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MEET THE FACULTY
Before being crowned the winner of Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance, Eliana Girard, began dancing at the age of three. As a teenager, she was recruited by the Joffrey Ballet School and later received full scholarship to the Alvin Ailey School. At the age of eighteen, this “Ballet Warrior” began her career with Cirque Du Soleil. During her time with Cirque, she performed as an aerialist and dancer for numerous productions, such as; Cabaret, Circus Couture, and Viva Elvis. As a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance, Ms. Girard was able to further her dance knowledge by working with industry greats, such as; Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, Travis Wall, Sonya Tayeh, Tyce Diorio, Stacy Tucci, and Mia Michaels. Since 2012, Eliana has continued to pursue her passion for dance as a professional and has performed on stage with Nas and with Taylor Swift during her International Red Tour. Television appearances include: Glee, Bones, VH1’s Diva’s Live, The Grammy’s, Taylor Swift 22, The Billboard Awards, The Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, and so much more. Ms. Girard currently spends her time inspiring and educating others at dance conventions cross the country.
Charleigh was introduced to dance at the age of three. Two years later, she began competing which fostered her desire to pursue a career as a professional dancer. In high school, Ms. France joined the San Jose Ballet School. Later, she attended San Diego State School of Music and Dance earning a place in their dance department. As a member, Charleigh had the opportunity to take advantage of national and international instruction, such as: traveling to Poland for the World Dance Festival, a summer intensive at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, and master classes at Julliard. After relocating to Las Vegas, she was hired for a role with Cirque Du Soleil and as a cast member of “Jubilee.” Charleigh has choreographed for and performed with Barcelo Resorts and CoCo Bongo in Mexico. During this time, she was recognized by recording artists Ciara, Christina Aguilera, and Busta Rhymes. She has performed in music videos for recording artist LaMont Wheat as a principle dancer with Twisted Movement Dance Company. Charleigh’s career recently brought her back to Southern California, where she is currently performing, choreographing, directing, and teaching. She has continued to share her love for dance with dancers of all ages in San Diego and Northern California, where her choreography has won multiple awards.
MISTY RASCON SMITH
Ms. Rascon Smith has been professionally working in the dance industry for more than fourteen years. She has worked with numerous recording artists, such as; Natasha Beddingfield, Janelle Monae, Vanessa Hudgens, Kirk Franklin, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, and Daniel Powter. You may recognize her from national television commercials for, Sunkist, Pepsi, Nike, or Sears. She can also been seen in the popular Robin Sparkles episode of the CBS hit show “How I Met Your Mother” and as a dancer and body double on Nickelodeon’s “Taina.” She has danced for several award shows, including; the American Music Awards, Soul Train Awards, and the Latin Grammy’s. She has appeared in print ads and as a model for Adidas, Tarbell, American Greeting Cards, Best Buy, Avery, and countless others. She is proud of her extensive dance training in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, salsa, hip hop, and more. She feels like an innovator and has created her very own style of “Tribal Funk,” and feels that she has developed something that many describe as “a movement that impacts people through dance, music, and clothing.” As an instructor at numerous conventions and locations across the United States, including; Edge Performing Arts Center, Debbie Reynold’s, Word In Motion’s Urban Dance Festival, Groove Street, and Project Dance New York, her various styles of choreography and classes have been described as challenging, yet inspirational. Currently, Ms. RasconSmith teaches for Dance Revolution, and is a dancer for, and directs, Word In Motion Dance Studio. Since discovering the meaning and purpose of her dancing and choreography, she is devoted to challenging and encouraging others to do the same in both life and dance.
Alyssa’s extensive dance training began at a young age at a prestigious local studio. As a competition dancer, Alyssa had the opportunity to perform at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and train extensively with a vast array of dance masters across the United States. Her excellent dance education awarded her partial to full merit scholarships to spend her summers training with the American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet. She had also been offered a full scholarship to attend the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia, as well as, a place in the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. While attending the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in St. Paul, Minnesota, Alyssa added Modern and African to her dance repiture. Ms. ness has achieved multiple high honors as an individual dancer and has toured with the faculty of New York City Dance Alliance as a dance assistant for their national convention tour. Throughout the years, Alyssa has had the opportunity to perform in productions, such as; Capezio's 125th Anniversary Celebration hosted by Nigel Lythgoe, and the New York City Dance Alliance's Bright Lights Gala honoring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Liza Minnelli, and Catherine Zeta Jones, along with being an assistant to some of the nation's top choreographers. She continues to share her passion for dance by teaching master classes at numerous dance conventions across the country. Alyssa is currently calling New York City her home where she recently graduated from Marymount Manhattan College on scholarship, earning her BFA in dance.
With over twenty years of dance experience, Ms. Young is an excellent addition to DX. As a former professional dancer, her talent has led her to a variety of opportunities across the country. Monique has performed with artists, such as; Michael Jackson, Travis Payne, and Kenny Ortega, as well as, The Motown Miracles. Her performance resumé comprises of numerous television shows, including, Snoop Dogg’s MTV Special. As a sought after choreographer, Ms. Young has created performances for Misha Gabriel, Marty Kuldeka/Justin Timberlake, YRF, and Codeen. Currently, Monique continues to share her passion for dance through a variety of teaching opportunities, including DX’s very own 3D Convention.
Yoshi is a driven performer and choreographer who indulges in many different disciplines. He has a strong passion for contemporary based movement and a new found talent for aerial dance, all combined with his fascination for theatrics. Born and raised in Brownsville, TX, he later continued his professional training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where he was a ballet major and trained under Roni Koresh and Brian Sanders. His love for travel and culture led him to accept the opportunity to perform for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a dance captain and aerial coordinator, and is currently the resident Choreography Director of multiple shows for the prestigious cruise line. He continues touring internationally with the aerial acrobatics company, On the FLY, as a choreographer, dancer, and aerialist. With On the FLY, he performed on season nine of hit television show America's Got Talent and was runner-up on the second season of TruTV's Fake Off. When not traveling, Yoshi lends his expertise and knowledge to adjudicating competitions across the country.
Dwaine Wells II is no stranger to the stage. As an alumnus of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and a graduate of San Diego State University’s BFA Dance program, he has over a decade of training in numerous dance techniques. He has also had the pleasure of training with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Diavolo Dance Theater, and has performed in works by Peter Kalivas, Michael Mizerany, and Jeremy Mitchell. He continues to work as a performer and choreographer both in the United States and internationally. He has recently performed on film in Waiting in the Wings, as a cast member at Disneyland, for the national tours of Hair and Sesame Street Live, and on stage for multiple shows, such as; Saturday Night Fever, La Cage Aux Folles, Footloose, Hairspray, The Addams Family, and Disney’s Little Mermaid. Mr. Wells II can also be found teaching master technique classes throughout the country. Getting the chance to call such talented peers friends and being dazzled by outstanding up and coming young artists, is a privilege that at times, leaves him speechless.
Josh has trained in a variety of styles of dance; from Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Acrobatics to Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, and Adagio/Partnering. He has had the incredible opportunity to train under some of Canada's most esteemed choreographers and educators, including; Danny Poland, Stellio Calagias, Nadia Potts, Jeff Wong, and Shawn Byfield, His vast training led him to earn a Silver Medal at the World Championships of Dancing. Mr. Nitkin later went on to graduate from the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada. Josh has spent over a decade being a dance educator and is a member of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) and Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PAEC). Currently, he is the owner of Toronto Dance Vibe located in Toronto, Canada, and has been a highly sought after adjudicator throughout Canada and the U.S. for close to a decade. He is the proud owner of one of Canada's most successful studios, Boundless Dance Company.
Mary grew up in the dance world, starting when she was two and a half at a studio in Minneapolis, MN and has been dancing for 20 years. After high school she attended the University of Minnesota and was a four-year member and captain of the national champion University of Minnesota Dance Team. During her time as a member on the highest ranked dance team in the nation, she was trained in technique, Jazz, and Pom and cheered on the sidelines of every University Football and Basketball game. Her time on the team also consisted of 7 national championship titles in the Pom and Jazz categories, and one World Pom title. In college, she majored in Elementary Education in hopes of becoming a Kindergarten teacher. Shortly after graduation, she auditioned for her favorite television show, So You Think You Can Dance on FOX and quickly realized that her time in the dance world was far from over. She began teaching, coaching, choreographing and mentoring dancers in the local area. Her love for dance, and passion for teaching is what made her thrive. She now coaches High School Dance Team, teaches, as well as travels the country offering master classes, and choreographing for multiple dance teams, studios and soloists.
- Faculty will attend one, if not both, conventions. Faculty is subject to change without notice.
LISA SALINE ... DX founder & president
Click HERE for Lisa's bio.