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!

 

amyAmy Vancott 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.

 

unnamedAshley Smith

Ashley Dawn Smith, originally from Orange County CA, moved away from home at 15 to receive her training at Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Washington School of Ballet, Miami City Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education, and Pittsburg Youth Ballet. She joins Dance Dimensions after retiring from a 6 year career as an company artist with Oregon Ballet Theatre. Since moving to Los Angles, she has been working with Karmagraphy, The LA Follies, and Media City Ballet. She is thrilled to be teaching at Dance Dimensions and cannot wait to share her knowledge with all the students!

 

bsilva13_125Baden Silva

Los Angeles native Baden Silva started dancing at the age of 14 at his high school’s dance program at Calabasas High School. After graduating high school and dancing at Moorpark College for a year, he auditioned and was accepted into the Edge Performing Art Center’s scholarship program. Under the direction of Bill Prudich and Randy Allaire, he trained with the best in the industry. After completing the program, he signed with Bloc Talent Agency and has gone on to dance for Disney, Vietnamese pop artist Tuan Anh, Gwen Stefani, DNCE, and Katy Perry. In addition to his commercial credits, he has danced for Royal Flux Dance Company, Hysterica Dance Company, and has traveled the world with the show “Pearl” under the direction of choreographer Daniel Ezralow. After his dancing career, Baden hopes to choreograph himself and have his own contemporary company.

 

IMG_1040Bianca 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.

 

300x300Brandy 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.

 

MV5BMjI1NzA0MzI4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjUwODM0ODE@._V1_UX214_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Brian 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.

 

Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 5.20.09 PMCassie Silva

Cassie Silva is so excited to be back at Dance Dimensions! Having started at DDPAC 9 years ago, Cassie now returns from her most recent Broadway production of “Matilda: the Musical National Tour” in the role of Mrs. Wormwood. Recent additional credits include “Rock of Ages” and “Hairspray” the film.

Having grown up in the business with credits spanning from television, film, voiceovers, and Broadway shows, Cassie’s expanding into producing, writing and directing. She is excited to share her knowledge and foster young artists’ storytelling through movement. She truly believes you can have, be, and do anything you set your mind to. Let’s inspire each other to shine bright!

You can follow Cassie’s podcast “Fit For Broadway’s The BEWay” on iTunes, discussing health, fitness and Broadway.

Here is a direct link to the podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-for-broadway/id1273253812?mt=2

chinoChino

Robert “Chino” Lopez got his start in dance as a b-boy, back in Arizona. He eventually transitioned to other forms of dance like hip hop choreo, popping, ballroom, contemporary, jazz, samba, and and all latin styles including salsa. He passionately shares his knowledge with anyone willing to learn. Chino has worked with artists such as Eminem, J-Lo, Ingrid Michaelson, Jody Watley, Jhene Aiko, Rihanna, Sergio Mendes, and Far East Movement  just to name a few. He has been featured on America’s best Dance Crew, Dexter, How I Met Your Mother, Indiana Jones, Transformers 3, Honey 2 and many commercials from Nike, Verizon, Guess, Boost and many others.

cobymosbyCoby Mosby

Jacoby Mosby grew up in the Liberty, MO, and danced at local studio Conservatory Of Dance Education under the direction of Mr. Phil Vitug. After high school, Coby started his career in the dance biz, and has been dancing ever since!

Coby is a talented all around dancer/choreographer, trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Swing, and his love, Hip Hop. Most recent credits include a Budweiser Commercial (Super Bowl 2013), Bank Of The Ozarks Commercial, television show “Community” on NBC, co-star in new short film called “Silent Treatment,” the movie “Gangster Squad,” a TV show “Amway” in Hawaii, and the brand new #1 hit show in Las Vegas called “Raiding The Rock Vault.” Recent choreography work includes the Opening number for Chinese Idol.

 

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.

 

emilyEmily Rodriguez

Growing up in Mount Airy, Maryland, Emily Rodriguez has been dancing for nearly 19 years. She danced competitively for 9 years traveling to several conventions, competitions, and elite intensives all across the east coast. Through her competitive years, Emily has had the opportunity to perform in shows such as Dancin Downtown at the Joyce Theatre in New York City, as well as Adrienne Canterna from Bad Boys of Dance, ‘Relief for Hurricane Sandy” Show. After graduating high school, Emily completed a year at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia as a dance major. She was truly able to expand her knowledge in dance within all styles including hip hop, modern, contemporary, ballet, aerial silks, tap, choreography, and improv. During her year at the University of the Arts, she had the opportunity to dance for a professional contemporary company in DC called Deviated Theatre. From there, she moved to Los Angeles and completed 3 months in the Millennium Certificate Program. Now signed with Go 2 Talent Agency, Emily continues to pursue dance all over LA and has worked closely on projects with choreographers such as Martha Nichols, Donyelle Wilson, and more from So You Think You Can Dance. Emily also has been able to become closely involved with an injury prevention program for dancers in the LA area called Sugarfoot Therapy. She is excited to be able to share her knowledge with all of the Dance Dimensions dancers this season!

 

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.

 

C12QefcVQAARrmQKara 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.

 

kavita-raoKavita Rao

Internationally and regionally renowned for her brilliant choreography and teaching, Kavita conjures out of her worldly travels characteristics of both Eastern and Western dance. Along with teaching and choreography, Kavita directs and co-owns the dance entertainment company @karmagraphy, which recently produced Bollywood Rise and @aajatheshow. Kavita has been a huge part of the DDPAC family for the past 9 years.

 

photoKelly 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.

 

KevinHeadshot (1)Kevin Belisario

Dancer and choreographer Kevin Belisario is from San Diego, where his interest in dance came at the young age of seven from Michael Jackson and boy band *NSYNC. This exposure led to his technical training in hip hop, when in his first class, he quickly grabbed the attention of his instructor, Erik Saradpon. He was then invited to join Erik‚ professional dance team, Formality, regardless of the dramatic age difference in members. Formality’s success quickly escalated, scoring first place at all major dance competitions in Southern California. After Formality, Kevin has gone on to dance for Future Shock San Diego, Super Galactic Beat Manipulators and NSU Modern. He has also continued to explore other areas of dance such as modern, jazz, ballet and tap, and has worked with choreographers such as Christopher Huggins, Donald McKayle, SuperDave and Wade Robson. He has also danced in the special features dance segment in the Cat In The Hat‚  and is looking forward to pursuing more opportunities through his agency, Bloc. Kevin recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he majored in World Arts & Cultures/Dance and with a minor in Education. He is excited to join the Dance Dimensions family this year to continue his love of teaching!

 

202932Lexi 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.

 

IMG_1000_cvMeital 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. 

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 1.15.23 PMMelissa Tannus

Melissa Tannus is a tap dancer, teacher and choreographer from Brazil who is emerging in the scene worldwide. She started dancing at the age of 6, teaching at the age of 15 and got recognized several times for her dedication and hard work with scholarships for tap festivals in Brazil and the world.

Living in the United States for three years now, Melissa has already been a part of Tapestry Dance Company, in Austin, where she also directed the adult multi-form dance company Tapestry, Too, has performed with Melinda Sullivan Dance Project at the REDCAT and choreographed for Footnotes Tap Ensemble in North Carolina.

She was recently seen on Season 11 of FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance winning the very first Crew Battle in the show with Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies.

Melissa is currently living in Los Angeles, performing with the Syncopated Ladies and Sarah Reich’s Tap Music Project, as well as doing a weekly tap show at Universal Studios Hollywood. She also continues to teach and travel the world sharing her love for tap.

 

Norbert Torok 2Norbert 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.

 

qzx2MtzaRaul Machorro

Raul Machorro has won numerous awards, including the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts for Dance and Choreography and is a B.F.A. graduate from Southern Methodist University. He additionally studied at Broadway Dance Center, Jacob’s Pillow, and at the University of Arizona.

His career as a dancer has lead him to travel to over 25 countries with various performances such as the Houston Ballet, José Límon International Dance Festival, Tokyo Disney, Houston Metropolitan Dance Co. and FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance to name a few. As a choreographer, his works have been seen with The Los Angeles Opera, including The Santa Barbara Opera, City Ballet of Los Angeles, Houston Grand Opera Ball, West Palm Beach Opera, Pepperdine University, The Latin Grammys, and Los Angeles’s Troupe Vertigo Circus-Dance-Theatre.

As a Dance Educator, he has taught for the Joffrey Ballet-NYC, Beyond Belief-Dallas, Dance Dimensions-Los Angeles, L.A. Ballroom and Cirque School. His enthusiasm for his art form led him to the education/outreach program for Los Angeles Opera as a public speaker where he finds much happiness sharing his love for dance.

 

rosalinaRosalina Castillo

Rosalina is a native of the San Fernando Valley and began studying flamenco in Madrid, Spain from 2003 to 2004. She has also studied for extended periods of time in the city of Sevilla. She is fortunate to continue studying flamenco with other artists based in Los Angeles. Rosalina is currently a member of Sakaiflamenco, with the Los Ángeles Music Center, and has performed in LA venues such as, El Cidand Luna Negra (no longer open). She currently performs in Downtown Longbeach at Alegría, and at Café Sevilla in Riverside.

 

Anindo_MarshallActionSquareSarah 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.

 

StephanStephan Terry

Stephan Terry is a graduate of the University of Maryland, with a B.A. in Music. A native of Washington, D.C., he received his early music training as a child, singing in church choirs and playing classical piano. A gifted singer-songwriter, music director, composer and producer, his passion is to bring musical joy to audiences everywhere. In theatre he has worked with accomplished actors like Denise Dowse, Tommy Ford, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Dorien Wilson, Michael Beach, Terri J. Vaughn, Vanessa Bell Calloway and others. Some of his theatre music director credits include: Seussical the Musical, South of Where We Live, Guys and Dolls, The Wiz, Hope In The Hood, Beauty and the Beast, Sarafina, Bonita and Billie-The Life and Struggles of Billie Holiday, Extremities, Peaches, and Recorded In Hollywood. In 2016 he received his second nomination and won the award for Best Music Director at the 26th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards. He recently made an appearance on ABC’s General Hospital, supporting soul singer Indie Arie on keys. As an educator he has taught music and vocals for over 20 years in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Maryland and Washington, DC. He serves as a vocal instructor for Amazing Grace Conservatory, a performing arts school in L.A. Known for his powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, Stephan has entertained crowds for many years.

He is now focused on his career as a recording artist. His debut solo album will be released in 2018. His songs are an eclectic blend of many genres including soul, pop, hip-hop, R&B, blues, gospel, jazz, and funk. Through his music he desires to spread love, joy and hope across the world. A man of faith, he knows that God has blessed him so that he can be a blessing to others. His favorite saying is ‘Live, laugh, love, and make a difference.’ With the help of his wife of 14 years, Monica, he continues to fulfill his purpose. www.stephanterry.com

 

IMG_0114Tali Aires

Tali Aires was born and raised in San Diego, CA. She graduated from UCLA in 2015, with a Major in Dance and a Minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education. She has trained in Hip-Hop, House, Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Bollywood, Salsa, and West-African. Aside from her love of teaching kids, Tali is pursuing her career in the commercial dance industry, dancing in music videos, films, and commercials. Recently, Tali has danced in music videos by Bollywood sensation’s Vidya Vox’s “Summer Love” as well as Mike Taylor’s “Electric Church.” You can also catch her playing “Mommy” in a recent Gerber Baby commercial, and as a featured model in a Naked Juice commercial. Tali also dances for Karmagraphy Entertainment, a full service dance and entertainment company specializing in Bollywood fusion, directed by Kavita Rao. She auditioned for the company back in 2015 and it is still one of her favorite parts of her dance career thus far. She can’t wait to spread her love of dance with the Dance Dimension family!

 

IMG_1203_2_medWendee 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!

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