Meet the Team !
Virginie Personne, Director and Principal Teacher
A French mom entrepreneur in SF...
" Passionate about dance, I began my studies in ballet at the regional conservatory in the north of France and graduated in 1999 with a diploma in classical dance. My passion with dancing and performing extended beyond the classical and into jazz and modern dancing. I explored my craft even further by joining national and international dance companies (Germany).
Everything that I undertake in life, I do with passion and love. I am lucky to have many loves in my life, my 2 boys and my very supportive husband. I am also lucky to have many passions. Dancing has allowed me to express my artistic nature and explore my more creative side. I simultaneously also pursued a diploma in engineering and biotechnology and eventually went on to become a Physician. As a physician, I was able to fulfill my passion for sciences. There is no greater joy than being surrounded by children every day and making their day a little brighter. I have always managed to incorporate them both into my daily life while living in Paris. During my medical studies, I continued to stay closely involved with my artistic craft. I taught at many Parisians dance schools and also choreographed many of their performances.
I still remember the day my husband said: “would you like to live the American Dream?” Paris _ CA here we come! Today, I feel extremely overjoyed for this amazing opportunity. For many years, I had dreamed of opening my own dance school. With the incredible support of my partner, I am realizing this dream. And to get there, I realized, everything in life must be taken “à Petits Pas”.
I am overjoyed to share my practice with each of you. A Ballerina at heart, I am offering classes that will effortlessly integrate contemporary movement and modern dance. As a Next Generation Yoga® Teacher, I will also get the opportunity to teach children the beneficial powers of internal well-being".
I can share my love of dance as a dance instructor because I am a dancer first. Since moving to the Bay Area three years ago, I keep choreographing and performing in regional events.
1999 : Classical Dance Certification
2016 : Yoga Teacher for kids (2-13 yo) Certification (Next Generation Yoga®)
Marie-Edith de Malefette, Office Manager
Marie-Edith has been our Office Manager since September 2017.
Originally from the Toulouse area in France, she relocated with her husband to the US in 2008. Marie-Edith keeps strong affection for her native region and is now the mother of 3 kids.
Event planner for over 10 years, Marie-Edith runs all administrative aspects of Petits Pas and brings a focused expertise in logistical planning and organization. She serves Petits Pas to grow, always seeking the best quality of service to match dancer's needs and Petits Pas’s spirit.
She had never taken any dance classes before joining Petits Pas, but now Marie-Edith discovers the world of dancing by joining our adults program. According to her own words “What a surprising adventure, giving us the opportunity and the desire to push on our own limits, for our own well-being!!”
Léna Alvino, Dance Instructor
Léna is originally from Switzerland. She started ballet at 5 and modern and contemporary dance at 14. She had the chance to dance in a variety of performances such as Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, What a Small World, The Carnival of the Animals, Collection, Romeo and Juliette, Cinderella, Chatouille and Alice in Wonderland. After graduating from an artistic high school, she joined Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program in San Francisco. In August 2017, she moved to Santa Barbara, danced with State Street Ballet’s Professional Track Program and taught at Momentum Dance Company. She is very excited to have joined eMotion Arts dance co. since March 2018 and Peninsula Ballet since August 2018. She Joined Petits Pas as Ballet teacher since April 2018 and can’t wait to start a new year with Petits Pas students!
Marie Walburg, Theater, Dance and Yoga Instructor
Marie is an actress, dancer, performer and yoga teacher who loves to mix styles and techniques but stays grounded in the art and movement of the body. As an actress, she graduated from Nice University with a Masters in Performing Arts and entered the French National Conservatory for a 3 year intensive training program. She worked with numerous directors, choreographers, conductors, circus performers and has built the true knowledge and artisanal savoir-faire of a professional performer. In 2009, she created her own theater company and worked for many ensembles and touring companies in France. As a dancer, she has years of classical and contemporary training, attended many workshops in France, Africa and Romania, and was a teacher of traditional dance. In 2011, she moved to San Francisco and with Charline Formenty created the theater-dance company Carte Blanche. Together, they created 2 shows: Ophelia in 2012 and Femme Fatale in 2014, and succeeded in building a strong reputation in the Bay Area arts network; overcoming the challenge of being in a new place with a new language. Marie also worked with different artists in the Bay including Joe Landini in Bitter Queen, Essential Action Production in Suddenly Last Summer, and FoolsFury in The Seeing Place. More recently she has been developing her aerial dance skills in Zaccho Studio and performed in Cirqu’elle which toured in Santa Barbara and for the Summer Stage in New York City. Marie is delighted to work for the next few months on touring with Femme Fatale.
Marie teaches theater and acrobatics for Petits Pas Camps since June 2017.
Atefeh Morshedi, Prenatal Yoga Instructor
Younger, Ati used to perform Savate (French boxing). One day, she hurt herself and as part of her rehab, her doctor advised her to start yoga. She didn’t know what yoga would bring to her life yet. A few years after her first class, she decided to go on a trip to India. She started exploring the philosophy and all aspects of yoga. She changed her way of seeing things and changed some dysfunctional habits she had in her life and began her journey towards her well being.
She went to a lot of yoga workshops in Asia (Thailand, Indonesia and India) and kept studying and practicing different styles of yoga in Paris.
She decided that she wanted to give back everything yoga gave to her. So did a training with Gerard Arnaud in Paris and in India in Vinyasa Yoga and Hatha Yoga. She has a yoga alliance and a Fédération Française de Yoga certification. Believing that yoga could bring peace to everyone, she studied prenatal and postnatal yoga after her initial training, and yoga for kids and teens.
She has been teaching yoga for 6 years and enjoyed every minute of it!