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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.


Wadeaa Jubran

Ballet Director

Wadeaa grew up in the Bay Area and began dancing at the age of four. She trained alongside multiple leading companies in the South Bay during her dance career, including Morgan Hill Ballet Company and South Valley Ballet Company, where she later became Artistic Director in 2017. Her repertoire includes principal roles in Swan Lake, Paquita, La Fille Mal Gardee, the Nutcracker, and more.


As Artistic Director, Wadeaa has directed productions including Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, Paquita, Firebird, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and more. She has created ballet, conditioning, and yoga curriculum specifically geared towards anatomical education, improvement of muscle functions, injury prevention, and mindfulness while dancing. Wadeaa moved to San Diego in 2019, where she has since expanded her love of ballet to a new area and received her PBT Certification. She believes you will learn the most from the teachers that truly love what they are teaching. Wadeaa strives to express her passion for ballet through her teaching in hopes of seeing that same excitement ignite in her students.

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Theo Ivey


Theo Ivey is a respected dancer, choreographer and master teacher from the San Diego area. His professional credits include being featured as a dancer in annual Nutcracker productions, foreign music videos and soloist and Executive Director for award winning dance company, Unity Dance Ensemble. As a teacher and choreographer, Theo has worked for Palomar College, San Diego State University, Varsity Spirit Corporation, California Ballet School and various high schools and arts organizations throughout the region. As a master teacher and adjudicator, Theo has traveled the country sharing his passion of living the parallels of life and dance. 


Bridget Bachman


Bridget Bachman grew up a competitive dancer in San Diego training in jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary and Hip Hop from the age of 2. Her early dance career includes winning multiple national titles, assisting for Revel Dance Convention, West Coast Dance Explosion, and NBA’s Phoenix Suns dancer auditions. Bridget attended Westview high school where she competed on her school’s varsity dance team for 4 years. After graduating in 2021, Bridget continued to dance apart of Affinity dance company, run by SYTYCD alumni Ashley Valerio, as well as multiple video projects with choreographer Holden Maples. Bridget is now a full time dance instructor and choreographer in San Diego and is beyond grateful to share her love of dance with all of her students.


Danae Baltierra


Born and raised in Northern California, Danae began dancing at three years old, and became a competitive dancer at nine. For fifteen years, she studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop, but her biggest passion was always tap. In addition to performing and competing, Danae began teaching at 15.

After graduating from SDSU, Danae decided to take her dancing in a new direction, and began training in ballroom. After a year of lessons at a local San Diego studio, she was invited to join the studio’s staff, where she became certified in American Smooth, American Rhythm, and Night Club styles. She continues to train under world renowned coaches, including Toni Redpath, Michael Mead, Jonathan Roberts, and Viktorija Barasihina. Danae teaches students of all levels, from beginners to advanced competitors, and she competes professionally with her husband, Andre, in the American Smooth category. Danae is so excited to bring her love for both tap and ballroom to the dancers at Prodigy!


Amber Durbin


Amber grew up dancing at San Diego Dance Centre in all genres. After competing for many years she found her passion in teaching dance and has now been teaching for the past 5 years varying in different styles with a focus on preschool aged kids teaching them to express creativity and share her love for dance. Amber is currently a certified EMT and is continuing her education in nursing.


Ceci Denley


Ceci's journey in the world of dance began at the age of four in her hometown of Tennessee, where she honed her skills at various competitive studios. At the age of nine, she made the move to California, where she continued her training with San Diego Ballet, Del Mar Ballet, and the original Prodigy location. During her freshman year of high school in Colorado, Ceci showcased her talent as a dancer for Grandview High School’s Varsity Poms team, achieving recognition with a top-ten placement at Nationals. Following a return to California, she resumed training at Prodigy, joined a professional dance company, and performed in local live shows in San Diego. Throughout her later high school years, Ceci became part of a pre-professional company, collaborating with industry-leading choreographers and gaining experience teaching dance classes. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to further her dance career, taking classes from renowned teachers and choreographers, and joining Lume Collective. With Lume, she immersed herself in various roles, from performing to choreographing and directing her own pieces. During her time in Los Angeles, Ceci participated in concept video shoots, taught classes to the local community, showcased her talent in a Choreographer's competition, and featured in multiple music videos. Now back in San Diego, she is dedicated to teaching and contributing to the community she holds dear, all while maintaining her monthly shoots with her Los Angeles-based dance company.


Madeline Wilson

Office Manager

Bio coming soon

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