Nexus Dance Faculty 2018-2019
Barry Youngblood has worked with the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS, Paula Abdul, Jordan Knight, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Brian Mcknight and J.Lo (Jennifer Lopez). He has choreographed industrials for SEGA DREAMCAST, NIKE, REEBOK, NAMCO, and SKECHERS. His television credits include MTV AWARDS, VH1 AWARDS, MISS AMERICA PAGENT W/DONNIE OSMOND THE TODAY SHOW, REGIS AND KELLY, THE ELLEN SHOW, BUSTA RHYMES, THE GOLDBERGS, and P. DIDDY. He also performed for the QUEEN OF ENGLAND, and with KID ROCK. Barry has choreographed music videos for such artist as RACHAEL LAMPA, BRIAN MCKNIGHT, FRANKIE J, BABY BASH, and NELLY. He was a featured dancer in the movie “BRINGING DOWN THE HOUZE” with STEVE MARTIN and QUEEN LATIFA.
Originally from Phoenix, AZ, Brooke Lipton’s hunger for artistic expression guided her eventual prusuits into the Los Angeles dance industry. Spending countless summers teaching in Los Angeles at both local studios and dance conventions, Brooke soon became highly sought after by the industry’s top choreographers. After moving to Los Angeles, Brooke began to work with artists such as Madonna, Janet Jackson, Beyonce, and Paula Abdul. She toured the world with Britney Spears for over eight years, including the “Dream Within A Dream” tour, “The Onyx Hotel” tour, and “Circus” promo tour. Brooke went on to co-choreograph for six seasons on the FOX hit show Glee, eventually helping to generate over 750 musical performances. Glee’sphenomenal success also included two world tours, The Glee Project, and Glee Live 3D The Movie. While working on Glee, Brooke had the opportunity to choreograph for iconic stars such as Shirley Maclaine, Carol Burnett, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristen Chenowith, and Ricky Martin. In addition to Glee, Brooke has continued choreographing on such shows as Bones, The Goldbergs, Chasing Life, American Horror Story, and The New Normal. Allowing her passion to influence creativity, Brooke continues to develop a unique platform for dance within the industry today.
Chris Zuehlke, originally from Arizona, moved to Los Angeles, to pursue a career in the professional entertainment industry. Chris trained with the world renown EDGE scholarship program, and soon his performing career took shape. He has worked with artists such as Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, The Pussy Cat Dolls, My Chemical Romance, and Cheyenne, and has also appeared in movies and on television shows such as Bring it On, The Smurfs, Glee, NBC's Community, and more. Currently, Chris and his wife Candace, are busy with their new studio, CANDANCE, and their new baby, Cadence.
Diane Fotino has owned Impact Dance Studio in Chicago, IL for the past 18 years, where her dancers have gone on to performing and teaching contracts worldwide. Nationally recognized, Impact was the 2015 West Coast Dance Explosion Pinnacle Cup Champion. Diane has worked with Oprah Winfrey, Diana Ross, Jon Secada, and Richar Marx, and performed in industrials for Nike and Gatorade. Known for her dynamic teaching style, Diane advocates exceptional work ethic in her classes, and pushes dancers to be the best they can be.
As a young dancer Candice Taylor was featured in the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics Concert Innovators II, and has been seen around the world in the CES video entitled, Stand as a Witness; a biography of her experiences as a young dancer in The San Francisco Ballet Summer Program. She held principle roles in The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, The Black Swan Pas De Deux,Balanchine’s Serenade, Le Corsaire Pas De Deux, the Nutcracker, and many more. Candice holds a BFA and MFA in Ballet and is excited to bring her passion for ballet to Nexus this season.
Jenefer Miller is a native of Michigan and has studied dance and acting all across the country. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in the Performing Arts from Oakland University and a MAEd from the University of Phoenix. While attending OU, her choreography was faculty selected to be presented at Cornell University for the American College Dance Festival. She has appeared on stage with Tap 24.7, Scuff’d Up, Especially Tap Chicago, the Detroit Tap Festival, and Oakland Dance Theatre. Jen has studied with and performed in shows alongside legends such as Jason Samuels Smith, Ben Vereen, Sarah Reich, Savion Glover, Dianne Walker, Barbara Duffy, Robert Reed, Debbie Allen, the Nicholas Brothers, Harold “Stumpy” Cromer, and Heather Cornell. She is the founder and producer of Just West of Broadway, and the co-founder and co-director of Tap 24.7, a professional tap companyin Phoenix.
Kelsey Tanner’s education, training, and performance experience have molded her into the complete package; teacher, choreographer, and mentor to the next generation of dancers. She performed with Odyssey II and Expansion, and was a featured dancer at Young Tanzsommer! and in Disney’s High School Musical 3. Kelsey holds a MA in Dance with an emphasis in competition and creativity in private dance studios. She’s been a member of Nexus Dance Conventions faculty for several seasons and always motivates students to find the best version of themselves in her choreography. She and her husband currently live in the Denver area with their two young boys.
Jordan Daniels graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Performance Dance in May of 2014. His training while at SMU included classical and contemporary ballet training in French, Russian, and Balanchine techniques, as well as extensive training in the Martha Graham Dance Technique. He has created and premiered stage work under the self-produced choreographic venture, JordanDanielsDance at Breaking Ground Dance & Film Festival Student Showcase 2012 and 2014, Arizona Got Dance Showcase 2012 and 2013, Dulce Expressiones Cinco, Content Community Art Gatherings, and Phoenix Comicon. Jordan is currently working as a freelance dance performance artist, teacher, and choreographer.
Kyle Price is the co-founder of the “Elektrolytes,” the Season 7 champions of MTV and Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Since being on ABDC, Kyle has had many opportunities to make appearances and perform with his crew as special guests at numerous events around the world. They were also featured on the season premiere of Disney Channel's “Shake It Up” Season 3. Kyle has been teaching young, aspiring dancers at dance studios in Arizona for the past six years, and as he continues to adapt and grow, he hopes to share the knowledge he has acquired through auditioning and working as a professional dancer with many more students to come.
Latoyia Everett has performed and taught all over the world, starting with the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Seattle Sonics dance teams; touring to perform for US troops in Kuwait, Tikrit, Baghdad and Germany in 2008. She was accepted into the prestigious New York City’s Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester program and had the opportunities to dance in Times Square, for Fashion Night Out and NYC’s Choreographer’s Carnival, and on Good Morning America. Latoyia performed for Norwegian Cruise Lines as a dancer and aerialist throughout Europe before working with Universal Dance Association as a head instructor and judge. Currently, Latoyia has her own dancewear line, The Dance Addiction, spends her time choreographing and teaching nationwide, and is the co-director of a competitive team at an Arizona dance studio.
Aimee’s background includes featured performances in industrials for Q Lube and Health Rider, at the Comedy Circuit, and LA Dance Magic. Her choreography credits include the Disney Channel feature film, “Wish Upon a Star,” Starlight Productions National Finals Distinguished Performers, and the Tanzsommer Dance Festival in Innsbruck, Austria. Teaching all over the world, including Studio 225 in Zurich, Switzerland, at Chicago National Dance Masters, and National Dance Camp with Jackie Sleight and Tony Coppola, Aimee has earned her reputation as a master teacher. Her passion for motivating students and dancers to be the best they can be has made her a favorite among dancers and teachers alike.
Leslie trained with Judy Rice, Gregg Russell, Tyce Diorio, and traveled as an assistant to Barry Youngblood for three years. She is honored to be a member of the Company Dance Hall of Fame. Leslie has received numerous awards as a dancer and choreographer, including four pieces represented at the World Dance Championships, and she can currently be seen in the Hanson music videos “Thinking About Something” and “Give a Little.” She performed at the grand opening of the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, at the Tanzsommer Dance Festival, and the Global Dance Convention in Sydney, Australia. Leslie continues to train, teach, and choreograph at studios around the country, and is excited to be part of the Nexus family.
John Rokita has been performing for over 18 years. He was a featured dancer in the internationally known show “A Few Good Men Dancing,” on Broadway in New York, and for the North American and European tours. He has also danced for the Walt Disney Corporation in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Puerto Rico. His industrial work includes Dr. Pepper, and the Hilton and Hyatt hotels. In addition, John has taught at such recognizable studios as Edge Performing Arts and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in Los Angeles, and Broadway Dance Center in New York. He currently lives in Saint Louis, where he and his wife Tammy recently launched their latest adventure, Rokita Dance Center.
Originally from Dallas, Candace started her performing career as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. After moving to LA, she performed with Destiny’s Child, Toby Keith, Creed, Ludacris, and Jessica Simpson. Candace appeared in the feature films, “Fired Up,” and “Bring it On / Fight to the Finish,” and on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Dr. Phil. She performed as a Lakers Girl, and choreographed for the Phoenix Suns Dancers. Currently, Candace, and her husband, Chris, are the busy owners of the nationally recognized CANDANCE Studios in Gilbert, AZ, and are the proud parents of daughter, Cadence.
Kari has performed and choreographed for a large variety of shows in her career including Disney World, Six Flags, Disneyland of Paris, Boatmen's Bank, Tanzsommer Festival, Dolly Madison, JC Penney, and Maurice's. She has conducted classes on the convention circuit for Dance Olympus, Dance Caravan, PDTA, Nexus Dance, and Starlight Productions. Kari currently owns her own studio, Kari’s Dance Academy, and is the owner and artistic director of Starfire Dance Company.
Dancing since the age of three, Isabel has trained extensively with some of the best in the business in all areas of dance; Justin Giles, Chris Jacobsen, Nick Zborowski, Sonya Tayeh, Nick DiNicolangelo, Chelsea Thedinga, and Jenn Freeman, to name a few. She performed professionally with Lydia Sakolosky-Basquill’s Project Flux, and spent the last year as part of the ACE Apprentice program for Adrenaline Dance. Currently, Isabel lives and teaches in the Dallas area, and is a new member of Justin Giles’ company, SoulEscape.
Peter Christieis the Academy Director for Ballet West. Originally born in Brooklyn, NY, Peter grew up in Upstate New York and began his dance training at the age of nine. At age 15 he entered the Syracuse Ballet School in New York and upon high school graduation, he joined Hartford Ballet’s Teacher Training program in Connecticut. Peter was a member of the Hartford Ballet from 1980-1982 and joined Ballet West in 1982 as a member of the corps. He was especially noted for his character roles and was promoted to soloist in 1991. After dancing with the company for 16 years, he joined the artistic staff of Ballet West in 1998. He currently serves as Director of Educational Programs. He also was a member of the Ballet West Academy Faculty beginning in 1992 and served as Director of the Ballet West Academy from 2004 through 2015. Peter has taught for several local ballet schools, conducted master classes for Ballet West on tour, nationally and internationally. In July 1997, Peter worked with Jacques D’Amboise at the National Dance Institute in New York City and served as assistant director for the Feel the Beat educational program with Ballet West. Continuing with that program, he created a program entitled I CAN DO, which is currently in residence in eleven Wasatch Front Schools. In August of 2004, Peter’s program crossed the Atlantic Ocean in conjunction with Ballet West’s invitation to the Edinburgh International Festival.. Peter also volunteered as an assistant choreographer for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Rhonda’s professional work includes choreography for the Warner Brothers / Disney Channel feature film, “Wish Upon a Star,”the PBS television special, “John Tesh, Live at Red Rocks,” “Star Search,”and the Renaissance Films “PointBlank”talk show pilot. Her teaching credits include Chicago National Dance Masters,Studio 225 in Zurich, Switzerland,National Dance Camp, (Director),the Tanzsommer Festival in Innsbruck, Austria, and master classes in studios and schools across the nation. Adjudication work includes Odyssey Talent Competitions,Starlight Productions, LA Dance Magic,and KAR Competitions. Rhonda owned and directed the nationally recognized Utah Academy Dance Studios for 20 years; producing students who consistently received scholarships and performing contracts worldwide. Rhonda has been directing Nexus Dance Conventions and Competitions for the past 15 years;an education and performance platform designed to motivate dancers from the inside out.
Paige Tamarkin was born and raised in Chicago, IL where she started her dance training at the age of 3. She studied all styles of dance, including: jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, and contemporary, as well as acting and singing. After moving to Gilbert, Arizona in 2005, Paige continued her performance training as a competitive studio dancer. Paige began her professional performing career in 2009 and 2010, when she auditioned and was cast in two off-broadway productions, High School Musical and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Soon after, she attended the University of Arizona. Paige is a three year graduate from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona, where she studied dance, theatre, and voice. While in Tucson, Paige assistant managed a local theatre, where she learned everything, from stage managing to directing, and wrote & performed in her own show. Recently, she joined the Nexus Dance Conventions faculty, where she is known as, “Ms. I Love You,” to her fans.
Paige is now back in Arizona, choreographing award-winning numbers, and running her beautiful new facility, Full Out Performance Dance Co.