Sophisticated Dance, Inc
Lynetta Johnson- Artistic Director/Founder
Lynetta began dancing at the age of five. Under the direction of Carolyn Skyers, she began her training at Dance Wonderland. She began teaching ballet and tap at the age of 13. Lynetta continued studying throughout high school, and graduated with honors from Alexander Hamilton Music Academy. Upon graduating from high school, Lynetta was awarded a variety of scholarships. To name a few, the California Congress of Parents, Teachers and Students Inc, awarded her a scholarship for academic achievements, while Zeta Phi Beta Sorority presented her a scholarship in the concentration of choreography and performance. With these scholarships in hand, she enrolled at California State University, Long Beach, where she continued her training as a dance major. Over the years, Lynetta has choreographed and /or taught dance for Victoria Park Drill Team, St. Andrews Baptist Church, Dance Wonderland, Los Angeles Unified School District, St. John the Evangelist School, Hamilton High Performing Arts Academy, Blue Dancer, Leapwood Elementary, Annalee Elementary, Carnegie Middle School, Curtiss Middle School, Rhema Church, The Church of Greater Love, Zion Temple Community Church, Greater First Christian Church as well as privately. Moreover, she was the founder, choreographer, and lead dancer of the dance troupe "Black Expressions." Her group traveled throughout Southern California performing her well-known choreography which included "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep.“ This choreography has followed her throughout her career, gaining her awards, recognition and numerous opportunities in the dance world. Lynetta has trained under some of the most influential dancers in the world, including Carolyn Skyers, Sand Man Sims, Earth Kitt, Karen McDonald of Debbie Allen's Dance Academy, Lady Walquer-Vereen, Debra Thomas of New Age Dance Workshop, Gloria Kalatzis, Andrea Calomee, William Burke and many others. Through hard work and dedication, her performing and choreography credits include the annual musical for "Our Authors Study Club," "The Tennessee State University Alumni Association President's Luncheon," "Southwest Symphony Association of Artist on Parade," "Queen of the Nile," "A Midsummer Night's Dream, sitcom "True Colors," and the "Los Angeles Marathon.“ As an instructor, Lynetta not only edifies students with the necessary dance skills, but also inspires them to build good moral character, confidence, discipline, and most importantly, the ability to respect and work together. This includes developing a strong work ethic, self-determination, self-esteem and a positive attitude about life. Lynetta successfully transformed SD from a for-profit to a non-profit organization. To that end, she hopes to give our youth a love for the art of dance as it was given to her.
Andre' Johnson - Executive Director/Co-Founder
Andre' co-founded Sophisticated Dance in 1999 with his wife, Lynetta Johnson and serves as its Executive Director. Their partnership helps to guide the school?s strategic plan and implements the school?s artistic and administrative policies. Under his managerial leadership, the dance company has become one of the top family oriented dance institutions in the South bay.
Andre' 35 years of managerial and financial management experience has help Sophisticated Dance secure numerous partnerships with LAUSD and the City of Carson. His strong skills in financial management, fundraising, and organizational development provides administrative leadership for SD, which is recognized for its artistic leadership, strong training, original choreography, and performance opportunities.
Andre provides direction and managerial support for all administrative operations of the school. Specific responsibilities include budgeting, financial planning and reporting, supervision of staff, board relations, assisting in development and fundraising efforts, communications and marketing, coordination of performances and events, facilities management, and volunteer support.
Andre' strives to make Sophisticate Dance one of the most sought after dance facility while staying affordable for all.
Brooke Gaines- Instructor
Born to shine on stage, Brooke Gaines discovered her love and passion for dance at the tender age of 13. She first began as a liturgical dancer while attending St. Brigid Catholic church. Brooke became a student with Sophisticated Dance, Inc. while in the 8th grade. She was later offered a position as an Assistant Instructor and diligently worked her way towards becoming an official Instructor teaching several classes throughout the week, and preparing students for community events. Brooke shares her love for modern, African and praise dance with each of her students while insuring they gain the foundational skills through ballet and tap. Brooke juggles life not only as a dance instructor, but also as a Mental Health Therapist working with children and families who've experienced depression, anxiety, and/or trauma. Her beautiful spirit is loved by many as she continuously gifts her students and devoted parents with positive energy and a warm smile. She would also like to thank her SD family for their undying love and support over the years of being apart of Sophisticated Dance.
Tasheena Jefferson- Instructor
Tasheena Jefferson a graduate of Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, started dancing at the age of 5 at Sammy Davis Jr. Performing Arts School. At the age of 9 she began dancing under the direction of Lynetta Johnson. While attending St. Bernard High School she starred in four recitals, and two musicals with the school’s dance company. Tasheena won an award for dance excellence. In October of 2004, she began teaching for Sophisticated Dance where she is permanent faculty teaching modern, jazz, hip hop, praise dance and tap. She bis a founding member of Sophisticated Dance Company. She is also a member of the dance company Versatility under the direction of Monika. Tasheena loves to dance and plans to do it as long as she can. Tasheena is truly dedicated to educating the youth of our communities.
Chanelle Johnson- Instructor
Chanelle Johnson started dancing at the tender age is four under the direction of Lynetta Johnson at Sammy Davis Jr. Performing Arts School. At the age of 12, she became an assistant instructor for Sophisticated Dance, teaching tap and ballet for the Tot's class. Chanelle has been an honor roll student since the 1st grade. She graduated from Stephen M. White Middle School with a 4.0 G.P.A. While attending Stephen White she was apart of the 3X National Championship Drill/Songs team. Chanelle was accepted into Hamilton High Performing Art Academy, as a dance major where she continued her dance education. Chanelle graduated from Hamilton with honors and an acceptance to University of California, Santa Barbara where she received a Baccalaureate Degree in Sociology and Feminist Studies with a minor in Education. Over the past 25 years, she has gained vast knowledge of dance from extraordinary instructors such as Karen McDonald, Latrice Douglas, Kirby Reed, Michael Clowers, Sarah Jo Fazio, Linda Giancaspro, Kara Hill-Protos, Greg Russell, Brian Santora, Angie Sellers, Jo Rowan, Robbie Mackay, Sam Fiorello, Jessica Harris- Etzel, Debbie Dee and the late Steven Boyd.
Chanelle graduated from USC with her Masters in Social Work with an emphasis in mental health to further her goals and aspiration of helping our youth. Chanelle is currently working with youth from 0-17 in her field.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Kaya Carmalita McIntosh grew up around a talented family of artists that sparked creativity, self-expression and dance into her life. Throughout high school, she developed her technique with Karen McDonald and Latrece Douglas in various dance styles, ranging from Modern, Jazz, to Ballet. Her constant love for family, children and dance led her to San Francisco State University, where she obtained a B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences and a minor in Dance. She was extremely active within the dance community, joining two dance companies University Dance Theatre and Sharp and Flat. Kaya Carmalita worked closely with Dar Vejon Jones, founder of Sharp and Flat, an experimental contemporary jazz dance company, where she performed at events throughout the Bay Area (ie. the Black Choreographers’ Festival, Push Benefit Concert, etc.) In her fourth year, she joined The University Dance Theatre, a yearlong repertory company for advanced and versatile dancers within the dance department. Upon graduation Spring of 2014, she has returned to her hometown to actively incorporate dance and child therapy to help better develop self-expression through the arts in our youth.
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