EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | CREATIVE DIRECTOR
David Kelly's academic career in the fine arts includes graduate degrees from Kent State University, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Cleveland Institute of Art. His fine-art skills have translated into a 25 year career as a television and film art director that includes a long list of distinguished credits for prime time television sitcoms and variety specials for all the major networks. He is best known for his production design of the MTV Movie Awards short film comedy vignettes from 1994 to 2004.
David has also been the art director for many musical tours and concerts, including Diana Ross's world tour and Barbra Streisand's farewell tour and most recently Cher's new show at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas. He is also working on a new show for the San Diego Zoo's outdoor amphitheater set to open this summer. Additional works in progress include 4 live show attractions being developed for a major casino resort currently under construction in Singapore. In addition to being an art director David has produced many live dance/variety shows around the world.
In honor of Miss Judy, and as the owner of San Clemente Dance and Performing Arts Center, David is dedicated to making the school continue to grow and flourish as a world class center for the performing arts.
Gretchen Akers leads SCDPAC studio director efforts. She provides superior leadership in all aspects of managing a small business. Her background includes hiring professional and technical staff, implementing budget reductions, writing business plans, and installing effective management information systems.
Gretchen has been responsible for managing a family owned restaurant, Branch Manager at American Savings Bank, Senior Product Manager at Ingram Micro and President and Owner of Tahiti Sweetie. She has several years of community service in San Clemente. She has served on the Board of Directors for SCLL. She was an officer and board member for the SC Tritons Travel Ball nonprofit program.
She has experience in all aspects of financial forecasting, resource allocation, fund management and budgeting. Gretchen has a proven track record in administrative expense reductions, while improving overall staff morale and client confidence. She has been very active in raising thousands of dollars for charitable causes both locally and nationally. In addition, she has been involved in various startups and joint ventures.
Gretchen grew up in the Bay Area where she came from a family of performers. She moved to Orange County after she got married. She grew up with the love for dance starting with the Filipiniana Dance Troupe. Gretchen has been with SCDPAC since 2007 along with her daughters who are now continuing the family's passion.
DEPARTMENT HEAD: HIP HOP & TAP
Kimberly Baglino was born in California but moved to New York at a young age, where she began dancing at a local dance studio owned by her aunt, Ann Mercedes. From then on, she has continued to live and breathe dance, performing and choreography. Along with her training in tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and ballet at her aunt's studio, she frequently trained in NYC at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway where she began to focus her interest in hip hop, tap and jazz funk. Kimberly eventually moved back to California where she began performing, teaching and choreographing in Orange County and Southern California. She majored in Dance at Saddleback College where she choreographed and performed in numerous productions and was voted "Best Performer" and "Best Choreographer."
Kimberly organizes Saddleback College's National Dance Day workshop every year, where she teaches hip hop alongside many other talented faculty members and choreographers. She has also been a regular guest choreographer for the San Juan Hills High School Choreographers' Ball . She also loves working with flash-mobs, recently teaming up with SCDPAC and Truman Benedict Elementary and also performing in an event for Vans shoes. She currently dances/performs with Loose Cannons (OC choreographers' showcase), Architexture Modern Dance Company & Tap Overload. Kim is the founder, director and choreographer of Urban Blush – a professional hip hop burlesque company that performs all over Orange County.
Kim has been been teaching for over 10 years and loves every minute of it. She aims to continuously grow and evolve in order to inspire, motivate and share her passion with her students.
DEPARTMENT HEAD: TECHNIQUE, LYRICAL, JAZZ AND CONTEMPORARY
Brittany Bently Wells began her formative dance training as a child at Rolann's School of the Dance (one of Dancer Magazine's top 50 competition studios). While studying at that studio, she also continued her classical training at the Southern Ballet Theatre/Orlando City Ballet School and Boca Ballet Theatre.
Brittany attended the prestigious summer program at the Joffery Ballet School in NYC while training with Ballet Mistress Trinette Singleton as well as Pacific Coast Dance Fest in Long Beach, CA and UCLA's summer intensive. Brittany is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, where she was accepted on scholarship. While in college, Brittany trained with original Fosse Dancer Jane Lanier, broadway veteran Jon Engstrom, Marina Benedict, and mentored by Chryssie Whitehead. Film/TV credits include "Glee", "90210", "Vamps", "Platypus: the Musical" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button". She was a dancer for electro pop artist Cheeks and danced with the hip hop group Urban Blush. Regional theatre credits include "Dream Laurey" in Oklahoma, "June" in Gypsy, and "Ruby" in Dames at Sea.
Brittany has received numerous choreography awards for her solo and group routines at regional and national dance competitions; believing that technique comes first and trains all her students to go on to have a professional dance career.
COMPANY MANAGER AND CHOREOGRAPHER
INSTRUCTOR: HIP HOP & MUSICAL THEATER
Anthony Tuason was born in the Philippines but later moved to California at a young age, he then moved to Indiana at the age of 12. He played sports all through his youth years. It wasn't until High School he grew a passion for the Performing Arts. He attended Franklin Central High School in Indiana and was part of an award winning show choir, was a dance captain and also played football. He also participated in several musicals during that time.
Upon graduation Anthony decided to move back to California. He then started taking dance classes in LA and Orange County. Then decided to attend Saddleback College where he became highly involved in the Dance Department. He trained vigorously in hip hop, tap, jazz, ballet and contemporary at Saddleback College and at studios in and around Orange County and LA. Some of his musical credits include "Chino" in West Side Story, "Ching Ho" in Thoroughly Modern Millie, "Audrey II" in Little Shop of Horrors, "Japeth" in Children of Eden, "The Cowardly Lion" in Wizard of Oz . He has also been seen in "Godspell", "Nothing Happens in Bethlehem", "You're a Mean Man Mr. Scrooge", "The Sound of Music". Anthony has also performed and choreographed in several Saddleback Dance shows, winning awards for "Best Choreography" and "Best Performer". He has been chosen to represent Saddleback College and attend The American College Dance Festival. Anthony has also performed at Disneyland and California Adventure. He has performed as a dancer in "Parade of Dreams", A Christmas Fantasy Parade, "Celebrate! A Street Party", "Mickey's Halloween Parade", "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee", and "Mickey's Soundsational Parade", and several other pre-parades and special events. Anthony has directed and choreographed "Beauty and the Beast Jr." and "Seussical Jr" in San Clemente. His teams are nationally ranked and have won awards for best concept and originality.
Anthony also loves teaching contemporary and Broadway jazz. Anthony has also been a guest choreographer at San Juan Hill High School, Saddleback College Theater Arts Department and the Dance Department where he choreographed "Children of Eden" and a Saddleback College original production of "A Christmas Carol". Anthony is also a member of the Architexture Dance Company under the direction of Deidra Cavazzi. Anthony would like to thank all of his friends and family for their continued support.
ABT CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR
Amy Macon has more than 30 years of classical ballet experience as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She is trained and certified to teach all levels of ABT’s National Training Curriculum, Primary Level through Level 7 and Partnering. Amy received professional training at several conservatories, colleges and private dance schools throughout California, Arizona, Boston, MA and Washington D.C. area, including Ballet Pacifica, Anaheim Ballet, California Conservatory of Dance, Southland Ballet Academy, Festival Ballet Theatre, Reston Conservatory Ballet, Harvard University and Dance Arts. She has worked with many renowned ballet masters and choreographers, including ABT dancers and faculty Melissa Allen Bowman, Alaine Haubert and Charles Maple, Larry Rosenberg, Maud Wachter, Richard Bowman, Israel “El” Gabriel and Betty Downs.
Amy also trained extensively in tap, jazz, musical theater and voice performance while working towards a B.F.A. in Dance Performance at U.C. Irvine and a B.A. in English Literature at Santa Clara University. She has performed featured roles in numerous productions of the Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote and other full-length ballets and ensemble pieces throughout California and the Washington D.C. Metro area.
Amy served as Ballet Mistress and Company Director at the Academy of Dance & Movement in the Washington D.C. area and is an award-winning choreographer and costume designer with extensive experience staging classical ballet productions. She comes from a family of clinical musicians and developed a passion for music while studying piano, classical vocal performance and musical theatre. Amy’s teaching, dancing and choreography are continuously inspired by her sense of musicality and her great appreciation for music.
HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR
SOCIAL MEDIA ADMINISTRATOR
Jesicris Diputado Bato (most commonly known as JC) was born in Fountain Valley and later moved to Mission Viejo where he began dancing as a Hip Hop Freestyler competing in solo dance competitions. The free-styling foundation became the basis of his dance philosophy that then carried into his choreography career at the age of twelve.
Performing became his new passion as he began to choreograph with early influences from Wade Robinson to Marty Kudelka. In high school he became well known as a freestyle hip hop dancer and began a club called Urban Legends to further express his passion. As a president and coach for the team he brought the culture of Hip Hop to Tesoro High school performing alongside the award winning cheer and color guard teams. In college he co-founded the Hip Hop dance crew Boomkaz and is currently a director of two growing dance projects in Anaheim.
JC plans to inspire all he can with what he has learned transitioning from freestyle to choreography, and how it has contributed to his success as a dancer, and preserve the philosophy of dancing with the heart.
ALL STYLES & LEVELS
Amber Slaybaugh has over 20 years of ballet experience. Growing up in Mission Viejo, she started dancing at Saddleback Dance Center and performing with the studio company the Golden State Ballet Company. She also trained at Ballet Pacifica's school and had the privilege of performing with the company in their annual Nutcrackers.
Amber has danced in many competitions in the United States where she received various special awards for performance and technique. Amber also attended the Orange County High School of the Arts under the direction of Alaine Haubert, performing various ballet pieces including George Balanchine's Serenade.
Ms. Slaybaugh attended the School of American Ballet in New York City, in that time she had the pleasure of learning even more of the Balanchine technique. She also attended the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet where she had the privilege of learning ballets such as Balanchine's the Stars and Stripes. More recently Amber has danced and performed with a contemporary ballet company called Alive Dance Co. in Orange County where she had the privilege of being choreographed on by one of the Alvin Ailey company members. Ms. Slaybaugh has also danced with Christian dance ministries in Southern Orange County performing at different churches in the area. She currently leads, directs, and choreographs for a Christian dance ministry of about 25 young dancers. The group of Jr. high and high school girls meet together weekly and perform in church services in Southern Orange County.
Amber has been teaching ballet for 9 years now and has had the pleasure of teaching many different levels and age ranges. She has a deep love for ballet and a great passion to teach.
CHILDREN'S COMBO CLASSES
INSTRUCTOR | ALL STYLES & LEVELS
Jen Kreckel happily traded in her snow boots for flips flops and left NYC to settle in SoCal. Performing highlights include: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Broadway credits, National & European tours, industrials and soap operas. Choreography credits include: in house productions for RCCL cruise line, the USO, regional theater productions and high school musicals. For the past three decades, Jen has been teaching dance in private studios and public schools alike, in the US and abroad.
A former Miss Dance of NY and Dance Performance graduate from U of Buffalo, she also enjoys judging dance competitions. Jen owned a Pilates studio in San Diego before coming to OC and holds certifications in Pilates, Yoga, Personal Training and Group Exercise. In Spring of 2014, Miss Jen joined the SCDPAC family and primarily teaches the Childrens' Combo classes. Her approach is energetic and engaging–and her bag of tricks/ class props just may rival Mary Poppins'.
Miss Jen gives young dancers a strong introduction to dance but also weaves into classes important lessons in listening, taking turns and respecting self and others. Now in San Clemente, Jen lives with her husband, Ingmar, and their 5 year old daughter, Abby, who loves dancing at SCDPAC almost as much as her Mommy does!
Danielle Luna Braithwaite began her dance training with some of the industry's top professionals. She joined Youth America Ballet at age 11 and began competing with local competition teams. Danielle received her jazz, lyrical, and modern training from Cheryl Klaft. She earned her classical ballet training with Victor and Tatiana Kasatsky, former principals of the Moscow Classical Ballet in Russia.
After training as a classical and commercial dancer for eight years, Miss Luna began dancing with the SCHS Dance Team, where her team earned four national titles. Danielle had the privilege to train with Kelly Devine, Tim Stevenson, Leann Alduenda, Tyson Garner, & Mike Esperanza. In 2006, Miss Luna was one of seventy-five dancers selected internationally to study with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City where she continued training in ballet, jazz, modern, African, and Horton.
Throughout her training, Miss Luna competed as a soloist at the regional and national level and earned several overall awards and titles. In 2009, Miss Luna was accepted as 1 of only 25 freshmen into the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Dance Department, which ranks in the top 10 in North America and has earned a degree in Communications and Dance. She remains a member of the CSULB National Society of Collegiate Scholars for undergraduate students who academically rank in the top 20%. She has been invited to teach several master classes all throughout Southern California. She is also assistant coach to the national champion, SCHS Dance Team. Her students have been accepted to many renowned college dance departments throughout the U.S.
Miss Luna's classical and commercial training has inspired her to train well-rounded students who involve themselves in several forms of dance, and continues to produce award-winning pieces of choreography. Her students have achieved many overall and special judges awards throughout various regional and national competitions. She also continues to win several choreography awards throughout various dance competitions. Miss Luna continues to produce exceptional dancers and pieces and hopes to continue in her successful career in choreography and dance education.
TECHNIQUE & JAZZ INSTRUCTOR
Lyndsay May grew up in Howell, Michigan where she started dancing at age 12 at a local studio. The next year she began training at Juliana's Academy of Dance in Clawson, Michigan. During junior high and high school she went on to win numerous regional and national convention and competition scholarships, titles, and awards.
Lindsay was homeschooled her 9th and 12th grade year while touring with Radio Disney. She modeled for Tina Caspary's dance wear line Katrina Wear, and has assisted and worked for LA Dance Magic, Star Systems, and Shock.
After Lindsay graduated high school she moved to LA at age 18 to work professionally. She has worked for choreographers such as Nappytabs, Tony G, Frank Gatson, Bobby Newberry, Dennis Caspary, Justin Giles, and Mark Meismer. She has danced for numerous celebrities on tour, stage, awards shows, and tv performances. Some of these celebrities include Beyoncé, Jordan Knight, Enrique Iglesias, Life House, Eminem, Nick Cannon, and Cody Linley.
Currently, Lyndsay is working with two new artist Ani Christy and Ellenie as assistant choreographer and dancer. She is also loving teaching and choreographing for the new generation of dancers to come.
Sara Masters has been coaching tumbling and gymnastics since she was 15 years old, and has been tumbling since she was 6. She started competitive cheerleading at the gym Magic All Stars, now known as Pacific Coast Magic. As her cheer career went on she competed in competitions all over the nation, including Worlds and Nationals. Her last year as a competitive cheerleader in 2014 was at OC all stars on a Level 6 team and placed 7th out of 97 teams from around the world - an extremely rewarding experience.
Sara cherishes her relationships with her students at San Clemente dance studio and hopes to be their mentor in not only tumbling but in life skills as well. She has a passion for all sports that require tumbling and loves to share that with the kids here at San Clemente dance.
Sara Day was raised in San Clemente and began training in ballet at age 9. By age 11 she was selected by Peter Martins to be a featured dancer in New York City Ballet's "Song's Of The Auvergne" at the grand opening of the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Her early training was at Ballet Pacifica with Lila Zali, Molly Lynch, and Paul Maure. Though her main focus of study was in ballet she also studied Tremaine and Giordano jazz styles, and Horton and Graham modern. Sara Day trained with full scholarship at the School of Chicago Ballet where she was taught Balanchine technique and coached for roles in "Serenade" and "Who Cares?" by the great ballerinas Maria Tallchief, Allegra Kent, and Melissa Hayden. The Joffrey Ballet's Artistic Director, Gerald Arpino, invited her personally to be a Joffrey Trainee with full scholarship at age 14 where she enjoyed training with John Magnus and Trinette Singleton. Mrs. Day danced with Joffrey II, Joffrey, and The San Francisco Ballet in a wide variety of classical and contemporary ballets such as "Romeo and Juliet"," La Fille Mal Gardee", "Suite Saint Seans", "Nutcracker", "Light Rain", and "Giselle" as well as appearing as a guest artist for regional Nutcrackers for their Grand Pas De Deux.
Mrs. Day trained on full scholarship with the Ballet Master Jeno Gal of Magyar Tancmûvészeti Fõiskola in the method of teaching Vagonova Technique and became certified in ballet instruction through Dance Masters of America (Chapter One). Mrs. Day has served on the Board of Directors for the Newport Beach Theater Company and choreographed for Opera Pacific. From 2001-2009 Mrs. Day owned and directed American Ballet and Conditioning, a ballet school with a secondary focus of Pilates conditioning. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Dance Discovery Foundation, and founded and was the Artistic Director of South Coast Ballet Theater in addition to teaching ballet to ages 5-adult, beginning through advanced levels at South Coast Conservatory. She has choreographed, produced, and directed her own versions of Cinderella, Le Corsaire, Paquita (full length), Firebird, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Les Sylphides, Giselle, Swan Lake, and Coppelia in addition to choreographing numerous contemporary and collaborative works.
Sara Day is has a vast knowledge of classical variations and ballet history and uses that to coach students for both performance and competitive applications. Students trained by Mrs. Day have been accepted to San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi Academy, Joffrey Trainee, Pittsburgh Ballet, School of American Ballet, Kirov Academy, ABT, Boston Ballet, Washington Ballet, Houston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Orange County High School of the Arts, and Alonzo King's Lines Ballet and received top 12 honors at Youth America Grand Prix as well as advancing to the NYC finals.
Lauren Denney was born in Southern California, and was raised in Orange County until the age of 16 where she moved to Salt Lake City after receiving a full scholarship for Ballet West's Trainee Program in 2012. She danced as a trainee for one year, before she was promoted to Ballet West II. Throughout the performance seasons between 2013-2015 at Ballet West, she performed many roles from; "Giselle", William Christiansen's The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Fredrick Ashton's Cinderella, etc. She has toured to Chicago, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Washington D.C., and Southern Utah to perform with the company. She previously trained in Laguna Hills, California at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy.
Lauren has won many awards for her dancing including winning at Youth America Grand Prix Regional's and qualifying 6 years in a row for the Finals in New York City. In 2012, Lauren received the Grand Prix Award in Seattle, Washington. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Lauren qualified as a semi finalist in the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards. Lauren has been invited to perform in the Miami International Ballet Festival, Anaheim International Dance Festival "Stars of Tomorrow" and The Grand Prix tour with YAGP, where she toured and performed in Tennessee, South Carolina and Miami. She has been invited to dance with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Youth Symphony Orchestra where she performed pieces from The Sleeping Beauty and The Firebird.
Prior to Ballet West Lauren's repertoire include The Nutcracker, Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Midsummer's Night Dream, Coppélia etc. In 2011 Lauren performed George Balanchine's Serenade, with Orange County Ballet Theatre where she was in the pre-professional company.
Stephanie Mehuys began her classical training at the age of 8, attending the Académie de Ballet Classique in Montreal, Canada. At the ages of 14 through 16 she attended the School of American Ballet's summer intensives on full scholarship. She then went on to train with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Hartford Ballet School, also on scholarship. At the end of her first year at Hartford's professional program, she was asked to join the company.
Stephanie has also danced professionally with the Connecticut Ballet and Ballet Ouest de Montréal where she performed soloist and principal roles. Some of these include Princess Aurora, the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, Swanhilda, Giselle, and the principal solo from Lambarena by Val Caniparoli. At this time, she had the privilege to work with Joanna Berman from the San Francisco Ballet. Stephanie was also a guest artist at the Teatro Melico in Costa Rica, where she performed the Corsaire pas de deux and the leading role of the Tourist in Gaité Parisienne. In 2003, she owned and directed Dance Creations which she later merged with l'Ecole de Ballet Ouest de Montréal. During that time she taught classical ballet, pointe, variations and choreographed and coached all ages for Ballet Ouest's competition team. As well, she has been a Lululemon Ambassador and trained the 2013 Quebec Sectional Champions in Ice Dance.
Emory O'Steen was born in Mission Viejo, CA, and began training in dance at the age of 4. She was trained in all styles of dance, and was trained in classical ballet at Laguna Dance theatre (Shery Gilbert) where she intensively studied Balanchine style of dance. Emory also trained with V&T dance (Victor and Tatiana Kasastsy) where she learned the Vagonava style of ballet. She has also undergone intensive additional training with Pacific Northwest Ballet, WA, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, NY, and Washington Ballet School.
Emory's love to teach began at a young age and she aspires to teach ballet for the rest of her life. She loves to watch the younger dancers find there passion for dancing and grow into the dancer they only dreamed of becoming.
CHILDREN'S COMBO CLASSES
INSTRUCTOR | ALL STYLES & LEVELS
Ellen Swerdlow was the director and owner of a Dance Center for many years. She established the studio in the North County area of San Diego in 1989. Ellen began her training as a child at Jerry Singers Dance Studio in La Puente, California. In 1975, Ellen attended U.C.L.A. and was a member of the UCLA Dance Company. She graduated in 1980 with a B.A. Degree in Dance. After graduating, Ellen furthered her dance training and studied with the Bat Sheva Dance Company of Israel and became a member of the Bat Sheva II Dance Company.
Ellen went on to perform in many shows including “Halleluyah Hollywood”, a show produced by Israel Stage Productions in Tel-Aviv. She also performed in the Israeli Opera Production of “Oklahoma”. With the Karmon Dance Company of Israel, Ellen danced at the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas as well as Lincoln Center in New York City. In Germany, Ellen was in the stage production of “Halleluyah Broadway”, a show which played at the Alte Opera House in Frankfurt as well as the Deutche Theatre in Munich.
Ellen has also worked with Cannon Film Studios and danced in the film production of “Sleeping Beauty”, a Golan and Globus Production.
Ellen recently produced and directed a local commercial for the VW Car Dealership in San Juan Capistrano, California.
Ellen has enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and Mexico judging dance competitions and teaching at dance conventions nationwide. She enjoys the opportunity of being able to share the art of dance with all of her students at San Clemente Dance and Performing Arts Center.