Updated: Jul 1
A SUMMER SIZZLING HOT SCHEDULE JUST FOR YOU. MORE classes, MORE instructors and an elevated instructor roster. Get ready for a summer for of non-stop training.
NOW OFFERING 49 CLASSES PER WEEK! It's summer fam and after a wild sold out showcase production, we have some killer instructors added to our summer roster! Introducing our Q3, 2023 starting July 1st. This quarter, we're bringing you a host of dynamic instructors here to share their creative artistry right here at Rae Studios.
For our Q1 and Q2 instructors that are not able to continue, Thank you for your time and energy shared with our community. You will be missed but not forgotten. For veteran and new teachers starting July 1st 2023, we are excited to start another quarter celebrating and highlighting your craft. Let's continue to support our local teachers this quarter by showing up ready to create new and memorable experiences. Just a reminder, every little action goes a long way. Bring a friend to class, write a testimonial, share your experience on your social channel or just tell an instructor about your gratitude. Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Rae Studios is here to build, educate and create.
Now, let's give a warm welcome to our Veteran and New Instructors! ❤
Full instructor page: here
🎉INTRODUCING OUR NEW INSTRUCTORS STARTING JULY 2023!🎉
Annalisa Brown (she/her) Pilates [All Levels] Mondays, 5:30pm
Stretch & Flexibility [All Levels]
Mondays, 6:30pm @annalisarenefit
Annalisa (She/Her) was born in Castro Valley, CA but holds her roots in Hawaiian, Puerto Rican and Japanese culture. She has been dancing since she was 5 years old with specific passion for latin dance, hip hop and jazz with any sassy attitude in the mix! She became an official choreographer -Zumba®️ Jammer for Zumba in 2013 after starting her career in group fitness in 2012 which expanded to working, traveling and sharing her passion around the world to create an experience through music and movement as a Certified Personal Trainer, corrective exercise and performance. She also holds a degree in Advanced Health and Fitness Science studies!
In 2019, Annalisa moved to SF after modeling in the National 24 Hour Fitness Campaign and being signed with a talent agency. She has since built her business Fitness party 101, started a podcast with international reach and found her specialty in teaching pilates, barre and athletic training.
2021 marked the year she joined Rae as an instructor and has since taught Zumba and fitness formats that bring her passion to help move her mission for everyone to connect to their own inner confidence, mind, body and soul in her classes and training while preventing injuries.
Dillon Gardner (they/she)
Power Yoga [All Levels]
Dillon Gardner (They/She) was born and raised in New York City and is currently living in San Francisco. Dillon has been classically trained in Ballet, West African and Modern dance techniques from middle school to early college. With a rich dance background from schools like Harlem School of the Arts and Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, movement exploration and body conditioning is not only an art but a life practice for Dillon! With a 500 hr Yoga Teaching Certification, Nutrition and Personal Training Certification Dillon has entered the world of fitness as a teacher, coach and life enthusiast. While cultivating a career in fitness, Dillon also nurtures their career in art exploring ritual performance, botanical sculpture, Kink photography and video documentation. Participating in gallery exhibitions and performances in The Bay Area, New York City and L.A, Dillon believes all aspects of their life informs, supports and strengths each other. They are beyond grateful to exist as an artist and share their world with others through so many different channels. They recognize it as an honor and a privilege to exchange energy with others in this way and hope to be a mirror of reflection and expansion for students and peers.
Sonya Shankar (she/her)
Sonya Shankar (she/her) was born and raised in Fremont, California, where she trained at Yoko’s Dance and Performing Arts Academy for over twelve years in styles including ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and more. She competed at both regional/national competitions and conventions (such as Showstopper, KAR, Nuvo, 24/7, Tremaine) from age 8 up until 17, receiving numerous high-score placements and scholarships amongst these events. In addition to her years at Yoko’s, Sonya has trained under Chehon Wespi-Tschopp’s IAF Mentorship, Complexions Contemporary Ballet hosted by USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, and the Brea Space.
Sonya currently attends the University of California- Berkeley, studying cognitive science with a minor in data science and dance. She has been on UC Berkeley’s premier contemporary dance organization, Thrive Dance Company, for the past four years- in which she has choreographed pieces ranging from 5-9 dancers on a semesterly basis. Sonya’s love for choreography blossomed there, creating pieces to popular songs including JP Saxe’s If the World Was Ending, Britney Spears’ Circus, Adele’s Skyfall, and more. She currently resides in Berkeley and continues to be an active member/choreographer on Thrive Dance Company.
Sonya hopes to create a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere for dancers to discover themselves both as artists and individuals- to explore and enhance their movement quality and self-expression. She strives to open her own dance company in the future, to travel the world, and share her choreography among individuals of all different backgrounds. Dance has been Sonya’s safe space for as long as she can remember, and she is ecstatic to share her passion here with everyone at Rae Studios.
TiAna Hester (she/her)
Industry Hip Hop [Int/Adv] Tuesdays, 7:45pm @tianahester
“It looks like you may have a little dancer” - as her mother would tell the story about what the doctor said during her ultra sound. TiAna- in the womb, with the heel of her foot in her mouth, was literally born to dance. In just the small city of Antioch, California at Delta Ballet Academy, TiAna started training recreationally at just eight years old in Hip Hop with LaTonya Watts. She then started training in ballet, as it became a requirement for her to continue with a competitive team. Her ballet teacher expressed to her mother, that there was no way it was her first time training in that style.
It was then that she knew dance was not just a “talent” that she had picked up, but a Gift. TiAna continued to expand her training in other styles such as jazz, lyrical, and contemporary. At the age of twelve, she started competing and traveling as a dancer. She continue to pursue her career through out high school, and started teaching dance once she graduated, in 2008.
In 2012, TiAna moved to New York City to pursue her dance career. She grew tremendously, training at studios like Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey, PeriDance Center, and Brickhouse NYC. She has worked with well known artists; Sevyn Streeter, Justine Skye, Nikki Tino, Demi Grace, and more. TiAna has Choreographed, danced backup, and hosted classes for music labels like Atlantic Records, and Def Jam. While pursuing her dance career, she picked up a love for fitness and established a name for herself as a fitness instructor. TiAna “Your favorite instructor” Hester has been featured in the New York Times, New York Post, Shape Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar as #4 of the Top 20 Fitness Instructors of New York. In 2019, she brought her expertise back home and has continued to learn and teach as a professional dancer. TiAna is grateful to have trained under so many well known choreographers from the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and New York such as, Corey Action, Allen Frias, Matthew J. Day, Denzel Chisholm, Jerry “curls” Paulino, Antonio “Tony” Jefferson, and more! She has taught and choreographed for over 15 dance studios, and hopes to be able to continue move with purpose, on purpose, and share her visions with the world.
Mahiro Oharu (she/her)
DRENCHED! [All Levels] Thursdays, 5:30pm
Mahiro/Mahi (she/her), a passionate dancer, is from Illinois and recently made San Francisco her home. She started her dance journey at the age of three with ballet training at Fauborg School of Ballet and went on to perform in multiple shows. Transitioning to a competitive dance team, Mahiro embraced styles like jazz, poms, and kick, even achieving a top 5 placement at Nationals in 2016. As a choreographer and team leader, she honed her skills, fostering collaboration and guiding fellow dancers for four years.
In college, despite the limited opportunities for dance, Mahiro found ways to continue sharing her love for dance. She choreographed and taught group dances for professional business organization competitions, raising funds for various charities. She traught peers with all varying skill levels. In 2021, she joined RAE Studios, where she reconnected with her passion and developed a new affinity for hip-hop, pop jam, and DRENCHED. She especially had a deep affection for DRENCHED because it promotes students of all skill levels who share a common desire to embrace dance for wellness. Under the mentorship of Jessica Rae, Mahiro's dedication and talent propelled her to become a DRENCHED teacher in less than half a year.
Now, Mahiro eagerly looks forward to inspiring students from diverse dance backgrounds. With each step she takes as a teacher, she aims to ignite the same passion within her students, fostering an inclusive space where they can cultivate their creative and wellness aspirations.
Tashi Cowan (she/her)
Hip Hop [Beginner] Fridays, 5:30pm
Tashi Cowan is a dancer and teacher who has diverse experience in multiple forms of performance arts.A Marin County native, she received her first formal lesson in hip-hop at ten years old and has been hooked on dance ever since. She continued her dance education while studying for an Associate Degree in Dance Performance at College of Marin and performed in the 2010 dance productions ‘Signatures of Motion’ and ‘Dance Upon a Song’.
Tashi was recognized by the College of Marin Foundation with the Saragay Stetson Dance Scholarship, a competitive award recognizing outstanding talent within the department. She also has had musical theatre training performing with the Stapleton Theatre Company’s Rendition of “Fame” where she received the Rookie Award.
A graduate of San Francisco State University, she studied abroad in London, England and was a member of the Kingston Cougars Latin Dance Team from 2017-2018, which ranked 2nd and 3rd place for Best Latin Style Dance.In 2015 she became certified a Zumba instructor and has taught classes at Energy Dance and Fitness in San Rafael, Bay Club, San Francisco and Marin County and Mt. Tam Racquet Club. She continues to train at Mood Studio, Rae Studios, and SF ODC Dance Commons in Heels Technique, Hip Hop and Jazz Funk.She is constantly learning and growing as a dancer and a person and believes that to dance and being able bodied is a blessing.
Fountine Zhao (she/her) Hip Hop [Int/Adv] Fridays, 6:30pm
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Fountine Zhao (she/her) began her dance journey in the collegiate level dance competition scene in 2017. She is an alumni of One Collective Dance Team, Common Ground, and Tribe Called Groove. She is currently on 1Up Crew, which is based in Oakland. She’s competed in many competitions in NorCal and SoCal, including Complex, World of Dance Bay Area, Bridge, Vibe, Fusion, Ultimate Brawl, and Body Rock.
During the pandemic, she had the privilege to train in online dance intensive programs, such as The Drop Gen Series, Ethos, and ABBD. While she studied abroad in South Korea for a year and a half, she also trained with different Kpop industry professionals at various dance academies, including Just Jerk Academy and YGX.
Inspired by all the different artists she crossed paths throughout her dance journey, she strives to bring her most authentic self to all dance spaces while perfecting the quality of her craft, movement and mindset-wise.
Hip Hop [Beginner]
Inez Schynell was born and raised in San Francisco, passionately working at the intersection of justice, identity and dance. As a Choreographer, Hip Hop Educator, Mental Health Educator, Social Justice Facilitator, and Beauty-Prenuer, she embodies a multifaceted approach to her work. Inez began training at the age of 7, where she immersed herself in gymnastics, setting the stage for her future in dance. Her passion for performing led her to pursue Dance professionally with D-Fuse, a West African and Nigerian Folklore Dance Company, GRRRL Brigade, a performing arts company training in Ballet, Modern Jazz, Hip Hop, and Bellydance. Inez also trained in various prestigious studios from the Bay Area to New York. As a Notre Dame De Namur University scholarship recipient, Inez deepen her studies in dance. In 2022, she signed with Rae Agency as a talent and model, showcasing her versatility and skill beyond the realm of Dance. Significantly, Inez made her mark by choreographing 5 captivating pieces for the 50th-anniversary of Hip Hop ‘The Bronx Revolution and the Birth of Hip Hop’ Directed by Joanna Haigood and in collaboration with DJ Grandwizzard Theodre. The inventor of the scratching technique. The production celebrated the rich history of hip hop while paying homage to the origins and impact of hip hop today. Currently, Inez holds key roles as a Hip Hop History Educator, Hip Hop Dance Teacher and Mental Health Awareness Educator at MAX415. Through her artistry, Inez empowers individuals to reclaim their identity and promote justice through the transformative power of dance.
Kylie Ireland (she/her)
Sundays, 11:15pm PT
Kylie (she/her) is a performing artist from southern California now living in San Francisco. Main disciplines including aerial, flow arts, acrobatics, contortion, and shuffle dance! Her 12+ year background is in circus arts which originated in a youth program she was a part of, she continued to stay in this extra curricular activity throughout the years and took it more seriously as she got older. In high school she started teaching and performing professionally, after graduating studied kinesiology for 2 years, and then moved to Santa Cruz,CA in 2020 to pursue the performing arts. In Santa Cruz is where Kylie discovered shuffling and committed to learning the dance style. Kylie found shuffle dance through videos online, and although she didn’t yet consider herself a dancer was mesmerized. She loved how people would mix multiple dance styles into shuffling and thought she could do the same with her background. As it slowly began to take a big place in her life it surprised her how much passion she had for this dance as she always had been dedicated to circus arts. Kylie has performed at birthday parties, festivals, weddings, community, and corporate events! She feels grateful to be apart of RAE and her goal is to get shuffling into studios as a recognized dance style, give beginners an accessible place to learn, and create more professional opportunities for shuffle dancers. Learning to shuffle has a huge positive impact on her life and she hopes she can share that impact with others. Along with RAE Kylie also teaches at the Hive SF, Acrosports, and SF pole & dance.
Jamauny "Scorpion" Belton (he/him)
Turf [All Levels]
Jamauny Belton AKA Scorpion (he/him) is a pioneer of Turfing. With thirteen years of street dancing experience, Scorpion has trained with street dance legends in Turf, Bone Breaking, Gliding, Contortionism, Waving, Capoeira, and Tai Chi.
Scorpion has performed and battled at hundreds of events around the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Memphis, New Jersey, and Hawaii. Scorpion has been featured on So You Think You Can Dance and The George Lopez Show, as well as World of Dance Bay Area and DAMsf.
Musical Theatre [All Levels]
Cora Mae is a professional dancer and teacher in the Bay Area. They use technique as a basis to hone in on artistry and expression, creating holistic pieces that push dancers to find meaning in their movement. Cora prioritizes building confidence in her classes, believing it is integral to growing as a dancer. Cora has studied with Complexions Ballet, Joffrey Ballet Academy, and Black Box Studios , performing at galas, weddings, as well as the occasional Warriors game. She teaches all ages, creating a supportive community where artistry can bloom.
Annie Lester (she/her)
Jazz Funk [Beginner]
Annie (she/her) was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, where she trained in classical ballet, jazz, modern, and other styles from the age of 5. She trained in both the classical ballet conservatory (Washington Ballet, summers at Houston Ballet and American Ballet Theater) and the competition dance (placing with her team at NYCDA, NUVO, Headliners, and more) spaces until moving to Pittsburgh for her senior year of high school to attend Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s Hugh School Full Time Program. In 2020, she was accepted to the trainee program with Alonzo King LINES Ballet here in San Francisco, completing her first year in the pandemic via Zoom, and finally moving to the Bay in 2021 to complete her second and final year.
In 2021, her performing career ended prematurely due to a spinal injury. After a short break from dance, she took a job this January at San Francisco High School of the Arts teaching ballet, contemporary, and jazz to both the full-time high schoolers and Young Artists Program. She also enjoys teaching jazz funk, heels, and other styles and is excited to start her journey with RAE studios! She plans to continue learning and growing as a dance instructor.