Pacific Dance Ensemble
Jaya Ananda is a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Dance. She grew up in Santa Cruz, California, where she found her love of dance at age 6, studying ballet, acrobatics, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary. She won student of the year at her first dance studio in Santa Cruz at age 9. Throughout her training she has worked with teachers such as Duncan Cooper, Layla Amis, Vicki Berglund, Tracey Durbin, and company members of NW Dance Project. She attended two summer intensives with Modas Dance on a partial scholarship, as well as a month-long intensive at NW Dance Project. This is Jaya’s first year with Pacific Dance Ensemble.
Kayla Cooley is a freshman majoring in Education and Learning, minoring in Dance and Spanish. She grew up in Tillamook, Oregon performing hip hop and tap and performing in several musicals at her community theater, playing roles like Lucy in You’re a good man Charlie Brown and Ruby in Dames at Sea. She began her training in ballet, contemporary, and jazz her sophomore year of high school at Dance Zone and began competitively dancing her junior year. She loves dance and can’t wait to continue her studies at Pacific. 2019 is her first year with the Pacific University Dance Ensemble.
Charlie Hutson is a first year student studying Psychology. She grew up in Laguna Beach, a small town located in southern California. Charlie began dancing at Kyne Dance Academy from a young age where she focused on a variety of styles including tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, modern and ballet. She spent three years as a member of her high school’s Dance Company where she refined her technique, performed in two dance showcases per year, and performed three pep rallies per year as well. She is very excited to work alongside the kind and talented individuals that make up Pacific’s Dance Ensemble.
Kaylee Kimura is a junior majoring in Business and minoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Kaylee grew up in Wailuku, Maui where she danced with Maui Academy of Performing Arts since the age of three. During her many years there, she participated in annual dance concerts including roles in Sleeping Beauty and Coppelia.
Lianda Lonergan is a freshman from upcountry Maui, Hawaii. She is studying Dance and Exercise Science to pursue a career in physical therapy. She began dancing and performing with Maui Academy of Performing Arts at the age of eight and has trained with dancers such as Blake McGrath, Travis Wall, and Mia Michaels. Throughout her many years as a performer, Lianda has been involved in many productions and has been featured in classical ballet performances including Sleeping Beauty and Giselle. This is Lianda's first year with Pacific Dance Ensemble.
Chika Matsumoto is a sophomore majoring in Exercise Science and minoring in Dance and Japanese. She has danced with Queen Emma Ballet in Honolulu, Hawaii for thirteen years, under the direction of Eve Walstrum, Minou Lallemand and Suzanne Rowland. Chika was also an ensemble member in the original Ohana Arts musical, “Peace On Your Wings” where she had the opportunity to perform across the state of Hawaii and in Los Angeles, California. As a second year member of Pacific Dance Ensemble, she is excited to continue her dance journey with her fellow dancers.
Sierra Paola is a junior majoring in Public Health and German, with a minor in Dance. She grew up in Canby, Oregon where she was a four-year member and senior captain of the state championship winning Canby High Dance team under coaches Jennifer Chaffee and James Healey. Sierra has danced at Arizona Dance Source, Allegro Dance Studio, Dance Vision, Northwest Dance Project, Conduit Dance, and Bodyvox. This is Sierra's third year with Pacific Dance Ensemble where she has worked with choreographers James Healey, Marlayna Locklear Jennifer Camp, and Mary Hunt.
Victoria Perez is a junior majoring in Dance, minoring in Exercise Science. Victoria is from San Antonio, Texas, where she has been training since the age of three. She has worked with over a wide variety of dancers and choreographers of various styles, training with professionals like Joe Alegadro and Hannah Brightwell, director of The Verge Dance company. Victoria is a second-year ensemble member and is thrilled to be sharing her passion of dance with the talented dancers here at Pacific University.
Leiana Petlewski is a freshman majoring in Applied Theatre and minoring in Dance and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Originally from Visalia in central California, she began dancing when she was nine years old. Leiana performed and choreographed with her high school dance team, In Motion. She has danced in and choregraphed various musicals with the Visalia Players Ice House Theatre. She is excited to gain new dance experience at Pacific.
Abigail Schmidt is a freshman majoring in Biology and minoring in Dance. Abigail was classically trained in ballet as well as jazz, lyrical, tap, and theatrical production at Studio One Dance in Bailey, Colorado under the direction of Diane DeMarco. She has been dancing since age three and has been blessed with the opportunity to learn, teach, and choreograph all ages over her dance career. As a first-year ensemble member, Abigail is excited to be just beginning what will be years of beautiful experiences with a wonderful program and talented dancers.
Delaney Sharp is a sophomore majoring in Political Science, minoring in French and Dance. She grew up in Hillsboro, Oregon and trained in jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary at New Vision Dance studio. She began dancing when she was three and has loved every minute of it. 2019 is Delaney’s first year with Pacific’s Dance Ensemble.
Craig Tilles is a freshman studying Anthropology. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Craig trained in ballet and modern dance at Dance Arts Project in Alameda, CA for ten years. He has had the opportunity to train under several excellent dancers in that time; his teachers Erin Yarborough-Powell and Jonathan Dummar especially influenced him greatly and helped cultivate a great love of classical ballet. 2019 is Craig’s first year with Pacific’s Dance Ensemble.
Lia Wengler is a freshman majoring in Psychology and minoring in Dance. She grew up in Hawaiʻi surrounded by hula, ballet, and jazz since the age of 6. Her dance journey began at The Movement Center on the island of Oʻahu until the age of 13. She then continued her journey at Center Stage Dance Alliance in Hilo, Hawaiʻi, where her love for dance continued to grow through her many inspiring instructors and peers.
Krista Whiting is from Oregon City, Oregon and is a Freshman at Pacific University. She began dancing when she was four and has trained at Classical Ballet Academy since she was in Second grade. With this studio, Krista has performed in multiple products as well as competed in some competitions. While at Pacific, she is planning on pursuing a dance minor.