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MARIE WELCH

Curriculum Coordinator, Dance Training Advisor, Intensive Program & Teacher

Marie has been dancing since she was three years old and joined CDC’s competitive team at age ten. She has won many awards, including Miss Teen Dance, California Arts Scholarship, numerous Top 10 Overall Awards, and CDC’s Senior Dancer Award. She has also performed for numerous local teams including Team Rave, Shasta College’s production of The Nutcracker and Chico’s Just Keep Dance Alive. She has taught dance classes and choreography at various dance studios in Southern California, including for Terry Schulke at Just Plain Dancin’.

Her love for dance and performing has been one of the most satisfying pursuits of her life. Marie continues to teach and perform at every opportunity and is happy to be back at CDC!

CINDEE SPURGEON

Director of Operations

Cindee has 25 plus years of excelling in managerial careers. She has been a part of California Dance Company since 2000 and became a member of the leadership team in 2010. She currently serves as our Director of Operations and Assistant Director of the Intensive Program where she is responsible for student enrollment, studio emails, family accounts, recitals and costumes, event coordination, program development, and much more! Most of all, she enjoys the warmth and camaraderie of the families and staff at CDC and watching our students grow throughout the years.

Over 25 years of bringing the love of dance to all ages by sharing its beauty, power, and vision in fresh and unique way! We strive to make all of our dancers feel welcome and at home in our studios, whether they are competitive or recreational dancers. Our staff is invested in each dancer’s success, on and off the dance floor! We don’t just teach dance; we teach valuable life lessons too!

Whether you are looking for an hour a week to have some fun and release some energy, or you are looking to train and improve your dance skills and technique, we have something to offer you! We pride ourselves on our varied schedule, with classes geared toward all levels and ages. We continue to look for opportunities to improve our studio, strengthen our dancers, and grow our staff!

SONYA KENNEDY

CEO

Sonya was born in Montreal, Canada, and started her dance training in Toronto. She has been in many competitions throughout Canada and the United States as a gymnast, figure skater, and dancer. Among her achievements, she was crowned California’s 1999 Entertainer of the Year in Fresno.

At age 18 Sonya moved to Northern California. She opened her one room studio in 1996 with just a handful of students; now, over 20 years later, CDC is thriving with hundreds of students at 2 locations. Sonya takes beginning dancers and teaches them the determination, discipline, team building, poise, and self-confidence that one needs to become a professional dancer. Some of her students have become dancers for sports teams such as the Sacramento Kings, LA Lakers, Arizona Cardinals, and the San Fransisco 49ers. She has five dancers signed to top talent agencies in Hollywood. She has taken dancers to the World Dance Championships in Germany four times to represent the U.S.A, and in 2011 her dancer received the Gold medal in the Junior Solo division. This marked the first time the U.S. had ever had a World Champion in that division.

Sonya has been the recipient of numerous scholarship, performance, and choreography awards at countless different events! At the 2015 Spotlight Competition in Sacramento, CDC won the Distinguished Studio Award for impeccable technique, outstanding performance, and the diversity her dancers display in all genres of dance. In 2017, she received Choreographer of the Year from Energy National Dance Competition.

Sonya is proud of the relationships she establishes with her students. They eventually grow up and leave to begin new chapters in their lives, but they still feel as if CDC is their second home and love to check in often. It is because of these lasting relationships that Sonya believes she and the CDC staff are not just teaching dance, but creating experiences and gifting life lessons that help shape their dancers into responsible, well-adjusted, life-loving adults. Sonya considers herself not just a dance teacher, but also a coach, counselor, and mentor. There is nothing more satisfying to her than watching her students open their wings and fly away to experience new adventures and to conquer new challenges. Sonya feels California Dance Company prepares them for both, with an open mind and much enthusiasm!

JAMIE CLELAND

WOW Coordinator, Hip Hop Director, Intensive Program & Teacher

Jamie Cleland has been involved in all genres of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and lyrical for the past 11 years and has been competing for 10. She started her dance career at J & J Performing Arts in Susanville and six years later moved to California Dance Company in Anderson. Shortly after, she began teaching dance, all while continuing to compete herself. She became captain of her high school dance team and held that position for 3 years, as well as a teacher at California Dance Company for 2 years! Her favorite genre of dance is hip hop. She loves the fact that she can find her own groove and just be herself. She plans to continue to thrive through her passion ford ance and someday own her own studio in Idaho.

CALISTA MORRISON

Teacher

BIO COMING SOON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JENNIFER DEACON

Aerial Silks Director

Jennifer began ballet at the age of two, and quickly added tumbling and cheer. In high school, she choreographed cheer and drama dance routines. She later found yoga, and has taken numerous workshops and classes in many different schools of yoga. Through yoga, Jennifer discovered aerial silks and circus arts. She currently climbs silks and takes workshops and private lessons with many different teachers including Cirque de Soleil artists, US aerial champions, Chinese handbalancing coaches, and as many aerialists as she can find!

Jennifer has performed aerial and contortion with the Redding City Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Redding Fire Festival, Celtic festivals, private parties events, roller derbies, Humboldt Juggling Festival, and Taste of Willow Creek. She has taught yoga for 14 years, as well as dance, tumbling, adult aerial silks, and contortion workshops. Jennifer is very excited to share her skills with California Dance Company!

AMANDA MCCARLEY

Ballet Director, Apprentice Program Director, Intensive Program & Teacher

Amanda stared dancing at the age of six and trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical. Eight years later she joined the California Dance Company Intensive Team where she found her love for new styles such as Musical Theatre, Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, Contemporary, and Aerial Silks. During her competitive years Amanda received multiple top 10 awards and CDC’s Triple Threat Award. She joined the Apprentice Program in her senior year of high school and shortly after began her teaching career, now beginning her her seventh season.In 2017 Amanda started choreographing for the Intensive Team where her students have won several First Overall, Top Ten, and Judges Awards.

Although she loves all genres of dance, Amanda has a heart for ballet. One of her favorite experiences as a Ballet teacher was working with the Moscow Ballet and assistant teaching for the Nutcracker. She has completed the Ballet Method’s Teaching Certification Program and continues to immerse in other online training programs. Her goal as the CDC Ballet Director is to share her love for the art form and make Ballet a positive experience, as well as pushing her students to succeed. Amanda cares for her students as if they are her own and has great joy in watching them grow into amazing human beings. She strives to make CDC a loving, open minded, accepting place where dancers can build character and learn to express themselves. Amanda loves her CDC family and hopes to make the studio a second home for her students just like it is for her!

RAELYN STIRTON

Intensive Program & Teacher

RaeLyn was born in Redding and grew up in the small town of Cottonwood. She started dancing at age 2, and competing at age 4. She had the privilege of auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance Juniors when she was 11 years old, and got to explore Chicago with dance instructor Sonya Kennedy. She will continue pursue higher education and her desire to teach children. RaeLyn loves teaching kids because there is something special about children minds’. They are go-getters, and willing to try anything as long as you fuel them with confidence. She allows them to express themselves in any way possible, and that creates true art.

TERASA SMOLENSKI

Member Experience Support Team

Terasa is another Redding native and has worked in community development for the City of Redding, Shasta County, and Turtle Bay. Her background in customer service and entrepreneurship helps her provide excellent service to our members' families. As a mom of three athletes, including one aerial silks student, she understands the demanding life of a dance family.

 

 

 

BRANDON MOLINA

Teacher

Brandon was born in Redding, California. His dance journey started recently, when he decided to join the Aerial Silks 1 class at the age of 15. It only took him one year to advance into the Advanced Aerial Silks class. Now at the age of 18, Brandon only just started taking a Contemporary dance class as well. Though he hasn’t been around for long, and has little experience in the dance world, he is confident in his skills. He knows exactly how he is going to teach all types of Aerial Silk students. He will teach his students that the only way to develop Aerial skills, flexibility, and strength comes from hard work and dedication.

OUR AWARD-WINNING STAFF

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NEVAEH SIDES

Intensive Program & Teacher

BIO COMING SOON

DAIA TOMPKINS

Intensive Program & Teacher

BIO COMING SOON

 

 

 

 

LOTUS NORRIS

Teacher

Lotus grew up in Redding, California and in addition to working at California Dance Company, she works at an elementary school with special needs children as a paraprofessional. She has been dancing since the age of 3, competing since the age of 11, and apprenticing since the age of 15. She loves teaching and creating a safe environment for kids to express their creativity and love for dance and acro. Not only is teaching a rewarding profession for her, but also a way for her to learn and grow along with her students. She is extremely excited to be the teacher of the new Acro program and to watch her students grow at California Dance Company.

 

ARIANNA ZANK

Gymnastics Director, Member Experience Support Team & Teacher

Born in Wisconsin, Arianna began her dance training at the age of three gaining experience in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and modern. After 15 years of ballet & 11 years of jazz she began teaching those styles. Along with dancing, Arianna also grew up very involved in theater, competitive figure skating, step team, and competitive choral groups.

Arianna moved to Redding in 2017 and began working with CDC in 2020. Since being with the studio she has taken over as gymnastics program director, as well as kept her love of dance alive through teaching ballet and jazz. As of April 2022 Arianna is a certified Rhythm Works Dance Instructor. The certification is awarded after completing an 18-hour training program that combines music, rhythm, and movement into a fun and effective therapy modality based on hip hop dance as a pathway to integrate kids with special needs and individual learning experiences into inclusive dance classes.

Arianna has loved getting to share her love of the arts with the students at CDC, and hopes that she may inspire them to share their love of the arts with everyone around them.

AMBER TOMPKINS

Enrollment Coordinator & Member Experience Support Team

Amber has a passion for dancing and all things performing arts! She has been a dancer, dance teacher/coach, and dance mom - all roles that she has loved! If there’s a good beat, you'll find Amber dancing, whether it be in the car, in the kitchen, or while sweeping the studio. She is excited to be working with such an amazing studio full of wonderful and talented dancers and teachers!

LORI CAHILL


Social Media & Marketing
Lori has worked in marketing and public relations for several technology companies for more than 30 years. Since moving to the North State 20 years ago, she has enjoyed developing marketing & social media campaigns for several organizations, including Shasta High's Music program and Redding School of the Arts. She became familiar with California Dance Co when her daughter began taking dance lessons there and believes in the comprehensive curriculum they offer. She has an admiration and respect for Sonya's work ethic and customer-driven mindset and loves being part of the team.

Cindee