INSTRUCTORS

Melissa Semmer

Owner, Co-Artistic Director, Director, Instructor

Melissa has sixteen years of experience in dance performance, instruction and choreography. She started dancing at the age of five, dancing competitively throughout the west coast with Studio West Dance Company in San Diego, CA. She performed jazz, tap, lyrical and musical theater that led to winning prestigious dance awards at regional and national dance competitions. Melissa won the first place national team championship award for five consecutive years.
Melissa has performed in several dance companies and shows for well-known artists in the music industry such as Beyonce Knowles, Michelle Branch and Carlos Santana. You can find Melissa on MTV and NBC. Melissa received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Preferred Sciences at San Diego State University, specializing in contemporary and theatre production. She was chosen to dance for the University Dance Company under the direction of Melissa Nunn and Joe Alter.
Melissa has worked as an instructor and coach at various dance studios and universities including Mesa Community College and Poway High School, where she was selected to choreograph the remembrance dance for Chelsea King. She privately instructs dancers of all ages for improving technique and in preparation for dance auditions, competitions and for private weddings. Her choreography has won countless first place awards, along with top 10s and top choreography awards regionally and nationally. Melissa’s choreography has been recognized all over the country by various universities from UCI to NYU. She has been hired recently to judge for Primetime, Showbiz, iDance Productions and choreograph for an upcoming video game.
Melissa has always had a dream of owning her own dance studio. Prodigy Dance Company is a place she can call home for her and her dancers and instructors. Her goal has and always will be to share her talent, knowledge and passion for dance with others, hoping to inspire them to follow their dreams as she has.

Alex Blitstein

Artistic Director, Guest Choreographer

Born and raised in Northern California, Alex Blitstein’s dance career began after 12 years of competitive gymnastics training. Alex moved to San Diego to attend college where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Science from San Diego State University. While in college Alex traveled as a master teacher / choreographer and coached collegiate level gymnastics all on top of being in a professional dance company. Alex’s mix of talent and ambition sparked his multi-faceted career. Alex started out 2013 assisting for Break the Floor Productions on both Jump Dance Convention and their newest convention 24 Seven, where he was offered a permanent position both demonstrating and running admin alongside the Executive Director.
Alex was most recently on set filming the finale episode of Glee’s 4th season as a principal dancer alongside American Idol’s Jessica Sanchez. Before booking Glee, Alex was in Tokyo, Japan for 7 weeks. He was chosen to accompany a world -renowned hip-hop and house choreographer to go and personally train some of Japan’s most famous and talented boy bands and solo artists/idols focusing on technical, artistic and acrobatic development. It was an experience of a lifetime.
Other credits include dancing for Jennifer Lopez in one of her music videos as well as her Fiat commercial. Alex was featured as a principal dancer on the Disney Channel hit show “So Random”, FOX networks “Mobbed”, and has danced in industrials for Esteé Lauder, Adidas, Genetech and Flash Mob America. He has also performed with Mental Head Circus directed by renowned aerial and dance artist Terry Beeman. Alex has been lucky enough to travel around the country teaching, judging for and setting award-winning choreography at various studios, workshops, conventions and on nationally ranked high school and college dance teams. Aside from the commercial and competitive dance industry, Alex has set work on and taught at the dance departments at countless top universities across the United States as well as multiple professional companies.
Alex received San Diego State University’s prestigious, “Alumni to Watch” award due to his success and achievements since graduating from the university and also had the pleasure of teaching at the World Arena-Olympic training center in Colorado Springs where he was teaching off-ice “movement development” classes for the US figure skaters. He is represented by McDonald Selznick and Associates.

Mary Strauss

Competition/Performance Director, Instructor

Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Mary began dancing at the age of 3. She grew up in a performance and competition based studio and was the captain of her high school Dance Team. She began assisting classes at the age of 14 and teaching at the age of 17 while also participating in an internship program at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She has choreographed performance and competition pieces for numerous age groups and studios throughout New Jersey & San Diego. Mary graduated from San Diego State University in 2011 where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and Science. She was a member of the University Dance Company under the direction of Joe Alter & Patricia Sandbeck from 2009-2011. During Mary’s time at SDSU, she also enjoyed taking classes at the Academy of Performing Arts and Culture Shock SD. Mary is so excited to join this fabulous team and share her love of dance with a new generation of dancers.

Lorin Volenec

Instructor

Lorin began her dance training at a very young at at her community dance studio. It wasn't long before instructors recognized her talent. Lorin has studied all genres of dance in bot hWisconsin and Minnesota and is highly proficient in tap, jazz, lyrical, and modern. She was singled out by Joe Tremaine, who encouraged her to make dance a part of her career. Lorin went on to dance professionally for several years in Minnesota before relocating to San Diego. 

Yulia Romero

Instructor

Yulia was born and raised in Russia and entered into Rhythmic Gymnastics training at the age of four. She quickly developed a talent for the sport and began competing at the age of six. Yulia was a competitive gymnast for eleven years until she went on to obtain a higher education in law. In 2008 she returned to the sport as a Gymnastics Coach at Star Gymnastics Studio in her hometown. She coached on average a group of twenty-five aspiring young gymnasts in various age groups on the proper techniques and forms of gymnastics. She also conducted individual and group strength and interval training, flexibility and stretching work outs, conditioning, and endurance routines. In 2012 Yulia moved to the United States and again began coaching at Champion Rhythmic Gymnastics Academy. Yulia has a great deal of passion for working with young girls and enjoys helping them to achieve their goals and succeed.

Christian DePaul

Instructor

Christian has had a love for the arts for as long as he can remember. The majority of his life has been spent on stage behind a microphone. Once he found dance Christian spent his time training in several dance intensives and scholarship programs in Culture Shock SD and the Academy of Performing Arts. Thanks to his many teachers, instructors and mentors that were a source of inspiration and growth, he quickly fell in love with dance. As a result, he’s had the pleasure of dancing and choreographing for several dance teams, companies, choreographers, corporations, productions and recording artist including 3M Global, San Diego Symphony, D.A.R.E. America, San Diego County Fair’s “Michael Jackson Tribute”. He’s a strong believer that it’s never too late to follow your passion wholeheartedly!

Kelly Conaway / Aerial Acheivements

Instructor

Kelly Conaway, an acro, stretch and flexibility coach, has more than twenty years of professional teaching experience with studios nationwide. She has regional and national competition experience as both a coach and choreographer. Kelly has received performance awards recognition for outstanding instruction by a coach and is known for her progressive approach to Acro and spotting techniques that creates a fearless dancer. She has a passion for the art of acrobatics, a commitment to the studios she is involved with and pure dedication to the students she teaches.

Vanessa Roscoe

Instructor

Vanessa has been dancing since the age of five, training at variety of studios in San Diego.  She is trained in over 5 genres of dance and has trained under many instructors including our very own Melissa Semmer and Alex Blitstein. She has won many prestigious first place awards as a soloist at regional and national competitions throughout the country as a member of the Poway High Dance Team. Her passion is dance and business, currently pursuing a degree at Cal State University of San Marcos.

Raul Gomez

Instructor

Raul has years of dance experience in a variety of styles including hip hop, jazz, salsa, and modern, to name a few. Raul currently coaches the Poway Dance Team, Cal State San Marcos Dance Team, and teaches at Mesa College.
Raul was also a featured dancer and contributing choreographer for Sea World Summer Nights. Other performance and choreography credits include McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival, IDEA Fitness convention, Super Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Mardi Gras Festival, Color of We Benefit Show, Commercial work in Mexico, and was also a part of a ballet-hip hop collaboration with the San Diego Ballet.

Kris Wagner

Instructor

Kristopher Wagner, native to San Diego, began dancing at just 3 years old, later taking his career to a professional level at age 8! At age 5, he began to dance competitively at Rising Star Dance Company, where he trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and hip hop. He found his love for Hip Hop when he joined Flipside in 2005 at 6 years old under the instruction of Erik Saradpon and Phillip Geniza. He has been represented by Clear Talent Group for the past 11 years and has much success in the industry. You may have seen him dancing with Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Pitbull, Zendaya, plus more, and has been seen on shows like Glee, Kids Choice Awards and Dancing With The Stars, just to name a few!

Wadeaa Jubra

Instructor

Wadeaa moved to San Diego from the Bay Area to spread her love of dance to a new area. She started dancing at the age of four and continued to train alongside many companies during her dance career. She has created ballet, conditioning, and yoga curriculum specifically geared towards anatomical education, improvement of muscle functions involved in ballet, injury prevention, and mindfulness while dancing. Wadeaa has performed in and directed many productions including Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, and more. Wadeaa believes you will learn the most from the teachers that truly love what they are teaching. She strives to express her passion and love for ballet through her teaching in hopes of seeing that same excitement ignite in her students.

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7875 Highlands Village Pl, Suite B101-B , San Diego, CA 92129

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