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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!

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

Chaldea "Dea" Sevilla
Hip Hop

Chaldea "Dea" Sevilla is a dancer and choreographer who has been training since a young age, in various styles such as ballet, tap, and jazz around San Diego, CA. Introduced to the hip-hop dance community in 2004, she joined Future Shock SD under the guidance of Belle Abuyo and Jabbawockeez member, Rainen Paguio. Dea furthered her training with Boxcuttuhz under the direction of ABDC's Mos Wanted Crew's, Lando Wilkins, and Super Galactic Beat Manipulators, directed by Jabbawockeez Kevin Brewer. Dea is happy to call Cookies (formerly known as Choreo Cookies) home. Cookies is considered one of Southern California's best hip hop dance teams, having placed at many competitions such as World of Dance and Body Rock dance competition. Dea has recently worked with Pharrell Williams, Gee Kazz and Korean Pop artists Sunmi, JYP, and Trouble Maker. She was featured on Fox's "Mobbed" with Choreo Cookies and the Ellen Degeneres show with Formality. Dea travels across the world to teach and share her love for dance. She has also judged and performed at Casio G-Shock's "Shock the World Tour" in Singapore. As Dea continues to grow as a dancer and choreographer, her hope is to inspire others; teaching dance abroad as well as with local dance studios. Dea feels blessed on her path and looks forward to whatever lies ahead.

Cori Heckmann-Moody
Tap

At the young age of 3, Cori Heckmann-Moody began her dance training and fell in love with the rhythms and sounds of tap. After thirteen years of training and assisting, it wasn't long before Cori knew she wanted to share her passion for tap with others. For twelve years, Cori directed the tap programs for several studios throughout California, and in 2015 opened her own studio, Roseville Academy of Dance in Roseville, CA. With recognition from today's most popular dance competitions, Cori has won numerous awards for her choreography, most entertaining acts, and highest scoring tap performances at both the regional and national level. Her students have received high point awards, title awards, scholarships, and have taken home top honors from many dance competitions. Cori spends her free time continuing her dance education, choreographing and teaching master classes for studios throughout the United States, judging dance competitions, and running a private lesson based business, CHM Dance Productions. Cori loves teaching dance and is very excited to be returning for her fourth year with the KAR Dance Convention.

Daniel Longo
Musical Theater

Daniel Longo, Co-Founder and Owner of East Coast Artists Dance Center is a choreographer, teacher and dancer from Long Island. He is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science and Dance, and Master's Degree in Business Administration from Dowling College. After appearing on Sesame Street when he was only 10 years old, Daniel has gone on to perform and choreograph for the Alvin Ailey showcase in New York City directed by Kat Wildish and continues to choreograph for their showcases. Daniel is a regional and national judge for several competitions including StarQuest, Kids Artistic Revue and International Dance Challenge. Daniel is also the co-founder Artistic Director of Arrhythmia Dance Company. Through Arrhythmia Dance Company, Daniel has choreographed for SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Binghamton, Silvercreek High School and has done master classes at SUNY Binghamton and Monticello High School and many other studios as well. He has also worked with Erica Sobol of colliEdance and Allison Holker from So You Think You Can Dance through Arrhythmia Dance Convention. Recently, Daniel’s choreography was chosen to go before the executive producers for the 2012 season of America’s Got Talent. Also in 2012, Daniel was personally hand picked by Katee Shean from Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance to assist her at an Excel in Motion master class. Daniel was also chosen to work with Chehon and Eliana from Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance for the official convention in Las Vegas. Daniel’s choreography was also chosen to present at the Young Choreographer’s Festival in NYC at the Symphony Space, as well as New York City's Dance Week at the Dixon Place. Most recently, Daniel was selected as a finalist for the Artist Simply Human's National choreography competition, theDANCEproject in Atlantic City.

Dino Elias
Tap

Dino is a dance instructor at Forever Dance Lake Tahoe. He specializes in Tap, Contemporary, Jazz Funk, and Musical Theater. In 2012, Dino attended Jacob's Pillow in the pre-professional tap program, studying with Diane Walker, Lane Alexander, Derek Grand, Brenda Buffalino, and Lisa LaTouche. In December 2013, Dino performed in the first all tap show "Juba!", at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Dino choreographed and danced in "Red Hot Superstars" at the Grand Sierra Resort, Reno, NV. Dino performed in the Muny's production of Billy Elliot this past summer in St. Louis, MO. He has also performed with the contemporary dance company, Emerge, at The El Portal theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Dino has choreographed and taught master classes for studios throughout the West and East coast. Dino has been recognized on the national level for his choreography and teaching abilities, including two nominations for the Industry Dance Awards.

Erika Goe
Musical Theater

Erika Goe is a native of Riverside, California, and has been dancing since the age of four. Her 27 years of dance experience began at Just Plain Dancin’ of Riverside, where she trained for 12 years and then onto Riverside Ballet Arts, West Coast School of the Arts Irvine, EDGE Performing Arts Center of Hollywood, and Riverside Community College. Erika's dance training includes ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and some modern. Teaching dance is Erika’s true passion, and she has been teaching and choreographing for over fifteen years in and around the Inland Empire. Her work has been seen at California Dancer, Riverside Ballet Arts, University Dance Company of CSUSB, A.B. Miller High School, John W. North High School, Martin Luther King High School, Cope Middle School, Cal State Fullerton, Dance Horizons, Chaffey Community College, Riverside City College, Arlington High School, Elevate Dance & Fitness, and Kristi’s Forever Dancin’. Erika continues to work as a part-time faculty member at Riverside City College where she instructs beginning to advanced level jazz classes as well as Dance 6 within the dance department. Erika Goe graduated with her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology May 2005 and her MS in Educational Counseling October 2011.

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.

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.

Jordan Casanova
Jazz

Jordan Casanova discovered her passion for dance at a young age. Training in all styles with the industries top choreographers. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious Music Center Spotlight Award. She was also a top 8 finalist on season eight of the hit show “So You Think You Can Dance”. Casanova was a performer on the nationwide tour of “SYTYCD” and “Ballroom With A Twist”. She has performed with a variety of artist including, Paula Abdul, Sky Blu and Tony Lucca. She has assisted numerous choreographers including Kenny Ortega, Tyce Diorio, and Kat Burns. Jordan has also been involved with top television networks including Oxygen and MTV. She just finished touring with the world-renowned Broadway hit show ”Wicked The Musical”. Casanova is successfully certified in Classical Pilates. Jordan is currently living in Los Angeles where she is pursuing voice, dance, acting and teaching.

Jordan Leitson
Tap

Jordan Leitson comes from Cleveland, OH and brings over 20 years of dance experience. He is currently the Co-Owner and Co-Artistic Director of Jordan Center Dance. He was the first worldwide recipient of the prestigious Al Gilbert Memorial Tap Scholarship. Jordan has studied at Point Park University, Alvin Ailey, Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, Broadway Dance center, UNLV – Ballet Seminars, and Florida Youth Ballet. He has performed in Disney World, Jazz on Tap Festivals in Atlanta, The David Lynch Show, Doug Benz’Cinderella (danseur and Geppetto) and performances with The Next Project at New York’s City Center Theater and in Maui, Hawaii. He was also featured in Stepp Stewarts Off Broadway hit Red Hot Broadway. Jordan specializes in contemporary, lyrical, tap, ballet and jazz technique and choreography. He has judged and taught for many outstanding dance competitions and conventions around the country. He enjoys teaching and inspiring dancers to be the BEST they can be.

Kelly Fulton
Lyrical

Kelly Fulton grew up training in the Midwest. She has traveled to Italy and Spain as a
featured member of The American Dance Company, helping to win “The World Dance
Championships” two years consecutively. Kelly also performed in Canada and Australia,
representing the USA as Rainbow Dance Competition’s “Dancer of the Year” in the
“Battle of the Countries”. Fulton has performed in choreography showcases at The
Duke Theater in New York City as well as The El Portal Theater in Los Angeles.
Currently, she spends her time traveling to studios and dance teams nationwide
choreographing, training, and teaching masterclasses. Most recently, she received the
title of “2017 Choreographer of the Year” from VIP Dance Competition. She is an
adjudicator for Hall of Fame Dance Challenge and is on staff as an instructor for Tribe
Dance Convention, Breathe the Intensive, and KAR Dance Convention. Kelly’s passion
remains in the classroom, where she dedicates herself to inspiring the next generation
of young artists. Her students have gained acceptance into prestigious dance programs
at universities across the country and can be seen working professionally in Hollywood.

Kelsey Carr
Tap

Kelsey Carr (formerly Kelsey McCowan) is a renowned choreographer and tap dancer from Los Angeles, California. Alongside her husband, Caley Carr, she has choreographed for tv shows such as World of Dance, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Little Big Shots, The Wonderful World of Disney’s Christmas Spectacular, and Dancing With the Stars, which was nominated for an Emmy as contributing choreographers to Derek Hough.

Kelsey has done Foley work for films such as “La La Land” and “Muppets Most Wanted.” She has also choreographed for Derek & Julianne Hough’s “Move Live Tour.” She has coached stars such as Derek Hough, Jeremy Piven, and Bette Midler for her Tony award winning performance of “Hello Dolly.”

Her work has been published in “Dance Spirit” and “Dance Magazine” and collectively with her husband, has performed, taught, and adjudicated in over 20 countries worldwide.

“Hollywood’s favorite tap duo.” -Dance Spirit Magazine

“They are modern Tap revolutionaries.” -World of Dance

“Hollywood, it seems, is their oyster.” -Dance Magazine

Kevin Hermann
Jazz

KEVIN HERMANN, now residing in San Diego, CA, began his dance training as a child in Albuquerque, NM. He went on to receive his formal training from the University of Arizona, where he graduated Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in dance. He has had the privilege of performing works by world-renowned choreographers Mia Michaels and Dee Caspary, and has danced with Malashock Dance and Company and the San Diego Opera.

Kevin is a full time teacher and choreographer at The Element Dance Center in La Mesa, CA; winner of the 2008 FDC Pinnacle Cup. His students can be seen in national commercials for Welch's Grape Juice, Divaz Dolls, Target, Kraft, Mattel and McDonald's. He has also been awarded Teacher of the Year and Choreography of the Year from Kids Artistic Revue National Dance Competition.

Kevin has also added video and television work to his credits including commercials for Allstate Insurance, videos for Los Angeles based singer Brooke Wilkes, Melissa Lowe's The New Ballet Workout (Kultur Productions), and has appeared dancing on CBS with Miss America 2000, Heather Renee French.

Mr. Hermann continues to travel from coast to coast setting his high energy, unique choreography for kids of all ages and is in high demand for master classes and summer intensives. In addition, Kevin travels with the highly acclaimed Fusion Dance Workshops, a personalized in house intensive, to studios around the country. He enjoys sharing his love and passion for dance with kids around the country!

Kevin Nguyen
Hip Hop

Kevin Nguyen was born in Iowa and raised in Chicago, where his interest in dance and entertainment started. He started his dance career when he moved to California in 2005 and joined Chaparral High School's all male dance team, Agi-lity. Kevin trained heavily with the Temecula Dance Company and Formality under the direction of Erik Saradpon. He furthered his training with Urban FX, and Super Galactic Beat Manipulators. Kevin is happy to call Cookies (formerly known as Choreo Cookies) home. Cookies is considered one of Southern California's best hip hop dance teams, having placed at many competitions such as World of Dance and Body Rock dance competition. Most recently, Kevin was featured in a Android watch commercial and as a principal dancer for Fox’s hit TV show, “X Factor.” Kevin has worked with JIVE Records artist Jawan Harris, Pharrell Williams, Kwanza Jones, Korean Pop Artists B1A4, 2PM, JYP, and Trouble Maker. In addition to his industry work, he teaches classes at Artistic Dance Academy and Studio FX. He believes that there is always something new to discover in the world of dance, and that one must never stop growing. Kevin hopes to continue working in the industry, while also traveling the world to teach and inspire dancers everywhere.

Kevin Nguyen & Dea Sevilla
Hip Hop

Kevin Nguyen and Dea Sevilla are an accomplished, engaged dancing duo. They met during Keone and Mari’s project, “Daydreamer,” for Dance for A Wish, a charity show for the Make a Wish Foundation.

Kevin and Dea are both technically trained in various styles including, ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary. They trained in hip hop under Jabbawockeez own, Rainen Paguio and Kevin Brewer on Future Shock San Diego and Super Galactic Beat Manipulators. Dea furthered her training with America’s Best Dance Crew’s Boxcuttuhz and Lando Wilkins.

The duo currently dances for Choreo Cookies, one of Southern California's best hip hop dance teams. They are champions at Body Rock Dance Competition, World of Dance, and Vibe Dance Competition.

Over the years the duo has worked with top music artists including Pharrell Williams, Jawan Harris, Korean Pop Artists: B1A4, 2PM, JYP, Troublemaker, Sunmi, and Gee Kazz. Kevin was a featured dancer in an Android watch commercial and a principal dancer for Fox’s hit TV show, “X Factor.” Dea was a featured dancer on Fox's "Mobbed," and the Ellen Degeneres show and has worked with Casio G-Shock for their “Shock the World Tour” in Singapore.

They are world renowned choreographers, having taught dance classes and judged competitions in Spain, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Russia, Switzerland, Paraguay, Singapore, Philippines, Germany to name a few.

Together, they’re currently touring with World of Dance as judges, performers and choreographers and are Master Teachers for KAR Dance Convention.

Kira Dimartino
Jazz

Moving bodies while moving souls, Kira immersed myself into the dance culture twenty-eight years ago. Studying relentlessly, I moved through Dance Connection Scottsdale, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Etudes, Edge Performing arts California and Millennium Dance Center mastering all styles and movement as well as incorporating a fierce history in theater arts.
Professionally, dance led her to the Phoenix Suns Dance Team, Royal Caribbean Broadway Revue, Superbowl XXX, Miss Dance of Arizona, Ballet Arizona’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and various Industrials.
Her performance credits also include a back-up dancer for Ricky Martin’s, “She Bangs”, MTV’s “N-Synce Reunion Special,” “Broadway Review”, model/dancer for Matrix Hair, and local commercials for Toyota and Fiat.
However, Kira’s true passion has always been teaching and choreography. Currently, she is one of the most sought after Master Dance Teachers in Arizona who is currently teaching and choreographing for some of the industry’s top dance students.

Kristen Hibbs
Musical Theater

Kristen Hibbs was born and raised in sunny San Diego. She started dancing at the early age of 3. At the age of 14, she was assisting dance classes under the guidance of San Diego Dance Centre owner, Sharon Keller. While being mentored by Sharon, Kristen was also busy competing for SDDC in regional/national dance competitions. She was also a member of the Rancho Bernardo High School dance team.
Kristen graduated from Rancho Bernardo High School in 2000. In the summer of that same year, Kristen joined the United Spirit Association staff and taught dance camps for high schools all along the California coast. She then went on to dance on the national championship dance team at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Ca. In 2002, Orange Coast College won a berth to the UCA national finals in Orlando, Florida. "Coast" was the first junior college to win the national title in division 1A. It was a great experience for Kristen and her dance career. While dancing with OCC, Kristen made her way to North Hollywood to train at the nation's famous dance studios; Millennium Dance Complex and The Edge Performing Arts Center. Later that year the OCC dance team was asked to be part of the hit comedy "The Hot Chick". Kristen moved home from Orange County in 2003 and became a head instructor for the San Diego Dance Centre.

Kristen has had the pleasure of training with some of the nation's most respected instructors and choreographers, including Dee Caspary, Mandy Moore, Mia Michaels, Cory Finn, and Mark Goodman. Kristen has always aspired to one day own and operate her own dance studio. In August of 2007, Kristen acquired the San Diego Dance Centre. She is happy to be living her dream as a studio owner and is looking forward to her future endeavors.

Kristi Fair
Jazz

Kristi Fair began dancing at the age of three in Riverside, California. At the age of 10 she began dancing for the prestigious West Coast School of the Arts in Cypress, California. During Kristi’s competition years she took top honors in tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical. In 2001 Kristi opened her own dance studio where she teaches tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. In the past four years Kristi’s students have received high top honors at competitions at both the regional and national level. Kristi has choreographed for local theaters, high schools, and colleges earning top honors. Kristi spends a lot of her time traveling teaching master classes. Kristi received her training from teachers and choreographers such as Cory Finn, Tina D’Amato, Paula Kessinger, Amy Bates, Dawni Novak, and many teachers\choreographers in the LA area.

Marco Cruz
Hip Hop

Marco Cruz is a Choreographer, Dancer, Artistic Director, Judge, Master Class Instructor, and Leader in the Contemporary and Hip Hop Arenas. His musicality and attention to detail have been described as captivating, inspirational and breathtaking. His passion for dance is what has made him one of todayʼs most sought after choreographers and a true original in his field. His professional persuits have no end, he has performed in, choreographed, and directed music videos, commercials and award shows for recording artist such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Rihanna, Naturi Naughton, Olivia Newton John, Kenny Loggins, and Kwanza Jones; and production companies including Paramount Pictures, ABC, Nickelodeon, Disney, Power of Youth, Variety Magazine, and Nigel Lythgoe’s Dizzy Feet Foundation.

Cruz is no stranger to the world of competitive dance. His works have placed first against some of today’s most elite dance studios. He has earned several National Championship Titles at some of the most prestigious competitions: ShowStoppers, Hollywood Vibe, Starpower, Hall of Fame, Hollywood Connection, Jump, The Dance Awards and KAR just to name a few. Dance education and instilling a respect of the art of dance is of primary focus for Cruz. Several of his students have chosen to pursue dance education at the collegiate level. Likewise, many of Cruz’s students have excelled in dance and the entertainment industry and have moved on to dance professionally for companies such as Joffrey, Ballet Hispanico in New York, Lines in San Francisco, Santa Barbra’s State Street Ballet, and many more.

Mario Velez
Hip Hop

Mario Velez Jr. is a professional hip-hop choreographer and dancer\performer. Mario has toured and worked with artists such as Omarion, TLC, Rock Steady Crew, Fergie, My Chemical Romance, Brandy, Boyz II Men, Doug E. Fresh, Paula Abdul & many others! He has also toured with the world-renowned Harlem Globetrotters! Mario is currently performing and choreographing for the National Recording Artist, Jasmine Hormez and for Automatic Response Dance Crew which was featured on the show’s first season of “ America’s Best Dance Crew!”. He has also done work with the NBA and WNBA Phoenix Suns Dance Team, The Seattle Supersonics, The Warrior Girls , The Denver Nuggets and the Phoenix Mercury Hip-Hop Squad. He has trained dancers that have worked with artist such as: Lady GaGa, The Jabbawockeez, Jason Derulo and pricipal dancer David Hallberg from ABT, and many others. Mario has also started an exciting and very passionate Dance Studio called Diverse Elements. His diversity also includes choreography for shows, Splash and Bottoms UP in Las Vegas NV, and Jubilation in Reno, NV. This was all possible because of his long time partner and wife Melissa Velez. Mario has one saying that he lives by-"Hip-hop is not just rapping and music, it is a culture, a way of life!"

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 Colon-Tijerina
Musical Theater

Michelle has taught Dance for 24 years and has taught for the KAR Convention for the last five years. Her training includes all forms of dance from local and world-renowned instructors. Michelle has won numerous awards and national titles, and has been awarded scholarships to Broadway Dance Center in New York, and Tremaine Dance Center in Los Angeles. Her credits include Capezio Model, Taffy’s Model, HBJ Model, “Welcome Freshman”, “Clarissa Explains It All”, “Fifteen”, “Mickey Mouse Club”, SeaWorld, Wet-n-Wild, Florida Lottery, and “Parenthood”.She has also choreographed for popular musical acts “NSB”, “REAL”, “2 for 1”, Emily & Amy Pratt, and “Next Generation Kids”. Her dancing has taken her to tour South America with Pollyanna Dorough and Howie D of the “Backstreet Boys”. Michelle owned and operated her studio Starz Studios Inc/Starz Dance Galaxy for 15 years. Her instruction earned her studio the honor of being in Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit Magazine naming Starz one of the top 50 studios in the country. The Federation of Dance awarded her studio in the top 25 for five consecutive years. Also naming them 7th in the country in 2011. Michelle’s love for dance has led her to a successful career in dance instruction. She had the honor of being the choreographer for the Orlando Magic Minis for Eight NBA seasons. In 2012 her dancers and choreography were selected to be a part of the NBA ALL STAR GAMES. She feels that she can make every child a “star” by giving them the proper training, love and encouragement necessary to help each student reach their full potential. Currently she continues to share her love of dance with her new students in Southern California.

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!

Nicole Doerr
Lyrical

Nicole Doerr is an award-winning dancer and choreographer with many accomplishments. She owns and directs a studio in Farmington Hills, MI with her mother. Her students have received many top awards at regional and national competitions, including 2 National Championships in 2016. She was the co-director of Burn The Floor...with the Doerr's Performing Arts Camp, an annual camp that took place in Fenton, MI that drew in dancers from all over the USA for 10 years. Nicole developed a love for dance growing up in her mother's studio. She was a member of the Detroit Pistons Dance Team: Automotion. During her time with Automotion she was hand-selected by Brian Friedman to perform with him in the opening number of ESPN's PRODANCE along with many other great opportunities. Nicole also performed at a Superbowl XL event in Detroit and helped to promote Britney Spears' perfume line, Curious. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, was accepted into the dance program, and was a member of Impact Dance Theater while she was there. Nicole has traveled all over the United States through her dancing, and she also toured in Australia performing and taking master classes from Australian teachers. Nicole has trained with the Joffrey Ballet of New York and many professional choreographers and instructors. She was also accepted into the National Ballet of Canada School. Many of Nicole’s students have went on to pursue college dance programs, college dance teams, performing arts schools, Cirque de Soleil, Broadway, and many have continued on to be dance teachers. She has been judging nationally for many years and also teaches on convention circuits throughout the United States and Canada. Nicole strives to instill her love, passion and knowledge for dance with all dancers.

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.

Pytron Parker
Hip Hop

Pytron Parker is a Georgia native, building a life around the performing arts. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in theatre with a minor concentration in dance from Brenau University. Pytron has been changing dancers' lives for over 13 years. Her classes are creative, high energy, and challenging while incorporating tons of fun. Pytron is an award-winning choreographer yet, Pytron is most alive while performing on stage. Her favorite experiences include A Christmas Carol, West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, White Christmas, In The Heights, Ragtime, Hairspray, Singin’ in the Rain, Intimate Apparel and For Colored Girls. Pytron has worked professionally for theatres across the nation as well as toured this great nation storytelling. Pytron has also served as a motivational speaker influencing and providing guidance to the youth on many platforms. Pytron is ecstatic about sharing her gift and knowledge with dancers nationwide with Kids Artistic Revue Dance Convention!

Rachel 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.

Raymon Ashley
Tap

Raymon Ashley found his passion for dance at the young age of 8 years old, while residing in Northern California. He went on to attend the University of Arizona where he continued to study dance and furthered his training extensively in the styles of Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap where he graduated with his BFA in Dance. Raymon immediately went on to pursue a professional career in dance, booking jobs with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble as well as the David Taylor Dance Theatre, both companies located in Denver, Colorado. Raymon has had the honor and privilege of working with legendary educators and choreographers, Donald McKale and Milton Meyers. After pursuing his career in the "company" world of dance, Raymon made his way to San Diego as well as Los Angeles where he turned his sights to the "commercial" industry of dance. He booked steady work dancing in Industrials, Pepsi and Ford commercials as well as Music Video's with some of the music industries top recording artists. Once Raymon fulfilled his passions as a dancer, he began pursuing his career as a dance educator. His fresh, upbeat approach to teaching has made him one of the most popular and in demand teachers in Southern California as well as across the Country as a guest teacher. When not traveling as one of our fabulous Directors, Raymon spends much of his time traveling with "Fusion Dance" and "KAR Dance" Conventions. The VERY MOST rewarding opportunity in Raymon's life, is being the proud father of his amazing son, Rylan.

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.