Artistic Director and co-owner, has a widespread background in dance. She began her training at the age of 3, and ultimately found a love for dance when she started her extensive dance training in 1999. Katie began student-teaching at the age of 12 and received her first class as a teacher three years later. She teaches ballet, tap, and jazz, specializing in teens and preteens. Katie graduated from San Diego State University in May, 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies and a minor in dance. Her dance degree has expanded her knowledge of dance history, methodology, physiology, choreography technique and improvisation. She is delighted to pass all of this (and more) along to her students at Dance & Company. Specialties: Ballet, Tap and Jazz – for all age groups
As Business Director, Co-Owner and instructor at Dance & Company, Lisa Lewis brings a comprehensive knowledge of both business and dance. Having studied ballet for over 30 years in San Diego, where she began her training as an adult, Lisa is dedicated to teaching other adults the basics of dance as both a creative outlet and a healthy lifestyle. Lisa was introduced to Pilates about 10 years ago and quickly feel in love with it, realizing the importance of core strength and stability especially as we age. To further her training, she continues to take class in the Pilates and attends workshops in San Diego and NYC to help enhance her skills as an instructor. Specialties: Ballet and Mat Pilates.
Tyler began dancing at the age of 3 in her hometown of San Ramon, CA. After taking some time to pursue competitive gymnastics, she discovered her passion for dance, and has been training and performing ever since. Tyler moved to San Luis Obispo, CA to attend Cal Poly, where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology with minors in Dance and Psychology. While in school, she danced with Orchesis Dance Company, which provided her opportunities to work with choreographers from across the nation in contemporary, jazz, modern, ballet and tap. Her minor and company experience offered her chances to learn more about dance composition, teaching methodology, and arts administration. She had the privilege of choreographing a contemporary piece for the Orchesis’ annual performance and was chosen to direct and produce Cal Poly’s Spring Dance Concert two years in a row. Tyler moved to San Diego in 2013 and is excited to be sharing her love for dance with the Dance & Company family! Specialties: Combos, Contemporary and lead for Toddler Program
Tyler is also Dance & Company’s Membership Specialist
Kathleen began dancing at the age of 3, and knew at an early age dance would play a significant part in her life! After 15 years at a competitive dance studio, she attended the University of New Hampshire, where she earned a Bachelor Degree of Business Administration & a Minor in Dance. Kathleen had the privilege of dancing for the UNH Dance Company – a performance company specializing in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Musical Theater & Aerial Dance – and was also awarded the Jean Mattox Scholarship for Excellence in Dance. Kathleen has been teaching Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, & Aerial Dance to various age groups since 2008, and loves sharing her passion for dance with her students.
Originally from the Boston, Massachusetts area, Kathleen relocated to San Diego in 2012, and joined the wonderful team at Dance & Company shortly thereafter. Although she greatly misses her family & friends back East, the staff & students at Dance & Company quickly became a second family to her.
Specialties: Jazz, Tap and Tricks & Turns
Kathleen is also Dance & Company’s Assistant Artistic Director
Originally from the East coast, Katie began dancing at her home town studio in New York at the age of 2. She continued to expand her training to include many different styles. Starting with ballet and tap, adding on jazz, acro, modern, contemporary, lyrical, pointe, belly dance, Irish step, and African tribal. Dancing with her performance company through high school, Katie performed in many local theaters and at many charity events. She also frequented the workshops offered at Skidmore college, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Radio City Music Hall, and classes at Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Continuing her dance studies through community college, she began coaching gymnastics as well. After two years of gymnastics, Katie began teaching at a studio near her undergraduate school and ran the competition team. After a year injury, Katie has been keeping up with her skills by taking classes at different studios. Moving to San Diego for her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, she has found a home at Dance & Company. Specialties: Acro & Combo
Danielle Behrens was born and raised in Visalia, California. She works professionally as a musical theatre performer and dance instructor in both California and New York City. She has been dancing since the age of 3 and teaching and choreographing since the age of 16. While studying dance at Sierra Performing Arts Center, Danielle quickly discovered that she wanted to pursue a career in the arts and began training in voice and acting as well. She continued her training at College of the Sequoias, and then transferred to Marymount Manhattan College in New York City where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre. After graduation, Danielle joined the North American touring cast of The Wizard of Oz working as a swing. She then performed on the Disney Wonder cruise ship where she appeared onstage as Aurora, Cinderella, Belle and more. Danielle has also had the pleasure of performing at many regional theaters around the country. Some of her favorite credits include: Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, Clara Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, and Meg Giry in Phantom of the Opera. She has worked as an instructor and choreographer at Broadway Dance Center, Thommie Retter’s NYC Tap Crew, Lopresti Dance Theatre, Sierra Performing Arts Center and College of the Sequoias. She loves sharing her passion for the arts as well as everything she has learned along the way! Specialties: Tap, Musical Theatre & Jazz
Shelly Gross was born and raised in Iowa. She began dancing at the age of three at Carleen’s School of Dance. Wanting to be well versed in the performing arts and dance world, Shelly kept busy with studio dance, dance team, show choir and cheerleading. She went on to receive her Performing Arts and Dance degree from Iowa State University. Shelly served as Performance Liaison and President for the Modern Dance Company. She represented ISU for three years at the American College Dance Festival, where she was invited to perform her own work. In March 2011, the Iowa State Dance Department awarded Shelly the Anna R. Toman Dance Award and scholarship for her service to and representation of the Company. Through her training, Shelly has performed in several shows under the choreography and direction of April James, Stephen Todd, Jarad Voss, Eric Yow, Jenni Pitts, Angie Simmons, Jennifer Conley, Brandon Dean and John Viars. Upon graduation, Shelly performed as an Iowa Star dancer, enjoying the opportunity to dance for large, loud crowds at Wells Fargo Arena each week. Most recently she has provided choreography for Iowa State University, various show choirs and high school drama departments. Shelly has recently started multi-level acrobatic programs in Iowa, Wisconsin and California. Shelly loves to teach all genres and ages of dance! Specialities: Combo
Katey has a huge passion for dance and feels very fortunate to be able to share her love for the art form with others, and hopes that her dancing and teaching will inspire others to pursue their dreams.
Katey was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ where she began her dance training at 2 1/2 years old. She has trained extensively in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, Musical Theatre, and Hip-Hop. Amongst other teachers, Katey has trained with Nadya Zubkov, Olga Tarasova, Slawomir & Irena Wozniak, Julie Grooters, and Lili Griffiths. She has received many awards in dance including winning first place in the 2011 Arizona Young Artist Competition. At the age of 17 Katey joined her first professional dance company “Center Dance Ensemble” where she performed featured soloist and ensemble roles under the direction of Frances Smith Cohen, and worked closely with CDE’s resident choreographer Diane McNeal Hunt. After moving to San Diego in 2013, Katey began performing at SeaWorld in Madagascar Live: Operation Vacation.Exploring more of the Musical Theatre side of dancing Katey has performed featured soloist and ensemble roles in The Welk Resort Theatre production of The King And I, and in San Diego Musical Theatre productions of Singin’ In The Rain, 42nd Street, The Producers, and White Christmas. Katey has 10 years of teaching experience, and in addition to being a dance instructor, Katey continues to explore all dance career opportunities whether it be Theme Parks, Musical Theatre, Concert Dance, Cruise Ships, or Commercial. Katey is very excited to be joining the staff at Dance & Co., and looks forward to a wonderful dance season. Specialties: Ballet, Jazz & Musical Theatre
Liliana Lizalde began dancing at the age of 4 and has trained in several genres of dance including ballet, contemporary and ballroom. She also trained in rhythmic gymnastics and became a National Champion and won a spot as a Junior Olympic Team Member. Later, Lily decided to follow her heart and put her focus into her ballet training. So, at 13 she moved from San Diego to Arizona to train full-time in a professional program where she danced in several shows with the Phoenix Ballet Company. Lily has competed and placed in the top 3 at the YAGP and was also chosen to compete in the 2018 Beijing IBC. Lily is delighted to share her knowledge and love of dance with Dance & Company. Specialities: Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Combo Classes
Natalie was born in Irvine, California, and began her dance training with Ms. Hanna Karacic at the age of six. She spent her formative years training in the Vaganova method at Southland Ballet Academy, and furthered her training at summer intensives with American Ballet Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Kirov Academy of Washington, DC, the Rock School for Dance Education, and Oklahoma City Ballet. She completed her BFA in dance performance and choreography with a minor in Spanish at the University of California, Irvine, graduating with honors that included Excellence in Dance Performance (2015); Latin and Campuswide Honors; Phi Beta Kappa; the William J. Gillespie Scholarship in Ballet Studies (2013-15); and the Medici Circle Award (2014). She danced with Orange County’s Festival Ballet Theatre for six seasons, performing principal and soloist roles that included Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote; Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker; Diamond and White Fairy in Sleeping Beauty; and Monya in Giselle. Her choreography has been performed at UC Irvine, Azusa Pacific University, and Youth America Grand Prix. Ms. Matsuura served as the Director of Corps de Ballet and Youth Division at Azusa Pacific University from 2015-2016 and was on faculty at Southland Ballet Academy for six years before joining Oklahoma City Ballet’s Studio Company in 2017. Ms. Matsuura was promoted to apprentice in 2018 and corps de ballet in 2019. Her teaching certifications include Progressing Ballet Technique and the distinction of ABT® Affiliate Teacher, having completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and successfully presented students for examination. Specialties: Ballet
Brittany grew up dancing at Performing Arts Workshop, Encinitas under the Direction of Leslie Craig. Brittany has attended summer intensives at State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara, and taken summer classes from Larry Rosenburg. Brittany’s thirteen years of Ballet training led her to receive her BA in dance from California State University, Fullerton. Under the department direction of Gladys Kares, Brittany began her modern training. She trained in Limon, Horton, and Graham from instructors Debra Noble, Alvin Rangel, and Lisa D Long; as well as keeping up her Ballet training with Muriel Joyce. Brittany May has performed in CSUF’s Fall and Spring Dance Concerts where she danced in contemporary ballet pieces by Muriel Joyce followed by classical repertoire from “Giselle.” Brittany Graduated Magma Cum Laude from the University Honors Program. Her senior thesis involved a research investigation on the style of Horton and how it related to Ballet dancers. She created and completed case studies that led her to acknowledge the benefits of the style on Ballerinas. Throughout her Honors project, she found her passion for teaching. Brittany just recently began teaching at Dance & Company in November and is excited to be a part of the family. Specialties: Ballet, Contemporary, & Combo
Camilla began dancing at the age of 2, but didn’t truly fall in love with it until college. Growing up, she studied ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, and tap, expanding her studies in improvisation, character dance, and more with annual state dance festivals. She found a love of musical theatre thanks to high school productions, which she performed in every year. After high school, she performed with her community college dance company before moving her studies to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she expanded her learning with contemporary, West African, and somatics training, and earned her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. She’s been teaching since 2012, and spent much of that time working with performing groups, both competitive and non-competitive. She moved to San Diego earlier this year, and is excited to be a part of the Dance and Company family. Specialties: Ballet & Tap
Maddie started dancing at the age of 8 in Southern California. She received her formal Ballet training from Inspire School of Ballet in Eastlake, CA. Maddie was a competitive dancer on the EHS dance team for several years, under the direction of Kristy Greenway and Natalie Barone. She has instructed Ballet and Lyrical workshops at her alma mater, Eastlake High School. Throughout her competitive dance years, she had the pleasure of training with some great choreographers, such as Ambrose Respicio, Shana Clark, Mikeal Villela, and Kevin Frey. She attended many dance competitions all over California where she competed in groups and solos. She is well trained in Contemporary, Ballet, Lyrical, Technical Jazz, and Fusion Jazz, and has become a certified Progressing Ballet Technique instructor. Maddie has starred in various ballet productions such as Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Beauty, and the Beast, and her favorite role being Clara in The Nutcracker. She has always had a strong passion for teaching and hopes to inspire young children and teens to always do what they love. Specialties: Ballet, Jazz & Lyrical
Sydney Suter is a teacher, choreographer, and actor in San Diego. Most recently being the Artistic Director for GCDC’s production of Beauty and the Beast. Past productions that Sydney has a part of, as a creative team member includes, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Alice In Wonderland, and many Nutcrackers. With over a decade of training in musical theatre, Sydney has been an actor, dancer and singer since she was 7 years old. She has been in numerous productions such as Disneyland’s Fantasmic, Chicago’s Death and the Kings Horseman, and Perry Mansfield’s world premier Failure a Love Story. Growing up as a dance studio owners daughter, Sydney has watched and been around many dancers, teachers and has been trained in ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, and musical theatre. Whether a student is training for Broadway one day or just wants to land that perfect pirouette, Sydney wants to create a safe and joyful space for all kids to discover their love for dance! Specialties: Combo Classes & Musical Theatre