Staff

Carole Valleskey
Artistic Director

Carole Valleskey is the Founder and Director of the California Dance Institute, an affiliate of Jacques d’Amboise’s renowned National Dance Institute. Familiar with the NDI program since 1983, Carole re-connected with founder Jacques d’Amboise in 1998 and worked to bring this acclaimed program to Los Angeles.

Ms. Valleskey danced with the Joffrey Ballet from 1976-1991 and was a principal dancer from 1983 on. Receiving national and international notice, her most critically acclaimed roles were as “The Cowgirl” in Agnes deMille’s Rodeo, the title role of “Lise” in Sir Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardee and “The Chosen One” in the re-creation of the 1913 Nijinsky-Stravinsky Le Sacre de Printemps. She also danced with Cynthia Gregory & Fernando Bujones; the Basel Ballet in Basel, Switzerland; Houston Ballet; and American Ballet Theatre II. Ms. Valleskey was Dance Captain with Phantom of the Opera from 1991-1995.

​From 1998-2002, she was Director of Education and Outreach for the Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, Prior to that she worked with the Music Center Education Division as a teaching artist and writer of their arts study guides, Artsource.

Susan Gladstone
Teaching Artist

Susan Gladstone, studied at the prestigious School of American Ballet, after which she joined the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where she performed principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham and Lynn-Taylor Corbett among others. Susan was dance captain/ballet swing in both the national touring and Broadway casts of The Phantom of the Opera. In 2004 Susan completed the National Dance Institute’s teacher training program and began teaching for CDI shortly thereafter.


Kevin Bowers
Music Director

Kevin Bowers, has a BA in music from Princeton University, a Masters in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, teaches private lessons, and has accompanied dance classes throughout the Southland.  Kevin develops, edits, arranges, and distributes music for all CDI programs.  He recruits, trains and mentors all accompanists. With the Artistic Director and staff, he develops musical pieces for all culminating shows and hires and directs a 6- to 8-piece band for the Event of the Year shows.

Maya Estephanos
Teaching Artist/Administrative Associate

Maya Estephanos is an award winning choreographer and instructor from Atlanta, GA. She has over 15 years of industry experience and has taught dancers of all levels and genres including hip-hop, jazz, ballet and tap. Maya's experience includes: Training at Alvin Ailey and The Broadway Dance Centre (studying under Debbie Allen and Savion Glover); dancing with Beyonce, Usher and J.Lo; choreographing for P. Diddy, Nicole Scherzinger and The Second City; along with developing artists for Sony and Interscope records. Maya is passionate about arts education and believes there is something to be learned in every moment.

Susanna Hostetter
Teaching Artist

Teaching Artist Susanna Hostettter has taught in the joyful CDI style for nine years, previously with the Chicago Dance Institute. She also taught Latin, social, and creative dance in dozens of schools, often in Spanish. Susanna holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Dance from Macalester College, and has trained with the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, the National Dance Institute and Lincoln Center Education in New York, and Youth Home Dance Center in Ghana, West Africa.

Kim Brown
Teaching Artist

Kim Brown has toured as a dancer throughout North America since the age of 10. She has won numerous National and World Dance Choreography awards including choreographing the international tour for Thrones the Musical Parody. Kim has performed on the MTV Video Music Awards with P. Diddy and Kid Sister. Kim has danced with Tony Award winners such as Tommie Walsh and Dan Knechtes, as well as Savion Glover, Michael Minery, Trisha Minery, Barry Youngblood, Laurie Ann Gibson and many more. Some other dance credits include Toronto Raptors, Culture Shock, T.O. Dance Force, Sundolls, and the Harlem Arts Program.  Kim has done choreography for pop videos, commercials and many live concerts. Throughout her career Kimberly has been sponsored by TIMEX, REEBOK, NIKE and POLO SPORT and has also been published in Photo Magazine as NYC's "Best Dance Leaper.”


Cecilia Slongo
Teaching Artist

Cecilia is originally from Córdoba, Argentina where she began her artistic training. She moved to California in 2010 where she continued her studies and performances in a variety of art forms including Fine Arts, and Dance. Graduated from University of California Riverside, Cecilia is a multidisciplinary artist focused mainly in corporeal agency, and artistic expression in communion to film and other media. She has shown her recent film work in national and international film festivals. She has performed and studied internationally in Guinea, Argentina and Panama. She has also performed in California for L.A based and International artists. Cecilia is a teaching artist, invested in expanding the knowledge of cultures through dance, and the healing potential of this art form to the classrooms.


Mike Bolger
Accompanist

Michael Bolger’s musical career can be summed up in one word: diversity. His skills as a multi-instrumentalist on a varied assortment of brass and keyboard instruments is matched by his stylistic diversity. Michael was born and raised in Los Angeles. He fell in love with music at a young age and pursued study at UCLA and Cal Arts, earning a BFA in jazz trumpet in 1997. Since graduating, Michael’s career has blossomed to include a long list of accolades and recording credits including Jewel, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ry Cooder, Jimmy Cliff and the ubiquitous television cartoon Spongebob Squarepants for which he received the 2013 BMI TV Music Award. He can be heard performing trumpet, valve trombone, sousaphone and jazz organ in a wide variety of Los Angeles ensembles. Michael has also served as a teacher at the Silverlake Conservatory of Music since it’s beginning in 2001. Michael is currently learning, practicing, creating, arranging or composing music.

Board

​Leah Bass-Baylis

Secretary

Principal, Carlos Santana Elementary School

Sarah Fisher, OD, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

Jeff Jones

Treasurer

Retired business owner, Plymouth Nurseries

John Matthews

Business Analyst, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Harvard University ‘19

Alisa Reyes

Brand and Marketing Ambassador

Actress, Producer, Spokesperson

William Tulloch III

Retired business owner, Racine Hydraulics

Carole Valleskey

Founder / Director

Former Principal Dancer, Joffrey Ballet

James Catterall

Director Emeritus, In Memoriam

Professor Emeritus, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.


Director, Centers for Research on Creativity, www.croc-lab.org

Bruce Gladstone

President Emeritus, In Memoriam

Electrical Engineer; Co-Founder: ComCore Semiconductor, FutureNet, FutureData

Advisory Board

Dyan Sublett

President, Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Foundation

Victoria Stevens, PhD

Clinical Psychologist, Performing Artist and Educational Consultant

Karen Benjamin

Vocal Coach

Alan Chapman

KUSC Radio Host

Kirk J Luetkehans MD MPH

Pediatrician, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles

Terry Marks-Tarlow, PhD

Clinical and Consulting Psychologist, Author, Artist

Jacques d’Amboise, In Memoriam

Founder, National Dance Institute