Edgar Chavarria
Ashlee Cramer
Kris Kramer
Julie Pappas Smith
Emily Ricca
Lara Tinari


Edgar Chavarria (Beginner Latin Ballroom) was born in Guatemala City where he began his ballet training at the age of 11 at the National School of Guatemala.  In 2000, he moved to Chicago to continue his training at the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center.  Edgar later pursued his passion for Ballroom and started training under the Arthur Murray Studios.  Since then he has trained with Iveta Lukosiute, Bob Powers and Emmanuel Pierre Antoine.  Edgar became a full Bronze-certified teacher in American Rhythm and Smooth in 2008, and has been teaching American Rhythm, Latin, Standard and Smooth since 2007 at Arthur Murray Studios in Chicago and Miami. 

He has competed in the Professional/Amateur competitions North Star, World Dance-O- Rama in Las Vegas, NV and Unique in Orange County, CA dancing Smooth, Rhythm, Latin and Standard.  He has also competed professionally in American Rhythm, Futures Champion, Rising Star and Open Professional Championship.  In the 2010 Arthur Murray Open Professional Rhythm Championship, he placed 5th. 
Edgar continues to teach, train and compete professionally and is excited to be offering this new workshop in Miami City Ballet School’s Community Division.

Ashlee Cramer (Mommy & Me/Zumbini)
has been working with children and their caregivers in the field of early childhood education for over ten years. She began as a dancer, performing on stages from New York City to Paris to Hong Kong, but in 2003 moved to Miami where she decided to pass on her love of music and dance through teaching.  

Ashlee began working in early childhood music and movement education in various Mommy & Me settings, and eventually took over Miami Children’s Music in 2004.  She has since been encouraging babies, toddlers, and caregivers to sing, dance, and groove to the music!   She is so thrilled to be working with Zumba Fitness as the Creative Director of Zumbini, and passionate about early childhood education and the need to combine joy, music, movement and education into one big party!


Kris Kramer (Ballet) was born in upstate New York, where she began her training at the Saugerties Ballet Center and later attended the Albany Dance Institute, under the direction of former New York City Ballet dancer, David Otto.  During the summers, she studied at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Chatauqua Dance Institute.  Kris joined Miami City Ballet in 2001, after being a scholarship student at Miami City Ballet School and apprenticing for the Company for a year.  During her six years with MCB, she was featured in ballets such as Giselle, Edward Villella's "THE QUICK-STEP: Unspeakable Jazz Must Go!", George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™, among others. 

Julie Pappas Smith (Broadway Jazz and Zena Rommett Floor-Barre®) received her BFA from the Boston Conservatory of Music majoring in Musical Theatre. Julie’s professional career spans the globe, touring with Broadway Equity Tours: A Chorus Line, Beauty and the Beast, Showboat, under the direction and choreographed by the incredible talents: Harold Prince, Susan Stroman, Baayork Lee, Robert Roth. Off-Broadway and regional roles included: Cats, Kiss of the Spider Woman, South Pacific, Westside Story, My Fair Lady, and 42nd Street. As a vocalist, Julie was featured at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World and has worked for Carnival and Norwegian Cruise lines. She studied with the Marblehead School of Ballet, Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.

Ms. Smith studied Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® under the careful eyes of the world-renowned Zena Rommett. She was guided and taught by Zena for over 18 years and has been a mentor and master Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® instructor teaching the technique for over 10 years. Julie is honored to be a part of Miami City Ballet School and wishes to bring longevity, strength and good health to every dancer.

Emily Ricca (Pilates and Beginner Pointe) began her ballet studies in Springfield, Missouri, where she was invited to be part of the Missouri State University Ballet program.  After Miss Ricca graduated from Virginia School of the Arts, she joined Ballets de San Juan in Puerto Rico, where she worked with Ricardo Melendez and Ana Maria Castañon. She has worked under the guidance and direction of great masters like Violette Verdi, Jillana, Maria Tallchief, Kyra Nichols, Leslie Brown and Arthur Mitchell.

In Florida, Emily danced with Florida Dance Theatre for three seasons as a principal dancer and worked as a ballet teacher in the Company's school.  She has also danced as a soloist and guest artist with Boca Ballet Theatre, Vero Classical Ballet, Florida Arts and Dance Company, Wellington Ballet, Ballet Etoile of Miami, Cuban Classical Ballet, Springfield Ballet and continues to dance as a guest artist with several companies. 

She has taught for Vero Classical Ballet, Florida Arts and Dance Company, Indian River Charter High School and Miami City Ballet School.  Miss Ricca has been on staff at The Jillana School in Taos, New Mexico for four summers.  She is also a certified Pilates instructor and is currently teaching at SoBe Pilates, The Jewish Community Center and 6th Street Dance Studio.  Emily is the founder and director of Romance Project, an international educational program for schools and other institutions that involves live dance and music performance with history. In 2014, she completed Miami City Ballet School’s Fellowship Teacher Training program.

Lara Tinari (Int./Adv. Contemporary) began her education in art and dance at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and furthered her education at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, and as a scholarship recipient at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York. With a firm belief in the integration of intellect and physicality, she returned to her academic studies upon retiring from her performing career, and achieved her BA with a focus on psychology, women’s studies, political science and art history. Tinari was awarded two Fellowships in recognition of her professional achievements in dance, choreographic works and academic excellence, allowing her to obtain her MFA in Dance through the American Dance Festival alliance with Hollins University, The Frankfurt University for Music and Performing Arts, and William Forsythe's The Forsythe Company in Frankfurt, Germany.

Tinari's professional career includes working as a Principal dancer with the River North Chicago Dance Company before joining Twyla Tharp's repertory company in New York, Twyla Tharp Dance. She performed the works of Twyla Tharp both in the United States and internationally, and taught Tharp repertory workshops. Tinari has also performed an array of works by various artists including Bill T. Jones, Ashley Roland, Daniel Ezralow, and Nacho Duato. Her collaborative choreographic achievements and featured performances include the major motion films Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor, the internationally televised documentary The Amici Artists in Rome, Italy, Soul Survivor, A League of Their Own and Mannequin.

Her teachings and choreography have been fostered through various institutions such as, Le Jeune Ballet du Québec, as Professor of Modern Dance and Resident Choreographer at École Supérieure de Ballet Contemporain de Montréal, and Édouard Lock’s LaLaLa Human Steps. Tinari’s works have been commissioned by various dance institutions in the United States and internationally including, APAP Festival New York, DanceNow Miami, Festival International de Danse Encore, and Place des Arts Spectacles à Montréal.
Tinari is the creator, director and choreographer of the TOC project, (thetocproject.com), in Miami, Florida.


Miami City Ballet School students. Photo © Bruce Hibbs.