Bonnie Schlachte - Founder/Director
Bonnie Schlachte has worked extensively with children and adults with Developmental Disabilities in various settings for the past twenty years. Since 1992, Bonnie has developed and/or supervised over 50 programs from Behavioral based Day/Residential Programs to Quality Assurance/Staff Education Programs. Bonnie has been in senior management in various companies serving people with disabilities including North Los Angeles County Regional Center, United Cerebral Palsy, and People’s Care, Incorporated.
In 2008, Bonnie founded Ballet For All Kids, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a classical ballet education to ALL children regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Bonnie developed the Schlachte Method™ – an occupational therapy program to assist children with disabilities to gain the most out of a classical ballet education. This is the first Ballet Therapy Program helping children achieve benefits such as Social Skills development (eye contact, reciprocity, interaction with peers and adults); Improvements to self-confidence and self-esteem; Proprioceptive skill development and stimulation; Motor planning, balance, sense of center, hand-eye coordination; Self-Discipline (extended visual, physical, and mental attention and focus); Abstract information processing and sequential memory and recall; and enhanced auditory discrimination and internalization of rhythmic cues while facilitating gesture and motion in response to music. This therapy program has helped many children learn how to be more confident and self-assured all the while strengthening their bodies and minds.
Bonnie was trained in the Royal Academy of Dance system through the Intermediate level and then preceded to become a Maryland Arts Scholar in Dance and a Maryland Creative Arts Scholarship recipient. Bonnie graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in psychology and a minor in theatre arts. Bonnie currently teaches over 100 children with special needs classical ballet in the Los Angeles and Ventura areas. This program is the synthesis of Bonnie’s two career paths – first of dance then of working with people with disabilities.
Rebecca Elbogen - New York Director
Rebecca Elbogen began dancing at Los Angeles Ballet Academy at the age of ten. She is classically trained and passed her Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 1 examination with Distinction. Rebecca is also trained in various other dance styles, such as contemporary, jazz, pointe, hip hop, and musical theater. Rebecca has traveled across the country performing and competing with award-winning, pre-professional student companies.
Outside of the dance studio, Rebecca is fascinated with how people think, feel, and behave. She recently graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a BA in Developmental Psychology, and concentrations in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and American Sign Language. She is currently continuing her research on early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder in high-risk infants and plans to pursue a graduate degree.
Ballet For All Kids provided Rebecca the unique opportunity to combine her interests in dance, psychology, and teaching. She quickly fell in love with the program and community when she began volunteering in 2011. After becoming a certified teacher, Rebecca decided to take BFAK with her across the country. She established our first satellite branch and is now the full-time director and instructor for Ballet For All Kids NYC. Rebecca has worked extensively with children of a broad array of ages and abilities. Rebecca is passionate about working with children and is grateful she can share the joys and benefits of dance with all of her students.
Christina Hudgins - Chicago Director
Christina is originally from Chesapeake, Virginia, where she graduated from Western Branch High School and the Governor’s School for the Arts: Dance Department. She has attended summer intensives and workshops at Richmond Ballet in Virginia, Joffrey Ballet in New York, BalletMet in Ohio, and Pratt Institute’s Expressive Art Therapy Spring Institute also in New York. Christina has recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte where she studied Dance Performance and Psychology, as well as acquired a Professional Ballet Training Certification from Charlotte Ballet (formerly known as North Carolina Dance Theater). At school, she focused on acquiring skills in ballet/improvisational pedagogical practices and the perception of developmental human cognition.
Along with performing, Christina has a great passion for teaching. She has taught children with all different abilities dance and movement ranging from ballet to improvisational dance. The children she has taught have had many different levels of intellectual ability, being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and Down syndrome, as well as typically functioning children.
She aspires to help individuals become aware of their bodies and implement movement as a medium of expressing emotions and feelings with her future teaching of movement conceptualization. She hopes to bring to individuals a better self- awareness and empowerment in their own bodies to learn how to control and use movement as an additional communication tool.
Deanna Hallum - Instructor
Deanna Hallum has been teaching and performing dance since her childhood. One of her earliest memories is of her grandmother standing over her and asking, “are you dancing, Deanna?” Inspired
by the joy that dance has created in her own life and dedicated to the dream of a loving, compassionate, inclusive world culture, Deanna is driven to bring dance into the hearts and lives of everyone! Deanna has degrees in Dance and Liberal Arts and Science and continues her education in dance, fitness and holistic wellness. She received a Certificate of Completion for Schlachte Method, AFAA® Practical Group Exercise Training, AFAA® Practical Pilates and Alexandra King School of Dance, Belly Dancing.
She currently teaches belly dance at a healing arts center in Thousand Oaks, Pilates and a variety of dance fitness formats at the Student Recreation Center at CSUN and is honored to be teaching ballet, tap, jazz and belly dance for BFAK students. Deanna has also been an assistant for her mentors, Dennon and Sayhber Rawels’ dance classes, taught belly dance and cardio jazz at Pepperdine University for student recreation, volunteered to take notes for students in the ACCESS program (Accessibility Coordination Center & Educational Support Services) while attending Moorpark College, and co-taught a class for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.