Instructors

Sue Rissoto : Director : Tap & Jazz Instructor
Claudia Montgomery : Ballet Instructor
Gina Benedetti : Tap, Jazz & Hip Hop Instructor


I was born and raised in Pacifica and graduated from Oceana High School. I started dancing when I was 3 years old at “Ginger′s Dancing School” on Palmetto Avenue. After a few years I joined “Schumachers School of Dance” in South San Francisco and danced there for 13 years. At age 16, I started teaching dance in the Old Vallemar Moose Lodge.

After graduating from High School, I attended Skyline College, studying child psychology. At the same time, I taught dance for the Pacifica Park Beach & Recreation Department. After one year I decided I was ready to branch out on my own and with 48 students enrolled, I opened “Sue’s Performing Stars” at the old Sanchez School site.

I can honestly say I still love my job after 31 years! I am married and have 2 boys. Anthony (16), will be a Junior at Riordan High School, and Steven (13), who is an 8th grader at Vallemar School. We are so happy to be a part of the Pacifica community.

My studio offers classes in tap, jazz, ballet and hip hop. We also do community events and culminate the end of each year with a BIG SHOW in June.

Looking forward to teaching another year of dance to dancers of all ages, 2 to 82!!
See you on the dance floor!  {top}

I started dancing at the age of seven and except for a few off years, I never stopped. My first class was a ballet class at a small school in Berkeley. It was “love at first step.” When my family moved to Marin County, I continued classes at a fairly well known dance school in Marin. When I was about twelve I started classes at San Francisco Ballet School and studied there for several years. As an adult I took classes (including ballet) at San Francisco State and received my bachelor′s degree and teaching credentials. I also took classes at Pacific Ballet School, a professional school in San Francisco. After I graduated from SF State, I taught elementary school in San Francisco and continued to take classes at Pacific Ballet and from some famous Russian ballet teachers.

At this time I was, also, dancing semi-professionally, in a couple of small tour dance groups, mostly on weekends and started to teach a couple of adult ballet classes.

I started taking tap classes with Sue in 1986, shortly after my husband and I moved to Pacifica and in 1995 I started teaching ballet at Sue′s studio. I love teaching my ballet classes. I have a good repport with my students and their parents. I love choreographing dances for the show and am always proud of how well my students do. I hope to see you on the dance floor, soon! {top}

I started dancing at the age of 4 at Gymtowne Gymnastics in a “Mini Movers” class. Took a couple years off and started dancing at Sue’s Performing Stars at the age of 8 taking “Tap and Jazz”. (Sue will tell you I was very quiet and barely talked to her…don’t believe her, I LOVED THE STUDIO!) By 10 or 11, I was doing duets with other girls and added some Ballet into my routine of being at the studio 6 days a week. When I was 12, we performed at the Carnation Plaza Garden Stage in Disneyland.

Eventually I was at the studio so much that I was filling in for Sue when she couldn’t make a class, and then teaching her classes when she was pregnant with her 2 boys.

I was a Varsity Cheerleader for 3 years in High School, which led to me coaching Pop Warner Cheerleading for 6 years. My Pop Warner squads were among the first to attend Nationals at Disney World in Orlando, Florida for 4 out of 6 of the years.

I am currently working at another job AND teaching and assisting at the studio. I teach the pre-teen and teen classes of Jazz/Hip hop.  {top}