Kelli Leighton is the founder and Artistic Director of the Sacramento region’s premier dance company, CORE Contemporary Dance, which launched in 2007. In 2013, she opened Leighton Dance Project, a performing arts center educating more than 400 students; all dance forms ages 2 – adult. She is most proud of her extensive work in the community outreach programming through CORE. Kelli’s unique athletic contemporary style along with a contagious passion and energy for dance has made her one of the most sought after master teachers and choreographers. Her vision for CORE and LDP is to promote a healthy professional environment where dancers of all experiences come together to inspire each other and enrich their surrounding community. Read more about Kelli.
Sara Dickman – Tap
Sara Dickman was born and raised in San Diego where she began dancing as a child. She continued her dance training at the University of California San Diego where she earned a BA in Dance, her teaching credential and Masters in Education. She has taught dance for 13 years at Creative, Performing, Media Arts Magnet Middle School in San Diego where she has built a dance program focusing on tap, jazz, and ballet serving over 475 students each year! Sara is also a member of California Rhythm Project where she has been a company member since 2012 performing throughout San Diego including the San Diego International Fringe Festival, The Vine Theater’s summer series, and other local events. Sara loves to share her passion for dance with others.
Eddie Garcia – Progressions Jazz
Eddie Garcia is an accomplished director, choreographer dancer and multi-faceted entertainer with a solid reputation for choreography built upon decades of performing internationally alongside many of today’s most celebrated stars. At just 16 years old, Eddie’s incredible dancing style and technique delivered him to the world stage via many projects with Janet Jackson. By the time Eddie turned 17, Michael Jackson hand picked Eddie to join him in the video “Smooth Criminal”. Eddie spent the next five years dancing with Jackson on tour. He has since collaborated with well known artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Paula Abdul, Queen Latifah, Jane’s Addition and many others.
Cyndi Herman – Jazz
Cyndi currently teaches at Santa Ana High School and is a freelance choreographer. She has taught high school dance for over 20 years. She received her BA and MA in Dance from California State University Long Beach and holds a Physical Education credential from California State University Fullerton. She was a director of the 2015 Dance and Movement workshop and current serves on the board. She loves teaching and exposing her students to the many aspects of dance. Her specialty is teaching choreography composition. In addition to teaching the SanArts Dance Conservatory, she most recently assisted on the annual Shuler Awards opening and closing dance numbers in Atlanta, Georgia. “Teaching and choreographing for high school students has always been my passion and I am grateful I get to share my love of dance with so many young dancers”.
Guzman Rosados – Improvisation
Guzman Rosados started dancing at the International School of Dance of Carmen Roche Scaena in Madrid on a scholarship sponsored by the Ministerio de Cultura de Madrid. Guzmán danced with Ballet Joven de Carmen Roche until 1999, when he was offered a scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet (SAB). After his time at SAB, Edward Villella invited him to dance with Miami City Ballet. From 2002 to 2007, Guzmán danced with Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporaneo. In 2007, with André Mesquita and Teresa Alves da Silva, Guzmán co-founded a cultural platform in Lisbon, Tok’Art. He has performed extensively as a guest artist throughout Europe. He teaches ballet, yoga, and movement workshops. Guzmán is currently BODYTRAFFIC’s resident filmmaker and has won awards for his film work. Guzman joined BODYTRAFFIC in 2012.
Jennifer Dapper has twenty years of experience working in the fitness and health industry as a elite personal trainer. Along with teaching many different formats of group aerobics she also has ran her own private bootcamp, travels to teach yoga at five star resorts, implements corporate wellness programs, keynote speaking events and has been a master trainer/assistant fitness manager for a Fortune 500 company. Although her passion and commitment has been yoga & personal training for twenty years, she has furthered her education as a certified massage therapist both with private clients and four years in a Chiropractic office. She provides a safe an effective program to challenge, motivate, and aspire her clients to reach their goals. With her guidance and education she will help clients through program progression, proper alignment, injury prevention, sports performance, core training, and weight management for a balanced healthy lifestyle. As a health and accountability coach Jennifer addresses some of the most common health issues such as digestive disorders, low energy levels, and chronic inflammation with an individual holistic approach working with the physical and emotional well being along with food and lifestyle modifications. The success and happiness of her clients comes from recognizing and addressing health concerns, discipline, and commitment.
M-pact & VillN Lor
The Lor Brothers M-pact & VillN were born in Sacramento, California where they both found and fell in love with B-boying and choreography. M-pact & VillN started a bboy crew called Underground Flow, where they’ve competed and judged competitions all over the world. The Lor Brothers competed with their crew KINJAZ on MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” (Season 8) Season of the All-Stars, where they became widely known as The Twinjaz. They have both been dancing for over 15 years teaching, competing, judging, and performing all over the world. You may have recently seen them with the Kinjaz on J-LO’s new dance show, World of Dance on NBC. They have also worked in the dance industry with music artists such as Chris Brown, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Mel B., Meghan Trainor, Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas, Tae Yang and G-Dragon.
Richard Mazza is a performer and creator from a golf course in Northern California. His work flirts with narcissism. He started tap dancing in a woman’s converted garage/dance studio when I was 4. His process can be identified simply as attempting to create a connection between myself and another person. He began technical dance training at age 18. He creates for people who are interested in feelings, empathy, the pursuit of messy knowledge, and all things related to failure when he creates. Messy knowledge is his personal hydra, it describes the cycle of obtaining and answer and having three more questions sprout up in its place. He moved to New York to pursue a dance degree from Marymount Manhattan and graduated in December of 2016. Since then he has been daydreaming and creating absurd little worlds and narratives that mirror his own massively absurd life, seeking to find a harmonious unbalance between his performed selves and his imagination.
Marqos Maldonado grew up in Sacramento, CA. He moved to LA to pursue his dream to become a professional dancer and choreographer. After a few short months Marqos became an official Instructor at Millennium Dance Complex and IDA Hollywood teaching all ages and all levels of Hip Hop. Along with teaching he was also auditioning and through consistent training and hard work he booked many different jobs from tours, music videos, live performances, award shows, and commercials. Marqos has provided hip hop training to soccer star David Beckham and his kids: Cruz & Romeo, as well as Crystal Hefner, Hugh Hefner’s wife. Marqos has choreographed for many different studios and competition teams setting pieces across the country. He continues to choreograph, dance, train, and teach all over with the highest aspirations for the next generation of dancing.
Oscar Gonzalez was born and raised in Orange County, California. Oscar trained at the Anaheim Ballet School, American Ballet Theater and the Joffrey Ballet School and has been accepted into the Alvin Ailey school and The Rock school summer intensive. He is formally trained in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theater and Contemporary. Gonzalez has been a soloist with the Anaheim Ballet, Festival Ballet, and was a resident company member and instructor for Diavolo. Oscar has worked with talented choreographers such as, Jacques Heim, Robert Mahler, Roberta Mathis, Mark Esposito, & Sha Newman. Oscar has performed in professional musical theater productions such as, Hello Dolly, WestSide Story, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, A Chorus Line, Evita, White Christmas, and has been a principal in The Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral. His ballet credits include, Cinderella, Napoli, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Nutcracker and Alice. Oscar performed for the grand opening of the King Abdulah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Oscar was chosen by former ABT dancer Kristine Elliott to create and teach a 2-week dance intensive in Capetown, South Africa. Gonzalez was formerly the ballet director at McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts, under the direction of Broadway star and former Olympic athlete Cathy Rigby. Oscar recently received his BA in Liberal Arts Education from St. Mary’s College. Oscar has been teaching for over 15 years and is committed to educating and inspiring young dancers and pushing them to their fullest potentials. Oscar recently moved to Omaha as Ballet Director with Smitty’s Performing Arts Center.
Becky Hobgood is a newly retired dance Educator of 34 years from Elk Grove Unified School District. She was involved in professional organizations in many capacities. CAHPERD (VP OF DANCE 97-98) CDEA NDEA. She has participated in Dance & Movement Workshop since 97-98 as participant; faculty; and director (2008). Becky has been practicing Yoga for 10 years; and has participated in many trainings. She has received Yoga certifications from Wanderlust (100hr), Soul Activist Vinyasa (200 hr), Yoga Fit (1&3). Before retiring Hobgood incorporated Yoga into her dance classes as well as providing opportunities for her schools faculty to practice.
John’s enthusiasm and affection for dance started at an early age. Training began with modern, then a little bit of jazz, and then into a lot of hip hop. But his commitment to dance began with Ballroom Dancing. As a professional ballroom dance instructor for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, he competed at the national level before he ventured out on his own to further his practice and studies in dance, movement, and health. For the past twenty years, John has brought this passion and devotion to the world of dance, group fitness and personal training. He is certified in a variety of formats, including Zumba® and Pilates, to name a few. He currently teaches dance and physical education classes for Seattle Colleges in Washington.
Anne Steele’s love for dance began at the age of five in Sacramento when her mother put her in dance to help her with her shyness as a child. After studio training, she danced with the Sacramento Ballet as a teenager then earned a scholarship to train extensively in Ballet at the Marin Dance Theatre under the direction of Margaret Swarthout where she worked with choreographers including Lawrence Pech, Alonzo King, and David Palmer. Her professional experience also includes performances in musical theatre productions including Pokemon Live!, Vegas and Paddle Wheel productions in Branson, Missouri. After graduating with a B.A in Education, she found herself back in Sacramento and taking class with Kelli Leighton. Anne and is a founding member of CORE Contemporary Dance and danced with the company for 9 seasons under the direction of Kelli Leighton. Anne was a faculty member at Natomas Charter School Performing and Fine Arts Academy where she taught ballet for 10 years. Currently, Anne is the Ballet Director at The Leighton Dance Project where she enjoys the fast paced environment among so many talented teachers and students that continually inspire her. Anne’s classes focus on empowering and encouraging students to be self -driven, value the art and discipline of dance all while executing movement with proper form to ensure progress through training.
Jamie started dancing at her granmother’s dance studio in Spanish Fork Utah as soon as she was out of diapers. Ever since then dance has been a passion and an important part of her life. She never stopped dancing while growing up and decided to pursue education in college. She graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Education and a credential to teach history. In college, technology in the classroom became a passion and ever since then she’s taken every opportunity she can to learn and utilize technology in education. After graduating Jamie taught high school social science classes and then taught at local dance studios after school. Upon moving to California Jamie had the opportunity to pursue a P.E. Credential and write dance curriculum for Galt High School District which is a district that had never had a dance program. When a full time dance position opened up at Sheldon High School it was the perfect opportunity to combine her passions of education and dance to a fulfilling full time career. Jamie is completing her second year at Sheldon High School this year and will be attending the Dance and Movement Conference for the 3rd consecutive year this year.
Jared Baker began his dance training at Dance Concept in Fort Worth, TX, under the direction of Debbi Jo Utter and Leslie Senevey. While there, he became a member of the Tremaine Performance Company, assisting and performing across the country. He then was accepted into the School of Dance at the University of Arizona where he received his B.F.A in Dance and was awarded the 2013 Creative Achievement Award. Jared is a three time finalist for The Choreography Festival (2012, 2013, 2014) in Palm Desert, CA and was the winner of the 2012 International Choreography Competition at Jazz Dance World Congress. He has set work on Fusionworks Dance Company, competed in the Inaside Choreographic Sponsorship Event, and was a 2014 finalist for the prestigious Capezio A.C.E. Awards. He has guest taught all over the country, including at the Millennium Dance Complex Chicago, Houston School of the Visual and Performing Arts, and The University of Arizona. As a performer, Jared was a founding member of Bree Hafen’s [+]Space where he performed in Dallas and NYC. While living in Chicago, he performed in Thodos New Dances as well as the Inaside Choreographic Sponsorship Event. He now lives in Sacramento, CA, where he is a full time company member of CORE Contemporary Dance, as well as the new Assistant Artistic Director.”
Benjamin Allen is an industry insider with over 13 years in the business. His vibrant personality and fresh originality brings a unique style that has inspired people throughout the world. As a dancer, he has performed on TV in the Kid’s Choice, People’s Choice and American Music Awards as well as on Scrubs and in national commercials for xbox, Subway and Miller Lite. As a choreographer he has worked with Will.I.Am and Drew Barrymore, and developed routines for Vh-1, Oxygen and several NBC projects. Ben has found a true passion for teaching which has taken him to countries like Japan, Australia, Spain, Austria, England and Canada and connects him with thousands of amazing students. A few years ago, he created a dance fitness movement called GROOV3™. With a mission to inspire change and build a global community through the power of dance, the movement has caught the attention of ELLEN, Extra, ABC7, Popsugar, American Fitness Magazine, Elle Magazine and fitperez.com, to name a few. GROOV3 has had successful partnerships with Equinox, Nike, and Trainer Pass.
Jaleea Price is a dance educator at International School-Bangkok (ISB) teaching the IB Dance and other programs in Grades 6 – 12. She has an MA from Cal. State – Long Beach and enjoys experiencing or celebrating a diversity of movement expressions from around the world. She also enjoys teaching Technical Theater and IB Film as part of her love for technology & arts integrations. Jaleea is currently a dance examiner and workshop leader for the IB organization. She’s excited about ongoing dialogues in the international dance educator community through organizations such as CAPHERD, NDEO, IADMS, and World Dance Alliance.