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Instructors

SHAWN
Shawn Vitale

Shawn Vitale may have started dancing later than most professionals, but that hasn’t stopped her yet. She credits Jimmie DeFore Dance Center for her divine training and diversity. Shawn is a certified Gyrotonic® Instructor and loves working one on one with clients. Teaching at numerous dance studios and high schools all over Orange County, for the past 12 years, has given her the opportunity to refine her teaching skills.

Her versatile choreography has won countless awards and has recently been featured on My Dream Quinceanera. Together with Pam Wainer, Shawn is thrilled to bring you Orange County’s newest home for dancers 15 and older, AfterHours.

RICKY
Ricky Mesina

Originally from the midwest, Ricky has taught for numerous studios in Cincinnati, Ohio for the past 10 years, including Cincy Dance Studio and Z-Company Arts. He began dancing before he could walk, by watching and imitating Micheal Jackson videos. Mostly self-taught, Ricky is heavily influenced by freestyle movement, grooves, and musicality. In college, he was a founding member of Outlet, a hip-hop dance team that formed during the "You Got Served" era of battle crews and competitions. Over the past decade, he has developed a passion for teaching, creating, and growing as a dancer and choreographer.

Ricky and his wife recently moved to Southern California in February of 2017 to work as a graphic designer for the Orange County School of the Arts. It was a dream of his to move to the west-coast and to be inspired by the diversity, culture, and experiences that California has to offer.

He is excited to bring his passion and love of dance to Dance AfterHours, and is looking forward to sharing his moves with the world.

ADAM
Adam Blanchard

Adam began his performance career in 2009, primarily in musical theatre, where he developed a passion for dance. While in high school, Adam attended the Huntington Beach Academy of the Performing Arts, where he studied musical theatre and dance. He was a member of the tap ensemble and jazz ensemble, where he trained under master teachers such as Chloe Arnold and Sarah Reich. He was in an award-winning production of Cabaret the Musical in Edinburgh, Scotland for the Fringe Festival in 2016 with the musical theatre department. In 2017, Adam was awarded one of the Top 10 Dancers of the Year through the Orange County Register for tap and jazz.

Adam studies at Orange Coast College, where he majors in dance. He teaches at Hudson Dance Academy, winning multiple awards for choreography and performance. He works at Disneyland, where he dances in a variety of shows and parades at the resort. He is so excited and honored to be a part of the AfterHours family and is looking forward to sharing his passion with those around him.

AHyatt
Arianna Hyatt

Arianna began dancing very early in life, training almost exclusively in Checchetti Ballet, over the years, her ballet training expanded and she has now studied various styles, including Vaganova, RAD, and Balanchine. She considers her teaching style to be a blend of ballet techniques and believes in the importance of string, technical ballet training for all styles of dance. While attending the Academy for the Performing Arts for high school, Arianna developed skills and training in other areas, such as vocal performance, acting and musical theater. With her passion for musical theater growing she expanded her experience to work alongside many local and regional theater companies performing roles such as Nicki in Sweet Charity, Postiphar's wife in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cha-Cha in Grease, Frenchie in Cabaret, ensemble roles in Cinderella, Singin' in the Rain, Thoroughly Modern Millie and many more.

In 2003, Arianna was chosen to join the scholarship program at Jimmie DeFore Dance Center. The program had her dancing over 20 hours a week training in Ballet, Hip-Hop, Tap, Jazz and  Contemporary. After a year on scholarship, she began teaching and working with the DeFore dance competition team, She changed her focus to working with adults only and remained teaching on staff and dancing at Defore until its closure.

Arianna has a master's in Education with her PPS credential in School Counseling. She currently works at Costa Mesa High school helping students explore college and career options. When not at school, she can be seen dancing and teaching throughout range County, and working with multiple theaters as a choreographer. Some of her favorite productions she has worked on include Guys and Dolls, Miss Saigon, Cabaret and Annie.

BAILEY
Bailey Altstetter

Bailey began her dance training at Houston Dance Studio in Ohio at the age of 3. There, she trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical hip hop and gymnastics. At the age of 12. she moved to California where her uncle owned a dance studio. She continued training there and began as an assistant teacher. By age 14, she taught her own classes at Dance Emotion. She also auditioned and was accepted to OCHSA, the Orange County High School of the Arts, where she received extensive training in the Commercial Dance Conservatory. There she branched out into new styles such as modern contemporary. In 2007, Bailey was accepted as a scholarship member on a hip hop team, Mavyn Entertainment, where she developed much of her hip hop style. In 2008, Bailey began performing as backup dancer for several local music artists as well as dancing in many different shows and projects. she also began teaching competitively at Marina High School, is an instructor for 2 local dance studios, and produces an adult dance Showcase that she created in 2014, Loose Cannons. Bailey has an everlasting passion for the art of dance and enjoys passing on her knowledge, inspiring dancers, and creating opportunities for upcoming artists to grow and shine, and thrive in their dance careers.

DANTE
Dante Corpuz

Dante (DJ) Corpuz is a twenty-three year old California native who trains in all styles of dance. His favorite styles are Contemporary and Jazz. Dante has been dancing shorter than most, with only seven years of official dance training, most of hid background comes from competitive Gymnastics. He had the opportunity to compete at the Junior Olympic Men's National Championships, twice. The first in Cincinnati, Ohio (2009) and the second being in Knoxville, Tennessee (2010). Using this extensive gymnastics background, he teaches Acrobatics and Tumbling in Costa Mesa at Avanti Dance Company.

Dante is currently training with Immabreathe, an LA based contemporary dance company, under the direction of Mary Ann Chavez, He is working toward becoming fully immersed in the commercial dance industry and hopes to, one day, be singed under a talent agency. Dante is so thrilled to be the newest addition to the Afterhours Family and cannot wait to share what he has to offer as a choreographer.

DEANNA
Deanna Gardiner

Deanna began dancing at the age of two and hasn’t stopped since. Born and raised in southern California, Deanna has been trained in a multitude of styles such as contemporary, tap and lyrical with a focus on ballet and jazz. She has been training in hip hop over the years with our very own Shawn Vitale. Deanna has had the opportunity to work under many teachers and has studied and competed for various studios such as Joan Golden, Hart Academy, Imperial Dance, Dance Incorporated and Jimmie Defore Dance Center. In her younger years, Deanna won numerous awards in dance competitions from solos to group productions throughout the L.A. and Orange County areas. As she continued in her career Deanna attended the University of California, Irvine, where she received her B.A in Dance, from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

Dancing has offered Deanna many opportunities such as performing in the 1994 Pro Bowl halftime activities alongside the famous guitarist, Carlos Santana, traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area to guest teach for various summer workshops, has performed in music videos, was a dancer and choreographer for Chase Models Dance Ensemble, has performed in Jimmie DeFore’s “Pulse” Annual Showcase, as well as multiple appearances in the Loose Cannons Choreography Showcases.

Deanna has been teaching since 1995 at a multitude of schools and studios all through Orange County. In 2007 Deanna started a mobile dance academy that brings dance classes to children in preschools, daycares and elementary schools all throughout L.A., Orange and County, with the goal of teaching the joy of movement, and emphasizing a respectful interaction with children and the art of dance. Deanna had the privilege of being on staff at Jimmie Defore Dance Center in Costa Mesa until July of 2016. Deanna currently dances, teaches and regularly substitutes at Dance Dance Dynamics in RSM and Southland Ballet Academy in Irvine, while also continuing to teaching and grow her mobile dance school. Deanna is overjoyed to be a part of Dance Afterhours where is will continue to share her love and passion for dance.

ERIKA
Erika Fernandez

Erika began her teaching career in the summer of 1994. She was hired by the United Spirit Association (USA) to teach summer dance camps throughout the United States. During this process is how she discovered her love of choreography. Other aspects of the job included adjudication within the competition circuit and many big events like USA Nationals. Erika received “Rookie Of The Year” and was promoted to the Jazz Dance Program (indoor) directed by the one and only Andy Vaca.

When she wasn’t traveling, you could catch her sitting court side or entertaining the crowd during time-outs at the LA Sports Arena.  She landed her very first audition and became a member of the LA Clippers Pro Dance Team at the young age of 18.

In 1997 Erika was awarded a scholarship from Jimmie DeFore Dance Center in Costa Mesa. In addition to Jose Silva’s assistant (demo) she was fortunate to have trained with: Christine Baltes, Micheal Van Patten, Tim Stevenson, Cindy Peca, Tiffany Billings, LeAnn Alduenda, Raul Cruz, Kyle B. Cunningham, Rebecca Gorostiza, Sara Meli, Tanya Durbin and last but definitely not least….. Gloria DeFore. Soon after her training, she was offered a position on staff and remained until the studio’s unfortunate close in 2016.

In 2000, she accepted a contract to work for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line which had her traveling to New York, Bermuda and all over the Caribbean. Upon her return, Erika choreographed and was featured in several videos for some new and upcoming artists. Shortly after that, she decided to focus on building her teaching career. Former employers include: Kyne Dance Academy in Laguna Beach (2001-2018), Santa Fe Springs Dance Center in Downey (2009-2017), Canyon H.S. Comp Dance Team (1994-2000).

Currently, Erika teaches at JDI Dance Company in Canyon Lake (since 2018), Kyne Dance Academy in Laguna Beach (since 2001) and Capistrano Academy Of Dance (since 2007). She is versatile and is qualified to teach most genres: Hip Hop, Jazz, Heels, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theater, Jazz-Funk, Jazz Technique and Competitive Dance. For years Erika has coached a countless number of teams/solos while earning her share of Choreography Awards, Top Overall Awards and National Titles. She has inspired and developed dancers as young as 4 yrs old….. all the way through High School, college and specializes in Adult Classes.

Erika is also very busy choreographing for schools such as LBHS, CHS and San Juan Hills. She is an active performer/choreographer in OC and LA county. In 2009 she co-created DULCE ENTERTAINMENT….. In addition to making regular “guest appearances” at Showcases like LOOSE CANNONS which is also host to URBAN BLUSH and MILLENNIUM OC choreographers, Erika is creative director for DULCE: costumes, music, choreography, show theme, MC, singer’s staging/choreo, scheduling and of course budget.

She’s a busy girl, but wouldn’t have it any other way!

GINGER
Ginger

Ginger is a choreographer and dance with the Dirty Little Secrets Burlesque troup - and has danced with them for the past 12 years. The troupe has performed in LA, Orange County, San Diego, and Las Vega. She loves to help everyone find their inner vixen - whether new to dancer or a veteran who wants to explore something new. Ginger is also trained in Jazz, Hip-Hop, Ballet, modern, musical theatre, and pole.

JACI
Jaci Thomas

Jaci Thomas started as competition dancer with training in Hip-Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, and ballet. She graduated from Huntington Beach Academy of the Performing Arts with the title, Dancer of the Year, in 2017. She has attended intensives in Los Angeles such as The Industry Intensive at Millenium Dance Complex and The Galen Hooks Method, Jaci has also trained with the Hip-Hop company Soul Fresh under diretion of Ricky Cole.

JANELL
Janell Burgess

Janell Burgess grew up dancing in Southern California in the Ballet Pacifica Conservatory and received further education from The Jimmie DeFore Foundation for the Arts, The Edge Performing Arts Center, and was also a scholarship student of Joe Tremaine and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Training extensively in all forms of dance, Janell is also an accomplished Latin Dancer and Aerial Artist of which she won the Paragon International Doubles Championship Title in 2014 for her performance and choreography. She has had the pleasure of training under esteemed industry professionals including Joe Malone, Cindera Che, Hama, Michael Owens, and Christine Baltes. Janell has served on faculty at The Debbie Reynolds Dance Center in Los Angeles, CA and is currently on tour as backup dancer for the Legendary “KC & The Sunshine Band”.

JONATHAN
Jonathan Sison

Jonathan Sison began training in various styles at the age of 7 years old in Ballet, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, and Jazz. At the age of 11 he began his career in dance when he was represented by Clear Talent Group, where he was able to work with artists such as Raven-Simoné. Sison's passion for performing lead him to try musical theater to which he was casted for the workshop of the Broadway musical "13". Juggling work and dance Jonathan was also a part of various dance groups and organizations such as Culture Shock. After 6 years of being a Culture Shock San Diego as well as being part of other companies in Los Angeles. in 2015 he founded his own project based dance company "ThaMost". Training elite dancers from San Diego/Los Angeles, and New York Jonathan has recently showcased his work at such events and Tv shows As World of Dance, The BET Experience, Every little Step and Wild n Out. He has worked with numerous artists including KashDoll, Keke Palmer, Kevin Woo and the list goes on. While being a big influence in the San Diego and LA Dance community, he continues to strive for more every single day AKA Do Tha Most!

KAT
Kat Alvarez

Kat is a received her BA from California State University and MFA from UCLA, Kat begun as competitive gymnast and soon begin dancing at various studios. She has trained throughout the LA and Orange County in areas in a multitude of dance styles including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Broadway, Ballroom, and Latin dance.

Throughout the years she has performed in various school, cultural and philanthropic productions. After graduation, she began her career and performed varies of roles at The Disneyland Resort. She continued to grow her passion for the Arts and studied make-up artistry under the top Hollywood and theatre make-artist.

Trough dance she discovered Yoga and took to it naturally. During her practice she found the beauty and soul behind the movement. Yoga provided a way for her to integrate her love for body movement, expression and conditioning within a warm and peaceful environment. Her love for movement, dance, and teaching children lead her to mini yogis foundation training with Shana Meyerson and continued her yoga training at YogaWorks. Kat is a mini yogis certified teacher and completed her 200-hour training at YogaWorks and mini yoga certified.

She began teaching Dance at Treguna Studios and Arborland Academy of the Arts where she incorporated respect, integrity, creativity, attitude, and a lot of ENERGY to these particular styles.

She actively volunteers with Camp del Corazon sharing the joy of yoga, modern dance, movement and expression with children battling life threatening diseases providing them a positive, creative, fun experience which strengthen their emotional well-being, better equip them in their fight against disease, and allow them to be children. Her passion for dance and yoga continues to thrive. It is her continual goal to share her knowledge, instill a love of dance, movement, yoga and help guide others them achieve their dreams.

MARISSA
Marissa Skates

Marissa began her training and youth teaching at Whitman Dance Studio in Lake Isabella, CA. Growing up, she trained with dance conventions including Hollywood Connection, Monsters of Hip-Hop, and received several scholarships from The Pulse on Tour. Since moving to Orange County, Marissa attended Huntingtoon Beach High School Academy for the Performing Arts, and was accepted into Commercial Dance Ensemble her senior year. Marissa has spent the last four years training and headlining with Soul Fresh Fam under the direction of Ricky Cole, and has worked with the up-and-coming company Guests of Honor with Brandon Reyes., She currently performs at the Disneyland Resort with the Walt Disney Company. Marissa's credits include EstrellaTV, the Ghostbusters World Premiere, BET, and Snoop Dogg.

MATT
Matt Sagisi

Matt Sagisi began his dancing journey at the ripe old age of 16. After years of dancing in the national competitive circuit, Matt received numerous scholarships from the likes of KAR, Jump, Move, and was crowned Hollywood Connection's Male ICON of the year in 2012. Matt continued to expand his movement vocabulary trough college, culminating in his graduation from California State University Long Beach with a bachelor's degree in Dance Science. Matt has received extensive technical training in balled and modern, but the roots of his movement come from his love for Hip-Hop and contemporary styles. Matt has appeared alongside rising underground pop star Kwanta Jones, been featured in multiple live dance performances with RAW, Loose Cannons, and Club Jete. Currently, Matt is the assistant choreographer to Body Speaks Dance Collective. His created works for the company can be seen on Instagram, YouTube, and the World of Dance live tour. Matt's love and passion for dance has only grown stronger over the years and will continue to do so as he grows as a performer.

Tremaine Bean
Tremaine Bean

Tremaine grew up in the Pacific Northwest training extensively in a plethora of dance styles. Shortly after graduating high school he relocated to Orange County, CA to further pursue a career in entertainment. He has performed for the NBA Portland Trailblazers, Walt Disney, & Royal Caribbean Productions. He is a trained aerialist and has also performed ensemble in the musical "Hairspray" and "Mamma Mia!".

Kelela Batinga
Kelela Batinga

Kelela grew up dancing, performing and doing professional musical theater and she is trained in many styles of dance including Contemporary, Hip-Hop, lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Modern and Ballet. She was a competitive dancer through high school receiving many awards in the solo division including making it to finals in West Coast Elite and USA competitions. Kelela has performed in many venues and she was a seasonal parade dancer in Knotts Berry Farm's holiday parade. In college she was awarded the James Nicholas Plumb Memorial Award and Scholarship for choreography in 2012 and 2013. Her choreography was chosen as a finalist in the Choreography Under the Stars dance festival ind Palm Desert and made it into the MixMatch Dance Festival as well. Kelela is currently a head coach of the Fountain Valley High School Dance Team and they have won numerous awards including a state title in Hip-Hop.

She also teaches dance at Beach Cities dance Studio and Artegy Dance Academy. She continues to choreograph for various events, most recently the 3rd Annual Statewide Arts Education Convention with Keynote speaker Nigel Lythgoe, the Fashion Island Paseo Party and Loose Cannons. She has also choreographed for school groups such as Los Alamitos High School Show Choir and Lexington Junior High Dance. She has her degree in Sports and Health Sciences. Kelela is excited to be a part of the AfterHours dance family!

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