Annri Opitz-Kostick (Director/Company Member)
Annri Opitz-Kostick was born in Yokosuka, Japan. She spent her childhood and teen years training at ballet schools in Japan and Hawaii and performed leading roles with Ballet Studio Geijutsu-za and Hawaii State Ballet. She spent her summers training in prestigious programs offered by the Walnut Hill School of the Arts, Washington Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance, and Centre de Danse International (Rossella Hightower) in Cannes, France. She also studied with David Howard, and with numerous teachers from the Bolshoi Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet. In 1995, Annri attended the Walnut Hill School of the Arts, on scholarship, and performed as a soloist with the National Youth Ballet. After her graduation in 1997, she continued her studies at the University of Utah, Department of Ballet, where she received her bachelor and master of fine arts degrees on various scholarships. Her degrees were focused on performing, teaching and choreographing. She has choreographed for and taught at the University of Utah, Utah Ballet, American College Dance Festival, Youth Prix de Lausanne, Oklahoma Festival Ballet, the University of Oklahoma, and dance schools across the mainland. Annri also served as a rehearsal assistant for Ballet West’s Nutcracker and Summer Program, Utah Ballet, Oklahoma Festival Ballet and was involved with the Ballet West Community Outreach Program. She was the coordinator of the University of Oklahoma’s Saturday Youth Classes and co-founded and directed Utah Contemporary Ballet. Before returning home to Honolulu in 2008, Annri was an instructor and choreographer at Ballet West Academy in Salt lake City, Utah. She also held the position of dance department chair at the Waterford School and created Waterford Ballet Academy. Since 2010, Annri has taught for local schools on O'ahu including Drill Team Hawaii, Page Academy of Dance and Ballet Hawaii. She is currently the dance program coordinator and ballet director/teacher of Pas De Deux Hawaii Studios located in Waipahu.
Wendy Calio (Producer/Company Member)
Wendy Calio is an American actress, singer, dancer and choreographer who is best known for her portrayal of Nina, the spirited ever-smiling neighbor on Disney Junior children's series, Imagination Movers. Calio was born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii and graduated from Mililani High School in Mililani, Hawaii. Calio started dance training at the age of 4 by taking ballet at The Ballet School in Walnut Creek, California under the direction of Laureen Fender and continued under the direction of John Landowski at Hawaii State Ballet. A few years later she added to her repertoire by studying Contemporary Jazz under Pam Sandridge at Big City Productions. Calio began acting at age 12 when she was cast as the host of "Saturday AM" on Hawaii Public Television. She spent two summers in a studio with 14 other kids filming a local version of "The Mickey Mouse Club". At age 14, Calio was crowned Miss Teen Hawaii Filipina. At 16, she recorded her first song, "I’m Coming Home For Christmas" under the alias of Sabrina Starr. By the age of 16, Calio was an accomplished actress, vocalist and dance performer. After the release of her first song, Calio started teaching dance at a local community center in Mililani, HI and made headlines for leading over 150 dancers in annual productions at local theatre venues such as Leeward Community College Theatre and Mamiya Theatre. Using the name under which she released her single, she opened her own business, Sabrina Starr Studios, and within a short amount of time made a name for herself as one of Hawaii’s Premiere dance instructors. Sometime in 2007, Calio began her relationship with Disney as a performer and assistant choreographer in the national tour of Disney’s High School Musical and also appeared in Aladdin’s Musical Spectacular at Disney’s Hyperion Theater. As a side note she also starred in the original cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bombay Dreams on Broadway and in Camelot at the Hollywood Bowl starring Jeremy Irons. To get the role of Nina on the Imagination Movers, Calio reportedly beat out over 800 hopefuls auditioning for the role in New York, Florida and Los Angeles. After finishing work on the second season of Imagination Movers, Calio opened up Pas De Deux Hawaii Studios (French for "dance for two"), which opened May 1, 2010 in Waipahu, HI. In addition to ballet, Calio is also trained in hula, yoga, and Bollywood dancing, and is a pop rock and a mezzo soprano singer. Her Hawaiian heritage and hula skills were incorporated into her character Nina in the Imagination Movers episode "Trouble in Paradise." She continues to star in Imagination Movers, and has officially signed on as the choreographer of the third season.