2022-2023 Class Descriptions

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Micha Scott

ArtistiC Director/Modern

Micha Scott has performed on stages around the world as a 13-year senior member of the renowned Garth Fagan Dance. Ms. Scott was a  teacher at the Garth Fagan Dance School in Rochester, NY, and has taught master classes and workshops for the company worldwide. While in the company she performed leading roles in many of Mr. Fagan’s works, including ‘From Before’, ‘Collage For Romie’, ‘Transition/Translation’ and the seminal collaboration with trumpeter / composer Wynton Marsalis, ‘Griot New York’. She has been featured in Essence, Time Magazine, and Dance Magazine, and as a soloist in the PBS televised series Dance In America.

Ms. Scott currently lives in Santa Cruz, CA and is deeply involved in the dance community there. She is Artistic Director at Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center (since 2011), resident choreographer at Mountain School (since 2008), she is a lead teacher in Tandy Beal’s in-school residency dance program ArtSmart (since 2016), and a dance instructor at Dancenter (since 2008). Over the past 11 years she has also taught at Motion Pacific, Steps, No Limits, International Academy of Dance, Kirby School, Mount Madonna School, Monterey High School, Seaside High School, Cabrillo College, and has held the position of lecturer in dance at Santa Clara University (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), the University of California at Santa Cruz (2012), and at the State University of New York at Brockport (2000). She has showcased her choreography in a family show titled ‘MICHA SCOTT DANCES’ and is Artistic Director of Empire Dance Company. 

2022-2023 Youth Faculty

Micha Scott

Modern

TWDCC Artistic Director // Garth Fagan Dance

Micha Scott is a dance professional with 29 years of performing, teaching, and choreographic experience. She was a senior member of the world renowned Garth Fagan Dance in New York for 13 years before coming to the West coast. She is currently TWDCC Artistic Director, resident choreographer at Mountain School in Soquel, CA, an instructor at Dancenter, and lead teacher with Tandy Beal’s Dance Around the World program. Micha has been a lecturer at Santa Clara University, UCSC, SUNY Brockport as well as a guest choreographer for numerous companies and schools.

Angela Chambers

Contemporary Jazz

TWDCC Youth Program Manager

Angela Chambers, an Oakland native, raised in Berkeley, is a long time resident of Santa Cruz county where she has established her role as a deeply rooted community leader, fierce youth empowerment advocate, and dynamic dance artist. As an artist, Angela spent her youth performing Musical Theater. Upon moving to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC, Angela was introduced to formal dance training where she developed and expanded her knowledge of and relationship with dance not only as an art form, but as a tool for personal growth and as a catalyst for social change. At UCSC, Angela performed, directed and choreographed in many productions. After graduating in 2014 with a BA in Intensive Psychology and Dance, Angela further pursued her dance training with intensives and residencies and continues to work as a performer, choreographer, and now producer within the Santa Cruz/Bay Area dance communities. Alongside performing, Angela spends most of the season as a lead teacher and Community Engagement Director at the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center (TWDCC) the only Black, female led non profit dance arts organization in the county, where she focuses on the development and commitment to their mission of access, equity, and excellence. She is also a seasonal teacher at Motion Pacific and a guest artist/choreographer at local universities, festivals, and productions. When not dancing, Angela, a Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (Y.P.A.D) certified Health and Wellness teacher, pursues her passion for elevating and supporting youth development and community activation as a mentor and coach for young dancers and as the director of the SCC Black Health Matters Initiative Youth Ambassador program. She also serves as the Program Manager and on the award winning Initiative’s advisory panel. To this end, Angela continues to find ways to successfully engage her dedication to community organizing, youth empowerment, and the power of dance & the performing arts.

Heather Wilder

Modern Expressive
Heather Wilder has been teaching Modern and Partner dancing to people of all ages for 26 years. In 1996, she graduated with a minor in dance from Humboldt State University. In 1999 she won the WOR swing dance championship in New York and in 2003 she was cast as a dancer in "Swing, The Movie". Heather's love of dance inspired her to develop her own dance program which teaches modern dance basics with an emphasis on joy and acceptance in the dance environment. "When I consider my teaching philosophy, I think about what dance has given me. #1 JOY! I want my students to have fun and love what they are doing. I want dance to bring them joy. #2 CONFIDENCE! I want my students to believe in themselves, love their bodies, and appreciate what they can do. I want dance to raise their confidence. If I can bring either of these elements to class (and maybe slip a little technique in there too), I have succeeded!"

Eddie Standifer

Hip Hop
An enthusiastic and inspirational dancer that loves to connect the moves with the grooves. I have had this passion for dance since the early 2000s as a kid. In high school a few of my close friends were boys and we would meet up every break, lunch, before and after school just to break. Throughout those few years I was introduced to a plethora of styles branching from Popping, Tutting, Waves, House, Turfin, JerseyClub just to name a few but what made it all connect were the grooves. 2010 was my introduction into choreography and competition teams. My roots began with a small team in Hollister called Villains Inc, dedicated within the Popping style mixed with choreography. After Villains Inc came to an end, my new home team is Syndicate. While earning my degree at SJSU, the tools I received to better develop and formulate my movement were essential for me to fully allow myself to create and express myself. I apply my knowledge and experience through the styles with the structure and formula taught through the studios.

Nicolette Hernandez-Kaempf

Jazz
Nicolette began dancing at the age of 3, and began rigorously training at age 5. She is classically trained in Jazz, contemporary and ballet and competed in jazz/contemporary for 12 years. She is born and raised in Santa Cruz and has danced at No Limits, IAD, Coastal Vibe and Santa Cruz Ballet Company. They now dance at the Tannery and Motion Pacific and perform in adult showcases. Nicolette comes from a family of educators and is super excited to be a part of dance education at the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center.

Molly Katzman

Contemporary
Molly Katzman (they/she) started dancing in middle school at Nevada City School of the Arts, and then danced all through high school in the Nevada Union Theatrical Dance program. They attended Cabrillo College where they won the Roberta Bristol award for dance in 2009, then went on to earn their B.A. at UCSC. While living in Santa Cruz, she has danced for choreographers such as Cat Willis, Gerald Casel, Cid Pearlman and is a member of FLEX dance company directed by Leslie Johnson. Katzman and Sierrah Dietz, who started their own company, HOMEbodies, debuted their first show in April 2012, presented their second show in 2013, and entered the New Orleans Fringe Festival in 2014 where they were nominated for the award, Outstanding Choreography (New Work). In 2015, Katzman joined Joe Goode Performance Group in San Francisco as a company member and teaches through their educational outreach program while also teaching at Motion Pacific, Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School, and Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center in Santa Cruz.

Mercedes Ross

Ballet
Mercedes Ross was first introduced to dance at the age of 3 and continued to dance ever since because of the creative JOY it brings! Today she is a new mother, a choreographer, dance instructor, and dancer in Santa Cruz Bay Area. She has choreographed large local youth musicals such as Lion King Jr, Thirteen, Honk Jr, Fiddler on the Roof, and Mount Madonna’s original play “The Ramayana” along with many others. With a BA in Dance from The University of Hawaii at Manoa, she has danced in Hawaii, New York, and locally with Tandy Beal and Company, Empire Dance Company, Stellaria, Circus of Nations and more. Serving as the executive director for Modern Collective Dance Company, providing entertainment to the Bay Area events and productions. Mercedes has had the pleasure of sharing the art of movement at The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center, Pacific Arts Complex, and Motion Pacific Dance. On her free time she enjoys spending time with her family outdoors and visiting Kauai where she grew up. Mercedes looks forward to sharing the JOY of movement and hopes her passion will inspire others to dance!

Chloe Rosen

Jazz
Chloe grew up training in jazz, ballet, contemporary, tap, and musical theatre. Her love of dance grew even further in college, where she studied postmodern dance and composition at UC Santa Cruz. Throughout her college career, Chloe performed in, choreographed, and directed several dance productions on campus, as well as dancing professionally in projects outside of school. Following graduation, Chloe went on to Centre National de la Danse, where she was one of 10 UCSC dancers selected to study abroad in Pantin, France. In 2019, Chloe was the artist in residency through Motion Pacific's Incubator Project, where she created an evening length work, "you are held here," in collaboration with her cast. Chloe has danced professionally with Cid Pearlman Performance, ODC, and currently dances with Tim Rubel Human Shakes, a company based out of San Francisco, CA.

Cody Jussel

Pilates Cody Jussel, M.S.K. Midwest Pilates Institute Certified
Cody graduated with a Master’s in Kinesiology from A.T. Still’s College of Graduate Health Studies with a dual major in adaptive sports and corrective exercise/orthopedic rehab. But, long before that, Cody began her journey in movement as a dancer both instructing and performing locally and internationally. It was through the dance community that Cody discovered Pilates. Pilates gave Cody insight into the way in which thoughtful movement can enhance connections throughout the body and allow movers (that’s everyone!) to build a strong foundation based on sound biomechanical principals. Cody obtained her CrossFit level 1 certificate and has continued to work on bridging the gap between the development of kinesthetic awareness via Pilates and strength and power via CrossFit. Cody’s current work focuses on how adaptive athletes can benefit from a regular Pilates practice and is working on contributing to the body of research in how Pilates and CrossFit can benefit the adaptive community. Cody is part of a growing network of Pilates professionals who are focused on redefining adaptive training and providing resources and access to movement for adaptive athletes everywhere! Cody holds certifications in Pilates from the Midwest Pilates Institute and the PMA, has her CrossFit L1, and is a certified functional trainer for adaptive athletes through MobilityWod. Follow Cody on Instagram @sc.bodymechanics

Raina Sacksteder

Ballet
Raina began dancing at the age of 5 in the small town of Grass Valley, CA and immediately fell in love with ballet. From middle school through high school, she trained at several different studios including Sierra Dance Institute, Nevada City Ballet Academy, Holt Ballet Conservatory, and Capitol Ballet, where she was a member of their pre-professional company, and attended summer intensive programs with American Ballet Theatre and Cincinnati Ballet. She attended Reed College where she studied biology and continued to dance and choreograph with the incredible faculty in the Reed dance department. She now dances at Motion Pacific, IAD, and the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center. Raina is passionate about sharing her love for the ballet with her students, and creating a class space that is free from the toxic culture that ballet is often known for.
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