Kimberly was born in California but moved to New York at a young age, where she began dancing at her aunt’s dance studio. From then on, she has continued to live and breathe dance and performing. Along with her training in tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical and ballet at her aunt’s studio, she frequently trained in NYC at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. Kimberly eventually picked up and moved back to California at the age of 21. She quickly began performing, teaching and choreographing in the Orange County dance scene and hasn’t stopped since. She majored in Dance at Saddleback College where she choreographed and performed in numerous productions and was voted “Best Performer” and “Best Choreographer.” Kimberly also organized Saddleback College’s National Dance Day yearly workshops, teaching alongside many other talented teachers. After college, she began taking on guest choreography projects throughout the area's schools and colleges and performing with various companies, such as Architexture Modern Dance Company, Tap Overload and Loose Cannons. Kim has also successfully directed and performed with her own company, Urban Blush. She has been teaching all levels and ages for 10+ years and has choreographed and coached numerous nationally ranked competitive teams. She loves pushing her students to be their best selves, creating strong bonds with them and giving positive reinforcement. Her personal philosophy in dance is to never stop growing and evolving as an artist, to work hard and to spread positive supportive energy in this industry.
Chrystina began dancing at age three, but she didn’t actually make it onto the stage for her first dance recital. Instead, she spent the show sitting on her grandfather’s lap, refusing to go on with her class. Things improved after that. Chrystina not only made it onto the stage for her second recital, but she also began to develop a love of performing and a strong competitive spirit. In the years that followed, Chrystina often won overall awards and scholarships. Most notably, her scholarship to train under Gus Giordano inspired her passion for jazz/ modern dance. Chrystina earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Kent State University. After her intensive undergraduate training, she went on to receive a scholarship to dance at Columbia College in Chicago. She was on the Cleveland Cavaliers Dance Team, a dancer for Sooner Productions, and performed with the Indianapolis Ballet and the Champaign Urbana Ballet.
Chrystina comes to us with over 20 years of experience teaching dance. She has travelled the country with Eastern Cheerleaders Association to teach cheerleading and tumbling, and she has instructed dancers at studios in Cleveland, Chicago and Central Illinois teaching classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical modern, acrobatics, and hip hop. Her own competitive students have earned numerous awards, titles, and scholarships. Chrystina is a mother to three kids and is thrilled to be part of our dance family. She cannot wait to share every bit of knowledge she has gathered on her dance journey.
Mackenzie Minnich grew up dancing at Capistrano Academy of Dance. She started dancing at the age of 11 and competitively danced for 6 years in multiple genres. She was chosen as team captain and also dancer of the year in 2012. During her years as a student at Capistrano Academy of Dance, Mackenzie assisted in many classes, studying the art of teaching dance. Since graduating high school in 2014 Mackenzie has been pursuing a career teaching dance and also studying graphic design on the side. Besides working at Capistrano Academy of Dance, Mackenzie also currently teaches dance to Junior High age kids at Capistrano Valley Christian School. She has a passion for dance and kids and loves being able to pursue both of those through teaching dance. Mackenzie was promoted to Office Manager at Capistrano Acacademy of Dance in 2017, as well as maintaining her weekly tech classes and coaching competition teams.
Stephanie began dancing in Montreal, with her mother, Margaret Mehuys and continued her training on scholarship with Yvonne Mounsey at Westside School of Ballet, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the School of American Ballet. She went on to dance professionally with the Hartford Ballet, the Connecticut Ballet and Ballet Ouest de Montréal, and as a guest artist in Costa Rica with the Ballet Classico. She has performed a varied repertoire including principal roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, Giselle, Le Corsaire and Gaité Parisienne, and Lambarena. Stephanie ran her own school in Montreal for three years. In 2006, she merged her school with Ballet Ouest de Montréal to help found their dance center. Here she taught elementary through pre-professional levels including ballet technique, pointe, variations and conditioning. She has choreographed for school productions and Ballet Ouest's competition team. As well, Stephanie has enjoyed serving as an ambassador for Lululemon Athletica and training competitive figure skaters, including Québec's junior national champions.
Suzie started her dance training at the age of 5. The Chechetti method built her foundation of strength and focus of safety to the joints with proper technique. She received a full scholarship to Stanley Holdens' dance center. At the Holdens' center she learned the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) method of dance. She also danced with the San Francisco Ballet and Milwaukee ballet on full scholarship during their summer programs for two consecutive summers. Suzie professionally danced with Ballet Pacifica for ten years under Molly Lynch working with great teachers like David Allen who also taught at UCI, Charles Maple from ABT and Diane Deifenderfer from NYC Ballet who set Balanchine on our company and trained us with Pilates to assist in dance. It was this experience that inspired her to become certified in Pilates to teach through the Physical Mind Institute in 2001 while she was dancing with David Taylor Dance Theater in Denver Colorado. Suzie also did a season and tour with the Los Angeles Chamber ballet, and danced and taught for Ormao Dance Co. (a regional company in Colorado Springs, CO). She loves to teach the joy of dance and will be teaching ballet on Saturdays.
Christina began dancing at the age 4 and came to Capistrano Academy of Dance when they opened their doors in 2004. She continued dancing and trained with Capistrano Dance until she graduated high school. As a student at Capistrano Academy of Dance she studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical and Hip Hop and at the age of 11 began working with Sharon Kinney as her teaching assistant. She competed with Capistrano Dance for several years and won many awards as a team member as well as a soloist. In high school she was a member of the Advance Dance Program at San Juan Hills School where she performed for 4 years and received acknowledgements for her student choreography and also received a Scholarship to pursue dance in her future. She has performed as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Coppelia in Coppelia, Medora in Paquita and has been in numerous productions and recitals throughout the years. Christina is currently a student at Chapman University where she is taking dance classes while pursuing a degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Her love of dance has brought her back to Capistrano Academy of Dance as a teacher. Miss Christina will be teaching Jr. Tap 1.
Lyndsay started dancing when she was 13 at Juliana's Academy of Dance in Clawson Michigan. Middle school through high school she toured with Radio Disney and modeled for Katrina Dance Wear. In 2004, Lyndsay won LA Dance Magic Nationals and was asked to be their assistant the next year. Soon she moved to LA to assist on convention for LADM, Star Systems, and Shock. Lyndsay has been blessed to work with Nappytabs, Tony G, Frank Gatson, Bobby Newberry, the Caspary family, Justin Giles, and Mark Meismer. She has danced for celebrities such as Jordan Knight, Enrique Iglesias, Life a House, Eminem, Nick Cannon, Cody Linley and Beyoncé. Currently, Lyndsay is working with new artist Ani Christy as assistant choreographer and dancer. We are happy to add Lydsay to our staff, she will be teaching jazz, contemporary and tumbling.
Erika Fernandez has over 15 years of teaching and choreography experience. She has traveled throughout the U.S., sharing her talents with students of all ages. She was a member of the L.A. Clippers Dance Team. In 1997, Erika received a scholarship from Jimmie DeFore Dance Center in Costa Mesa, CA. Soon after her training, she was offered a teaching position. In 2000, she accepted a contract to work for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, ported in New York, NY. Since her return to southern California, she has choreographed videos for many new and upcoming artists. Erika is also very busy choreographing for several high schools, productions and shows and is back at Defore’s working with some of the best talent around. Capistrano Dance is very pleased to be adding Erika to our staff. Erika will be teaching Advanced Teen Hip Hop, Beg/Int. Hip Hop, Small Fry Hip Hop and Advanced Jazz.
Laura Flynn began dancing at the age of four at Ballet Conservatory of Saddleback Valley. There she studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Modern styles of dance. Throughout the years she branched off and danced at several different studios such as Jimmie DeFore Dance Center, South Coast Freestyle, Edge Dance Studio, and Millennium Dance Complex. In high school, she was a four year member and captain of the Aliso Niguel High School Dance Team. While on the team, they won several National titles three years in a row. She also holds a third place title from the Festival of Champions for her solo. Laura also has used her dance for charity fundraising performing at Disneyland to support children who have had a hemispherectomy, a rare surgery where half the brain is removed and in Hollywood at the Beverly Hills Hilton. Laura has also had the opportunity to train with well known choreographers such as Alex Wong, Lauren Froderman, Dominic Sandoval, Tabatha and Napoleon, Twitch, and several more at the iHollywood Convention. Laura received the “All-Star” scholarship at the CADTD California State Competition for Leadership, Dedication, and Technique. Her scholarship is going towards her UCI tuition where she is currently attending to study Business Economics and Cognitive Psychology. Miss Laura will be teaching preschool dance and hip hop.
Sharon Kinney is the Artistic Director/Owner of Capistrano Dance and has over 45 years experience in the Performing Arts. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama and Dance from the University of Detroit Mercy College, Detroit, Michigan. Sharon has also studied dance at Adelphi College, New York. As a professional dancer, Sharon has performed throughout Europe with the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia and the Warsaw Opera House in Poland. As a former resident choreographer of the Michigan Ballet Theater she has put together full length ballets such as the Nutcracker, Copellia, and Swan Lake. Formerly, Sharon was the Artistic Director for the Houston Dance Theater and on staff at the University of Houston’s dance department. Sharon's dance program for children was given the "Award of Excellence" by The International Dance Teachers Association, in August 2000. She has directed and performed in numerous radio and TV commercials as well as been photographed by Life Magazine. Sharon has also judged many national dance competitions throughout the country. One of Sharon's professional affiliations is involvement with the The National Dance Education Organization. Other affiliations include the Michigan Opera House in Detroit Michigan and DanceMakers, Inc.
Elizabeth Kinney began the study of dance at the age of five, and at age 9 began performing with the Michigan Ballet Theater. Performances included full Ballet productions of the Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf and Swan Lake. At the age of twelve, Elizabeth received a summer scholarship to attend the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Elizabeth attended the High School for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas, participating in masters classes with Margo Marshall. She has studied dance at the University of Texas under Yacov Sharir and John Sanford. Elizabeth has also performed and studied dance at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth holds a Bachelors of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin, minoring in Dance Choreography and also holds a Masters from the University of Pittsburgh. Professional memberships include: The National Dance Education Organization.
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