Meet The Company…
Amanda Rose Shind began studying dance in Massachusetts at the age of three and has never stopped! Growing up, she took classes from many fabulous teachers all over the northeast in the styles of ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and modern and continued her dance education at Emerson College in Boston. While at Emerson, Amanda developed a love for modern dance and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Theatre. She also completed the dance education training course with the Dance Teachers Club of Boston receiving the overall excellence award in Tap. After teaching and choreographing at numerous dance studios and public schools in the Greater Boston area, Amanda made the move out west where she began working with mobile dance studio Petite Feet dance and fitness. She continues to share her love of dance with preschool and elementary aged children all over the Inland Empire. Amanda is beyond excited to be a part of the Avocado family!
David Chavez began dancing Mexican folklore (Ballet Folklorico) at age 15 and continued throughout high school. Once in college at California State University, San Marcos, he was introduced to both modern and contemporary forms of dance. He took classes ranging from Global Modern to Choreography. David has had the privilege to work under Karen Schaffman, Jess Humphrey, and Anya Cloud. He participated in the CSUSM dance concert, OFF CENTRE, for 3 years and also played the principal dancer in a theater performance. David graduated from CSUSM with a BA in Visual & Performing Arts with an emphasis in Visual Art and a minor in Dance. Currently, he is taking classes at a local studio.
Jeremy Sewell insists that his dancing career serendipitously started when he was injured while wrestling in high school. He was forced off of the team and into a dance class. He has never looked back! He has trained in ballet, modern, jazz, and folk styles of dance. He has taken courses from the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and most recently from the College of Southern Nevada where he danced with the Kelly Roth and Dancers Company. Jeremy took time off from dance to finish a Doctorate in Dental Medicine at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He now practices dentistry in Murrieta California and is re-embracing his passion of the performing arts. While not dancing or fixing peoples’ teeth, Jeremy enjoys exercising and loves spending time with his son Nathan and daughter Noelle.
Joseph Lister began dancing in 2010 at the age of 19. He started with his home church’s dance ministry where he was a part of the hip-hop and praise hula dance team. Soon after he found himself at Murrieta Dance Studio where he continued training in hip hop and was introduced to the contemporary style of dance. In the Fall of 2010 he attended California State University, Channel Islands and enrolled in a jazz technique course. He then fully realized his love and passion for dance and became a candidate for a B.A. in Performing Arts with an emphasis in dance. He began training in jazz, choreography, and modern under the instruction of Heather Castillo. During his time at CSUCI (2010-2012) he has had the opportunity to choreograph for the University’s first Spring Dance Concert (2012) and was cast in the University’s first musical, Cabaret (2012), as a cabaret dancer. In the Spring of 2011 he was introduced to ballet when he was approached to be a part of Inland Valley Classical Ballet Theatre’s first contemporary ballet, Passion of the Christ, where he danced the part of Pontius Pilate as well as other roles. He decided to continue dancing with the company and was in many other performances including Cinderella , The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Once Upon a Tutu. In the Summer of 2011 Joseph performed in his first musical at Act One Community Theater in Temecula as a chorus dancer in A Chorus Line. He is a Dance major at the University of California, Riverside and can’t wait to start his next chapter as a dancer with Avocado Dance Theatre.
Kylie Kruger has been dancing for 24 years, She is a Choreographer and Teacher of Lyrical, Contemporary, and Hip Hop, at Svetlanas Dance Academy, under the direction of Svetlana Waissman. She moved to Los Angeles in 2003, where she continued her training at several dance schools including, The Edge, Millennium, and Debbie Allen. She has since performed with, Unity LA, Formality, Hi-Fi, and Mass Appeal. She has also been featured in several music videos with Missy Elliott. Since her return to Temecula, She has performed in several shows and musicals including, Passion Of The Christ Ballet, Cinderella, Once Upon a Tutu, Nutcracker, A Chorus Line, All Shook Up, Wedding Singer, and Evita. In addition to her dancing she has also earned her BA in Fashion Merchandise from FIDM. This is her first year performing and dancing with the Avocado Dance Theater, She is very honored and excited to share the stage with her fellow Avocados.
Rebecca Jones began dancing at the age of three, training in ballet and tap. Soon after, she started expanding her training with jazz and hip-hop. She started competing at the age of eight at Temecula Dance Company. She has performed in award-winning teams that have competed all over Southern California, Las Vegas, Florida, and New York. She was part of Murrieta Valley’s High School dance team from 2010-2012 which competed and won numerous awards under the direction of Hollee Romero and Megan Romero. Currently attending Mt. San Jacinto College, she is working toward her A.A. in Dance, then transferring to a 4-year university in fall 2015. She has choreographed dances for the MSJC Menifee Campus dance productions in spring 2013, spring 2014, and fall 2014 under the direction of Paula Naggi and Adrienne Stroik. She has performed in Temecula Dance Company’s The Nutcracker where she was in Spanish Corps and Snowflakes (2012), Maid and Spanish Soloist (2013). She is currently working at Temecula Dance Company for the past five years, where gets to work with children, ranging in age from two to six, and she loves every moment of it.
Renee Ferguson is a native of Southern California and started dancing at an early age. She and her two brothers were well-known throughout the area as “The 3 Belongies”—singing, dancing and playing the piano as well as being featured on local television. Renee was also involved in local Community Theater productions playing roles such as Brigitta in The Sound of Music. As a teenager, she traded her ballet slippers in for ice skates and was a competitive skater for many years. After graduating from college as a dental assistant, Renee spent 4 years touring the United States and Canada as a professional ice skater with the Ice Capades. Following Ice Capades, her skating career continued in Barry Ashton’s “American Circus on Ice” in Atami, Japan. After hanging up her skates, Renee returned to dance and was the director and choreographer of the Psalm 9:14 Dancers, a Christian worship dance team, dancing locally and on Christian television. Renee continues to take classes and has been involved in various dance productions at MSJC, most recently performing as a guest artist in Experiment in a Glass. She is married and has a son. Renee is thrilled to be a part of Avocado Dance Theater.
Val Carnahan was born and raised on the east coast and has now settled here in the west at Avocado Dance Theatre. A firm believer in the school of thought “you can never learn enough about life and dance”. Dance is a way of life for Val. She has been everything from a scholarship student at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre to a magicians assistant for The Shriners. There are many universities, colleges,performing arts schools, dance companies and many dance “jobs” in between. She is a member of Paula Naggi dancers and frequently is a guest artist for MSJC, Menifee. Val has been choreographing at the every third Tuesday of the month performances called danceXchange, since its beginning. She is happy to be a member of the Avocado Dance Theatre, go green!
Akili Ploudre fell in love with dance his senior year at Heritage High School when he was cast as Prez in the musical The Pajama Game which was directed by Greg Newman and choreographed by Hope Burns. He continued his education to Mt San Jacinto College (MSJC) where he is double majoring in Dance and Business. He has been a part of the 2014 spring production and the 2014 fall production at MSJC, directed by Paula Naggi and Adrienne Stroik. He has also ventured into other dances of the world with Afro-Samba, with Julie Simon. Akili plans to transfer to a university in 2016. He is excited to be a part of his first dance company, as an apprentice and cannot wait to see what the future has in store.