meet our team

Alexa von der Hoff

CORE Dance Owner, Director of CORE Dance Company

Originally from Southwest Michigan, Alexa began dancing at a young age and quickly fell in love with it. After years of training and competitive dancing, she continued her education at Eastern Michigan University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Dance. During her time at EMU she concentrated on perfecting her ballet and modern technique and took extensive classes in choreography and dance history. Alexa performed multiple times both in guest faculty showcases and student choreography showcases. She also choreographed multiple times for the program and her works were featured in multiple shows including the Elements of Composition Showcase and the Advanced Composition Showcase.

After graduating in 2014 she decided she was suited for warmer weather and quickly moved to California to take in the sunshine. Soon after moving, she was fortunate enough to meet the wonderful staff and students at CORE Dance and quickly fell in love with the encouraging and positive atmosphere. In addition to teaching at CORE Dance, Alexa also taught dance at Paso Robles Public Schools where she worked on developing a brand new dance program while teaching to grades TK-5 for a year before moving to Flamson Middle School where she taught for an additional 2 years while completing her teaching credential and Master’s in Education. In January of 2018 Alexa took over as owner of CORE Dance and has loved every moment of it.

Lindsey Caudill

CDC Artistic Director

BIO COMING SOON!

Becky Cota

Becky is currently a Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary and Technique instructor at Core Dance Studio. For 36 years, she has trained dancers of all levels and ages at numerous dance studios throughout California in contemporary, musical theater, jazz, lyrical, ballet, acro, technique and more.

Becky attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo majoring in Psychology. She is a certified personal trainer specializing in senior fitness and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. She is also a certified group fitness instructor through NASM. Her dance training began at the late age of 23 and studied from such notable teachers as Pat Jackson, Doug Caldwell, Jackie Sleight, Roland Dupree, Keith Clifton, Rhonda Miller, Joe Tremaine, Shea New and many more. Becky believes dance training never stops and continues to educate herself on the latest dance techniques, trends and industry developments to benefit and challenge her students.

Additionally, Becky danced in many industrials, musicals, touring companies, fashion shows, stage productions and music videos during her 15 year professional career. She is a master class teacher for dance studios, middle & high school programs, dance conventions, and private engagements. She has choreographed numerous musicals, plays, nightclub and casino shows, beauty pageants with her primary focus on dance companies and competition teams. Her choreography has won accolades throughout Southern and Northern California. Many of her dancers have gone on to work professionally in the entertainment industry.

Considering Becky’s background in fitness, she prioritizes the health and safety of her dancers by ensuring they understand basic anatomy and theimportance of using proper form. Above all, her greatest joy is her daughter Aaliyah who is pursuing her dance career and teaching dance in the Los Angeles area. Becky enjoys sharing her passion for dance and developing her students' technique, building their self-confidence, helping them reach their personal goals, pushing them out of their comfort zone and encouraging their artistic expression. Shine!

Holly Hoffman


Holly Hoffman began dancing at the age of 4 in the Bay Area and was a member of the nationally award winning competition team at Lana's Dance Studio.

She was praised for some of the best character work in the Bay Area for her work as a performing character, singer and dancer at Bonfante Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, CA.

Holly continued dancing in college and explored modern, swing, ballroom, West African, aerial silks, breakdance and line dancing. During grad school, Miss Holly taught dance at Laguna middle school through an after school program with SLO Parks & Recreation.

After graduating from CalPoly with dual masters degrees, Holly worked as Choreographer for the annual musicals at Central Valley Christian Schools in Visalia. She also taught Creative Movement through Advanced Tap at Elite Dance Academy before moving back to SLO.

Miss Holly loves sharing the joy of tap at CORE Dance!

Molly McKiernan

Molly is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Dance Teacher with over 20 years of experience teaching in the Performing Arts. Her first ballet class was at the age of 5 at Mary Coudin Snyder’s Dance Studio. Her dance training continued at American Dance and then on to Academy of Dance in San Luis Obispo where she spent many years studying ballet and jazz as a young dancer. At the age of 10, Molly auditioned for Ballet Austin and was accepted to their Junior Company program for 3 years of classical ballet training under the direction of Eugene Slavin and Alexandra Nadal of Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She performed many of the children’s roles in their acclaimed production of The Nutcracker.

Upon returning to Academy of Dance, Molly became a member of the Civic Ballet of San Luis Obispo. For more then 12 years she performed corps de ballet, solo and principal roles for the ballet company including Snow Queen, Rose Queen and Sugarplum Fairy. Contemporary roles in Alice in Wonderland,  West Side Story,  Where the Wild Things Are and soloist for Jon Anderson’s “Earth Mother Earth”. She was hired as Lead Guest Artist for 2 seasons of Ballet Fantastique’s Nutcracker and went on to further her training with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Molly’s devotion to dance transitioned seamlessly into teaching and choreographing. She was appointed Artistic Director for 2 seasons of the Civic Ballet’s well received Sleeping Beauty at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center, Master Ballet Teacher for Dance in Action’s Summer Convention in Hawaii, Guest Choreographer at The San Luis Obispo Little Theatre for “Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison Legends Shows” and Co-Director for their ACT Children’s Broadway Camp programs, Artistic Director for The San Luis Jazz Dancers, Choreographer/Master Teacher for Mission College Prep, Morro Bay High School,  Alan Hancock’s Spectrum and Cal Poly’s Orchesis Dance Company, performer/choreographer for Academy of Dance’s International Dance Festivals in China, Cuba and Spain, creator and Teacher for San Luis Coastal Unified School District’s  Elementary PE/Dance program which provided an enrichment through dance for over 2000 students a year. She has been recognized for her collaborative and choreographic works with the San Luis Obispo Symphony in “Carnival of the Animals”. Molly was the Artistic Director of Coastal Chamber Youth Ballet from it’s inception and spent 9 years developing a quality ballet program through training, performances and outreaches.

Klar-Kristan Harder

Klar knew she would pursue dance professionally at the tender age of 3. When her 2 older sisters were in ballet class, Klar would imitate movements in the doorway of the observation room. She extensively trained in the Italian Cecchetti Syllabus with Teacher Emeritus Lucille McClure, in Whittier, California through her teens. Since those formative years, Klar has enjoyed professional opportunities dancing in soloist and principal roles, performing in the ballets The Nutcracker, Firebird, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliette, Giselle, Paquita, Carmen, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Peter & the Wolf, among others, including numerous original ballets and Guest Artist invitations. Klar has performed the choreography of George Balanchine, Alan Scofield, Norbert Vezak, Carlos Carvajal, Enrico Labayen, Kathryn Rozak, James Reardon and Jerry Jackson, and many regional and international choreographers. She considers it a blessing to have been honed and mentored throughout her career by noteable Artistic Directors, namely Maria Vegh (Harkness/Marin Ballet), Margaret Swarthout (Royal Opera), Robert Barnett (Atlanta Ballet), Jocelyn Vollmar (San Fransisco Ballet), Peter Pawlyshin (Boston Ballet/Royal Winnepeg), James Reardon (Boston Ballet/Boston Dance Company), Alonzo King and Arturo Fernandez (Lines Ballet), Enrico Labayen (Joffrey/Labayan Dance) and Dennis Nahat (Cleveland/Ballet San Jose/Theatre Ventures International).

She was honored to dance with The Marin Ballet, Pacific America Ballet Theatre, Ballet New England, Boston

Dance Company, Granite State Ballet, Labayen Dance San Francisco and American Repertory Theatre Ballet,

spanning a performing career of over 25 years. Klar also danced in commercial venture companies, including The

Walt Disney Company, Jerry Jackson Productions and The Really Useful Company (Phantom of the Opera). While performing, Klar had the good fortune of holding faculty positions at Marin Dance Theatre, Marti Gibeau

School of Dance (Palo Alto) and San Francisco Dance Center - home of Alonzo Kings Lines Contemporary Ballet. In

conjunction with her performing career, she took on directorship, choreographic and teaching capacities at Dance

Connection Palo Alto, San Francisco School of the Arts (Artist in Residence), Paso Robles Chamber Ballet (a

Regional Dance of America member school), and was appointed by Dennis Nahat as Associate Director/ Principal

Teacher for his new ballet school, Theatre Ventures International, in San Jose, CA. She has developed and taught

exclusive Dance and Performing Arts curriculum through Central California’s public school system to nearly 700

students of all ages for several years. She has been a prominent faculty instructor, choreographer and Artistic Director for Coastal Dance and Music Academy’s programs in Grover Beach, CA, and created exclusive Performing Arts

workshops and online dance content at the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation. Klar’s students have been awarded scholarships/acceptance into programs at Ballet Magnificat, Ballet San Jose, Boston Ballet, Joffrey, Long Beach Ballet, Anaheim Ballet, Lines Ballet, Marin Dance Theatre, Radio City Rockettes, School of American Ballet, The Gelsey Kirkland Workshop, ABT, among others. She has also guided students into acceptance and scholarship awards to prestigious colleges offering Fine Arts degrees. Though primarily classically trained ballerina, master teacher and choreographer, Klar’s talents allowed her access

to the musical theatre arena as well. She performed in The Phantom of the Opera, A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady, The King and I, Funny Girl, Bye Bye Birdie and Broadway compilations shows internationally that included Riverdance,

Singin’ in the Rain and West Side Story. She has also taught, choreographed, directed and danced internationally in

the US Commonwealth Islands of Guam & Saipan, Japan, Thailand, and India. Klar’s teaching arsenal includes classical and contemporary ballet, pas de deux, pointe, jazz, tap and musical theatre. She has maintained a strong focus on educating and training dancers and artists of all levels since 1991, continuing to perform in a vast array of eclectic and wonderful opportunities.

Leslie Baumberger


Leslie Baumberger is a founding pillar of the Central Coast dance community as a teacher, choreographer, and director for the past 35 years. She was an Artistic Director and Company Director of Pat Jacksons American Dance under owner Pat Jackson, and American Dance of SLO under owner Lissa Beck. Her dancers have gone on to tour with famous musicians, work professionally on both stage and screen, become successful choreographers, and open their own studios across the country.

Leslie’s companies consistently place first overall in competitions throughout the United States. In 1996, she was invited to be a master teacher by the Kalinka Ballet School in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her dancers were invited to perform in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and were featured in such dance publications as Dance Spirit and Dance Teacher magazine. She directed the All American Dancers, who were named Performers of the Year 1998 and again in 2000.

In 2014, Leslie was honored with the Arts Obispo lifetime achievement award in dance. And, in 2015 the California State Legislature honoured Leslie with a Certificate of Recognition in the dance arts. She loves being a part of the Central Coast Dance community and is proud to help dancers continue to SHINE forever.

Leslie Baumberger

Leslie Baumberger is a founding pillar of the Central Coast dance community as a teacher, choreographer, and director for the past 35 years. She was an Artistic Director and Company Director of Pat Jacksons American Dance under owner Pat Jackson, and American Dance of SLO under owner Lissa Beck. Her dancers have gone on to tour with famous musicians, work professionally on both stage and screen, become successful choreographers, and open their own studios across the country.

Leslie’s companies consistently place first overall in competitions throughout the United States. In 1996, she was invited to be a master teacher by the Kalinka Ballet School in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her dancers were invited to perform in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and were featured in such dance publications as Dance Spirit and Dance Teacher magazine. She directed the All American Dancers, who were named Performers of the Year 1998 and again in 2000.

In 2014, Leslie was honored with the Arts Obispo lifetime achievement award in dance. And, in 2015 the California State Legislature honoured Leslie with a Certificate of Recognition in the dance arts. She loves being a part of the Central Coast Dance community and is proud to help dancers continue to SHINE forever.

Isabella Lund

Isabella has been dancing since she was 2 years old. Beginning at Pat Jackson's American Dance and then continuing here at CORE ever since they opened their doors in 2010.

She attended many competitions with her CORE team, as well as dancing in local performances. She has received numerous scholarships and opportunities from competitions such as ASH, Tremaine, Hollywood Vibe, and being a part of the “All Star” program at Dupree in 2018. She also had the opportunity to travel to Austria with CORE in 2019 to preform as part of the Stars Of Tomorrow program.

She fell in love with teaching dance a few years ago. After graduating from San Luis Obispo High School in 2023, alongside teaching, she has still been able to continue her passion of dancing due to professional performance and job opportunities from award winning, Emmy nominated choreographer/director Doriana Sanchez.

Isabella is excited to officially join the CORE staff after being a part of the studio for so long!

Justin Grapentine

Justin has been with Core since 2015, and has loved every second of it. With Core, Justin has performed internationally and has won numerous awards, titles, and scholarships. Justin graduated from Templeton High School, and now studies Biological Sciences concentrating in Anatomy and Physiology at Cal Poly in hopes of becoming a doctor.

Justin has experience choreographing for local companies including Core Dance, THS drama, and Flex Performing Arts. His dance training ranges from Cecchetti ballet to Jazz Funk and everything in between, as well as Theater training with THS Drama, Cuesta College, and Suzy Miller. In his free time, Justin dances professionally for local companies including Civic Ballet, NCDPAF, and SLO Mac. Additionally, Justin conducts novel Immunological research at Cal Poly as a Frost Research Scholar.

Other hobbies of his includes volunteering at the local senior nutrition program “Meals that Connect”, tutoring, playing the guitar, and learning new things. Justin is honored to be part of such an extraordinary studio and looks forward to continuing to shine with them.

Justin Grapentine

Justin has been with Core since 2015, and has loved every second of it. With Core, Justin has performed internationally and has won numerous awards, titles, and scholarships. Justin graduated from Templeton High School, and now studies Biological Sciences concentrating in Anatomy and Physiology at Cal Poly in hopes of becoming a doctor. Justin has experience choreographing for local companies including Core Dance, THS drama, and Flex Performing Arts. His dance training ranges from Cecchetti ballet to Jazz Funk and everything in between, as well as Theater training with THS Drama, Cuesta College, and Suzy Miller. In his free time, Justin dances professionally for local companies including Civic Ballet, NCDPAF, and SLO Mac. Additionally, Justin conducts novel Immunological research at Cal Poly as a Frost Research Scholar. Other hobbies of his includes volunteering at the local senior nutrition program “Meals that Connect”, tutoring, playing the guitar, and learning new things. Justin is honored to be part of such an extraordinary studio and looks forward to continuing to shine with them.

Oscar Gutierrez

BIO COMING SOON

Shaya Ghanouni

Shaya Ghanouni has been a hip hop dancer for 14 years. Alongside teaching, he is currently a second year at Cal Poly SLO, majoring in Business Administration. Growing up in the LA/Orange County area he was exposed to many different styles of hip hop and he loves to be able to bring those styles to CORE! Shaya currently is teaching hip hop classes to ages 4 through adults!

Amanda Tannous

In her youth days, Amanda started in cheer then switched over to dancing with the color guard and the school band, which is how she ended up in dance and theater. She started her college education wanting to be a choral director, then realized her love for dance was a better fit.

After having 2 kids and a major change, Amanda finally obtained her Associates Degree in Dance from Fresno City College. Her experience over the years has fluctuated between dance, theater, cheer, teaching, judging, and choreographing. She has had the privilege of being a Director and choreographer for ‘Lassen County’s Best of Broadway’ for 5years. Amanda was also involved in Lassen Family Service’s fundraiser event, ‘Dancing for a Brand New New Me’ for 4 years as a professional dancer, who holds a winning title with 2 of her dancers. She has been a head coach for cheer for the LYFL Mavericks cheer team, they took 1st place at their competition that season. She was also the head choreographer for the high school cheer team at Parlier High School, as well as a choreographer for senior recitals and pageant dances. She was also a member of ‘MSYG and Ladies’ for 2 seasons.

Amanda has been a dance teacher for 10+ years teaching from babies at the creative dance level to adults in various styles.

Makena Harding

Makena was born and raised in Palm Springs, California. She is currently in her second year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Makena has been dancing since she was 7 years old and is trained in all styles. She started competing in 2015 with the Hartin Dance Company in ballet, jazz, and modern. In high school she was captain of the La Quinta High School Dance Team and had an undefeated season all four years. While in high school, she took classes under Travis Wall, Carlos Curley, Autumn Miller, and danced at Millennium Dance Complex. She competed in nationals located in Florida and now holds a National Hip Hop title. Makena "retired" from dance after graduating high school to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian but couldn't stay away from the dance world.

Cory Lund

CORE Dance Company Treasurer

Cory Lund

CORE Dance Company Treasurer

Testimonials

Amazing teachers and a welcoming, supportive environment. My daughter loves her classes at CORE!

Erin H.

I am SO thankful I am back to dancing again! I'm even happier I found Core! The people are friendly and classes are fun!

Stephanie G.

Contact Us

ADDRESS

882 Ricardo Ct, San Luis Obispo CA 93401

Monday: 8-10 AM & 3-6:30 PM

Tuesday: 8-10 AM & 3-7 PM

Wednesday: 8-10 AM & 3-7 PM

Thursday: 8:15-10 AM & 3-7 PM

Friday: 8-10 AM & 3-7 PM

Saturday: 9 AM - 12:30 PM

Sunday: CLOSED

About

CORE Dance offers something for every interested dancer, all ages, styles and commitment levels. In addition to the ballet based dance training CORE offers, we also offer performance opportunities for beginners through advanced levels, starting at age 2 through adults.  CORE Dance currently has the largest and most diverse performing groups on the entire Central Coast.

Opening Hours

Monday: 9:30-11:30 AM & 3-6:30 PM

Tuesday: 3-7 PM

Wednesday: 9-11 AM & 3-7 PM

Thursday: 3-7 PM

Friday: 3-630 PM

Saturday: 9 AM - 12:30 PM

Sunday: CLOSED

ADDRESS: 882 Ricardo Ct., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Email: coredance.cc@gmail.com

Telephone: (805)541-2669

Instagram: @coredance.slo

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