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Valerie Dawn, Owner

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Valerie Dawn, Owner

Owner Valerie Dawn began her dance journey at a young age. Training with multiple studios and local choreographers she expanded her training and performing repertoire to include pageantry, acting and modeling. Valerie took her passion and education to the local recreation centers. During her time as a recreational program leader, she developed an entire preschool dance program including skill leveling and annual recitals. In 2000, she out grew the community center and opened her own performing arts business utilizing the community facilities. During this time, she expanded into musical theater and started her own dance company.

In 2011, Valerie took the big leap she had always been wanting to take- opening up her own performing arts studio. Encore Performing Arts Center was born out of Valerie's desire to continue influencing the performers of tomorrow and create a space where students of any skill level could come to further their abilities and find their path to performance. Valerie became the first instructor/studio in Oregon to be certified for the official Acrobatic Arts program. She is also certified in Zumba and U-Jam fitness. As a business owner, she never forgets her own humble beginnings and makes every business decision with the thought of keep the arts accessible to all families.

 

After 30 years of teaching, 15,000+ students, and 500+ shows, Valerie still remains committed to one thing: "My reward is in the smile of accomplishment- the moment where a young one learns to hop for the first time, or the student who exits the stage after nailing a performance, or the moment one lands a triple pirouette or a back tuck...that one brief moment where they smile and have a look in their eye knowing and understanding they have just grown and developed. That moment of believing in who they are...those are the moments that I live for."

Alaina McKinnon

Alaina-Rose McKinnon started dancing at the age of five at Banks Dance Academy. She then transferred to Forest Grove Dance Arts where she has trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, and Acrobatics. She has attended various amounts of competition, conventions, workshops, and intensives including summer at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle as well as summer at The Joffrey Ballet in New York City. Alaina was accepted into the 2017/18 Edge Performing Arts Center Scholarship Program in Los Angeles, California where she was trained in Contemporary, Jazz Funk, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Tap, Turns, and more. She has now moved back to Oregon to continue teaching and learning. Along with dance, Alaina has been modeling and acting since a young age and would like to one day own a dance studio of her own. She strongly believes that music and the art of movement is beneficial to all and would love to one day start a foundation that provides classes for those with disabilities and financial need, in hopes to help others the way that dance has helped her.

Albert Hwang

From entering solo breaking and open-styles competitions to performing breaking choreography with his crew B.E. for over a decade, Albert prides himself on his complete background with a strong grasp on foundations and originality. He is comfortable teaching all levels patiently as he believes that there is always more to learn in breaking as you discover new movements and develop your own personal style. He values the opportunity to share his experiences with training efficiently through conditioning and body awareness with groups of students who are eager to learn. From president of his high-school's breaking club, to president of his college's, Albert has always had a passion for breaking and continues to push himself each day!

Valerie Dawn, Owner

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Alicia Cutaia

Alicia Cutaia Co-Founder/Director of ARC in Movement and dancer with BodyVox, earned her BFA with honors from Point Park University with a double major in Classical Ballet and Jazz. Her previous training included scholarships at Hubbard Street Dance, North Carolina Dance Theater, and River North Dance Company. She has worked with and performed pieces by many renowned choreographers, including Lauren Edson, Jamey Hampton, Ron De Jesus, Gina Patterson, Lar Lubovitch, Louis Falco, Michael Foley, Keisha Lalama-White, Joel Hall, Lou Conte, Daniel Gwirtzman, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Daniel Ezralow, Choo-San Goh, Alan Hineline, Harrison McEldowney, Kevin O’Day, Frances Patrelle, David Storey, Margo Sappington, Christian Holder and Bianca Sapetto. Ms. Cutaia previously worked as Rehearsal Director, Costume Manager and Dancer with Eisenhower Dance in the Detroit Metro area. She also spent time dancing with Hubbard Street 2 and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. Alicia also enjoys teaching and setting choreography. Her choreography has been showcased nationally at numerous choreographic festivals such as the Jazz Dance World Congress “Leo’s Choreography Competitive Event”, the “Maggie Allesee New Choreography Award”, “Michigan Youth Arts Festival”, "Dance Chicago", Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival, Kaleidoscope Dance Festival, Midwest Rad Festival and the “NSAL Mid-Michigan Chapter.” Her choreography for regional and national dance competitions have won many awards. Ms' Cutaia had a strong passion for teaching. 

 

Some of her teaching credits include the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Oakland University, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theater of Harlem, the Eisenhower Center for Dance. A number of Ms. Cutaia's students have been excepted on scholarship to many prestigious summer and college dance programs. 

Jennifer Livingston

Jennifer Livingston started training at the age of 6 at Vicki Mills Studio of Dance here in Porltand, where at the age of 7 she was hand picked to join the elite competing group “Encore” which traveled throughout the United States performing, competing, and appearing on various T.V. shows.  At Vickie’s Jennifer was trained in Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballroom, Polynesian, and Multimedia Production.  Jennifer’s ballet training was under the strict direction of Barbara Reminton, And Jacquie Kunzman.  In addition to her dancing she was on the exhibition gymnastics team at Westside Gymnastics Academy, and trained in theatre, and voice.

 

At the age of 11 she was one of the five dancers taken under the wing of the director to start learning how to teach, edit music/film, design costumes, and learn studio management.  Jennifer was also one of four girls selected to spend one month every summer in L.A. training at Tremaine, Edge Performing Arts center (formerly Dupree’s), Ally Kat, and was the youngest dancer allowed to train under director Joe Bennet at Debbie Reynolds Studio (Studio F).

 

Jennifer graduated from high school at 16 and joined the Italian dance company Minds, Bodies, and Souls in Motion under the direction of Kirk Offerle.  At 17 she won a scholarship to Tremaine Dance Center in L.A. and studied under many influential choreographers such as Marguerite Derricks, Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Jim Taylor, Wes Veldink, Chris Dupree, Erik Ellis, and Rosemary Rand.  Jennifer went on to dance with Prince, under Jamie King, multiple Disney productions, choreographed and danced for Razzberry Jam with Carey Ysais (now Carnival Choreogrpahers Ball), Billboard Live, Extreme Dance Company and other shows and productions. 

Throughout her career she has been teaching and choreographing around the United States for various studios, companies, and theatre productions.  In Alaska she headed the Jazz and Tap department for Ketchikan Theatre of Ballet and is now teaching and choreographing for various studios, shows, and other companies here in Portland and Vancouver Washington.  Jennifer is the Resident Contemporary Choreographer for Northwest Classical Ballet in Vancouver, and is the Artistic Director of Storm Dance Company, a training program which prepares dancers to move into the industry.  Her students have been stelected for reowned scholasrship programs to Edge Performing Arts center, Broadway Dance center, Jacobs Pillow, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet.  Many of her dancers go on to work successfully in both concert and commnercial sectors of the industry.

Juju Nikz

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I have been dancing and traveling since 2013. Once I fell in love with dance the next step for me was to travel and see other dance communities. 

 

My first experience with Waacking is when I took a workshop from Kumari Suraj back in 2013 and from there she helped me to become a Waacker and most importantly taught me the history and the back ground of Waacking. Lorena V also helped me with my techniques and training to become a better Waacker as well. 

 

I do the following dance styles, Waacking, Vogue, House, Fem Hip Hop and Lyrical Hip Hop... In 2015 I won a Waacking category at the Jungle Space Ship Ball. Also, in 2018 I won a 7-to-smoke All Styles In Portland called Beautiful Street. I won the Vogue Category in Salt Lake City called SLAY,  won a Waacking category in LA called Strike With Force which the winner flys to Canada to compete in the top 8, and I was the only one to represent the USA. 

 

I’ve been teaching different dance styles all over the Pacific North West. I’ve done workshops and choreographed for many companies in the Pacific North West and outside of the Pacific North West as well. Such as 11:Dance.Co, Groove Nation, Steps PDX, Vega Dance Lab, VMAC, Element Dance Studio, MVP Dance Elite, Lyfe, and many more. 

 

I’ve been a part of many companies as well such as 11:Dance.Co, House of Ada, Groove Nation and their WOD company back in 2015, MVP Dance Elite, Lyfe Dance Company... I also have my own company called Mystical Creatures. 

Valerie Dawn, Owner

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Lisa Rose

Dance instructor, performer, choreographer, and Beaverton native Lisa Rose began dancing before she was walking at the recreation centers.   Her performance career began at six months old as she was casted to play Jesus in the musical Blood Bought.  She never left the stage as her dance and musical theatre training continued with dance company Fast 4Ward and musical theatre company K.I.D.D.S. (kids in dance, drama and song) performing, choreographing and being an assistant director in more than 250 shows.  Lisa fell in love with teaching when she began assisting younger classes at the recreation centers a few times a week.  Her training continued at Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA) under the direction/instruction of Julane Stites, Felice Moskowitz, Jason and Michelle Davis, Kemba Shannon, Les Watanabe, and Terry Brock in the styles of ballet, tap, modern and jazz as well as being a part of the dance ensemble program.  Her training continued outside of school at ENCORE Performing Arts Center under the direction of Valerie Dawn, Marketa Duffin, Gozde Vaught and Jennifer Livingston. She auditioned and was welcomed into ACMA’s pre-professional dance company Dance West, but declined their offer to pursue an invitation at her home studio into the ENCORE Dance Company and ENCORE Ballet Company. After graduating from ACMA with dance honors, Lisa continues to teach, choreograph, mentor and motivate the dancers at Encore Performing Arts Center.

 

At ENCORE, her specialties are preschool classes in the styles of Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Creative Movement as well as instructing Tap, Contemporary, Broadway, Modern and Turns and Leaps.  Lisa is a co-director for the ENCORE Dance Company, as well as guest choreographer for the ENCORE Ballet Company and is currently pursuing her choreography in the dance competition world.  Lisa has a passion for teaching dance to preschool ages and being the first doorway into the world of dance. 

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Marisa Bidegaray

Marisa has been a competitive choreographer for over 17 years; a graduate of the University of Miami, she was a member of both the Hurricanettes and Sunsations dance teams. Founding Intensity Dancers’
Studio in 2002, she has helped develop many students into professionals, with alumni on NBA dance teams across the country, and touring with latin artists like Austin Mahone, Carol G, and Maluma. A
seasoned instructor and judge, she’s worked throughout the US as a judge with Showbiz National Talent and StarSystems Talent for more than 10 years. Additionally, Marisa works as a consultant for regional high school dance teams, and choreographs private events for special clients.

Marketa Duffin

Marketa Renner has been dancing since the age of three and has loved every minute of it.  She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop and African over the years.  At twelve years old, she joined Deus Vault Dance Company and Rose City Ballet which performed at local elementary and junior high schools and also in Disneyland, Disneyworld, Bahamas, and various venues around the west coast.  At fourteen, Marketa joined Elan Dance Company and performed with them around the NW, New York, California, and in Australia for the 2000 Olympics.  She was also on the Hilhi dance team throughout high school.  Marketa graduated from Western Oregon University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Dance and a Minor in Communications.  During college, she had the opportunity to be a guest artist for Rainbow Dance Theatre and performed throughout the Northwest with them.  She also attended the American College Dance Festival representing WOU for three years.  Marketa is currently working as a Regional Makeup Artist in the NW and is happy to be teaching dance at various studios around Oregon.  She is also still pursuing her passion of performing by being a member of Lyrik Contemporary Dance Company in Portland, Oregon.

 

Marketa has been married for two years and has twin cats Smokey & Bandit.  Her life goal is to help children fall in love with dance and the stage like she has for nearly 30 years.  She wants kids to love class and to be a release for them, not another scary, judgemental place.  I want to see them smile!

 

Her Quote: "Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."

Matthew Pawlicki-Sinclair

Matthew Pawlicki-Sinclair (1987) was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. There, he began dancing at the
age of three and later followed training at Ballet Arts, the official school of Ballet Tucson. He received his high school diploma from North Carolina School of the Arts where he trained under Warren Conover, Melissa Hayden, and Kee Juan Han among others. He also spent summers at The School at Jacob's
Pillow, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and San Francisco Ballet School.


Matthew joined Kansas City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005 and spent an additional two years as a dancer with the company under the direction of William Whitener. During this time he had the opportunity to dance featured roles in ballets from George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Anthony Tudor. He joined the corps de ballet of Dutch National Ballet under Ted Brandsen in 2008, and was promoted twice: first to coryphée in 2014 and later to grand sujet in 2016. Some of his favorite roles performed with Dutch National Ballet include Romeo in Sasha Waltz’s Roméo et Juliette, Hilarion in Marius Petipa’s Giselle, Prince Gremin in John Cranko’s Onegin, and Morold in David Dawson’s Tristan + Isolde. Last summer Matthew joined Oregon Ballet Theater as a soloist.

Melissa Rumsey

Melissa Rumsey began dancing at a late age and fell in love from the first moment. She has worked professionally with The Schiff Dance Collective, Evolving Doors Dance, Danca Nova Dance Company, Rouge Co. Dance Company, BRIAH Danse, Industrial Dance Alliance and had the honor of performing in Florence Italy through Alambrado. While teaching and working with competition studios all through Colorado and Oregon she has been recognized by industry professionals for her “ground breaking” choreography and strives to instill a strong grasp of technique and a love for the artistry of dance in her students in a supportive environment.

Ms. Rumsey is a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist with training in Embodied Awareness injury prevention and Progressing Ballet Technique.

Monica Bloom

Monica has been teaching dance and choreographing for the last 10 years in both California and Oregon.
For the past 10 years Monica has been training dancers in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, leaps and turns, and flexibility at all levels and various ages.

Monica received a BA from the University of California Irvine. Prior to starting her dance training at the age of 13 she was a competitive gymnast for 8 years.

Throughout her years of training she studied with Donald McKayle, Elizabeth Hubbard, Doug Caldwell, Karen Stenger-Kovac and Paula Henson.

Monica believes that every child has different strengths and that finding a balance between nurturing them and expecting more from them than they expect from themselves at times will organically allow those strengths to rise to the surface, not just as dancers but as people.

Nicholas Christopher

Nicholas has been dancing since he was just a boy, starting his experience in preschool Tap & Hip Hop classes. He came to dance fully committed as a teenager when ENCORE first opened in 2011. Since then he has been training his own unique style as well as learning from the likes of Mr. Wiggles, Natasha Gorrie, Bboy Storm, Boogie Frantick, PopNTod & many more.

 

Nicholas’ focus is on developing his individual style of Freestyle & Choreography while maintaining & progressing his foundation in Hip Hop, Popping, Tutting, Waving, & Breaking.

Nicholas is proud to be a forever student who still travels and continues his education.  He believes in giving a solid foundation with respect for history and culture while encouraging each student's uniqueness as they grow. Growing up as the son of dance instructor of 20+ years, he has had many opportunities to learn many educational & movement training techniques first hand as well as doing his own research & reading.

 

His core purpose is to create wonder like that of a child in himself and everyone around him through pushing the envelope on what we think we know. Currently, he is continuing his training while heading up ENCOREs brand new Hip Hop Crew & strengthening ENCORE’s "Urban" & Street Styles” program.

 

Quote: Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Piper Ryan

Piper began acting in community theatre at the age of fifteen, but had been performing long before that.  Given any opportunity, Piper would get up and sing or tell a joke to anyone with ears (not much has changed)! After acting in nearly a dozen community theatre shows over the next three years, Valerie Dawn recruited Piper as a volunteer stage hand and assistant student director.  Upon graduating college Valerie Dawn offered Piper a job at ENCORE and the rest, as they say, is history.  Piper studied at Southern Oregon Univeristy, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a minor in Musical Theatre.  She was involved with set design for several productions on the SOU Main Stage including Lucky Stiff and A Midsummer night’s Dream, as well as performing in Musical Theatre Showcase as part of the SOU Fringe festival.  Acting credits include community performances with K.I.D.D.S.; High School Musical 3, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Grease, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter the Musical, as well as the film adaptation of Stefanie Meyer’s classic novel, Twilight. When she’s not teaching at ENCORE, Piper can be found at her full time job managing a  call center, baking delicious treats, or binge-watching Netflix.

Sara White

Sara White was raised in Portland and began taking ballet lessons at the age of 7.  Sara trained in ballet throughout her school years at Renoux Dance Studio in downtown Portland, under the direction of Christina Hintz.  As a young dancer, Sara performed in Ballet West’s production of The Nutcracker as well as Pacific Northwest Ballet’s productions of both The Nutcracker and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Sara attended summer dance intensives voth at Whitman College in Washington and the University of Oregon.  In high school, Sara was a member of the Sunflares dance team at Sunset High School and her senior year the team was invited to perfrom at halftime of a Portland Trailblazers NBA playoff game.

Sara continued to study dance, including jazz and tap, at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  Due to a knee dislocation and subsequent surgeris, Sara did not dance for several years until she was about to graduate from college.  At that time, Sara began training in tap with Sally Mack and also took classes from Terry Brock, both in the Portland area.  In 2001, Sara and her huband relocated to Bend, Oregon where Sara began dancing with Gotta Dance! Studio and Company.  Sara began teaching tap, ballet and jazz for Gotta Dance! In 2006 and also had the opportunity to compete in several competitions in the Pro-Am category including several years at the Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention and Competition.  Aara co-choreographed three platinum and first place award winning tap routines and also competed with the Gotta Dance! Hip Hop crew.  In 2010, Sara had the opportunity of her lifetime when she got to dance back up for her hero, Weird Al Yankovic, at his concert in Redmond, Oregon.

Sara, her husband, and son moved back to the Portland area in 2011 and Sara began teaching tap, ballet and jazz at local studios around the Beaverton area.  Sara contines to train when possible and greatly enjoys teaching her students and encouraging their growth as both dancers and individuals.

Calissa Stiff

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Chaney Mitchell

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Delaney Nigma

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Eva Burton

Eva Burton was born in Los Angeles, where she received training from Patrick Frantz, followed by San Francisco Ballet School. In 2010, she joined OBT as a dancer in the corps de ballet; in 2016, she was promoted to soloist. She cites OBT’s Giants program as especially significant: She performed in George Balanchine’s Serenade and William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and was promoted after the first show. By extension, favorite roles include the Waltz Girl from Balanchine’s Serenade, as well as Nutcracker’s Sugarplum Fairy.