Sandi Dehner - Artistic Director
Sandi brings more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, choreographer, and director to JAMZ. She has been involved in dance her entire life, having started taking classes at the age of 3. Sandi has trained in a variety of genres throughout the years in the DMV area, including ballet, lyrical, contemporary, jazz, and tap, among others. At 15 years old, her love for teaching began when she was tasked with choreographing her high school dance company, with her routine being selected to perform at the solo and ensemble festival.
At the young age of 17, she was offered a partnership at the studio she was teaching at. Her very first year as partner, she formed and directed her first competition company which consisted of only 8 students. At their very first competition, the company won first place overall, thus beginning the dream.
One year later, Sandi opened her first dance studio, Spotlight Studio of Dance. Under her direction, the studio doubled its enrollment in its second year, with the competition company winning national awards their first year competing. By year three her studio was booming and her competition team had grown to over 60 dancers. Through the years, the competition team won overall regional and national awards at almost every major competition across the country. Titles were won at competitions such as West Coast Dance Explosion, NYCDA, Starpower, Starquest, Showbiz, Tremaine, and many others. Sandi has been awarded numerous choreography awards, as well as trained many solo title award winners at the regional, national, and world level. She went on to open a second studio, Dance Xtreme.
Sandi's students' successes speak volumes. Her dancers have performed at Walt Disney World, Radio City Music Hall, The Kennedy Center, on cruise lines, and in cities across the nation such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago. Her students have gone on to do professional work such as The Rockettes (both the touring company and the New York company of the Christmas Spectacular), performed with Debbie Allen in her productions of both "Pearl" and "Dreams," starred in national commercials, been featured in articles in dance magazines, movies, and tv shows, as well as become award winning teachers and choreographers themselves.
Sandi, a mother of three, has a unique ability to push her students to achieve their maximum potential while instilling in them a love for the art of dance that stays with them for a lifetime.
"I feel I have a gift for helping each student achieve their goals, and believe that if we as teachers instill a love of dance and provide them with the encouragement and support they need, there is no limit to what they can achieve!" ~Sandi
Marina Timofeeva - Instructor (Ballet & Pointe)
Ms. Timofeeva received her training in the Vaganova style at Russia's prestigious Perm Ballet Academy and began her professional career with the Chuvashia State Theater of Opera and Ballet as a soloist. Then she worked with several different ballet companies in Moscow, including Moscow City Ballet by Smirnov-Golovanov, Russian National Ballet Theater by Moiseev, Russian Academy of Theater Art (GITIS), and also toured with Gordeev's Russian State Ballet. Ms. Timofeeva toured throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and America, and her performance repertoire includes mainly Classical Ballet. Since her performance career, Marina has placed her efforts for the last several years on teaching young dancers. Her teaching emphasizes correct form and technique to convey artistic expression using the dancer's emotion and imagination.
Ben Gonzales - Instructor (Hip Hop, JAMCO CREW)
Ben Gonzales started his dancing career in 1993. Ben began dancing in local Baltimore clubs and became quickly a "Baltimore Club" style dancer (a style unique to Baltimore). After realizing he had a passion for dance, he began training in Breaking, Popping, and Locking. In 1996 Ben joined the well known dance crew Deadly Venoms. With the crew, Ben had the opportunity to perform as the opening act for a number of Hip Hop artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS-ONE, Chubb Rock, Special Ed, Talib Kweli, and many others. In 2001 Ben's career as a graphic designer was put on hold when he started receiving overwhelming response to his talent, and he began to teach classes and workshops at many studios in Maryland. Ben has been inspired by many dancers, but his main inspiration comes from the history and pioneers of bboy and funk styles. He's been fortunate to have trained with some of the greatsest dancers of our time, such as Don "Campbellock" Campbell, Fred "Rerun" Berry, and Mr. Wiggles.
Shawn "SHOGUN" Stevens - Instructor (Breakin')
Shawn "SHOGUN" Stevens has been b-boyn' (breakin') since 1996. He is the co-founder and acting president of the Deadly Venoms Crew. His crew has competed in many competitions on the east coast. They are responsible for rebuilding the bboys' status in the Baltimore club scene. Shawn has performed with hip hop legends Big Daddy Kane, KRS-One, Special Ed, Talib Quali, and RUN DMC. At Bboy Jam Unbreakable 3 shawn recieved a special Bboy honors award for representing bboyn' hardcore for the last 14 years in the DMV area. Past students of his have included former faculty members Jamile McGee ("So You Think You Can Dance" 2nd runner up Season 1), and Ben Gonzales.
Esperonto Bean - Instructor (Hip Hop, Lockin', House, Freestyle Hip Hop)
Esperonto has been part of the urban dance community for over 20 years as a dancer, choreographer and educator. He is well versed in many dance styles, including House, Hip-Hop, Locking and Punking/Waacking. Recognized as one of the original House Dancers from Baltimore City, he has performed in legendary house clubs such as The Sound Factory Bar in NYC, Club Zanzibar in NJ, The Paradox and Club Fantasy's in Baltimore, MD. Esperonto was the co-recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Imagine Choreographer Award for his House Dance Choreography. His street credibility in the club scene also led him to open for acclaimed House and Hip-Hop artists such as Barbara Tucker, CeCe Penniston, Robin S., Mass Order, James Howard, Funk Master Flex, KRS1, Loon, K-Solo, Mix Master Mike and Dirty Vegas. Esperonto was mentored by the legendary Fluky Luke and the late Fred "ReRun" Berry of the famed group "The Lockers". He became a member of GroovMekanex in the late 90's, which is the first Locking crew in the DMV area. Esperonto has danced with GroovMekanex as special guest performers for the internationally recognized Hip-Hop dance company Rennie Harris Pure Movement. Since 1996, he has taught youth and adult classes throughout the Baltimore/DC area. He was a premiere performer and master class instructor at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall at ArtScape, Culture Shock DC, Edgeworks Dance Theater, Lesole's Dance Project, The White House Easter Egg Roll, Mason-Rhynes Black Expressions!!! Hip-Hop Festival, Earth Week on the National Mall, Dance Place, The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, NBC-4 Fitness Expo,The Hippodrome, and the Maryland Council for Dance and Theater Project. Esperonto taught dance classes for combination of 12 yrs as adjunct faculty at Howard Community College and Community College of Baltimore County. He also implemented the first lecture course on Hip-Hop culture at Howard Community College. www.esperonto.com
Kevyn Jones - Instructor (Hip Hop, Acrobatics)
Born in Alaska, Kevyn is a sought after performer in his community. He is often recruited to teach hip hop classes at varied dance facilities throughout the East Coast. Moving to Maryland at an early age he picked up his passion for multifaceted arenas for this craft. A mixture of self taught and technically crafted skills in the areas of Ballet, Latin Ball Room, Modern, Contemporary, and specializing in Hip Hop. He got his start dancing for the Aberdeen High School dance team winning State and National titles during his years of involvement. After graduation he was then signed as a dancer and choreographer to One Way Entertainment. Jones danced on the Believe Tour in Baltimore City, the Heritage Day Parade in Washington D.C., and the Scream 5 Tour where he opened for such artists as Bossman, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Omarion, and Ne-Yo.
As he continued his experiences in the entertainment world, he had the privilege of open for the Temptations as well as Regina Bell and appeared in the 2008 hit movie Step Up 2. Kevyn was then hired to choreograph the opening show for R&B singer Mario at LOVE Night Club in Washington D.C. Jones recently appeared in the dance movie Step Up 3D, released August, 2010. Television and video credits soon rolled in thereafter, TV Pilot episode “Gothem” (FoxTV), “SK Energy Drink” (commercial for 50 Cent), “Hard Energy Drink” (commercial), and Caspa Narks “Fitted 2 Da Side, (music video).
Kevyn is now team captain for the United States Olympic Dance Team; his career is being taken to new heights and his level of skill broadening.
Since the age of 18, Kevyn has taught hip hop classes at various Studios, Schools and Universities across the country. He was coach/team captain of the World Champion East Coast Nitros Entourage Open Dance Team. He performed ballet, contemporary and modern dance with the Harford Dance Theater. Kevyn along with Theron Taylor pioneered the first ever Hip Hop class taught at The Arena Club, Bel Air, MD.
As of late Kevyn has been spending his time sharing his passion with anyone who is willing to learn, currently working at JAMZ Dance Studio in Pasadena, Md.
Margareta Chughtai - Instructor (Hip Hop)
Margareta Chughtai is Culture Shock, Washington, D.C.'s own co-founding executive director and previous artistic director. She has performed and instructed nationally and internationally for the past twelve years and directed for the last six years.
Patrick Harrington – Instructor (Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet)
Patrick Harrington began his dance training at the age of ten studying locally in Severna Park. At the age of fourteen he attended The Baltimore School for the Arts studying under Tony Wilson and Norma Pera of a strict curriculum of classical ballet repertoire and modern dance. During his time at The Baltimore School for the Arts he also attended various other ballet schools including The Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Septime Weber and the Miami City Ballet School. Since his time at The Baltimore School for the Arts, Patrick has worked on numerous productions with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra including the yearly Holiday Spectacular and The Women of the World Festival with Marin Aslop and Jack Everly. After leaving The Baltimore School for the Arts, Patrick attended Marymount Manhattan College where he studied modern dance and classical ballet under director Katie Langan, here Patrick had opportunities to work on productions with Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Robert Battle. Patrick is now attending Anne Arundel Community College under the direction of Lynda Fitzgerald.
Eric Hendricks - Instructor (Strength Conditioning)
Alaina Williams - Instructor (Ballet)
Originally from Baltimore, Alaina heavily studied ballet and modern dance at Baltimore
School for the Arts. She continued her intensive training at The Juilliard School, from
which she holds a BFA in dance. Upon graduation she danced with the acclaimed
Bowen-McCauley Dance Company for two seasons in Washington, DC. Setting her
sights upon traveling the world, Alaina performed in a number of Broadway reviews
and pop shows, in addition to flying high as an aerial artist for Celebrity Cruises. On
board these ships, Alaina's cirque style performances opened new possibilities and new
goals to achieve, leading to a performing tour with the Ringling Brother's and Barnum
& Bailey Circus. She most recently returned to Baltimore from touring with the world
renowned "Radio City Rockettes " in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Ariel Hanke: Instructor (Musical Theater, Ballet, Tap)
Ariel Hanke, from Kingsville, MD, has been performing since before she could walk. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and musical theater styles. Ariel attended Oklahoma City University and studied for her Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. While at OCU, she performed with the American Spirit Dance Company in their Home for the Holidays show and their 2012 Tour Company. After college, she landed her dream job working for Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA, dancing in their Pixar Play Parade. Most recently, she can be seen performing in Way Off Broadway's production of Annie Get Your Gun.
Gabriel "Slim80" "Captain Puerto Rico" Gutierrez
Gabriel Gutierrez, or in the dance world known as SLim80 or Captain Puerto Rico hails from the Bronx, New York and has been dancing for 13 years. Coming from a family of artists and dancers throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s he has been carried down the torch of music and its natural reaction of dance. His original passionate art form I followed was martial arts. Teaching martial arts for 10 years and competing regionally gave Slim80 his core source to become dedicated, motivated, focused and disciplined in anything he did. But, since he can remember he has always been in love with music and its attributes, leading him to move to Washington D.C. to pursue an education and career in the music field of Audio Engineering & Music Production. Slim80 is currently still making music for the culture and other forms of art providing the source of energy that sparks the initial motive to dance. He has extensive experience teaching students of all ages, while at the same time learning from the students. Slim80 has performed for many DJ's and artists as well as competed around the country with plans to continue to do so. His approach to the way of teaching dance is in the same regards of the world famous Bruce Lee with his world famous Jeet Kune Do art form which implies to free your mind of labels and boundaries to your imagination and just create to become a unique individual and evolve everything you involve yourself with.