Yosemite Dance Company
2020 - 2021 Staff
Miss Cecilia, Miss Gwen, Miss Christi, Miss Jessica, Miss Stephanie, Miss Caitlyn, Miss Elisa, Miss Savanna
(not pictured: Miss Elseana)
Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Ballet
Miss Jessica began her dance journey at just 2 years old with Cynthia Merrill's School of Performing Arts in Fresno. While there, she took classes in tap and ballet. At the age of 5, Jessica moved to dancing with at The Dance Studio of Fresno. She primarily was a tap dancer with TDS but also took jazz and funk (now hip hop) classes.
In 1994, after her family had relocated to Oakhurst, Jessica began dancing with Roberta Woods at her newly-opened studio, The Dance Studio 2. Under Roberta's direction, Jessica continued her training in tap while adding various classes in jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical and cheer/pep. Jessica joined the faculty as an assistant teacher in 1999, and one year later she was promoted to teacher.
Throughout her high school years, Jessica was a member of Yosemite High School's cheer and pep squads. As a freshman, she was co-captain of the JV cheer squad and during her junior and senior years she was captain and co-captain of the Varsity squads. While on the cheer team, Jessica was a recipient of the UDA All-Star Dance Award (2002 and 2003). She also danced in the 2001 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
In addition to cheering, Miss Jessica was a member of The Dance Company's Elite Team from 1999 to 2002. She competed in tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. During her years competing, she received numerous dance awards for her performances.
In 2003, Miss Jessica began commuting to Kingsburg as a member of the TDC staff in their new location. She taught classes in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, and gymnastics. In addition to teaching class, Miss Jessica also directed and choreographed for their award-winning competition team and for cheer teams across the valley. Her artistic and versatile choreography has been recognized and awarded throughout the competition circuit.
Miss Jessica joined the staff at Yosemite Dance Company in 2013. In 2015, Miss Jessica became the owner of YDC. Under her ownership, Yosemite Dance Company has continued to grow and develop many beautiful and talented dancers.
Miss Christi has been a dance mom - in the studio and in competitions - to one or more dancers since 1974. She loves to watch tap classes and would probably tell you its her favorite style.
You can now find Miss Christi keeping Yosemite Dance Company running smoothly while she loves on a new generation of dancers.
Jazz, Tap, Ballet
Miss Stephanie has had 35 years of training in tap, jazz, and ballet. She has spent 20 years as teacher/choreographer in several studios in the mountain area and in Southern California.
Miss Stephanie has coached "Award Winning" competition teams and soloists. She also has experience as a cheerleading coach and a yoga and fitness instructor. Miss Stephanie is also the coach of the MCHS dance club.
Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Technique
Miss Elseana began dancing at the age of 7. Although she only started in one jazz class each week, her interests quickly broadened to include ballet, tap, hip hop, contemporary, pointe, and modern.
While her main focus was training here in Oakhurst, she often attended dance conventions in the Bay Area and Southern California. Elseana trained at a month long, dance intensive in Valencia, California in 2014.
Elseana danced alongside the Sacramento Ballet through their yearly performance of The Nutcracker with the Valley Performing Arts Council. Miss Elseana continues to dance at Fresno City College and hopes to transfer to Fresno State University with a minor in dance.
Miss Cecilia was born in El Salvador in Central America. She stared her education in the National School of Dance at the age of five. As she grew, Miss Cecilia participated in multiple productions of The Nutcracker as a corps dancer and as a soloist. By 2016, she moved to the United States of America where she began dancing with the San Pedro Ballet Company in Los Angeles. After that, she moved to Fresno and start teaching a variety of ballet classes throughout the area. She taught "Introduction to Ballet" at different studios including D and J Dance Studio and North West Ballet Academy as well as Ballet 1-4, Pre-Pointe, Lyrical, and Contemporary at Lereve Dance Academy.
In 2019, Miss Cecilia received her certificate of Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT). PBT is a specialized program that is designed to work with the muscles of the dancer and train the muscle memory required to dance. She is also currently dancing as a corps dancer at North West Ballet Academy.
Miss Elisa has been dancing for 10 years. She started with ballet at Velocity Dance Studio, but quickly fell in love with all different styles of dance. When she began dancing with Yosemite Dance Company she decided she wanted to take as many different dance classes as she could. Her favorite style to dance is contemporary. This is Miss Elisa's sixth year competing. It is also her second year teaching for YDC.
Hip Hop, Tap
Miss Savanna began dancing at the age of four. She has danced at several mountain area dance studios and began competitively dancing at the age of 11.
Miss Savanna joined the Yosemite Dance Company family four years ago. She has competed with the multi-award winning YDC Elite Team ever since. She enjoys all genres of dance and takes several high-level dance classes at Yosemite Dance Company. Miss Savanna has excelled in Tap and Hip Hop and thoroughly enjoys teaching them. This is her second year on the YDC teaching staff.
Miss Caitlyn started dancing when she was 8 years old at a dance studio in Mariposa, near where she lives. She joined Yosemite Dance Company in 2017, at the age of 13, where she danced in every class and style she could fit in her schedule. She joined the Elite Team with YDC at the age of 14. Miss Caitlyn takes ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and contemporary. Her favorite style of dance is ballet. This is her first year teaching dance after successfully being a YDC TA last year. She says, "I am so excited!"