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The Studio boasts a fully professional faculty. Former ballet partners, our Directors Diane Cypher and Robert Kelley have known each other since 1984 and worked together in their current capacity since 1995. They have directed The Studio School of Classical Ballet and Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre since 1998. To learn more about our Directors, go to the Executive Artistic Directors page.
Linda Lock took a circuitous route to her role as one of the best ballet teachers in America today. She has taught at The Studio since 1998, coming from San Jose Dance Theatre, where she taught for two years with Diane Cypher and Robert Kelley. Linda began studying dance as a teenage gymnast -- eventually coaching gymastics professionally. She also studied several musical instruments, including piano, guitar, flute, alto saxophone, oboe and E flat soprano clarinet. She played her B-flat soprano clarinet in orchestras for ballets, operas, and musical theatre. She played in both a wood-wind quintet and jazz band for six years and played guitar and sang in a rock band for four years playing pubs, dances, and private events.
Linda studied six years of Pre-Med biochemistry and microbiology at San Jose State, as well as completed two years of aeronautics and aerodynamics. She earned her private pilot's license on her way to what she thought might be a commercial flying career. In her mid-20s she began to study ballet. No one told her it was too late. She studied with Jean Dunphy at The Studio, Kristine Elliott in Palo Alto, and the Reyes husband and wife team in Santa Clara. She took every form of dance-related class she could find at Cabrillo College, including modern dance and drama classes. She eventually danced professionally with Santa Clara Ballet and Peninsula Ballet Theatre in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, and as the Cat in Peter and the Wolf.
Linda's early teaching career was especially influenced by Kristine Elliott and Kim Gardner. She also studied Pilates privately with Kim for over ten years to add to her understanding of kinesiology. She has attended teacher training courses in both the Vaganova method and Royal Academy of Dancing method. Linda celebrates her 40th wedding anniversary in 2016, has four sons, five grandchildren, and has lived in Scotts Valley for over 30 years. "Miss Linda" brings a passion and perspective to the ballet classroom that only someone who took this route to get here could. It's best said by her:
"Being part of the development of our fine dancers is thrilling to me. Every 'Nutcracker' I cry like a baby watching the youngest students be part of their first big Corps de Ballet in Snow. It is surreal for me, because I was over 30 years old the first time I stood in the wings waiting for my entrance in Snow; I was so thrilled to be finally able to do something I had wanted since I was six, but never had the opportunity until it was too late (by popular opinion). I would love to convey to our students that the path to dance -- and what it adds to your life -- can take many forms. Mine was not traditional or perfect, but nonetheless, it got me where I am today.”
Jeani Mitchell is a longtime favorite of our youngest students. Jeani attended San Jose State University where she received her standard secondary teaching credential in physical education with a dance emphasis. She was a member of an African dance troup at San Jose State and also studied modern dance. Jeani also studied with Tandy Beal and Marc Herstens in Santa Cruz. Jeani taught for Sherri Ellis at Academie de la Mer as well as for after-school ballet programs at Green Acres, Pescadero, and Freedom schools. She has been teaching ballet for over 40 years in the Parks and Recreation Departments of Santa Cruz and Capitola. Jeani has worked privately with students of varying ages and levels. "Ms. Jeani" has reigned over the Preparatory Ballet Program at The Studio for almost 20 years. Her classes provide a nurturing, disciplined environment for our youngest dancers. Her charges learn skills appropriate for their age and stage of development, and are encouraged weekly into creative expression.
Modern Dance Instructor Lyndsey Loosely received her BFA in dance performance and choreography from the University of Minnesota, where she danced in University Dance Theater productions, worked with Sage Cowels Guest Artists, performed at ACDFA, and studied with and performed works by artists such as Kari Margolis, Myron Johnson, Doug Varone, Paula Mann, David Dorfman, Carl Flink, HIJACK, Scott Rink, and Toni Pierce. Lyndsey spent a summer intensive training with the Jose Limon Dance Company in New York City, participated as an art educator through the U2U program in the Twin Cities public schools, and taught at the Bryant Square Park Community Center. Living for a year in Salvador, Brazil, "Ms. Lyndsey" studied Afro-Brazilian dance, Samba, Capoiera, and Axe. She studied with Vera Passos of the Bale Folclorico and performed in the Teatro Vilha Velha and Miguel Santana in New York City.
Lyndsey participated in the work study program with DanceSpace and worked as Membership Associate with American Ballet Theatre while continuing her dance training and working as an ACE certified personal trainer. In Madison, Winconsin, Lyndsey danced for Maureen Janson in SMARTDANCE and served as a dance educator in the UW Outreach program. Lyndsey also worked as Madison Ballet's Company manager and taught modern dance for both the School of Madison Ballet and the Kanopy School for Contemporary Dance. Lyndsey danced and choreographed for Kanopy Dance Company for five seasons and is a founding member of Bare Bones Productions. In 2007, she completed a Lester Horton Pedagogy training program under the direction of Ana Marie Forsythe at the Alvin Ailey School in New York City. In Santa Cruz, California, Lyndsey teaches modern dance at The Studio, School of Classical Ballet and, serves as the Director of Operations and Programs for the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and performs as a member of the Yabas Dance Company with Dandha da Hora and Tropicalismo -- Dance of Brazil with Marsea Marquis. Lyndsey is also an avid yoga practitioner.
Christopher Pratorius and Carlos Fagundo
Registrar Sandy Nelson