Jazz Director and Co-Owner Liz Roberts
Liz Roberts started her dance career when she was 9 years old. She took her first dance class at the Hamilton’s Dance Studio in Danville, California. Since then she has never stopped dancing. She continued to dance at local studios until she graduated from high School. She received a BA in dance from SFSU and studied many forms of dance including, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Modern, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop and Improvisation. Throughout her career she has performed in professional Bay Area dance companies. She also competed and choreographed in Regional and National Dance competitions, danced on Cruise ships, Disneyworld and at Disneyland.
Before opening up the studio with her business partner in 2004 with Shelly Schoendienst she taught at numerous other dance studios in the East Bay area. In her career she has also taught and choreographed for home school networks, ESPN Dance off at Venice Beach, High School dance teams and Musical Theatre groups. Today, Liz continues to study dance and participate in many dance conventions including The Pulse in San Francisco, Rhee Gold Retreat- Dance for Life in Boston and Arizona, Teacher Dance Summit in New York.
Liz founded the Livermore School of Dance Jazz company in 2006 which has grown to over 75 members. It includes all styles of Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop. The jazz company was created for the dancer that wants to take their dance training and experience to a higher level and loves to perform for the community and for special events. LSOD Jazz Company has many performing credits including, performances at the Bankhead, Dream of The Snow Queen, Fame Fortune and Dreams, Holiday Treasures and Holiday Classics. She has also lead the Amgen Tour post celebration flash mob in Spring 2011 and started an annual outdoor summer event, Sunset Soiree held in downtown Livermore.
Dance has always been a part of who she is. She knew as a child that dance was her destiny. First she thought she wanted to go to New York and be on Broadway but she also knew she wanted to be a wife and have a family. Well she got the best of both worlds. A wonderful husband and two children AND she also gets to dance and teach children and adults at her studio.
Dance is an art as well as a sport. It is fun, great for your health and builds confidence and joy. A dancer who goes on stage and performs gives so much of themselves to whoever is watching them. Dance is a way of expression as well as telling a story with your body. Everyone should have dance in their life in one form or another. It can change your life in so many wonderful ways. Teaching and sharing dance is what makes me happy and it is such a rewarding experience. I am a very lucky person to have the privilege to teach dance and direct the LSOD jazz division. I’m so proud of all the dancers and the families at out studio. I plan on dancing for as long as I can and enrich as many lives as I can with the joy and love of dance.
Ballet Director and Co-Owner Shelly Schoendienst
Shelly has been dancing since age six and spent years training in classical ballet under the direction of Juline Frowein at Juline’s School of Dance and Edna Austin at Ballet Arts of Modesto. It was at Ballet Arts that she participated in frequent master classes with Jocelyn Vollmar, a former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Upon moving to the Bay Area, Shelly received training at Contra Costa Ballet School. She further continued her study of ballet at California State University, Chico. Shelly devours everything ballet and attends annual conferences for ballet instructors. She has studied under Finis Jhung, Peter Boal of Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Marcia Dale Weary and Darla Hoover of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. In 2010, she attended the Annual Teacher’s Summit in New York and had the privilege of taking class with instructors from New York City Ballet, David Howard, Zena Rommett, and Finis Jhung. In 2011, she attended the Rhee Gold conference and received instruction from Kathy Kozul, Madame Modelski, and Roni Mahler. Shelly has also received training in pilates, yoga, and tai chi. Before opening Livermore School of Dance with Liz Roberts in 2004, Shelly taught classes at Danse Boutique in Livermore.
In 2008 Shelly founded Le Tableau Magnifique, a ballet company whose purpose is to give dedicated dancers more performance opportunities at local and varied venues. In its fourth season, LTM has grown to 50 dancers. This season’s repertoire includes a full-length Swan Lake with original choreography from Marius Petipa, a contemporary piece titled “Illusions”, and excerpts from Aladdin.
“Ballet is a unique art form that requires dedication, focus, precision, passion, and determination. It is important to me that dancers walk leave the studio feeling good about at least one thing they did in class that day. Hopefully, they recognize all their accomplishments, but building self-confidence is key in ballet training. So much of the success that comes with excelling at ballet technique is due to one’s confidence. Even for the youngest dancers, ballet class should be a release and escape from the rest of the world. It is a time when everything else leaves the mind and the dancer focuses only on the music, the movement, and the beauty of ballet.” -Shelly Schoendienst