Barbara strives to share the joy of movement with her students and train them to explore the artist inside and express it through dance. She believes that positive motivation is her best tool for helping students to maintain a positive self-esteem, educate, make fond memories, and become the best that they can be!
Barbara is a native of Lehigh Acres, graduated from Riverdale High School and furthered her education at Edison State College. She began her dance studies at the young age of 4 and now has over 30 years experience. Her dance education includes her studies under Joe Tremaine, Gus Giordano, Mia Michaels, Frank Hatchett, Tyce Diorio, Napoleon& Tabitha, Geo Hubela, and so many more. She has been teaching professionally in and around southwest Florida for over 15 years. Her performance experience includes Walt Disney World as well as many local clubs in southwest Florida.
Barbara is the Director of the LA Stars competitive team which has won numerous awards and trophies at different dance competitions on the state and national levels. She is a member of several national organizations such as: The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, The National Dance Association, The American Business Women’s Association, and The American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation. Barbara is active and has a great interest in local and community activities. She has volunteered her time to different beauty and talent competitions and is working with the Lehigh Senior High School Center of the Arts by awarding bi-annual scholarships to students in need. She feels that it’s important to give back to her own community in which she was raised. Along with co-owner Wayne Christiano and their combined family of 5 children, she continues to provide services to Lehigh Acres by offering a dance and music studio with a professional staff of highly trained instructors who will assist your child in developing their talents in all areas of the performing arts.
WAYNE CHRISTIANO Co-Owner/Music Director
Wayne is responsible for bringing music education into the already established 20 year dance program. He believes that helping to motivate students to reach their dreams as all around entertainers in the arts business through music, will give students a chance to learn, grow, and succeed in any avenue of the arts.
Wayne's early guitar training started by taking private lessons from a student of renowned classical guitarist Andres Segovia. Before the age of 18, Wayne was touring and recording worldwide with rock-n-roll and heavy metal acts. He then moved on to study audio recording in NYC at the Institute of Audio Research and furthered his education in FL by studying music education and music business. After schooling, Wayne performed on different cruise lines for many years also releasing several CDs as a musician and recording engineer. His most recent recording as musician landed him on a CD that hit #5 on the Billboard Charts in the contemporary jazz category. Wayne is still performing professionally on a weekly basis and is making the transition into full time instructor and studio owner by training the next generation of musicians to come. Along with Barbara and their combined family of 5 children, he brings his years of performance, touring, engineering, and teaching to Footnotes Dance & Music Studio.
LAUREN LAPATIN Dance Instructor
Lauren LaPatin graduated from the University of South Florida with her B.F.A. in modern dance performance. She has studied with instructors such as Michael Foley, Jeanne Travers, John Parks, Lynne Wimmer, Mariah Moloney, Carolina Garcia and Gretchen Ward Warren. She has performed for various choreographers including Carolina Garcia, Janis Brenner and Dionne Sparkman Noble. She has also performed and participated at the American College Dance Festival Association.
Locally, Lauren graduated from Cypress Lake Center for the Arts with a focus in dance. She is also working with a collaborative group of dancers who have formed a dance company through the Alliance for the Arts in Lee County. She's a middle school teacher and teaches dance for a fine arts program for the school district.
NANCY PEREZ Certified Zumba® Fitness Instructor
Nancy Perez is our Certified Zumba® Fitness Instructor. She sports a full time job during the week, but looks forward to her Zumba Fitness classes after work. When she took her first Zumba Fitness class in 2008, she was hooked and it's been her favorite fitness exercise ever since.
In May 2009, Nancy went to the Zumba Fitness Instructor training workshop led by Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba Fitness, and came back to South West Florida so PUMPED ON ZUMBA!
Nancy can't wait to share her excitement with you! If you can't dance, it's no problem! With Zumba's easy steps and the fun energizing Latin and international music, everyone can do it!
Join in the Zumba fun on Tuesdays at 7:30pm & Thursday at 7:30pm!
BARBARA KNAPP Dance Instructor
Barbara Knapp is a Cleveland, Ohio native who was trained as young dancer in the Cecchetti Method style of ballet for nearly 15 years. She is a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University and has called Florida home for 10 years.
Aside from teaching dance, Barb is also a middle and high school reading teacher in Fort Myers.
AMY SZAFRAN Dance Instructor
Amy's bio soon to come.
JACQUELYN TOLEMAN Dance Instructor
Jacquelyn Toleman started dancing at the age of 4 in Northern Kentucky. She moved to Lehigh in 2000 and became a student teacher. Jacquelyn continued her education and received her B.A. in Theatre Arts with a minor in Dance from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She and her husband, Michael, live here in Lehigh with their fish.
Jacquelyn works as a professional dancer, singer, and actress at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre where she has done many productions including "The Wizard of Oz", "A Christmas Carol," and "Guys and Dolls," to name a few. Jacquelyn loves being a part of Footnotes Dance & Music Studio and is so glad you are, too!
BETTY GOURLEY Dance Instructor
Betty Gourley has been a resident of Lehigh Acres since 1995 with her spouse, Kevin and her daughter, Amanda. Betty is a graduate of Southwest Florida College and Edison College. She is a Paralegal certified through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc., registered with the Florida Bar, and employed with the law firm of LeGrande & LeGrande P. A.
Betty began tap dancing at Footnotes with The Dancing Divas in 2007. In 2008 she attended the Dance Teacher Summer Conference in New York City. She started co-teaching along with some of our experienced instructors, and is now teaching classes with us at Footnotes!