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Lisa Gumenick 

is the proud founder/director of The Pretenders Studio in Santa Monica California. She has choreographed and taught dance and theater classes for 18 years throughout Southern California. Lisa has been onstage herself since the young age of 4 and loves to create and communicate through movement. Prior to opening The Pretenders Studio, Inc Lisa spent many years in training studying dance and theater extensively. She performed and danced competitively throughout California for 9 years and then continued her formal education at the University of California at Santa Barbara where she graduated with honors. Additionally, she formally studied Dance and the Performing Arts at Brandeis University, University College in The Netherlands and participated in extensive theatre arts summer programs abroad. In addition to her formal dance education Lisa holds a B.A. degree from UCSB in Sociology with an emphasis in Education and Family. Lisa has experience teaching in studios, in primary and secondary education, and in the University setting. For four years, Lisa taught Musical Theatre at Marquez Elementary School, in the STAR Enrichment Program, and choreographed shows for Marquez Elementary School, Paul Revere Middle School, Theatre Palisades Kids, and the UCSB Drama/Dance Department. In 2004, Lisa founded and directed a summer theatre program: The Pretenders Company (for ages 15-25), and in 2006, she inaugurated, The Junior Pretenders (for ages 9-14). She has produced and directed several full length shows for both children and adults and has choreographed for theater companies, dance companies and the commercial world. Her choreography has been featured in commercials and in Emmy award winning television segments. Lisa is delighted to be able to provide Santa Monica and the greater west side community with quality performing arts training for all ages! A studio that focuses on the foundations of creativity and movement, that builds character, trust, skill, grace, strength, community and fun is the goal here. Back to the basics is the foundation of this program and Lisa believes that it is the foundational technique combined with creativity and the love of the arts that inspires people of all ages to grow and learn to be better performers and more complete versions of themselves. Lisa believes β€œit is about process, not perfection. With good training, a healthy learning environment, practice and dedication we can grow together and achieve great things...that process, to me, is perfect.” All of the performances produced/sponsored by The Pretenders Studio have a community service/outreach and fundraising component as Lisa believes in the enormous healing power of dance and the performing arts both for the giver and the receiver. It is with great pleasure that Lisa welcomes you to The Pretenders Studio, a proud member of The National Dance Education Organization.