Studio History

In 1929, Bernice's Dance Studio was founded by Bernice Miller Burlingame. At age 7, Bernice contracted Typhoid Fever, and doctors suggested ballet classes to strengthen her legs. She loved dance and excelled, beginning a journey that would span a lifetime... [READ MORE]

Meet the Instructors

starrStarr Burlingame literally grew up dancing in her mother's studio, She became artistic director/owner of Bernice's Starrstep Dance Studio in 1989 after her mother's death. Starr is an exciting and versatile teacher with extensive experience as a performer, teacher, and choreographer. Starr has a BFA degree in dance from Florida State University. She holds a Master Dance Educator certificate from Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and has been a member of CNADM for over 30 years.Formally on the dance faculty at Pensacola State College (1981-2002) and Artistic Director PJC Dance Theatre (1996-2002). The past ten years, Starr has been a dance educator for the Escambia County School District. She is an accomplished teacher and has studied with many of the masters, including Maria De Baroncelli, Richard Sias, Lynda Davis, Dindi Lidge, Gus Giordano, Al Gilbert, and Danny Hoctor. Starr is also the past president of the Gulfcoast Dance Alliance.

laritaA native of Pensacola, LaRita Carter is an exceptional teacher and performer. She began dancing at Bernice’s Starrstep Studio at the age of 8 years old and started teaching for the studio in her college years. She currently holds the position of Dance & Cheer Coach for Pensacola State College and is also the Wellness/Fitness Coordinator for the college. With more than 20 years of experience as choreographer, dancer, instructor, and performer, Carter has worked with a number of renowned dance instructors across the United States. Because of her proficiency in jazz, hip-hop, and tap, she has been a featured dancer and choreographer at many concerts and performances. Carter is also is a Master Faculty instructor for workshops around the Pensacola area and currently choreographs for schools and dance students around the community. She is the former artistic director for Pensacola Junior College Dance Theatre and the University of West Florida Dance Team. Carter is trained in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, and Aerobics and holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of West Florida. She has always had a passion for dance and feels blessed to be able to teach and share her God given talent in life with others. Carter also feels blessed to be able to teach at a dance studio where we are a “dance family” and we all genuinely care for each student that walks through the door.

deedeeDee Dee Dunn, a lifelong dancer, has been instructing dancers of all ages for over twenty-five years. She studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip-hop and modern dance. Her dance education included her years as a dance major at Pensacola State College (formerly Pensacola Junior College). In addition to teaching, Dunn is a talented choreographer who created many pieces for PJC Dance Theatre concerts and taught continuing education dance classes for the college in tap, ballet, and jazz. For many years, she was an assistant to the director of the PJC Summer Dance Workshop and assisted the late Al Gilbert, the “Pied Piper of Dance” at many of the workshops in which he taught over the years. For the past fourteen years, she has directed her own company, Dee Dee’s Tappers, an adult performing group, which is in residence at Starrstep Dance Studio. Continuing thelegacy, both her son and daughter are dancers.