GIGI TORRES

Gigi Torres is originally from Irvine, CA, she has been training in all areas of dance from the age of 3. She has been a working performer and creator in the dance industry for over a decade. Gigi is a worldwide instructor, sharing her knowledge and love for dance from the East Coast to the West Coast and overseas in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and Australia.

Gigi’s choreography credits are So You Think You Can Dance Scandinavia, Ukraine, & Poland, KPop Girl’s Generation Japan Tour (Assistant Choreographer), Indonesian Artist Indah Dewi Pertiwi (Co-Choreographer), Indonesia’s #1 Boy Band, SMASH, Indonesia’s #1 Girl Band, 7 Icons, Bobby Brackins, Athena Ripka, Zoe Myers, and German Artist, Clara. Gigi has created shows and work for the NuSkin Convention, Vanity Fair Magazine, Joffrey Ballet, & the American Musical & Dramatic Academy. She has choreographed for well-respected groups including Kaba Modern, Funkanometry, Boogiezone Breed Dance Company, Culture Shock, and she Directed & Founded the All-Female Dance Company “Essence.”

Gigi is the Creator & Founder of Establish Your Empire, a dance program that guides dancers to push past their potential by elevating their movement & mindset. She has worked with and mentored over 300 dancers in this program in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Los Angeles. She is also a mentor and leader for Creating Opportunities, founded by Chonique Sneed & Lisette Bustamante. Gigi currently teaches weekly classes at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio and Movement Lifestyle Studio in North Hollywood as well as teaches on Hollywood Connection Dance Convention.

Gigi is a Woman of Integrity, Intelligence, & Innovation with a mission to bring Love & Light to the world through her Passion & Purposeful Art.

BEVERLY BAUTISTA

Chicago-Native, Beverly Bautista, found her love for dance while performing at Filipino folk dances during her early teens.  She realized her serious passion for this art form and decided to major in dance at Ball State University where she obtained her Bachelors Degree. After training in modern, jazz, ballet, and musical theater, Beverly focused her post graduation training in hip hop performing with dance companies in the Chicagoland area as well as Monsters of Hip-Hop: The Show in Los Angeles.

After moving to LA, Beverly experienced dancing in her first commercial with Oil of Olay and has worked with renowned choreographers like Chucky Klapow (Disney’s: HSM), Christopher Scott & Galen Hooks (LXD), Anthony Thomas (Nation), Rosero McCoy (Disney’s: Shake It Up), and Gil Duldulao (Janet Jackson) and recently Michael Rooney (500 Days of Summer).

Beverly has traveled internationally with multi-platinum rapper, Nicki Minaj, shooting a national commercial with Pepsi as well as live performances in Japan, China, & Jamaica. She has toured with Minaj internationally for the “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Tour” as well as nationwide for the “I Am Still Music Tour” opening for Lil Wayne and the “Femme Fatale Tour” opening for Britney Spears. In addition to touring, Beverly also performed in Minaj’s music video, “Super Bass,” the Billboard Music Awards, and the surreal experience of performing in the middle of Times Square for Nokia’s Lumia 900 Launch Event.

Aside from the commercial industry, Beverly also teaches at Pacifica Christian High School, a liberal arts school, where she serves as the Dance Instructor for the Visual and Performing Arts Program. She is also the Program Coordinator for the Debbie Reynolds Scholarship Program. She believes in investing in the next generation and hopes to challenge students with classes rooted in foundational technique. She aspires everyone to not only master movement but to dance with purpose and constantly move towards a higher level of artistry. Beverly is beyond honored and grateful to God for her life so far and aspires to share her passion of dance around the world.

MARJA LANKINEN

Formerly a professional dancer, Marja Lankinen has danced for Beyonce, Oprah, The Billboard Awards, The Grammys, E! Network, Laurianne Gibson, Frank Gatson, The Lumineers, Twista, and more. Marja, once Executive Director of Dance2XS Umich, moved to Chicago to dance for hip hop company, Boom Crack Dance Company, in residency with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2012, after touring in China, Marja moved to Los Angeles and began pursuing full time yoga instruction. Marja has thirteen years of experience teaching yoga, dance, goal setting, and empowerment techniques and is 500 hour Yoga Alliance certified by Corepower Yoga and Annie Carpenter. She has training and continued education in SmartFlow Yoga, Power Yoga, Hot Power Fusion, Yin Yoga, Yoga Pilates, Reiki, Trigger Point Therapy, and Thai Yoga Massage. Marja is also enrolled in Loyola Marymount University’s Yoga Therapy program this fall.

Marja’s specialty is working with professional dancers and athletes. She teaches Yoga for Athletes for the professional and junior players for the United States Tennis Association and Yoga for Dancers for The Edge Performing Arts Center, Movement Lifestyle Dance Studio, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio (scholarship program), and Gigi Torres’ Establish Your Empire dance training program. She has travel taught with Gigi’s EYE programs in Chicago, New York, Oakland, and Los Angeles. Marja has also taught for Tony Tzar’s Blacklight Society, Kaba Modern Dance Company, Mischief Makers’ Maker Empire, Culture Shock Los Angeles, Gallery 37 (Chicago), and Velocity Dance Convention, LA.

Marja regularly teaches at Hot 8 Yoga, My Hot Pilates, and Corepower Yoga and has taught for Sony Picture Studios and NBC Universal. Marja is also the ambassador for Lululemon, Studio City.

At the core of Marja’s offerings is strength training, flexibility, therapeutics, injury prevention, and Beyonce. Marja’s motto: build healthy bodies and happy hearts one Beyonce song on the turntables at a time.

MARTEL JACKSON

Born and raised in Peoria, IL Martel has been dancing ever since he could remember. As a young child he started always being the center of attention at parties, weddings, and anywhere else he was taken and there was music.
At 7 his grandmother enrolled him into tap, jazz, and tumbling lessons at D/D Productions, the local studio in Peoria, mainly so she could positively direct his energy and stop him from getting hurt flipping off her furniture. There he took for 12 years dancing and competing in places like Dallas, TX, Las Vegas, NV, Myrtle Beach, SC, Gatlinburg, TN, and many other places.

After graduating in 2002 in the top 10% of his class at Peoria Central High school he applied and enrolled in at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that fall. There he majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
In the fall of 2003 he auditioned and joined Dance2xs International Dance group, he joined Dance2xs UIUC (hip hop) in 2003 and Dance2xs Caliente (Latin styles) in 2005. For the rest of his college career he performed on many stages on campus and off campus and also got to perform in Portugal at Dance2xs’ first international Urbanite event that included multiple bases.

He started attending Monsters of Hip Hop dance convention in 2005 and eventually went on to become a finalist and show cast member in the 2007 Inspirations show at the El Portal Theater in Los Angeles, CA. Since then he’s gone to multiple cities assisting choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo, Marty Kudelka, Chonique Sneed, Kevin Maher, Rhapsody James, and many others.

Currently resides in North Hollywood, CA.

LEILA HENRY

Leila Henry has been dancing since the age of 11, and has trained in hip hop, contemporary, and jazz funk. Henry received her BFA in dance from University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana where she began to discover her voice as a choreographer. Henry has begun to develop her personal style, which is a quirky fusion of hip hop, jazz and contemporary dance.

Leila Henry has had the pleasure of dancing with some of Chicago’s elite hip hop dance companies including The Puzzle League, Design Co., and Vicious.  She participated in Establish Your Empire Chicago for vol. 1 and 2, and assisted Gigi Torres for Chicago vol. 3 and 4. Henry danced for several local artists, and had the honor of dancing for Jennifer Hudson. Today, Leila Henry continues exploring her artistic voice, filming conceptual dance videos, and teaching hip hop and contemporary classes throughout the Chicagoland area.  She plans to move to Los Angeles or New York in the near future to further her dance career.

O’NEIL WILSON

A product of new York city O’Neil Wilson was born and raised in The Bronx, the home /birthplace of hip hop. He began his training in 2008 at Harbour Dance Center located in Vancouver, Canada and realized his hobby was a passion and hasn’t stopped since. O’Neil is now a well-rounded dancer who’s getting his start as a Choreographer/Artistic Director. He has worked with the best in the industry including NappyTabs, Sheryl Murakami, Luam, Rhapsody, and Tricia Miranda and has worked on a Verizon Beats By Dre Commercial, Axe Body Spray Industrial, Disney’s “Mickey Mouse” Show, and many more. O’Neil is determined, outgoing, and unique. He is “An architect of optimism & inspiration.”