Principal - Jazz & Acro Dance Teacher
As a child, Kristina Ann Schranz trained for eleven years as a gymnast in Toronto, Canada, where she worked towards Olympic standards. On returning to Malta in 1990, she joined the College of Jazz and The YADA Dance Company. Along with her performances and experience in various locations across Europe, she built a vast repertoire of choreography and performances for numerous shows and productions including: Straight Street, Footloose, the prestigious COGHM for Her Majesty the Queen and, more & recently the 25th Anniversary of YADA. In 2002, Kristina was awarded a scholarship at the London Studio Centre where she trained in all aspects of dance and theatre after which she was contracted as a main dancer and assistant choreographer for the Hollywood blockbuster movie Troy. She has also choreographed various shows including a local production of Fame and several Christmas pantomimes with MADC.
In 2007, Kristina founded her own school - Dance Project Studios. This school, which has attained and continues to maintain the prestigious ISO 9001:2015 international certification, aims to achieve the highest quality standards in performing arts whilst providing individual attention for students utilising the latest teaching techniques. With a top team of specialists, an extensive portfolio of class options is offered including Ballet (ISTD Cecchetti, Legat System and PBT), Jazz (ISTD Modern Theatre, Jazz Modern and Jazz Lyrical), Commercial (Hip Hop and Urban Fusion), Acro Dance (Acrobatic Arts), Spanish (SDS), Modern Contemporary, Tap and Musical Theatre (Drama, Vocal and Musical Theatre Dance). In 2008, Dance Project Company was formed which includes a pool of over twenty talented dancers who have since performed in an array of shows. Major performances include: Bay Music Awards, Fashion Awards, Goodyear Tire Launch, the Reebok Fashion Show for Roger Sanchez, and Isle of MTV. Dance Project Company provides artists with the opportunity to improve their performance by means of private instruction and choreographies to various genres of music. Kristina has worked with several artists including Kristina Casolani, Muxu, Christabelle, Davinia and Gaia Cauchi.
Continuously striving for excellence, Kristina puts her heart and soul into Dance Project Studios with each performance and every project and production undertaken.
Hip Hop & Jazz Teacher
Leanne Vella’s journey as a dancer started at a very young age. She attained a diploma in Jazz Dance, as well as her Intermediate qualifications in Classical Ballet and ISTD Modern Theatre. Leanne has attended Hip Hop workshops in Malta, Cambridge and London.
Over the years Leanne has performed in and choreographed for many dance shows directed by Dance Project Studios, The College of Jazz and Yada Dance Company including Monochrome, Christus, Dirty Dancing, Michael Jackson Forever, Rio and City Beats to mention a few.
As a BA Tourism Studies student at the University of Malta, Leanne conducted a study regarding the elements required for Malta to become a significant destination of dance education and successfully achieved her BA (Hons) in 2010. She has also obtained her MA in Creativity and Innovation which has truly broadened her perspective as a dance teacher and choreographer.
In 2012 Leanne formed part of the Dance Project Malta contingent that participated in the ESDU Dance Star Tour 2012 held in Croatia for which the company received 4th place. In 2015 Leanne had the opportunity to participate as a choreographer in the MIDCE dance competition winning the team 1st place and a full group scholarship to Italy. Leanne also competed choreographically for the MIF dance competition in 2016 attaining first place for Junior and Senior categories, and 1st place for Teens category in 2017. Furthermore, her choreographic entries placed first in the Junior and second in the Teens categories with the Dance Project Studios 2018 entries for MIF dance competition.
Amanda Ellul Bonici started her Classical and Spanish training at a young age at the Deborah McNamara School of Dance. She then furthered her studies at the Central Academy of Ballet.
Mandy’s dance experience also includes Contemporary dance, which she learnt in one of the several courses she attended overseas. In order to further her dance career, Mandy pursued vocational training at the Kate Simmons School of Dance in Cheshire, UK. During her time overseas, Mandy obtained teaching qualifications in both Classical and Spanish Dance and formed part of the Allegro Dance Touring Company. Mandy’s qualifications also include a National Diploma in Performance Arts at Trinity College, as well as Tumble Tots leader and movement classes.
Mandy has been teaching Cecchetti Ballet for several years with a very high success rate of Distinction results with Dance Project Studios' students.
Mandy is excited to be tutoring the students of Dance Project Studios in their forthcoming Cecchetti Ballet examinations.
Ballet, Jazz & Drama Teacher
Francesco Joseph Nicodeme trained at the Urdang Academy in London from which he graduated with a Major in Voice and a Minor in Dance in 2011. Recently Francesco has obtained a Masters Degree in Performance (Dance) Studies from the University of Malta. Francesco is currently furthering his studies with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in both Modern Theatre and Cecchetti Ballet.
Francesco’s choreographic works include: The Best of Broadway (Pjazza Teatru Rjal 2014); La Traviata (Pjazza Teatru Rjal 2014); Romeo and Juliet (Sant Anton Gardens 2015); Robin Hood and Babes in the Wood (Manoel Theatre 2015); TMYT's Notte Bianca (Valletta 2015); Un-believe it! (MFCC 2016); A Midsummer Night's Dream (San Anton Gardens 2016); Cinderella (MFCC 2017); Jesus Christ Superstar (Teatru Astra 2018); Don Giovanni (Manoel Theatre 2018); MAMMA MIA! (MCC 2018) and As You Like It (San Anton Gardens 2018).
Francesco is thrilled to be mentoring young pupils' artistry in both musical theatre and dance at Dance Project Studios.
Acro Dance Teacher
Sabrina Wingfield started gymnastics at a very young age under the direction of coach Mr Chun. During her training, she competed in national competitions in which she obtained high scorings.
Since obtaining her gymnastic coaching qualification, Sabrina has been coaching for several years, with a particular focus on coaching students at competition level. Sabrina enjoys choreographing routines and performances that focus on artistic floor.
As a dancer, Sabrina has trained in Latin, Jazz and Hip Hop which has led her to take part in international music videos for French Affair, Cosmic Gate and Ringo. She also took part in the Eurovision Song Contest as a backing dancer with Fabrizio Faniello.
Sabrina is very excited to develop students with Acrobatic Arts skills at Dance Project Studios and to submit students for Acrobatic Arts examinations accordinlgy.
Ballet Legat System Teacher
Robert Hampton was born in London and started Ballet aged 3 at the Kathleen Hughes School of Dancing. He went on to train at the Legat School of Classical Ballet, in Mark Cross, under the tuition of Madam Bartell for 7 years graduating in 1979.
From then on, Robert joined The Scottish Ballet Company and at the young age of 23 he was promoted to Principal Dancer staring in all the classical ballets such as: Romeo and Juliet; Swan Lake; Sleeping Beauty; The Nutcracker and La Sylphide.
Robert took part in a number of neo-classical works and had several ballet choreographies created for him. Robert remained with The Scottish Ballet for 20 years and guested with a number of companies during his time there.
After retiring from professional dancing in 2001 Robert was asked by Madam Bartell to join the Russian Ballet Society as an examiner traveling worldwide. He was later given the title of Artistic Director, working closely with Madam Bartell organising Exam sessions for the many schools who belong to the society including Summer Schools and various other activities for the society. For the last 20 years Robert has also been teaching the Legat System of Dance to the new generation of young dancers in the UK and other countries.
Robert is looking forward to delivering classes in Legat System at Dance Project Studios in preparation for their Legat examinations.
Svetlana Silina is a teacher, dancer and choreographer. She started her artistic carrier performing classical and character roles with the Moscow State Concert Association touring Russia. After relocating to Malta, Svetlana formed part of the Alegria Dance Company; Huerba Nueva - a Flamenco dance group; and took part in various performances namely Dance Fusion at Manoel Theatre in 2002, Maya on Flamenco in 2005, Waking up the Lady in 2005, Carmen at the Old Opera House in 2006, Notte Bianca at the Prime Minister's Palace in 2007, Celebration of 20th Anniversary of Spanish Dance Society in Malta in 2007 as well as various shows on television, amongst others.
Svetlana has a background in Ballet, Character Dance, Escuela Bolera, Danza Estilizada and Regional Spanish Dance. She currently teaches both locally as well as at various schools in Moscow, Russia.
Svetlana is extremely happy to be tutoring students in Spanish alongside Vaganova Ballet workshops at Dance Project Studios.
Ms Maria Louise
Maria Louise Gingell started her ballet training at Tanya Bayona Princess Poutiatine Academy of Ballet at the age of 7. She pursued thorough training in the various dance disciplines including Classical Ballet, Spanish, Contemporary and National Dance obtaining distinction in all advanced levels. She participated in various festivals, shows and competitions both locally and abroad and has been awarded dance scholarships both in Malta and overseas, namely at Bush Davies College and at The London Studio Centre. In 2000, she passed her Associate Examination of the ISTD with Honours and in 2007 she was awarded her Diploma in Dance Education.
Maria Louise is looking forward to tutoring Dance Project Studios' students in Ballet.
Urban Fusion Teacher
Sue Vassallo started her dance training at the age of 8 at Brigitte Gauci Borda School of Dance under the direction of Kristina Ann Schranz. She is now a freelance dance teacher and choreographer, with 14 years experience teaching Jazz and Hip Hop at various schools across the Maltese islands.
Sue is also well known for being one of Malta’s top Hip Hop teachers and has trained in Spain, Italy, England and most recently in America when she was granted a scholarship by world famous choreographer Shane Sparks, to attend classes at the infamous Millennium and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios in LA. She has choreographed and performed many TV ads, programs and performances including Bay Music Awards, Junior Eurovison, Fashion Awards, Dance Power and more. Sue also performed alongside music artists JA RULE and FLO RIDA when they performed in Malta.
In 2014 she was the youngest board member of the big dance festival MIDCE, alongside well known and established local choreographers from different genres, where she took on the role of Hip Hop Consultant. In 2016 and 2017 Sue was invited to teach and be on the judging panel at Non Solo Danza in Sicily.
Her musical theatre experience includes chorus member in the musical FAME (2005) and in MADC’s Christmas Panto Hercules (2007). She also spent many years teaching dance for musical theatre exams as well as choreographing for various musical theatre school shows.
Sue is a qualified ISTD Modern Theatre teacher and is now looking toward obtaining her ISTD Associates qualifications in Street Dance.
Sue is looking forward to pushing urban dance boundaries at Dance Project Studios.
Modern Contemporary Teacher
Patsy Chetcuti was born with a passion for dance but only able to pursue her passion from the age of 15, to become a dancer, choreographer and teacher of Contemporary, Ballet and Jazz dance.
Stamina, determination, perseverance and hard work lead Patsy to a Bachelors degree in Dance Studies and later to a PAR Masters focusing on ways to create choreographies that not only engage the audience but also enable them to relate with the content presented to them.
Having acquired skills and techniques from established choreographers such as Kerry Nichols, Oded Ronen, Alleyne Dance and Idan Porges just to name a few, Patsy has been able to explore different horizons and thus create successful contemporary dance pieces as well as enrich her dance technique.
Since 2015, Patsy has danced and choreographed for Zugraga Dance, an organization she co-founded, as well as created works for a renowned Maltese dance company – Moveo Dance Company.
Patsy is looking forward to passing on her modern contemporary knowledge to students at Dance Project Studios.
Jazz, Ballet & Commercial Teacher
Mattea Taliana began her dance training at a very young age. Her dance career includes Hip Hop, Cecchetti Ballet, ISTD Modern Theatre, Lyrical and Funk. She is very proud to have been awarded several scholarships from Mediterraneo Dance Festival, Italy, as well as achieving a 1st place in the World Dance Masters, Croatia. Mattea forms part of the Dance Project Studios’ Senior Company.
Mattea has worked as a dancer for the Eurovision Song Contest and, more recently, as a dancer in a Bollywood film 'Bharat'.
Mattea joined the Dance Project Studios’ Teaching Faculty as a summer school assistant in 2016 and is excited to continue to grow as a teacher.
Ballet, Jazz & Commercial Teacher
Ms Cassandra G
Cassandra Galea began her dance training with the Mary Jane Bellia Ballet School where she received her Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance certification. She then continued her studies at the Malta Youth Ballet Foundation where she was awarded a Diploma in Professional Dance.
Her most featuring performances include Gamzatti and Corps de Ballet in La Bayadere, Corps de Ballet in Cinderella alongside the Royal Moscow Ballet, and dancer in the musicals Rock of Ages and The Sound of Music. Cassandra was also ballet mistress and featured dancer in Phantom of the Opera. She is a Silver Medalist in the Eurovision for Young Dancers in Malta, and a finalist in the Next Generation Dance Competition in Verona. Cassandra has worked with various dance companies such as Zfinmalta, Moveo Dance Company, and County Youth Dance Company in Wales.
Tap, Jazz & Ballet Teacher
Ms Cassandra S
Born and raised in Canada, Cassandra Straub has been based in Malta for the past 3 years where she has recently graduated from the University of Malta with a BA in Dance Studies. Her dance background includes styles such as ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre and tap. Through the various performances she had participated in as a dancer, teacher and choreographer in Canada she had discovered her deeper interest in choreography, specifically for contemporary dance. She now continues in the dance field as a teacher for the voluntary organisation Step Up for Parkinson's, teaching and choreographing for the Junior Dance Company of Malta, undertaking freelance projects as a dancer and choreographer, and most recently through passing on her dance experiences and knowledge to the students of Dance Project Studios.
Mirabel De Gabriele has always had a passion for the performing arts especially with regards to singing which started off at a very young age. It was in her teenage years that she decided to pursue formal vocal training. She has been trained in various genres including classical, musical theatre and rock & pop. Throughout her years of training she has obtained various solo and group Trinity College London qualifications in different styles of vocal training. As a firm believer in holistic education, Mirabel has also broadened her understanding of music by studying piano practice and music theory for a number of years having sat for examinations with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM).
Mirabel has performed on a multitude of occasions including individual performances, choir performances and productions. She has also coached and led both adult and children’s choirs. She finds great joy in passing on her knowledge and vocal techniques to others.
Coming from a very musical family, Daniel Caruana displayed an interest in music, and more specifically the piano, from a very young age. He started training piano and music theory professionally at the tender age of six and has since obtained a diploma (DipMusLCM) in music theory. Daniel has also obtained a distinction in Grade 8 piano practice from The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). He will shortly be sitting for his Associate of the London College of Music (ALCM) as he continues to pursue his studies in both piano practice and music theory.
Further to his academic accomplishments, Daniel has performed at various events including weddings, concerts, public performances and school productions. He truly believes that performance and academic knowledge go hand in hand with the more knowledge and skill one acquires the more confidence is instilled when performing.
Daniel is very much looking forward to conveying his love for music by sharing his knowledge and skills with students at Dance Project Studios.