TEACHERS

     RYAN HEFFINGTON - SWEATY SUNDAYS, WET WEDNESDAYS, CONTEMPORARY JAZZ & sweaty basics

Ryan Heffington is a performer, choreographer, designer, promoter and dance guru. Since his arrival in Los Angeles in 1991, his exhaustive resume has expanded to include work that has been presented in national art galleries, on fashion show runways, professional dance stages, numerous TV shows and at some of the grittiest night clubs around the world. He has been described as both "a mad Bob Fosse with a sewing machine" and "Martha Graham on meth" by the Los Angeles Times, and as "a fucking genius" by Blackbook Magazine. 

 

As an artist, Ryan has staked his claim equally in both the commercial and underground art worlds. High art enthusiasts have experienced his electrifying work at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, and L.A.C.E. Gallery. From 1999-2010, Ryan was the Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Hysterica Dance Company. While with Hysterica, he was nominated for Best Male Performer, Best Small Group Ensemble, and Best Costume Design by the Horton Awards. During the same period, Ryan individually choreographed several site-specific dance projects: "House Party" and "Sex On A String" disrupted traditional performance space expectations by bringing dance out of the galleries and theaters and into the parks, homes and streets of east-side LA. Part museum tour, part roving night club, these transient installations redefined dance for Los Angeles audiences. 

 

In 2010, Ryan was commissioned to create "Heffington Moves MOCA," a three month residency as part of the museum's Engagement Party Series. These packed shows included dance classes, performances with interactive projections, and living sculpture art installations. For his finale, Ryan choreographed "Heavy Metal Parking Lot: The Musical" -  a dance punk music performance piece which included two live bands, more than forty dancers, muscle cars, opera singers and costumes by the couture Danish design house "Moon Spoon Saloon." With over 2000 people in the audience, the performance broke attendance records for the museum. 

 

Also in 2010, Target commissioned Ryan to choreograph for the company's "Kaleidoscopic Fashion Spectacular," a larger than life dance performance in the 144 rooms of the NY Standard Hotel. This spectacle included over 60 dancers, a fashion show, and a light installation that could be seen from the shores of New Jersey. 

 

As promoter and performer, Ryan has been instrumental in the success of multiple sold-out monthly dance parties such as Sock-It, Fingered and Full Frontal Disco - again, infusing non-traditional performance spaces with his contemporary punk dance choreography. Fingered is where Ryan first introduced midnight dance classes to the masses, thus sparking his idea for "Sweaty Sundays - A Dance Class for Everyone" which he began teaching in 2008. The overwhelming success of this weekly dance class eventually led Ryan to open his dance studio, The Sweat Spot, which aims to make its classes accessible to both the adult beginner and the professional dancer. The studio also serves as a performance space and has hosted various companies and performances less than two years after opening. Ryan continues to teach his ever-growing classes and has traveled as a teacher across the US and to Nicaragua, Tokyo, Germany and Canada, spreading his enthusiasm for dance around the world. 

 

In his free time, Ryan works under the design alias Sir Heffington, designing for various dance and theater companies, network TV shows, films and super celebs like Britney Spears, Mick Jagger and Beck. He is also a founding member of the Dance/Music Collective WE ARE THE WORLD. On stage, this high-concept masked foursome jump between instruments, vocals and choreography. During their first year together, they toured Europe and the United States opening for Yelle, Tricky and CSS. Their full length debut album "Clay Stones" is available on iTunes. 

 

Other noteworthy credits include choreographing Muse's "Uprising" performance at the 2011Grammys and the latest Evian "Live Young" commercial. Ryan has over 10 music videos under his belt including "Tonight's Today" by Jack Penate (directed by Alma H'arel) which was nominated for Best Video by UK MVAs in 2009. Other credits include choreography for The Gossip, Ke$ha, Shiny Toy Guns, Beirut, and Nikka Costa and an episode of "The L Word." He has appeared on RuPauls "Drag Race" for the past 3 seasons, and has continued to perform live with various artists including Ladytron, Peaches, Fischerspooner and The Black Eyed Peas for "So You Think You Can Dance." Ryan also appeared on tour as "Dirty Diana" for Margaret Cho's Off-Broadway show "The Sensuous Woman."

 

Ryan's most recent work can be seen in the upcoming feature films "Vara: The Boon" and "The East" (Fox Searchlight)

 

"A blend of Merce Cunningham and Mark Morris with a splash of Freddie Mercury and Peaches"  

- someone once said. . . 

WWW.sirheffington.com
WWW.THESWEATSPOTLA.COM

    
     
cristine tatomer - BASIC BALLET
Cristine Diana Tatomer was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was there she focused her studies on ballet, training with Mikal Casalino, eventually teaching ballet to the students of Casalino School of Creative Arts, and was selected to perform with Ballet West on several occasions. Since moving to Los Angeles in 1998, Cristine has immersed herself in the creative fields of dance, design, and music. She has worked with Ryan Heffington, Mecca Vazie Andrews, LACDC, WIFE, and many more, performing at venues such as MOCA, LACMA, REDCAT and The Hollywood Bowl. Cristine is thrilled to share her love of ballet and choreography with The Sweat Spot! She approaches dance as a philosophy and encourages all to participate! Her class, which focuses on barre work to align the body and wake up the mind, is also a meditation of movement and self.
 

    
 
MELISSA SCHADE - JAZZ FUSION, Modern & jazz technique, and beginning/intermediate ballet
Melissa Schade grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and has been immersed in the dance culture since the age of 4. Betty Johnson's School of Dance was where she got her serious dance training, as well as summers at the Broadway Theater Project and the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop. Upon graduation from high school she attended the University of Arizona where she received her BFA in dance. Melissa danced briefly with IDT in Boulder, Colorado before moving to Los Angeles, CA. While living in LA, Melissa has worked with many great choreographers including Mecca Vazie Andrews, Denise Leitner and Scott Hislop. She is currently a member of the Jennifer Vaughn Dance Company, The Movement Movement, the DWD Circus and the LACDC. Melissa also love to teach dance and get jiggy with it.  
    
 
Benjamin Allen - GROOV3
Benjamin Allen is an industry insider with over 10 years in the business. His vibrant personality and fresh originality brings a unique style that has inspired people throughout the world. As a dancer, he has performed on TV in the Kid's Choice, People's Choice and American Music Awards and as well as on Scrubs and in national commercials for and Xbox, Subway and Miller Lite. As a choreographer he has worked with Will.I.Am and Drew Barrymore, and developed routines for Vh-1, Oxygen and sereral NBC projects.

Ben has found a true passion for teaching which has taken him to countries like Japan, Australia and Canada and connects him with thousands of amazing students. Locally he teaches at The Edge Performing Arts Center as well as runs a dance fitness movement he created called GROOV3™. The movement has caught the attention of Ellen, Extra, ABC7 and fitperez.com.

GROOV3's mission is to inspire and build a global community through the power of dance. A choreographed dance party for all levels featuring a Live DJ, you'll see why this class is always packed.

More information about Ben and GROOV3, 
www.GROOV3.com

 
  
amy hessler - non-stop pop! & KIDS FUNK / HIP HOP
Amy's enthusiasm for life and unstoppable energy has recently brought her to Los Angeles where she passionately pursues her mission to uplift others through her fitness and entertainment career. Originally from a small town in Virginia, Amy spent most of her childhood in a tutu while extensively training at The Richmond Ballet Academy. After dancing with The Contemporary Dance Ensemble at Virginia Tech, she quickly moved to New York City where she resided for five years honing her craft and working professionally in dance, theatre, and fitness. Amy's dance credits include performing at Merce Cunningham, La Mama, and The Gene Frankel Theatre for choreographers Jenny Rocha and Kristin Sudeikis. She performed with comedic dance troupe Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies at NYC's renowned Floating Kabarette as a resident artist for two years. Amy also studies with The Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) improv theatre and performs with several teams every week. Her love for movement and laughter inspired her to help launch several themed fitness programs at Crunch Fitness in NYC including 80's and 90's Movieography. Amy will continue to fuse comedy and dance throughout her career as a fitness professional. She holds certifications with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and Zumba. Visit her online at www.amyhessler.com .

 
TIFFANY SWEAT -  KREATIVE KIDS
Tiffany Sweat was born and raised in the southeast but dance led her to Southern California in 2007.  In 2006 she received her BFA in Dance from the University of Georgia where she traveled internationally with CORE Concert Dance Company under the artistic direction of Bala Sarasvati.  While at UGA she also trained in aerial dance with Elsie Smith/Gemini Twins formerly of Cirque du Soliel on the silks, trapeze and lyre.
 
She has been dancing professionally with Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company under the artistic direction of Kate Hutter for five years and has worked with such Los Angeles based choreographers as Terri Best, Ryan Heffington, Scott Hislop, Kate Hutter, Nehara Kalev of Catch Me Bird, Adam Parsons, Holly Rothschild of String Theory, and Kevin Williamson and collaborated with a capella group Sonos weaving dance into song and with playwright Aaron Henne weaving dance into script.  She also photographs for LACDC's social media sites.  
 
Tiffany also dances on stage and on film with the Pin-Down Girls under the artistic direction of Devin Fulton-Gomez.  In 2011 she assistant directed their first dance film, 'Zingdeed', and in 2012 she starred in their second dance film, 'I Fell from Heaven and You Didn't Even Care', both in collaboration with Jamila Glass' The Cutting Room.
 
When she's not performing, she's teaching.  Tiffany has been teaching dance to children and adults for  eight years and coaching competitive gymnastics for five.  She has a passion for giving the gift of empowerment through bodily and spacial awareness, helping students to discover and explore their limitless creativity and capabilities by establishing a knowledgeable understanding of their facility and energy.      
 
Tiffany is a certified Pilates Instructor, holding a Complete Teacher Training Certificate from Body Arts and Sciences International, Professional Member (Coach) of USA Gymnastics, choreographer, half marathoner, coffee drinking, cowboy boot wearing, cat owning dancing fool.  She is beyond thrilled to be a part of the Sweat Spot family!  
    Kristen Leahy - jazz fusion
Kristen Leahy has been dancing since the age of 4. She received her Masters in Dance/Movement Therapy from Pratt Institute in 2009. By day, she practices DMT at a psychiatric hospital for adults, and by night, she may be seen performing in various galleries, clubs, and secret spots as one of Sir Heffington's Fingered Dancers or as the new bass player for the group Sister Mantos. She is excited to teach jazz class for all those who want to build a strong dance foundation  -  set to the beat of amazing music. 
   
   
Joe Schenck - intermediate JAZZ
Joe Schenck's first dance routine was to "Electric Youth" by Debbie Gibson at age 8.  Since then he has acted, danced, choreographed, directed and taught in Chicago and Los Angeles.  Local credits include: Diavolo Dance Theatre, Collage Dance Theatre, Invertigo Dance Theatre, LA Opera, Pasadena Playhouse, Odyssey Theatre, Open Gate Theatre.  Joe also teaches for everybody dance! and at the LA County High School for the Arts, where he recently choreographed CATS.  Joe loves avocados, ginger ale, and thunderstorms.

  
MAURICE HARRIS - GOTTA BODY
I was born in our beautiful state capital of Sacramento however, I spent most of my adolescence in Stockton, California where I was able to take advantage of all of the wonderful things that a suburb has to offer like marching band, karate, and gospel choir. I have always loved dance and movement but I did not fully explore my love of dance until about two years ago when I discovered Sweaty Sundays! I was very scared at first because I was intimidated to be taking a dance class as a novice adult, but Ryan Heffington waved his magic wand and gave me a place to leave all my insecurities at the door! I love to dance so much now and feel so free when doing so! Through my classes I work to create a free and exciting environment that includes a great level of cardio, fun and maybe a few moves you can use in the club! Letting go is the true key to happiness and it is my goal to create that experience for everyone that walks through the door! 
    











 
AUDREY MILLSTEIN - PILATES Mat                       

As a young child I had energy and an older brother. So we played and we played hard, which began my sports career and competitive sports at that! A four sport varsity athlete, the difficult task of specializing in one sport led me to the Heptathlon on the University of Kansas track team. Itching for more, I played basketball on the side and tore my ACL. After a year of rehab, I tore it again playing basketball. Thrown off course and completely depressed, I moved to California where my professional career began. 

I fell into a 2 year apprenticeship at The Pilates Studio of Los Angeles, where I completed over 2,000 hours of apparatus and mat work and worked side by side with multiple physical therapist, learning the interconnections of fitness and healing. And without realizing it, I had healed my knew and was completely mentally confident again. Wanting more, I left the studio and opened my own private practice. I was lucky enough to work with many talented, wonderful and highly challenging clientele who helped me sculpt my practice into what it is now.  Mixing classical pilots with my past of serious sports conditioning, I found what I believe is a balance and that balance is the base of my practice now. We are all kinds and all types. Our bodies are here for unrestricted movement and I am here to find what your body needs. I am also here to teach and to learn. Any question, challenge, weakness, struggle....anything, bring it in! I want a client who has desire; the desire to become more, to work on themselves, to allow me to teach and to help. Give me focus and energy and in return I will always do the same. 

NINA MCNEELY - BEG/INT CONTEMPORARY
Nina McNeely began her training in Denver, Colorado. She has been dancing, teaching and choreographing in Los Angeles for the past nine years. Her commercial work consists of working for such artists as the B-52s, Beck, Shiny Toy Guns, Britney Spears, Fergie, Kinky and The Bird and The Bee. She is a member of Hysterica Dance Company directed by Kitty McNamee and Ryan Heffington. She choreographs and performs at many club venues in Los Angeles and enjoys teaching a physically and creatively challenging contemporary class at The Sweat Spot.
    MICHAEL GERVAIS - SWEATY YOGA POWER HOUR
Michael Gervais' spirited West Coast style weaves together classic yoga postures with functional athletic movement. From Portland to San Diego, he received extensive formal training and certifications in Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Taoist practices. 

Incorporating a lifelong study of dance and body conditioning, Michel blends this variety of modalities for a fresh and playful approach. Expect to work hard, have fun, and experience a palpable change you can take into the rest of your day

Katie Malia - rock the barre 

Katie Malia is an Angeleno native. After studying under the direction of Romanian Ballet's Stela Viorica, Aspen Ballet, and The Boston Ballet, she was accepted to the Big Apple's Julliard School but ultimately decided to double major in Dance and English Literature from Colombia University with a Shakespeare study at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London instead. 

Kate believes in core, creative, artistic expression stemming from the cerebral, and loves clean, classic technique combined with expansive, free movement. Though she's had her slice of celluloid success - acclaimed choreographers Fatima Robinson, Michael Rooney, Jeri Slaughter, Marty Kudelka, Ryan Heffington, Rich & Tone Talauega, Laurie Ann Gibson, Mecca Vazie, Kristen Denehy, Tracy Phillips, Dave Scott, Shotyme, Catti Jean, and Jermaine Browne have hired her. Appearing in over fifty national commercials, films, and worldwide campaigns for Gap, Apple, Adidas, Yahoo!, Target, iPod, Nike, Microsoft, and more. Katie has performed with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Basement Jaxx, Ke$ha, Usher, Prince, Mary J Blige, Justin Timberlake, and Spank Rock, and performed on SNL, Dancing With The Stars, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Mad TV, and The MTV VMAs. Recently, she choreographed campaigns for Nike, Toyota, Puma and Target as well as music videos for Joe Jonas, Sarah Mclachlan and Grace Potter. Her ballet class focuses on the basic fundamentals of technique set to contemporary music. 

 

     
    
KATRINA AMATO - JAZZ FLOW 

Katrina Amato was born and raised in Madison, WI. She began dancing at age 4, and competing at age 12. As well as training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance; she also participated in athletics such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, synchronize swimming, diving, gymnastics, and snowboarding. She has always been active and is constantly learning new ways to move her body. 

After graduating college with her BFA in Dance at California State University, Long Beach, Katrina signed with various agencies and began working in the entertainment industry. Her list of credits include Clinique, Yahoo!, Target, Old Navy, Athleta, Lucy Activewear, Chevrolet, GMC, Heineken, Campari Soda, and Swedish House Mafia. 

In 2007, Katrina became a power yoga instructor. She helped students and athletes of all backgrounds and ages, stretch and strengthen their minds & bodies in ways they never imagined. She taught at Mark Blanchard's Power Yoga, Yoga Co on 3rd St. Promenade, Fit Arts, IDA Dance Studio, Hillcrest Country Club and was the children's fitness director at Spa Di Da.

In addition to her love of yoga and dance, Katrina's true passion has always been choreography. In 2010, she created her very own water entertainment company called The Hollywood Bathing Beauties; a dazzling collection of dancers, synchronized swimmers and aerialists. As the artistic director and choreographer, she created works for French artist Tomas Marfisi, and opened for Rod Stewart in Las Vegas. This led her to create a human piano for a Tom's Shoes commercial, and an underwater video for music artist, Brandon Boyd. 

Katrina loves teaching people how to move, and to feel comfortable in their own skin. Her classes are truly inspiring, fun and upbeat!!

www.KatrinaAmato.com

  KRISTIN CAMPBELL-TAYLOR - ROCK THE BARRE BALLET 

Kristin Campbell-Taylor has been dancing since the age of 2. She trained in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, & Contemporary movement with the Aspen Ballet, The San Francisco Ballet, and was a member of the Tremaine Teen Company under the direction of Margarite Derricks for 7 years in LA. She's performed in the Feature Film Austin Powers, with the LA Lakers, at LA Museum of Contemporary Art, LACE Gallery, REDCAT @ Walt Disney Concert Hall, Electric Daisy Carnival, on tour with PEACHES and in countless shows all around Los Angeles & New York. Her choreography style is a mix of all the things she loves, classical ballet to quirky fun music or dark intense ballads with more modern lyrical movement. Her style is all about working hard, not taking yourself too seriously and getting lost in the joy of moving your body!  

 
    
       
 CHERESE CHAMBERS - GET ME BODIED 
Cherese is an actress, model, dancer and MC hailing from South Philadelphia. At the early age of four her parents saw Cherese's incredible passion for the arts and began involving her in local community based performances, talent and fashion shows. 

At age 15, Cherese began to travel with dance teams winning competitions and receiving high recognition as top talent in Philly's hip hop dance community.

In 2008, after being cast in a series of rap and R&B music videos, and the movie Jersey Girl (featuring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez), a quick study, Cherese made her national debut during the '09 NBA Playoffs when she landed a Vitamin Water commercial featuring Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. She continues to act, model and dance with promise for a flourishing career. 



 
    
     JASMINE ALBUQUERQUE - JAZZ WITH JASMINE
Jasmine Alburquerque is a dancer, choreographer, and instructor. She is a member of WIFE and has danced with such companies as Hysterica, Blue13 Bollywood, Collage Dance Theater and Ryan Heffington's psycho-dance performance Fingered. Other live performances include TEDx SoCal, KTCHN, We Are The World, Hazm, and Hecuba in various venues around LA such as the Hammer Museum, The Ford Amphitheater, Mack Sennett Studios, MOCA, The Orpheum Theater, LACMA, The Joshua Tree Music Festival and even a laundromat. She has choreographed music videos for Devendra Bandhart (directed by Isaiah Saret) and Bob Wayne (directed by Jennifer Tzar) and danced in videos for MIKA, Laura Marling, Verve Records, Beck, ..And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Morcheeba, and Todd Edwards. She studied contemporary movement in Budapest, Hungary and at The Edge in Hollywood, after years of classic ballet and jazz training. While majoring in History, she danced for the Department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and later taught movement workshops in Chiapas, Mexico and Copenhagen, Denmark. Her current work with WIFE will forever inspire and continuously unravel the limitations of creativity.