Faculty

DANCE DIMENSIONS FACULTY

 

pamPamela Orenstein- Director and Owner

Pamela Orenstein grew up in South Africa, a third generation performing dancer. From ages 4 to 19 she studied ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance, earning her Cecchetti Ballet Certification. After several years teaching in South Africa, Pamela emigrated to Los Angeles in 1979 and worked in the music industry, specializing in Artist Relations, Promotions and Live Events. She returned to dance in 1996 and has owned her own studio since 2003. Pam has served on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles’ Valley Cultural Center. She was Advisor to Dance Programming, and also served as the Chairman of Outreach Programs, overseeing the creation and implementation of citywide campaigns. Each year brings something new to Dance Dimensions Performing Arts Center. This summer we are excited to once again bring an amazing dance intensive with some of the finest master teachers in the world!


ailish
Ailish Hill

Dancing since the age of 3, Ailish’s passion for the arts has only continued to grow. In 2001, she was selected to tour with Dance Caravan as an assistant. She later signed with DDO agency, which boosted her professional career. The opportunity arose to choreograph for new hip hop artist Jody Banks and assist on projects such as Cardioke with Billy Blanks Jr. Her passion lies in contemporary and hip hop, as well as teaching her students core strength and a technical foundation to achieve a wider range of movement. Ailish feels that every dancer should be diverse, continually learning and pushing their limits. She joined the Dance Dimensions family in 2012.

amyAmy Van Cott Thomas

Amy has been dancing for about 20 years in one form or another. She grew up in the Midwest and began her teaching career there at the tender age of 13. She has taught dance for around 14 years, specializing in Baby Ballet, Pre-Ballet, and Creative Dance classes. This year, Amy began teaching Mommy & Me at Dance Dimensions. She thoroughly enjoys watching their growth into young dancers and young adults.

ashmayAshley May

Ashley’s dance training originally began in Lynchburg, Virginia, under the former dancer of Alvin Ailey’s company, Keith Lee. After being a part of the dance company for 3 years, she traveled to Texas, San Francisco, Detroit, and parts of Virginia, performing with a dance internship. She then moved to California to pursue her dancing career, where she has been teaching Hip Hop at Dance Dimensions since 2010. She also works as a dancer/MC for So Crazy Entertainment DJ Company.

 

ashmouwAshley Mouw

Ashley Mouw was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She started her dance career at age 14 and turned professional at 18. She is trained in various styles such as lyrical, contemporary, jazz, and hip hop. Ashley has worked with such choreographers such as David Moore, Dejan Tubic and Willdabeast Adams. Credits include NBC’s “1st Look with Audrina Patridge”, Manny Pacquio’s show ‘Manny Many Prizes’, Nick Cannon promo video for ‘Me Sexy’, Tori Kelly and Pentatonix. Ashley is also a professional choreographer and teacher throughout California and Colorado. She has been teaching for the past 9 years, specializing in Hip Hop and Jazz. She has worked with award-winning high schools, college teams, dance studios, and gymnastics teams.

imageedit_2_4135917104Bianca Sapetto

Bianca Sapetto, choreographer, director, aerialist, and dancer, began her career as a rhythmic gymnast, claiming five U.S. National Championships titles and an alternate on the 1992 Olympic Team.  She has performed, choreographed, and directed for Disney, Cirque du Soleil, Warner Brothers, Paramount films, the Grammy Awards, the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, American Music Awards, Jackie Chan’s Stunt Team, Michigan Opera, Teatro Zinzanni, Astor Piazzola Tango Foundation, the Olympic Gymnastics Tours, and at the Summit of the Americas for all the North and South American presidents and prime ministers. Bianca studied comparative religion at Amherst College.

BrandyBrandy Lamkin

Brandy Lamkin was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, but raised in Los Angeles, California. Brandy began dancing extensively studying Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Modern, African, and Hip Hop. At the age of 12 she began dancing professionally when she booked a performance with Michael Jackson. From there on she continued a fruitful dance career over the past 22 years performing and touring with, Gwen Stefani and No Doubt, Shakira, Chris Brown, JLo, Ciara, Usher, Pink, Mariah Carey, Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Britney Spears and many others. She also worked on various films from the Step Up franchise; Step Up 2 From The Streets, Step Up Revolution, and Step Up 5 All In. Brandy has also worked on various television shows and award shows, Jane The Virgin, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, Nickelodeon’s Victorious, Disney’s That’s So Raven, The Young And The Restless, The American Music Awards, The Latin Grammy Awards, and The American Crime Story. Brandy has also made appearances on The Ellen Show, The Queen Latifah Show, Good Morning America, SNL, amongst many others. Brandy’s goal is to teach people the art and technique of dance, allowing them to have a long, fruitful relationship with dance.

imagesBrian Fortuna

Brian Fortuna is a multi-talented entertainer. He has starred in the hits of both the stage and television, including Dancing with the Stars, Strictly Come Dancing, and Burn the Floor. Brian’s electrifying performances in Burn the Floor earned him a What’s On Stage Award nomination for Best Newcomer 2011. During Strictly Come Dancing’s 7th series, Brian and his celebrity partner danced their way to the semi-finals and earned a perfect score for their American Smooth and Viennese Waltz; the highest score for a Viennese Waltz in Strictly history.

Brian has toured extensively as a principal dancer, performing at every major venue in both the United States and the United Kingdom. He happily performed the dual roles of dancer and host during the Dancing with the Stars tours in front of sold out audiences. His hosting talents captured the attention of ABC who chose Brian as series co-host for ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars…Online Encore.”

In addition to his hosting, Brian also took on the roles of Lead Choreographer and Consulting Producer for Dancing on Wheels. This groundbreaking show premiered on BBC3 and paired disabled and able-bodied contestants in high-level dance competition. The show had the highest premiere ratings for a documentary in BBC history.

During his tenure in the sold-out production of Over the Rainbow, Brian impressed both audiences and critics alike in his role as Danny Cassidy. The stage came calling again as Brian took on the lead role in Royal & Derngate’s production of Aladdin, alongside seasoned panto professional Bobby Davro. Brian also has several film credits to his name including Love + 1 and The Aviator.

Brian is a visible and internationally sought-after entertainer. He excels in Wheelchair Ballroom and Latin DanceSport and is very proud to be a teacher and performer for the United States Wheelchair Dancing Association.

crystalCrystal Granville

Born and raised in Carbondale, PA, Crystal has an extensive background in both fitness and performing.  Her love of both began in gymnastics and continued in theatre as a triple threat with experience in acting, prop production, and stage choreography. She began coaching gymnastics in 2006, and transitioned into teaching dance in 2012. She is a certified personal trainer and is working towards her degree in nutrition. Crystal began performing professionally with Rockangel Cabaret in 2014 as a featured aerialist and also showcases her skills in dance, hula hooping, and stilt walking.  She has performed with the troupe at both private and large public events including the Bringing Back Broadway Night at the Globe Theatre.

 

jonetteJonette Swider

Professional dancer and teacher, Jonette received her primary training in New Orleans, Cannes, France, and New York City with the virtuoso Vincenzo Celli, inheriting a great wealth of information as one of Celli’s last protégés. Jonette has appeared on stage, in films, and television. She has produced, directed, and performed dance education specials and choreographed the PBS special, “Alive Music and Dance,” along with producing and choreographing full length ballets. Jonette has choreographed numerous commercials and set full stage productions. Her choreography has won nationwide awards and recognition. She has performed with numerous ballet companies internationally and is noted for her roles in The Red Poppy, Copellia and The Nutcracker, amongst others. She is anonymously known to millions worldwide as the ballerina or model in the award winning best-selling poster series by Harvey Edwards.

josie bandwJosie Walsh

Josie Walsh, a native of Los Angeles, is the Artistic Director/ Choreographer of BalletRED, the world wide Project Protege and the Joffrey Ballet School in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Former professional dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, Zurich Ballet and Oregon Ballet Theatre, Josie’s choreographic career began with the Zurich Opera and moved on to several freelance projects throughout Europe. Upon her return to Los Angeles she integrated this vast background into the commercial and concert dance world. Josie was named 25 to watch by Dance Magazine, Awarded the “Outstanding Choreographer 2016 for Youth America Grand Prix and featured in the Los Angeles Times as “Faces to watch 2014″ for her work as Artistic Director/Choreographer of Ballet RED, formerly MYO Dance Company, based in Los Angeles.
Having enjoyed a long successful and diverse career as a ballerina, Josie’s wealth of knowledge is sought after as a master teacher and choreographer worldwide. Josie teaches classical and contemporary ballet as well as contemporary dance. Her unique and progressive approach to ballet, rooted in a strong classical base, fuses contemporary and modern principles in such a way that connects dancers technically while opening them up artistically through the ballet syllabus and beyond. “Freedom within the structure” -Josie Walsh
Josie directs and choreographs for TV, film and stage. Coming from a creative family of writers and actors, she inherited a theatrical approach to her ballets that she often writes as plays first, flushing out characters and through lines and storyboarding her work for TV and film to guide the camera optimally through the choreography. Credits include: “Get Ur Ballet On” and “OMG she’s a REAL Ballerina” music videos for Jealous Angel, “Inappropriate Comedy” feature film, “YAHOO” national commercial, Walt Disney “Tinkerbell”, A&E The Cleaner “Cinderella”, UTV international logo identity, STARZ “Torchwood”, MGM movie premiere “Bullet Proof Monk”, CBS “That’s Life”, Red Bull “Formula One”, LA Music Awards, Paul Mitchell Industrial, Zurich Opera, “Pilgrim” Rock Opera, Asia Entertainment, Queen Mary Live, Focus Fish Flying Circus, Project Angel Food. CONTEMPORARY BALLET COMMISSIONS: “Dreams” Gala De Danza with Sammy Hagar live, “Eternity” Gala De Danza,”Convergence” Gala of the Stars, “Texture of Time” Festival Ballet Theatre, “Secret Garden” (full length) State Street Ballet and Festival Ballet Theatre, “Bach to Rock” State Street Ballet, “Sirens” Los Angeles Ballet, “Transmutation” Los Angeles Ballet, “Isle of Avalon” and “Timeless” Joffrey SF, “Marine Machines” Joffrey West, “Lingogo” Joffrey West”,”Luminate” Luminario Ballet, “Deconstructed” Harvard Ballet, “Taming of the Shrew” Aeolian Ballet, “Found” & “Internal Affairs” Celebrate Dance, “Artemis” Santa Monica College, MyoKyo™ RED full length Renegade Rock Ballet productions: Urban Angels, Concrete Rose, Garden of Reason, Image-Nation, Gone with the Whim, Avalon and Carnivinyl.
“Dance represents the deepest freedom of expression in that it leaves nothing to hide behind… nothing to obscure the naked truth that as a dancer you are the art.” – Josie Walsh
TRAINING:
Westside Ballet Academy, Joffrey Ballet, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet.

karaKara Duncan

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Kara has trained and taught competitive and non-competitive students at dance studios, Montessori schools, public and private schools. Her competitive students have won many awards in national and local competitions.  She has trained students from babies to adults in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acro, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Free movement, Jazz Funk, Musical Theatre and Lyrical. Kara graduated Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and an Advanced Level Certificate in Royal Academy of Dance. She has over 20 years of dance training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, acrobatics, lyrical, hip-hop, modern, and pointe, and has extensive experience in Musical Theatre, T.V series, feature films and national commercials. Kara has recently finished performing in the Broadway international tour of West Side Story through Europe and Asia.

 

kavitaKavita Rao

As one of Los Angeles’ experienced and in-demand teachers and choreographers, Internationally and regional renowned for her choreography and teaching abilities, she conjures out of her world travels characteristics of eastern and western dance. Along with teaching and choreographing, Kavita directs and co-owns the dance entertainment company Karmagraphy, which recently produced the dance spectacular Bollywood Rise. She has had the pleasure of teaching and choreographing at Dance Dimensions for the past 6 years.

KellyKelly Dankbar

Kelly Dankbar grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma training in gymnastics, tumbling, all styles of dance, and acro. After pursuing a long-lived career in gymnastics, leading her to compete in the Junior Olympic Trials at age 13, she found her love and passion for dancing and acting. Kelly has preformed in Carnival in LA, The Capezio Ace Awards in NYC, and many other stage performances including the “Aria New Years Eve Live Show” for E-Plus Productions. Also, you can see Kelly on the Season 1 finale of “Bunheads,” in Fergie’s music video for her Great Gatsby single “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody,” as well as in the promo for American Horror Story Season 3! More recently, she has pursued wholeheartedly her love of acting and has debuted in several commercials including Wells Fargo, Reebok, and ACLI Life Insurance. Her love of tumbling and gymnastics has opened many doors for her in the entertainment industry, and she is so excited to be teaching and sharing those skills with dancers at Dance Dimensions!

kellyKelly Kerastas

Kelly Kerastas graduated from Grand Valley State University in April 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and was awarded The Dance Department Outstanding Student Award. She moved to Los Angeles in January 2012. She currently is dancing with Karmagraphy. She has recently danced in the music video for singer Passenger and a Sensa commercial. She was a principal dancer in the television movie “Dear Dumb Diary.” She joined our dance family in 2012.

lexiLexi Pearl

Lexi Pearl grew up in Topanga, California and has been performing since she was a child. She received her BFA in dance from UC Santa Barbara & has worked as a dancer/ aerialist/ actor with Cirque Du Soleil, AntiGravity, Diavolo, LA Circus, Eye of Newt Circus, Dream World Cirque, Wonder World, Cirque Berzerk & the Theatricum Botanicum, on stage, screen & television. Lexi has performed throughout the world; Japan, China, Brazil, Italy, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada & all over the US. She is inspired as an artist by being able to “create a tangible experience out of the invisible.” Lexi has been on Dance Dimensions faculty since 2011.

2pGvibrGMeghan Sanett

Meghan Sanett has been dancing and teaching since a very young age. She has performed professionally for choreographers such as Justin Giles, Keri LaGrand, Michael Rooney, Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, and Chris Dupre and has performed for legends such as Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Chita Rivera, Mitizi Gaynor, and Cyd Charisse. She has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, and has also been on the television shows Saddle Ranch, Excused, and on the LA and Vegas episodes of So You Think You Can Dance Season 8. She has been touring with Tremaine Dance Conventions as a company member and an assistant for the past 7 years and also toured and trained with Justin Giles’ contemporary company SoulEscape. Meghan teaches all around the US and her choreography has won numerous awards at competitions all around the country. She has been teaching Contemporary at Dance Dimensions since 2008. 

meitalMeital Azulay

Meital is a dancer, teacher, choreographer and singer from Tel-Aviv, Israel.  She has been professionally teaching, choreographing and performing for 13 years  in Israel and Europe . She teaches all ages and styles of dance  including Jazz, Hip-hop, Theatrical/Musical Jazz, Modern and Contemporary . She has worked as a dancer and choreographer for many of Israel’s top recording artists and has also appeared in fashion shows for several fitness companies including Nike . Meital was a finalist in a nationwide Israeli reality television show “Hadavar Hagadol Haba” (2007) the Israeli version of “America’s Got Talent,” and “Yeshnan Banot” (2014) another nationwide televised Israeli singing and dancing competition. 

norbertNorbert Torok

Norbert is a part of the Mix’d Elements dance crew from North Hollywood, California, who are distinguished by their ability to seamlessly flow, known as “flotivity,” between different styles of street dancing. They participated in Season 7 of America’s Best Dance Crew, where they placed in the top 10. They also placed second in Hip Hop International’s 2011 USA Hip Hop Dance Championship. Norbert started teaching at Dance Dimensions in 2012, and will continue to inspire people through their passion of dance.

RobRob Schultz

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Rob now travels all over the United States teaching and choreographing. “Robert Schultz is the most innovative and motivating choreographer we have ever had in our studio.” – B.M., South Carolina.

He’s danced in feature films (Gigli, The Wedding Planner, She’s All That, Flintstones 2), on television (Billboard Music Awards, Soul Train Awards, Fox Music Mania, MTV Euarpean Awards, Fame L.A.), with major artists (Blink 182, Vitamin C., Backstreet Boys, Toni Braxton) and in commercials (Pepsi, Toyota). As an actor, Rob’s appeared on UPN’s Grown Ups, in films (Dark Night, True Love), and he was one of the “Meaty Cheesy Boys” from Jack in the Box. Rob’s choreography is popular in Los Angeles. Credits include the Avenger Girls/Arena Football Halftime Show, Pussy Cat, PinUp Girls Tour & House of Blues but you’ve also seen some of his choreography featured on the hit WB comedy “Grounded for Life,” as well as with stars Lynsey Bartilson and Bret Harrison.

 

anindoSarah Anindo Marshall

Ms. Marshall began her musical and dance career in her homeland of Kenya, as a vocalist/dancer/percussionist.  She enjoyed a successful solo career in Europe as a vocalist, signing a recording contract with EMI Spain, and becoming known as Kenya’s Singing Sensation. Ms. Marshall has performed with Babatunde Olatunji and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead, among others. While in Kenya as a young dance student in ballet, modern, jazz and African, she met Saundra Barnes, a Dunham dancer living in Kenya and teaching Dunham Technique. Ms. Marshall studied with Ms Barnes and in 1983 moved to the USA to continue her study of the Technique with Miss Dunham and Dunham Masters like Pearl Reynolds, Archie Savage, Lucille Ellis, Tommy Gomez, Tally Beatty, Vanove Aikens, Theo Jamison, Ronald Marshall and Keith Williams.  Today Ms. Marshall is a Certified Dunham Technique Instructor, and serves as a board member of the Katherine Dunham Certification Board. She continues to teach worldwide.

saybSayhber Rawles

Sayhber has gained international recognition for her work as a choreographer, performer, producer, and dance instructor, with credits in Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and Hollywood. She has choreographed alongside her husband Dennon for six feature films including John Travolta’s Staying Alive and Bugsy, starring Warren Beatty. They have choreographed for various sitcoms, for Ann-Margret in Las Vegas, and have several commercials to their credit. They have worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood including Liza Minnelli, Gregory Hines, Carol Burnett, Raquel Welch, Juliet Prowse, Janet Jackson, Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Sandy Duncan. Sayhber started teaching Adult Classical Jazz and Ballet in 2011 at Dance Dimensions.

wendeeWendee Cole

Dance Dimensions is happy to announce that Wendee Cole, one of Hollywood’s premier kids Acting Coach and Talent Manager, has returned for her 6th year to teach Acting Classes on Fridays & Saturdays! Wendee’s unique Acting technique is a sure-fire method for commercials, tv, film, theatre, improv, voiceovers, and even stand-up comedy! The results are astounding! These past years, Ms. Cole has discovered quite a few talented children at Dance Dimensions, and signed them with top-notch Agents. The kids have since landed wonderful jobs on National Commercials such as Target, Toyota, Dr. Pepper, Chevy, Cox Communications, AT & T, and most recently a huge Disney Princess “Dream Big” Campaign! Her talented kid clients have guest-starred on major TV Shows such as Jessie, Ray Donovan, CSI, Haunted Hathaways, Gilmore Girls, and The Middle, to name a few and even made appearances on The Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien Shows!

Ms. Cole holds a BA in Theatre from UCLA, and her background comes from Musical Theatre. She was one of the original stars of Off-Broadway’s long-running smash hit musical review, “Forbidden Broadway,” and was Hollywood’s first female “warm-up” artist, entertaining sitcom studio audiences with her hilarious comedy for over fifteen years. Throughout her 12 years of teaching and coaching children, Wendee has written, produced, and directed Family & Friends Shows; Industry Showcases (Including last year’s successful “Camera Ready Kids” Showcase at Dance Dimensions); Readers Theatre; and clever parody musicals. Ms. Cole is thrilled to be returning to Dance Dimensions again this year to teach her amazing acting technique, and discover more exciting talented kids!