MEET OUR TEAM

OTE brings together a team of professional dancers and choreographers to provide the highest level of dance training to students of all ages and ability levels

STUDIO OWNERS / COMPANY DIRECTORS  

Kim
Borgaro

Studio Owner

 

OTE Company Director

 

 Teacher: Contemporary & Jazz 

Robert Gilliam

Studio Owner

 

OTE Company Director

 

 Teacher:
Hip-hop, ACRo, STRETCH, LEAPS & TURNS

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TEACHERS & STAFF  

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STEPHANIE OTIS

Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Acro/Jazz Combo

Stephanie Otis is a passionate dancer, dance instructor, and stilt performance artist. As a Certified Coach for MTJGD Stephanie had been able to mentor and train dance instructors from multiple dance studios. She utilizes the knowledge she has gained through multiple training programs and certifications including, Acrobatic Arts, Lisa Howells Flexibility and Injury Prevention, Progressing Ballet Technique, YPAD, and MTJGD to coach dancers and teachers.

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JAY TELLIS 

Hip-Hop

Jay's interest in Hip Hop dancing was sparked at a young age with the help of several school friends.  He learned the different styles of Hip Hop and the history that made the culture what it is today.  He strived to be diverse in styles that range from popping, b-boying, waving, tutting, and freezing.  He began to link up with local friends that surfaced a few notable crews:  Outlawz, Xswizit, and PanDUHmonium.  Jay has studied under Nick Gonzales, Robert Hoffman, Brian Puspos, Geo, Ryan Conferido, Willdabeast, and Rosero McCoy.
 

Jay’s dance journey has led to many awards and achievements, including 1st Place at UWF's Best Dance Crew and 1st Place at Def Talent Jam XIX.  His crew also made the Top 20 for America's Best Dance Crew Season 7, 3rd place at the 2013 No Excuses Dance Convention, and has made appearances in music videos from artists such as Kid Kodak and Roy Jones Jr.'s artist 2 Piece.  In 2013, Jay won a scholarship at the NRG Dance Project in Orlando to dance in Nick Gonzalez' closing number at the project's National East Coast Finals.

As a teacher at LaBelle Performing Arts he has won several Platinum Awards with the LaBelle Performing Arts Company.  In 2013, he won two Choreography awards at LPA with the Platinum winning dances "Black Widow" and "Conga,” in which he co-choreographed.  Jay also played the role of Prince Charming in LaBelle Performing Arts’ 2013 production of “Cinderella” where he expanded his talent to acting, Ballet, and Contemporary dancing.

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B-BOY GUILLOTINE 

Breakdancing

Gilyon “Guillotine” Brace-Wessel

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HAVIC 

Hip-Hop

John “Havic” Gregory is a true personification of Hip Hop dance with a talent for keeping his body of work relevant, passionate, and well respected in the Los Angeles dance community and beyond. From performer to choreographer, to teacher, Havic's credits speak for themselves, as he has been involved with some of the worlds most highly praised productions. 

Havic was born in the Philippines and grew up in San Diego, CA. He began dancing in his early teen years and relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his professional career. Havic quickly became a dance force to be reckoned with as he started dancing in high profile music videos for top artists including Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Rihanna, Destiny's Child, Missy Elliot, Brandy, Maya and the Backstreet Boys, to name a few. This success led to Havic performing on tours and in live shows, with international pop stars such as Diana Ross, Chris Brown, Diddy, Madonna, TLC, Toni Braxton, Sisqo, Montell Jordan, Monica, and Prince. His film, television, and commercial credits are numerous as a performer and choreographer. Havic has performed in national commercials for companies like Coca Cola, Kmart, and General Motors.

 

Choreographically Havic began to make a name for himself as he co-choreographed the feature films Honey 2 and Rio. Recently, he choreographed for the Showtime Network's series House of Lies. Additionally, Havic has served as the assistant choreographer for the Jonas Brothers tour, Austin and Ally on the Disney Channel, and MTV's America's Best Dance Crew-Season 5 alongside top choreographers Tabitha & Napoleon and Rosero McCoy.  Having grown up through hip hop, Havic firmly believes in the importance of shaping the next generations of dancers and is passionate about passing down the knowledge he has acquired to dancers all over the world. 

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CEYLON HARRIS 

Acro4Dance

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Jacqueline Valmont

Ballet, Ballet/Creative Dance 

Jacqueline Valmont is a Los Angeles native and a graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, CA.  She completed her dance degree and dance teaching certification from Santa Monica College.  She feels fortunate to have received her dance training from master teachers such as Karen McDonald (modern) and Mario Nugara (City of Angels Ballet).  She has danced for modern dance choreographers Ruben Valencia (Brazeros), Diana Cummins (ManGo), Roberta Wolin-Tupas and has been a member of Grete Gryzwana’s, Epiphany Dance Company since 2014.  She has performed as a soloist at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Biola University, Fuller Seminary and Miles Playhouse.

 

Jackie teaches ballet, modern and dance movement in Los Angeles and directs her own dance program at two private Pasadena middle schools.  She is extremely passionate about dance education and exposing children and young adults to the world of dance in order to enrich all aspects of their lives with creativity, imagination and beauty.  Jackie is also a regularly booked classical vocalist for special occasions.  

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LYNDSEY GAARDSMOE 

Jazz, Lyrical 

​Lindsey began dancing at the young age of 3 years-old, training in all styles of dance. After studying dance in high school, she went on to receive a degree in Dance at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA in 2018. Throughout her time there, Lindsey joined the student run hip-hop performance team and was named captain of the team by her senior year.  She also started her own dance company within the academic dance program and created an original work that the students brought the ACDA Festival in Spring of 2018.  She performed with Adaptations Dance Company in Spokane, WA and was also a faculty member at StudioInc Dance Academy where she taught various styles and choreographed pieces for their competition company for 3 years.

 

Lindsey is currently living in Los Angeles where she is pursuing her career in the dance field.  She is excited to share her knowledge and work with the dancers at OTE! 

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SHANNON HEFLIN

Contemporary & Lyrical

Shannon Heflin

 

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JAMES MAHKWEEN

Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary

James MahKween is a multitalented artist currently operating in Los Angeles, California. He is the founder of the MahKween Method and the Artistic Director of Eternity Dance Theatre. His other titles include performer, designer, actor, and singer. His formal education includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in Los Angeles, as well as apprenticeships with Lula Washington Dance Theatre, JazzAntiqua, and Kouman Ke'le' African Dance and Drum Ensemble.
 

James MahKween was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He has lived many places before settling in Los Angeles, including New York. Since graduating from AMDA, MahKween has been showcasing his talents all over Southern California. For instance, he was seen at the Music Center's inagural Moves After Dark at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


In addition, he has displayed his creative dance style, the MahKween Method, in various avenues including Lula Washington Dance Theatre's Dance All Day Festival, the So Cal Dance Invitational, Tri-Art Fest, Dancescape LA, Artists For A Cause, and D.A.R.E. Generation.


This past August MahKween debuted his artistic showcase, the MahKween Method, at Highways Performance Space and Gallery in Santa Monica. This showcase consisted of thirteen unique works of movement dealing with African American slavery, the poaching and extinction of the West African Black Rhino, and the process of spiritual cleansing. 

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CYNTHIA MOLNAR

Ballet

Cynthia was born in Virginia, where she began to study ballet at age six. Upon moving to Los Angeles her training continued with David Lichine and Tatiana Riabouchinska, as well as with Stanley Holden at the Los Angeles Music Center. Cynthia received her advanced training on a full scholarship to both the San Francisco Ballet School in San Francisco and the Stuttgart Ballet Co. in Stuttgart, Germany. 
 

Cynthia Molnar continued her ballet career as a professional with David Lichine's “Ballet Society of Los Angeles"; starring in his acclaimed ballet “Graduation Ball”. Ms Molnar performed with the San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, under the direction of Kent Stowell, performing as soloist in such ballets as George Balanchine's “Concerto Barocco” and "The Four Temperaments”.Ms. Molnar is enjoying a successful career as teacher, choreographer and coach. Teaching ballet beginning through advanced levels at Santa Monica College, Carla Luna's Dance Arts Academy, The Edge and Y.N.S. Has taught at Westside Ballet, Agoura Hills Dance and choreographed for the Agoura Hills Youth Ballet Theater, master classes and choreographer at the Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena and The Downtown Dance Loft at The New Los Angeles Theater Center.

Her teaching style encompasses her training in ballet with the Cecchetti and Royal Academy of Dance techniques. Cynthia's approach to ballet training creates an atmosphere of attention and caring that allows each student to grow and strengthen, to develop awareness, confidence, and grace.Ms. Molnar is a sought after choreographer and coach for local and visiting artists, music videos and performing groups. Cynthia's original works have been performed by SMC “Global Motion Company, “Kybele Dance Theater”, Sarah Burges's “Lions Pounce Dance Theater”, “Katnap Dance Presents” and in “BIR” and in community outreach programs for the city of Los Angeles. She directed and choreographed and danced in the music video “Tracks of My Tears”. 

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Aimee gaudio

Ballet (All Levels)

Aimée began her formal ballet training at age 10 at the Westside School of Ballet under the direction of Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire.  She trained with the Boston Ballet, Pennsylvania-Milwaukee Ballet, and the Hartford Ballet.

As an alumna she performed in numerous productions; such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Serenade, Classical Symphony, Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia. Currently, Aimée teaches technique classes to the junior and senior levels as well as adult classes and is part of the summer faculty.
 

Aimée also taught at Crossroads Elementary School in Santa Monica as well as the prestigious Loyola Marymount University.

Aimée is also a private Pilates instructor and has worked with physical therapy recovery for dancers and athletes.
 

Aimée attended the Teacher Training seminar at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. In addition to continuing her education in classical ballet and pointe work, she also learned about nutrition and injury prevention for young dancers.