Alyssa Gates has been dancing since the age of 2 1/2, when Dance FX was called Rhodes Dance Studio. She started competing at the age of 12 and has trained in many styles including tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, and pom. Alyssa enjoys sharing her passion of dance with all of her students. Aside from Dance FX, she also teaches cheer and dance for Fit Kids America. Alyssa is also a first year member of the Pad Squad, the brand ambassadors for the San Diego Padres. She just recently graduated from Palomar Community College with an Associate’s in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Above all, Alyssa believes in creating a fun and exciting experience for her students and helping them reach their full potential as dancers.
Blair Stuka started training in the style of Hip Hop since the age of 5. In high school she was on RBV’s varsity dance team, “Maroon Magic” and was inspired to excel in other styles of dance besides hip hop. She then trained and competed in ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, lyrical, jazz, and tap. Since then, she has been training extensively at Edge PAC, Movement Lifestyle and Culture Shock San Diego soaking up all the knowledge she can find. She is currently on and choreographing for O2H, a competitive dance team based in Oceanside. Blair teaches her dancers to be themselves and to move in their own way. She is especially excited to share her knowledge, love for dance, and unique style with her students!
Brenda Simonson has enjoyed dancing since she was two years old. Taking various classes including Acrobatics, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Tap. Brenda has attended many workshops and Jazz dance world congresses. Brenda’s passion has always been acrobatics and she began teaching it in 1999. Shortly there after she started competition Acrobatics. Brenda believes in being a role model to her students, and building their self confidence. Brenda is outgoing and believes in hard work and practice. Brenda loves to tell stories when she choreography and loves to use props. She believes in the mottos “Never say you can’t always try” and “Things happen for a reason”. Brenda has learned a lot from dance, she has learned discipline, respect, stage presence, patience, and building lifelong friendships that she hopes to pass that onto her students. When Brenda is not teaching she has her own DJ business “Dancin DJ B “, she works at a surgery center, she is married and has two dogs (Penny and Diggity). She loves TV, movies, giraffe’s, musicals and she loves to just hang out with family.
Candice Kaal Jack started dancing at 4 yrs old with Pat Sterling Dance Academy in Rhodesia, Zimbabwe, Africa and completed her Royal Academy of Dance Exams to the advanced level. She continued studying Checchetti with the Dawn Saunders Academy. She joined the Zimbabwe National Ballet in 1983 and soon after came to the United States on scholarship with the Joffrey Ballet School, NY. She continued training in Australia with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she received her B.A. in Dance. After performing with Western Australian Ballet, she moved to Hawaii in 1990 and danced with the Ballet Hawaii Company as principal dancer for 5 years. In Hawaii, she had the wonderful opportunity to become involved with the very Special Arts Organization, founded by Jacqueline Kennedy, where she taught dance to disabled children. In 1994, she moved to California and joined the San Diego Ballet and then the California Ballet Company. In 1996, she moved to New York and was offered a position from the director Carolyn Clark of the New Jersey Ballet and shortly thereafter a contract with American Ballet Theatre. Whilst dancing with New Jersey Ballet she was invited to perform the Snow Scene from the Nutcracker, for the Today Show at NBC. Moving back to San Diego to be with her family, she began teaching and performing in the So. California area with the California Ballet, North County Dance Arts, Oceanside Dance Academy, Dance Unlimited, Coast Ballet Theatre, Performing Arts Workshop and Dance FX. She has produced and directed full length ballets, Coppelia and Cinderella, and has studied with such notables as Margot Fonteyn, Finis Young, Bobby Barnett, Alaine Haubert, Eleanor D’Antuono, Michael Vernon and Lucette Aldous.
Darnay Luckie born and raised in Carlsbad, California, is a dancer and choreographer that has traveled the world dancing with artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, Miguel and Chaka Kahn. He considers himself very fortunate to have had all these life changing experiences and incorporates them into his classes. He is currently teaching hip hop and breakdancing at local studios which primarily are populated with our youth. He also is the choreographer for multiple dance teams. As a choreographer, Darnay has maintained his individuality throughout his career and is not considered a conformists by any means. In fact, he is far from it. Darnay can always be counted on to create something with artistic value and a deeper meaning. Darnay is constantly researching new and upcoming styles in the Hip Hop dance world and effortlessly finds ways to incorporate these elements while adding his personal flare to his pieces. He encourages his students to strive for nothing less than their personal best and views himself as a guide on their personal dance journey. In his spare time, Darnay is an avid yoga practitioner, single speed cyclists, rock climber and lives a vegan friendly lifestyle. Darnay hopes to continue to travel the world, sharing his love for dance and life itself. He is a firm believer that we as humans are self limiting and continues to encourage his students as well as himself to break through the confines our minds create for us.
Heather Dale Wentworth (BA, CPT) graduated with honors, spring 2004 from UCSD with a BA in Dance (double emphasis: jazz and modern). Heather has trained with some of the most talented artists in the area including John Malashock, Patricia Rincon, Faith Jensen-Ismay, Jean Isaacs, Tony Caligagan, Khamla Somphanh, Judy Sharp, and Molly Faulkner, along with LA-based choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Doug Caldwell, and Keri LaGrande. Heather enjoyed dancing for Heatwave Productions in many large scale industrial productions (SONY, US Navy, Behr Paint- to name a few) under the direction of Tony Caligagan and also working with Joey Doucette Entertainment, Las Vegas, NV. Heather was honored to spend the summer of 2006 teaching and training in Konstanz, Germany at the Czerner Dance Academy under the direction of Peter Czerner. Heather has also performed in San Diego Dance Theatre’s “Trolley Dances” under the direction of Jean Isaacs and famed New York choreographer Monica Bill-Barnes. She has performed with Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, d’shire Dance Core, Erica Beuchner and Dancers, and various performances with Mojalet Dance Collective, including the 2007 Southern California tour of “Rhythm Talk”. She travels to Los Angeles regularly to continue her dance training at the prestigious EDGE Performing Arts Center and became a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2009. In addition to presenting her choreography at professional venues throughout Southern California, Heather recently danced for and toured with The PGK Project, a bi-coastal (NYC and SD) contemporary dance company .
Heather Rhodes formed a love for dance starting in her mothers’ studio at the tender age of 3 years old. Heather has been teaching dance for 22 years. She owned and operated Rhodes Dance Studio from 1992–2005, now known as Dance FX. She also taught for Temecula Dance Company from 2002 –2013. In addition to teaching dance, Heather ran her own preschool program for many years, the Smarty Pants Preschool. Heather teaches, jazz, tap, and combo classes. She is extremely happy to be teaching at Dance FX, where she feels at home teaching along side some of the students she inspired. She has two beautiful children, Brocten, 21 years old, & Miranda, 17 years old. Heather also cared for nine foster children, providing them a loving and stable home.
Kadi Hull has been dancing since she was 7 yrs old and competing since she was 8. She has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, breakdancing, lyrical, contemporary, tumbling, and ballroom. She has won numerous Platinum awards and scholarships at competitions throughout California and has traveled to Las Vegas and New York to compete in National Competitions. Among the awards she received, was a 2nd place title in 2002 at Spotlight Dance Cup Nationals, and 1st place in 2009 at Dance Educators of America regionals. Kadi performed for 3 years at the San Diego’s Celebrate Dance Festival under the direction of Heather Dale Wentworth of Opus Mixtus. She is currently a member of Opus Mixtus and performs at various events. During 2010-2011 Kadi began training in breakdancing at Planet Funk in Houston, TX. She periodically returns to Houston to continue her training at SoReal Studios and PlanteFunk Academy. Kadi performed at the “Freedom over Texas” July 4th celebration as part of a FlashMob with SoReal Studio. Kadi has taught at various studios around the county, in styles of hip hop, contemporary, jazz, combo, and acro. Kadi was the Varsity Hip Hop coach at Mission Hills High School, and for the last four years Kadi has been a presenter of Hip Hop and contemporary dance in Palm Springs, for the Annual CAPHERD Southwest Dance, Movement & Acro-Sports Workshop. Kadi currently teaches Hip Hop and several competition teams at Dance FX, as well as contemporary and jazz at Carlsbad Performing Arts Academy. In the future Kadi would like to open up a non-profit community center that provides a positive atmosphere where kids from can take classes, improve their skills, get introduced into the dance community, and grow and develop as individuals. She enjoys sharing her love and knowledge of dance with children of all ages and looks forward to seeing where dance takes her in the future.
Kristie Cordle-Infante was a Principal Dancer with the California Ballet, and retired in 2010 after 11 years dancing many leading roles with the company. She received the majority of her training from The California Ballet School and trained with many well known local, national and international artists. She supplemented her training by attending summer programs with the Summer Dance Lab in Washington State, North Carolina Dance Theater, the world renown Jacob’s Pillow, and on a full scholarship at the International Russian Ballet Seminar. Kristie has toured extensively in The United States as well as some work abroad in Germany. She has also performed with The San Diego Opera and has appeared on film in the movie “Being John Malkovich.” Mrs. Cordle-Infante has worked among stars such as Camron Diaz, John Malkovich, John Cusack, Rita Moreno, Cyd Charisse, Charles Nelson Reilly, Tessandra Chavez from “So You Think You Can Dance,” Mic Tompson, Polina Semionova, David Makhateli, Nikoloz Makhateli, Patricia Barker, Stanko Milov, Calvin Kitten, Gennadi Saveliev, Bruce Marks, Anne Marie Holmes, Jean Pierre Bonnefoux and famed ballerina Sonia Arova. Ms.Cordle-Infante has been a dance instructor and private coach with various dance schools in the greater San Diego area for the past eighteen years. Throughout those years, she has set numerous ballets on dance schools, was invited to be the Ballet Expert for The Dance Educators of America and she spent five seasons as a judge and master teacher for dance competitions with Dancer’s Inc. She has been the Ballet Program Director for various schools throughout San Diego County and she spent a brief time as the Artistic Co Director of North County Academy of Dance.
LeeAnna Hauser started dancing at the age of 3 at Rhodes Dance Studio. She continued to dance at the now, Dance FX, until she graduated high school. She competed at many competitions and loved to be on stage. She is currently a Junior at Cal State San Marcos and is working very hard to be an Elementary School Teacher. She plans to eventually get her Masters Degree in Administration after she graduates. LeeAnna has been trained in many dance styles including tap, ballet, hip hop, jazz, lyrical and clogging. She plans to continue to teach and spread her love for dance with everyone. LeeAnna is also starting her third year as the coach of the Junior Varsity Dance Team at Mission Hills High School. She also recently just received a teaching job at the Universal Dance Association (UDA) based in Memphis, Tennessee. She will get the opportunity to travel the country this summer and teach at high school dance camps. LeeAnna enjoys pursuing her dreams and sharing her passion of dance with dancers of all ages.
Luke Portillo started dancing in 2005, during high school Airband competitions. In 2006, he started taking dance more seriously, as he trained with Vinh Nguyen and Justin Vaughn at Studio FX. During that same year, Luke had two attempts before he made the Super Galactic Beat Manipulators (SGBM), which was under the direction of Kevin Brewer (Jabbawockeez). There were various directors Luke has trained under. These directors include: KJ Gonzales (3LW/Cheetah Girls), Ben Chung/Kevin Brewer (Jabbawockeez), Lando Wilkins/Vinh Nguyen (ML). People that inspire Luke include: Shaun Evaristo, Lyle Beniga, Jaffar Smith, Marty Kudelka, KJ Gonzales, Vinh Nguyen, and God. Luke has recently completed the BFA Dance Program at UC Riverside.
Marcus Holt, has been dancing since age 11. He trained at local dance studios, and then later enrolled in the dance program at Palomar College. He has danced for various professional dance companies, such as unity dance ensemble, intellect, and kruciaal element. This is his second year on the Dance FX staff and he is looking forward to many more.
Michael Reid started dancing at 15, where he participated in the All-Male hip hop dance team at San Marcos High. He received a scholarship to New West Ballet and began training in Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, and Tap. Shortly after, he received a scholarship to Georgia’s School of Dance, training under the direction of Anthony Russell, Sue Gilson, and Theo Ivey. Michael has danced with Unity Dance Ensemble, founded by Tessandra Chavez and Axxiom Dance Collective, under the direction of Joei Waldron, and with Opus Mixtus, under the direction of Heather Dale Wentworth. In 2009 Michael was awarded the “Shining Star” award and was recognized as the 2010 “Choreographer of the Year” at Palomar College. For the last 4 years, Michael has been a positive influence and role model at the San Marcos Boys & Girls Club. In 2013, the ASES People’s Choice Awards recognized Michael for his work with the San Marcos Middle School Dance Team. Michael aspires to further his knowledge in all aspects of dance and to share his passion with any willing audience. He currently teaches at Dance FX and choreographs for various dance teams.
Nguyen Bui is a Dancer, Choreographer, and teacher currently residing in San Diego, CA. Nguyen began his dancing career in high school with Mira Mesa High School’s Dance/Drill team. His experience dancing and choreographing for this team has been the basis of his versatile career. His choreography has received numerous awards and accolades on the regional and national level. In spring of 2014 Nguyen graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Science in Recreation Management. Nguyen has been teaching in the San Diego area as well as various Southern California high schools since early 2010.
Robin Worley graduated in December 2012 from the University of Houston, Summa Cum Laude, with a BA in Dance, and a minor in History. While in Houston, she was a part of UH pre-professional modern company, “Ensemble”. Robin was the recipient of the 2012 Joanna Friesen Dance scholarship for her commitment and dedication to the UH dance program. Through the University of Houston, Robin had the opportunity to train in different styles of modern dance as well as opportunities to perform through the school’s dance program on and off campus. The University of Houston’s dance program is focused on choreography, and Robin enjoyed participating in the choreography series as a dancer and in presenting her piece, “Exist”, in the 2012 Emerging Choreographer’s Showcase. In addition to her dance training, Robin has completed many academic courses as part of her education and as part of the UH dance curriculum, including pedagogy and kinesiology. Her career in dance started at age three, with Lynne Broyles through the City of Escondido’s recreation department. She started taking classes in tap, jazz, hip-hop, and ballet at Rhodes Dance Studio, now known as Dance FX. She competed for several years with the studio’s dance teams in all styles of dance, and with the Escondido High School Dance Team, where she was co-captain of the high-school dance team for two years. She received top honors for her contribution to Escondido High’s dance program. Robin went on and continued her training in dance at San Francisco State University and at Palomar College where she received an AA degree in Fine Arts & Humanities. Robin has had the opportunity to perform in a variety of projects under the direction of Peter G. Kalivas, Stephan Koplowitz, Heather Dale Wentworth, Viviana Alcazar, Folawale Oyinlola, Teresa Chapman, Becky Valls, Catalina Molnari, and Molly Faulkner. Robin enjoys teaching and sharing her knowledge of dance with students of all ages. She also enjoys choreographing for the artistic expression as well as for competition. Robin enjoys teaching at Dance FX.