My time at OCC provided a solid foundation for my dance career; and having worked in opera, ballet, contemporary, and a commercial arena of dance, the education provided by OCC is my touchstone.
Straight off the plane from Paris, I dived not into the ocean but into a swirl of dance at OCC’s Dance Dept. The seemingly endless array of classes that were offered allowed me to find out what kind of dancer I could become.These were intense days, and I grabbed every bit of knowledge I could from the dance faculty; I’m forever thankful to Linda Sohl-Ellison, Karen Shanley, and Shana Menaker, who were instrumental in nurturing the budding artist in me.Rocking moments: nowhere else in the world did I experience doing demi-pliés at the barre, exit the studio during an earthquake and then go back to class to proceed with grands pliés!
Right after OCC, I moved to NYC and auditioned for The Juilliard School, where I graduated with a BFA in Dance in 1995.
Dance is a part of me and it all started at OCC.
Spring 1990 – Summer 1991
The Dance Department at Orange Coast College provides solid technical and artistic training, creating well-rounded dancers comparable to that of several university level programs. I owe my passion for dance to this program which prepared me to transfer into the highly competitive School of Dance at the University of Arizona. OCC instilled in me a strong foundation which has allowed me to continue my career of teaching, choreographing and dancing professionally. It taught me how to push myself to my potential and has served as a gateway to becoming successful in this career path.
Fall 2005 – Spring 2009
I am now the proud owner of The Dance Factory School of Performing Arts. Having attended other junior colleges before, OCC’s amazing dance program taught me the most by far. The Jazz, Ballet, and Tap classes helped me learn more about body placement, the correct alignment, and proper technique that now improves my teaching. OCC also offers a very helpful Choreography class and Dance Methodology course that taught me how to prepare in-depth lesson plans and offered information on owning a dance studio. I would not have been prepared to teach 40 hours a week and run a studio without my training at Orange Coast College.
Fall 2006 – Spring 2009
The OCC dance program’s supportive and enriching environment successfully prepared me to transfer to California State University of Long Beach and for a professional career in dance. I discovered new ways of moving and choreographing under the mentorship of incredible faculty members. The department facilitated my transformation from a dancer to an artist and uncovered a new passion for somatic work.
I am so thankful to the OCC Dance Department instructors for their knowledge, passion for dance, dedicated mentorship and for encouraging us to choreograph! Their classes provided me with the tools I needed, laying a good foundation for developing my technique and choreographic voice. Thanks to their mentorship, I successfully transferred into the CSULB dance program and graduate with a BA.
The OCC Pilates/Dance Conditioning Program has changed my life. Its highly skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated teachers gave me the experience and education I needed to be successful in the Pilates field. Shortly after completing my certificate, I landed a Pilates job with great growth potential. I’m looking forward to a long, rewarding career in this field.
My training as a Pilates instructor started at OCC and laid the foundation for my career as a Pilates teacher. By the time I was ready to graduate, I could design lesson plans, teach mat and apparatus classes, and address modifications for issues ranging from de-conditioned clients to clients with osteoporosis. Thank you OCC!
Already a professional dancer and ballet teacher with a BFA in Dance from UCI, a passion for Pilates brought me back to school to earn my Pilates/Dance Conditioning Certificate from OCC. On graduating I felt well prepared to instruct Pilates to all ages and abilities and to apply my Pilates training to the dance classes I continue to teach.
I chose OCC because it was close, affordable, and had a good reputation, but what I found there was so much more. The teachers are fabulous—well-trained, down to earth, and accessible. Every class—and there’s a wide choice—is beneficial, and the program covers all aspects of teaching.