At Perfect Pointe, we know that it doesn't matter how good a dancer a teacher is if they can't impart that information to their students. Our faculty are selected for their ability to adapt their teaching to the needs and learning styles of their students and for their caring and nurturing attitudes, in addition to their long years as dancers.
As part of our commitment to excellence in dance education, we cover the cost of, and encourage participation in continuing education events such as Dance Master's of America's Teacher Training School for all of our faculty. This keeps their skills fresh and inspires them with new and creative teaching ideas.
Also see information about our excellent support staff, who provide critical assistance to our faculty and keep the studio running smoothly.
Ms. Kendra Slatt
Studio Owner / Executive Director
Ms. Kendra Slatt has been studying the art of dance since age five. She holds a B.A. in Dance and a B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing from the State University of New York at Buffalo. During her time at UB she studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, pointe, partnering, classical Indian dance, choreography, dance kinesiology, dance history, teaching methods, and technical theater production in addition to her business classes. She has performed several leading roles with the Hornell City Youth Ballet and was a member and performer with the University at Buffalo's "Dancers' Workshop." She is most proud of recently becoming a Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Certified Instructor.
Miss Kendra is an active member of Dance Masters of America and a graduate of their advanced Teachers' Training program, certifying her to teach all levels of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater and Modern dance. She has taught extensively at various studios up and down the East Coast prior to opening Perfect Pointe. She continues to teach workshops regionally and internationally as well as choreographing for numerous musical theater productions and leading a worship dance program at her church. Ms. Kendra believes that dance is a living art form and continuing education and immersion in all aspects of dance are key to being a successful dance educator. As such, she continues to expand her dance expertise through various workshops, courses and seminars by the National Dance Education Organization, Dance Masters of America, Rhee Gold Company, and other prestigious dance organizations. She is also a Certified Instructor of Rhythm Works Integrative Dance.
Ms. Katie O'Connell
Director of Children's Programs
Ms. Katie O'Connell began her dance training at age eight beginning with ballet and adding jazz, tap, and modern. She began assisting in classes during high school and dreamed of pursuing dance in college. She graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Dance and continued to teach dance camps during her summers off from school. While at Elon she studied ballet, jazz, Fosse technique, rhythm tap, modern, African, improvisation, & choreography. Her first choreography project at Elon was adjudicated at the American College Dance Festival. She joined the Perfect Pointe staff in September of 2010 after teaching at her local studio in Maryland. Ms. Katie has attended various teaching workshops through the Harkness Center for Dance in NYC and with local dance companies in the Baltimore area. A former performer with DC-based modern dance group DanceAntonini, Miss Katie is certified by Dance Masters of America to teach all levels of Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, Ballet, Modern, and Acrobatics. She was awarded the Janet Bachna Scholarship for leadership and teaching excellence from Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School in 2014. Recently, Ms. Katie has completed continuing education classes through the National Dance Educators Organization's online program studying both Dance Kinesiology and Teaching Dance to Students with Disabilities. She is also a Certified Instructor through Rhythm Works Integrative Dance and Acrobatic Arts.
Ms. Gillian Ramsey
Gillian Ramsey's love of dance was inherited from her mom and grandmother who were her first dance teachers. She has studied under some of the most well respected names in the dance industry and with teachers from The Washington Ballet, NYCB and Broadway Dance Center. as a young performer she performed at Carnegie Hall ( 3 times!) Disney World (twice!) and with The New Jersey Ballet's Summer tour. In addition to competing both regionally and nationally She has been invited to dance in 3 Olympic Opening ceremonies and Macy's Day Parades as well as in Spain, Russia and Taiwan.
Gillian graduated with honors from Shenandoah Conservatory with a degree in Dance Education with an emphasis on Musical Theatre and Choreography and was a three time recipient of the Robyn Hart Schroth scholarship for excellence in dance education. She has choreographed for competitive studios in 4 states and has won top honors on both the local and national level. Her choreography has been selected to perform at the Annual Tap and Jazz Festival, American College Dance Festival, and broadcast television statewide. Gillian was instrumental in developing Virginia's first Standards of Learning for Dance in Public Schools as well as creating the curriculum that has been adapted throughout the state. As a title holder in the Miss America Pageant Organization Gillian was able to share her dedication to the performing arts with her platform "the Importance of Arts in Education" where she was a key note speaker throughout the commonwealth on how classroom teachers can use dance and music to enhance their curriculum.
Mr. Philip Baraoidan
Native of Arlington County, Va, Philip Baraoidan is alumni of Virginia Commonwealth University and Perfect Pointe Dance Studio. Performance Credits include Company E, Priore Dance, Waxworks Dance and Clancyworks. With venue highlights including, The Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Ed Mervish Theater (Canada) to name a few. He has performed in works by Rob Priore, Scott Putnam, Christian Von Howard, Kate Weare, Stephanie Martinez, Bob Fosse (Restaged), Michael Bennet (Restaged) and Adrienne Clancy. He is leads as Department Head of both the Jazz and Tap Curriculum, at Perfect Pointe. He has also taught for numerous programs like, Dance Masters of America, Showstoppers Convention, Central Asian Dance Festival, and American Dance Festival. Philip has received the Dottie McGill Award from Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School, for showcasing excellence in teaching. Philip's curriculum work and teaching application can be seen integrated internationally with schools, companies, and touring productions. He provided the curriculum/training for the Baku Ballet, which with his coaching and choreography produced Azerbaijan's first Broadway Show. Philip loves to call Perfect Pointe his dance home, with so many wonderful families.
Ms. Fatima Farhan
Fatima started dancing in Northern Virginia at an early age, with training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, Musical Theater, and Lyrical. She began competing nationally in top-scoring group pieces and solos and expanded her training through renowned conventions. Her hard work led her to achieve several dance scholarships and she was also named captain and assistant coach of her high school competing team during her last two years.
Fatima went on to attend Old Dominion University where she majored in International Studies and minored in Dance. In college, she was able to further train in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Improv, Contemporary, and Yoga/Pilates. Fatima has always had a strong love and interest for creating choreography, specifically in the Contemporary style, which she got to explore more during her studies. While in school, Fatima was chosen to perform for showcases including UDT, ACDA, and choreography workshops. She also choreographed many pieces at her university, with her work being chosen alongside faculty pieces, and has hosted several master classes for students featuring her choreography.
At Perfect Pointe, Miss Fatima teaches many of the Contemporary/Lyrical, Jazz, and Stretch and Strength classes. Along with teaching, she is also the Administrative Manager for our Performance Company at both locations! She is also continuing to develop her dance education through the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training School in Buffalo, NY.
Fatima's favorite thing about teaching is getting to show the students the artist within them! She is excited to continue spreading her love and passion for dance with every student she gets to work with.
Ms. Stephanie Vadala
Stephanie is a native of Syracuse, NY where she trained at Liverpool School of Dance. From the ages of 3 through 18, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical and was an award-winning member of their competition team. She also participated in community theatre in high school and college. She was introduced to modern dance at SUNY Oswego where she received her B.A. in Human Communications.
After moving in late 2007 to the DC area, she jumped into the dance scene and added hip hop among the styles of dance she would train and perform in. Over the years, Stephanie has been a member of multiple DC area dance companies of varying styles including Tappenstance, Afta Shock DC, Next Reflex Dance Collective, ARA Tap, and as a guest dancer with Glade Dance Collective.
Other performance credits include: dancing for the Utz National Chip Day Celebration, dancing on the National Mall for Earth Day and the 100th Anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Festival, multiple DC Tap Fest All-Star Concerts, and National Tap Dance Day. Her most favorite performances were on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in a tap dance tribute to Fred Astaire, and dancing in the documentary titled, “James Brown: The Man, The Music, The Message” which aired on NBC.
In addition to teaching tap at Perfect Pointe, Stephanie currently teaches multiple dance styles all over the DC area, and is the director of Joy of Motion's youth tap company, Soles of Steel. When she is not dancing, you'll see her behind the lens of a camera. She is honored to have attended Jacob’s Pillow in August 2019 for the Art of Dance Photography intensive to further her skills as a photographer. Her hope is to keep growing as a student and educator of dance and one day spread the love of dance throughout U.S.
Ms. Jessyka Bagdon
Ms. Jessyka Bagdon grew up in New Hampshire where she studied dance and theatre from an early age. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Dean College. Jessyka has had the pleasure of studying a wide variety of dance styles, including Tap (Broadway, Rhythm), Jazz (Luigi, Fosse), Ballet (Vaganova, Cechetti, Balanchine), Modern (Release, Limon, Graham, Horton), Contemporary, Pointe, and Musical Theatre Dance. She has also had training in Hip Hop, Street Funk and Ballroom. Jessyka has experience teaching an array of dance styles, spanning all levels and ages, from toddler through adult. Jessyka has completed Teacher Training School of Dance Masters of America - level two. She served as the choreographer for the 2014 New Hampshire Professional Theatre Association Auditions and was honored to perform with the American Tap Dance Foundation at the City Center in 2014. She spent time training in NYC, while bringing Ballet to underprivileged public school children as a Teaching Artist for the American Repertory Ballet, and working as an instructor, choreographer, and production assistant at various dance and performance organizations in Northern New Jersey. Jessyka is currently on faculty as a teaching artist with multiple Washington D.C. area arts organizations including Joy of Motion Dance Center, Knock On Wood Tap Studio, and Perfect Pointe Dance Studio. Jessyka is the director of Jazz Corps, a youth performance company at JOM, in addition to an active performing member of District Tap and SOLEdarity tap dance companies.
Ms. Laura Gumbrecht
Ms. Laura began dancing at age 4 in her small hometown of Burlington, North Carolina. She began her training in a non-competitive dance studio focused on the technique and performance of ballet, pointe, tap, lyrical, modern and jazz.
With a growing commitment to all things dance, she began attending dance conventions and competitions eventually meeting Christy Curtis of CC and Company Dance Complex. During high school, she danced under the direction and legacy of CC as a competitive and performing member of ‘The Core Dance Company.’ As a Core performer, she was chosen for works by internationally renowned, Emmy-nominated choreographers and successful, touring alumni of the program.
Ms. Laura attended the top-ranked University of Utah Modern Dance Department on dance scholarship. Highlights of her college career include performing the restaging of a Merce Cunningham trio, performing in Twyla Tharp’s repertory piece ‘Sweet Fields,’ and choreographing in student produced performances.
Ms. Laura has taught in several studios in North Carolina for the past 5 years and is excited to begin her new journey in the DMV.
Ms. Catherine Osborne
Ms. Catherine began dancing when she was two years old in her mother's studio. As a girl she studied ballet, jazz and lyrical and continued her dance training at Ohio Wesleyan University earning a BA in Spanish with a minor in theatre and dance. While working on her MA in Spanish in Lima, Perú, Ms. Catherine studied and danced with the company Pata de Cabra. Since then she has taught hip hop, jazz, lyrical, salsa and Hatha Yoga. As a PhD student of Spanish Theatre she choreographed for the University of Virginia's Spanish Theatre Troupe. Ms. Catherine is the head of the Hip Hop Department, a member of Dance Masters of America and certified by exam to teach all levels of Jazz, Musical Theather & Hip Hop and level I Ballet, Modern and Tap. In her non-artistic life, Ms. Catherine works as a Spanish interpreter for numerous government contracts.
Ms. Susannah Buell
Ms. Susannah began her dance education at the age of five in Richmond, Virginia. Over the years she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe and performed in Ballet Petit's original production of "The Night Before Christmas." After earning a B.S. in Marketing/Management from the University of Virginia, she pursued a career as a magazine editor in New York City and Washington, D.C. Through adult dance classes and school volunteering, Susannah more recently discovered her passion for ballet education. She is certified by Dance Masters of America to teach all levels of ballet and tap.
Ms. Suzie McMullen
Miss Suzie started dancing at Patricia Ann Dance Studio when she was 4 years old. She was Clara in the Nutcracker with Sterling Performing Arts in Dunedin, FL at ages 7 and 8. The following year, she joined Florida West Ballet Company and trained with them for the next 12 years. With Florida West, Miss Suzie got the opportunity to perform leading roles in major ballet productions such as Don Quixote, Les Sylphide, Stars and Stripes, and Giselle. Florida West also allowed Suzie to take hundreds of master classes with guest instructors from world-renowned ballet companies such as SAB, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Miami City, Atlanta, Joffrey, and Pennsylvania Ballet, just to name a few. At age 16, she was invited to perform on tour with the Tri-City Ballet Company of Egypt.
She studied dance at the University of South Florida where she ultimately graduated with a degree in Criminology. After college, she spent a year in England where she studied ballet and jazz at Dancewerks London. Miss Suzie is certified through Dance Masters of America to teach all levels of Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern. She is also certified as a fitness professional through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She teaches cardio dance and step aerobics at several gyms and country clubs in Northern Virginia. She hopes to complete her degree in Dance at George Mason University in the Spring of 2022.
Ms. Avril Hernandez
Miss Avril Hernandez started her love affair with dance in the Philippines at the age of four, rooted primarily in ballet which continued until she emigrated to the United States. Utilizing the fervor and energy of her early teen years, she expanded her artistic repertoire and also undertook Jazz and Hip-Hop. That experience would later provide a smooth segue into Modern and Tap Dance, even dabbling in Ballroom through her college years. In 2007, she was accepted into the summer program at New York City's Amy Marshall Dance Company, a company known for its provocative and strong choreography.
In 2011, Miss Avril followed her dreams to Los Angeles. She got accepted with a $10,000 scholarship at American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) where she studied Dance Theatre. After moving back home, she taught at Dance Institute of Washington for two years.
Currently, Miss Avril continues her pursuit of her dance career. She hopes to feed the aspirations of the would be dancers she's met and will meet, so that they too may further their dreams and find their heart's desires as she is. She continues to teach in various schools and dance studios in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. When she's not learning choreography or teaching dance, Miss Avril works in Hospitality, travels as much as she can, and spends time with her family and friends.