Christy Lane Star of 45 instructional dance DVD’s, Christy has enjoyed the many stages of her life as a dancer, performer, instructor, master teacher, director, producer and executive producer. From the founding of her own dance company to having developed her own record label, Christy enjoys the process of bringing artists together to create, share and enjoy life through movement. She is constantly traveling throughout the U.S. sharing dance through live shows, workshops and production. Known for “teaching from the heart”, Christy is an expert in motivating beginners while keeping the experienced dancers enthused and engaged.
G. Madison Since his first dance experience at 15, G has danced on television shows, music videos and stages all over the world with artists such as Alicia Keys, Rihanna, J.Lo, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Elena, Chaka Kahn, Paparizou and many more. Since coming onto the scene in LA, G has appeared on a variety of syndicated TV shows, films, and commercials with credits including “The Grammys”, McDonald’s “McRIB”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “America’s Got Talent”, “Dancing With The Stars”, “The Voice”, “The Tyra Banks Show”.G. Madison brings his inspiring and electric energy from the stage to the classroom everywhere he goes. Whether he’s teaching in LA or working in Japan as creative director for #1 artist and international superstar, Che’Nelle, G manages to bridge the gap between art, performance and creative growth. “My career and my journey in this industry and on this planet is a blessing and always a work in progress; so lets move!…FORWARD!”
Ilyse BakerStar of the new dance program Dancinerate, Ilyse is a celebrity trainer and dance instructor with a charismatic personality and contagious enthusiasm for dance and fitness. Based in L.A., Ilyse is a dance and fitness expert to celebrities including LeAnn Rimes, Rihanna, Daniella Monet, and Trina Vega from Nickelodeon’s Victorious. Named “Top Trainer in the Country for Dance by Exercise TV”, Ilyse has also appeared in numerous fitness DVDs including workouts with Biggest Loser instructor Kim Lyons and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke.
Richie P. Star of “Hip Hop Basics” DVD and “Hip Hop Steps and Routines”, Richie has danced and trained with numerous dance teams as well as choreographers including Culture Shock San Diego. He has taken 1st place in many competitions using award winning choreography with multiple Dance Studios, High Schools, Colleges and Universities. Some of these include; University of Texas, University Of New Mexico, Carlsdad High School Dance Team, and the Murrieta Dance Project. His choreography won first place at the collegiate level with Washington State University Cougars Dance Team. Richie P. has taught all over the U.S., as well as in other countries, most recently in Switzerland.
Crystal Griffith Coming to us from Los Angeles, Crystal grew up in Indiana dancing for THRIVE Dance Company from the age of three. Her talent was noticed as she began choreographing for the company at the young age of twelve. With a background in lyrical, jazz, hip hop, tap ballet and contemporary, Crystal is currently teaching for Doreen’s Dance School in Glendale, CA. She is also choreographing for the new and upcoming pop group Bittersweet which is represented by RK records. “I especially love teaching because I get the chance to share my passion for the art with others. I look forward to strengthening not only my training, but my teaching skills as well”.
ERICA VENTRESS Dancing all her life, Erica is currently teaching dance at Corliss High School in Chicago, IL. She received her degree in Dance Education and Physical Education from Northern Illinois University. As founder of Divine Expressions, a dance team with the mission of inspiring and empowering others, Erica’s passion and love of the arts can be felt through every move that she makes and is known as the “Firecracker” for the energy that she brings and sparks in others.
Eddie Guitierrez Eddie “Styles” G. has been teaching internationally for over 12 years. As one of the original members of the Jabbawockeez, Eddie G. holds an impressive resume of projects and artists including Missy Elliott, NeYo, New Kids on the Block, Daddy Yankee, Shaquille O’Neal’s All Star Game, Swiss Beats, KRS One, Talib Kweli, Afrika Bambaata, Bboys of Culture Shock, Yahoo, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, D.A.R.E. Program, Sea World, and Red Bull. He is a member of the Rock So Fresh and The Universal Zulu Nation – an organization in search of success, peace, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding through Hip Hop culture.
Charise Cynar Charise Cynar has has a life long journey and love of the performing arts. She has 25 years of training and teaching in the Art of Danse Orientale ( classical and regional dances of the Middle East ), as well as fusion dances such as Egyptian pop, Barefoot Flamenco and Dunyavi Gypsy. She traveled extensively to study with some of the best from Egypt and Lebanon. She has performed, and led workshops all over the country, at private, corporate events, weddings and festivals.
Charise Cynar has had a life long journey and love of the performing arts. She has 25 years of training and teaching in the Art of Danse Orientale ( classical and regional dances of the Middle East ), as well as fusion dances such as Egyptian pop, Barefoot Flamenco and Dunyavi Gypsy. She traveled extensively to study with some of the best from Egypt and Lebanon. She has performed, and led workshops all over the country, at private, corporate events, weddings and festivals. “I have all my students on a ‘quest for greatness’ in their dancing which really has so much more to do with the truth of who they are, and why they dance rather than all the techniques I can share and new moves they learn.”
Robin Denise Johnson Star of Cardio-Tribal Belly Dance Workout, Robin loves the energy and world music grooves that are expressed through tribal fusion styling. Dancing socially all her life, she has trained throughout the country, is a certified Zumba instructor and was a director of Troupe Melangees. She has taught in studios, on cruise ships, at events, fundraisers and festivals. Author of Dance for Leadership, “Dr. Johnson” is a school professor, executive life coach and diversity consultant. Her intent is to help women remember their joy of healthy movement throughout their lives regardless of size or background.
Marisa Serrano Marisa is an American dancer classically trained in jazz, tap and contemporary movement. Her main passion is the Brazilian dance Samba recognized around the world as a symbol of ‘Carnaval’. She is also educated in Middle Eastern Dance, Mexican Ballet Folklorico, Tahitian dance, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian religious dance. In her spare time she teaches group fitness and volunteers at an animal shelter. “Samba isn’t just a dance, it’s a state of mind. You just have to let go, smile, feel it, and shake it!”
Tommy Lee Gill An instructor of Tui Tu Chi King Fu for over 20 years, Tommy has trained with the monks in China and his ties to the Chinese lifestyle endorses his philosophical beliefs of balance and natural healing. As a teacher, he believes in the importance of strong fundamentals. He is very diverse as exemplified by his excelled training in weapons and yet he is also a Certified Reflexologist in the Ingham Method. We wish he could teach all day!
Nikole Stahl Thomas Trained in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, modern and lyrical, Nikole has assisted many famous choreographers and worked for conventions and competitions all over the country. A member of Automatic Response Dance Company for 3 years, Nikole has opened for Fergie, Beyonce, My Chemical Romance, and Omarion. Her industrials include Dillards, Ed Hardy, and Baby Phat. Residing in Phoenix, she currently teaches master classes throughout the country and judges for competitions as she continues to choreograph and perform pushing herself to create new movement and keeping the passion of dance alive.
Adaku “A.D.” Achilefu Joining us all the way from Dallas and star of Steppin’ and Stompin for Fun and Fitness , A.D. has danced all her life where she grew up dancing African dances in her home as a way of life. She has traveled across the country and even to Spain to teach different genres of dance. A member of the Dance Arts Society at Texas A&M University and trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop and ballroom, A.D. is currently on faculty staff at the Hockaday School in Dallas. Always on top of the latest dances, her warm Texas smile and teaching techniques were a must for our convention.
Omeed Simantob A professional dancer, choreographer and instructor for over a decade, Omeed created The Body Poets who have gone on to appear on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and continue to make waves in the dance industry. He has won many competitions all over North America as both choreographer and a freestyle dancer. His unique set of skills has led him to work with Jabbawockeez, SGBM, Culture Shock, Unity Dance Ensemble, Showtec, and Flo Rida. Omeed is currently touring the U.S. with his group The Body Poets and it is a unique opportunity that he is able to attend our convention.
Carla “Kala” Cubertson Born and raised in Hamakuapoko, Kala’s mother instilled the hula discipline in her at the tender age of 5. As an adult, Kala attended many workshops, conferences, and retreats pertaining to hula, the Hawaiian arts and language with different Kumu on the Islands as well as all over California. Given the name, Kala’alohiikamakaokalaua’e, meaning the bright eyes of the Laua’e, Kala has vowed to perpetuate, protect and give life to her hula lineage here in the desert by teaching and sharing with her students. Each year her hula group plans a fundraising Luau to promote funds to build scholarships for students who want to study hula but are unable to pay for classes, costumes, or accessories as well as extended education with Kawaikapuolkalani. It is through Kala and her efforts that the breath of Hawaii continues here in the desert.
Ken Gilbert We are so fortunate to have such an experienced teacher at our convention. Ken has an MA in Dramatic Arts and is a high level Nia instructor which includes a background in Jazz, Modern, Duncan, Yoga, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, and Aikido. Currently living in Santa Barbara, Ken owns EmBODYment and DramaDogs, a theatre company. An outstanding international educator, Ken’s philosophy is based on the belief that we are here to awaken into the awareness of sensation ~ to become more connected to our physical/mental/emotional spirit realms through the physical body. Ken helps people awaken through the joy and pleasure of movement.
E. Bonnie Lewis E. Bonnie believes there is a creative spirit inherent in all of us and part of our life’s journey is to find and express that spirit. Be it teaching yoga, Pilates, theatre or modern dance, E. Bonnie brings her creativity, sense of humor and passion for movement and expression to all that she does. She has been the recipient of an Artist in Residence Grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation, a CA Arts Council A-I-R Grant and an Organizational Development Grant. She founded DramaDogs with Ken Gilbert to create and educate through theater, dance, and the performing arts.
Stacy Casaluci Stacy grew up dancing in Oklahoma and later became a principle dancer, choreographer and faculty member with the Delia Stewart Dance Company in Houston, TX. She has been a dance instructor and choreographer for many years and was last seen with the Palm Desert Stage Company as Bernice Boodalay in BINGO! The Musical and Mary Bailey in A Wonderful Life in which she was also the choreographer. As an author, she has published children’s books and currently reads to schools for the Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools which is sponsored by SAG through Palm Springs Women in Film and Television.
Lesa Dusich At the age of 16, Lesa began working as a World Dancer at Epcot Center in Disney World only to move on to New York City at 17, gaining a full scholarship at the Clark Center of Performing Arts while training with other prestigious schools such as Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and Broadway Dance Center. Within two years, Lesa would begin her travels around the world and perform as the lead dancer for several respected production companies. Presently, she is the Artistic Director of The Reno Dance Company and is best known for her creative, fast-paced and challenging ballets as well as edgy, contemporary productions.
Simeon Den Trained at Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and with Claude Thompson, Eugene Loring, and Maggie Black, Simeon owned Danceworks Honolulu studio and company in Hawaii for 17 years. His performing arts credits include the original production of Pacific Overtures, Pal Joey, King and I, and Nefertiti to name a few. Having graduated from UCLA World Arts and Cultures Dance Program and having taught at the University of Massachusetts, Cal Arts and American Musical and Dramatics, we are proud to have him teaching here in the desert and lucky to have him share his talents with us.
Anthony RodriguezAnthony Rodriguez is a choreographer, instructor and performer from San Diego, CA. He is the first recipient of the Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theatre Young Choroegraphers Prize. Credits include Eveoke Dance Theatre, Culture Shock San Diego, Hammonds Studio of Dance, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, and the Academy of Performing Arts in La Mesa.
Chris Thomas Winner of the 2012 season of America’s Best Dance Crew TV show as a member of the prestigious group appropriately named the Elektrolytes, Chris has appeared in a number of national music videos, industrials and commercials. Currently residing in Arizona, he travels throughout southern California teaching, choreographing, directing and writing dance musicals. One of the Elektrolytes major goals is to inspire kids by keeping them off the streets, out of trouble and encouraging them to express themselves in positive ways rather than unproductive behaviors. We applaud and support Chris and are honored to have him on our program.
Check back as we add more instructors!