Mrs. Burleighs Bio:
I began dancing at 3 years old and continued to dance all the ensuing years. My dance training includes ballet, jazz, tap, Hawaiian, Tahitian, modern, as well as singing and acting. As a dancer, I have worked professionally as a ballerina with the Aeolian Ballet Theatre LA and as a tap dancer with the Rhythm Rascals. At ten years of age, I was identified as gifted in dance by the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have been awarded scholarships at Paradise Dance School, the Performing Arts Center, Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, the Burklyn Ballet, and the University of Hartford. In addition, I was awarded a scholarship from the dance department of the University of Oklahoma when I applied as an undergraduate. I was cast in the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker production at the Music Center in Los Angeles. My serious study of dance also gained me admission into numerous professional ballet summer programs. I chose to attend programs with the American Ballet Theatre in Alabama and Michigan, the Joffrey Ballet in New York, and Dance Connecticut. I also performed tap numbers at the Greek Theater in the "Youth at the Greek" show and in a live vaudeville show at the Orpheum Theatre. I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild and have danced and acted in television shows and movies. I remain current in the field of dance and have performed the lead role of Alice in "Alice in Wonderland," an original ballet, for the five years at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
My teaching experience began in 2001 when I was hired by a private dance school to teach students from elementary school age to adult at Marge Patka's Dance School. I was responsible for the curriculum and choreography for ballet technique and pointe classes and also taught Hawaiian, tap, and jazz dance classes. As a ballet instructor, it was my desire to organize a performing ballet group for that school so the students would have an opportunity to perform classical ballets. In July 2006, I realized a small part of that dream by staging a production of the Nutcracker Suite. I adapted the choreography, designed the props, designed the costumes, and worked with other teachers in order to allow the students an opportunity to present this ballet. In addition, I also worked intermittently as an assistant instructor for Jim Taylor's master tap classes.
In 2004, I also accepted a full time position as a physical education instructor at Antelope Valley High School. Recognizing the lack of dance education at that school, I developed a curriculum and petitioned for a Dance/Fine Arts class, which was offered the following and subsequent years I taught at that school. While working there, I taught Physical Education I and II and Dance/Fine Arts, and I was the Dance Team Advisor. In 2008, I married, moved, and signed temporary contract for two years with Moreno Valley Union District to teach Dance I, II, III, IV and Choreography at Vista Del Lago High School. I was also the Dance Team Advisor. Each year I produced winter and spring shows. In 2008-09, my students participated in the Nutcracker ballet and a spring show, which included Polynesian dances from Hawaii, New Zealand, and Tahiti. In 2009-10 the students participated in a Nutcracker ballet and "Spring Through the Decades" show. In August 2011, I accepted a position as a dance teacher at Paloma Valley High School but left the school district after my husband was transferred to a different military base. In March 2010, I was then hired as a long-term substitute dance teacher at Liechty Middle School with the Los Angeles Unified School District, where I produced the spring show in only three months. Since September 2011 I have been working as a dance teacher at Ramon Cortines School of the Visual and Performing Arts where I have taught ballet, pointe, modern, and media technology and been co-director of the VAPA dance company.
My education includes achieving my Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Science from Los Angeles Valley College at nineteen years old. I was named on the Valley College Dean's List as well as the National Dean's List. I am a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. At Los Angeles Valley College, I was awarded the President's Honor. In addition, I was awarded the Presidential Scholarship from the University of Southern California as a transfer student but declined the scholarship in order to pursue a dance degree at University of California, Irvine. I graduated with a Baccalaureate of Arts from the dance department at UCI and then enrolled in the credential program at California State University at Northridge. At CSUN, I was selected as a member of Pi Theta Lambda. I have my Clear Single Subject Teaching Credential in Physical Education. I completed my Master of Arts in Education with a Specialization in Secondary Education, Curriculum and Instruction at CSUN and graduated "With Distinction" in May 2011. My current cumulative GPA is 3.94. I am currently enrolled in the ULCA in the Fitness Instructor Certificate program with a 4.00 GPA.
While it is my true passion to be a teacher my love also falls for my family. I am married to a former Sgt. in the Marine Corps. I have a beautiful son (4years)and daughter (3 years) who keep me moving after a long day of dancing at work. I am currently blessed and very excited to say we are expecting our third child (a boy) in Nov 2016.