About KAR Dance Convention | Inspiration begins here

KAR Dance Convention is a one-day, affordable dance convention with classes in Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Musical Theater taught by some of the best dance educators in the industry! Immerse yourself in an experience designed to merge studio training with commercial dance and industry expertise.

Our faculty consists of sought after industry professionals with outstanding achievements as dancers, instructors, and choreographers. With a motivational and interactive approach, our goal is for every dancer to walk away feeling confident and empowered.

Experience the hottest new choreography styles this season at a KAR Dance Convention near you! Secure your spot today for the experience that continues to get rave reviews from dancers, teachers, and parents year after year!

Register Now! Watch Video

2022 Faculty Members

Alexandria Kessinger
Jazz

Dance has always flowed through Alex Kessinger’s veins. Raised in Southern California, she began her journey as a dancer at the age of 4 at her mother’s studio, West Coast School of the Arts. Alex started working as a dancer and child actor at the age of 6, where she developed her portfolio through numerous commercials, print work, and feature films like Disney’s The Santa Clause 3. While building her professional career, Alex also trained as a competitive dancer, winning impressive awards and national titles along the way. After winning a national title in the United States in 2011, she was chosen to represent the US at the international competition Spotlight in Australia, where she won the gold. 


After her competitive dance career, Alex furthered her education at Chapman University, where she was one of the few students awarded both a talent scholarship and a scholastic scholarship. She graduated Cum Laude from Chapman in 2016 with a BFA in Dance Performance and a minor in Theater Technology. 


Currently, Alex works as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer to dancers across the country. Some of her achievements as a dancer include dancing with Jojo Siwa, assisting Michael Rooney on national commercials, performing on television shows such as GLOW with Marguerite Derricks, working as a digital backup dancer in Paula Abdul’s tour “Straight Up Paula”, and dancing in and choreographing for various music videos. Most recently, Alex became a full time faculty member on The Dance Xperience Convention.


Alex’s teaching philosophy involves creating a safe environment for dancers to feel comfortable in exploring their capabilities while challenging themselves to be better, bigger, and stronger with every step.



Andrea Woodward
Contemporary

Andrea Woodward is the owner of Hermitage Dance Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, where she has been training, inspiring, and educating dancers since 1997. Andrea is certified by Dance Masters of America and holds a B.S. degree from Cumberland University. Along with her dance training and certifications, Andrea is also licensed in Strong Nation Fitness, Zumba, and Zumba Toning.


Andrea has won countless awards for her stylistic and emotional choreography, as well as her students’ technical ability. In 2014 she was nominated for Choreographer of the Year at the Industry Dance Awards. She has also won Teacher of the Year and Choreographer of the Year numerous times over the years at Kids Artistic Revue Nationals. Andrea has been on KAR Dance Convention’s faculty since 2011.


Along with teaching in the studio and on the convention circuit, Andrea continues to choreograph for a variety of events, including awards shows such as the Nashville Women Who Rock Awards, in which she was also the recipient of the “Inspiring Arts” award. She has also served as the choreographer for the Opening Number for several National Finals events. Some of her student success highlights include dancers on So You Think You Can Dance, convention tour faculty, NBA dance teams, recording artists and more. Andrea is passionate not only about teaching, but also the business side of studio ownership and sharing what she’s learned with the dance community. 


Andrea hopes to bring a challenge and fresh perspective to every student, allowing them to leave behind their image of perfection and dive deeper into their artistry.



Caley Carr
Tap

Caley Carr is a tap choreographer who hails from Southern California. Caley made his television debut on Fox’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance, where he is still recognized as the tap dancing, mustache adoring surfer. Commercially, he has also been spotted on creditcards.com and can be seen in Ty Dolla $ign featuring Post Malone’s music video for the hit single “Spicy”. Most recently, Caley’s work is featured in the upcoming film “The Performer”, in which he was the choreographer as well as the double.


Another credit of Caley’s includes choreographing for NBC’s World of Dance. Caley performed with Derek Hough in his “Kairos” music video and in his “Singin’ in the Rain” recreation performed at 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 spent multiple years as a company member of “Tap Sounds Underground”, directed by legendary Gregg Russell.


Caley has toured with Grammy Award Winner Tim Kubart as his tap dancing sidekick. He has also toured with Postmodern Jukebox (widely known by the acronym PMJ) in a rotating musical collective founded by arranger and pianist Scott Bradlee. Caley was also published in Dance Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Breakout Stars of 2018” and was featured in a Q&A article in the magazine’s “Tap Issue”. 


Caley brings not only his wealth of knowledge and experience, but also an energy like no other to all of his classes on the convention tour.



Faliceano Turk
Hip Hop

Faliceano Keith Turk was brought into the world of entertainment at the age of 8 with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Facliceano learned most of his Hip Hop skills, dance technique, and vibrant performance quality from life’s courses of ups and downs. His hard hitting energetic style keeps his students at the top of L.A.’s lists in major competitions, shows, and projects, far and wide. He and his wife, Summer Turk, have partnered to create K.A.S.T. (Keith and Summer Turk) Academy of the Arts, which continues to earn a multitude of top scoring high point honors, countless title awards, and national recognition. 


K.A.S.T. is a leading entertainment academy that has been featured on many shows and televised competitions. The academy is known for its high success rate of athletes and dancers. Faliceano’s choreography can be seen on shows such as Ellen and So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation. His training has led his students to dance for P. Diddy, The BET Awards, Target commercials, AGT, and Disney. With a student success rate of 90.4%, dancers travel from far distances to train at K.A.S.T.


From choreographing a Bollywood Bhangra for artist Sukshindar Shinda of India, to landing a nationwide commercial alongside his good friend D-trix (of ABDC/Quest Crew), Faliceano has also grabbed the attention of directors to score a part in the award winning Broadway Musical, Wicked. Meeting with and auditioning for artists such as Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Missy Elliot, and Madonna, Faliceano continues to push his students to land jobs while educating them on the dance industry. He teaches in the styles of Hip Hop, Jazz, African Dance, Lyrical, and more. 


Faliceano says “Dance with no limits. Leave the floor buzzing with your name on it.”



Joe Joe Grooves
Hip Hop

Joe-Joe Grooves – since receiving his BFA in Dance Performance in Jazz from East Carolina University in 2004, he has become an accomplished professional commercial dancer who’s worked with major artists such as Paula Abdul, Jennifer Hudson, Katy Perry, KeKe Palmer, Latin Popstar Chayanne, Sugarland, Nicki Minaj, Aloe Blaqq, MC HAMMER and P.Diddy.  In 2018 he was a part of the 60th Grammy awards performing in an unforgettable and electrifying performance with Kendrick Lamar and U2. In 2019 he was a part of the 2019 BET Awards with Jay Rock & Jamie Foxx, also performed at the Teen Choice awards and the Latin AMA’s.  He got to play the part of the infamous MC SKAT KAT from Paula Abdul's music video "Opposites Attract" for Paula's live concert, Motion Capture work for the FACEBOOK company (Happy Friends Day Dancer) as well a BUD LIGHT commercial that’s shown all over Canada, became a new member of the dance phenomenon iLUMINATE from America's Got Talent, and worked with well known brands such as PUMA, NIKE, and UNDER ARMOR.   With 4 world tours under his belt, Joe-Joe is currently on tour with legendary r&b group  THE ISLEY BROTHERS!  As well as a cycling instructor for SoulCycle in Los Angeles. Joe-Joe is thankful and great full everyday with all that he’s accomplished in his career so far and looking forward to many more amazing opportunities that may come his way!  

Jose "Hollywood" Ramos
Hip Hop


Born in Puerto Rico and raised in uptown NYC Jose "Hollywood" has been dancing since the age of five. After years of training in dance his passion for it grew to teaching and choreography and he began subbing at Broadway Dance Center in 2006.

Hollywood has taught at well renowned dance studios and continues to travel teaching his style of Hip-Hop all across the globe. His professional career was taken to the next level when he became the Lead Choreographer for rising Hip-Hop star Lil Mama. He then went on to choreograph for various recording artists such as Chris Brown, Ciara, Rihanna and Beyoncé’s “Yonce” for the On the run tour, Nicki Minaj Billboard music awards and I heart performance, Diddy's Bad Boy family Reunion Tour, and contributing choreography for Jennifer Lopez at the American Music Awards  recently working with Megan the stallion, Anitta and black eye peas ! 


Michelle Richey
Musical Theater

Michelle Richey received her education in dance from Long Beach State in California 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. Michelle has performed for many superstars including Milton Berle, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Jackson, and Frankie Avalon. Some of her 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. 


Michelle’s choreography and students have been the recipients of countless regional and national titles. Many of her students have performed on TV and in music videos, received dance scholarships to major universities, and have become nationally ranked choreographers themselves. Michelle judges for competitions and is in her 12th year of being a faculty member of KAR Dance Convention. She was also honored to be one of the judges for the very first KAR Live event in Australia. 


Michelle’s warm heart paired with her vast experience and thoughtful approach to teaching dance makes her a truly exceptional part of the KAR Dance Convention faculty.



Nancy O'Meara
Jazz

Nancy O’Meara is a noted dancer, choreographer, director, and mentor within the dance industry. She was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, where she developed a strong technical background training in all genres of dance. Her fast paced and powerful choreography is well known and has been sought after for decades.


Nancy is currently the go-to choreographer and movement coach for the majority of Hollywood Records Artists. She has performed with and worked with recording artists and actors including Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, LL Cool J, Usher, Paula Abdul, Reba McEntire, Mike Myers, Martin Short, Vanessa Williams, Bea Miller, Enrique Iglesias, Queen Latifah, John Legend, and the tour cast of High School Musical.


Nancy’s choreography and creative direction can also be seen on Carly Rae Jepsen, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Big Time Rush, Aly and AJ, Greyson Chance, Owl City, Charlie Puth, and 10 world tours with multi-platinum selling artist and Latin superstar Chayanne.


Her television choreography credits include Hannah Montana, American Idol, The American Music Awards, So You Think You Can Dance, The Teen Choice Awards, The Kids Choice Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, The Grammy Awards, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, iCarly, The Tonight Show, SNL, Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America, Ellen, The MTV Awards, The BET Awards, and The Latin Grammy Awards.


Nancy’s choreography can also be seen in top music videos for Miranda Cosgrove, Hilary Duff, Vanessa Hudgens, Jesse McCartney, Ashley Tisdale, Jack and Jack, Matthew Koma, Grammy Award Winner Elvis Costello, Paula Abdul, and many others.


Her feature film dance credits include The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, The Country Bears, Forrest Gump, Austin Powers: Goldmember, and Clerks II. Nancy has performed in a variety of specials including The Grammy Awards, The MTV Movie Awards, The American Music Awards, The Academy Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, and The Latin Grammy Awards. She has also appeared on televised programs including The Tonight Show and Ellen.


In addition to bringing her expertise to the KAR Dance Convention Faculty, Nancy is also a vital part of KAR’s Pro:tégé Performer Program.



Rachael Leitson
Musical Theater

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Rachael began her training at the age of 3 at Jordan Center Dance. She trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Musical Theater, and Tap, often receiving numerous awards and scholarships over the years. While training at JCD, she also studied at UNLV - Ballet Seminars, Florida Youth Ballet, American Academy of Ballet, and Dance Educators of America


Rachael graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University. While at Chapman, Rachael was a selected dancer to perform in the piece Falling Angels by Jiri Kylian from Nederlands Dans Theater. Right after college, she was asked to perform in A Night of Entertainment in Prague, Czech Republic. Once returned from overseas, Rachael moved to New York City to further her dance career. 


Rachael then performed in A Christmas Carol at McCarter Theatre, the Dr. Oz Health Corp Gala, and at the City Center in NYC and Maui, Hawaii with Nextstep Dance Company. Rachael has taught dance all over the world and enjoys sharing her love for dance with others. Her choreography continues to win numerous awards across the nation, including several Teacher of the Year Awards. Beyond dancing and teaching, Rachael has a passion for fitness. She is certified in barre and has become one of New York City’s top teachers at Exhale Spa. 


Along with her love of movement in all forms, Rachael excitedly brings her impressive skills and knowledge to the KAR Dance Convention to be shared with each and every dancer.



Ryann Alvarez
Jazz


Ryann Alvarez trained at Murrieta Dance Project in Murrieta, California under the direction of Erin Babbs. She is well versed and has trained in all styles of dance, and is best known for her work in the styles of jazz, lyrical, and contemporary. She has also been commended for her work in the exploration of the creative fusion of these styles. During her extensive training, Ryann was consistently awarded scholarships as well as regional and national titles within the competitive dance industry. 

Ryann is represented by MSA Talent Agency, one of the most exclusive agencies in Los Angeles, where she has danced alongside some of the industry’s best. Along with performing, Ryann developed a passion for teaching and choreographing, which she began at the age of 15. She was honored to travel with KAR to Australia in 2018 to teach hundreds of dancers in Perth and Sydney for some of the best studios in the country. Recently, she was the recipient of KAR’s Choreographer of the Year Award in 2021 and 2022, as well as the Antoine Olds Achievement Award in 2022. Currently, Ryann continues to teach and choreograph across the USA from coast to coast. Her students are constantly recognized for winning countless regional, national, and international awards. 

In every class Ryann teaches, she hopes each dancer will feel inspired and challenged in both their movement and musicality, while keeping an open mind and dancing from the heart.



Sydney Moss
Musical Theater


Sydney Moss was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, where she grew up training at Studio 413. Sydney trained in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, and Hip Hop, as well as Gymnastics and Weightlifting for cross training. Throughout her years of training, she regularly attended conventions, which kept her motivated and inspired to further her dance journey. At age 14, she signed with a dance agency, and moved to L.A. after high school to pursue her dance career.

Sydney’s career as a professional dancer has led her to work with choreographers such as Nappytabs, Sean Bankhead, Tyce Diorio, Chris Scott, Melissa Garcia, Bryan Tanaka, Nicky Anderson, Andrew Winghart, Phillip Chbeeb, Mia Michaels, Tessandra Chavez, and more. 

She has had the honor of dancing for an array of pop artists including Janet Jackson, Doja Cat, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, and Jennifer Lopez to name a few. Other dance credits of Sydney’s include dancing for Pepsi, McDonald’s, Google, The Billboard Music Awards, The Lortel Awards, the dance film High Strung, the television show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and more. She also spent a full summer performing professionally as an ensemble member at CFRT Regional Theatre in the musical, “Music City”. Currently, she is on set for a film about Dolly Parton with choreographer Kat Burns.

Sydney’s goal is to help dancers understand aspects of storytelling as they maintain details within the choreography, all while promoting the importance of understanding one’s self-worth.



Tony Catalanotto
Contemporary

Tony Catalanotto is a New Orleans native with over 20 years of professional stage and teaching experience, who prides himself on being trained in all forms of dance. Tony travels the country performing, teaching master classes, judging, and choreographing for various dance companies from the East to West Coast. Tony is best known for his style in traditional Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, and Broadway style Musical Theater. His choreographic composition is meaningful, powerful, and always makes a statement.


Tony’s versatility as a dancer, actor, costume specialist, and choreographer gained him credits covering a variety of facets of the entertainment industry, including Cajun Spice Productions, Paper Doll Promotions, Walt Disney, and Paramount Parks. Tony’s students have gone on to work professionally in Cats, Jersey Boys, West Side Story on Broadway, Gus Giordano, Norwegian Cruise Line, Louisiana State University Tiger Girls, New Orleans Saintsations, Houston Ballet, and Los Angeles Ballet to name a few.


One of Tony’s most rewarding experiences over the last few years was hosting several community-wide workshops alongside other local studios to raise money for “I’m a Dancer Against Cancer”


With a heart of gold, Tony not only trains his students technically, but he also lays a foundation of love for the arts that goes above and beyond any studio walls. To Tony, personal growth is more important than any trophy, and he inspires his students to push beyond the mold that the dance world has created.



Will Simmons
Hip Hop


William “Big Will” Simmons is a professional dancer and award winning choreographer who has danced and worked with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. He started training in Ballet and Tap at the age of 5, and then fell in love with Hip Hop at age 7 at Team Millennium in Fullerton, California. He auditioned for ABDC Season 5 Winners Poreotics junior team, Miniotics in 2009, where he began his foundational training of Popping. He then joined MSA Talent Agency and has been working professionally ever since.

Will danced on Ellen with Miranda Cosgrove, Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour in L.A., Macy’s Glamourama U.S. Tour, and in Just Dance Disney Party. Further strengthening his Hip Hop foundation, he joined a team called GRaVy Babies and trained under many noted choreographers including Nappytabs, Dave Scott, and Kinjaz in his early years.

Prominent names in the industry he’s worked with also include Chris Brown, Jason Derulo, Missy Elliott, Janet Jackson, Prince, Lil Nas X, BTS, and TLC, for which he is currently a tour dancer. One of his most memorable moments was working with Childish Gambino in the iconic “This is America” video. He’s choreographed for various summer tours, and was the main choreographer for his role as a Mouseketeer on Disney’s “Club Mickey Mouse”, and most recently was a choreographer for NBC’s newest dance show, “Dancing with Myself”.

Will is currently a teacher at Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles, California. He continues to have sold-out workshops as he fulfills his passion of traveling the world, teaching and mentoring the next generation of dancers.

Will’s goal in every class is to elevate the potential of every single student while leading with their love of dance.



Zach Saunders
Tap


Originally from Columbus, Ohio and currently residing in Los Angeles, California, Zach has created a name for himself not only as a dancer and performer, but also a sought after teacher and choreographer. His career has allowed him countless performance opportunities spanning across film, television, and stage

Some of Zach’s credits include the Warner Bros. feature film Project X, the television show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, assisting the legendary Michael Rooney on the television project Hit Record starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tony Danza, a Ford Superbowl commercial starring James Franco, performing with China’s top 5 artists on Hunan TV’s New Year’s Eve Countdown, and a world tour with pop artist Adam Tyler

Most recently, Zach worked with Walk the Moon as the assistant choreographer for the popular “Shut Up and Dance” music video. Zach cites tap as his truest love, and credits much of his training and artistry to Gregg Russell, along with Paris Mann and Rashida Kahn. Zach has had the pleasure of teaching and choreographing at studios both nationally and internationally, and can be found on national convention tours with Art of Movement and KAR Dance Convention. Zach also teaches for competitive studios in the Greater Los Angeles Area, where he hopes to inspire the next generation to love and appreciate dance as much as he does. 

Zach’s goal is to approach every class with a kind heart and constructive eye, pushing dancers to not only believe in their movement, but most importantly in themselves.



Join Over 100,000 Subscribers

Get Free Updates

Register for your free KAR Newsletter for exclusive access to special events, discounts, and so much more! Plus, get fresh, free articles and event recaps.

Free Newsletter

Independent Dancers Register Here

REGISTER NOW | Don't miss the most exciting, inspiring, and educational dance convention!

Register Here

EVENT FAQs | find your answers

The Convention Showcase is an informal showing for 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. This FREE showcase lasts approximately one hour and includes:

 Faculty Introduction

 Class Performances

 Scholarships

 Photo Session

 Autographs from Faculty

 Announcement of Pro:tégés

The Convention 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 are eligible to win a scholarship at the event. Attending the Pro:tégé Performer Audition Workshop does not guarantee you will win a scholarship.

Scholarship recipients are selected by the KAR Dance Convention Faculty.

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

No. All classes (including the Pro:tégé Performer Audition) as well as the Observer Bands are NON-REFUNDABLE.

The regular part of the convention typically begins with registration at 8:00am and ends with the Showcase around 5:30pm.

Dancers will learn audition skills and a routine in the workshop, followed by an audition, in which dancers are grouped together by age and considered for the title of Pro:tégé Performer. Pro:tégé Performer Winners will be eligible to become Elite Pro:tégés. Click here for more details.

Yes, dancers are allowed to dance in a higher or lower level room if necessary based on their technical experience; any level changes are at the discretion of the studio owner.