Premier Dance Educators


Monica Galindo Thompson

Monica was born and raised in Oxnard where she began her training with the Channel Islands Ballet Academy. At age 17, Monica accepted a full scholarship and stipend with the San Francisco Ballet School. Monica continued dancing with the San Francisco Ballet Company for three consecutive years, performing classics such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and many neoclassical works. Monica performed many leading roles as a guest artist with regional and national companies. Monica also directed her sold out production of “Toxique… a love fever” a cabaret that ran for 3 consecutive weekends in Santa Barbara.

Due to her knowledge of dance, knack with children and bilingual skill, Monica has taught creative movement classes to nearly every public school in Ventura County. Thus, Mrs. Thompson was an El Concilio Latino Leadership Honoree for Cultural Arts in 1998. El Concilio stated “She is an excellent role model for our children, a wonderful mentor…In her presentations she builds self-esteem and the importance of hard work, commitment and staying in school”.

For over 20 years Monica has been a well-respected instructor and choreographer in Ventura County. Premier Dance Studio has been voted among the “Best of” Ventura County for best dance studio and dance instructor since 2008.

Monica combines her business savvy with her natural talent as a dance educator and owner of Premier Dance Studio. She feels fortunate to share her passion and professional dance experiences with her Premier students and most importantly giving back to her community.

Megan Tice

Megan Tice is from Somis, CA. She began her ballet training with April Wood at Gold Coast Ballet in Camarillo, and continued her training with Yvonne Mounsey and Rosemary Valaire at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica. At this time, Megan was awarded scholarships to Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School (PBTS), and The School of American Ballet (SAB) summer programs. She attended SAB and PBTS summer programs before joining PBTS’s year-round program. After an apprenticeship with Colorado Ballet, Megan held company positions with Columbia City Ballet, The Sacramento Ballet, Madison Ballet, and Owen/Cox Dance Group. Megan is a member of The International Dance Council, and has toured to China and Greece. She was formerly on staff at The School of The Sacramento Ballet, and has guest taught at various schools. Megan currently lives in Ventura with her husband, Shane, and in addition to teaching at Premier, she is performing with Tice Dance Works.

Marni King

Marni King began her career as a dancer winning multiple scholarships in ballet, jazz and modern from Ballet Arts, Professional Dancers Society, Stanley Holden’s, Debbie Reynolds , and the Ka Ron Brown Dancers company. Her credits as a dancer includes; Debbie Reynolds celebrity benefits, Stevie Wonder’s “Black Arts Festival” at the Rose Bowl, ” 14th Annual NAACP Image Awards”, opened for a Richard Pryor movie premier, a tribute to Foster Johnson hosted by the Nicholas Brothers, P.D.S. Tribute to Johny Carson, performed with the ” Dottie Starr Tap Dancers”, on a “Different Strokes” episode, the NBC Affiliates Awards Show and many more. She has taught and choreographed in the Ventura and L.A. County area for over 20 years.

In addition to yearly spring performances, she choreographed; Nutcracker; advanced tap for Academy of Dance Tap Team winning multiple awards and invitations to nationals from Starbound, Kar, Tremaines, Dance Rave and Headliners; also a ballet duet that won the highest score in their group size for Starbound. Recently she’s won High Gold with Premier’s Tap Team as well with the intermediate and advanced tappers. Also, Marni acted as head choreographer and judge for the Ventura County “Festival of Talent” directed by Brian Macdonald artistic director of the Rubicon Theatre. She loves to share her passion for dance with her students!

Diamonique Bell

Diamonique Bell began dancing at the tender age of seven and has continued with great passion for the art ever since. Diamonique, more commonly known as ‘ Dymo ‘, competed in numerous dance competitions against studios throughout California, most of which received top scores. 2003, she had the honor and privilege of dancing with the Moscow Russian Ballet in their performance of the Nutcracker in Santa Barbara, California. Since graduating high school, Dymo has been busy in the dance world. She was also featured in Iggy Azalea ‘ Fancy ‘ and ‘ Black Widow ‘ music video and many more. She mostly recently performed with a company named ‘ Relentless Dance Theater in Los Angeles and has been featured in short films by Relentless and Two Rebels and a Gun Productions called ‘ The Relentless Chronicles’ . Currently Dymo is a Cardio Barre instructor and has been exploring the world of Acting and becoming a Fitness Model.

Basia Bochenek

Basia is a Polish-American pianist, currently based in L.A., whose passion for teaching and performing is recognizing her as one of the most sought-after educators and collaborators of Southern California. Basia has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe and her recent performance of Lori Laitman’s “The Metropolitan Tower” is featured on Song of America.

With over 10 years of teaching experience, Ms. Bochenek excels at bringing out the best in each student. Basia establishes positive and inspiring learning environment that fosters skill development and creativity to motivate piano instruction as an enjoyable adventure for all ages! Basia enjoys teaching students with learning differences, including mild to severe autism and believes that music inspires greatness in us all!

Shane Tice

Shane was born in Seattle, WA where he received his primary training from Ronald G. Tice and Magali Messac.  He was a scholarship student at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, School of American Ballet and several American Ballet Theatre summer programs.  His professional career includes dancing with Minnesota Dance Theatre, State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, Smuin Ballet in San Francisco and Festival Ballet Providence in Rhode Island.  Shane also works closely with Ronald Tice creating theatrical works through their production company Tice Dance Works.  Shane is also a licensed massage therapist and personal trainer.

Marielle A. Thomas

Marielle is an experienced passionate dance-artist who started training at the young age of 3 in the Philippines. She took lessons in Jazz, Hawaiian, Classical Ballet and Modern. She received high remarks of “Highly Commended and Distinction” from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD London). She then entered the University of the Philippines in 2000 as a Dance major. She had performed, taught and choreographed all over Asia. Marielle became a company member of the Philippine Ballet Theatre where she had the opportunity to dance lead roles and worked with different Ballet Master Artists. After a few years, she joined Airdance Company where she became a more versatile and expressive dance artist.  She was also a performer, teacher and choreographer in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Aerial, ballroom and Hip hop. She became part of the West Side Story 2008 in Manila and made local music videos and TV commercials.  Next Marielle became part of the Royal Caribbean International Production as a dancer since 2009 and got the opportunity to travel and perform around the world. She’s been teaching for more than 16 years and now she’s in California teaching around Ventura and LA County since she moved here in 2012. 

Noemi Jaquelin Contreras

Noemi Jaquelin Contreras always had a passion for dance. Her career began at Rio Mesa high school where she danced all 4 years and started her love for choreography found its life in her. As a student, she choreographed advance choreography for her class for their performances. She attended Ventura College where she obtained her Associates in Dance. She’s an aspiring Zumba instructor with plans of continuing her education at CSUCI. Noemi has demonstrated her ability to dance for many companies with emphasis on different genres but she especially enjoys hip hop, reggaeton and salsa. That will never stop her from choreographing other genres and teaching children their first dance moves or helping Quinceaneras have their dream dance come to realization.

Patricia Martin
Patricia Martin, originally from Sacramento, California, is currently a dancer and instructor in the Southern California area. Patricia trained rigorously with Ron Cunningham, Carrine Binda and the Sacramento Ballet where she received all her training prior to University. She has been training in the style of ballet since the age of two and expand her training with tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, lyrical and pointe work throughout the years. Patricia recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis on Choreography/Composition. Prior to graduation, Patricia received undergraduate recognition with the UCSB Theater & Dance Tonia Shimin Award for Excellence and Promise in the Field of Dance, Senior Individual Co-Curricular Award, as well as a full scholarship to study at the Dance Education Laboratory located at the 92Y in New York City. While studying at university, Patricia trained, choreographed and performed within California and Europe. She was a part of the UCSB Dance Company where she worked with Jacqulyn Buglisi, Monica Bill Barnes, Nancy Colahan and more as well as apprenticed for Santa Barbara Dance Theater under direction of Christopher Pilafian. Patricia is now taking her experience in both the studio and public-school setting as an instructor of dance in various styles within the Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo area.

Kristhian Lara

Kris has been dancing for 12 years and teaching for 9.  He began dancing and choreographing in High School for the Advanced Dance Class at Pacifica High.  Later he joined competition groups Emanon Dance Company and Academy of Villains.  Kris coached with Emanon and began teaching after school programs.  He currently teaches dance at Pacifica High school as well as guest teaching at other local schools.  Kris also teaches private lessons for special events like Quinceneras, Sweet 16’s and Weddings.

Kris enjoys sharing his love for the arts with the youth in his community.  His goal is to create a welcoming environment in which young people can express themselves and to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle.

Karina Centeno

Front Office Staff