Michele has been teaching dance for 20 years. A former Los Angeles Laker girl and 49er Cheerleader, Michele has travelled extensively performing and choreographing for crowds locally and internationally. Since graduating from Cal State Long Beach where she took classes from their prestigious dance department, she has been teaching and training teams to top placement and overall titles. She currently resides in Fountain Valley with her husband Brandon and their two children, Ryan and Micah. Michele feels blessed to be living out her dream of owning a Dance Studio where people come first, and success is the byproduct.
Marissa began her training and youth teaching at Whitman Dance Studio in Lake Isabella, CA. She has trained with multiple dance conventions, including Hollywood Connection, Monsters of Hip Hop, and has received several scholarships from The Pulse on Tour. Since moving to Orange County, Marissa attended Huntington Beach High School Academy for the Performing Arts, and was accepted into Commercial Dance Ensemble her senior year. Marissa has spent the last four years training and headlining with Soul Fresh Fam under the direction of Ricky Cole, and has worked with the up-and-coming company Guests of Honor. She currently performs at the Disneyland Resort with the Walt Disney Company. Marissa’s credits include BET, the Ghostbusters World Premiere, and Bunch o Balloons.
Rachel MacDonald began her dance career at the age of 3 at Southland Ballet Academy in Huntington Beach, CA. There she trained in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and character. In her time in APA she received awards such as the Tower Award for Dance, Most Valuable Dancer - Dance Team, and Most Inspirational Choreographer. Since then she received a Performing Arts scholarship and attended Adelphi University in Garden City, New York as a Dance Major. There she joined the AU Evolution hip hop team where she performed for university events, choreographed, and competed in New York City. Now she continues her dance career teaching in Southern California and studies as a full-time student at Orange Coast College where she is pursuing her Certification in Pilates.
Keira Whitaker is a dedicated teacher, performer, and choreographer, who has been dancing for the past 21 years. She graduated from the University of California Irvine with a BFA in Dance performance and a minor in English. She has performed the roles of Clara and the Rose Queen in the “The Nutcracker,” along with lead roles in ballets such as “Don Quixote” and “Sleeping Beauty.” She has also danced and choreographed for the Regional Dance Festival of America, where she studied under world renowned dance teachers and choreographers. She has spent two summers at the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, and one summer at the Hubbard Street Summer Intensive. She spent three years as a member of Donald McKayle’s Etude Ensemble, and continues to perform and teach as a freelance professional. Keira also works as a dance journalist, and writes for several established companies. She is the recipient of the UCI Magnificent Perpetual Scholar Award, the Cloud Hseuh Scholarship, and the STEAM Scholarship.
Paige began her dance career at the age of 5 in Fresno, California. She has trained extensively in jazz, lyrical, ballet, and hip hop. She has competed her whole life winning prestigious awards including the World Dance Championship, national title of Ms. Starpower, numerous scholarships, and many overall titles. Paige has also worked with well known choreographers such as Mark Meismer and Victor Smalley. Since graduating, she is now furthering her education at Cal State Fullerton majoring in kinesiology.
Kaytlin Greenlaw has been dancing over a decade. She has trained in Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre & Ballet. Katy has competed most of her life, receiving scholarships and landing in overall placement for her solo work. She was an original member of the first ever DSOC team, and her work ethic and drive are second only to her passion for dance. We are so lucky to have her join our staff this year!
Rebecca Hamrock, a California native, trained with Salwa Rizkalla, Alla Artyushkin, Julia Ellis and Houston Ballet. After achieving silver medalist standing in the Dorothy Chandler Spotlight Awards, David Wilcox asked Rebecca to join L.A. Classical Ballet as a company member. In 1995 Rebecca was honored to join Kirk Peterson’s Hartford Ballet where she danced numerous soloist roles like Myrtha, and Lilac Fairy to name a few. Miss Hamrock has guest performed with many smaller companies around the world as well as doing some TV work like the Jay Leno Tonight Show. During this time, she also started refining her teaching and coaching skills. She taught in Long Beach Ballet Arts Center’s and Southland Ballet Academy's star studded summer programs and ballet mistressed their award winning junior companies. In 2003 and 2004 Rebecca staged La Bayadere and Cinderella for China’s Guangzhou Ballet. She has also set and assisted for several of Robert Sund's Ballets. Since retiring, she has worked at a variety of schools and companies including Concordia University where she developed their first ballet program. She has coached NY YAGP winners and even set 2nd Act Swan Lake for the 2008 China Olympic Tour. She has also set and assisted for company such as New York City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet West Utah, and National Choreographers Initiative among others. After developing a ten year relationship with Garrett Smith Rebecca is thrilled to continue seeing his vision set on the best ballet dancers in the world.
Jaci Thomas started as a competition dancer with training in hip hop, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and ballet. She graduated from Huntington Beach Academy of the Performing Arts with the title, Dancer of the Year, in 2017. She has trained with the hip hop company Soul Fresh under direction of Ricky Cole. Jaci is now excited to bring her passion and energy to The Dance Studio of Orange County!