Our Staff & Studios

Staff

The dedicated EBDC staff brings years of dance performance, choreography and teaching experience. We love what we do and always strive that our joy of dance inspires our students.

bonnie sita

Bonnie Sita - Founder, Executive Director and President
Bonnie Sita has been teaching, performing and choreographing in the Bay Area since 1976.

Starting in ballet at age 4, she trained extensively in New York, Los Angeles and finally the Bay Area primarily in Ballet, Modern and Jazz.

A two-time CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL Artist-in-Residence, she has worked extensively to bring dance into the public schools as a dance and movement specialist for the cities of Oakland, San Rafael and Richmond and as a gifted and talented teacher for the Richmond Unified School District.

Bonnie created JAZZ: AN AMERICAN DANCE FORM, a multi-cultural assembly program for elementary school age children and presented it in numerous Richmond and Oakland public schools.

In 1984, with (the late) Toney Pennewell, she founded Move Dance Theatre, a locally-based jazz dance company which received a Mayoral Proclamation in 1994 and funding from the City of Oakland. She performed in and directed many productions with Move Dance Theatre

In 1990, she became Executive Director of the East Bay Dance Center, and in 1992, she became Executive Director and President of the Board of the newly incorporated Move Dance Theatre at the East Bay Dance Center. She founded MDT II, a young people’s performing company and has served as its Artistic Director since 1991, taking them into the public schools and to many community events. In 1996, she was part of the Mayor's Sister City Delegation to Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Bonnie maintains an active role with young people in the community as an outreach teacher, guest choreographer and mentor. Her philosophy is to make dance accessible to everyone as a physical, creative, spiritual and emotional outlet and to instill self-esteem and character in young people through the discipline of dance.

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EMILY SHOOP
 
 
Emily Shoop, a native of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania started her training at age three. For fifteen years she attended the Maryen Lorrain Dance Studio, where her studies took her all over the United States attending numerous conventions and competitions. Emily began teaching at age fifteen, and not only fell in love with performing but also inspiring young dancers.

After graduating high school, Emily decided to continue her dance education at Point Park University. Emily graduated cum laude with a B.A in dance and a minor in business. During her time at school, she had the privilege of studying under Peter Merz, Cynthia Ridler, and Jason McDole. Also, she performed various works for Point Park as well as for rEvolve Dance Theatre founded by Marissa Balzer.

Emily specializes in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary and Gymnastics.

She is very excited to share her passion and expertise to students of all ages here at East Bay Dance Center.

JOSLYNN MATHIS REED

Joslynn Mathis Reed hails from Detroit Michigan. Her lifelong passion for dance has taken her on a journey that includes performing with Aretha Franklin as a teenager, studying West African dance in Ghana as an undergraduate, and continuing to teach dance to a wide range of students over the past 15 years. Joslynn’s unique style of movement and choreography is driven by a high-energy fusion of hip-hop, modern and ballet forms, resulting in her own unique style. Joslynn holds a B.A. in Dance/Theater Arts from California State University, East Bay and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Mills College in Oakland, CA where she currently lives and works. Joslynn has trained in Dunham, Ailey and Graham Techniques.

PORTSHA JEFFERSON

Portsha Terae Jefferson is a professional dancer and choreographer trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and African derived styles, who specializes in Haitian Folkloric Dance. Established in 2004, Ms. Jefferson is the founder and artistic director of Rara Tou Limen (RTL) (www.raratoulimen.com), an arts organization that presents Haitian music, dance & culture through classes, workshops, and performances.

A passionate believer in education and youth development, she has worked for several youth organizations including The Young Performers Theater, The San Francisco Arts Education Project, Westlake School of the Arts, Opera Picolla, DanceVersity and Swivel Arts. Ms. Jefferson has taught creative movement and Haitian Folkloric dance in schools, universities, community centers and dance studios for twelve years. 

Currently, Ms. Jefferson is an Adjunct Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Conservatory for Contemporary Dance Arts (CCD) and is an artist in residence for Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and SF Unified School District. In addition, she is an instructor at East Bay Dance Center where she teaches African-Haitian Dance, Dance Mission Theater and the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. She also serves as a Cultural Arts Specialist with Oakland Parks and Recreation where she continues to share her love of dance with Oakland youth.

JUDITH BEAN

Judith teaches unique adult/teen jazz.  She combines the language of modern dance, jazz and ballet into a wonderful class that is a great workout too!  Regardless of whether you've been dancing all your life or just getting back into dance, Judith creates a positive environment for you.  She has studied with the American Jazz Dance Company in San Diego, the Oakland Ballet Company and many other places.  She has danced with Ballet Hawaii, San Diego Light Opera Association and Oakland Ballet Company.
 

TARIN GRIGGS - Studio Manager 

Tarin Griggs, a native of Richmond, California, is an arts administrator, freelance dancer, editor, education consultant, and volunteer for San Francisco Bay Area dance companies, community arts organizations, dance studios, and performance venues. She holds a M.Ed. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a B.A. in English from Mills College with an emphasis in Creative Writing and a minor in Dance Choreography, and served on the board of directors for the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund. She is trained in ballet (East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and En Pointe Youth Dance Company), jazz (El Cerrito High School Dance Production Troupe), and modern dance (Mills College), and has worked with East Bay Dance Center since 2012.

 

 Studios

studios

Our spacious studios offer hardwood floors, air-conditioning, a small stage, and a lobby for parents and visitors. We are located in the Glenview District of Oakland just off Park Blvd. which is lined with restaurants, cafes and a variety of shops and businesses for your enjoyment and convenience.

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