Disney Star Returns Home To Share Show Biz Secrets

Alana Folen
Wednesday - April 28, 2010
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Wendy Calio

Wendy Calio, who stars as Nina in the hit Disney PlayHouse series The Imagination Movers, said she is what some may call “tri-coastal.”

Six months out of the year she’s in New Orleans filming The Imagination Movers, then she and her husband, Jeremy Gilbert,relocate to Los Angeles to take part in auditions and pilot seasons there. Now she’s back home in the Islands to open a performing arts studio, Pas De Deux in Waipahu.

Calio already has taught dance for more than 15 years with Sabrina Starr Dancers in Wahiawa. Now with her own project,the studio director and owner looks forward to taking the next step with a grand opening extravaganza this Saturday.

“I always knew that I would open a dance studio after I gained a certain amount of success in my career - I had no idea it would be so soon,” said Calio.


“During this last hiatus from my TV show I had some downtime to think about how to give back to my hometown and continue the legacy of dance I had started years ago. It only made sense to go beyond dance and also offer classes in musical theater, acting, modeling and voice.”

In honor of National Dance Week, Pas De Deux will host three free dance classes this Saturday:

The Little Nina Dancers can’t wait to take musical theater classes from Disney star - and local girl - Wendy Calio when her new Pas De Deux dance studio opens Friday in Waipahu. Photo from Wendy Calio.

* 9-10 a.m., keiki age 5 to 8 can take a class taught by Calio herself.

* 10-11 a.m., ages 9 and up can take a hip-hop class with Jocelyn Palola, former Sabrina Starr dancer and UH Rainbow dancer.

* 11 a.m.-noon, ages 9 and up can learn jazz from former Sabrina Starr dancer and L.A. choreographer Terrianne Butac.

The dance studio also has booked celebrity choreographers Hollywood, Jessica Chen and Neil Schwartz from noon to 4:30 p.m. The class fee is $15-$20, with 20 percent of all proceeds going to the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

The red-carpet grand opening begins at 7 p.m. and the public is welcome. To RSVP, guests should e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Regularly scheduled classes begin on Sunday, with the average tuition for a one-hour class ranging from $7.50 to $12.50. New students are encouraged to inquire about family or multi-class discounts.

“Our students will have the best training available here on Oahu,” stated Calio, who grew up in Wahiawa and graduated from Mililani High School.

“We will continuously bring artists, teachers, casting directors and choreographers in from the Mainland to inspire our students and share industry insights so that our students will be well-equipped if they decide to pursue a career in the performing arts.”

More than a dozen instructors - including Yvonne Prucha, Broadway star Adealani Malia and three-time Na Hoku Hanohano nominated vocalist Maila Gibson - will conduct classes in ballet, contemporary, lyrical jazz, hip hop, hula, voice, modeling and musical theater for ages 3 to adult. Beginning to advance levels are available.


“It’s amazing how everything just comes together when the time is right,“Calio said.“With dance being all the rage on television and film,the time to do it is now - and starring on a Emmy award-winning TV show for Disney doesn’t hurt either.”

Calio’s Pas De Deux studio is located at 94-450 Mokuola St. #102 near the Leeward YMCA and Filipino Community Center. Parking is free.

For more information on classes and fees, go to http://www.pasdedeuxhawaii.com or call 671-0350.

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