Meet your teachers

Jessica Millman (Owner / Artistic Director)

West Side Dance Studio owner and creative director, Jessica Millman, has extensive training in both dance and fitness. Jessica started her training right here in Broward County and went on to dance in the pre-professional program at Miami City Ballet. Jessica is trained in Balanchine and Chiccetti ballet techniques. She is also trained in both modern and jazz, studying under Ray Sullivan and Richard Amaro. Jessica has danced at ballet programs all over the country including the Joffrey and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. While attending the University of Miami, Jessica minored in dance with an emphasis on teaching dance and exercise physiology, and led classes in dance from pre-school thru teen. Jessica is a certified instructor for children and challenged children and has led adult fitness classes throughout Miami and was featured on NBC’s South Florida Today.

Jessica opened West Side Dance Studio in 2010 and her students have since been accepted into prestigious dance programs and universities throughout the country.

Jessica Lister (Teacher)

Jessica Lister began her dance journey at the age of three, at Coral Springs Academy of Dance where she was trained in Tap, Jazz and Ballet. Choosing the path of a professional career, Jessica went to Dillard Center for the Performing Arts under the direction of Hannah Baumgarten, Lu Welters, and Jose Garant who furthered her knowledge in Ballet, the Horton technique, Limon technique, Contemporary, Jazz, and Pilates. She was awarded soloist roles by the Urban City Ballet, based in New York, including Don Quixote and Paquita. She is also part of the Florida Dance Education Organization. Jessica has been invited to National dance festivals in Miami, Norfolk, VA, and Philadelphia, PA to showcase her talent and further her knowledge. She was Broward County’s Arts for the Future 2009 recipient, and received a full paid scholarship to New World School of the Arts in Miami. Jessica began teaching at West Side Dance Studio in 2010. Jessica is very excited to be teaching for West Side Dance Studio and cannot wait to share her knowledge with all of you.

Melissa Delatorre (Teacher)

Melissa Delatorre began dancing at the age of five and it quickly became her passion. Growing up, she was on a competitive team, winning regional and national titles, and performed at various local and state events, including Disney and Universal Studios.  At the University of Florida she was on the dance team as a featured dancer, choreographer, and in 2008 was elected to the board and led production rehearsals. After graduating in 2009, she appeared in several showcases with University Center for the Performing Arts. From 2010-2012 she was an ensemble dancer with Body and Soul Dance Theatre. In the summer of 2014 Melissa went to New York City to further develop her dance education at the Dance Teacher Summit. During the summer of 2017, she went to Texas and trained at Ballet Austin. While her focus is Jazz and Contemporary, she enjoys all styles of dance. The opportunity to watch dancers grow and have fun is what she loves most about teaching. Melissa is proud to have been teaching at West Side Dance Studio since 2011 and looks forward to sharing her passion with all of the students this season!

Renato Penteado (Teacher)

Mr. Penteado was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he began his dance training at the age of seven.  In the late 90s, he danced many roles, including a soloist role in Giselle and the lead role of "Siegfried" in Swan Lake.  In 1998, Mr. Penteado was invited by Edward Villella to join the Miami City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet.  He was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2004. He has performed many leading roles in the Balanchine repertoire, including Donizetti Variations, Symphony in C, Tarantella, Ballet Imperial, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, to name a few. In addition he has performed in Jerome Robin's, Fancy Free, Dances at a Gathering and In the Night, as well as Twyla Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs, In the Upper Room and the Golden Section.  He has also performed the lead roles in Don Quixote, Giselle, and Edward Villella's The Neighborhood Ballroom, among many others.  Penteado has danced many principal roles nationally and internationally with Miami City Ballet, including Torino, Italy, Paris, Venezuela and Canada. Mr. Pentado has also served as a faculty member of the Miami City Ballet School during various summer programs.  He is currently a Principal Dancer with the Miami City Ballet.

Roger Alexander Fonnegra (Teacher)

Mr. Fonnegra received his primary dance training at the Caracas Ballet School of Teresa Carreno, and shortly after joined the National Ballet of Caracas as an apprentice. He trained with the School of American Ballet on a full scholarship and with Whilhelm Burmann.  He later returned to his native Venezuela where he danced with the Ballet National of Caracas, accompanying them on an international tour. In 2003, he joined Columbia Classical Ballet and has since appeared as a guest artist with the Ballet Camara of Caracas,  the Pennsylvania Ballet in John Cranko’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Sierra Nevada Ballet,  New Haven Ballet,  and Seiskaya Ballet.  Most recently he has performed for the past seven years with Festival Ballet Providence in RI under the direction of Mihailo Djuric. Past roles include George Balanchine's Rubies, Donizetti Variations and Allegro Brillante, Anthony Tudor's Continuo and The Leaves are Fading, the Fairy Doll Pas de Trois, Agnes de Mille's Rodeo, Viktor Plotnikov’s La Camorra and Short Stories, Yves De Boutellier’s Romeo and Juliet (Paris), Raymonda (four men), Neopolitan & Hungarian in Swan Lake, and Doll, Arabian, Chinese, &  Marzipan and much more in Festival Ballet Providence’s The Nutcracker. In 2012 to 2013 he joined ballet Idaho, dancing in productions of Serenade by George Balanchine, and nutckracker,Carmen,Don Quixote and Swan lake. Most recently, a guest artist with Ballet San Jose, Arts Ballet theater Of Florida, and (SAH) Sociedad Actoral Hispanoamericana. 

Carolina Hernández (Teacher)

Carolina was born in Miami, Florida. She is a West Dance Studio alumnus and has been dancing here since its opening in 2010. She began dancing at the age of 7. She is trained in jazz, hip hop, modern and ballet. She participated in the dance honor society all four years at Somerset Academy Charter High School, where she was also a member of the dance program. She has attended the Dance Teacher Summit in New York City to further improve her dance and teaching skills. Carolina interned as an assistant teacher from 2011-2014, when she was promoted to member of our teaching staff.

Claudia Oliva (Teacher)

For 13 years, Claudia has taught various ages and levels at studios in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.  She began her dance training at the age of five and enjoyed many years as part of a competitive team, winning regional and national titles.  She uses her experience to teach and choreograph recreational and competitive dancers of all ages.  Claudia is part of the National Dance Education Organization and has attended the Dance Teacher Summit and various teacher trainings and workshops to continue to grow as a dance educator.  Claudia received her B.S. in Public Relations from Florida International University in 2007.  She is  currently a teacher at A World of Knowledge Preschool, where she directs the early childhood ballet program as well as the dance club at Green Tree Prep Charter School.


Ms. Arena attended The Maria Evans Academy of Dancing in Wales, U.K. from the age of nine, and as she matured into a young adult began her teaching experience there. Kathryn won numerous awards in competitions around the United Kingdom.  At the age of 16, Kathryn won a full scholarship to attend the Laine Theatre Arts, Performing Arts College in London, England, where she studied Drama, Voice, Musical Theatre and Dance with choreographers such as Bill Drysdale and Arlene Erb, who is known for her work with legends Patrick Swayze and Michael Jackson. Kathryn was awarded her Associate Teaching Degree in Modern Dance and is certified by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) to teach Modern, Tap, Ballet and Jazz. Professionally, Kathryn has taught dance for the past 20 years both in the U.K. and the U.S.A., and has choreographed numerous shows and national competitions. She has appeared professionally in productions in London and in Las Vegas style production shows such as “Savage” and “Sensational Journey” aboard luxury cruise ships throughout the Caribbean. She has had lead roles in television and print commercials such as Levi Jeans, and children’s television in Europe. Kathryn also performed as a solo song artist for renowned U.K. songwriter/producer Steve Evans. She owned and operated her own dance studio from 2001 - 2011.  Ms. Arena is happy to use her years of experience to teach at West Side Dance Studio.

Mélanie Martel (Teacher)

Melanie Martel is originally from France.  She trained in France at the Conservatory of Valence and at the Ecole de Danse Olivier Coste in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Contemporary.  When Melanie came to Miami, she attended New World School of the Arts and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014.  While at New World, she performed work from Peter London, Gerard Ebitz, Ana Sokolow, Jose Limon, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Darshan Singh Buller.  Melanie has had the opportunity to perform in world renown venues, such as the Joyce Theatre (NYC), the Alvin Ailey Theatre and in Puerto Rico for the Festival Internacional de Baile (2013).  She participated in The Henny Jurriens Foundation summer intensive in Amsterdam where she had the opportunity to learn and perform Jiri Kylian's repertory and explore movement in a Willaim Forsythe Improvisational Technologies Workshop, among various others.  Melanie has worked with The Tattooed Ballerina, Godoy/Pradera Projects, National Water Dance Projects, CoreDance Atlanta, Miami Contemporary Dance Company, The Dancers' Space and is currently a dance artist with national and international touring company iMEE (Infinite Movement Ever Evolving).

Stephanie Rivera (Teacher)

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Stephanie began her dance training at the age of 3.  She has trained with instructors from all over the United States, including Boston Ballet's Carol Ravich and Tony Catanzaro; in the styles of Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Hip Hop.  Stephanie has received numerous awards and scholarships.  At the age of 16, she began choreographing and instructing.  Her choreography has won accolades at regional and national levels.  Stephanie was inducted into the National Dance Honor Society in 2014.  She is currently working to achieve her B.A. in Dance from Nova Southeastern University.  She looks forward to sharing her passion for dance with her students at West Side Dance Studio.

Astrid Zuluaga (Teacher)

Astrid Zuluaga was born in Merida, Venezuela. She began her training at the age of six at the Foundation Escuela de Ballet Clasico del Edo. Lara; she attended Allegro Studio de Ballet, where she graduated.  In 2012, she became an apprentice with Ballet Nacional de Panama and had the opportunity to dance The Nutcracker, Coppelia, as well as experts from other ballets of the classical repertoire, such as Pas de Trois des Odalisques and Paquita.  Astrid participated in the International Ballet Competition in Caracas, Venezuela, and in The Star of the 21st Century International Ballet Competition in Panama City, Panama, where she was top 10 in her category.  In 2013, she joined the Pre-Professional program at Miami City Ballet School and graduated only a year and a half later.  In 2015, she attended Arts Ballet Theater of Florida's summer intensive and then became a Company Apprentice.  Astrid is currently pursuing a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics and sharing her love for ballet by teaching young dancers.  

Clara Paul (Teacher)

A Louisiana native, Clara began her dance education in South Florida. Trained in Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, and Jazz, she is a West Side Dance Studio alumnus. As a student, she attended ballet intensives with Ballet Magnificat! Clara studied dance at the University of South Florida. She is currently studying video production at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She can't wait to share her passion for dance and the arts with the students of West Side Dance Studio.

Kelli Vokaty (Yoga)

Kelli da Silva Vokaty enjoys all of what her native South Florida has to offer. Her life choices have always centered around encouraging others, the arts, nature, community volunteering, and the world of business. After graduating cum laude from Florida International University with a BA in International Business and Marketing, she worked diligently within corporate and government entities. Through various phases of her adult life, the one constant component was yoga. Always having been physically active with gymnastics, dance, and diverse workouts, she found that yoga kept her balanced and slowed her down. Being married with children, she discovered that self-evolution of connected, mental, and physical growth through yoga is a non-ending journey. She's happy at how her children incorporate yogic ways into their own daily lives and routines. As with adults, yoga helps children to de-stress, cope, relate to one another more compassionately, sleep better, and at times energize when needed. Children gain increased body awareness, concentration, balance, strength, and flexibility. Yoga helps them develop self-expression and self-confidence along with improving their digestion, and fine and gross motor skills. Kelli loves how yoga brings children together in a fun non-judgmental, non-competitive way. Kelli is a RYT-200, RCYT Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor. She studied and received her certifications at The Prana Lab Yoga and Meditation Studio in Weston, Fl. Her creative, humorous, and natural abilities to relate to children allow them to be open with her and themselves. By learning positive self-talk, children ultimately grant themselves permission to see and know who they truly are at their core. She envisions the children's time with her will be the beginning of a healthy, active, imaginative, and enjoyable lifetime of practicing yoga.