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
Studio Owner, OTE Company Director, Teacher: Contemporary & Jazz
Kim Borgaro is a professional dancer, choreographer, and dynamic teacher. As a member of the Lula Washington Dance Theater she performed nationally and appeared in the 2000 Emmy Awards; joined choreography Zina Bethune in her multimedia production "Frost & Fire" in 2007 and “Silent Roar” in 2010. Over the years she’s assisted and performed in pieces created by Robert Gilliam for the Los Angeles Kaleidoscope Festivals and the debut of “Graffiti” at the El Portal Theatre. She has also appeared music videos and commercials for Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, to name a few. Kim is on faculty at El Camino College where she has taught for the past ten years and serves as a judge and instructor for Spotlight Dance. In 2011 she co-founded On The Edge Dance Youth Dance Ensemble and in early 2014 opened OTE Dance Studio with partner Robert Gilliam.
Studio Owner, OTE Company Director, Teacher: Hip-Hop, X-treme Stretch, Acro4Dance
Robert Gilliam is an internationally acclaimed choreographer, master teaching artist, director of Artist Collective, a non-profit organization which provides high-quality arts education K-12 throughout Los Angeles. He also serves as the Director of Creative Community International which offers art programs for at-risk youth around the world and Co-Owner On The Edge Dance Studio in Culver City.
Gilliam started as a street dancer in South Los Angeles as a member of the Wave Masters Crew. After high school, he turned down football scholarships to pursue his real passion - dance. Robert received a dance scholarship from California Institute of the Arts and the recipient of the Lester Horton Choreography Award. He has since been a recognized for work his work from the Department of Cultural Affairs Los Angeles, the James Irvin Foundation commission, two dance chancellors awards and voted best jazz dance instructor by Los Angeles Magazine.
Gilliam's original choreography has been performed by professional dance companies and at dance festival around the world including Japan, South Africa, London, France, Brazil, and Mexico. He was the first American artist to set a Jazz/Hip Hop piece at the Shanghai Opera House and has worked with the National Song and Dance Ensemble and the Beijing Opera House of China. Before shifting to train dancers at OTE Dance Studio, he was on faculty with Oregon Ballet Theatre, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Reed College, College of the Canyons, Inland Northwest Dance Association, Lauridsen Ballet Center, Dance Educators of America. Additionally served eight years as a Master teaching artist for the Music Center Education Division, which is the second-largest arts education providers in the country. For the past 11 years, Robert has produced "Moving Beyond Walls" a 10-week residency dance program for juvenile detention centers and behavioral clinics throughout LA County. Gilliam's professional work and community-based projects have been funded by National Endowment for the Arts, The Dana Foundation, United States Embassy Panama, Los Angeles Sheriff Department, MetLife Foundation, Department of Cultural Affairs, Playa Vista Education Foundation, Rose Hills Foundation, and the Santa Monica Education Foundation.
TEACHERS & STAFF
BALLET & MODERN
Eliezer Rabelo was born and raised in Brazil. He began his dance training with the dance masters in the State of Amazonas— Conceicao Souza, Marco Venicius, and Jorge Kenedy. Eliezer also trained with well-known South American teachers: Olga Shimasaki (National Ballet of Peru), Raul Candal (Colon Theatre of Argentina), Jair Moraes (Ballet Guaira of Brazil), and other internationally renowned teachers: Ivo Karaguiorguiev (National Ballet of Sophia), and Ronald E. Brown (Alvin Ailey Dance Theater).
As a professional dancer in Brazil, Eliezer performed with Grupo Espaco de Danca do Amazonas (GEDAM), Cia. de Danca do SESC, and Corpo de Danca do Amazonas (the resident company of Amazonas Opera House). He was invited by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Amazonas State to direct and teach at Bale de Camara do Palacio Rio Negro and Centro Cultural Claudio Santoro.
In 1995, Eliezer founded Cia. Ballet da Barra, a dance school and company that performed Rabelo’s version of The Nutcracker for three years at the famous Amazon Opera House. He also received awards in important dance festivals in Brazil such as Festival de Danca do Mercosul in Bento Goncalves from 1995 to 1997 and IX Seminario Internacional de Danca Brasiliain 1999.
In 2002, Eliezer moved to the United States and worked for five years with the Lula Washington Dance Theater. He has been a guest artist with other companies such as the American Repertory Dance Company, Ballet Folclorico do Brasil, Project 21, Kin Dance Co., Ballet Collective, and the Lake Arrowhead Ballet Company. In 2005, he finished filming a featured role in Ford Austin’s shortcut picture Tiny Dancer.
Eliezer has been teaching classical ballet, jazz and modern dance for over 20 years. He is also a choreographer for figure skaters, dancers, dance schools and companies and dance competitions. A classically trained countertenor, he is currently earning a degree in music performance. In 2009, Eliezer became a certified BASI Pilates instructor and has been teaching Pilates for the past 12 years.
Michael J. Sorensen
K-POP & LYRICAL
Michael J. Sorensen has been in love with dance ever since he was a child. Michael started at a local parks and recreation program in his hometown. As he grew older, he began training at several competition studios while acting on the side which allowed him to obtain membership to SAG. To keep dancing throughout the summer, Michael attended The Rock School of Ballet, often thanks to their scholarships. During high school he was also awarded a scholarship to a boarding school, Idyllwild Arts Academy, making dance an even more continuous entity in his life. Professionally he has danced with multiple companies such as Antelope Valley Ballet and Long Beach Ballet to name a few. Michael has trained under prestigious teachers like Tiffany Billings for Contemporary, Stefan Wenta for Ballet, Stephanie Powell of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre for Modern, and David Wilcox of Long Beach Ballet for Ballet. Michael has allowed growth not only as a performer but an instructor. Michael has worked professionally in Ballet, Contemporary, and Commercial works. Presently he is working with Kristoffer Naidas to develop the repertoire of the Naidas Sorensen Movement.
Kristoffer has been dancing for over 20 years. Naidas started his dance journey as a little child at 5 years old, self teaching himself hip hop from the tv and learning on the streets. Naidas come from humble beginnings, being exposed to dance in the city of Inglewood, where his love hor hip hop grew and became more complex. Hip hop was all he knew as an outlet until college where he attended and trained at California State University of Long Beach. He trained in Ballet from Elizabeth Betty duPont of the Royal Ballet and Lisa Johnson of The National Ballet of Canada. Naidas also studied modern with Jeff Slayton of the Merce Cunningam Dance Company, Stephanie Powell, and Ron Brown of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. While training at CSULB, Naidas found a particular love and passion for African Dance from Ron Brown. The movement changed him and taught him to release on another level from what he was used to. He fell in love with the relationship of dance to the live percussion of the African drums. Seeking additional training, Naidas went to David Wilcox of Long Beach Ballet and start training under Mr. Wilcox and Johnny Zhong of Classical Ballet of Guangzhou. At Long Beach Ballet is where Kristoffer Naidas then found his love for ballet. Naidas has gone on to work in contemporary, commercial, and Bollywood work later in his dance career. Currently he is in school towards medicine to expand his knowledge on the human body to help future dancers with any ailments that may prevent them from dancing. Dance is Naidas's personal outlet for emotional balance now, and is aiding new dancers create that outlet while guiding them in their training.
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.
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.
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!
JAZZ & CONTEMPORARY
Selected by the renowned Dance Magazine as 25 dancers to watch worldwide, Micah Moch is a Los Angeles based dancer, choreographer, creative movement director, and performance capture artist. With performances in Brazil, China, Russia, Serbia, Canada, and Mexico and over 40 states in the U.S. at the world’s leading concert halls such as Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the Hollywood Bowl, Micah is known for his seamless, visually striking, and powerful use of movement and space.
With 17 years of dance training and professional experience, he has performed works by legendary choreographers Rennie Harris, Donald McKayle, Lewis Johnson, and James Truitte. In 2015, Micah was the principal male leader dance for David Middendorp’s multi-media ballet Blue Journey in NBC’s 42 city America’s Got Talent tour.
In addition to his diverse and innovative on stage dance work, Micah frequently performs in and choreographs award-winning and high-profile feature films, television shows, music videos, and commercials. Some of Micah’s credits include his performance capture artistry and rendering work for Director James Cameron’s feature film Avatar, dancing in Comedy Central’s television series Key & Peele, and choreographing Grouplove’s music video Way to Go and Tuxedo’s Do It and Director Amy Ephron’s dance short Chloe @3am. Micah is also often selected for choreographing projects featuring children since he is known for his intuitive methods in working with young talent.
As a creative movement director, Micah works with and coaches popular musical acts to develop their personalized movement vocabulary. Since 2013, he has worked with RCA Records musical artist Treasure Davis for live performance movement.
Micah has trained in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop, and modern dance at several prestigious studios and schools including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Colburn School, and the Lula Washington Dance Theater. He has attended Northern Illinois University with a major in Theater Arts with an emphasis in Dance Performance and the Alexander Hamilton Academy of Music.
Outside of dancing, choreographing, creative directing, or performance capturing his way through the world, Micah can be found indulging in his three other loves: directing dance documentary shorts and branded content incorporating dance, playing his favorite guitar, and cooking up all the global recipes from his travels.
JAZZ & LYRICAL
Jamile was a 3rd place finalist on the hit Fox TV show, So You Think You Can Dance and he has danced with artists such as Rihanna, Nelly Furtado, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and many more. Jamile is a natural on stage, wowing crowds with his vibrant breaking, popping and locking, as well as highly energized freestyle solos.
Diagnosed at the age of nine with Systemic Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, he was told he would either be in a wheel chair or not be able to walk for the rest of his life. Despite these odds, he was miraculously healed and able not only to walk, but also to dance...and his dancing has taken him across the world.
By age 16, Jamile had taught his first master class at the Peabody Dance. He went on to study dance at Wright State University, where he excelled in ballet, modern, lyrical and jazz. Since graduating he has performed & taught hip hop dance at colleges, universities and special events both nationally and internationally.
Aside from being a talented dancer, Jamile is an amazing Artistic Director & Choreographer. His choreography credits include: Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" video featuring Wayne Brady, Mike Tyson, and Bobby Brown; Assistant Choreographer for Gloria Estefan, Wayne Brady; and Contributing Choreographer on Season 10 of SYTYCD. In Fall 2013, his artistic direction was featured in Times Square New York during Fashion Week.
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”.
CONTEMPORARY & HIP-HOP
Carolina is an east coast native who’s been dancing for over 15 years and teaching for 9 years. She began her training at New York Theater Ballet and later continued her dance education in CT. Her training spans throughout the various styles of contemporary, lyrical, ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop. She is part of CT based dance company Flux Momentum directed by Ashley Anderson. Outside of dance, Carolina received her BFA in Marketing and Advertising at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She hopes to inspire and connect with her students through movement and to build a strong foundation as dancers and humans through shared experiences in the dance space.