GSB TEACHING FACULTY
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 Maye Abshere
Co Artistic Director
Emily Maye Abshere started ballet with the Goleta School of Ballet (GVCC 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 and at Dance Arts Academy in Los Angeles. Emily became a full-time member of the teaching staff for Goleta School of Ballet and Goleta Ballet Theatre in 2006.
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.
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.
GUEST TEACHING FACULTY
Born in Copenhagen, Mr. Martins received his early dance training at the Royal Danish Ballet School in Denmark. As a student, he performed with the Royal Danish Ballet in works such as John Neumeier’s Romeo and Juliet, August Bournonville’s Konservatoriet, A Folk Tale, Napoli and Glen Tetley’s Firebird. In 1984, he moved to New York City and enrolled at the School of American Ballet and in September 1986, he became a member of New York City Ballet (NYCB) where he was promoted to the rank of soloist and subsequently rose to the rank of Principal Dancer in 1993. While at NYCB, Mr. Martins danced numerous lead roles and worked closely with choreographers including John Alleyne, Lynn Taylor Corbett, Boris Eifman, William Forsythe, Peter Martins, Trey McIntyre, Kevin O’Day, Susan Stroman and Richard Tanner. His film credits include “Live from Lincoln Center” (broadcast of Ray Charles in Concert), “The Nutcracker” (released in 1993 by Warner Brothers) and “Dance in America” telecast of “Dinner with Balanchine” where he danced the role of Apollo with Paris Opera Ballet star ballerina, Isabel Guerin. In addition, Mr. Martins was featured in “Lincoln Center Celebrates Balanchine 100” where he performed “The Man I Love” from Balanchine’s Who Cares? featuring Wynton Marsalis. Mr. Martins has been lauded for his deep knowledge of both the Danish and Balanchine pedagogy and in addition to his skills as a dancer, instructor, choreographer and coach, he gained programming and management experience leading his own company, The Nilas Martins Dance Company, which toured around the world. It was during this time that he was described in the press as “a warm, dynamic, and engaging artist, bursting with passion for dance, for opera, for his new dance company and for New York City Ballet....” After an acclaimed twenty-four year dance career, Martins was accepted as one of ten fellows into the renowned DeVos Institute for Arts Management at The Kennedy Center under the direction of Michael Kaiser.
Born in Hollywood, CA of Ms. Meunier received a full scholarship at the age of 15 to attend the acclaimed School of American Ballet, where she trained with some of the world’s most celebrated dancers including Suki Schorer, Violette Verdy and Kay Mazzo. One year later, she was asked to join the New York City Ballet (NYCB) and in 1997, she was promoted to the rank of Soloist and subsequently, Principal Dancer in 1998. During her time at NYCB, she danced numerous ballets by Balanchine, Robbins and Forsythe and her dancing was once described as “commanding, lucid and exalted” by The New York Times. In 2002, she joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT) where she performed full-length ballets such as Le Corsaire, Raymonda and Swan Lake. In 2007, Ms. Meunier joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden. In addition to her career as a professional dancer, she served as rehearsal director for Karole Armitage’s company, Armitage Gone Dance and staged Balanchine ballets as a repetiteur for The Balanchine Trust. Her extensive teaching resume includes instructing and mentoring students of all ages and levels. Fluent in both English and Spanish, her choreographic credits comprise premiere works for the Lake Placid Performing Arts Center and The Columbia Collaborative and she has taught at colleges and universities around the world including Columbia University, Goucher College and the Bejing Institute. In 2010, Ms. Meunier was appointed Ballet Mistress of The Washington Ballet and in 2011, she became Ballet Master of the company’s Trainee Program and a full-time instructor at The Washington School of Ballet.
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.
Ms. Biasucci has performed leading roles in George Balanchine’s Coppélia (Swanilda, Waltz of the Golden Hours), Divertimento from “Le Baiser de la Fée, Emeralds, 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 Burana, Cinderella(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’sEmeralds, The Four Temperaments, The 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.
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."
Ms. Vegh's professional career has been distinguished, long and varied. Following a number of years as a performer, she has devoted her attention to the education of dancers: as a teacher and as a director of ballet schools/programs. Ms. Vegh continues to travel throughout the U.S. and Japan as a master teacher. She is the author of To Dance, an instructional program and syllabus, which she uses in training seminars with ballet teachers. She has produced a 3-tape video sequence entitled Sculpting the Ballet Body, as well as a fourth tape entitled Introducing Ballet to Children: A Different Approach. She also serves as an advisor to ballet schools and companies upon request, and is a member of Regional Dance America's Advisory Committee. Ms. Vegh has former students dancing, or teaching in, companies throughout America and Europe, including Ms. Joanna Berman, recently retired principal ballerina of the San Francisco Ballet.