsey Kirkland, Susan Jaffe, Kevin Mackenzie, Lupe Serrano, Cynthia Harvey, Leslie Brown and many more ABT alumni. During that time she performed principal roles such as The Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and Odette in Swan Lake. She also had the privilege of dancing as a featured soloist in many contemporary works including pieces by both Kevin Wynn and Jessica Lang. In 2008, Charlotte was given the honor of being hand chosen by Susan Jaffe to travel and perform an original Pas De Deux by Ms. Jaffe herself. Charlotte is now dedicated and focused on teaching young girls the Art of Dance. She has a true love for the Art which can be seen through her passion for teaching. –

Lauren Desantis

Lauren Desantis was born and raised in Wellington, FL. She began her dance training at the age of 3 at Peggy Brown’s Academy of Dance. She then attended The Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. School of the Arts, where she majored in dance. She continued to dance in college at Florida State University, which led her to a career in Education. Currently she works at Allamanda Elementary in Palm Beach Gardens as a Kindergarten Teacher. This will be her 7th year as a Kindergarten Teacher, and 3rd year as a Jazz and Combo Class instructor at Dance Universe. Lauren has also enjoyed choreographing pieces for the Advanced Company Students at Dance Universe. She is thrilled to continue sharing her experience and passion for dance with her students.

Odinni Jones

Odinni Jones was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He began his training in high school where he took Jazz and Hip Hop. His passion for Hip Hop encouraged him to join, Ala Mar Inc. A traveling hip hop group. They performed throughout New York City and helped those in need by participating in charitable performances. Odinni attended Barry University in Miami, Fl. During his time at Barry he minored in dance and became head of the dance team. They performed for numerous events and enjoyed opening up for the rap artist, Fat Joe. Odinni has choreograoghed for numerous pagents and was formally the co-choreographer for Collateral Damage. They have auditioned for shows such as, but not limited to: America’s got talent, America’s best dance crew and Brooke Hogan knows best. Odinni’s goal is to educate our youth on the history of hip hop culture and dance styles, while also giving his students a chance to express their creativity and to channel their energy into something productive and fun.


 

Guest Instructors

Faculty_JeremyCoachman

Jeremy Coachman

Jeremy Coachman was born and raised in Riviera Beach, Florida. He began his training at the Palm Beach Ballet Center under the direction of Joan Miller for 6 years. While there he worked and performed with members of the company Ballet Florida as well as other companies around the country.

After this initial process of discovering dance with Ms. Miller, Jeremy spent two years training full-time with Ballet Florida. During his time there he performed famous ballets such as The Nutcracker, Copellia, and Cleopatra, as well as appearing as an extra in the Palm Beach Opera’s production of La Traviata. Soon after completing his work there, he went on to study under the direction of Heather Lescaille and Tina Martin at the Florida Dance Conservatory.

While completing his conservatory studies, Jeremy graduated from the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2011. Jeremy has also has had the great opportunity to become a finalist in the YoungArts National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts (NFAA) and worked with notable performers and choreographers such as Desmond Richardson, Aubrey Lynch, Camille A. Brown, and Bill T. Jones. During his summers, he has attended the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, Joffery Jazz and Contemporary, and Atlanta Festival Ballet and also teaches and choreographs for local dance studios around south Florida.

Throughout the duration of his training, Jeremy has worked with many renown choreographers such as Troy Powell, Margo Sappington, Katherine Posin, Christopher Huggins, Monica Bill Barnes, Emery LeCrone, and Rick McCullough. Jeremy now attends The Juilliard School getting his BFA in dance.

Faculty_JordanLefton

Jordan Lefton

Jordan Lefton is a second year dance major at The Juilliard School in New York City. He is a graduate of Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach where he also majored in dance. Over the past 14 years, Jordan has been trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Hip Hop.

Jordan began dancing at the age of five at Thomas Dance Studio in Lake Worth, Florida, and danced there until he graduated from high school. His dance education at Thomas Dance Studio was under the direction of teachers such as Charlotte Hamer, Teri Szember, Tami Valentine, Virginia Thomas, Amy Gentile and Kenneth Fowler. Jordan’s extensive dance experience includes being a member of Thomas Dance Studio’s Encore! Dance Company for the past eight years, and member of Florida Dance Master’s (FDM) Main Attraction dance company for three years. Jordan has held the titles of Male Rising Star in 2004, Junior Mr. Dance 2008 and Mr. Dance 2010. Through scholarship auditions with FDM, Jordan has been awarded many of the top scholarships including Best Overall.

While attending school at Dreyfoos, Jordan has had the good fortune to work with many talented teachers and choreographers including Margo Sappington, Troy Powell, Christopher Huggins, Jeff Satinoff, Jan Hanniford-Goetz and Katherine Posin.

At The Juilliard School, Jordan has performed in pieces choreographed by Monica Bill Barnes, Emory LeCrone and José Limon. He studies under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes, Risa Steinberg, Francisco Martinez, Terese Capucilli and Alphonse Poulin.

Faculty_TaraLangdon

Tara Langdon

Tara Langdon was born and raised in Palm Beach, Florida. She trained at The Palm Beach Ballet Center, under the direction of Joan Miller, until 2010. She graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2011 and has had the privilege of working with choreographers such as Aszure Barton, Troy Powell, Margo Sappington, Christopher Huggins and Monica Bill Barnes. She has attended The Rock School and The American Ballet Theatre Intensive in Austin, Texas and New York City, New York. She currently is a student in the Class of 2015 at The Juilliard School.