Studio Owner, Teacher, and Castaic High School Dance Team Head Coach:
Kari, 36, has been dancing since she was 3 years old, taught since she was 15, and choreographed professionally since she was 18. She has trained in and taught: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip-hop, Modern, Stretch, Competition, Leaps and Turns, and Pedagogy.
At UCSB, she earned her BA in Dance while starting her own dance company and teaching master hip-hop classes at the well known dance company, State Street Ballet. She has choreographed and performed with many dj's and hip-hop artists, as well as choreographed for many musical theater productions, modern pieces, music videos, and competitions.
Throughout her teaching career she has focused on giving every student individual attention to learn their own unique style. With this individual attention, everyone has the chance to dance at the level they want. She balances her personal teaching technique with up to date, high-end, continuous training from world class teachers to ensure the best quality classes.
Teacher and Castaic High School Dance Team Assistant Coach: Ginger has been dancing since the age of 2, and has been teaching/choreographing for 15 years. She has resume credits that include: Shane Sparks - "Dance Stylz" DVD, People's Choice Awards: Opening number with Queen Latifah, Choreographed by Courtney Miller Jr. (Michael Jackson's Choreographer), Music Videos Including Black Eyed Peas and Big Time Rush, High School Musicals, Choreography for show choir, Choreography for musical artists for shows, music videos, tours, and showcases, Classes and choreography for actors/actresses in preparation for auditions.
Note from Ginger:
I don't just teach class, I involve myself with my students. I strive to help my students grow, learn, develop, and succeed. Trust me, if you are thinking: "I can't do it" or "It's been way too long since I have danced" or even "I have no rhythm", I promise you, I am the teacher for you! My goal as a teacher has always been to make sure my students leave with smiles on their faces! I can easily adapt to any student and work with them one on one to better their skills.
Andy has been dancing for as long as he can remember. He danced professionally with companies, commercials, tours, and at Six Flags. He has also taught master classes, dance teams, and has choreographed award winning competition routines. On top of that, he has assisted well-known choreographers such as Stacey Tookey and Blake McGrath. Currently he is a member of Academy of Villains. Andy teaches with an emphasis in character building, storytelling, musicality, and textures in movement. He is constantly learning new things and creating new ideas so his class structure is always adapting to what the kids need and to what limits they can be pushed to. He is a firm believer in allowing kids to dance like kids and creating a safe place for self expression.
Alexis has been dancing since the age of 6. She has studied ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. She has danced, compeated, and performed on multiple teams including Valencia High School dance team and Hip Hop team, Melissa White and Company, C.O.C. Dance Company, and professional company Inertia Initiative. She has been in multiple music videos and continues to study dance at Millennium and the Edge PAC. She has years of experience teaching children of all ages, all learning abilities, and enjoys seeing them improve and grow as dancers and students as well.
Hillary Benton-Farina is a holistic classical ballet teacher. Think of layers of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. She is certified in Zena Rommett Floor-Barre, pilates, and progressing ballet technique. She was classically trained for 13 years, studying at Cocchetti, Bournonville, Ballet West American Syllabus and Balanchine. Hillary trained under Pasadena dance theater, Westside School of Ballet, Stanley Holden, and Crystal Peterson.
Meadow has been dancing since she was thirteen. Now eighteen, she is part of the world renowned dance company "The Corps Dance Crew" and has had the opportunity to be a featured dancer in award winning pieces and has won prestigious awards at dance competitions. She has trained in a plethora of styles such as tumbling, gymnastics, ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, musical theater and lyrical. Additionally, she has continued to study dance at the College of the Canyons. She continues to be very passionate about dance and enjoys being able to express herself through such a beautiful art form. She hopes to inspire others and share her love of dance through her movement.
Mackenzie Hill is a “wife, dancer, and teacher (who has) a passion for dance and sharing the love of movement with children.” Mackenzie graduated from Brigham Young University in July 2018 with a major in Dance Education and a minor in Child Development. She has been dancing since she was 8 years old, and started teaching at age 14 at her home studio. She has extensive experience in the child development field. The following includes Mackenzie’s experience teaching dance and gymnastics: Kids camp director, movement classes, mommy and me classes, princess dance camp, and much more! She is also currently a nanny for quadruplets. Let’s just say she is awesome with the little ones.
Jeze Zankich is a Tucson-grown, Los Angeles-based dancer, instructor, and choreographer whose passion for the art began at age five. Her years training and teaching at BreakOut Studios under the direction of Todd Wilson (EDGE Performing Arts Center) developed her versatility—with a focus on tap, jazz, hip hop, ballet, contemporary, heels choreography, and jazz funk—in addition to over 19 years under the direction of industry trailblazers on the competitive dance circuit. Intensive tap training as a child included learning original Maceo Anderson (Four Step Brothers) repertoire and other classic jazz-tap techniques with teachers from New York and Chicago. After many years teaching, performing, and creating in Arizona, Jeze moved to Los Angeles to pursue her professional dance career! In 2017, she became a core member of the fiery all-female tap dance company, “Tap That”, who aims to bring tap to the forefront of the commercial dance industry. Jeze has had the opportunity to perform in and do guest choreography for their trailblazing video productions and stage performances. She has additionally trained and performed under the guidance of Sarah Reich (The Tap Music Project, Postmodern Jukebox), Christopher Erk (Tap Dogs, The Tap Factor), and Johnnie Hobbs III (AMDA Los Angeles, Hussian College In Studio). As a teacher of students of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels, Jeze wholeheartedly shares her values of respecting dance history, expressing individuality, and above all else, finding JOY in every movement!
Tiana has been dancing for many years, performing in various dance productions as well as musicals. She has earned multiple awards from dance competitions and has been a part of many award winning teams. She has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Tap, Musical Theater, Lyrical, and Hip Hop. She has studied under teachers such as Matt Steffanina, Josh Pacheco, Ginger Goldbaum, Becca Beltran, Kari Hollingsworth, Noah Valinsky, Claude Racine, and continues to study dance at Millennium and Studio V. She has experience teaching a diverse range of levels and ages, starting as young as 3 years old! She is very passionate about teaching and aims to provide an enjoyable, safe, and inclusive environment for her students.
Ashley was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and began her dance journey at the young age of 3 years old. She not only grew up dancing and competing at her local dance studio but also attended a performing arts high school where she majored in dance as well. Ashley has been a part of various companies, shows and events on the Las Vegas strip throughout her career such as Tournament of Kings, The Donny and Marie show and Cirque Du Soleil’s “Believe”. She has danced her way to six continents while performing with Stiletto Entertainment on several Holland America Line ships as well and loved being able to see the world while doing what she was most passionate about. Along side her performance career, Ashley has been teaching and spreading her love of movement for over 10 years. She believes in creating a safe space for her students to grow with their art, to express themselves and find their own joy in dancing the way she has!