Betsy Uhler Colombo
Originally from Allentown, PA, Betsy trained at Dolly Haltzman Dance Academy and performed with pre-professional company Repertory Dance Theatre. A ballet “late-bloomer,” she didn’t start dancing until age 12, and will always have a soft spot in her heart for students who might think it’s too late for them to start training. Of course, it’s absolutely never too late to start dancing! After studying dance at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, Betsy moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and performed with Santa Monica Contemporary Ballet. In 2007, she co-founded LA Unbound, which has grown into the largest dance company in Los Angeles, producing 2 original shows per year and providing non-competitive performance opportunities for hundreds of local dancers and choreographers. She co-founded the Los Angeles Dance Film Festival in 2016, which has produced sold-out screenings in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Betsy is a mom to one-year-old Indiana and is thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of dance with the children and families of Altadena and Pasadena.
Katie Jane Hagen
Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Katie has been dancing since the age of 4 and has been extensively trained in jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, and contemporary/lyrical. In high school, she was a member of her school’s extremely competitive dance team. She has a B.A. in Dance from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. In college she was a member of the student dance company, Companydance, and Captain of the St. Olaf Dance Team. Since moving to Los Angeles shortly after graduating college, Katie has been performing and choreographing for various music videos and pop artists, including Beyonce. Her choreography has been showcased at several dance concerts and festivals throughout LA including Dancescape LA and MixMatch Dance Festival, LA’s largest dance festival. Her greatest achievement in her dance career has been as a member of the world famous Los Angeles Laker Girls Dance Team. She is currently an ongoing choreographer and performer for LA Unbound Dance Company. Katie also teaches dance at elementary schools and has coached high school dance team in LA. She truly loves teaching because she gets to share her passion and knowledge of dance with children. She passionately believes that dance should be fun and make you happy!
Jessie, a native Angeleno, has been teaching kids of all ages for the last 15 years. She worked for five years as a dance specialist at Temple Isaiah school and day camp in West LA where her philosophy of teaching was to intersect fun and games into all her dance classes. She then went on to teach world dance classes to elementary school kids in Tucson, Arizona while she completed her BA at the University of Arizona. Later, she discovered more variations of world music and began to experiment and teach Bollywood and Bhangra dancing. She has been dancing and choreographing with the Los Angeles based dance company LA Unbound for the past six years. She is currently the Director of Education at University Synagogue in Brentwood where she oversees all aspects of the K-12 education program and has also taught the Parent-Toddler class in the preschool. She always believes that classes should be fun, energetic with a healthy dose of silliness!
Maritza Navarro is a dance teacher, choreographer and producer. She makes a living in the magical world of television and lives to make magic on the dance floor. Originally from Texas, she has been dancing since the age of three and is trained in classical ballet, contemporary, jazz and modern. Her early dance credits include six years with Corpus Christi Ballet, four years with University of the Incarnate Word and three years with Alamo City Dance Company. Her choreography credits include ten years with the dance company LA Unbound, numerous dance festivals as well as choreography for film, live performances and musicals, locally and internationally. She has been teaching since the age of twelve and she firmly believes that everyone is a dancer. Maritza’s favorite thing about teaching is watching confidence and happiness grow when her students learn to master a new movement.
Danielle started dancing at the age of 4 in Buffalo, NY where she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, modern, and hip hop at the Sherry Martin School of Dance. Dance provides an opportunity to truly explore how the human body works, and this led Danielle to pursue her education in both dance and kinesiology. She received a BS in Athletic Training and Exercise Science with a Dance Minor from at Ithaca College in upstate NY. There, she also performed and competed with the Ithaca College Dance Team and danced and choreographed for the student dance company IC Unbound. Danielle also received a MS in Kinesiology with a dance concentration from California State University, Northridge, and then went on to receive a PhD in Biokinesiology from the University of Southern California where her dissertation research focused on examining the mechanics of dance jumps. Danielle started teaching dance in Buffalo in high school and continued teaching after graduating from college. Danielle moved to Los Angeles in 2008 and has been dancing and choreographing for the dance company LA Unbound ever since. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology Department at California State University, Northridge, where she teaching everything from biomechanics to dance! Danielle loves sharing her passion for dance with students of all ages, and truly believes that dance is an amazing way for anyone to learn more about the human body, develop new skills, and most importantly have fun!