Jessica (Laiken) Allen was a student at Heidi and Joe Melchiona’s Dance Center since 1984 and started teaching for them in 2000. She continued to teach for Just Dance It! when they bought Heidi and Joe’s Dance Center in 2004. Jessica has trained extensively (both locally and nationally) in ballet, tap, and jazz. She has won numerous awards in regional and national competitions as a soloist and as a member of the competition team. She is also an original member of Tap Maniacs, Heidi and Joe’s elite tap company, which won the Titanium Cup at the 2000 DEA Las Vegas Nationals. Her students have won numerous awards, overall top scores, and choreography awards. Jessica has two Master's Degrees in Social Work and School Guidance Counseling and a Minor in Dance. She is currently a school guidance counselor at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School. In addition, Jessica and her husband have two young sons, Zachary and Jordan.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Rocio Alvarez trained at Alejo Carpentier school and at the National Ballet school of Cuba. With this prestigious company, she performed as different characters from the Ballet repertory "Nutcracker", "Swan Lake", "Don Quixote" and many other. She joined Alberto Alonso and Sonia Calero's company Dance Ensemble when she moved to Miami in 2000. In 2002 she started teaching ballet classes at just Dance It! and still is a part of our staff. Rocio is also a member of a contemporary dance company "Free Soul Dance" and performs in Miami and ballet festivals in Mexico.
Yara Duarte is a ballet teacher, choreographer, and an examination coach for the Royal Academy of Dancing in London.
Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she initialized her dance studies with Carla Perotti and eventually received her degree with Royal Academy of Dancing method. She had Carla Perotti, Yelle Bittencourt and Maria Helena Mazzetti as her major ballet instructors.
For her modern and contemporary dance studies she had Johan Hardy from Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, Sonia Motta, Penha de Souza, Yoshi Morimoto and Renata Justino as instructors.
In 1982 she became a director of Ballet Carla Perotti in Sao Paulo, where she would stay for 20 years giving continuity to Carla Perotti unique work and making the school one of the city's most prestigious dance institutions. During this period she was a titular professor of the RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing) method and directed The Carla Perotti Dance Company (consisting of experienced students) inviting renowned choreographers of the Brazilian dance scene to develop exclusive works with the group, competing and winning various regional and national dance festivals.
She danced professionally with Grupo Experimental de Danca (1982-1984) and Neon Cia. De Danca (1984-1990).
In the year 2000 she moved with her family to Miami, where she has been working as a ballet teacher for Just Dance It! since 2003. From 2003 to 2010 she was part of Ballet at Your School, bringing pre-ballet dance classes to private pre-schools in Miami-Dade County.
Claudia began dancing at Just Dance It! since the age of 6. She was part of the competition team and went on to win various awards, scholarships and was selected to represent USA in the World Championships in Riesa, Germany.
After graduating Doral Academy Charter High School's magnet dance division, she went on to attend Jacksonville University on both academic and talent scholarships. There she attended various residences with companies and choreographers such as Parsons Dance, Michael Foley, Stefanie Bland, ABT II, Rosero McCoy, Surfascape, and Adrienne Clancy in the Works. Claudia graduated with her BFA in Dance and received the JU Dance Service Award. She has gone on to showcase choreography at JU's Swisher Theater, Teatro Luna Blou in Curacao, ACDFA South-Eastern Division in Georgia, and Le Centre Summer Dance Festival in France.
She is now back home at Just Dance It! working with the competition team and hopes to transmit her knowledge and passion for dance to all her students.
Carolina has been present in the artistic world since an early age. At 4, she started dance lessons in Valencia, Venezuela, where she learned Classical Ballet, Tap and Classical Flamenco. At the age of 17, Carolina became part of the Javier Trujillo Dance School and she was later selected to participate in his professional company, "Compañia de Danza Nuevo Flamenco". She first started as a group dancer and soon became one of the principal dancers. Carolina toured to almost every city of Venezuela and participated in important dance festivals in the city of Valencia. At the age of 18, Carolina moved to Miami and soon after started teaching Flamenco at our studio and has also been in charge of the 3-5 year old Ballet and Tap classes for more than a decade.
Alissa began dancing at the age of 3 starting with ballet, hip-hop, jazz and tap. She has been with Just Dance It! since she was 12 years old. Since the day she started dancing she realized that dancing was her passion. She attended St. Brendan High School and was a part of the St. Brendan Varsity Dance team for three years. She won numerous awards and to her, competition season was always something to look forward to. She has been teaching at Just Dance It! for three years now. Alissa is currently attending Miami Dade College and hopes to continue dancing and teaching those who share her passion.
Stephanie's passion for belly dance began when she was 6 years old. Mentoring with Nefrete, she preformed with the South Florida Belly Dancers Association until she was 12. She has participated in many Haflas, workshops, and seminars over the years. Soon after she took her talents to Elite Arts Academy where she continued dancing and found her love for choreography, becoming their belly dance teacher shortly after. Stephanie is currently dancing with Belly2Abs, while still mentoring with Nefrete to this day for a total of 13 years.