CF DANCE ACADEMY INSTRUCTORS
Jennifer Forcucci-Marzluf, LCUSA (Co-Owner/Co-Director/Senior Instructor)
Jennifer Forcucci-Marzluf has been teaching dance for over 20 years. Miss Jennifer holds her Licentiate Teachers Certification with Cecchetti USA, Classical Ballet and has completed her Advanced 1 (Grade 9) Examination. Miss Jennifer continues her ballet studies with Cecchetti USA’s former Executive Director, Marnell Himes-Ushijima. She is currently on the board of directors for Cecchetti USA Classical Ballet and Jennifer volunteers her time with numerous projects for the orgainization. Throughout her ballet career, Miss Jennifer has attended several summer courses and workshops, receiving instruction directly from top ballet masters. Miss Jennifer attended the Orange County High School of Performing Arts, where she studied commercial arts and ballet. At the age of seventeen, she became a certified ballroom dance instructor for the Imperial Ballroom, and went on to dance and compete in both pro-am and professional categories. Along with Co-Directing CF Dance Academy, Miss Jennifer also enjoys being the Director of CF Dance Academy’s Ballet Intensive Program, preparing and submitting candidates for yearly ballet examinations, sharing her love of the Cecchetti work and hiring guest teachers for Master Classes. Miss Jennifer is also the Director of CF Dance Academy’s award winning Fullerton Youth Ballet, who competes annually and also participates in community performances. Miss Jennifer also enjoys directing CF Dance Academy’s annual Nutcracker Ballet as well as CF Dance Academy’s annual Spring Showcases.
Leanna Forcucci (Co-Owner/Co-Director/Senior Instructor)
Leanna Forcucci has been teaching dance for over 26 years. She has taught for several dance studios in Orange County and even worked as the lead ballet teacher for a competing dance troupe in Austin, TX, where she also worked as a professional hip-hop dancer. Miss Leanna has taught many different dance and movement forms including ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and tumbling. Her specializations are in hip-hop dance and teaching advanced hip-hop technique to young children. She currently trains with industry recognized hip-hop choreographers in Los Angeles and tours her CF Dance Academy Hip-Hop Crews, Bring the Noise, K-mot10n 2.0 and Fortissimo throughout Orange, Riverside & LA Counties. These crews that she directs are award winning, have gained professional recognition and have received numerous awards for their crowd pleasing productions. Currently she is director of the largest Hip Hop program in Central and North Orange County and has put CF Dance on the map for hosting professional hip-hop choreographers in master class workshops and weekly classes at the academy. She has her B.A. in Child Development and Family Studies from Cal State Long Beach, where she also attended graduate school to work on her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. During the past ten years, Leanna has also directed and taught CF Dance Academy dance programs at preschool and after school programs in cities throughout Orange, Riverside & LA Counties.
Jessica Anderson (Assistant Director/Senior Instructor: Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop)
Jessica began her training as a young girl and has studied seriously at CF Dance Academy since 2004. She has had the privilege of studying Hip Hop in L.A. with professional choreographers at Edge, Debbie Reynolds and Millennium dance studios. Here at Cf Dance Academy she studies Hip Hop, Ballet, and Pointe. Jessica is a former member of our Bring the Noise Hip Hop Troupe and Fortissimo crews and has had the opportunity to dance in various competitions such as World of Dance, Maxt Out, Vibe Juniors, and Urban Street Jam. In 2012, Jessica passed her Grade 7 Cecchetti Ballet exam and is continuing her training in the hopes of taking her Grade 8 exam, she also received her Teacher’s Certificate 1 in Cecchetti Ballet in 2014. Her responsibilities as Assistant Director include: managing the front desk, stage managing our showcases, organizing most offsite events, and supporting management. She has worked very closely with CFDA directors and has become a very strong instructor as well as office personnel manager. Jessica currently teaches Ballet, Hip Hop, Ballet & Tap Combo, Parent & Me, and Creative Ballet.
Eddie “Lil Rock” Barragan (Instructor: Breakdancing)
Lil Rock is one of the top break dancers in the industry, and is a member of the Bboy crew Killafornia. His performances include dancing for James Brown and Genuine for the BET Music Awards, Hannah Montana and LL Cool J for the Teen Choice Awards, and going on tour with the Black Eyed Peas from 2003 to 2008. Lil Rock has been featured in several music videos, including those by artists Dr. Dre and Eminem, Enrique Iglesias, Sugar Ray, and Wyclef Jean. He has also competed in and won very many prestigious BBoy awards, and holds the titles for the following: Bboy Masters Pro-Am Champion 2000 in Miami, Florida, Freestyle Session Champion 2010 with Killafornia Crew, World of Dance Footwork Champion 2013 in Los Angeles, California, Red Bull BC One Vegas Champion 2013, Red Bull BC One North American Finalist, and Hip Hop International Worlds Battle First Place Champion. Lil Rock has been teaching breakdancing classes at CF Dance Academy for more than five years, and loves mentoring b-boys and b-girls of all ages.
Vanessa Benitez (Senior Instructor: Tap, Hip Hop)
Vanessa Benitez born and raised in California has been dancing since she was 9 years old. Going between sports and dance classes, she finally found her true calling in continuing her love for dance. Vanessa teaches tap and hip hop and been taught by nationally acclaimed instructors. Vanessa has been teaching Tap for CF Dance Academy for the past 10 years . She brings a different element by blending her tap with hip hop to bring out “FUNKY TAP”. Vanessa states, “My true inspiration comes from watching my students improve each class, they are the ones that make my ideas come to life!” She hopes to continue to tap and dancing hip hop for many years to come. One thing she likes to emphasize to her students in her hip hop classes, “Hip Hop is not just a dance, it’s a lifestyle.”
Sadie Black (Instructor: Ballet)
Sadie Black was born in Long Beach, CA. first training schools were Riverside Ballet Arts and Ballet Pacifica.She also attended summer programs at Houston Ballet Academy, Pacific Northwest Ballet and The School of American Ballet. She later received a full scholarship to Houston Ballet Academy’s pre-professional program and graduated after 2 years of intensive training and performing corps de ballet roles with the professional company, Houston Ballet. She has danced as a company member of Texas Ballet Theater, Columbia City Ballet and Los Angeles Ballet. Sadie currently lives in San Pedro, CA and is a company dancer with The Barak Ballet. She also is a free-lance artist with Luminario Ballet of Los Angeles, Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet and City of Angeles Ballet. Sadie loves teaching ballet to all ages and sharing her knowledge of this powerful art form. She is also a certified yoga teacher and Cardio Barre instructor. Visit www.SadieBlack.com for teaching schedule and upcoming performances.
Paige Boulanger (Instructor: Ballet, Tap)
Paige Boulanger started dancing at the age of 4 with Miss Cathy, founder of CF Dance Academy, at the Downtown Anaheim Community Center. After many years of training, she began as a demonstrator for ballet and tap classes at the age of 11 where she developed her love for teaching. Paige currently teaches beginning level Cecchetti ballet classes at CFDA as well as Parent & Me, Creative Ballet, and beginning Ballet & Tap classes at the Downtown Anaheim, East Anaheim, and Fullerton community centers through CF Dance Academy. She is currently training in ballet and pointe at CFDA and has previously trained in tap, contemporary, and hip hop. Paige received her Teacher’s Certificate 1 in Cecchetti Classical Ballet in September of 2012 and has passed the Grade 9 Cecchetti Ballet exam. She is also a Senior Company member of CFDA’s Fullerton Youth Ballet Company. Paige looks forward to continuing her training and experience as a dancer and teacher at CF Dance Academy.
Faith Forcucci (Instructor: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop)
Faith Forcucci has been dancing for more than 13 years at CF Dance Academy. She has studied Cecchetti Classical Ballet along with many other dance forms including tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, and hip-hop. Faith is currently a member of both performance troupe’s belonging to CF Dance Academy: the Bring the Noise Hip-Hop Troupe and the Fortissimo Ballet Performance Troupe. She has had the opportunity to experience the dance industry in competitions that include World of Dance and Studio 429’s K-12 Competition. Faith has attended numerous dance workshops and classes with industry professionals in Hollywood, CA. She has been studying Cecchetti Ballet for more than 9 years, and has completed up to the Cecchetti Grade 8 Exam. She is also currently studying for her Cecchetti USA Teachers Certification.
Hope Forcucci (Instructor: Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz)
Hope Forcucci has been dancing for over 15 years. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. Hope has performed with such groups as the award-winning Bring the Noise Hip-Hop Crew, Fortissimo, and Boogiezone Breed. She has participated in events such as World of Dance, Maxt Out, Urban Street Jam, and Vibe Juniors. Hope has studied with professionals in LA and Hollywood in workshops and classes at Edge and Millennium studios and continues her dance education. She teaches Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop at CF Dance Academy, directs Pandemonium, CF’s award-winning all-girl youth crew, and assists in the direction of Bring the Noise.
Yumi Rachel Ito (Instructor: Ballet)
Yumi Ito began studying ballet at the age of 6 in Kyoto, Japan. In 2007, Yumi attended the School of Alberta Ballet Summer school in Calgary, Canada. She went on to study at the Edmonton school of ballet in Edmonton, Canada from 2008-2009. In Edmonton she was first introduced to Cecchetti Classical Ballet and studied with the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Yumi then began her 4 years of training in the teachers program at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. During that time she successfully passed her Intermediate (Grade 8), Advanced 1 (Grade 9) and Advanced 2 (Grade 10) examinations. Yumi graduated from the teachers program by passing her Associate Teachers Examination with Distinction. She is now proud to be a certified Cecchetti Classical Ballet Instructor. Yumi is thrilled to now live in Orange County, California and to be teaching the Cecchetti method at CF Dance Academy.
CJ Jensen (Instructor: Hip Hop)
CJ Jensen began dancing in high school as a freestyler. When he found CF Dance Academy in 2011 he began formal training in ballet, modern, and hip-hop. CJ is working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at Cal State Fullerton studying genres such as ballet and modern. CJ has been a part of award-winning competitive hip-hop crews at CF Dance Academy such as Fortissimo and Bring the Noise. He has participated in events such as World of Dance, K.A.R., Vibe, Urban Street Jam, and Maxt Out. He teaches Hip Hop at CF Dance Academy, is a co-director of Pandemonium, and also assists in the direction of competitive hip-hop crews Bring the Noise and K-mot10n. CJ’s personal choreography and dancing style can be described as contemporary hip-hop.
Rachel Olberg (Instructor: Ballet)
Rachel Oberg grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where she studied ballet under the direction of Melissa Morris at Blue Springs Ballet. During her time with Blue Spring Ballet, Rachel was a principal dancer in the youth ballet company, Blue Springs Ballet Company, and danced title roles of “Cinderella” in Cinderella, “Sugar Plum Fairy” in The Nutcracker , and “Marie Taglioni” In Pas de Quatre. As a young student, she attended many summer dance programs to enhance her ballet training , including Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program, Dmitri Roudnev’s Ballet Intensive from Moscow, and Stephen’s College Summer Dance. Upon graduation from high school, Rachel went on to study ballet at the University of Utah, receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ballet education and her teaching certificate. Rachel has danced professionally with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland and Contemporary Ballet Dallas, dancing in such roles as soloist in American Ballads: Blue Trio, Juliet’s friend in Romeo and Juliet, and Belle’s friend in Boogie Woogie Christmas Carol. Rachel has also worked as artistic director and choreographer for North Texas Youth Ballet’s The Nutcracker. She currently does freelance performing, and is working as rehearsal mistress for CF Dance Academy’s Fullerton Youth Ballet.
Daniel Piña (Instructor: Contemporary, Jazz, Turns & Leaps)
Daniel Piña has been dancing for 12 and a half years. He started in a small town studio in Modesto, California. He competed for six years at Tremaine, Company Dance, Hollywood Connection, Nuvo, and the Pulse. It wasn’t until Daniel was 17 that he realized that dancing was his passion and wanted to pursue it as a career. With the help of his parents, Daniel moved to LA to achieve that dream. In his first year down south, he auditioned and was accepted into the Edge Performing Arts Center’s scholarship program. After completing the program, he signed with Bloc talent agency. Soon after signing, he booked his first job. Daniel has worked with various choreographers and artists; such as Jason Myhre, Shanda Sawyer, Nick Lanzisera, Helene Phillips, Brooke Lipton, and Adam Parson just to name a few. He is currently dancing at Disneyland in a show called Mickey and the Magical Map. Daniel is very excited to be teaching at CF Dance Academy and can’t wait to share the knowledge he’s acquired over the years.
Ava Rosenfeld (Instructor: Ballet, Contemporary)
Ava has been a dancer for 21 years starting her training in ballet with the Hirsch School of Dance Arts and becoming a corps de ballet member for Sunrise Ballet. Also, trained in different styles of modern, jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical having opportunities to do summer intensives for ballet and modern with professional companies and dancing with a pre-professional modern company in Orange County. Dancing in numerous ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Les Bayadéres, Swan Lake, Copelia, Cinderella and Don Quixote. In high school, Ava won the All American Dance title in songleading through the USA Spirit Association and has received many choreography and dance awards for works that she did for Villa Park High School. After graduating high school, Ava left to go train with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, following her childhood dream to become a ballerina and dance in a big city with a professional company. Training everyday for numerous hours and rehearsing for long hours for two years, took a toll on her physically and ended up coming home due to a foot injury. She later had to have surgery on her foot to remove a deteriorating bone, which took a pause in her dance training and lead to the start of her teaching career. She has been teaching for the past 4 years at different dance studios and has found a new love for inspiring and mentoring dancers of all ages to achieve and be the best dancers they can. Ava is currently the dance coach at Villa Park High School and fitness instructor at Pure Barre, and is very excited to be apart of the CF Dance Academy family!
Marissa Sands (Instructor: Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop)
Marissa Sands has been with CF Dance Academy for 18 years and started her dance career with Cathleen Forcucci, the founder of CF Dance. She studies contemporary, ballet, jazz, and hip hop. She attended Fullerton Union High School and was a member of their Dance Company and Dance Production. She is currently working on her Associate of Arts degree in dance at Cypress College. Here at CF Dance Academy she is a part of Fortissimo and Fullerton Youth Ballet Company and has been coached by many professional dancers and choreographers. Marissa has passed the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Method Grades 3-9 Examinations. Marissa currently teaches Lyrical/Contemporary, Turns and Leaps, and Jazz.
Skylar Vandenburg (Instructor: Hip Hop)
Skylar Vandenburg has been dancing at CF Dance Academy for seven years. During her time as a student here at CF Dance, she has been training and continues to train in various dance styles including hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, ballet, and tap. Skylar has been a member of Bring the Noise hip-hop dance crew at CF Dance since it was founded five years ago. She has also been a member of Fortissimo, CF Dance’s senior elite hip-hop crew for more than two years. She currently attends Fullerton High School, and is a member of the FUHS Dance Production Team. Her teaching experience includes demonstrating and assisting with hip-hop classes since the age of 12, and assisting with jazz classes for several years as well. Skylar loves teaching and assisting here at CF Dance Academy, and loves bringing joy to her students, just like her teachers have with her here at our studio.
CF DANCE ACADEMY GUEST INSTRUCTORS
Judith Hawkesworth, FCUSA (Artistic Advisor: FYB, Instructor: Ballet)
Judith Hawkesworth holds her Fellowship with Cecchetti USA, Cecchetti Council of America and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London, England. She is the current CUSA Administrator, Residential Summer Course Coordinator and sits on the CUSA Board of Directors. She was appointed Examiner for Cecchetti USA in August 2012. Judith received her Cecchetti training from Elizabeth Baird, Aleta Davis and Marnell Himes-Ushijima. She offers over forty-five years of professional dance instruction experience. Judith served as Ballet Director for two highly respected Performing Arts and Commercial Dance schools in the Orange County, CA area for 20 years. She was a staff member of Huntington Academy of Dance, under the direction of Marnell Himes-Ushijima for 15 years. Most recently, as Administrator for Cecchetti USA Judith played a major role in organizing the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition 2014, hosted by CUSA, held in Richmond VA. Competitors from America, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom came together to compete in this world class competition for pre-professional Cecchetti trained dancers. Judith considers her proudest accomplishment her many former students who have gone on to embrace teaching as their chosen careers. Her vocation is to use her life experience and training as a dance educator to nurture the minds, bodies and spirits and enrich the lives of students and teachers through the love of dance. In 2005 Judith relocated to South Carolina. She currently directs her own school, The Studio at Gander Hill and is a staff member at The Dance Place in Camden, directed by Ari Dickinson and Stephanie Caldwell.
Alexey Kulpin, (Instructor: Ballet)
Alexey Kulpin is a graduate of the University of Culture and Art in St. Petersburg, Russia. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in ballet methodology and choreography. In 1998, he was the Grand Prix winner at the Muse of St. Petersburg Ballet Competition. As a professional dancer, Mr. Kulpin has performed soloist and principal roles in both classical and contemporary ballets in Russia, Israel, and the United States. He danced professionally with St. Petersburg State Opera Ballet, St. Petersburg State Male Theatre by Mihailovsky, Ballet Israel, City Ballet of San Diego, Grand Rapids Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theater, Stars of St. Petersburg Municipal Theater of Music and Dance, and Krasnoyarsk Dance Ensemble. Mr. Kulpin specializes in teaching classical ballet, male and female variations, and character dance. Mr. Kulpin joined The HARID Conservatory’s faculty in August 2016.
Leon Henderson (Instructor: Hip Hop)
Leon Henderson, a native New Yorker living in Hollywood, California has been dancing for over a decade, 8 years as a professional. Upon entering his professional career, he has been training rigorously in acrobatics. With that training, he was blessed to be a part of the released film “Bring It On 5” where he got to show his extensive training with tumbling as well as dancing. He also had the privilege to be a featured trampolinist in the Britney Spears Music Video “Circus”. To end off 2008. Leon’s success continues to grow. In 2010, Leon and crew “Heavy Impact” were chosen to compete on the hit MTV show ABDC (America’s Best Dance Crew). Big boys out to break negative stereotypes and prove dancers come in all sizes. These guys have big hearts and love to inspire others who have a passion for dance, “No matter what the size, if you love to dance, you are a dancer.” Leon’s infectious feel good dancing and inspirational charm has definitely won over America. After growing in the industry over the years, Leon and his other crew Oceans Eleven were asked to be featured Dancers in Will. I. Am’s new Video #ThatPower. Will. I. Am then brought OceansEleven crew on board for his Promo and European Tour in 2013. This opportunity has taken Leon around the world, performing in front of thousands, and also spreading knowledge in teaching the art of dance. Along with his talent in acrobatics and dancing, he has a strong passion for choreography. That passion has led him to Choreographing on networks such as; MTV, NBC, ABC, Disney, Musiq Plus in Canada, and Hub Network. With all that talent, he continues to share it with the world, whether it be on tour with an artist or spreading knowledge. His passion for dance is unexplainable and it can only be demonstrated through his performance and teaching.
Nicole Russo (Instructor: Hip Hop, Jazz)
Born in Connecticut, Nicole has always has a passion for dance. Since the young age of three she started training in all styles of dance. She has trained throughout her life and is currently continuing in Los Angeles, Ca. She has choreographed and taught at numerous dances studios, and assisted many highly re-guarded choreographers. She has also danced for the likes of Esther Dean, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Ellen, No Doubt, and the movie “Dance Flick”. She is currently teaching at Millennium Dance Complex and wants to continue to share her love for dance with everyone.
Devan Smith (Instructor: Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop)
Devan Smith is an accomplished dancer, aerialist and model based in Los Angeles, originally from Kansas City, Missouri. Devan studied at Lindenwood University and University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory, where she won a Universal Dance Association Collegiate National Championship and studied in ballet, pointe, and modern. Devan is trained in all styles of dance, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop, modern, pointe, and ballet. Devan has also won several national awards for choreography and dance, plus Dance Spirit magazine’s Future Star Award and performed with the case of WICKED in a benefit show. Devan can also be seen in Helene Michelle and Spencer Ward’d music videos and an Auto Insurance commercial. As a aerialist and lead dancer with innovative performing arts troupe Quixotic Fusion, Devan toured nationally, including a showcase performance at the main TEDx2012. Devan has performed aerial work in net, hammock, gyro(custom apparatus), handloop, lyra, and crane-work. Devan’s television resume includes appearances on America’s Got Talent, Season 7 and Season 10 of So You Think You Can Dance. As a model, her recent work includes an runway appearance for Madison Park Collective at LA fashion week, model for rupert bye and OXNjEN dancewear. Devan is so happy to be in Southern California making her dreams come true.