Alana Tillim | Owner/Director
Alana has been dancing for over 30 years, studying gymnastics, ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop. Her training began as a competitive gymnast and then she studied Ballet (Royal Academy of Dance) and Jazz at the Menlo Park Royal Academy of Dance in Northern California for 11 years. She was invited to perform on Star Search and had the opportunity to train with legendary choreographers Tina Landon and Joe Lanteri.
She has taught at Foothill, Kellogg, Cold Spring, and Hope Schools. Choreography and performance credits include: BASSH, New Works, and various benefits. In 2012 she began working with Teen Star USA as a choreographe,r and through this collaboration her work was performed at the SB Bowl to open for Foreigner and was highlighted in the documentary, “Mary Grace” recently shown at the Cannes Film Festival. She and Teen Star Founder Joe Lambert founded the new Teen Dance Star which debuted at the Lobero in January 2016.
Alana has volunteered for several community organizations including Take Back the Night, United Way, Girls Inc, Fun In the Sun, and she served on the board of the SB Neighborhood Clinics and SB Dance Alliance where she served as President from 2007-2011.
Laurie Greene | Assistant Director
Laurie has three children. Her two boys have graduated college and her daughter, Aryanna, attends University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign as a dance major and grew up in the studios and on the stages of SB Dance Arts. Laurie has an extensive background in bookkeeping and owned her own medical billing company for 15 years. She is an accomplished visual artist, teaches Religious School at Congregation B'nai B'rith, tutors elementary-high school students, and helps kids prepare for and apply to college. She is truly a mother to every dancer at the studio and helps Alana stay sane.
Briana Markovich - Instructor
Briana is currently a 2nd year Dance and Communication Major at the University of California Santa Barbara. She was a part of the UCSB Freshman Dance Company in 2014/2015 and performed in the UCSB Fall Dance Concert, “Axiom”, in 2014. She is also a member of the UCSB Dance Team, and has been since her freshman year. Briana has been a dance instructor and substitute dance instructor for Santa Barbara Dance Arts and Montecito Ballet since fall of 2014 and for Jump Dance & Performing Arts Center from 2009-2013. She was an apprentice and assistant for West Coast Elite Dance Inc., during their summer intensive 2014 and had the opportunity of working with and assisting major leading dancers in the industry such as Brandon Bryant, Ade Obayomi, and Meghan Sanett. Briana trained in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, modern, tap, musical theater, and tumbling/acrobatics under the direction of the following people: Leanna Alduenda at Jimmie Defore Dance Center in Costa Mesa, CA, Karame Adesko at Dance Precisions in Yorba Linda, CA, Erin Babbs, Susan Barnet, and Orializ Ashley at Murrieta Dance Project in Murrieta, CA, and Linda Cotner, De-Ann Cotner, and Emily Edgell at De’Anns Jump Dance and Performing Arts Center in Corona, CA. Briana was captain of her High School Competitive Varsity Dance Team for Santiago High school for three consecutive years from 2011-2014. She was a member of Talent Troupe Competition Dance Team from 2006-2012, as well as being a member of Murrieta Dance Project’s Competition Dance Team in 2013. Briana has participated in many summer intensives and camps including the Rockette’s Summer Intensive in New York City in 2013 as well as many United Spirit Associations summer dance camps from 2011-2014. During her free time, Briana enjoys volunteering for Channel Island Restoration, hiking, painting, as well as working for Insomniac as a guest service coordinator for major music festivals such as EDC Las Vegas and Nocturnal Wonderland.
Brittany Sandoval - Mini Crew Director/Instructor
Brittany has been dancing since the age of 5. She trained with SB Dance Arts from age 9, in Jazz and Hip Hop. She performed in SB Dance Alliance's BASSH for a number of years. She has been teaching Hip Hop classes at Dance Arts and in the local schools for the past 8 years. She sets choreography for all the high school dance teams. Brittany is a beloved teacher here at the studio and around town.
Caitlyn Veraga - Instructor
Caitlyn is a dancer from San Francisco, CA. She started ballet at age 3 at the Westlake School for the Performing Arts. In 2013, she continued her classical training at the Academy of Ballet SF. Over the years, she's added contemporary, modern, jazz, jazz funk, and hip hop to her repertoire. She trained in the junior division of the hip hop team The Company while in high school. Caitlyn has competed and placed in various competitions and conventions such as YAGP, New York City Dance Alliance, Pulse, World of Dance, Vibe, and Showstoppers. In 2013 and 2014, she attended the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive in New York. During the 2015 school year, she was a double major in Political Science and Ballet at the University of Utah. She is currently a trainee at State Street Ballet.
Chloe Roberts - Instructor
Chloe was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she began her training at the age of three. She has trained with North Harris Performing Arts, Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, and Boston’s Urbanity Dance Company, among others. Chloe is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, musical theatre, hip-hop, ballroom, acrobatics, and improvisation. Her primary training came from Dawn Dippel and Amy Cain, owners of North Harris Performing Arts and founders of Revolve Dance Company. She has had the pleasure of training under Dawn Scannell, former ballet mistress of the Houston Ballet, Dominic Walsh, Artistic Director of Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, and Domenico Luciano of the Teatro di San Carlo Ballet School in Naples. She has worked with esteemed choreographers including Eddy Ocampo, Jodinik Jo of the Centre du Danse Marais in Paris, Desiree Robbins, Sharon Wong of Alvin Ailey, Valerie Madonia of the Colorado Ballet, Tucker Knox, and Andy Noble. Chloe has worked with the Prague Shakespeare Company as well as Studio Dance Perfect, also located in Prague. Some of her earliest stage experiences were with the Broadway international touring company of The Wizard of Oz with Mickey Rooney and Lillian Montevecchi. Chloe was awarded multiple top ten titles for both solo and group pieces during her competitive years. Chloe teaches at studios across the United States and her work has won titles at both regional and national competitions including Showstoppers, Nuvo, and JUMP Dance Conventions. In 2012 Chloe founded Terpis Contemporary Dance Company in Durango, Colorado which performed for three successful seasons before Chloe relocated to Boston. During her time in Boston Chloe performed as a company member of Boston’s Urbanity Underground and Reject Dance Theatre. Chloe is currently a resident teacher and choreographer at Santa Barbara Dance Arts in Santa Barbara, California. and continues to choreograph for studios across the world.
Deise Mendonca - Instructor
Deise is a native of Brazil. She has been a Principal Dancer with The Bolshoi Company in Brazil, and performed with Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Ballet Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, and Ballet de Santiago in Chile. Deise is a principal dancer with State Street Ballet, in Santa Barbara, CA. [under O-1 Exceptional Arts Visa.] and principal guest artist with Metro Ballet of Minneapolis, and was a finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2014. Deise is accomplished in classic, neoclassic, contemporary and Latin styles. Her career has brought her the opportunities to work with the following choreographers and rehearsal coaches: Vladimir Vassiliev, Ekaterina Maximova, Ben Stevenson, Marcia Haydée, Nancy Bielsky, Galina Kozlova, Ludmila Sinelnikova, Galina Kravchenko, Nina Speranskaya, Denys Nevidomyy, Sergio Lobato, Robert Sound, Bill Soleau and Henry Talmah, among others. Deise has infused an international career which includes performances in the United States, Germany, Russia, Italy, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, China, Uruguay, and others.
Jamie Lopes - Instructor
Jamie has been passionate about dancing since age 4 and trained and competed in Kansas in ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. Upon moving to California, she danced on the Dos Pueblos High School Song team, as well as on Tamarr Paul's Rhythm Elite hip-hop team. Jamie continued to follow her dancing dreams at the collegiate level, becoming a Universal Dance Association (UDA) instructor and also serving as a captain for three years on the UC Santa Barbara Dance Team, where she enjoyed co-chairing annual Benefit Concerts, as well as competing at USA and UDA Collegiate Nationals. Jamie holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and Masters in Education through UCSB and has taught Kindergarten through Second Grade at Peabody Charter School. She has enjoyed teaching dance and choreographing for a variety of local schools, ranging from the elementary, junior high, and high school levels to Cal Lutheran University. She has also coached or done choreography for DPHS dance for nearly a decade. Additionally, Jamie has taught at multiple dance camps, including Camp Kono and clinics at DPHS and UCSB, as well as in the studio setting at 14K Jules Dance Academy. If you hear music, you will probably see Jamie dancing; but if she is not, know that she is secretly dancing away in her imagination. She is excited to share this joy of movement with the SBDA community. Jamie has two young children whom she adores that you might see dancing around the studio.
Janaya Cradle - Instructor
Janaya is a 2nd year Economics major at the University of California Santa Barbara. She has been dancing since the age of 3 and has trained in styles such as Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Ballroom, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, and Acrobatics at Dance Precisions and Mather Dance Company under the instruction of major industry choreographers such as Shannon Mather, Blake McGrath, Meaghan McGrath, Miguel Zarate, Todd Flanagan, Talia Favia, Melissa Sandavig, Krista Miller, and many more. Over the years she has competed in countless dance competitions and attended many dance conventions were she has been able to learn choreography from and audition for a wide range of choreographers. Janaya was awarded a Jump VIP scholarship in 2011, 2012, and 2013 a 24Seven Dance convention VIP scholarship in 2014, and a Velocity Dance Convention runner-up scholarship in 2015. In high school Janaya performed as a member of the Varsity dance team for 4 years as well as Captain during her senior year, and since then she has been working for AMP and United Spirit Association as a dance staff member for two years teaching summer dance camps for high school dance teams all over California, as well as dancing on the UCSB dance team. She is so excited to have the opportunity to share her passion for dance with the students at Santa Barbara Dance Arts.
Kristal Keinert - Instructor
Kristal Keinert has been dancing for as long as she can remember! At five years of age, when she was dancing around the house, her mother asked if she wanted to take a ballet and tap class, and she enthusiastically responded, “Yes!” She briefly tried a jazz class with her friends in fourth grade, but she found that her true passion was ballet, and it wasn’t until she started at Allan Hancock College that she branched out to take jazz again. She was put in a modern piece after auditioning for Dimensions in Dance, and loved that so much that she continued to take modern classes, then hip-hop, salsa, swing, and more! When she transferred to Westmont College, she was part of the modern company Windancers, and helped lead the dance ministry Charis. After college, Kristal continued to take classes in all forms, and danced with Luminus Dance Company, traveling to South Africa and New York City. Kristal began teaching ballet when she was only fifteen, and has taught jazz and lyrical as well. Her love of teaching dance also helped lead to a career teaching English, and this is her sixth year teaching at Olive Grove Charter School. Kristal thanks God for the ability to express herself through movement, and communicate that art to her students.
Lauren Serrano - Comp Team Director/Instructor
Lauren graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with a B.F.A. in dance. She is originally from Orange County where she trained at many local studios including Jimmy Defores, and Edge Performing Arts Studio in Los Angeles. She went to Orange County High School for the Performing Arts for classical and commercial dance. She has won various scholarships including a 3-month training scholarship at Edge Performing Arts studio, Miss Drill Team USA and received the departmental achievement award from UCSB in 2011. Lauren moved to New York City in 2012 for a work-study scholarship with Jennifer Muller and the Works. She has had the opportunity to dance with singing artist such as Mayer Hawthorne, and performed choreography in New York for choreographers Young Soon Kim, Toni Renee Johnson, Jacobs Dance Collective, Pedro Ruiz, Jennifer Muller and Mike Esperanza. Lauren recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with her masters in dance education from the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College with the Presidential Special Recognition Award. Lauren is also a certified Pilates mat teacher and certified personal trainer. She is currently dancing professionally in Santa Barbara and is honored to be teaching at Santa Barbara Dance Arts.
Lilit Hogtanian - Instructor
Lilit is from Los Angeles, CA. She graduated from Academie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monaco on full scholarship, and won first place at YAGP/Long Beach. Lilit has performed Principal and Soloist roles in The Nutcracker and Waltz Fantasie, and participated in the Monaco Dance Forum. She has worked with choreographers Jean-Christophe Maillot, Robert Sund, Josie Walsh, and William Soleau. Lilit joined SSB in 2012, and has since performed the leading roles in The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast,Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Alice in Wonderland.
Nathan Burdine-Ortega - Instructor
Nathan is a Santa Barbara native; he was born here and finally found his way back. He moved around California and went onto a stint at Ventura and Moorpark Colleges. He has graduated from UCSB with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in choreography. Picking up dance at a late age of 19 his training started with a rigorous gymnastics and diving training regime for ten plus years. He then went on to dance in college and found a love for Hip-Hop and has acquired the grace of Ballet, Modern and Jazz. In 2004 he was on MTV’s show The Wade Robson Projects, as well as dancing in music videos in the industry and has graced his presence across international stages. In 2014 he toured with UCSB’s Senior Dance Company across Europe through Prague and Italy. He has choreographed for many Colleges throughout California, Washington and Arizona creating works to bring joy, comedy and thoughtful art to the minds of audience members. He has been teaching since he was 16, so for the past 17 years had taught at many studios/gyms in the Ventura and Orange Counties.
Richard Chung - Instructor
Richard began dancing at the age of 14 as a break-dancer. He joined his first competitive crew called BBM, at the age of 16 and shortly after helped create a crew called Elusive Movement in the San-Fernando Valley. He competed with both crews throughout Los Angeles while attending high-school. Upon entering UCSB, Richard joined Urban Dance Company and became the Company's Artistic Director for his 3rd and 4th year. As artistic director, Richard helped submit choreography, create sets, and block formations to make Urban a highly competitive team. Richard has recently joined a team based out in Oxnard called the Faction and is also a community dance teacher at EDN. Richard often commutes down to Oxnard and Los Angeles to continue his training. In addition to dancing, Richard has recently started working at a local tech company located in Goleta. In his spare time, Richard enjoys making dance videos, teaching, playing with his dog, and most of all, giving back to the community.
Sophia Terango - Instructor
Sophia was born in Virginia and grew up on the east coast until middle school when her family moved to Calabasas, California. She started dancing at the age of 3 and started competing when she was 10 until she graduated high school. California is really where her training started at Bobbie’s School of Performing Arts in Newbury Park, California. Throughout her time at the studio she was able to travel to Los Angeles any time she could to expand her dance training at Edge. Since graduating from high school she has furthered her dance education studying Dance and Communications at The University of California Santa Barbara where she is currently a sophomore.
Steven Lovelace - Instructor - Director Emeritus
Steven Lovelace founded Santa Barbara Dance Arts (formerly Santa Barbara Jazz Dance Academy) in 1997. Shortly after he met Alana Tillim, the two of them co-directed the business from 1998-2013, when Steven sold the business to Alana. Steven loves teaching at Dance Arts and choreographs for the Student Dance Companies.
Steven began his dance career in Kay Fulton's Santa Barbara City College Dance Department. Since then, he danced with Repertory-West Dance Company, Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, Bill Evans Dance Company, and Nora Reynolds Dance. He was a member of the Lit Moon Theatre Company and co-directed Dance Warehouse from 1985-91. He has taught locally at Laguna Blanca, Marymount, Cate, and San Marcos, Crane and currently teaches at Peabody school. He Co-Directs Stage Left Theatre Company.
Steven’s reach in the community includes work with the Summer Solstice Celebration, SB Dance Alliance and he is the Co- Founder and Scholarship Mentor for the Arts Mentorship Program. He has helped generations of children fall in love with dance!
Tamarr Paul - Instructor
Tamarr Paul continues his 20 year commitment as a pioneer, artist, teacher, & director fusing original lyrics with innovative hip hop choreography into high energy performances where the rhythm is the heartbeat of the dance. He is currently emerging in the music industry as an up and coming hip hop artist and performer. He has worked for many years with the world renowned Debbie Allan from Fame Dance School & collaborated with director Marty Thomas on several MTV music videos. He has also worked with celebrated choreographers Wade Robinson, Fatima Robinson & Rosero McCoy, as well as been a part of productions for America’s Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance. His dancing has taken him on a world tour with several R&B and hip-hop artists. His time in LA saw him featured on the Disney television show.
Tamarr has performed in Santa Barbara’s hottest nightclubs, local annual events, and exclusive privée parties. His attitude and aura inspires choreographers, dancers, artists, and musicians to create, own, and love their Art. For years, Tamarr ran the Rhythm Dance & Fitness Studios and Rhythm Street Team. He travels to dance schools around the country educating students in the Art of Rhythm. He also continues to teach dance at local schools throughout the Santa Barbara community and offers P.E. credits to the community through exploring artistic movement, dance, & performance.
Tamarr’s Hip Hop classes are intense, exciting, and dance packed. His unique, innovative, and challenging fitness style is like no other. He utilizes Jazz, Hip-Hop, Salsa, Tribal Afro-Brazilian dance putting him in a league of his own.
Tara Mcaninch - Instructor
Tara began her journey with ballet in Northern California at the age of 3. This passion has given her opportunities to travel attending summer intensive's with Contra Costa Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance in Long Beach, Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory in Connecticut, Long Beach Ballet Ambassador to China and Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York. She's currently on the Dean's Honors completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at University of California Santa Barbara and an apprentice with Santa Barbara Dance Theatre. "Ballet involves balance, passion, and discipline." She is excited to motivate, encourage, and create as part of Santa Barbara Dance Arts.
Tyler's relationship with dance and music began before he was even out of the womb. His mother, a ballerina and studio owner, taught with him until she was too pregnant to teach. By no choice of his, he grew up dancing in her studios and by 12 was teaching, choreographing, and competing. In need of a part time job in college, he was approached by the director of the dance department of Santa Clara University and began teaching at her studios. During this time he was majoring in music and realized that he'd been treating tap as a dance style instead of a musical instrument and shifted his perspective from "tap dancing" to "playing the tap shoes." Tyler's hip-hop style blends elements of contemporary and jazz funk and is based on musicality and dynamic movements to translate the song. Most of his off-time is spent in the ocean and in the kitchen where he crafts products for his cinnamon-based brand, SIN-MIN. He's very grateful for and inspired by the dancers and faculty at SBDA and looks forward to dancing with you!
Adriana Stickles - Student Instructor
Adriana Stickles is 16 years old and a member of the Senior Dance Company, Axis. She is a junior at Santa Barbara High School and is a part of the Multimedia Arts and Design Academy. She is also a part of local organizations such as Everybody Dance Now!, AHA Peacebuilders, and is a peer teacher at her school. She has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. She enjoys art, music, science, teaching, giving back to her community, and spending time with friends and family. She loves to share her passion of dance with others and help them grow and learn.
Airealistic: Gregg & Carmen Curtis
AIRealistic is an internationally acclaimed aerial theatre and international rigging company. Owner Carmen and Gregg Curtis are national champion gymnasts and ex-Cirque du Soleil performers. AIRealistic creates aerial and harness flying shows for companies such as the LA Philharmonic, Cirque du Soleil, Dancing with the Stars, the Olympics, and the Met. AIRealistic is excited to be teamed up with Santa Barbara Dance Arts, offering aerial dance classes and AIReal Yoga. www.airealistic.biz
Kyleigh Carlson - Guest Instructor
Kyleigh Carlson, originally from Sacramento, California, began dancing at the age of four. She has trained extensively in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Hip hop and Musical Theater. Kyleigh danced with The Sacramento Ballet as an Angel in their annual production of The Nutcracker and other productions directed by River City Theater Company. While attending Natomas Charter School's Performing and Fine Arts Academy for High School, Kyleigh was able to incorporate art into her academics. She felt like it was important to share her love of dance, which is why she became program coordinator and director of a dance program at a local community center. Her life has always been heavily focused in and around dance, so when the opportunity of becoming a member of a professional company, CORE Contemporary Dance arose, she leapt at the offer. Currently, Kyleigh is a dance major at the University of California Santa Barbara. She was awarded the Dance Education Laboratory Scholarship, which extended her education and training in New York (2013), and she also serves as an intern for Dr. Carol Press, History of Dance Professor at the University. She would like to thank her family and friends for supporting her and inspiring her, as she knows she would not be here dancing without them.
Lauren Pulkstenis - Guest Instructor
Lauren Pulkstenis is originally from Lafayette, NJ. She received her early training from the New Jersey School of Ballet and the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts in Connecticut, where she studied on scholarship. She furthered her training studying privately under Leslie Browne in NYC, and spent summers at the Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Orlando Ballet, on scholarship. She has been training and dancing with State Street Ballet since fall of 2014, and recently returned from a 2-month tour of China with the company. She is looking forward to another year in Santa Barbara and is very excited to join the SB Dance Arts faculty.
Kelly Marshall - Guest Instructor
Kelly Marshall began dancing at the age of 2 at Oceanside Dance Academy in San Diego, CA, training in all styles, with a strong emphasis on jazz and contemporary. She trained in gymnastics for over 10 years with North County and Gyminny Kids Gymnastics. She danced competitively for 11 years and also had the opportunity to be a principle dancer for 5 years in Unity Dance Ensemble, a non-profit dance company based in San Diego and Los Angeles, under the direction of Tessandra Chavez. In 2013, Kelly graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, after touring in Italy for two weeks as a member of the UCSB Dance Company. Kelly also received a full scholarship to study at the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92Y in New York City, learning more about the fundamentals, techniques, and creative art of teaching dance. Most recently, Kelly has moved to San Diego to direct the apprentice company of Unity Dance Ensemble, under the direction of Tessandra Chavez and Tarua Hall.
Samantha Bell - Guest Instructor
Samantha Bell is originally from Orange County, California where she trained with the Anaheim Ballet on full scholarship. She joined their company in 2008 under the direction of Lawrence and Sarma Rosenberg and performed principal and soloist roles, including the Sugarplum Fairy in Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Romantic Girl in Graduation Ball. She continued her training by spending summers at American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet and Ballet Austin. Bell won third place at Youth America Grand Prix San Francisco and went onto the New York City finals for three years. She is an Orange County Performing Arts Center Artsteach dancer and recently graduated from UCSB with her Bachelor’s of Arts in History. In 2010, Samantha was invited to join the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara where she is currently entering her third season.
Nellie Bailon - Guest Instructor
Nellie is a fresh-faced dancer with an outgoing personality and advanced technical level to match. She grew up in Valencia, CA where she started her dance training at Dance Studio 84 at the age of 3, and by the age of 8 was in their professional performance company. She trained in Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Ballet, Hip Hop and Selective Tumbling for 20 years, and has danced competitively for 14 years. Nellie was the Captain of Hart High School’s competitive dance team where she received a first place award in a Southern California regional competition as a soloist. She continued her career with four years of intensive dance training and education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She graduated with Dance Honors and performed in two main stage performances at the University. Nellie was also captain of the UC Santa Barbara Dance Team for two years where she competed nationally, and took home several National titles in the fields of Jazz and Hip hop. Following graduation Nellie pursued her dream of becoming a professional dancer and instructor where she is able to choreograph - one of her greatest passions. Nellie joined Blackbird Dance Company as a company member and an instructor in December 2014, and is very excited to see what the next chapter brings to her as a dancer and choreographer. Morgan Marsoobian began dancing since the age of 2 and fell in love with the art shortly after. She had the honor of training at The Dance Studio of Fresno under the direction of Sue Sampson-Dalena in jazz, ballet, hip hop, African, tap, and contemporary. It was there where she competed nationally and internationally with their company for 8 years and continued to grow and watch her passion only get stronger. Morgan currently attends the University of California Santa Barbara where she studies Communication and Education. She is very excited to join the Santa Barbara Dance Arts team and looks forward to inspiring young dancers to use dance as a means of expression, escape, and enjoyment.
Kelli Forman - Guest Instructor
Kelli Forman is a dance instructor, choreographer, Yoga instructor, CA Certified MassageTherapist, teen meditation group leader, and the National Program Director for EverybodyDance Now!, a non-profit organization that offers free dance to hundreds of students each week. Kelli began dancing at the age of four, attended the University of Kansas on a full dance scholarship, and later moved to New York City to train at Broadway Dance Center (BDC). While in New York City that year, she completed the BDC’s summer intern program, obtained an agent with MSA, made it to the final cut of SYTYCD Vegas week, auditioned and worked in the NYC industry, became certified as a Yoga Teacher, trained in all hip hop styles, and met her husband (Jed Forman) who was a popping teacher at BDC. Jed and Kelli moved to Los Angeles, where Kelli was blessed to work four full years in the industry and accomplished everything that she wanted. Kelli worked with choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Hi Hat, Kenny Ortega, Fatima Robinson, Zach Woodlee, Adam Shankman, and Travis Payne (Michael Jackson's choreographer). She danced on shows such as X-Factor, Dancing With the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and Glee. Kelli modeled for Reebok, Ray Ban, and Coca Cola, and worked on multiple commercials, movies, stage performances, a small tour and industrials. After all that work, company rehearsals, spotlight, and television shows, Kelli decided she was ready to return to her passion: teaching dance and choreography. Transitioning out of the industry, Kelli moved to Santa Barbara with her husband. She currently teaches at Starlight Dance Academy in Ojai, Nordoff High School, 5th Row Center in Manhattan Beach, Santa Barbara Juvenile Hall, 1235 Teen Center, and now Santa Barbara Dance Arts. Kelli's focuses are centered on understanding physical and spiritual movement within a human, and then growing her choreography to communicate these movements to her students and their audiences.
Meredith Cabaniss - Guest Instructor
Meredith recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. During her studies, she was a Regent’s Scholar, member of the UCSB Dance Company, and received various undergraduate honors including an Undergraduate Research Award for her departmental Honor’s Project, the Corwin Award for choreography, and other achievements in the department. She has also studied with Batsheva Dance Company during their summer dance intensive in Tel Aviv, Israel and at the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92Y in New York City. Upon graduation, Meredith founded selah dance collective in Santa Barbara and has been creating and showing her choreographic work throughout California, including the Palm Desert Choreography Festival. Her work has also been presented in New York and will be performed at the New Prague Dance Festival in the Czech Republic in 2015. Meredith also travels internationally and nationally as a dance educator and is delighted to be on staff at Santa Barbara Dance Arts.
Christina Sanchez - Guest Instructor
Christina Sanchez relocated to Santa Barbara after living and dancing in New York City. She received most of her training on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School where she was later asked to join Ailey II under the direction of Sylvia Waters. She was then accepted into the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater under the direction of Judith Jamison. She has also danced with Ballet Hispanico of NY, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. She is now a "Mommy" of two beautiful girls and is happy to be teaching at SBDA.