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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 20 plus years of excelling in managerial careers. She started at California Dance Company in 2010 in an official capacity and currently serves as our Director of Operations and Assistant Director of the Intensive Program. She manages student enrollment, studio emails, family accounts, recitals and costumes, program development, and much more! 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.

BADEGECH DITTNER

Teacher

Badegech was born Ethiopia, Africa and was adopted at one year old. She first started dancing in Redding at a young age, then once she moved to Red Bluff she danced at a small studio called Skywards. After a few years at Skywards, her sister wanted to start dancing at a better studio so she had to join at a studio in Anderson called California Dance Company. Little did she know that studio would soon become her home away from home.

After one year of dancing at CDC recreationally, she auditioned for the competition team and was accepted. Ever since competing with California Dance Company she has accomplished so much and has created lifelong bonds with faculty and peers. She picked up an agent with a well-respected Talent Agency called MSA. With her agents assistance, she has traveled to Los Angeles to audition and take master classes with Millennium. She was casted in a commercial and the TV show “This Is Us” to dance background. She has her amazing mentors, Sonya and Genevieve to thank for her success.

After high school she plans to attend a college which offers a cheer/dance program to further her dance career. She loves teaching and mentoring kids to help them grow into the best dancer then can be. She couldn’t be more excited to become part of the CDC staff and foster excellence in the studio!

JENNIFER DEACON

Silk 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 Soliel 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 McCarley was born and raised in Redding and started dancing ballet, tap, and jazz at the age of 6. She joined the CDC Intensive Team in 2013 and discovered her love for any other styles of dance such as Lyrical, Contemporary, Aerial Silks, and Hip Hop. Dance has been Amanda's passion all her life. She will now be starting her journey as a teacher and can't wait to share her knowledge and love of dance with her students!

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.

LACEE KING

Teacher

Born in Vallejo but raised in Redding, Lacee started tumbling at the age of six and fell in love with gymnastics the first day. She began cheer at the age of nine and continues to fall in love with the sport! Not only does she cheer and tumble, she has also competed on her high school stunt team and enjoys that as well. Lacee loves watching kids, teens, and adults fulfill their dreams and seeing their excitement when they learn new skills.

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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DYLAN CORONTZOS

Intensive Program & Teacher

Dylan started dance at three years old then switched to competitive gymnastics. When she was 11 she discovered CDC and has been dancing here ever since. She started apprenticing in seventh grade and is now teaching dance and gymnastics. She loves watching kids become passionate and realize their amazing abilities

BETHANY SCHEER

Teacher

Bethany believes in empowering dreams with purpose and wholeness. She delights in choreography, dancing, editing, writing, content creation, illustrating, and being a MOM. She’s worked with awesome studios, choreographers, and many lovely artists in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest. Edge Scholarship 2001, VH1 Divas Live, Patti Labelle, Britney Spears, Walt Disney World, Smashbox, Dance Mob Nation, Sheryl Kendall, Helene Phillips, Kitty McNamee, Mandy Moore, Bill Prudich, Tovaris Wilson, Brian Friedman, Blake McGrath, Tabitha & Napoleon, Word in Motion, Eastern Sky Theatre company, Transformation Artists LA, Atkins Studios, Star Dance Center, Innovation Dance Center and more. She encourages freedom, through natural human emotions, into movement, musicality, and artistry. Teaching ballet, jazz funk, contemporary, tap, actor physicalization work, dancing improv, and a complete dance freedom from the inside out.  

ABI ZIRKLE

Teacher

Abi was born and raised in Red Bluff, and before becoming a dancer she was a cheerleader from the age of six.  She started dancing when she was 11 years old in a lyrical class and quickly enrolled in other styles like jazz, ballet, and hip hop. Abi later joined the competitive team at 13 and has been dancing at CDC ever since! She started the apprentice program when she was in 7th grade and fell in love with watching young dancers grow their passion for dance.

ARIANNA ZANK

Member Experience Support Team & Teacher

Arianna started dancing at the age of three all the way in Tomah, Wisconsin! Along with being a dance student, she also taught classes for her childhood studio, as well as served as dance team captain for her local high school & co-choreographer for her local theater company. After graduation Arianna took her love of dance & children with her when she moved to California to pursue a lasting career. Since joining California Dance Company last year Arianna was introduced to a new found love of gymnastics! She spent a whole year apprenticing for both dance & gymnastics and now serves as a teacher in our studio for both areas. Being a self proclaimed "child at heart" Arianna LOVES teaching children to be great athletes as well as great people!

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!

ANNA TERLETTER

Member Experience Support Team

Anna was born in Redding, CA. She started dance at eight years old ,exploring many different genres of dance. She also had the amazing opportunity to open a show for Kidz Bop. Anna is now pursuing her education is Psychology and is excited to begin her journey as an office assistant at California Dance Company.

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