Meet The Company…
Alexandra Thomsen-Wolfe fell in love with dance at the age of five when she took her first ballet class and her love of movement has continued throughout her life. She 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 BS 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 in San Luis Obispo under the direction of Diana Stanton and Jude Clark-Warnisher. Alexandra is currently a Director as well as Dance Instructor for Rhythm Motion, a company that teaches dance classes as part of after school programs. She is also a student choreographer at Irvine Valley College. Two pieces she choreographed at IVC were performed at the ACDFA Festivals in Northfield, Minnesota (2011) and Salt Lake City, Utah (2012). Alexandra is grateful to have the opportunity to dance with and choreograph for Avocado Dance Theatre!
Chad Ortiz (Bio coming soon!)
Emily A.J. Ortiz (Bio coming soon!)
Fisher Kaake (Bio coming soon!)
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 now a double major in Neuroscience and Dance 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.
Paige Smith began dancing at an early age. During her time dancing she has learned a variety of styles such as bollywood, hip-hop, tap,ballroom, and even burlesque. Her favorite performances include: L.A. Clippers Half-time Shows, Disneyland Parades and Showcases, and the Radio City Rockette Summer Intensive at the Manhattan Center. When she isn’t dancing, Paige is onstage acting or singing with her school’s performing arts program. She is extremely grateful to be a part of Avocado Dance Theatre!
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 9-year-old son. Renee is thrilled to be a part of Avocado Dance Theater.
Samantha Allan (picture coming soon) classifies herself as a tap dancer, being that it was her primary style, from the age of fourteen. However, in the last three years has begun branching into other styles, including ballet, modern, lyrical, jazz and turns and leaps technique. In the summer of 2012, she was invited to perform a spiritual modern piece, as well as a tap solo, with Dance Journey in Philadelphia. She recently has begun transitioning into the modern dance style, starting in the spring of 2013 at Palomar College with Sadie Weinberg. Since then she has shifted her focus, spending more time dancing modern and ballet, using dance as more of an emotional outlet then a hobby or an art. Last fall, 2013, she choreographed her first modern duet which was titled “The Distance” and was performed at the Palomar Winter Showcase. She hopes to continue her growth in modern dance as a performer and, hopefully, a choreographer with Avocado Dance Theatre.
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!