Faculty

ruthRUTH GABRIELLE FISHER, Director of Dancenter, B.F.A. Dance and Teaching Credential in Dance/Physical Education, U.C.I. She began her dance studies with Alice Ashford in a small dance studio in Southern California, where she learned most everything important about being a good dance teacher. Ruth's specialty is teaching young children and dancers with special needs. Ruth danced with Andrei Tremaine's Pacific Ballet Theatre and studied modern and Afro-Cuban with Elle Johnson, then went on to the U.C.I. to study with Eugene Loring, Anthony Tudor, and other greats. She taught dance at El Monte High School for five years, then went on to develop dance programs in four recreation departments in Santa Cruz County before opening Dancenter in 1987.

teachers

Lila-DSC_7982 LILA SALHOV, B.F.A. in Dance from Boston Conservatory, currently dances for Karl Schaffer, has performed with the Windhover Dance Company, the Handel and Hayden Society, the Kirsten Young Dance Notes in Motion, and Jessica Danser/Dansfolk Company. Lila has been on the faculty of Ballet Hispanico School, Christie Street Ballet, and the Marymount School in Manhattan. She is an alumnus of Dancenter.
Gina-DSC_7933 GINA MYER BA Theater Arts/Dance, UC Santa Cruz. While at UCSC she choreographed and performed in numerous projects and co-founded/directed the UCSC Dance Team. She is now back at UCSC as a staff member, teaching the Jazz Dance Program. She has taught and choreographed at various venues in the Bay Area and has completed the Broadway Dance Center Teacher Training. She is also a private ballroom coach.
laurel LAUREL SHASTRI, M.S. in Geology, performs with MoveSpeakSpin, a contemporary dance company directed by Karl Schaffer. She served seventeen years at Ballet Tennessee as Associate Director, dancer, faculty, and grant writer. She specializes in integrating dance with science and language arts and has presented many workshops for educators on this subject.
Misha-DSC_7991 MICHA SCOTT has danced on stages around the world as a senior member of the renowned Garth Fagan Dance Company. She has been a featured dancer in many of Mr. Fagan's works. She was also assistant professor of dance at SUNY Brockport, and taught at the School of Arts in Rochester, New York. She now resides in Santa Cruz with her family, and has been choreographing and dancing for colleges and companies.
Paula-DSC_8269 PAULA SARAGA teaches Iyengar-inspired yoga for a variety of venues around the county including Dancenter and Cabrillo College. She is a massage therapist, has a M.A. in body-oriented psychotherapy, and is a certified personal trainer.
Sese-DSC_8215 SESE, Belly Dancer of the Year 1994, and 1996 Complete Belly Dancer, performs solo as well as directs her belly dance groups Intisar and Baktiari. She is also a comedienne and improv sketch artist. She has performed with Loose Cannon Theatre and wrote and starred in her one-woman show “Yearbook.”
Candi-DSC_8095 CANDI LEDWICH, B.A. & Teaching Credential from U.C.S.C. has taught and danced swing and ballroom dance around the Bay Area for over fifteen years, and is a local elementary school teacher.
Kelsey-DSC_8313 KELSEY SCOTT-BEHRENDS grew up dancing at Dancenter and participating in the company. She danced, performed and choreographed at Cabrillo College and continues to choreograph and perform in the area.
Nicole

NICOLE MARTINEZ, is an alumni of Dancenter. She has completed American Ballet Theater’s Teacher Certification Training for Pre-Primary through Level 3 and Lisa Howell’s Level 1 Dance Teacher and Health Professional Training.

Tammy-DSC_8196 TAMMY PRESTIGIACOMO, has taught in Santa Cruz County for more than 20 years.  Her performance and teaching background includes Sheri Lynn's Dance School, UCSC, and Cabrillo Stage.
sylvia SYLVIA LOPEZ has been dancing for 20 years, and got her start at Dancenter. She has taught and performed at various venues around the bay area.
Sue-DSC_7812 SUE ROSSO, has danced at Dancenter for over 20 years.  She teaches dancers with special needs and is our awesome Office Manager.

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