Teaching Faculty

Lisa Abshere
Artistic Director

Lisa Abshere danced professionally for seven years with San Francisco Dance Spectrum (a company started by San Fransico Ballet Master Carlos Carvajal), Theatre of San Fransico, Oakland Metropolitan Ballet Company, and was a guest artist with several other professional companies. At age eleven, Lisa began teaching children's classes as part of a scholarship program to support her own dance studies. The following year she received the Ford Foundation Scholarship and was given a full scholarship for summer study at the School of American Ballet. As Ballet Director she brings to her position a wealth of experience in both the technical and theatrical aspects of Classical Ballet. Lisa founded the Goleta School of Ballet (GVCC School of Ballet) in the fall of 1986.

Emily Abshere
Co Artistic Director

Emily Abshere started ballet with the Goleta School of Ballet at age 3 in the school's first year. She trained with private coach Maria Vegh as well as attended the DanceAspen Summer School, Milwaukee Ballet School, and the Joffrey Ballet School all while at the Goleta School of Ballet. In college, Emily studied in New York City at Barnard College and STEPS. Emily became a full-time member of the teaching staff for Goleta School of Ballet and Goleta Ballet Theatre in 2006.

Gina DeAngelo

Gina DeAngelo joined the teaching staff at the Goleta School of Ballet in 1994. Gina trained under full scholarship with the Joffrey School of Ballet in New York. She later studied with Maggie Black, also in NYC. She danced professionally with Valerie Huston Dance Theatre and the Santa Barbara Ballet Theatre. While working in her sister's company, Ballet DeAngelo, located in New York City, she toured with them extensively throughout Europe and Cuba. 

Rebecca Norman

Becca completed her comprehensive teacher training through Body Arts and Science Institute (BASI) in 2012, and has continued to keep her education and training fresh through workshops, research, self-practice, and supplemental certifications. Becca’s role as a Pilates instructor at the Goleta School of Ballet is to build the functional strength and flexibility of each dancer, while teaching them the importance of mindful movement.

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Guest Teaching Faculty

Leta Biasucci


Leta Biasucci is from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She studied under Marcia Dale Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and became a trainee at San Francisco Ballet School in 2006. She joined Oregon Ballet Theatre in 2008. Ms. Biasucci joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2011 and was promoted to soloist in 2014 and principal in 2018.

Ms. Biasucci has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Coppélia (Swanilda, Waltz of the Golden Hours), Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la FéeEmeralds, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hermia, Butterfly) and Rubies; Peter Boal’s Giselle (Peasant pas de deux); David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, New Suite and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Blue Bird pas de deux, Red Riding Hood); Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land and Sechs Tänze (Six Dances); Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote (Cupid, Piccilia); Kent Stowell’s Carmina BuranaCinderella(Columbine), Nutcracker (Clara), and Swan Lake (Pas de trois, Neopolitan Dance); Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Variations Sérieuses (Young Girl). She has also danced featured roles in Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Red Riding Hood).

At Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ms. Biasucci performed leading and featured roles in George Balanchine’sEmeraldsThe Four TemperamentsThe Nutcracker, and Tarantella; Nicolo Fonte’s Left Unsaid; James Kudelka’s Hush; Trey McIntyre’s Speak; Yuri Possokhov’s Raymonda; and Dennis Spaight’s Gloria. She originated leading roles in the collaborative Stravinsky Project by Jamey Hampton, Anne Mueller, Ashley Roland, and Rachel Tess, and Christopher Stowell’s A Holiday Revue.

Petra Conti

Petra Conti was born in Italy in 1988 from an Italian father and a Polish mother. She graduated with honors from the National Academy of Dance in Rome in 2006. At the age of 17, Conti has been invited by the Arena di Verona Ballet as an étoile guest to perform her first full length ballet, Cinderella. In 2007, she joined the Mariinsky Ballet Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, to prepare major ballet roles with Elvira Tarasova. In 2008 she became part of the Bavarian State Ballet Company. In 2009 she has been invited by former director Mahar Vaziev to join La Scala Ballet Company. She was appointed Prima Ballerina at La Scala in 2011.  In 2013 Conti accepted the invitation from artistic director Mikko Nissinen to join Boston Ballet as a Principal Dancer. Conti has been awarded with the title of Ambassador of the Italian Dance in the World in 2014. Conti has danced alongside worldwide famous dancers like Roberto Bolle, Ivan Vassiliev, Massimo Murru… Conti studied drama with Kuniaki Ida from 2009 to 2011 at the Arsenale Theater in Milan. In 2010 TV channel SKY Classica devoted an entire documentary to Conti entitled "Dancers of tomorrow", about her performances of Giselle, Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. From the season 2017-2018 Conti is a Resident Principal Guest with the Los Angeles Ballet, CA.

Allyssa Bross

Allyssa Bross, born and raised in Charlotte, started her ballet training at North Caroline Dance Theatre under the direction of Patricia McBride and Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux. At the age of 16 she was accepted into the School of American Ballet's winter term. While at SAB, Allyssa had the chance to dance with New York City Ballet's corps de ballet in Balanchine's "Nutcracker." She also worked with several choreographers including Darius Barnes, Robert Fairchild, and Matthew Renko. After finishing high school, Allyssa accepted a contract with the Los Angeles Ballet. Within her first year there, she was promoted to the company's first ever principal dancer. Allyssa has been leading lady in Thordal Christensen's World Premiers of "Swan Lake," and "Giselle," as well as numerous Balanchine ballets. She has worked with acclaimed choreographers, Stacey Tookey and Sonya Tayeh, and recently performed her favorite role yet in Jirí Kylián's "Return to a Strange Land." Along with dancing, Allyssa has been featured on several Television commercials and shows, and is a published author in Simon and  Schuster's "Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Power of Positive."