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Zoika Garcia

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Zoika Garcia is the founder of Zoika's Dance in St. Augustine, Florida.  A professional dancer, choreographer and teacher, Zoika is a former principal dancer with the National Opera of Cuba and Capezio Ballet of Bolivia.  She has travelled extensively as a dancer and choreographer, participating in festivals and winning awards at international competitions in ballet and contemporary genres. Zoika is the former artistic director and choreographer of Capezio Ballet in La Paz, Bolivia, and the former owner, artistic director and choreographer of ZoikaDance in Guatamala.

 

A native of Cuba, Zoika attended the Superior Institute of Art in Havana, where she earned a Master’s Degree in Ballet and Fine Arts with honors.  She continued her studies as a teacher, dancer, and choreographer, receiving a post-graduate teaching degree in Ballet and Character Dance Methodology, and a certificate in Musical Theater and Dance from Opera Lyrical of Cuba.  Zoika is also a Certified Fitness Instructor and personal trainer with in-depth knowledge and experience in conditioning for dancers. Always growing as an artist, Zoika is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Choreography at Jacksonville University.

 

As a teacher, Zoika has taught ballet at the school of the National Ballet of Cuba and the Superior Institute of Art in Havana, Capezio Ballet Studio in Bolivia, and ZoikaDance in Guatemala.  In the United States, Zoika has choreographed and taught for the Saint Augustine Ballet. 


A bundle of warmth and energy in a tiny package, Zoika is committed to nurturing her students’ growth as dancers, as well as their confidence in every aspect of life.  Zoika’s students have received awards at international dance competitions and invitations to pursue dance at professional ballet and contemporary companies. Her students have also received scholarships to continue their dance studies at universities and colleges.

Zoika's Dance Instructors

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Amaani Grant

Hip Hop

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A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Amaani has been dancing for over eight years. She graduated from Florida School of the Arts and Jacksonville University earning her A.S. and B.A. in Dance. Amaani has competed with the SAHS dance team and SJCCA dance in Hip Hop and Jazz throughout Florida. She has also competed in the Dancing with the Stars of St. Augustine raising money for the Boys and Girls Club. Amaani is a choreographer and performer. She was featured in a music video alongside popular Jamaican artist "Ding Dong". She has also choreographed works performed at the American College Dance Association, Florida School of the Arts, The Romanza Showcase, and Pedro Menendez High School. 

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Jenne Vermes

Tap, Jazz, Contemporary

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Jenne Vermes is a professional tap dancer and choreographer
from Jacksonville, FL. She has danced for over 35 years, and has worked as a dance teacher for nearly 20 years. She received high-quality foundations of dance training at both conservatory and competitive levels in south Florida. She studied music for her B.A. and earned two Master's degrees in education at Florida State University. Currently, she is the Artistic Director of two professional tap dance companies: Noise Complaint - Tap Dance Theatre and Rhythm Theory Tap Ensemble, currently performing across the US. She currently holds the position of Professor of Tap Dance at Florida School of the Arts, and she is also a music and math teacher for Duval Public Schools. 

 

From 2010-2012 she toured as a dancer/singer for the internationally acclaimed band, The Crüxshadows, which traveled across Europe, the Caribbean and North America. From 2014-2018 she was a member of the "#Taplife" Tap Dance Company based in New York City. Additionally, Jenne has worked as an intern and assistant teacher with the American Tap Dance Foundation and the Big Apple Tap Festival in New York City. 

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Cristina Cruz

Jazz and Musical Theater

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Christina Cruz Dancer, choreographer, and director with a Master’s degree in Theater Studies from Montclair State University, a degree in Musical Theater from Florida School of the Arts, and a B.A. in English and Psychology from Florida State University. A lifelong dancer, she has studied at intensives with the world famous Rockettes and the Summer Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.

 

In addition to musical theatre, ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical dance genres, Christina is also a ballroom dancer. While competing in American Rhythm, she was a semi-finalist at the Arthur Murray Washington Dance-o-Rama Open Professional Competition. Christina is a certified ballroom dance instructor through the United States Terpsichore Association in American Rhythm, American Smooth, and International Standard. She is also a member of the National Dance Council of America. 

 

Christina's choreography was featured in the Musical Theatre Conservatory's 2019 Summer Showcase at the Symphony Space Theatre in NYC.  She has choreographed, directed, and performed in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Rocky Horror Show, Gypsy, Lend Me a Tenor, Big River, and Spamalot at St. Augustine’s Limelight Theater.

 

Christina has also choreographed shows including Fiddler on the Roof, Jr., Willy Wonka, Jr., Guys and Dolls, Jr., Starstruck!, The Little Mermaid,  Aladdin, Jr., Annie, Jr., Aladdin Kids, Big Showcase, and The Lion King, Jr..

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Claudia Ruby

Instructor

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Claudia Ruby is Founder and Owner of the largest Performing Dance Center in her native country of Bolivia. She studied Classical Ballet in the Ukraine and later on graduated from PennState University with a degree in Education. She continued her education at the University of South Florida in Dance Education and worked for Hillsborough County Public system for many years. She now directs Ruby Dance Center in Riverview, Florida and offers a unique After School Program to 15 local schools.

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Melanie Anastacia Van Allen,
Ph.D, M.A., M.F.A

Instructor

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A New York City-based choreographer, dancer, teaching artist, and emerging scholar of dance. Melanie holds a Ph.D. in Dance Studies from Texas Woman's University. She also hold a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Draper Program of Social Thought at New York University and a Master of Arts in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University. She also holds Master of Fine Arts in Dance Choreography/Perfomance from the University of Michigan. Melanie has presented her research and choreography internationally at various academic conferences and performance venues. She is a certified Yoga Instructor, completeing her 200-hour yoga teacher certification at Pure Yoga in New York City.

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Zoika's Dance Guest Instructors

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Katherine DeAcutis
Hip Hop, Choreography, and Modern

University of Florida
BFA - Dance


 

Devin Mantei
Ballet, Pointe, and Contemporary

Florida Southern College
BFA - Dance
BS - Exercise Science