Supplemental instruction and solo coaching delivered virtually with Francisco Gella, Julie Friedrich, and Yusha-Marie Sorzano
Accessible and Supplemental
Instruction To Accelerate Your Growth
Training for dance performance doesn’t have a “pause button.” When life’s unpredictable nature gets in the way of consistent in-studio instruction -- schedule complications, schedule conflicts, or limited access to options in your home area -- you need a reliable option with proven results to keep your training and technique progressing forward. Virtual one-on-one sessions and group lessons from Francisco Gella Dance Works are your answer to advancing your training and building your technical skills. Our three master teaching artists provide the expert, careful instruction and coaching it takes to progress towards your performance and career goals.
Teaching Artists & Mentors
Francisco Gella (he/him)
Founding Artistic Director & Core Faculty
Francisco Gella Dance Works
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Improv, Choreographer
Francisco got a late start in dancing. While many dancers begin classes before their 10th birthday, he did not take his first class until he was 19. But this delayed beginning of his career has shaped his motivational, empathetic, and comprehensive approach to teaching dancers of all ages.
Once he took that first class as a freshman in college, it was love at first sight. And this love led him to change his major to dance performance. He then spent the next four years of his undergraduate path catching up to his peers. All of his concentrated dedication to technical and artistic training within those four years prepared him not only for a stellar career as a professional dancer but also as an exceptional teacher.
In those four intensive years, he also learned humility, self-reliance, grit, and sacrifice. Following his 15-year professional performance career and now as an educator and choreographer, he has frequently recalled what he learned in those years as an undergraduate. He draws upon the strength it took to succeed during those days when he took hours and hours of beginner classes, often alongside dancers a decade younger than him.
After more than twenty-five years of professional experience, Francisco now dedicates much of his time sharing his wisdom and knowledge with young dancers as a teacher, coach, and mentor. Students who work with him one-on-one consistently experience nothing short of total transformation. A master motivator, Francisco uses his expansive knowledge of anatomy and physiology, results-oriented pedagogy, and charismatic ability to inspire dancers through his own life story to assist his students in discovering renewed belief in their abilities. He is dedicated to leading his students toward an expanded sense of possibility.
Francisco specializes in teaching private lessons and coaching solo work to any eager students with a basic understanding of ballet technique and terminology. His areas of expertise are classical ballet, ballet stretch, and conditioning, contemporary ballet, Limon Modern technique, contemporary, and improvisation.
Julie Rose Friedrich (she/her)
Associate Director for College and Career Programs
Francisco Gella Dance Works
Ballet and Composition
Julie Friedrich’s approach towards training in ballet stems from her life-long education with her mentor, Meredith Baylis, the former director of the Joffrey Ballet School. This approach is founded on the principles of quality over quantity. Julie’s teaching is also highly influenced by her time dancing for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Other major influences include her years of dancing in Europe, where she fully immersed herself in the contemporary genre of the art form.
Her teaching style focuses on articulation, nuance, musicality, proper use of turn out, refinement within movement, and intelligent placement and connectivity. Lauded by many successful dancers around the world, Julie’s performance quality and teaching prowess have reached global recognition.
As a teacher, Julie specializes in multiple areas of classical ballet, including pointe work, variations coaching, ballet class (barre and center), and solo coaching in the classical/neo-classical/contemporary idiom. In recent years, her main focus has been preparing students for collegiate and professional dance program auditions.
Along with her professional and teaching accomplishments, Julie spent time creating and directing the college preparatory dance programs for both Orange County High School and Los Angeles County High School. She has since applied that experience and taken it to a national level, consulting with students and families around the country on planning young dancers’ future performance careers, including college preparatory work, pre-planning, and preparing dance-related college materials.
Yusha-Marie Sorzano (she/her)
Associate Director for Community Collaboration
Francisco Gella Dance Works
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary
With a multicultural upbringing and a diverse training background, Yusha has always been attracted to versatility. Her approach is founded upon her experience in a number of internationally recognized concert dance companies, including Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, and Camille A. Brown & Dancers.
Yusha believes that aspiring dancers should root themselves in the foundational techniques of classical ballet and modern dance while integrating additional styles such as contemporary, jazz, and social dance. She also emphasizes the importance of physical conditioning to build versatility and strength and maintains that nurturing the soul of a dancer through mentorship is of equal importance to helping them establish a career trajectory.
She eagerly teaches classical ballet, pointe, Horton-based modern, contemporary, and contemporary ballet, improvisation, Afro-based movement, and conditioning.
Feel free to contact us in the chatbox below or email us if you have any questions.