Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts faculty members are a unique team of qualified professionals, all certified by various nationally recognized dance teacher organizations. Many of our faculty members also teach on national and international faculties. Most faculty members are professional performers and choreographers from the Los Angeles area. They are dedicated to giving their students the best dance education possible.
BOBBIE TAUBER: Founder & Director
Bobbie has studied dance since the age of five. She was born in Ventura, California. She first studied with the Laura Louise School of Dance in Ventura. She has since studied dance in Texas, Hawaii and New York and has been teaching since she was 15 years of age. She got her start when, as a teenager, her teacher became ill and Bobbie took over her classes.
Bobbie opened her first studios in Santa Paula and Fillmore, California in 1966. She closed those studios to have her children in 1969. She then opened a studio in her home in Thousand Oaks in 1971 which was followed by the opening of her current studio over 22 years ago in 1979. She has been a member of Dance Educators of America since 1963 and has continued her dance education across the country at various teacher-training programs since that time.
JEFF AMSDEN, Instructor
In New York, Jeff’s choreography for Paper Mill Playhouse’s recent production of GREASE! received rave reviews from The New York Times and Variety. In addition to regularly choreographing for the daytime television drama All My Children Jeff is the creator, director, and choreographer of A Few Good Men …….. Dancin’ which has played to sold out audiences for three consecutive seasons at The New Victory Theatre in New York. Jeff also choreographed Bette Midler Live in New York for her Year 2000 Restoration Project. In London, Jeff served as Assistant to Arlene Phillips on the original production of Saturday Night Fever. He also assisted Michele Assaf on the choreography for Houston Grand Opera’s production of Pagliacci. Jeff directed and choreographed Time Warp for the Mitsui OSK Cruise Lines. In Japan, he choreographed the Tokyo productions of The Golden Boy, The Rink, and Shock, as well as numerous television specials and productions for Japan’s top recording artists. Selections from Jeff’s shows have appeared at National Dance Week, The Fire Island Dance Festival, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Marymount Manhattan College.,
As a dancer, Jeff appeared as a series regular on “Dancin’ to the Hits.” He danced on “The American Music Awards,” “The Academy Awards,” “The Tracey Ullman Show,” and “Coach.” In films, Jeff danced in Cinderella (starring Brandi & Whitney Houston), Back to the Future II (w/Michael J. Fox), I’ll Do Anything (choreographed by Twyla Tharp), Leonard Part Six (w/Bill Cosby), and the HBO movie “And the Band Played On” (starring Richard Gere). On stage, he appeared in the original LA production of The Phantom of the Opera, and he was also part of the original workshop for Jerome Robbins Broadway. Jeff also danced for the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group and Chamber Ballet USA.
Jeff is also a Master Teacher in a number of diverse dance styles including jazz, lyrical, and ballet. He has been a guest teacher at London’s Pineapple Studios, University of Idaho, Cornish Institute of the Arts, Texas Christian University, Colorado State University, and other studios throughout the world. Jeff currently teaches at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.
ESSENCE BARTON, Instructor
Essence was born and raised in Thousand Oaks, CA. She began her dance training at the age of 13. Even with a late start to dance, Essence’s determination and work ethic advanced her to the dancer she is today. Growing up dancing at Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts she received training in many styles of dance including Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Lyrical. Dancing at Bobbie’s, she was able to train closely with Mandy Moore, Scotty Nguyen, Denise Wall, Jeff Amsden, Alex Little, Greg Russell, and many others.
Recently, Essence has been working on getting her Bachelors degree in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at California Lutheran University. In addition to her schooling, she has been dancing for music artists such as Press Play, Juliet Piper, and Evan Craft. Just recently Essence danced and choreographed the music video “unraveling” for Juliet Piper. While she is not going to school or dancing, Essence is spending most of her time racing her bike. She has won three national championships and won more than five overall national titles, as well as racing in two World Championships. She represented the United States in Canberra, Australia and Quebec Canada.
IRENE CHO, Instructor
Irene is a Kansas City native. Shortly after beginning pre-med studies at Stanford University, she decided to pursue a different adventure in the big City. Performing career highlights include The Phantom of the Opera (original Broadway cast, Los Angeles and San Francisco companies), Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (original cast), The King & I (w/Yul Brynner, National Tour and Broadway), Funny Feet (Off Broadway), Sayonara (Papermill Playhouse), Phantom (Theatre League’s Yeston/Kopit production), Hollywood Bowl (Showboat, Carousel, South Pacific and Bernstein’s Mass), Los Angeles Opera (Rigoletto, Aida, Turandot), Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, Cleveland Ballet, American Ballet Comedy, “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” for TV, commercials, still photography work with Harvey Edwards.
Ms. Cho conducts classes in ballet technique and musical theatre skills in the Los Angeles area. She also works for the Los Angeles Unified School District, assisting English language learners in the classroom as well as working with students to improve reading fluency, math, and writing skills.
Irene’s favorite career highlight is raising her 2 amazing boys Nathan and Brandon with her actor/singer husband, Norman Large. In addition to her extensive nearly 25-year performing career, Irene has volunteered her time to produce a number of fund raising events and has raised over $1,000,000 for various charities.
MANDY KORPINEN, Instructor
Mandy was born in Thousand Oaks, CA. She started dancing at the age of 2 and competed from age 10 until she graduated on Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts competition team. She was accepted in to Joffrey Ballet School, and the American Ballet Theater training companies where she studied intensively in Ballet and Pointe. After high school she was accepted into the Edge Performing Arts professional scholarship program. She trained at 40 hours a week for a year and finished the program with a professional stage show and with a dance agent. Mandy has worked with some of the biggest choreographers in the dance world, such as Teresa Espinosa, Mandy Moore, Scotty Nguyen, Jamal Sims, Miguel Zarate, John Charron, Peggy Hickey and more. She danced in the film High School Musical 2, under the direction of Kenny Ortega, and has appeared in music videos for Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Since completing the Edge PAC Scholarship Program, Mandy has been seen on television in the Video Music Awards, America’s Most Talented Kids, NBA All-Star Jam, Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards and Fresh Beat Band episodes. Mandy is a regular at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre stage shows and recently toured with Nuclear Cowboyz 2012, choreographed by Scotty Nguyen.
Scotty has been professionally dancing since the age of thirteen. As well as being well versed in many styles of dance such as hip hop, jazz, breakdance, and krump, Scotty is also a black belt in Okinawan martial arts. Throughout his career he has worked with some of the biggest pop stars including Michael Jackson and has repeatedly danced for some of the greatest choreographers like Vince Paterson. Scotty has worked with companies such as Reebok, Nike, Sony, Nintendo, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nickelodeon, Mattel, as well as, a strong portfolio of breakdancing credits within TV and Film. (Adam Sandler movie “The Wedding Singer”.) Currently, you can find Scotty on the new American Idol billboards across the nation.
BETH NICKS, Instructor
Beth was born and raised in Southern California began dancing at the age of 2. Growing up dancing at Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts she received training in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop and Lyrical. Most recently she completed her BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded the Fannie Kalis Award for outstanding contributions in all areas of dance. Beth has had the opportunity to train closely with Mandy Moore, Jennifer Backhaus, Sean Greene, Alicia Okouchi-Guy, Liz Maxwell and Dale Merrill, among others. Beth has been blessed with the opportunity to perform with Backhausdance as a guest performer and in former Nederlands Dans Theatre member Fionna Lummis’ recreation of Jirí Kylián’s “Falling Angels”. She feels incredibly fortunate to get to work with both the Experience Dance Company, and to co-direct the Rockstars with Jaime Randall in its inaugural year.