Dance Elite Staff 2015-2016
Faith Gardner- Owner/Director
- Faith Gardner is the owner/director/ and founder of Dance Elite All Stars and has been teaching dance for over nineteen years.
- She opened Dance Elite in July of 2004 as the sole teacher of over 25 classes per week in a small one room studio in Granite Bay.
- Since then Dance Elite has grown into the largest dance studio in Rocklin and is one of the fastest growing studios in the United States.
- Faith graduated from CSU Sacramento Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Dance under the direction of Dale Scholl, Linda Goodrich, and Nolan T’Sani.
- Faith has also trained extensively in all dance styles under Barbara Crockett (Ballet), Pepper Von (Hip Hop), Renette Zappetini (Jazz/Hip Hop), Keith Goings (Jazz/Lyrical), Carrie Pereira (Jazz), and April Cabrera-Co (Jazz/Hip Hop).
- She is a former member of the national champion CSU Sacramento Stinger Girlz Dance Team, the Sacramento Kings Fastbreak/Royal Court Dancers & former instructor for NCA Danz where she traveled across the United States teaching dance and judging regional and national competitions.
- Faith is excited to share her extensive knowledge of dance with the community and has assembled a team of talented instructors & professional desk staff to make the Dance Elite experience a positive and friendly one for all dancers and their families.
- The Director of the Dance Elite Ballet department.
- She was trained by the great Danish ballerina, Marika Raju, and went on to dance for such notable companies as American Ballet Theatre, The Stuttgart Ballet and the London Festival Ballet.
- Anne has been the Artistic Director of the professional companies Ballet 21st Century in Los Angeles and The Arlington Ballet in Virginia A prolific choreographer — specializing in dramatic narrative ballets — she has earned critical praise for her work and has won the Vanguard Award for Choreography.
- Her students have gone on to dance for such companies as ABT, The Joffrey, Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th companies.
- Ms. Merino did traditional theatrical training at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Second City with Del Close and John Belushi. She also trained under Alan Rickman at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, UK.
- As an actress, Ms. Merino has performed with The Groundlings and The Actors Gang in Los Angeles. Century, Eliot Feld Ballet and other notable ballet
Lyrical/Contemporary Director, Jazz Instructor
- Jeannine has taught dance for over 20 years and has worked with children and adults in all genres and all settings from musical theater, local schools, industry shows and benefit programs to competitive dance teams.
- She studied extensively in Jazz, tap, ballet and Hip Hop, training with the Berkeley Ballet Company, Ann Garvin, Dance/10 and Tremaines in Los Angeles.
- Her credits include numerous music videos, a touring group to Japan in “High Steppin”, Disneylands’ “Show Biz Is” and the 1984 Summer Olympics performing with Lionel Richie. Jeannine also studied acting at ACT (American Conservatory Theater) in San Francisco which lead her to perform and choreograph numerous musical theater productions throughout the Bay Area.
- Her passion for dance has kept her involved in the community where ever she goes and she looks forward to teaching at DEA.
- As well teaching at Dance Elite Jeannine has recently started her own photography business.
Media Director, Jazz, Zumba Instructor
- Adrianne Moss has taught dance to children for over twenty years and her specialty is jazz dance.
- Adrianne studied modern/lyrical dance under Paulette Shafransky at California State University Northridge.
- Adrianne is also certified Aerobics and Fitness of America instructor and well as a certified Zumba instructor and has a passion for sharing her love of dance and fitness.
Tap Co-Director, Jazz Instructor
- Carrie has been dancing for over 33 years with training in tap, jazz and ballet.
- She attended CSUS where she was involved with their dance performance group, and graduated with a degree in Dance Commercial Training. She also received her Vocational Credential in “Dance”.
- Carrie’s dance experience includes being selected as a Sacramento Kings Dancer throughout 1987 to 1997 and was the captain for 9 years.
- She continued working with the dance team through 1997 to 1999 as the Dance Team Director.
- Carrie taught for United Spirit Association for 13 years, taught dance at CSU Sacramento for 8 years, and American River College for 8 years.
- She also owned and operated a dance studio for 15 years.
- Carrie currently owns and operates “Starstruck Showcase”, a dance program that is brought into the Elementary Schools where she teaches thousands of children each year.
Tap Co-Director and Instructor
- Lynsay has worked for the United Spirit Association, an organization that has been at the top of the dance/cheer business for decades and prides itself on the instruction of children and young adults nationwide.
- Also having a love of entertaining and performing for an audience, Lynsay began dancing professionally at the age of 15 at such well known venues as the World Trade Club and the Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA.
- Lynsay joined the Sacramento Kings Dance Team in 1996 as a dancer and went on to assistant direct the team in 2003.
- Lynsay graduated from California State University Sacramento with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Child Development.
- Lynsay has participated in and choreographed for many shows throughout California including the Miss Contra Costa County Pageant and the Miss California Pageant, all part of the Miss America program.
Tiny Tot/Pee Wee Director, Jazz Instructor
Lyrical/Contemporary, Jazz Instructor
- Danielle has been dancing for nearly 12 years and has trained in various styles such as jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, and now specializes in contemporary/modern.
- Danielle has studied in numerous studios in the Sacramento area such as O’sullivans Dance Academy, Northern California Dance Conservatory, Step 1, and is now enjoying her time on being a Sacramento Kings Dancer.
- While attending Oakmont High School she was highly involved with the dance program and became an instructor/ teachers assistant during her junior and senior year. In addition, she has performed at many dance competitions, conventions, workshops, and studio dance shows.
- Danielle finds peace and freedom through the art of dancing and believes dancing is like dreaming with your feet.
Hip Hop Instructor
- Mercedes Royce is a Whitney High School graduate and former member of the Whitney High School dance team.
- She was also an active member of the WHS dance program under the direction of Amber O’Brien and was a student director there.
- Mercedes was a member of the Dance Elite competitive teams for the past five years where she won several regional and national titles in Hip Hop.
- Mercedes has been training in jazz, lyrical, ballet and hip hop dance and is looking forward to continue her growth and passion in dancing and teaching.
Ryan “Loco” Villalobos
Hip Hop, Acro Instructor
- At age 11 he started off as a hip –hop halftime performer for the Sacramento Kings
- Ryan has traveled to Los Angles and New York City, auditioning for the hit TV shows “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew”.
- One of his biggest accomplishments is selling out the “CREST ” Theatre twice with shows Lets Go! And Public Display 6.
- In addition, Ryan’s soloist and competitive teams have won national titles and have left with the confidence to achieve their goals.
- He is currently the choreographer of two crews, EMPIRE (Dance Elite’s Pre-Professional Hip Hop Crew) and TCYGBC and looks forward to what the year has to bring.
Tap, Jazz Instructor
- Jennifer has been dancing for 24 years with training in jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap, technique, and musical theater and lyrical.
- While training under Carrie Pereira at Carrie’s Studio, Jennifer progressed in technique and performing and joined the “Carrie On” dance company being a member for 6 years.
- With “Carrie On”, performances included various competitions, Kings games, California State Fair, Great America showcases/Main St. Parade in Disneyland & California Adventure, local parades and a Royal Caribbean cruise.
- Jennifer had the opportunity of choreographing soloists who competed for the Miss Sacramento and Miss Mendocino titles.
- Jennifer graduated from California State University Sacramento in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies and a concentration in Human Development.
Hip Hop, Breaking, Acro Instructor
- Office Mngr – DEAS since 2008
- Administrator – P.F.I.T. Kids, home school physical fitness course
- Owner/Operator – Successful in-home daycare
- Office Mngr; A/P, P/R, and Subcontract Admin – General & Sub-
- Chairperson – Visions in Education Home School Charter Governance Board Homeschool Teacher for her 3 children Kindergarten through High School Graduation
- Bookkeeping & Accounting Certificate, Academy of Business College
Ballet, Jazz, Tap Instructor
- Trained in workshops and performed in numerous ballets with Sacramento Ballet.
- Danced lead roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, and the Snow Queen in local productions of “The Nutcracker”.
- Competed in many dance competitions throughout California and Nevada and has achieved many significant awards alongside the dance studios of which she was a company member.
- Performed in many musical theater productions throughout the Sacramento Valley including “Oklahoma”, “The Music Man”, and “The Wizard of Oz”.
- Performed professionally at Sierra Repertory Theatre and had the incredible chance of performing in such shows as “The King & I”, “South Pacific”, “All Shook Up”, “White Christmas”, and “Hairspray”.
- Instructed and choreographed pieces for Roseville School of Dance, Lines School of Performing Arts, Natomas Charter School of Performing and Fine Arts Academy, The Conservatory of Dance, and Summerville High School.
- Enjoyed Tapping at age 4…..Today at 50 I love the adult tap class here at Dance Elite.
- Room mom and Box Top Coordinator at Twelve Bridges Elementary……the middle schools no longer need us parents.
- I love the title “Dance Mom”-both kids love their world of Dance!
- Currently, I enjoy purchasing Garden Decor and Jewelry for our Carmichael ACE Hardware, love working the front desk here at Dance Elite and love every challenge in being a mom.
- Love capturing the moment on my camera………”life is a ride”……live it!
Lyrical/Contemporary, Tap Instructor
- Graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts from CA State University Sacramento
- Worked for The United Dance Association in 1999 as an instructor and judge
- Was the Artistic Director of Impact Contemporary Dance Company from 2007-2010
- Was a member of Jazzee Dance Company in 2001
- Has been a Dance Instructor and Director of competitive dance teams for fifteen years.
Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, Musical Theatre Instructor
Tiny Tots, Pee Wees, Tap, Jazz Production Instructor
Lyrical Contemporary, Jazz Instructor
Hospitality Co-Director, Tiny Tot and Pee Wee Instructor
Hip Hop Instructor
- Started dancing tap and jazz at age 8.
- Is excited her kids have enjoyed the love of Dance as well!
- Started teaching an after school dance program from high school and took a break to enjoy her family.
- Is also a cake decorator, enjoys cooking and can’t wait for the next performance during the dance year!