Stephanie Anderson Ferris(Children, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical)
Stephanie received her BFA in Dance, her BA in Communication Studies, and her Masters in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Performance Studies from San Jose State University. At her most recent graduation, she received the honor of being named the 2013 Outstanding Graduate Student in Communication Studies. Stephanie greatly enjoyed spending her time in graduate school researching dance and dance education. She recently wrote and published 143 pages of her research titled: A Dancing Paradox: Oral Histories of Dance Pedagogy. She has taught Performance Studies and Public Speaking courses at SJSU over the past 3 years, and has spent the past 7 years working as Songleading Head Instructor and competition judge for the United Spirit Association. She has also performed in advertisements for Estee Lauder, and has performed with bands such as Train and Jefferson Starship. Stephanie also greatly enjoyed performing in halftime events for the Golden State Warriors, and the San Francisco 49er's. She has coached and choreographed for nationally ranked high school dance teams throughout the Bay Area, and has danced in companies such as SJSU's University Dance Theater (UDT), Foothill College's Dance Co., and was the captain of the hip hop company Soul Conspiracy. Stephanie has greatly enjoyed teaching the wonderful students of Dance Connection for the past seven years.
Randy Bernal(hip hop)
With over a decade of performing experience, Randy W1SHONE Bernal brings the
knowledge obtained over many years studying the foundations of B-boying,
Popping, Locking, House, and Old School Hip Hop Dance. Randy is also a
professional DJ and Producer. His career started 2001 in LA when he rocked
shows with Superstars of Dance season 1 champions: Groovaloos and one of the
original members of Americas Best Dance Crew season 1 champions:
Jabbawockeez. Randy has done industry work with such artists and companies
like: Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Missy Elliot, Pussycat Dolls, Step Up, Soul Train,
Pepsi, Gatorade, NBA All Star Jam, Pixar. His goal as an instructor is to
continue to inspire the world through music and movement. www.w1shone.com
Faith Bonitz-Tanaka(Ballet, Pilates)
Faith found a love of ballet at an early age. She was trained in the RAD, Balanchine, and Vagonova techniques. She danced professionally with the Illinois Ballet and the Capital Ballet.
Upon being injured she started teaching and enjoyed sharing her love of dance with her students. She strives to make her classes both challenging and fun, focusing equally on technique and artistry. She later became certified in Pilates which helps her to have more awareness of how the body works. Faith moved to the Bay Area in 2006 and has been teaching at Dance Connection ever since. She is now the proud mother of three wonderful daughters.
Becky Brewer(Account Manager)
``I have been married for 27 years to Tony Brewer and have two children, Gabe - 25 and Sisley - 23. I am an elementary school secretary at Nixon Elementary School during the day and do the billing for Dance Connection after school and in the evenings. I love to walk my dog and garden on the weekends. My daughter and younger son both danced with Dance Connection and the Ginannis have been our best friends for over twenty years.``
Annali Rose Clevenger(Ballet, Pointe, Pilates)
Annali Rose is a classically trained ballet dancer with extensive
experience in both classical and contemporary work gained during her 18
year professional career. She danced with Sacramento Ballet, Trey McIntyre
Project, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley and Amy Seiwert's Imagery.
In addition, Annali is a certified Stott Pilates instructorAs a teacher,
she strives to empower her students through
developing strong technique, a mind body awareness,
and encouraging them to connect with their inner artist.``
Jordan Dennen(Ballet, Children)
Jordan started dancing at age seven at her local community center, where she fell in love with ballet. She continued her training at Ballet 5:8 School of the Arts in Frankfort, IL, where she trained in ballet, modern, contemporary and pointe and performed with the Senior Student Ensemble twice a year. Jordan also began her teaching career at Ballet 5:8, teaching many of the children’s ballet and creative movement classes. Jordan attended Hope College in Holland, MI as a Dance Performance and Choreography major. At Hope Jordan trained in all styles of dance under the renowned Hope College faculty members, including Maxine Debruyn, Matthew Farmer, Linda Graham, Steven Iannacone, Anne-René Petrarca, Julie Powell, Sharon Wong, and many others. It was at Hope College that Jordan discovered her love for modern dance, as well as ballet. She performed with StrikeTime Dance Company, one of the resident performing companies of the Dance Department. She also performed in the annual Faculty Dance Concert each year, and performed and choreographed for the Student Dance Showcases. Jordan co-directed an artistic collaboration project with fellow Hope students, inspired by her love for working with artists from all of the artistic disciplines. After graduating and receiving her B.A., Jordan moved to the California Bay Area, where she continues to dance and teach. Her love for dance is only rivaled by her love for kids, and she teaches with a passion and enthusiasm that inspires her students to find as much joy in dance as she has.
Jamie Fraser(Hip Hop, Hip Hop Crew and Elite Director)
Jamie has directed, performed, choreographed and taught hip-hop in his dance career which began in 99’. Gary Kendell was huge part of his life as a mentor, teacher and big brother. Jamie performed with the traveling stage show “ Monster Shop Bumpin “ reaching all over the US and Shanghi and Jinan China. His teaching career began in 2000 and is currently the director for the Hip Hop Crew and Elite teams. His message is “We are all Gee Fam! Where Rhythm is Life, and Life is Rhythm.”
Emma Feeheley(Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Children)
Emma became a part of the dance world at a very young age. she began dancing at the age of 3 and competing at the age of 6. She has competed and received various awards across the country, and has trained with well recognized teachers and choreographers. Emma has spent 6 consecutive summers at Interlochen arts academy studying ballet, and spends time in the fall training at various conventions and master classes. In 2012 Emma founded a training program called ``Emma's darling divas`` and has been expanding the program ever since. She left her hometown and headed to the west coast to use her love of teaching to expand the knowledge and artistry of other dancers.
Cindy grew up dancing from a young age, studying all styles of dance, and has never stopped. She has been teaching dance for over 35 years to all ages and abilities, and is now seeing the second generation of her dance students. She has a fondness for working with young dancers, and an educational background in Early Childhood Development. Cindy founded Dance Connection in 1987, and it has grown to become one of the most popular dance schools on the Peninsula. One of the rewards of teaching dance is the relationships that develop over the years with the DC dancers and families. Cindy credits the outstanding faculty here at Dance Connection for the quality training every dancer receives. She and her husband, Mark have three grown children and four grandchildren.
Jennifer Kulz-Smith(Ballet, Pointe, Variations)
Jennifer received her ballet training in San Francisco with the Academy of Ballet, Dancers' Stage, Lanova Academy, City Ballet School and Boston Ballet School. She has performed with various Bay Area companies including the Peninsula Ballet Theater, San Francisco Dance Theater, and the Santa Clara Ballet. She performed in the San Francisco production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's ``The Phantom of the Opera`` for 4 1/2 years. Jennifer has two beautiful girls, and has been teaching at Dance Connection for the past 16 years.
Therese Martin(Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Children)
Therese is a Dance Connection Alumni who grew up dancing at the studio for 15 years. She graduated from UCLA in 2009 where she majored in World Arts and Cultures with a Dance Concentration. While at UCLA she choreographed and performed in numerous UCLA productions, including WAC Smash, Elimidance, and Senior Projects. Therese holds a Masters in Teaching and Multiple- Subject Teaching Credential through USC and currently substitute teaches at local elementary schools. She is excited to be back at Dance Connection teaching classes again.
Heather Miller Hennessy(Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Childrens)
Dancing for 20 years, Heather is trained in jazz,tap, ballet, lyrical and hip hop and has had the opportunity to take professional classes in Los Angeles and New York from master choreographers. She has participated in many dance competitions, performances and the Miss Dance Pageant. She also danced in many halftime performances for the Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors and Stanford University teams. A graduate of San Jose State University, Heather was a member of the University Dance Theatre. She was a gala performer in the American College Dance Festival and the Tap Festival in Thousand Oaks. She recieved a BA in Dance and performed in many SJSU concerts, in the independent film ``Shut Up and Dance,`` and with the Corie Tyson dance company. Heather will be performing this basketball season with the Sacramento Kings dancers, and bring to her students her passion for dance, her fun choreography, and always a smile!
Patricia Retanubun(jazz, ballet, children, contemporary)
Patricia Retanubun graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance, with a Jazz Dance emphasis. Patricia grew up dancing, studying ballet and pointe with the Royal Academy of Dance technique, as well as jazz and lyrical dance. She has performed with the American College Dance Association at Cal State Long Beach, and is a recipient of the Outstanding Student in Dance award from Ohlone Community College. Patricia worked and interned at Disney World Florida as a performer for 3 years. She is very excited to be part of the Dance Connection family.
Sara Trinh(Co-Director and Performing Company Director)
Sara began dancing in Los Angeles, CA where she trained and competed growing up. Before graduating High school Sara was apart of Sparkids, the dance team for the Los Angeles Sparks . After moving to the bay area, Sara became assistant director for a Hip Hop Company called Mind Over Matter, that performs all over the Bay Area and beyond. Sara graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Business Management/ Economics. She was a Golden State Warrior Girl for 2 years in which she also choreographed routines that were performed at the NBA games and events.
Sara recently left her full-time finance/accounting job to join our DC Team and fulfill her lifelong dream to fully immerse herself in dance education. She is sharing managerial duties with Cindy, and is also our Performing Company Director.
Grant SpencerBallet Company Director, Artistic Director PADCYE, (Ballet, Variations, Pointe/Pas de Deux)
Grant trained with Jon Cristofori and Kathleen Sinclair at Yuma Ballet Academy in Yuma, AZ. He was a founding member of the regional company Ballet Yuma, and helped them gain Honor Status with Regional Dance America/Pacific. Grant supplemented his training at Joffrey San Antonio, BalletMet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet where he received full scholarships. His professional experience began as a Corps de Ballet dancer with Sacramento Ballet where we worked his way up to Soloist performing pieces by Alan Heinlein, Septime Webre, and Katherine Posin. During his time with Sacramento Ballet, he became well acquainted with George Balanchine’s masterpieces, and style, while performing in his Four Temperaments, Serenade, Western Symphony, Theme and Variations, and Rubies. Grant continued his career with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, in New York City, where he performed as a Soloist in much of the Classic Russian Repertoire. His favorite roles include Little Swans in Swan Lake Act II, Lucille Grahn in Pas de Quatre, Cupid Variation in Paquita, Spring Waters, Tarantella, and Stars & Stripes pas de deux. Grant toured extensively with Trockadero to such countries as Japan, Australia, Italy, France, England, Thailand, China, Russia (at the Bolshoi) and the greater United States. In 2006, Grant moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. He performed with Peninsula Ballet Theatre and Company C Contemporary Ballet and danced works by Anthony Tutor, David Parsons, Michael Smuin, and Charles Anderson.
Joan Walton(Tap, Theatre, Ballroom)
Joan's high-energy teaching style and ability to communicate concepts to all levels of learners have become well known at universities and dance studios across the country. She has deep knowledge of Vintage, Historical and Social Dance, Tap Dance, Musical Theatre Choreography and Theatredance Styles. She has been teaching at Vintage and Historical dance workshops nationally and internationally since 1991. Her work encompasses choreographing for musicals and operas at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, six of them winning 1st place at the National Opera Awards.
At Dance Connection she has taught all levels of Tap Dance, performed as the Queen in “The Sleeping Beauty” ballet, and currently has a lively collection of Ballroom Dance aficionados that she meets for private lessons.
She has performed and choreographed all over the country, and received a Masters degree in Dance Education from Stanford University’s prestigious School of Education in 1999.
Shana Segal(Children, Tap, Jazz)
Shana took jazz, hip hop, ballet, tap, and pointe classes at Dance Connection from the age of 8-17. She began teaching dance at the age of 14, choreographing and teaching the dance numbers to children ages 5-13 at a musical theater summer program. She continued to serve as the choreographer and dance teacher at the Palo Alto summer musical theater camp for 14 summers. In addition to dancing, Shana just completed her tenth year teaching high school English. In addition to holding a teaching credential and a Bachelor's degree in English, Shana has a Master's degree in Education and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership. Shana teaches the preschool classes on Thursday morning and works at the front desk of Dance Connection on Wednesdays.