Faculty

— With our diverse professional dance experience, our amazing PADC teachers and staff reach a new depth for our San Diego community and the opportunities it can bring to creating future dancers and performing artists.

  Marie Arts  -    Owner,   Artistic Director, Production Director   Born with the last name “arts” and passionate about dance for as long as she can remember, Marie Arts brings with her an extensive background in choreography and dance education. Marie has taught ballet, variations, modern, jazz, musical theater, acting, choreography composition and improvisation, for decades throughout the United States, for professionals and students, as well as having awarding winning national choreographer status. ...   click to read more

Marie Arts  -  Owner, Artistic Director, Production Director

Born with the last name “arts” and passionate about dance for as long as she can remember, Marie Arts brings with her an extensive background in choreography and dance education. Marie has taught ballet, variations, modern, jazz, musical theater, acting, choreography composition and improvisation, for decades throughout the United States, for professionals and students, as well as having awarding winning national choreographer status. ... click to read more

  Ben Adams  -  Owner, CEO   Mr Adams joined the Air Force at the age of 17 and pursued a non-traditional, multi-disciplined military career that became the foundation for his later work. He attended DLI (Arabic), served in Operational, Imagery and Systems Intelligence and specialized in unconventional, space and red team activities through a number of unique positions, deployments and missions around the world. ...   click to read more

Ben Adams  -  Owner, CEO

Mr Adams joined the Air Force at the age of 17 and pursued a non-traditional, multi-disciplined military career that became the foundation for his later work. He attended DLI (Arabic), served in Operational, Imagery and Systems Intelligence and specialized in unconventional, space and red team activities through a number of unique positions, deployments and missions around the world. ... click to read more

  Amanda Daly  -  School Director for Ballet Academy, Studio Ballet, Children’s Program & Adult Ballet, Teacher   Amanda Daly is the Program Director for Arts Dance Center, as well as a teacher and choreographer for the program. Ms. Daly received her training at the California Ballet School in San Diego, and attended summer programs with San Diego Dance Theater and LINES Ballet of San Francisco. ...   click to read more

Amanda Daly  -  School Director for Ballet Academy, Studio Ballet, Children’s Program & Adult Ballet, Teacher

Amanda Daly is the Program Director for Arts Dance Center, as well as a teacher and choreographer for the program. Ms. Daly received her training at the California Ballet School in San Diego, and attended summer programs with San Diego Dance Theater and LINES Ballet of San Francisco. ... click to read more

 
  Igor Yurlov  -  Ballet Master, Teacher, Choreographer   Igor Yurlov was born in Sochi, Russia, and attended The Bolshoi Ballet Academy Russia for 9 years under the personal guidance Professor Pestov, Peter Antonovich, who is known as a teacher of such famous ballet dancers, as Vyacheslav Gordeev, Aleksander Bogatyrev, Nicholas Tsitskaridze, Yuri Posohov, Alexei Rotmansky, Vladimir Malakhov, and many others. ...   click to read more

Igor Yurlov  -  Ballet Master, Teacher, Choreographer

Igor Yurlov was born in Sochi, Russia, and attended The Bolshoi Ballet Academy Russia for 9 years under the personal guidance Professor Pestov, Peter Antonovich, who is known as a teacher of such famous ballet dancers, as Vyacheslav Gordeev, Aleksander Bogatyrev, Nicholas Tsitskaridze, Yuri Posohov, Alexei Rotmansky, Vladimir Malakhov, and many others. ... click to read more

  Angela Watkin  -  Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Director, Teacher   Angela was born in Johannesburg, South Africa; and started her ballet training at the age of 4 years; thereafter successfully passing all the Royal Academy of Dance Examinations with Distinctions; culminating in the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2. ...   click to read more

Angela Watkin  -  Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Director, Teacher

Angela was born in Johannesburg, South Africa; and started her ballet training at the age of 4 years; thereafter successfully passing all the Royal Academy of Dance Examinations with Distinctions; culminating in the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2. ... click to read more

  Christopher Nolen  -  Competition Director, Teacher, Choreographer   Our new competition director is Christopher Nolen, who brings with him a wealth of knowledge in contemporary forms of dance as well as a strong background in ballet. He is a dance major graduate from the prestigious SUNY Purchase University, Conservatory of Dance in NY as a fellowship student with Alvin Ailey and also trained with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. ...   click to read more

Christopher Nolen  -  Competition Director, Teacher, Choreographer

Our new competition director is Christopher Nolen, who brings with him a wealth of knowledge in contemporary forms of dance as well as a strong background in ballet. He is a dance major graduate from the prestigious SUNY Purchase University, Conservatory of Dance in NY as a fellowship student with Alvin Ailey and also trained with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. ... click to read more

 
  Ryan Beck  -  Ballet Teacher & Choreographer   The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ...   click to read more

Ryan Beck  -  Ballet Teacher & Choreographer

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ... click to read more

  Sydney Arts  -  Production Manager, Costume Mistress & Acting & Children’s Program Teacher   Sydney Arts-Suter has been in the performing arts her whole life. Recently attending Columbia College Chicago majoring in Acting and Dance, Sydney has an extensive performing arts education.  ...   click to read more

Sydney Arts  -  Production Manager, Costume Mistress & Acting & Children’s Program Teacher

Sydney Arts-Suter has been in the performing arts her whole life. Recently attending Columbia College Chicago majoring in Acting and Dance, Sydney has an extensive performing arts education.  ... click to read more

  Brandi Jelks  -  Program Manager for Studio Program and Competition Program in all things Jazz & Funky, Teacher   Brandi Jelks is a native of Louisiana where she began her dance training at Linda Lavender School of Dance at the age of 7. By the time she was 11 she started to compete in competitions such as NYCDA and JUMP where she was awarded a scholarship and was also training in the summers at Joffrey Ballet in New York. In the Spring of 2007 she auditioned and was accepted to Los Angeles County High School for the Arts graduating in 2011. From L.A. Brandi moved to New York and studied at the Alvin Ailey school on full scholarship. Brandi traveled back to Los Angeles, CA to do freelance and commercial work. ...   click to read more

Brandi Jelks  -  Program Manager for Studio Program and Competition Program in all things Jazz & Funky, Teacher

Brandi Jelks is a native of Louisiana where she began her dance training at Linda Lavender School of Dance at the age of 7. By the time she was 11 she started to compete in competitions such as NYCDA and JUMP where she was awarded a scholarship and was also training in the summers at Joffrey Ballet in New York. In the Spring of 2007 she auditioned and was accepted to Los Angeles County High School for the Arts graduating in 2011. From L.A. Brandi moved to New York and studied at the Alvin Ailey school on full scholarship. Brandi traveled back to Los Angeles, CA to do freelance and commercial work. ... click to read more

 
  Megan Nicotera  -  Ballet Teacher   Megan Nicotera was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She began her training at Nevada Ballet Theatre at the age of 4. At 18 she was accepted into the company and began performing with the corps de ballet. In 2012 she moved to San Diego and has danced with San Diego Ballet, City Ballet of San Diego, and is currently with California Ballet. Megan is very happy that she can share her greatest love in life with the youth of San Diego. ...   click to read more

Megan Nicotera  -  Ballet Teacher

Megan Nicotera was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She began her training at Nevada Ballet Theatre at the age of 4. At 18 she was accepted into the company and began performing with the corps de ballet. In 2012 she moved to San Diego and has danced with San Diego Ballet, City Ballet of San Diego, and is currently with California Ballet. Megan is very happy that she can share her greatest love in life with the youth of San Diego. ... click to read more

  Karen Coleman  -  Tap Teacher   Karen Coleman has been teaching tap since 2008 and has enjoyed every minute of it. She spent her earlier years as a dancer/singer/actress and has traveled the country performing professionally. She earned her Equity card in NY and after many years of working on and off stage she returned to San Diego. She learned to tap at San Diego Dance Center under Miss Sharon, and Broadway Dance Center and Steps in NYC. ...   click to read more

Karen Coleman  -  Tap Teacher

Karen Coleman has been teaching tap since 2008 and has enjoyed every minute of it. She spent her earlier years as a dancer/singer/actress and has traveled the country performing professionally. She earned her Equity card in NY and after many years of working on and off stage she returned to San Diego. She learned to tap at San Diego Dance Center under Miss Sharon, and Broadway Dance Center and Steps in NYC. ... click to read more

  Ashely Blanchard  -  Competition Program Assistant, Teacher, Choroegrapher   Ashley Blanchard received her early dance training in jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern and tap with Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Onstage Dance Center. She continued her dance education at Cal State, East Bay and performed with the Dance Ensemble Touring Company with Nina Haft. Since, she has gone on to complete the commercial dance certificate program at International Dance Academy/Hollywood, training and performing with choreographers Matt Steffanina, Justine Menter Achinta McDaniel/ Blue 13 Dance Company and Anthony W. Johnson/Ballet Magique. ...   click to read more

Ashely Blanchard  -  Competition Program Assistant, Teacher, Choroegrapher

Ashley Blanchard received her early dance training in jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern and tap with Debbie Allen Dance Academy and Onstage Dance Center. She continued her dance education at Cal State, East Bay and performed with the Dance Ensemble Touring Company with Nina Haft. Since, she has gone on to complete the commercial dance certificate program at International Dance Academy/Hollywood, training and performing with choreographers Matt Steffanina, Justine Menter Achinta McDaniel/ Blue 13 Dance Company and Anthony W. Johnson/Ballet Magique. ... click to read more

  Niara Eustace  -  Contemporary Teacher   Niara was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium and studied classical ballet at the Conservatory of Brussels before relocating to the U.S to attend Boston University. ...   click to read more

Niara Eustace  -  Contemporary Teacher

Niara was born and raised in Brussels, Belgium and studied classical ballet at the Conservatory of Brussels before relocating to the U.S to attend Boston University. ... click to read more

 
  Ana da Costa  -  Ballet Teacher   Ana da Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and received her ballet training from Centro de Danca Rio under the supervision of Angelica Fiorani. At the age of sixteen she started her professional career by joining The Young Ballet of France, in Paris, touring in Europe and Latin America. Two years later she joined Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro becoming a first soloist. Ms. da Costa joined California Ballet in 2014 as a principal dancer. ...   click to read more

Ana da Costa  -  Ballet Teacher

Ana da Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and received her ballet training from Centro de Danca Rio under the supervision of Angelica Fiorani. At the age of sixteen she started her professional career by joining The Young Ballet of France, in Paris, touring in Europe and Latin America. Two years later she joined Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro becoming a first soloist. Ms. da Costa joined California Ballet in 2014 as a principal dancer. ... click to read more

  Kevin Belisario  -  Hip-Hop Teacher   Dancer and choreographer Kevin Belisario's interest in dance came at the age of seven when he began imitating and memorizing routines performed by Michael Jackson and boyband *NSYNC. This exposure led to his technical training in hip hop, when at his first class, he quickly grabbed the attention of his instructor, Erik Saradpon. ...   click to read more

Kevin Belisario  -  Hip-Hop Teacher

Dancer and choreographer Kevin Belisario's interest in dance came at the age of seven when he began imitating and memorizing routines performed by Michael Jackson and boyband *NSYNC. This exposure led to his technical training in hip hop, when at his first class, he quickly grabbed the attention of his instructor, Erik Saradpon. ... click to read more

  Shelbi Buchholtz  -  Jazz, Lyrical, Acro Teacher   Shelbi has been a previous Chargers Cheerleader and has recently become a Chargers spokesperson.  Shelbi brings with her much experience in the competition, commercial and professional world as a jazz dancer and cheerleader. She is a wonderful teacher for children and teens, and a true joy to be around.  ...   click to read more

Shelbi Buchholtz  -  Jazz, Lyrical, Acro Teacher

Shelbi has been a previous Chargers Cheerleader and has recently become a Chargers spokesperson.  Shelbi brings with her much experience in the competition, commercial and professional world as a jazz dancer and cheerleader. She is a wonderful teacher for children and teens, and a true joy to be around.  ... click to read more

  Christina Biggin  -  RAD Teacher   Christina has trained with various ballet schools in California, Virginia, and Rhode Island. Most notably, she trained under Melinda Cordell who was a former Soloist for American Ballet Theater. In 2003, she moved to London, England and began dancing at the Royal Academy of Dance. She trained under June Mitchell and in 2005 was accepted to the RAD ballet education program. Whilst studying in London, she trained with renowned ballet instructors and performed in annual ballet shows. ...   click to read more

Christina Biggin  -  RAD Teacher

Christina has trained with various ballet schools in California, Virginia, and Rhode Island. Most notably, she trained under Melinda Cordell who was a former Soloist for American Ballet Theater. In 2003, she moved to London, England and began dancing at the Royal Academy of Dance. She trained under June Mitchell and in 2005 was accepted to the RAD ballet education program. Whilst studying in London, she trained with renowned ballet instructors and performed in annual ballet shows. ... click to read more

 
  Diana Nicastro  -  Adult Ballet Teacher   The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ...   click to read more

Diana Nicastro  -  Adult Ballet Teacher

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ... click to read more

  Patricia Freund  -  Voice Teacher   The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ...   click to read more

Patricia Freund  -  Voice Teacher

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ... click to read more

  Maria  -  Voice Teacher   The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ...   click to read more

Maria  -  Voice Teacher

The following is placeholder text known as “lorem ipsum,” which is scrambled Latin used by designers to mimic real copy. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Integer tempus, elit in laoreet posuere, lectus neque blandit dui, et placerat urna diam mattis orci. Maecenas non leo laoreet, condimentum lorem nec, vulputate massa. In sit amet felis malesuada, feugiat purus eget, varius mi. Donec ac fringilla turpis. ... click to read more

 
  Desiree Fernandez  -  Office & Social Media Manager, Competition Liaison   My 10 years training as a dancer and 4 years training as an actor led me to my path as second-year graduate student in the MA Program in Theatre Arts at SDSU. I am an early career dramaturg and performer, interested in dance and movement-based performance. I graduated from Soka University of America, located in Orange County, in liberal arts gathering the tools to create a dance documentary field around institutional and federal funding through the understanding and evolution of dance today as my thesis project. ...   click to read more

Desiree Fernandez  -  Office & Social Media Manager, Competition Liaison

My 10 years training as a dancer and 4 years training as an actor led me to my path as second-year graduate student in the MA Program in Theatre Arts at SDSU. I am an early career dramaturg and performer, interested in dance and movement-based performance. I graduated from Soka University of America, located in Orange County, in liberal arts gathering the tools to create a dance documentary field around institutional and federal funding through the understanding and evolution of dance today as my thesis project. ... click to read more

  Alcides Diaz  -  Facility Manager, Event Coordinator, Front Desk   Alcides Diaz is a Chicago native, who just recently moved to San Diego. Graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelors in Cinema Arts, he has gained experience with production through his work on animated films throughout college. While working many service jobs throughout his life, Alcides has gained an excellent reputation for his customer service skills.  With lots of big team experience Alcides is excited to climb aboard as PADC’s Facility Manager. ...   click to read more

Alcides Diaz  -  Facility Manager, Event Coordinator, Front Desk

Alcides Diaz is a Chicago native, who just recently moved to San Diego. Graduating from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelors in Cinema Arts, he has gained experience with production through his work on animated films throughout college. While working many service jobs throughout his life, Alcides has gained an excellent reputation for his customer service skills.  With lots of big team experience Alcides is excited to climb aboard as PADC’s Facility Manager. ... click to read more

  Kelsey Nepute  -  Front Desk   Originating from Northern VA, Kelsey grew up with a serious theatre bug after watching The Sound of Music for the first time and falling in love with all things Julie Andrews! After attending The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she made her way up to New York City to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, completing her education in Musical Theatre. ...   click to read more

Kelsey Nepute  -  Front Desk

Originating from Northern VA, Kelsey grew up with a serious theatre bug after watching The Sound of Music for the first time and falling in love with all things Julie Andrews! After attending The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she made her way up to New York City to attend The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, completing her education in Musical Theatre. ... click to read more