Welcome to the Agape Dance Academy family!!
Agape Dance Academy is bringing world class dance training at it's finest to Santa Cruz County in a warm atmosphere of community and camaraderie.
Capture the Vision!
Agape Dance Academy offers classical ballet training based on the Royal Academy of Dance technique in an environment of skillful yet caring teachers who value each individual as a whole. We encourage growth in both physical skills and character building. We strive to provide the best classical ballet instruction in an atmosphere that promotes self-esteem, encouragement, safety, and enjoyment. We encourage dancers to train in contemporary movement thru lyrical and jazz classes in addition to a strong technical foundation based in ballet technique. Included in our training for strength, flexibility, and dance mastery, we incorporate pilates body conditioning to enhance the overall health and safety of our dancer's training program.
We also offer tap classes for those dancer's headed for the growing triple threat training for an emphasis in musical theater development.
Best expressed in the following words of a current student of Agape Dance Academy:
- Body awareness and control
- Personal discipline
- Improved posture, coordination and carriage
- Improved muscle tone and health
- Improved mental and physical confidence
- Positive outlet for self-expression
- Appreciation for music and art
- Increased skill in dance technique
- Good foundation for future career in dance
- Classes are based on the renowned Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) teaching system, the most comprehensive, relevant program of classical ballet available. The RAD program provides a standard of learning regardless of where instruction occurs; students who move from one country (or state) to another can enroll in a new RAD school and continue with the same syllabus.
Melanie Useldinger has been teaching ballet for over 30 years. She pulls from her vast experience as a scholarship student at San Francisco Ballet, Banff School of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Ballet, and New York City Ballet. She also draws on her professional experience at San Francisco Ballet, Dance Theater of Kansas, and San Jose Dance Theater. As a professional dancer she was required to master choreographic style and technique in modern dance, jazz, character, partnering, and variations.
Melanie especially loves inspiring students of all ages and abilities to learn to dance and experience great choreography to inspiring music.
Melanie also has the greater goal of training up highly skilled dancers who can share their gifts with the community at large and thus dance for greater purposes than just entertainment. We accept bookings for events, weddings, seminars, fundraisers and more.
Melanie can be reached at (831) 359-0850 to discuss bookings or emaled at email@example.com
Dance photography and mult-media presentations are also an exciting part of Agape Dance!!!
Erin Silva Coffin grew up in Los Gatos, CA and danced with the late Paul Curtis Jr. at the Los Gatos Academy of Dance. she performed various rolls in the annual production of the Nutcracker Suite, including Party Child, Snowflake, Ribbon Candy, and Spanish. In her early teens she became a Company Member at San Jose Dance Theater and performed in high schools (Peter and the Wolfe), Paul Mason Winery (Spring in Camina Burana and competed in adjudications held throughout the state taking classes from Master teachers, broadening her dancing knowledge in jazz , modern , and character dance. Erin has taught ballet to children in many different settings: elementary summer school, home school programs, and creative movement at Courtside Club in Los Gatos.
Erin is excited to combine her love for dance and for children by teaching pre-ballet. It has been a lifelong dream to one day work with Melanie, remembering again the wonderful years spent sharing the same stage.
Conrad Useldinger learned Ballet at the International Academy of Dance in Santa Cruz and used his experience to become a scholarship student at Belhaven Universtiy. At Belhaven, Conrad studies under Rovanna Tucker from the Royal Ballet in London, Caleb Mitchell from Houston Ballet, Randal Flynn of Ad Deum Dance Company, and many amazing teachers. Conrad has developed a special interest in choreography, Graham and Limon modern dance technique, hip-hop, and East Coast Swing. He is looking forward to bringing an element of modern dance technique to our summer intensive program as well as sharing his partnering skills in pas-de-deux class.
Teresa Moorleghen: We are so pleased to have Theresa on our team!!She is so talented and such a great with the students.
American Ballet Theater Alumni...Lizzy Harlan...our newest team member!
Lizzie Harlen has had the good fortune to have trained and then performed with the San Francisco Ballet. As if this was not enough she was also thrilled to have received a dancing position with American Ballet Theatre from Michael Baryshnikov, whom she danced for from 1986-1995. During this period, Lizzie danced such classical ballet roles as Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Les Sylphides, along with many others. She has also had the good fortune to work with numerous dancer/choreographers such as Irina Kolpakova and Natalia Makarova, both from the Kirov Ballet, Rudolph Nureyev, Vladimir Vasiliev of the Bolshoi ballet, Jiri Kylian of the Netherlands Dance Theatre, Kevin McKenzie the current ABT Director, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris and several others. Lizzie's passion for Ballet comes from her desire to be moved by the music, along with the possibilities to portray a character at hand to the fullest. She strives to teach her students how to be in charge of their own technical skills in order to eventually fully portray their roles. Lizzie strongly believes life is meant to be lived to ones highest potential and that definitely includes Ballet dancing.
Julianna Roberts danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in Agape Dance's first Nutcracker. She is an amazing dancer and a leader in the community. She is the main substitute teacher at Agape Dance. Julianna has been recently awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious American Ballet Theater Teacher Training Certificate Program. She will join the rest of the faculty this summer as we all participate in this this teacher training program to add to the Agape Dance Fine classical training curriculum.
Anton trained at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, School of American Ballet in New York City, and San Francisco Ballet School. He has danced with New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Royal Ballet in London, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet San Jose. As a teacher, Anton has taught as a ballet master at English National Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Leipzig Ballet, Hanover Ballet, Wiesbaden Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Ballet San Jose. Recently, Anton prepared Daniel McCormick for the YAGP competition where Daniel was the 2013 Junior Men’s Gold winner.
Maddy Bruce has been dancing most of her life. She has extensive training in ballet, contemporary, and modern. She attended summer intensives at Ballet San Jose and in Chicago. She specializes in our preschool program and the children love her. She also completed an intensive
teacher training series where she studied in depth the appropriate curriculum for ballet levels 1-3 and primary preschool dance. She mixes her love of dance and her love of children in her classes at Agape Dance Academy. Maddy has also been part of the dance ministry at Twin Lakes Church where she has shared her gift of dance at the annual Christmas Concerts for years.