Maria Valdovinos

Maria started dancing folklorico when she was 11 years old. At the age of 19 she decided it was time to start her own group. She started it with only 7 students and slowly it started growing. Currently she has over 50 students, and 3 student teachers with 6 different classes offered in Stockton and in Tracy. She is also a teacher for one of the largest Folklorico Dance Workshop known as Danzantes Unidos Festival that happens for one weekend, once a year; this year they had over 1500 students’ patriciate in the workshops.  Aside from teaching Mexican Folklorico classes, she also works a full time job as the Registrar and soccer coach for a Charter School in Stockton CA. During her spare time she likes to spend time with my family, get involved with her church, play soccer, and travel.

For more information about Ballet Folklorico Raices Mexicanas de Maria Valdovinos, please visit www.bf-rm.org!

Jenny Taloa

Jenny Kini Taloa is an accomplished award winning Tahitian dancer with over 20 years experience in Polynesian performing arts. She has traveled within the islands of the pacific and beyond performing for cruise ships, NFL charities, corporate and celebrity events.

Jenny’s main focus is to bring the Polynesian culture to the community for children 5 years old and up through dance art expression.

Deborah Skinner

Deborah earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California at Irvine and her Master’s Degree from Mills College in Oakland.  She is owner of the Academy of Performing Arts in Tracy, recently incorporated to APA of Tracy, Inc.  She is founder and Artistic Director of the Children’s Dance Theatre of Tracy, and is also the founder and co-director of the Heartwork’s Early Education Preschool, an inclusion preschool that partners with Tracy Unified’s Side-by-Side Inclusion Preschool and San Joaquin County Office of Education.  Deborah is a member and past president of Dance Masters of America and is the author of DMA’s preschool and children’s dance education syllabus and teaching manual.  She has been recognized by the Tracy Chamber of Commerce as entrepreneur of the year along with being recognized by the US Congress and House of Representatives as a woman who has made a difference.

Deborah has taught nearly 45 years and is an advocate of all fine, performing, and visual arts and the power of said art to change, motivate, and better lives.  She feels most blessed to have a wonderful, supportive husband and family.  And has been so fortunate to have had her life’s work be a vocation as well as an avocation.

Eileen McBride Parker

Eileen McBride Parker was born into an Irish Dancing family and has been involved in it since the tender age of 3. Eileen was competitive until her mid-20’s winning multiple championships for her age group. Eileen, both an American and Irish Citizen, spent years assistant teaching with her mother, Ann McBride ADCRG (certified Techer, Adjudicator and examiner for Teacher and Adjudicator testing for the Irish Dancing Commission in Dublin, Ireland) founder, for the McBride School of Irish Dancing (celebrating 50 years in 2017) until certified as a TCRG in 1997.

In the past 20 years, and at the height of Riverdance and a very though standard of dancing, Eileen has produced multiple world qualified Irish Dancers both individuals and world medal holding teams. Eileen has helped prepare many of her long time students to go on and become certified as TCRG’s after sitting an exhaustive, written traditional ceili dance, music and active teaching exam. Eileen’s passion for teaching children in a very respectful environment, where all dancers are treated equally and guided to their maximum potential is evident in the long standing relationships and respect she has with the children, parents and colleagues.

When participating in performances or competitions, you can always find Eileen helping all students from all schools by working stages and mentoring dancers. Eileen organizes an annual competition, the East Bay Feis, each November, together with her family, in San Ramon for local brand new beginners through champions from all over the USA, including Adults. She also organizes many community events for the dancers to perform non-competitively and show off their talents within the community.

Rose Lape

Rose has a passion to redefine dance with a broader definition, inspire students to enjoy expressing themselves in the body they have, and foster creativity through movement.She specializes in teaching inter-generational and physically integrated dance (a contemporary dance form that evolves from the collaboration between dancers with and without disabilities), and parent-child dance to all ages from the very young to the very mature elder.Ms. Thomas has a genuine love to “play” through movement and is dedicated to inspiring others to appreciate and celebrate each person’s creative way of expression. Her appreciation that every body” has unique contributions opens up many possibilities to present dance in a format that students joyfully respond to. In her classes, she encourages the students to expand their imaginations to see that anything can be a dance, dance is happening everywhere all the time, and dance can be enjoyed by every “body”. She believes dance has the unique power to engage all generations, motivate students toward excellence, strengthen an understanding of one’s self and others, and foster a pride of achievement and curiosity about the world that can carry over into all aspects of their lives.

Ms. Lape has been an Artist-in-Residence with the L.A. Music Center as a Wolf Trap Artist, City of Manhattan Beach, Shipp Dance Theatre, Pasadena Children’s Center for the Arts, the Merced Arts Council, and the San Joaquin County Office of Education ARTSWork Yes! Program. She has also worked with Infinite Potential and Bethune Theatredanse teaching creative dance to children with special needs. Rose has been a presenting artist at the B.E.S.T. Arts Conference presented by L.A. County Performing Arts Center and Long Beach College Child Development Education Department, and the Magic of Early Literacy Conference presented by the L.A. Unified School District.; Since Thomas’ relocation to California’s Central Valley in 2001, she has participated in the Valley Sierra California Arts Project (VSCAP) Invitational Institute, VSCAP Collaborative Design Institute, and has served as a VSCAP dance educator/presenter.

Her dance studies include modern, Hawaiian & Flamenco dance, Graham, Dunham and Horton techniques, ballet, butoh-based dance, contact improvisation, release technique, aerial dance and physically integrated dance. Rose has created, performed and collaborated with visual artists, traditional cultural artists and contemporary performing artists, and received grants, sponsorship and commissions from the City of L.A., California Arts Council, local colleges and organizations.