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About KAR Convention / be part of what everyone is talking about.

The KAR Dance Convention offers one-day, affordable workshops in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Musical Theater taught by some of the best teachers in the industry! Yes, teachers who understand students of all ages and abilities because they currently teach at dance studios just like yours!

Our master teachers are known for being enthusiastic and interactive with students to help them become better dancers and ultimately confident performers.

Your students will also love our master teachers because they bring the hottest and latest choreography styles to our convention! Don't miss out on the fun and be part of what everyone is talking about.

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Master Teachers / yes, teachers who understand students of all ages and abilities because they currently teach at dance studios like yours!

Alexandria Kessinger
Jazz

Dance has always flowed through Alex Kessinger’s veins. Raised in Southern California, she started her wonderful journey with dance at the age of 4 at her mother’s dance studio, West Coast School of the Arts. Alex started working as a child actor and dancer at the age of 6, where she had the opportunity to be a part of numerous commercials, print work, and even danced with Martin Short in Disney’s Santa Clause 3. Dancing has also given Alex the unique opportunity to participate in various competitions where she has won many awards and National Titles. After winning a national title in 2011, she got to travel to Australia to represent the United States where she won the gold. After her competitive dance career, she furthered her education at Chapman University, where she was one of few that was awarded a talent scholarship to go along with her scholastic one. Alex graduated Cum Laude from Chapman University in 2016 with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Theater Technology. Currently, she is signed with MSA Talent Agency. Some of her achievements have been dancing with Jojo Siwa, assisting on national commercials with Michael Rooney, television shows such as the newest hit tv show “GLOW” with Marguerite Derricks, a digital backup dancer in Paula Abdul’s tour “Straight Up Paula”, and dancing in and choreographing for music videos. Alex’s most recent dance achievement is becoming a full time faculty member on The Dance Xperience Convention, all while still pursuing the “starving artist’s” dream!

Amanda Casas
Lyrical

Amanda Casas, born in Riverside, California, grew up a competitive dancer at the age of six. She has won numerous titles including representing the United States in Australia winning the international title of ‘Dancer of The World’ in 2006. She toured the world dancing on a cruise ship, was a background dancer for ‘Foreigner’, and performed with contemporary company “Atlantis Dance Theatre”. She was featured on the Fox series ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, season 5 making it to Top 30 girls. Amanda danced two seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers. She continued to represent the NFL as an All-Star Cheerleader and was an ambassador at the international games in London. Amanda graduated college from California State University, Long Beach with a BA in Dance, and is Pilates Certified (BASI). She currently teaches conventions and master classes throughout the nation with Kids Artistic Revue, is a nationally recognized choreographer, and judges internationally in countries like Mexico and Japan! 

Andrea Woodward
Lyrical

Andrea Woodward is the owner of Hermitage Dance Academy in Nashville, TN. In 2014 Andrea was nominated for the Industry Dance Awards choreographer of the year. Andrea has won countless awards for her stylistic and emotional choreography and for her students’ technical ability, including both Teacher of the Year and Choreographer of the Year every year from 2008 - 2015 at KAR Nationals. Andrea has been teaching lyrical on the KAR Convention circuit teaching since 2011. Andrea is certified by Dance Masters of America and holds a B.S. degree from Cumberland University in Nashville, TN.

Brittany Mains
Jazz

Master teacher, performer and choreographer, Brittany Mains draws from her 15 years of dance training when in front of a classroom or on a stage. With a focus in Contemporary and Hip Hop, Brittany also possesses training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Pilates and Yoga. Brittany has danced for artists including Macklemore (‘Dance Off’ official music video), Beat Connection (Capitol Hill Block Party) and has worked on various projects with Macklemore’s main choreographer, Anna Matuszewski. A native of Seattle, Brittany’s artistic ambitions led her to Los Angeles, California to pursue her professional career. She joined a performing arts company known as The Young Americans where she expanded her training in all forms of dance as well as broadened her knowledge in acting, vocal and choral training. Brittany traveled to countries including Germany, Spain, Gibraltar, Holland, Poland, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Japan and South Korea teaching music and dance as a part of The Young American’s Outreach Program. Brittany also performed in the Macy’s Thanks Giving Day Parade, and has worked extensively with master teachers including Alex Little, Doug Caldwell and Daniel Cruz. Currently, Brittany works as a choreographer for the Seattle based studio, IGNITE and has been traveling around the country as a guest choreographer for various studios. Brittany has received numerous choreography awards from Spotlight Dance Competition, Rainbow Dance Competition, Hollywood Connection Regionals, Velocity Dance Competition, Masquerade Dance Competition, Revel Dance Competition, Move Dance Completion, Spotlight Nationals, Thunderstruck, Hollywood Connection nationals and many more. Most recently one of Brittany's pieces was nominated for the "Industry Dance Awards" in Los Angeles California and had the honor of attending this prestigious event. Brittany is also on the panel of judges for Kids Artistic Review on the weekends in various cities around the United States. Brittany believes in the power of dance and its ability to enhance the mind, body and spirit. Using dance as an outlet to relieve all emotions and connect with others on a level beyond words, has helped her in all walks of life. Through her teaching, she hopes to share this gift with all of her students.

Caley Carr
Tap

J. Caley-Ryan Carr is represented by "Go 2 Talent Agency" in Los Angeles. Has been dancing professionally as his life's dream and can't wish for anything more. Most recently has been featured in “Dance Magazine.” As one of the Top 25 Breakout Stars of 2018 and also just recently had a Q&A article for the “Tap Issue” for “Dance Spirit Magazine,” all of this of course with his beautiful fiancée, Kelsey McCowan. He has contributed tap choreography for Derek Hough that has been featured on “Dancing With The Stars”, “Good Morning America”, The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration and the “Move Live Tour” with his sister Julianne. Along with performing with Derek Hough in his “Kairos” music video and his “Singing in the Rain” recreation performed at the Hollywood Night Under the Stars” hosted by George Clooney. Caley has spent time as a company member in “Rhapsody in Taps”, under the direction of Linda Sohl-Ellison, and has also been a company member of “Taps Sounds Under Ground,” directed by Greg Russell. Now you may have seen Caley on Season 9 of “So You Think You Can Dance” as a featured dancer. Or possibly seen him in a credit card suit tap dancing for a creditcards.com commercial. You may have also caught him performing for the Pasadena POPS Orchestra, conducted by Michael Feinstein. Or caught him tapping it away in Baku, for the 2015 European Olympic! (Baku- under Russia, next door to Turkey) But hopefully you have seen him as part of a dynamic duo with his amazing dance partner Kelsey McCowan. Together they have done countless performances and are constantly working together to make new exciting pieces. Check out more of their work and adventures on Instagram @caleyandkelsey

Faliceano Turk
Hip Hop

Faliceano Keith Turk was brought into the world of entertainment at the early age of 8, with Ringling Bros. & Barnum Bailey Circus. Faliceano learned most of his hip-hop skills and his dance technique as well as his Vibrant character which he displays from life’s courses of ups and downs. His hard hitting energetic style is what keeps his kids at the top of LA’s lists in all major competitions, shows, and projects far and wide. Partnered along with wife Summer Turk they have created the name K.A.S.T.(Keith and Summer Turk) Academy of the Arts that has taken a multitude of 1st place, top 1st, highest in categories, and countless title awards.
KAST is a leading entertainment academy that has been featured on many shows and television competitions recently. The academy is known for its high turnover rate of successful athletes and dancers. Faliceano's choreography can now be seen on shows such as Ellen, and So You Think You Can Dance New generation!! His training has led students to dance for P.diddy, Bet awards, Target commercials, AGT, and Disney. With a dancers career success rate at 90.4 % this studio brings the best out of students that travel distances for their training.
From choreographing a Bollywood bhangra for artist Sukshindar Shinda  from India, to landing a nationwide commercial along side of good friend D-trix ABDC/(quest Crew) he has also grabbed the attention of directors to score a part in the award winning broadway musical "WICKED".
Meeting with and auditioning for artist such as Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Missy Elliott, Madonna, Faliceano continues to push his students to the L.A. level to land jobs and gain knowledge of their future industry.
Faliceano says "Dance with no limits, leave the floor buzzing with your name on it.”
Dance Styles include: Hip-Hop, Jazz, African dance, and Lyrical.

Hollind Hardy
Tap

Hollind Hardy grew up in California and Texas where she found a love for dancing, singing, and acting. Growing up as a competitive dancer she was trained in multiple styles including jazz, ballet, contemporary, musical theater, etc... but soon found her niche in tap dancing. After high school she joined a professional company, Rhythmic Souls Tap Company, where she was able to teach at multiple dance studios throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, educating to students of all ages. During this time Hollind was able to take classes and learn from world renowned tap dancers such as Anthony Morigerato, Nick Dinicolangelo, Acia Gray, and many more. Once relocated to Los Angeles in 2019 she began to take professional classes with Rhythmatic Tap Co. and trained in multiple styles at Edge Performing Arts Center and other studios. She also began working for Kids Artistic Revue as an emcee, where she travels nationally working dance events. Currently Hollind is back in Dallas/Fort Worth where she continues to train, teach, choreograph, and take every possible opportunity to refine her skills and help her students learn in a safe and dedicated environment.

Jacob Piattoni
Musical Theater

Jacob Piattoni bio

Jessica Etzel
Jazz

Jessica has been dancing since the age of 8 and has trained in all genres of dance, making her a versatile teacher and choreographer. She trained with many studios & dance companies before settling into the world of teaching. Jessica currently owns & directs her own studio and dance company in Maryland, where her students are national champion competitors and performers. She has been a featured performer at the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center in Hanover, PA, and she has participated in several events to honor National Dance Week. She was awarded with the Frank Hatchett Broadway Dance Center Scholarship along with the Los Angeles Dance Force, "Dance with the Force Award." Jessica was also named the American Dance Awards "Young Choreographer of the Year,” and her award-winning choreography can be seen throughout the country on both the competition & convention stages. Jessica is a part of the Dance Olympus/DanceAmerica and International Dance Challenge Faculty, where she has had the opportunity to travel to numerous cities, teaching master classes, judging dance competitions, and performing. Jessica graduated from McDaniel College with a degree in Exercise Science and Physical Education. She was also awarded the Richard Clower Award for Excellence.

Melissa Ruiz
Hip Hop

Melissa Ruiz was born and raised in Miami, FL where she began dancing at the age of 4 and continued her training in Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop and Modern throughout her school years. Later moving to Orlando, Fl brought her many opportunities in the dance industry performing for local recording artists, MTV, Nickelodeon Studios, McDonalds, Miller Beer and Surf Expo. In addition, she has choreographed for NBA’s Orlando Magic Dancers, Orlando Predators, FSU's Golden Girls, along with countless dance studios, high school and college dance teams throughout the country. She currently teaches and choreographs Hip Hop, Jazz and Contemporary along with directing 5 Hip Hop competition teams in the Central Florida area. Melissa is now owner/creator of Underground Dance Xperience and continues her determination to bring more opportunities to the Florida dance community.

Michelle Richey
Musical Theater

Michelle received her education in dance from Long Beach State and CSUF. She worked for United Spirit Association (USA) for 6 years as a songleading head coach. For over 10 years, Michelle made her home at Disneyland® Park, performing in both parades and live shows such as the “Queen Mary” and the “Spruce Goose” show. She has performed for many superstars like Milton Berle, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson and Frankie Avalon. Her most recent choreography credits include “Grease”, “Anything Goes”, “Cabaret”, “Oliver”, “Peter Pan”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “Godspell”, “The Wiz” and “Beauty and the Beast”. Michelle also was the proud owner of MKR Productions, which is now part of the Dance Precisions family. Her choreography
and students have been the recipients of many regional and national titles. Many of her students have performed on TV and in music videos, receiving scholarships to major universities, and become nationally ranked choreographers themselves. Michelle also works for Kids Artistic Revue and is in her 8th year on staff for KAR conventions. Michelle is currently a teacher and an award-winning choreographer at Dance Precisions. She is known for her warm heart and huge hugs!

Patrick Brennan
Hip Hop

Patrick 31, began his dancing career at a very early age growing up and training at his Mother's dance studio in Bowie Maryland. His professional career started right out of high school with off broadway shows and national tours of the Broadway musical "Footloose" choreographed by AC Ciulla. He then went on and was a backup dancer for 2 years for Toni Braxton's Las Vegas show "Revealed". He has backup danced in music videos and shows for artists such as Toni Braxton, Amerie, Mario,Lupe Fiasco, Cassie, and Corbin Bleu to name a few. He was featured in the major motion picture "Step Up 2 The Streets" choreographed by Jamal Sims. His television debut was a 4 episode stint for ABC's "One Life To Live" and performed on NBC's "The View". Pat has also performed with Rasta Thomas' "Bad Boys Of Dance". Pat has been on the KAR Convention faculty for 6 seasons. He is extremely passionate and loves nothing more than working with young artists and passing on his knowledge and love for dance.

Rachael Leitson
Musical Theater

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Rachael began her training at the age of 3 with her mom, Mary Spaniola, at Jordan Center Dance. There she trained in ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theater and Tap. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships throughout her childhood. Along side her training at JCD, she studied at UNLV – Ballet Seminars, Florida Youth Ballet, American Academy of Ballet, and Dance Educators of America. She performed in NYC for 3 consecutive years for the Dr. Oz Health Corp Gala. She has performed at the City Center in NYC and Maui, Hawaii with Nextstep Company. Rachael just recently graduated with a B.F.A in Dance Performance from Chapman University. While in University, Rachael was a selected dancer to perform in the piece Falling Angels, by Jiri Kylian from Nederlands Dans Theater. After Graduating she was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel and perform in Prague, Czech Republic. She is now working as a professional dancer in New York City. Rachael was recently in A Christmas Carol at McCarter Theatre. Alongside performing, Rachael loves teaching and educating. Her choreography has won numerous awards across the nation and she has won Teacher Awards as well. Rachael loves working with dancers and is excited to be able to share her knowledge and love of dance.

Sara Brendel
Lyrical

Sara Brendel is a native of St.louis, MO and has years of dance training and performance experience. She started her professional career dancing for Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess Cruise Lines. She has worked industrial shows and special events for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nissan Motors, Siemens Technologies, and several other companies with Event Show Productions. She performed in Branson, Missouri with the production shows "Dino's - Somewhere in Christmas" and "The Shoji Tabuchi Show”. Sara also danced in the Broadway-style production of "Katonga" at Busch Gardens, Tampa Bay. Sara has performed beside talented dancers with the Les Grand Ballets Canadians and appeared in the musicals “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, "The Music Man", and "42nd Street". Sara received her education from Columbia College Chicago and Webster University as a dance major with a concentration in choreography. She has choreographed numerous nationally award-winning pieces and has received several choreography awards as well as having her work featured on ESPN. Her work has also been performed by the SueMo Dance Company in Milwaukee,WI. Sara's students have been accepted into prestigious dance programs at the Edge Performing Arts Center, Oklahoma City University, Chapman University and several other universities. Many of her students have successful dance careers performing with world tours, professional dance companies, production shows, music videos and cruise lines. Sara is a faculty member for KAR Convention and a judge for Rainbow Connection and Kids Artistic Revue Dance Competition. She has had the honor of teaching and judging talent across the country as well as internationally with Kids Artistic Revue in Australia. Sara encourages her students to push their boundaries and to never settle.

Tiffany Schlater
Tap

Tiffany has over thirty-five years of dance experience in ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, musical theater and several styles of tap dancing including Broadway to Hoofing. She served as Dance Captain in the production “Kizmet” at the Ohio State University at age 16 and received a full dance scholarship to the prestigious Gus Giordano Dance Center in Chicago, Illinois. She has performed at the Capital Building in Washington D.C., the Chicago Theater, in the promotional tour for the movie “TAP”, various industrials, charity events and on television. Tiffany has performed with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Savion Glover, Lane Alexander, the late Gregory Hines and was an original member of the “ETC” Tap Company. She has also had the honor of studying under such greats as Gus Giordano, Henry LeTang, Sandman Simms, Jimmy Slyde, Derick Grant and the Emmy winning Jason Samuels Smith. Tiffany has earned the titles Teacher Of The Year & Top Choreographer on Regional and National level and her choreography has been featured in the New York City Tap Extravaganza and Industry Dance Awards in Hollywood, CA and Las Vegas. Her students can be found on television, Broadway, movies and professional dance companies. Tiffany has been recognized by Stanford Who’s Who of America, Ohio House of Representatives for her dedication to the Arts and is a member of the International Tap Association. She now serves as a National Adjudicator, Master Teacher/Choreographer, NYC Tap Legacy Foundation Ambassador and the Elite Company Director at Judy Dollenmayer Studio of Dance in Columbus, Ohio. Tiffany is committed to sharing her love of dance through mentoring, educating and teaching proper technique across the country.

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Event FAQs / find your answers

The KAR Dance Convention Showcase is an informal showing for the parents to see what the dancers have learned throughout the day. Parents are encouraged to take photos and videos of their dancer to capture the fun and excitement of the weekend. The showcase lasts approximately one hour and includes:

 Master Teacher Introduction

 Class Performances

 Scholarships

 Photo session

 FREE of charge

 Master Teacher Autographs

The showcase is free of charge and we encourage all family members to come and watch what the dancers learned throughout the day.

Any and all dancers who are not attending via a previously received scholarship.

The dancers are selected by the master teachers.

Yes, in order for a parent to observe class they need to purchase an Observer Band for $20.00.

No. All classes (Including the Audition Workshop) as well as the Parent Observer bands are all NON-REFUNDABLE.