East Bay Dance Center (510) 336-3262
info@eastbaydancecenter.org
Meet the Staff  

Thank you for your interest in joining the East Bay Dance Center studio family! Our dedicated staff of industry professionals brings years of dance performance, choreography and teaching experience:


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.

   

Emily Shoop

EMILY SHOOP
Instructor

A native of Pittsburgh, Emily Shoop 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. She also performed various works for Point Park as well as for rEvolve Dance Theatre founded by Marissa Balzer.

Emily currently performs for Dance Wright Project which is a small contemporary dance company based out of San Francisco.

Emily specializes in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary, Gymnastics and Pre-school aged students. She has been teaching at East Bay Dance Center since 2012, and continues to enjoy stepping into the studio and sharing what she loves most with all of the students!

   

Portsha Tarae Jefferson

PORTSHA TARAE JEFFERSON
Instructor

Portsha 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), an arts organization that presents Haitian music, dance and 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 BEAN
Instructor

Judith 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.

Judith teaches adult/teen jazz class, but in a very unique style. She combines the language of modern dance, jazz and ballet into a wonderful class; and it's 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.

   
Judith bean

NIKKI
Instructor

Bio coming soon!

   
Judith bean

SARAH
Instructor

Bio coming soon

   
Judith bean

DIANA
Instructor

Bio coming soon

   
Judith bean

ROBYN
Instructor

Bio coming soon

- return to top of page -

East Bay Dance Center   |   1318 Glenfield Avenue   |   Oakland, CA 94602   |   (510) 336-3262   |  info@eastbaydancecenter.org
facebook YouTube Instagram