Darryl Retter is an advocate for dance teachers. His passion is aiding, developing, and providing strong foundational materials and the essential “tools of the trade” for dance studios around the world to bring success to studio owners and significance in the lives of their valued students. Master Teacher, Entrepreneur, Producer, Dance Teacher Advocate, Composer, Lyricist, Creator of Danceography Educational Videos, Owner Music Works Unlimited, Producer of Dance Teacher Connection, Partner Moho Productions, Director of The Dancers Bridge in Los Angeles, Director of Retter’s Academy of Dance and father of one! Darryl Retter is a veteran name in the Dance Industry and Convention Circuit, teaching Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, Studio Management Classes, Teaching Studio Syllabus, Technique, and Choreography for his Dance Educational videos and inspiring dancers and teachers for the past 30 years! Darryl is currently on staff with DanceMakers Dance Convention, Adrenaline Dance Convention & Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention and continues to tour the U.S. while inspiring teachers and students alike.
Originally from Kentwood, Michigan, Darryl grew up in his mother’s dance studio, Retter’s Dance Center, and credits Betty Retter for his early dance training. Darryl was discovered by the legendary Mr. Al Gilbert at the age of 13 yrs. and became his protégé, friend, and carries on “The Mission” as Owner of Music Works Unlimited (formally Stepping Tones) for the past 14 years. Darryl’s passion, expertise, relentless energy, work ethic and talent make him one of the most respected names in Dance. Darryl and his wife, Linda Bernabei Retter, are owners and Artistic Directors of their dance studio, Retter’s Academy of Dance (RAD). In it’s 27th year of operation, RAD has received National and Regional recognition for their positive philosophy, award winning Rhythm Machine Dance Company, Dancers Bridge Company, humanitarian efforts and Thoughtfulness Committee including “Top 5 Dance Studios in LA”. Darryl and Linda, their Studio and Companies have been recognized in National publications Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Dancer, Dance and Fitness, Dance Teacher Now, and were featured on the cover of Dancer Magazine. As Director of The Dancers Bridge, Darryl has created a unique program designed for dancers moving to LA to pursue a professional dance career. Developing potentials is his passion! Many of his former students and protégés are now teaching on National Conventions (Gina Badone, Becca Retter, Lilian Manansala, Brooke Paulsen-Zelus, Heidi Jarrett and Chris Rogers to name a few!) were trained or mentored by Darryl and Linda. Their students have also appeared in Puff Daddy world tour, Lakers Girls, Broadway productions of The Lion King, Hairspray, The Color Purple, and Purlie, and, choreographed for Disney and Nickelodeon productions, appeared in numerous videos and stage productions and so much more!
He also works with Moho Productions where he writes songs for artists such as Ashley Argota (Nickelodeon’s “Lulu” on Tru Jackson VP and “Kelly Peckinpaw” in Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures) and licenses music to Television, Industrials, Shows, and Feature Films including “My Dog’s Christmas Miracle”, “Gabe the Cupid Dog”, “Golden Christmas 3”, and “A Star for Christmas”. From his 90’s debut in Debbie Gibson’s classic “Electric Youth” video (choreographed by Barry Lather) to teaching Nationally and Internationally, Darryl Retter remains an Artistic Force of Nature!
Ms. Linda Bernabei-Retter has been a MusicWorks Team Member since its inception in 2003. She currently serves as MW Creative Director & Co Producer of Dance Teacher Connection. Linda’s continuing mission is to promote the beauty, joy, empowerment, and gift of dance in the most positive and nurturing manner.
CO-OWNER AND CO-DIRECTOR OF RETTER’S ACADEMY OF DANCE. DIRECTOR OF STARLET YOUTH PROGRAM. CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF RHYTHM MACHINE AND BRIDGE DANCE COMPANIES. MASTER TEACHER & MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER. Recognized as Woman of the Year 2010 -2011 by the National Association of Professional Woman (NAPW), National Dance Educator of the Year 2010, received by Company Dance Convention, National Luminary Award Recipient 2008 (Mom’s in Business Network). Creator of Stagewear L.A. Costume Collection and Powerplay Activewear 2000 – June 2010.
Internationally recognized by the Joe Tremaine Dance Conventions, Dance Masters of America, Professional Teachers Association, Al Gilbert Seminars, and Hoctor’s Dance Caravan, among others. Linda has appeared in national Dance Publications Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Dancer, Dance and Fitness, Dance Teacher Now, and Dancer Magazine.
Linda and husband Darryl Retter own and operate Retter’s Academy of Dance. Retter’s celebrates its 27th Anniversary Season and has received National and local recognition including: Best Dance Instruction in Agoura Hills 2008-2017. Teaching is a constant joy in their life. Their studio is a blessing and remains the central force that gives creative birth to all she and Darryl’s many passions, businesses, and adventures.
This exciting motivator, educator, choreographer, and dancer has worked with or choreographed for Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, Robert Guillaume, Lionel Richie, Billy Crystal, Tom Jones, Andy Gibb, Joan Rivers, The Smothers Brothers, Sammy Davis, Jr., Barry Manilow, The Captain and Tennille, Tisha Cambell, George Hamilton, Peter Falk, The Fifth Dimension, Dick Shawn, The Village People, Carman, and more. She has worked with incredible choreographers & producers including: Brad Lauchman, Joe Tremaine, Julie Adler, Ronnie Lewis, Bill Guske, Joe Bennett, Cary LaSpina, Ron Watson, Nick Navarro, Elise Valee, Winston Hemsley, Rich Rizzo, John Addis, Michael Darren, Joanne DiVitto, Jaime Rogers, Maria Pogee, Nick Navarro, Breck Wall, Patrick Maze, Nora Cattaneo, and many others that she holds in high esteem. Linda was a regular on the TV showThe Midnight Special with Jeff Kutash’s Dancin’ Machine. She was also a Solid Gold dancer & assistant to choreographer, Mr. Kevin Carlisle.
Her goals are many. High on the list is to instruct dance in a positive manner, to create thinking and intelligent dancers who are not only technically brilliant, but creative and passionate about dance. Daughter Renata lights up her life each day. Ms. Bernabei-Retter has taught for the past 40 years. Many of Linda’s protégés operate successful dance studios and appear on Broadway, in films, and on television. “Keep Your Dreams Alive.”
Janice Barringer is synonymous with excellence, technique, passion, and a mission to educate all, from beginners through professional levels, on the beauty, purity, foundation, artistry, and joy of Classical Ballet. She has dedicated her life to teach, explain, and write about the exquisite art form called ballet! She has been a MusicWorks Creative Team member for ten years. Her products and books are internationally sought after, from New York to China! She also tours with DanceMakers, Inc. (DMI) National Convention and Competition.
A New York City ballet teacher, Janice danced professionally for thirty years with ballet companies and a free-lance guest artist. She appeared as the lead dancer and spokesperson for a Kymberly Clark commercial; as soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra educational programs; and, was spotlighted in a Special Public Television Series called “Dance in America”. Janice was a principal dancer in special performances for two Presidents of the United States; was assistant to the choreographer for the outdoor drama, “The Lost Colony”; and, was the ‘Entertainment Critic’ for an ABC-TV affiliate. She has taught for Harkness House, The Alvin Ailey School, Steps on Broadway, Ballet Hispanico and Pace University in New York City, as well as for numerous schools, universities and companies throughout the US, Canada and China. Her many instructional ballet CD’s, DVD’s and Teaching Syllabus, all produced by Music Works, have been especially created as invaluable tools for teachers who are in dance education. Janice has also written numerous articles on dance for all the major dance magazines and is the author of two highly respected books on pointe work. The 3rd Edition of THE POINTE BOOK is now available.
Just finishing a 3 year run on Broadway with Billy Elliot The Musical, Thommie had the thrill of performing in front of more than 1.5 million enthusiastic theatregoers. With the curtain closed, Thommie has been able to return to his first love, teaching dance. Thommie has ongoing classes in NYC that are full of child celebrities from TV, film and stage. Thommie currently has students in a variety of Broadway shows including; Matilda The Musical, Annie The Musical, Kinky Boots The Musical, The Assembled Parties and the US touring company of Billy Elliot The Musical.
Thommie is one of the producers of the coming-of-age feature film Contest “The Movie”. The film deals with the tough topic of teenaged bullying along with other issues associated with adolescence. Known for seeking out and attracting the best talent available, Thommie was very instrumental in the preproduction and casting of this timely and important film.
Being a part of the creative team at MusicWorks Unlimited since it’s inception in 2003 has been a creative outlet for another passion of Thommie’s, song writing. With song placements in a variety of films, TV shows and radio spots, coupled with his positive outlook on life, Thommie has no problem finding the pulse of the youth of today, putting it into words and giving it that Mr. Thommie touch that has everybody excited about dance and ready to take on the world.
Becca Retter is a multi-talented dance educator residing in New York City. A MusicWorks Creative Team Member for ten years, Becca continues to provide clever, age appropriate, and FUN songs, choreography, and training aids for young dance enthusiasts. Ms. Retter was personally chosen by the late, great, Mr. Al Gilbert to carry on his legacy with FUN and achievable materials for children through her product “Dance Advantage”. Check out all 5 volumes of her pre-school syllabus, “Dance Adventure” and get ready for her newest product, “Dance Creation”. Becca Retter is a faculty member on the prestigious dance convention, DanceMakers, Inc. (DMI) and enjoys teaching for many Dance Masters chapters as well. Becca was featured in the “Terrific Tap” issue of Dance Studio Life Magazine. She has performed at the House of Blues in Los Angeles; Las Vegas and on MTV, and she has danced internationally in Canada, Denmark, Guatemala and Russia. Becca’s love and enthusiasm for dance make her a favorite among students and teachers.
Gina Badone is a versatile, passionate, energetic, and creative dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She currently travels the Nation as a faculty member of DanceMakers (DMI) Convention and Competition where she teaches all ages and levels of dancers. Gina’s Contemporary DVD’s produced by MusicWorks, are in high demand. Her ability to create usuable choreography and “break it down” for all to understand is truly her gift! Her fun, creative, and age appropriate hip-hop material on KidGroovz is also a favorite among studio owners, dancers, and parents alike.
Gina Badone currently resides in Los Angeles where she is known for her award winning choreography and energetic master classes. She has taught dancers around the country and recently traveled to Mexico, and Guatemala to share her love of dance. She is a versatile dancer and has performed in many Los Angeles events including WB’s Christmas at the Grove, Moulin Rouge’s Live Billboard, and corporate events for NBC and Universal. She also choreographed for “The Thundermans (2015), PBS “Reading Rainbow (2014), the legendary Big Bad VooDoo Daddy’s and American Girl’s Molly Film. Gina currently teaches on MusicWorks Dance Teacher Connection that features her creative products for educating young dancers in multiple styles. She is a 15 year veteran teacher at Retter’s Academy of Dance and is a seasoned choreographer and co-director for the Dancer’s Bridge Program in Los Angeles.
Chris Rogers is the founder and CEO of Maxteme Inc a technology consulting firm. At a young age, Chris’ computer skills, technical abilities, vision, and understanding of the dance industry made him the “go to” man for technological needs. He has created a unique system, TourPro, which aids in essentially running dance conventions and competitions. TourPro is currently being used by: Tremaine Dance Conventions, Co. Dance, DanceMakers, Inc., Adrenaline, Artists Simply Human, Hollywood Connection, Thunderstruck, Thunderstruck Canada, Bravo, Leap and Masquerade, to name a few. Maxtreme, in association with MusicWorks is bringing creative solutions to the studio to save time and money. Chris brings his wisdom to DTC to ignite and inspire a new perspective for dance teachers on how technology can catapult their business.
Chris started dancing at the age of 3, was signed to an agency at 9 and hasn’t looked back. As a convention kid he received numerous national scholarships from L.A. Danceforce, L.A. Dance Magic, Co. Dance, LA Underground, Urban Jamm and Dupree. Chris was a member of nationally ranked Rhythm Machine Company for eight years. Chris did work for Wade Robson in creating the “The Wade Robson Project” on MTV. He has directed numerous dance variety shows on Sunset Blvd including the Choreographer’s Carnival. Chris was part of the creative team on the B2K National Scream III Tour and was Assistant Director and Assistant Music Director for Michael Jackson’s 45th Birthday. He worked with Britney Spears’ on her World Tour ‘The Onyx Hotel’ as the Assistant Director and even provided original music for the show. In the past season Chris developed two shows for MTVs fall season, one titled twentyfourseven and one named Dance Life starring Jennifer Lopez. We are thrilled to have Chris Rogers’ amazing energy, his fantastic style, and his passion to educate your dancers in the Art of Hip Hop. Mr. Rogers is also a guest master teacher on DanceMakers, Inc. (DMI) Convention.
Joan Lather Teaching is her passion. For decades, she has inspired dancers and teachers alike with her creative and innovative choreography. Affectionately known as Ms. Puffie, she continues to encourage, educate and enlighten young dancers on DanceMakers Inc. National Convention and Competition. Teachers love her products available through MusicWorks, where she has been a Creative Team Member since 2003.
Ms. Lather also worked closely with Mr. Al Gilbert, who produced her ever-popular Children’s work for many years. Her classes are the epitome of fun, energy and inspiration. Her “dancing dynamics” passed on to her son, choreographer, director and producer, Barry Lather, has worked with stars and groups such as Usher, Ciara, and the Miss America Pageant. Her legacy continues within her own family, and the dance family she so greatly cherishes around the nation.
Brandon Jarrett is Founder and CEO of Moho Productions, “Where Music and Movement Come to Life.” Brandon and wife, Heidi, reside in Los Angeles, California, have created a company that not only produces music and songs, but also develops young recording artists. Brandon’s first music producing job in Los Angeles was working with the legendary Al Gilbert when he produced the updated music tracks for Mr. Gilbert’s Tap Technique. This tap technique has become the standard for dance studios worldwide. The rest is history! He has been a MusicWorks Creative Team Member since its inception in 2003.
Brandon has written and produced music for TV Stars, recording artists, film, and television productions in the entertainment industry. Some of the most notable are: TV star Ashley Argota from Nickelodeon’s “Bucket and Skinners Epic Adventures” and True Jackson VP, Stefanie Scott from Disney’s “A.n.t. Farm”, the feature film Miss Castaway featuring Michael Jackson, TV star Tracey Bregman from “The Young and the Restless”, TV movie “The Dog Who Saved Christmas” on ABC Family, commercials for The Girl Scouts of America heard on Radio Disney and the new TV movie, “Cinnamon” starring Brenda Song from Disney’s “Suite Life on Deck”, Ciara Bravo from Nickelodeon’s “Big Time Rush” and Greg Evigan from “My Two Dads”, Cynthia Gibb, and Lesley-Ann Down. Most recently Brandon has been the composer for TV movies directed and produced by Michael Feifer and presented by Marvista Entertainment.
Brandon has been in the business since he was a child, traveling the world with his entertainment family. His experience as a recording artist, performer & producer, allow him to bring the best out of the artist, understand the needs of producers and directors and deliver a completed product necessary for success.
It is his passion to provide a positive environment for recording artists, directors and producers to express their creativity and bring their music to life!
Aleks Wojda. DTC welcomes the beautiful Ms Aleks Wojda to their illustrious faculty. Aleks is not only a breathtaking dancer (you may remember her from So You Think You Can Dance season 2 top twenty dancers) ~ she is a true technician! You’ll love her new video, Intermediate/Advanced Turns & Leaps created by MusicWorks.This unique video also addresses “bad habits” & how to spot & correct them. Aleks will present the newsiest across the floor passes that will challenge & inspire your dancers. Her Jazz, Musical Theatre & Contemporary background add a cutting edge & artistic flare to her movement. She is on fire to help dancers & teachers with proper placement, alignment & balance.
Aleks was born in Pretoria, South Africa, but grew up dancing in the Chicagoland area. She graduated from Northwestern University in June 2006 with dual degrees in Communication Sciences & Disorders and International Studies. While attending Northwestern full-time for four years, she trained at the Giordano Dance Center as both a work-study and scholarship student. She has performed in Dance Chicago under the direction of Nick Pupillo and Tracy Marrion. In the summer of 2006, she was seen as a top twenty dancer on the second season of Fox’s hit show, So You Think You Can Dance, and it was a truly life-changing experience to have made it to the Top 16 dancers of that season. She returned back to Chicago after the show to continue her dance career full force. After ending a run at the Lincolnshire Marriott’s production of All Night Strut, she joined Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago’s second company, which she enjoyed for a year. She has been featured in industrials for Jockey, Panasonic, Barton G., Sebastian/Graham Webb/Wella, Pepsi, and the Red Hawk Casino. Currently residing in Los Angeles, she has kept busy working in music videos, television, and feature films. Along with performing, she continues to teach and inspire students across the States by choreographing competition pieces and teaching master classes. Aleks is a three year faculty member of Retters Academy of Dance in Los Angeles. She feels so blessed to have had such an amazing dance journey thus far and is thankful for all who have supported her and inspired her to keep on moving!
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