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!
Chad Ortiz lives for dance. Raised in Temecula, California, this young suburban adolescent has larger-than-life plans for his future. 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. Enjoy.
Emily Ortiz is a passionate mover and lover of the arts. Being considered a “late bloomer” in the dance world, she began dancing at 10 years old at a little studio in Aliso Viejo, Ca, where she trained in ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop. She competed in several dance competitions, and attended several dance conventions in Orange County as well as Las Vegas. After an agonizing 7 year break, Emily began consistently training again in ballet, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary with talented artists and teachers including; Renee Baldwin, Danielle Peig, Jose Gonzolas Pilar, Sabrina Phillip and Emily even served as assistant choreographer for professional choreographer George Ortiz. Emily’s proudest accomplishment is performing the role of The Woman with the Issue of Blood in the contemporary ballet production of passion of the Christ, as well as becoming a dance teacher/choreographer. Emily is enthusiastic about dance and creating movement and loves to introduce and share her passion with others. She is grateful for her wonderful teachers, directors, fellow students, and fellow dancers. She will continue to strive for improvement, knowledge and artistry in the area of dance so long as she lives and breathes.
Fisher Kaake (picture coming soon!) is enjoying his first year with Avocado Dance Theatre and he is thrilled to experience the true art of dance with such amazing artists. They have already helped him understand so much about the spiritual aspect of dance and what his body is capable of. Fisher 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. Fisher would like to thank Lori for the opportunity and inspiration.
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 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.
Michael Ranae Clemmer has more than 100 performances under her “feet!” A classically trained Vaganova ballerina with Soloist standing, she is also trained in the art of liturgical dance. As a founding member of Avocado Dance Theatre, Michael credits ADT director, Lori Torok, for introducing her to Modern. “This is a new style for me and brings a fresh perspective to movement, form, shape and technique,” says ADT’s youngest dancer. Accepted this year to both theAnaheim Ballet and Ballet Magnificat intensive training programs, Michael is a 2013, 2012 and 2011 Youth Outreach Scholarship recipient and an Associatewith Talent & Success Outreach Through Dance (creating opportunities for raw-talent and low-income aspiring dancers between nine and eighteen years of age) with the Inland Valley Classical Ballet Academy and Theatre. Michael appeared recently as principal dancer in the role of Clara in IVCBT’s The Nutcracker,and as a featured soloist in Cats (Victoria) with Theatre Royale; Alice in Wonderland (Cheshire Cat); Shamrock Shindig (Fury of the Fire Sprite); Cinderella(Polish Princess, Canary Songbird); The Nutcracker (Soldier Doll, Snow, Waltz of the Flowers, Chinese); and The Passion of the Christ (Jairus’ Daughter, Trinity, Judgement, Wedding, God’s Spirit, Finale). Michael began dancing at the age of two and has studied under Judith Corfman (San Clemente Dance PAC); Sharon Kinney (Capistrano Dance PAC); Joyce Johnson (St. Michael’s Praise Dancers); Joan Gair (Compos and IVCBT); and Svetlana Waisman (Svetlana’s Dance Academy). Intrigued with the possibilities of dance as a rehabilitation tool, Michael plans to specialize in pediatric rehab as a vocation.
Rachelle Felix began her journey through dance at the age of three. She danced with a ministry from her church and her love for dance and expression grew from there. She began taking ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, modern, Tahitian, and Latin dance classes throughout her teenage years and furthered her knowledge of dance in high school where she was the varsity dance team captain. Rachelle also explored her talents in theater and performed as a principle dancer in the production Cats under the direction of Scott King. From 2010 to 2012, Rachelle took advanced dance classes at Mount San Jacinto Community College where she landed a position in a dance project choreographed and directed by Natalia Morales. Also during her college career, she was chosen to be a member of Riverside Community College Dance Touring Ensemble where she toured the county and performed a variety of dance styles. Rachelle loves and appreciates every style of dance but fell in love with modern and contemporary dance thanks to her mother, Robin Felix, who taught her that dance is about passion and expression. She is honored and excited to be an Avocado Dancer and can’t wait to further her knowledge and love for the art of dance.
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 has been married for 18 years and has a 12-year-old 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 tuesady of the month performances called danceXchange for 2yrs. She is happy to be a member of the Avocado Dance Theatre, go green!