How do you find the right dance studio for your child?

I have been a dance teacher for many years and I am now the mother of a very creative 12 yr old. Being a parent has given a fresh perspective on my teaching in a way that I never dreamed of. I would like to share this insight with fellow parents of tiny ballerinas and prospective new students.

I have learned so much from teaching dance to young children. My students have been the inspiration for all of my creative ideas in some way or another. The most important thing I have taken from my experiences is that if you respect children, they will respect you. When choosing a dance class for your toddler or pre-schooler, make sure that the teachers and staff are friendly and warm and also give kids the credit they deserve. Look for an instructor who inspires creativity and joy of movement and who also empowers your child to be confident and expressive. Many dance studios overlook the importance of “baby” classes, but here at Twinkle Toes Dance Co., they are viewed as the foundation of the joy and art of movement, whether your child has a future career in dance or just wants to take a great ballet class.

Another thing that you want to look for is a balance of structure and fun in the classroom. Many dancers and instructors have beautiful technique, but the best teachers use play, creative imagery, energetic music and props to encourage learning. Kids should be having fun in dance class and want to come back every week! It is also important to see that your child is learning proper technique and vocabulary and also how to perform in a classroom environment: listening to the teacher, waiting their turn and interacting with peers.

Here at Twinkle Toes, we strive to have a nurturing and non-competitive environment for both students and parents; our main goal is to inspire the joy of dance in each and every one of our students. Come check out our children’s dance classes, and see how much fun dance class can be!

-Karen Gladis, Director of Twinkle Toes Dance Company.

Teacher // Christine Dent

Christine is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and has danced since the age of three.  She holds a BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA and studied ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, hip-hop, and musical theatre. Christine spent several years living and performing in New York City before relocating to Los Angeles.  Her credits include having performed as a guest artist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, dancing off-Broadway in a production of Petrouchka, appearing in countless musicals across the country, and dancing at sea with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Christine has been a teacher all the while, both instructing and setting choreography on many top competitive dance studios across the country.  She loves to share her love of dance with all of her students!

Teacher //  Dina Lasso

Dina is originally from a small town in Connecticut where she began taking ballet at the age of six. Knowing she wanted to dance professionally she attended an arts high school where she studied classical modern in addition to jazz and African styles of dance. Dina now holds a BFA in dance from the California Institute of the Arts where she performed in several student pieces as well as being showcased as a choreographer at the Sharon Disney Lund Theater. Professionally, she has been a part of the creation process of a new work by Bessie Award winner Julie Bour, which premiered at the RedCat Theatre in Los Angeles and several performances with freelance choreogrpahers throughout LA. Giving credit to her first dance studio for instilling in her the love of dance, Dina hopes to give that same experience to her students at Twinkle Toes!


Teacher // Elise Robertson

Elise Robertson is a working actor with dozens of tv and film credits, (including 2014 Oscar nominee American Sniper) and over 40 commercials. She directs for both film and stage and has taught and coached actors for over ten years, both scene study and on-camera, and has coached clients to leads in features, guest stars and recurring arcs on hit tv shows.  Elise graduated from Northwestern University with a course of study including acting, directing and literary adaptation and is committed to acting as an integral part of storytelling.


Teacher// Katelyn Newham


Katelyn Newham was born and raised on the beautiful Gold Coast, Australia, where she trained in every style of dance as well as Music, Drama and Singing. After completing diplomas in Musical Theatre, Commercial Dance and Dance Teaching, she then went onto complete many professional dance contracts around the word for companies such as ‘Norwegian Cruise Line’ and ‘Warner Brothers'  Over the past 8 years Katelyn has travelled around the world as a professional dancer and choreographer and has performed in countries such as India, China, USA, The Bahamas and Australia and has danced on TV shows such as ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, and ‘Australia’s Got Talent’. In between performing and travelling the world Katelyn has found a passion for dance teaching and has taught all over Australia as well at the US winning numerous choreography awards! This soon led to many Dance Judging opportunities for local and national dance competitions for elite and pre-professional dancers all over Australia and now the US.

Katelyn has recently moved over from Australia to the USA (based in Los Angeles) to continue to pursue her professional Dance, Choreography and Teaching career and currently performs for some of LA’s top Entertainment Companies.