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    Teacher & Artist Bios

    Ehud Krauss | Daynee Lai-Krauss | Lisa Burnett | Jeannine Charles | Kristine Elliott | Adrienne Foley | Daniel GautierVivian SamMarny Trounson | Rika Onizuka | Lee Ann Payne | Esther Selk | David Stein 

    ehud pixEhud Krauss - Founder & Artistic Director, Jazz (1979-2016)
    Ehud founded Zohar Dance Studio in 1979, and it is his artistic vision from which all artistic activities and programs continue to evolve. Mr. Krauss received his degree in dance from the Institute of Art in Haifa, Israel, and studied with Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Robert Joffrey, Gus Giordano, and Luigi in New York, performing as a soloist and principal dancer in Europe, Canada, and the United States. As part of his vision for children to apply the benefits of dance education to their academic advancement, Mr. Krauss initiated IndepenDANCE in 1986. Under his direction, IndepenDANCE has matured into an important offering for K-8 children in under-served communities. In 1995, he started the Juvie Jazz program for incarcerated youths in the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. Based on its success in Santa Clara, Juvie Jazz has been introduced with workshops in the San Francisco Juvenile Hall and regular classes in the San Mateo Juvenile Hall. Based upon the impact on children with special needs witnessed by educators and parents in one special education classroom, Mr. Krauss was requested in 2000 by the San Mateo County Office of Education to extend the IndepenDANCE program to include children with special needs (including autism and ADD) in the San Mateo County. Mr. Krauss has participated in national conferences to discuss IndepenDANCE and how it might serve as a model program in other communities. In 2001, he was invited to participate in the US/UK Exploratory Learning Partnership in England, organized by faculty at Columbia College and Stanford University. A documentary project, The Master Class, will feature Mr. Krauss and his teaching approaches with “at-risk,” special needs, and incarcerated youths. Ehud's passion for dance is communicated through classes that inspire, motivate, and move the individual. In 2011, Ehud was awarded a Diamond Award from the Peninsula Arts Council for his outstanding work as an arts educator. Ehud passed in October 2016. His wife and partner has taken over all aspects of the business.   Back to Top


    daynee pixDaynee Lai-Krauss - Executive Director & Artistic Director, Jazz
    Daynee received her training as a dancer and choreographer at Zohar Dance Studio and has performed with and choreographed for Zohar Dance Company since 1983. In New York, she studied at the Martha Graham School, Broadway Dance Center, and with Luigi. She has taught jazz and ballet in Europe and was a charter and principal dancer with Zohar Dance Company. She functions as Executive Director of Zohar's overall operations and also serves as treasurer of Zohar's Board of Directors. In addition to her administrative duties, Daynee teaches jazz and is available for guest teaching.   Back to Top




    lisa pix

    Lisa Burnett - Modern
    Lisa teaches intermediate/advanced level modern dance at Zohar. She holds a master's degree in dance education from Stanford University and a master of fine arts degree in dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She has performed with Doug Varone & Dancers and Aaron Osborne. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Zohar, she has taught at the New Performance Gallery in San Francisco and at numerous community colleges throughout the Bay Area. 
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    Jeannine Charles - Modern Release
    Jeannine has been teaching, choreographing and dancing professionally in the Bay Area for the last 20 years. Some of her career highlights include founding member/choreographer for sjDANCEco, danced for Company Chaddick/SF, taught at SJCC, American Musical Theater, San Jose State, Dancing Sun, fuounded VogtART Dance Company in 1995, and writing, developing original scores to incorporate into future work. Her style of teaching is reflective of her study of Limon, Taylor, Ailey, Tharp and Release techniques. Her class focuses on body mechanics, dynamic 'editing', musicality and commanding the dancing space.

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    kristine pixKristine Elliott - Ballet
    Kristine Elliott began her professional career with the Stuttgart Ballet where she danced leading roles in ballets by John Cranko and toured extensively to far-reaching parts of the world including Japan, Israel, much of Europe and, at that time, the Soviet Union. She then joined American Ballet Theatre as a soloist, working under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov.

    Following a career that spanned nearly 15 years, Ms. Elliott is now  a highly regarded and sought after ballet teacher and coach. Kristine has been associated with Zohar since 1990. She currently teaches an open intermediate/advanced level ballet class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30am. Ms. Elliott is ABT National Training Curriculum certified. She also offers private coaching to professional dancers and advanced students preparing to audition for professional companies.

    In the academic world, Kristine Elliott taught at Stanford University (Dance Division, Department of Drama) for 18 years. With her accompanist David Stein, she directed and co-produced four compact disc recordings of music for ballet class. Currently she serves on the LEAP program faculty at Saint Mary’s College of California. In 2004 Kristine founded the Gugulethu Project, an organization dedicated to teaching ballet to the disadvantaged children in South Africa. With support from Stanford University, the Flora Family Foundation, Saint Mary’s College, and private contributions, she has returned each year to South Africa to teach and organize cultural exchanges for talented South African students to study in the U.S., as well as for American choreographers and dancers to travel to South Africa.   Back to Top


    Adrienne Foley - Contemporary
    Adrienne Parker Foley is a former Hubbard Street Dance Chicago company member, having performed works by such renowned choreographers as Twyla Tharp, David Parsons, Margot Sappington, Daniel Ezralow, Bob Fosse and Lynn Taylor Corbett.  Adrienne has taught ballet technique, modern and contemporary classes at Lou Conte Dance Studio, STEPS-NY, and Stanley Holden Dance Center, as well as heading the HSDC Master Class Series on tour.  She has appeared in numerous film and television projects, and has most recently performed with Garrett/Moulton Productions, Dance Continuum SF, and Deyo Dance.  Ms. Foley is a member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA   Back to Top

    Daniel Gautier - Accompanist
    A gifted artist, Daniel infuses his contemporary music with a holistic theme. In addition to accompanying the modern classes at Zohar, Mr. Gautier devotes his time to writing music and painting. He has presented works fusing his music, painting and love of dance at Zohar. He is currently a regular class accompanist for Zohar Dance Studio, Western Ballet, and Stanford University.
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    Vivian Sam - Jazz
    Vivian studied with Hama (Luigi’s protege) in Los Angeles and was his assistant for 5 years. After dancing professionally in Los Angeles, Vivian moved to the Bay Area and started teaching at Zohar. Her shared heritage in the Luigi technique made her a natural addition to Zohar’s dance family. She left to perform on Broadway in Miss Saigon and continued onto the 2nd National B’way tour as the Dance Capt/Swing/understudy for Gigi and Ellen. After touring, she settled back in the Bay Area and taught Musical Theater and Dance at The American Conservatory Theater. She has performed throughout the Bay Area (TheatreWorks, Woodminster, AMTSJ) and choreographs for local high school musical productions as well as the first musical for ACT/YC at The Strand (original production of I’m Still Standing). When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending her time with her two sons and husband.   Back to Top





    Marilyn "Marny" Trounson - Ballet
    Marny was born and raised in San Francisco. She was a former soloist and principal with Royal Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet. She had roles created for her by Sir Kenneth MacMillan and Sir Frederick Ashton. Marny is a gentle and caring instructor providing dancers with a nurturing environment to practice and grow.

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    Guest Teachers, Accompanist

    rikaRika Onizuka - Ballet Instructor

    A native of the Bay Area, Rika Nina Onizuka began her training locally with Richard Gibson and Zory Karah.  She then went on to study at the San Francisco Ballet School, and as a scholarship student at the Joffrey Ballet School and David Howard Dance Center in New York.  As a founding member of Smuin Ballets SF, Ms. Onizuka danced many leading roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Miranda in The Tempest, Shinju, and many other roles created for her by Michael Smuin.  Ms. Onizuka most recently danced with Ballet San Jose (formerly Cleveland Ballet) where she enjoyed leading roles in the Nutcracker, Who Cares?, Death and Eros, and Appalachian Spring.  She also danced with the Joffrey Ballet, Ohio Ballet, and San Francisco Opera, and worked with such choreographers as Alonzo King, Donald Byrd, Laura Dean, and Donald Mckayle.  She appeared in the nationally televised “Ira Gershwin at 100” at Carnegie Hall and appeared in feature films such as The Fantastiks and The Matrix Revolutions.  Ms. Onizuka has taught ballet throughout the Bay Area, including Los Gatos Ballet, Pacific Ballet Academy, Ballet San Jose School, and Stanford University. Back to top



    Lee Ann Payne - Tap and Musical Theater Dance
    Lee Ann is a professional actor/performer with extensive teaching experience in both youth and adult tap and jazz. She has taught and choreographed theatre and dance across the country from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City to the National Dance Institute in Santa Fe, NM, to the Broadway Palm Theatre in Mesa, AZ. Lee Ann is an engaging and encouraging teacher who just LOVES to tap! Lee Ann will be teaching an adult tap class - but all are encouraged to bring your inner child! This tap class is good for all levels but most especially the new - to - advanced beginner. It's a high energy class with lots of personal attention that is lots of fun! If you've always felt that you had rhythm in your shoes, here's the chance to let it out! Check her website: www.bamtw.com for information on her musical theater workshops.

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    Esther Selk - Children, Jazz (sub)
    Esther Selk loves to teach.  An actress, dancer and mathematician! - Esther seeks opportunities where she can encourage students of all ages to take risks in a safe environment, allowing for fabulous silliness and creativity.  She has been teaching middle school math and science for 17 years, and is currently both the Math Department Chair and Drama teacher at The Girls' Middle School in Palo Alto.  Esther holds several California Teaching Credentials and has a Minor in Theater.  She has choreographed several community theater productions, ranging from Seussical to Finian's Rainbow to The Sound of Music.  Esther is the choreographer for Sunnyvale's Musical Theater Camp, a camp where kids aged 7 - 14 come together to create an original piece with singing, acting, and dance.  Esther’s inspiration for teaching a child/parent class at Zohar is her experience with her own daughter.  The best dance moments are when the two are truly in tandem: playing, dancing, and sweating.  Back to Top




    David Stein - Accompanist (Guest)
    David brings to the world of ballet a fresh, exhilarating spirit that makes him a favorite accompanist in the San Francisco Bay Area. David draws on a vast musical repertoire from his experience as a symphony cellist, chamber musician, church musician, composer and arranger. He has accompanied classes for American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, San Jose Cleveland Ballet, and many other dance companies as well as for dance classes at Stanford University, University of Santa Clara and San Jose State University. His compositions include commissioned works for dancers, musicals, and string arrangements. With Zohar instructor Kristine Elliott, he arranged, performed and co-produced three compact disc recordings of music for ballet class:, Inspired by Music, Inspired by Opera, and Inspired by Broadway (released November 2003).  Back to Top