Alana Tillim Santa Barbara Dance Arts Owner and Director

Alana Tillim  | Owner/Director

Alana is a proud wife, mother, and female entrepreneur. She has owned Santa Barbara Dance Arts for 22 years and built  her business while managing a career in Corporate Marketing Non-Profit and the Political Arena.   In 2004, Alana left her ‘day jobs’ and co-founded the Arts Mentorship Program with Steven Lovelace with the mission of creating support and access to young and emerging artists.  Since its inception, it has gone on to give out over $200,000 in scholarships, provide over 30,000 hours of affordable rehearsal space, and support over 1,000 pre-professional company dancers.

She was honored to be named  Pacific Coast Business Times “Top 40 Under 40” in 2009, and has gone on to receive honors from several dignitaries and local organizations for her dedication to the community.  Alana has volunteered for several local non-profits including Take Back the Night, United Way, Girls Inc, Fun In the Sun, and she served on the board of the SB Neighborhood Clinics and SB Dance Alliance where she served as president from 2007-2011. She received an Apogee Award in 2018 for her legacy in dance education and the Inspiration Award from More Than Just Great dancing for her leadership during the twin tragedies of the Thomas Fire and Debris Flow.

She is a Certified Coach for More Than Just Great Dancing and speaks to entrepeneurs, leaders, and youth to expand and inspire their own journey. In 2019 she was a invited guest on the podcast Onward Nation.

Alana believes that dance can heal, and the lessons it teaches extend far beyond the classroom.  She hopes that all who visit SB Dance Arts feel a sense of belonging, community, and creative freedom. 

 

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts School Director

Rita Barton | School Director

Rita was born and raised in Santa Barbara.  She graduated from UCSB with a degree in political science.  She worked for many years in the footwear and clothing industries.  She has also been a substitute teacher and taught elementary school art.  Rita lives on the Mesa with her family.  Rita is an artist, blogger, and active community member.  She loves taking her dog to the beach, hiking, gardening and sunsets.  Rita is a dance mom and loves watching her daughter’s journey in the world of dance.  Rita also works for her family owned business, Barton Construction.

 

 
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vanessa campos |  Customer Care Director

 
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anna cardenas |  Customer Care coorindator

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Educational Director Teacher Instructor

Lauren Serrano | educational Director, Comp Team & crew Director, Instructor

Lauren graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with a B.F.A. in dance. She is originally from Orange County where she trained at many local studios including Jimmy Defores, and Edge Performing Arts Studio in Los Angeles. She went to Orange County High School for the Performing Arts for classical and commercial dance. She has won various scholarships including a 3-month training scholarship at Edge Performing Arts studio, Miss Drill Team USA and she received the departmental achievement award from UCSB in 2011. Lauren moved to New York City in 2012 for a work-study scholarship with Jennifer Muller and the Works. She has had the opportunity to dance with singing artists such as Mayer Hawthorne, and performed choreography in New York for choreographers Young Soon Kim, Toni Renee Johnson, Jacobs Dance Collective, Pedro Ruiz, Jennifer Muller and Mike Esperanza. Lauren recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with her masters in dance education from the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College with the Presidential Special Recognition Award. Lauren is also a certified Pilates mat teacher and certified personal trainer. She is currently dancing professionally in Santa Barbara and is honored to be teaching at Santa Barbara Dance Arts.

 
 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

Brittany Sandoval  |  Instructor, Hip Hop Director

Brittany has been dancing since the age of 5. She is a proud alumni of SB Dance Arts. She started dancing at the studio when she was 9 years old and quickly became a mentor and teaching assistant. At 16 she became a student teacher and was offered a faculty position upon graduation.  Currently, she teaches over 25 classes per week and is one of our most beloved instructors.  She also teaches at dozens of local schools including Monte Vista, Peabody, Bright Start, and All Saints By the Sea. Brittany's gift is helping kids feel a sense of worthiness and confidence in the classroom.  

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

Nathan Burdine-Ortega  | Instructor, Acrobatics Director

Nathan is a Santa Barbara native; he was born here and finally found his way back. He moved around California and went onto a stint at Ventura and Moorpark Colleges. He has graduated from UCSB with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in choreography. Picking up dance at a late age of 19, his training started with a rigorous gymnastics and diving training regime for ten plus years. He then went on to dance in college and found a love for hip-hop and has acquired the grace of ballet, modern and jazz. In 2004 he was on MTV’s show The Wade Robson Projects, as well as dancing in music videos in the industry and has graced his presence across international stages. In 2014 he toured with UCSB’s Senior Dance Company across Europe through Prague and Italy. He has choreographed for many colleges throughout California, Washington and Arizona, creating works to bring joy, comedy and thoughtful art to the minds of audience members.  He has been teaching since he was 16, so for the past 17 years has taught at many studios and gyms in the Ventura and Orange Counties.

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

Chloe Roberts  |  Instructor, jazz department director

Chloe was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she began her training at the age of three. She has trained with North Harris Performing Arts, Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, and Boston’s Urbanity Dance Company, among others. Chloe is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, musical theatre, hip-hop, ballroom, acrobatics, and improvisation. Her primary training came from Dawn Dippel and Amy Cain, owners of North Harris Performing Arts and founders of Revolve Dance Company. She has had the pleasure of training under Dawn Scannell, former ballet mistress of the Houston Ballet, Dominic Walsh, Artistic Director of Dominic Walsh Dance Theatre, and Domenico Luciano of the Teatro di San Carlo Ballet School in Naples. She has worked with esteemed choreographers including Eddy Ocampo, Jodinik Jo of the Centre du Danse Marais in Paris, Desiree Robbins, Sharon Wong of Alvin Ailey, Valerie Madonia of the Colorado Ballet, Tucker Knox, and Andy Noble. Chloe has worked with the Prague Shakespeare Company as well as Studio Dance Perfect, also located in Prague.  Some of her earliest stage experiences were with the Broadway international touring company of The Wizard of Oz with Mickey Rooney and Lillian Montevecchi. Chloe was awarded multiple top ten titles for both solo and group pieces during her competitive years. Chloe teaches at studios across the United States and her work has won titles at both regional and national competitions including Showstoppers, Nuvo, and JUMP Dance Conventions. In 2012 Chloe founded Terpis Contemporary Dance Company in Durango, Colorado which performed for three successful seasons before Chloe relocated to Boston. During her time in Boston, Chloe performed as a  company member of Boston’s Urbanity Underground and Reject Dance Theatre. Chloe is currently a  resident teacher and choreographer at Santa Barbara Dance Arts in Santa Barbara, California and continues to choreograph for studios across the world.

 
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mae rennick |  instructor, Mini director

Mae Rennick is a Santa Barbara native with an extensive history and connection to its dance community as a student, professional, and teacher. Her dance career found its origin in the wonderful world of ballet, where she received classical training in the Cecchetti method and later rose to become a member of the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet Company. With a strong affinity for the stage, she found additional avenues to performance through musical theater, and songwriting. Mae discovered a passion for choreography early on, and became the resident choreographer and dance instructor at Ta-Dah! Productions where she works with elementary aged children, bringing dance to the stage for the past nine years in Goleta, California. It was through her choreography endeavors, that Mae sought to diversify her training and creative influences to include jazz and modern, which she studied during her time as an undergraduate at San Diego State University. 

Mae joins the Santa Barbara Dance Arts Team as the Department Head of the Mini Division after a residency at the TuTu School in Scotts Valley, California, where she grew her passion for working with young dancers as a curriculum director and dance teacher. There, she learned to incorporate early childhood development strategies into a creative dance education experience, which she enthusiastically brings to her new role at SBDA. 

Mae believes that all students should be encouraged to exercise their imaginations as well as their bodies in dance class, and that dancing is for everyone. She is very excited to join the Santa Barbara Dance Arts family and to bring her passion for dance and creativity to the classroom. 

 
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abby losole   |  instructor

Abby LoSole is a third year student at UC Santa Barbara, pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Dance and Sociology. Dancing has been her passion for as long as she can remember. She has been pursuing this art since the age of 4 at her local dance studio in Modesto, California. At the age of 13, she was accepted into the junior professional dance company at her studio, Juline Regional Youth Ballet. In high school, Abby was apart of the Performing Arts Academy for 4 years as well as Dance Production for 3 years. She had the opportunity to choreograph dances throughout her years in Juline Regional Youth Ballet as well as Dance Production. Throughout the following years she attended and performed in 4 seasons of Regional Dance America while also volunteering and dancing with the local non-profit dance organization, The Juline Foundation for Children. She was offered full-ride scholarships to summer intensive programs of Joffrey Ballet in New York City and Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington. Abby had the opportunity to attend the summer intensive programs of Pacific Northwest Ballet and American Ballet Theatre in North Carolina and New York City. More recently, she performed in 2 seasons of the Nutcracker for the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet as well as performances through UCSB’s Dance Department. Abby is excited for this opportunity to teach and expand her knowledge of the dance world for the future.

 
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bethany guerrero   |  instructor

Bethany began her dance career at 3 years old in Temecula, CA. She quickly developed a passion for jazz and tap, then began training and competing in hip hop, musical theater, contemporary, ballet, acro, aerial silks, and modern. Once in high school, her passion for contemporary, hip hop, and jazz grew, and she fervently danced for her home studio, Artistic Dance Academy, eventually teaching and assisting jazz and hip hop classes. In addition to her studio training, she danced for her school’s Varsity Dance Team for 4 years. In her time dancing with Temecula Valley High School’s then-thriving dance program, Bethany had the opportunity to perform at the Holiday Bowl with her team, choreograph for many team performances, and choreograph for non-dance team school events for special needs children and pageants. After graduation, she began her time at UCSB, studying Psychological and Brain Sciences while dancing with the university’s dance team, then moving on to begin her wonderful journey at SBDA. Her genuine passion for dance and teaching inspires her everyday to create unique choreography and touch the lives of her students. 

 
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delaney baril  |  instructor

Delaney grew up in San Diego, California and has been dancing for 19 years. She was trained in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, and hip hop at North County Dance Arts under the instruction of Louis McKay, Erica Hooper Patmon, Diana Nicastro, and Syrene Bartoleme. She competed with NCDA for 6 years with tap and jazz. She loved being a part of her high school Varsity Dance Team, Torrey Pines Dance Team, in which she was the captain for three years. With TPDT, she competed in small, medium, and large groups in hip hop, jazz, and contemporary. In June of 2019, Delaney graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara where she studied Philosophy, specifically ethics. She danced with Urban Dance Company for three years during her time at UCSB, serving as captain of the team for two years. With UDC, she trained, performed, and competed hip hop. She is a certified yoga teacher in four styles:  vinyasa, sculpt, fusion, and yin yoga. She teaches at and manages the CorePower Yoga in Goleta, and teaches an Advanced Yoga class at UCSB. She is extremely grateful to work at Santa Barbara Dance Arts and looks forward to seeing growth in herself and her students.

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

Emily McKinney  |  Instructor

Emily is a current graduate from Dominican University of California with a degree in Ballet from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program and a minor in Communication.  Emily became a certified trainer in GYROKINESIS® after graduating college so she can help movers with chronic pain or help those who hope for more mobility.  Emily began dancing at 5 years old at a local competition studio and her love for dance stems from the healthy environment of teamwork and the purity of fun performance.  She found her passion for ballet at Dance Theater International in Evergreen, California.  After many years of training and summer intensives, Emily was given the opportunity to study at The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet in New York City.  Emily's journey has brought her to Santa Barbara to dance in State Street Ballet's Professional Track Program.  She is thrilled to teach the students of Santa Barbara Dance Arts!   

 
 
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emma lawrence  |  Instructor

Emma Lawrence grew up in Pennsylvania where she danced at a small studio. She trained in many styles of dance including ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and hip-hop and danced in many competitions and workshops. She also taught and assisted many classes at her studio. After graduating high school, Emma trained in modern at Temple University for one year and then trained in ballet at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet the subsequent year. Now, Emma is going into her second year as a trainee at State Street ballet where she trains five days a week in ballet, classical variations, modern, and contemporary. In addition to ballet, Emma is also a senior at Penn State University World Campus where she is majoring in accounting, and a fitness barre instructor at Core Sport in Santa Barbara. This is Emma’s first year teaching at SBDA, and she is so excited to be sharing her passion for ballet with all of the dancers! She hopes all of the dancers have a great year filled with lots of fun dancing! 

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

Eveleyn hernandez  | Instructor

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

Kristal Keinert  | Instructor

Kristal Keinert has been dancing for as long as she can remember! At five years of age, when she was dancing around the house, her mother asked if she wanted to take a ballet and tap class, and she enthusiastically responded, “Yes!” She briefly tried a jazz class with her friends in fourth grade, but she found that her true passion was ballet, and it wasn’t until she started at Allan Hancock College that she branched out to take jazz again. She was put in a modern piece after auditioning for Dimensions in Dance, and loved that so much that she continued to take modern classes, then hip-hop, salsa, swing, and more! When she transferred to Westmont College, she was part of the modern company Windancers, and helped lead the dance ministry Charis. After college, Kristal continued to take classes in all forms, and danced with Luminus Dance Company, traveling to South Africa and New York City. Kristal began teaching ballet when she was only fifteen, and has taught jazz and lyrical as well. Her love of teaching dance also helped lead to a career teaching English, and this is her sixth year teaching at Olive Grove Charter School. Kristal thanks God for the ability to express herself through movement and communicate that art to her students. 

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

lacy olivera  | Instructor

Lacy Olivera was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. At the age of 4 she was bouncing around doing cartwheels and handstands wherever she could. She became a competitive gymnast and traveled all over the United States for over ten years. After quitting gymnastics there seemed to be something missing in her life, so she tried out for the dance team at her local high school. From there another passion grew and she started taking jazz, ballet and hip hop classes. She performed with her dance studio and competed at many competitions with her school dance team. After college and working full time, she became a mom of two little girls. Lacy's passion for dance came back after her children were born and has never stopped since. She has performed locally with the Rhythm Street Crew and currently takes hip hop classes every week. She enjoys the escape that dance brings and how all the problems of the day just seem to melt away. Lacy describes dance as a therapy and has seen how it can impact so many people. After taking a GROOV3 class she was immediately in love. The concept of making dance accessible to all and the community that it builds is something that she knew she wanted to be apart of. She is excited to share her love of dance and to keep spreading the GROOV3 movement.

 
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lily hurbutise  |  instructor

Lily Hurtubise began her dance career at a young age competing in Utah. Her love for performance stayed constant after moving three times in two years, where she eventually found herself in Southern California. From here, Lily earned several titles and scholarships at regional and national dance competitions. She helped to lead her high school dance team to four championship titles at USA Nationals. Lily spends her summers as an instructor for the United Spirit Association dance program, traveling to camps across the country. Currently, she studies communication and global studies at UCSB. She is also the official team coordinator of the UCSB Dance Team and continues to bring Gaucho Spirit to every game day. Lily is excited to join the SBDA family and encourage an environment that focuses on more than just great dancing!

 
 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

RAchyl pines | Instructor

Rachyl began her tap and jazz training at the age of three with Temecula Dance Company. She took ballet classes as a requirement for her jazz and tap competition teams, but did not begin her formal ballet training until age twelve. Rachyl began her ballet training in her hometown of Temecula, California at The Ballet Studio under the direction of Mark Erickson. She augmented her training by attending summer intensive programs with American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Walnut Hill School of the Arts. Rachyl joined City Ballet of San Diego as an apprentice in 2011 after graduating high school. She was promoted to full company member in 2013. Since joining City Ballet, Rachyl performed in George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, the company’s productions of The Nutracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliette, Firebird and Giselle. Rachyl left City Ballet of San Diego to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Communication at the University of San Diego. Two years ago she moved to Santa Barbara to complete a PhD in Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 
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shante boudaghi  |  Instructor

Shante Boudaghi started dancing at the age of nine at her local MyGym where she attended hip hop classes on Saturdays. This was where her love for hip hop and other street styles flourished. She continued dancing at Taft High School in Woodland Hills with their award-winning dance team. It was there that she trained in numerous different styles including but not limited to hip hop, house, waacking, popping and jazz funk. She continued training after graduating from high school and has since held numerous leadership positions within Urban Dance Company, a student-run, collegiate hip hop team on the UCSB campus. In addition to choreographing for competitions and organizing fundraiser events, Shante served as the captain for two years as well as a financial coordinator for one. She is also teaches for Everybody Dance Now!, a non-profit focused on providing those who might not be able to afford dance classes with free/low-cost dance classes throughout the country. Shante is currently a fourth year at UCSB majoring in Sociology and Religious Studies and pursuing a Business Communication and Law Certificate through UCSB’s extension program

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

tiffany malget  |  Instructor

Tiffany Malget (rhymes with Ballet) is a native San Diegan. At the age of five, she was trained by the Royal Academy of Ballet London, RAD. Dancing the role of a Bon Bon under Mother Ginger's skirt in the Nutcracker was her most memorable performance that guided her sleigh into her formative years where she arrived at her land of the sweets. There she was exposed to many other forms of dance including jazz, baile folklorico, character dance, gymnastics, musical theater, tap, and hip hop. Dance was her world where she could imagine and soon create a way for herself. At the young age of 15, she was trained by a professional New York couple who opened a dance studio in her Encinitas, Ca, neighborhood. Soon after she was offered many teaching positions in San Diego. Little could she imagine that this was the beginning of her teaching journey. For 23 years Miss Tiffany marched on teaching multiple classes of many different styles and ages. She also started many dance programs, organized camps, parties, show troops, rehearsals, and recitals. As assistant director of her home studio, she fulfilled her dream of creating a Nutcracker with her co-workers. Tiffany was the Director of young children and, of course, Mother Ginger and the baby bonbons were her inspiration. Shortly after Mrs. Tiffany’s sleigh was rerouted when her prince was blessed to follow his career journey. So along with their 3 children, they embarked on a new adventure. First stopping off in majestic coastal redwoods of Santa Cruz. There she was able to discover and learn about different styles of dance like Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary and Acro. It was thrilling to be a student once again. This next stop happens to be a dream destination. The Malget family has now landed on the Mesa and is looking forward to discovering beautiful Santa Barbara and make new memories. You might find them riding bikes, walking their dog or surfing and boogie boarding at the beach. During this new season, Mrs. Tiffany is delighted to teach dance in her new community. As the watchkeeper keeps his eyes on the clock she is grateful that she’s been able to dance throughout her journey. She is excited to create a new chapter in her story and share her love of dance with you.

 
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The Aerial Studio: Gregg & Carmen Curtis

The Aerial Studio is an internationally acclaimed aerial theatre and international rigging company. Owners Carmen and Gregg Curtis are national champion gymnasts and ex-Cirque du Soleil performers. They create aerial and harness flying shows for companies such as the LA Philharmonic, Cirque du Soleil, Dancing with the Stars, the Olympics, and the Met. Recently they choreographed Beyonce’s Foundation Tour.  They founded Aerial Yoga and train teachers across the world to teach aerial and aerial yoga.  They are excited to be teamed up with Santa Barbara Dance Arts, offering aerial dance classes led by their professional staff.  

 

Guest Instructors

 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

Steven Lovelace  | Instructor, Director Emeritus

Steven Lovelace founded Santa Barbara Dance Arts (formerly Santa Barbara Jazz Dance Academy) in 1997. Shortly after he met Alana Tillim, the two of them co-directed the business from 1998-2013, when Steven sold the business to Alana. Steven loves teaching at Dance Arts and choreographs for the Student Dance Companies. Steven began his dance career in Kay Fulton's Santa Barbara City College Dance Department. Since then, he danced with Repertory-West Dance Company, Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera, Bill Evans Dance Company, and Nora Reynolds Dance. He was a member of the Lit Moon Theatre Company and co-directed Dance Warehouse from 1985-91. He has taught locally at Laguna Blanca, Marymount, Cate, and San Marcos, Crane and currently teaches at Peabody school. He co-directs Stage Left Theatre Company. 

Steven’s reach in the community includes work with the Summer Solstice Celebration, SB Dance Alliance and he is the co-founder and scholarship mentor for the Arts Mentorship Program. He has helped generations of children fall in love with dance! 

 

 
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christina Sanchez  | guest Instructor

Christina Sanchez relocated to Santa Barbara after living and dancing in New York City. She received most of her training on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School where she was later asked to join Ailey II under the direction of Sylvia Waters. She was then accepted into the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater under the direction of Judith Jamison. She has also danced with Ballet Hispanico of NY, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. She is now a "Mommy" of two beautiful girls and is happy to be teaching at SBDA.

 
 
Santa Barbara Dance Arts Instructor, Dance Class Teacher

kelli forman  |  Guest Instructor

Kelli Forman is a dance instructor, professional choreographer, yoga instructor, CA certified massage therapist, senior dance major at UCSB, local organizer for the Santa Barbara County Alliance for Arts Education, and the National Program Director for Everybody Dance Now!, a non-profit that offers free or low-cost hip hop dance programming to hundreds of underserved youth each week. Kelli began dancing at the age of four, attended the University of Kansas on a full dance scholarship, and later moved to New York City and Los Angeles where she worked professionally with choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Hi Hat, Kenny Ortega, Fatima Robinson, and Travis Payne (Michael Jackson’s former choreographer). She danced on shows such as X-Factor, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and Glee and modeled for brands such as Coca-Cola and Reebok. Kelli became the EDN! National Program Director three years ago and created EDN!’s first standards-based hip hop dance curriculum. Kelli continues her passions of teaching underserved youth, choreographing for local companies, building the local street dance community in Santa Barbara, and advocating for equity in arts education.