FOCUS Instructors

Monie Adamson

Owner • Founder • Director B.F.A. in Dance Choreography and Performance Orange County Lifetime Teaching credential CTG Talent Agency & TRIO Talent Agency 3 time Emmy Nominee American Choreography Award Recipient Television Academy Member Monie Adamson’s diverse choreographic abilities have earned her three Emmy Nominations, five American Choreography Award Nominations, and winner of the American…

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Shannon Willard

Competing Director • Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member B.F.A. Dance Performance B.F.A. Dance Choreography B.S. Mathematics Certified Pilates Instructor Certified Barre Instructor Shannon Willard has been a member of the FOCUS fam since the day the studio opened in 2003. She trained as a competition dancer under Monie Adamson and others for eight years, as well as attended numerous summer intensives, such as ABT,…

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Robert Duran

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member Member of the American Guild of Variety Artist For the past 30 years, Robert Duran has been shaping the lives of children and adults through dance. At the age of 5, Robert accompanied his twin sister to her dance class and stated “I can do that” and the rest is…

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Terre Marriott

Universal Faculty and Class Adminstrator • Summer Programs Director • CSP Faculty • Instructor   Certified in Jazz and Ballet – Dance Masters of America   Certified in Pediatric & Adult CPR and First AidTerre Marriott has been teaching dance for over 40 years. She started teaching dance at the young age of 17. She…

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Chris Zou

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member B.S. in Biology at UC Riverside Raised in the Bay Area, Chris found his passion for dance at a young age while standing in front of the TV imitating the moves to “Eye to Eye” from “A Goofy Movie” before actually even knowing what dancing was. It was much later…

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Maria Paula Medellin

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member B.A. in Child Development Candidate Maria started her training at the very late age of 11 years old. Training at different studios in Orange County she found her love through many different styles, modern being her first love. Though time was of essence, Maria was determined to train as much…

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Kameryn Denaro

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member San Diego State University B.S. Statistics M.S. Statistics concentration in Biostatistics Claremont Graduate University Ph.D. Computational Science with an emphasis in Computational Statistics Kameryn Denaro, a native of San Diego, is now based in Orange County, where she is thrilled to be a faculty member of FOCUS Dance Center of…

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Olivia Katz

Instructor B.F.A in Dance and Choreography from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Olivia Katz grew up in Pasadena, California where she studied ballet at The Collenette School of Dancing and was a part of the Mayfield Senior School Dance Conservatory, where she studied under Denise Darnell and Frit and Frat Fuller. Her training background…

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Joanne Arakaki

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member BS in Accountancy from the University of Illinois American Ballet Theatre (ABT) certified teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum) Progressive Ballet Technique Joanne’s love for dance started in Hong Kong at the age of 5. Joanne has always wanted to be a ballet teacher…

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Anessa Davies-Pier

Anessa Davies – Instructor ⦁ BFA Candidate in Dance, Cal State Long Beach Anessa, a native Californian, has been dancing for over seventeen years. She participated in competitive dance for eleven years where she represented FOCUS competing teams from 2018-2021. While on the competing team, Anessa had the honor of being chosen to perform in…

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Ryley Polak

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member Hussian College In Studio, Los Angeles, CA – BFA Ryley Polak was born and raised in the state of Rhode Island where he began his acrobatic training at age 10 and dance training at age 11. Ryley’s passion for teaching and choreographing began quickly after starting dance which inspired him…

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Toni Austin

Instructor Toni Austin’s passion for dance and performing started at the young age of 5. The majority of her dance training was received at Underground Dance Company in Laguna Hills, California where she was taught ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, improv skills, and more. Here she was also given the opportunity to choreograph recital…

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Anne-Elise Garrison

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member Anne Elise Garrison began her dance training at Augusta West Dance Studio in Augusta, GA at the age of 10, studying styles such as Jazz, Musical Theatre, Ballroom, Contemporary, Ballet, Tap, and Hip Hop. While in Georgia, Anne Elise worked with choreographers such as Kathryn McCormick, Kayla and Casey Frails,…

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Kimberly Nguyen

Instructor • Rotating Faculty Member B.A. Business Administration with an Emphasis in Marketing and Management Masters of Business Administration Born and raised in the Bay Area, Kimberly trained and competed at Yoko’s Dance and Performing Arts Academy in various styles such as ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, tap and has won many national champions and…

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Sunday Baxter

Instructor  B.A. in Dance – California State University Fullerton Sunday began her dance training in 2013 at The Studio Performing Technique Dance School in Amador County. She trained in ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, and hip hop under the instruction of Cara Agustin, Sue Brumet, Kate Allen, Lucia Fanelli, and Caitlyn Rubini.  Sunday was a part…

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Sydney Caggegi

Instructor Sydney Caggegi started dance at the age of 12, training in classical ballet and modern/contemporary dance at Southland Ballet Academy. She danced in productions with Festival Ballet Theatre for many years, and became a part of their junior students company. Graduating with a B.A in Dance from the University of California, Irvine, has helped…

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Kaelyn Zhou

Kaelyn Zhou, a native of Irvine, California, is currently studying at the University of California, Irvine. Her passion for dance blossomed at the age of 3, and she has been dancing ever since. For seven years, Kaelyn was a company member at DanceLova Dance Academy, where she dedicated herself to training in the styles of…

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Joy Liberty

B.A. Communications – Cal State Long Beach Joy Liberty started taking dance classes in 3rd grade and taught her first class in 6th grade. She continued dancing and singing through high school in show choir and on the cheer team. Joy also performed on-stage in a handful of musicals during college, including A Funny Thing Happened…

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Bailey Coleman

Bailey was born and raised in Northern California where she began dancing at the age of 7. She trained in hip hop and jazz for many years before expanding her training to include ballet, pointe, lyrical, modern, and musical theatre. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2020, with a degree in Entertainment and…

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Nihar Abhyankar

Instructor Nihar Abhyankar is a former FOCUS dancer. While at FOCUS, he competed in Jazz and Contemporary, while also training in acro, ballet, and various other styles under the training of Shannon Willard, Monie Adamson, Robert Duran, Ryley Polak, Anne-Elise Garrison, Kimberly Nguyen, Maria Medellin, Chris Zou, and many others! He graduated from Northwood High…

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Sarah Hentges

Instructor • Sarah Hentges is a current student at The University of California Irvine, studying Drama and Business. Sarah Hentges started Musical Theatre at the age of 8, where she went on to attend the Huntington Beach Academy of the Performing Arts (APA) as a Musical Theatre Major and a Dance Minor. She has trained…

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Rotating Faculty

Faculty who train competition dancers and by exception non competing serious dancers in various genres and techniques on a weekly rotation so each dancer gets the benefits of working with each instructor.    

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