Meet The Company…
Aaron Shaw is a native of Temecula. He began his dance training locally at Mt. San Jacinto Community College. After completing his associate’s degree there at MSJC he attended Brigham Young University where he received his B.A. in Dance. While attending BYU Aaron had the opportunity to perform and tour with several different companies. Aaron had the opportunity to travel around the world including much of the US, Mexico, China, Jamaica and Europe. Since returning to California Aaron has had the opportunity to work, study and perform with Jean Isaac’s San Diego Dance Theater. He is excited to also be working with Avocado Dance Theater and California Ballet. Aaron has branched out from performance and has begun choreographing. One of his pieces was performed at ACDFA where it was placed in the gala performance. This piece has been performed by multiple companies since then. Aaron has also had the opportunity to choreograph for Snow College, Utah Regional Ballet and recently San Diego Dance Theater’s Young Choreographers Project. Aaron was a founding member of Avocado Dance Theatre in 2012, is Vice-President/Secretary of the Dance Theatre Collective of Southern California’s Board of Directors. Aaron re-joined the company for the 2015-16 season, after studying/working in New York City (2013-2015). Aaron has choreographed four works for Avocado Dance Theatre: “All in a Day” (2012), “The Game” (2013), “The Game, part IV” (2014), and “On Your Sleeve” (2015).
Alexandra Thomsen-Wolfe began dancing in studios in Vancouver, B.C., Canada studying ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and Polynesian dance. After moving to California in 2000, she continued her training in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop at various studios. In 2010, Alexandra graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with her BA in Liberal Studies for elementary education and a Minor in Dance. While attending college, she danced with the Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company and began training in modern. She had the opportunity to choreograph for the company, was an Arts Intern, and won two Cal Poly Scholarships: the Tomczak-Carter Dance Award and the M Minn/P Suhr Dance Award. She also danced with Variable Velocity Performance Group, a modern dance company, in San Luis Obispo under the direction of Diana Stanton and Jude Clark-Warnisher. Alexandra worked as a Director as well as Dance Instructor for Rhythm Motion, a company that teaches dance classes as part of after school programs for typical and special needs children. She was a student choreographer at Irvine Valley College for two years and two pieces she choreographed there were performed at the ACDFA Festivals in Northfield, Minnesota (2011) and Salt Lake City, Utah (2012). Alex was a founding member of Avocado Dance Theatre, where she was a featured dancer with the company, and worked as an assistant rehearsal director for two years. Alex has choreographed two pieces for Avocado Dance Theatre: “I, For One” (2012) and “Three Women” (2013).
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!
Fisher Kaake started dancing in musical theater when he was twelve years old and never looked back. From there he began assisting choreographers in several shows such as Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Moonlight Theater in Vista and A Christmas Carol with the Temecula Valley Players. He was also fortunate enough to attend classes with choreographers Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, and Brian Freidman.
Kristin Brown began her study of dance at the age of three. She had the opportunity to study at dance schools in California and Utah where she learned a variety of dance styles including; ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and contemporary. She furthered her training in college and received her BA in Dance from Brigham Young University (BYU). While at BYU she was able to perform on the touring company, Contemporary Dance Theatre, and travel with them to India and Colorado. Kristin had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers Donald McKayle, Diavolo dancers Jenn and Omar Olivas, Jennifer Backhaus, and others. Kristin received further training at summer intensives including San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Paul Taylor, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. She most recently danced on the Utah-based company, SALT Contemporary Dance under the direction of Michelle Nielsen. It was there she was able to work with dancers from North West Dance Project and broaden her artistic abilities. Kristin also loves to teach and choreograph. She is excited to be back in California and to be a member of Avocado Dance Theatre.
Chad Ortiz lives for dance. Raised in Temecula, California, Chad has performed in numerous shows from classical ballets such as The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Cinderella, to large scale musical theater shows such as A Chorus Line, Wedding Singer, Evita, and All Shook Up. Chad has also performed in Carnival -The Choreographers Ball, The Day of Living, The Skirball Cultural Center, and much more throughout Los Angles. Teaching at Jose & Dana’s Academy of Ballet Arts and Svetlana Waisman’s Dance Academy, Chad’s passion for dance thrives through his teachings, methods, and works. With the help from many choreographers and dancers, Chad’s training has stemmed from Renee Baldwin, Danielle Pieg, Kerry Flores, and Svetlana Waisman. Most importantly, Chad’s dance world would not be the same, nor would it even exist if it wasn’t for Choreographer George Ortiz. Chad is forever grateful for those who have influenced him throughout dance and life. Blossoming into his dream career as a professional dancer and choreographer, there are beautiful things lying ahead in Chad’s future.
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 Temecula, 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.