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Meet the New/Returning Instructors for 2021 Season 3 (Updated)

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

Summer is here Rae Studios Family!

Let's give a warm welcome to our new instructors joining us for our 2021 Season 3 roster. We have some new instructors joining us for the first time as well as our veteran instructors returning for another season. As some may know, most of our teachers have been with us for many years. A few of our local teachers have moved to other cities and are continuing to teach with us virtually due to the pandemic. Other instructors are continuing to expand in their art/field of wellness like opening up new brick and mortars, expanding their teaching careers, or venturing into other lifestyles. Either way, we are always so excited to watch our teachers in every venture of their lives.

As we've recently reopened our doors to in-studio classes at FULL CAPACITY, we're super excited to continue expanding our offerings for both in-studio and livestream options.

We are so thankful for every instructor who's dedicated their time, energy to share their wellness education and artistry over the past 10 years. Let's continue to show our support to our teachers by giving them some extra attention. Try out a class, share an IG story, bring a friend and be prepared to MOVE YOUR BODY. Dance and Fitness for all.

Welcome 2021 Season 3 teachers ❤️

Get the full schedule and sign up today: RSVP TODAY

Rourou Ye
Contemporary Fusion (All Levels)
Wednesdays 5:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Rourou Ye(She/Her) is an independent choreographer, dancer, and educator who started dancing at the age of 5. She holds a BFA in Choreography from Shanghai Theater Academy (2012) and an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College (2017). As a former dance instructor & Choreographer at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China's top conservatory, Rourou is passionate about teaching non-professional dancers. She believes the power of dance enhances the practice of self-love, confidence, happiness, healing, and she is working on sharing this magic power with all her students. Her students have described their experiences studying with Rourou as life-changing events. They felt so much more connected to their body, felt more confident and happy.

At Rae Studio, Rourou shares her unique dance style through her Contemporary Fusion class, a mix of contemporary dance, jazz dance, taichi, and hip-hop. More specifically, she combines the free expression in contemporary, the feminine and sexiness in Jazz, the use of Qi(breath), the groundedness from Tai Chi, and the power and articulation from Hip-hop. As a sensitive and emotional being, Rourou puts a specific emphasis on incorporate feelings into her choreography.

As a choreographer, Rourou's works have been shown at New York City's major experimental dance venues and New Inc at The New Museum of Contemporary Art. Works showed outside of the US include Venice Art Factory, Venice, Italy, Elektron Art, Tallinn, Estonia, Beijing dance festival, D-STAGE Shanghai dance festival, China Dance Forward -Hongkong, and Guangdong Dance Festival(China).

Recently relocated to San Francisco after six years in NYC, Rourou is excited to meet like-minded humans through dance!

Andrea Sendek
Belly Dance (All Levels)
Fridays 7:50pm PT IN-STUDIO

With a rich background in the performing arts, Andrea Sendek brings a lifetime of passionate involvement in acting, music, and dance to her role as Teacher, Performer, Choreographer, and Director.

Andrea integrates philosophies into her work learned from training and performing, for over 2 decades, belly dance and other dance genres. Andrea began learning belly dance with Mesmera in Los Angeles from 1996-2004. In 2004 she relocated to the Bay Area and began her studies at The Salimpour School of Dance where for 10 years she trained under and assisted both Jamilla & Suhaila Salimpour. Andrea was also a teacher at the School from 2006-2014. Since 2015 Andrea has been learning Arabic drumming and music with Susu Pampanin and Amina Goodyear. In June of 2021, Andrea began studying extensively with Egyptian master Tommy King. She Has taken countless workshops from Egyptian teachers throughout the years some of which include, Dandesh, Yossry El Hefni, Karim Nagi, Tito, Adia Nour, and Mohammed Shahin. Andrea received certificates for completing Shara Saeeda’s Journey Through Egypt courses 1 & 2, her Suhaila Level 4 Advanced Performer Certificate, and her Jamilla Level 3 Certificate.

Andrea cross-trained in classical Indian dance, learning Bharatanatyam from Mimi Janislawski from 2005-2014, and Odissi with Vishnu Tattva Das from 2012-2014.

Andrea attended City College of San Francisco’s dance program from 2007-2010 where she studied ballet with Theresa Gensler and both Modern and dance performance with Luana Washington.

In 2017 Andrea began taking Pilates with dance company member Tré Henderson and fell in love. Andrea completed the Balanced Body Movement Principles, Mat Pilates & Reformer Teacher Training course at EHS Pilates in San Francisco and is continuing to pursue her Balanced Body comprehensive Pilates teaching certificate.

As a performer, Andrea has an extensive and rich performance background. She was a soloist in The Suhaila Dance Company and Bal Anat from 2006-2014, and was the Assistant Director of both companies from 2009-2014. Andrea performed to a live Arabic band at Marrakesh Restaurant in San Francisco from 2005-2010. Andrea continues to perform as a soloist and with her dance company Khepri throughout the Bay Area at festivals, private parties, and events. Some notable performance venues are The Palace of Fine Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Brava Theatre, and The Shelton Theatre. She has performed and taught across the United States and internationally; some highlights of her itinerary include appearances in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, and Chile.

Jeremy Jones
Cardio Jam 
Mondays 6:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Modern Dance 
Mondays 7:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Cardio Fusion 
Thursdays 5:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Back and teaching in-person! Jeremy Jones Lawson began his career as a dancer in Spring 2008 at the University of Memphis. Since then he has trained in different studios throughout the Memphis community. He joined Bridging Souls Production Dance Company (BSP) fall of 2010 under the direction of Tamara Parish and quickly became the Rehearsal Director.

​With a musical theatre background, Jeremy has performed in several productions ie: Regional Premier of “The Color Purple” By Alice Walker. With the combination of dance, Jeremy has found time to also work with different community leaders and national non-profit organizations. Such as The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, as the Performing Arts Coordinator.

Jeremy moved to San Francisco in 2014 to pursue his career in dance and fitness. Since his move he has worked with several dance companies; including RAE Studios, Danse Lumiere Contemporary Ballet Co, Performing Arts Academy of Marin, and working as one of the Cardio Hip Hop instructors & Assistant Director of the Youth Dance Program at New Style MotherLode International Dance Co. Lastly one of Lawson’s most proud accomplishments is being a dad to his two little girls Janie & Jordyn Lawson

Annalisa Brown
Tuesdays 5:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

We've missed her amazing Zumba classes. Annalisa is all about balance while finding joy, happiness & strength in your movement in every aspect of your life. She grew up as an athlete in her dad’s karate studio, so it was inevitable that the fitness world would be a huge part of her life. She holds a degree in kinesiology, is a group fitness instructor, certified personal trainer, and functional movement specialist and has been in the fitness world for 10 years. In her free time, she hosts a podcast, models, and acts and was most recently featured in the 2019 24 hour fitness national commercial campaign shoot and has been in the fitness world for 10 years. Inspired by the music to create beat-driven exercises. Her focus in every workout is to leave you feeling empowered and your best self while getting lost in the heartbeat of the music.

“Re-choose the heartbeat of your life every day.”

Leonardo Fonseca
Brazilian Pop
Tuesdays 7:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Brand new to our studio, did you know Leo actually rented out our space for his very first Brazilian Hits class? Born and raised in Brazil, Leo started dancing for fun at school presentations but soon was spotted by a dance teacher who invited him to join one of a famous dance groups in Brazil called "Tribo Cia de Dança", in 2010. There, he was introduced to hip-hop, street jazz, and dance hall. With time, he started to introduce the same dance styles to kids as a regular teacher for years in different dance studios.

He also participated in several dance festivals all over Brazil, competitions with the dance crew, and was a backup dancer for famous drag queens in nightclubs shows. He recently participated as a backup dancer in the 2019 San Francisco LGBTQIA+ Pride Parade with one of the most famous Brazilian artists today, Pabllo Vittar.

Currently, he holds a project of free dance classes for Brazilians at Dolores Park. He is passionate about his culture and he uses dance to bring his Brazilian community together, lessening the effects of inevitable homesickness.

Chandni Patel
Wednesday 5:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Joining us for in-person BollyX! Chandni is a BollyX instructor based out of San Francisco who has loved to dance for as long as she can remember! While moving around the country as a young kid, she stayed connected to dance through the addictive energy of Bollywood music. In the Bay Area, she competed with a Garba/Raas (a high-energy Indian folk style) team for a few years while also falling in love with dance fitness classes of different styles such as Zumba and U-Jam. Once she was introduced to the BollyX format, she knew it was the PERFECT fit for her and became a certified instructor in 2015! Since then, Chandni has loved to share her passion for dance and fitness through BollyX because people of all dance experience levels can join in, have fun, and get a great cardio workout! Besides Bollywood, Chandni also likes to train in different dance styles with particular interest in Dancehall, Afrobeats/fusion, and Reggaeton.

Kristie Lui
Wednesdays 6:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

BRAND NEW TIME SLOT AND IN-STUDIO! Kristie(she/her) has been training in HipHop and Streetstyles since she was 19. While her first love is Waacking/Whacking because of its tenets of expression and empowerment, she also enjoys training in other styles including Popping, Housing, Locking, and Breaking. Kristie is Co-Director of Str8jacket and has performed with them in America's Got Talent Season 12 and NBC's World of Dance Season 3. She is passionate about preserving the Bay Area HipHop Dance Community and spreading the philosophies and culture of HipHop. When Kristie is not dancing, she enjoys having lengthy conversations with her dog, Morty.

Natalia Roberts
Contemporary (Int/Adv)
Wednesdays 7:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Let's welcome back the fierce and well-educated Natalia Roberts! Natalia discovered her love for dance while studying architecture at Washington University in St. Louis at the age of 21. With over a decade of experience in competitive figure skating this Detroit native quickly took to, and excelled in dance. She got recruited to her school’s resident dance company by its artistic director, Cecil Slaughter, and in two years rose from apprentice to soloist within the company. After graduating Natalia moved to NYC where she completed the Peridance 2-year certificate program in Ballet and Contemporary dance and began working as a freelance dancer, choreographer and fitness instructor.

Natalia has worked with Deva Curl and Makeup Forever, performed and toured with several dance companies including the Caterina Rago Dance Company and Cirque Du Nuit and in November 2018 she choreographed and produced her first full-length show in NYC. Natalia’s choreographic style has been described as a fusion between masculine strength and feminine sensuality.

As a fitness instructor Natalia worked as a Lead Trainer with 305 Fitness for 5 years (teaching Cardio Dance, Power and flexibility), was the Head Trainer at F45 Training Park Slope, taught Barre and Cardio with Exhale Spa and lead a weekly bootcamp for Northface.

Lara Sullivan
Musical Theater Technique
Thursdays 6:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Adding a brand new technique class right before her choreography class! Lara Jean Is an International Award winning actress and dancer from San Francisco, California. She spent most of her early years performing as a ballerina and working as a dance assistant to Brian Friedman, Mia Michaels, and Sonya Tayeh before being accepted into the prestigious Purchase Conservatory in New York City. This SUNY Purchase Conservatory Graduate got her start Puppeteering, singing and performing as Elmo for Sesame Street Live. While touring she landed her first Lead role in a Feature Film for "2 Jennifer". It was then Lara Jean made a name for herself in the Independent Film Industry. She was then asked to choreograph for Bravo Channel and Oxygen Network. From there, she was asked to team up with DANCE USA and give classes around the world. Now she is back in San Francisco working on her next film and choreographing on another. She is excited to join us here at Rae Studios and bring you her style of dance.

Lexi Nutkiewicz
Beg Hip Hop
Fridays 5:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Returning from her time in LA, she's back bringing beginner Hip Hop to the studio. Lexi’s passion for Hip-Hop began when she took her first Popping class at 7 years old. While she was heavily involved in soccer throughout childhood, she stopped playing at age 15 to focus on dance, choreographing for her dance team, attending master workshops, and teaching part-time youth and adult classes. She attended the University of Colorado Boulder where she studied Psychology and Dance. She trained in Contemporary, African Dance, Hip-Hop, and House, and became heavily involved with the university’s street dance crew, VeRVE Collisionz. As captain of VeRVE, she helped organize the largest street dance competition in Colorado, acted as the creative director and choreographer for multiple shows and performances, and kept up the team morale. After graduating in 2018, she moved to the Bay Area and joined Str8jacket Dance Company, now serving as the Outreach Coordinator. She is grateful for all of the training and performance opportunities, and looks forward to continuing her professional career in dance. Her goal as a teacher is to educate her students about Hip-Hop history and culture and create an inclusive and positive environment for her students to grow as dancers.

Kevin Wong
Fridays 5:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

Contemporary (Int)
Fridays 6:30pm PT IN-STUDIO

He's adding a new Contemporary and Zumba class to his schedule. Kevin Wong, from San Francisco, California, is a Dance Major and Education minor graduate from the University of California, Riverside. He has been dancing for eighteen-years in Chinese Folk with the Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company. In high school, he was introduced to modern, ballet, jazz, and hip hop by Wendy Jones, founder of the Lowell Dance Company. During his college years, he directed Collective Faction Hip Hop Dance Team, performed in the Gluck Contemporary Dance Ensemble, and supported many of the UCR Dance productions. In addition to his performing body, Kevin has trained his dancing body in modern, ballet, hip hop, West African, Capoeira Angola, improvisation, and breaking. After graduating college, Kevin participated in SAFEhouse Winter 2019 RAW and year-long AIRSPACE residency programs, revitalized the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center Teen Hip Hop classes, and performed with Project M, an all male hip hop dance team, STEAMROLLER, a contemporary dance group, and with his collaborating partner Mathew Wong. Currently, he is the Artistic Director of Flying Angels Chinese Dance Company, teaches with the HeART with LINES program, and leads weekly adult Choreography and Zumba classes.

Most of his classes focus on building and developing three elements of a dancer: choreographing, performing, and improvising. Kevin hopes to continue his artistic practice of experimenting and researching dance by asking questions, reflecting on different approaches, and offering time and space for others to explore.

Serena Pickett
Vinyasa Flow
Sundays 9:00am PT Hybrid

She started as a studio host and now she's teaching with us again! Serena Picket is from New York City and currently studies performing arts and social justice with a concentration of dance at the University of San Francisco. She got her 200 hr yoga certification at Yogaworks in Manhattan in 2018. With experience in with Pilobolus Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, and Battery Dance Company, she has been training in different dance.

Her yoga style is a mixture of vinyasa and yin; finding a balance of flow and stillness. Her focus is on the full mind, body, and soul experience by breaking down poses, making it accessible to everyone. Our bodies hold a unique roadmap for healing and strengthening through movement, breath, and awareness. As a teacher, she gives the ability to pass on her knowledge and experiences while continually evolving and growing.



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