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Team Members

Barbara Rinaldo

Studio Director & Dance Instructor

Barbara has taught ballet, modern dance and choreography for over thirty years. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan. She was Assistant Professor of Dance at Towson University in Maryland for six years where she also served as Chairman of the Dance Department. Barbara has received choreographic grants from the Michigan State Council for the Arts, Towson University, Meet the Composer, Inc and Morningside Festival in New York City. She was a Teaching Artist for the Visual and Performing Arts Department of San Diego for ten years and for Young Audiences of San Diego.

Brianna Snider

Director of Acrobatics Program & Dance Instructor

Brianna Snider has been involved in dance and gymnastics since the age of 5. She has continuously trained from the Northeastern coast of Rhode Island to the Pacific coast of Oahu, Hawaii and, since 2014, San Diego. The highlight of her experience in Rhode Island was her opportunity to work with middle school cheer teams. Brianna helped develop the Cheer teams exercise gymnastics and acrobatic skills. Brianna’s philosophy is to engage her students by challenging them in a safe environment that is not only fun, but builds student’s self esteem. Her teaching environment allows them to utilize their creativity unhindered through the use of their body and music.

Naythaniel Tavcar

Dance Company Coach & Dance Instructor

Naythaniel Tavcar was born and raised in Reno, NV. He didn’t start his training until the age of 16, but after being catapulted into movement classes, he quickly discovered that dance was his passion. He has produced, directed and choreographed multiple productions that were housed at large casinos and small black box theaters alike. He also took this time to hone his costuming and music editing skills, which have been put to good use! Having owned and creative directed the only commercial training program of dancers in the Reno-Tahoe area, working with students of all ages and backgrounds, he quickly established himself in the Nevada dance community. Today, Nayte resides in the Greater Los Angeles Area; having had the opportunity to work alongside some of the top industry choreographers like Brinn Nicole, Joe Brown, Marvin “DJ MARV” Browning, Janelle Ginestra, Ambrose Respicio, and many more. Nayte is continually learning and growing as a dancer and choreographer within all facets of the industry, as he pushes his students to do the same. It is this passion for knowledge and education that, along with movement quality, keeps Nayte dedicated to his journey in creating an open and welcoming community, and better the industry for future dancers, artists, and entertainers alike.

Ashley Mullins

Vocal Coach

Ashley Mullins has been singing since she was 5 years old, beginning in school choir before moving on to show choir at the age of 8. She was bitten by the musical theater bug and began auditioning for plays and musicals by 12, leading to several roles in productions of Macbeth, Annie, The Music Man, Into the Woods, Little Shop of Horrors, and many more. She has worked in multiple avenues of theatre, including judging auditions, casting shows, designing hair & makeup, costuming, props, and sets design, and backstage work including stage managing. She studied Theatre and English at East Tennessee State University.
Additionally, she competed vocally for 6 years before joining a band that traveled the eastern United States. After meeting her husband, she relocated to Georgia from Tennessee and directed the drama department at Christ Fellowship Church, writing and producing original plays. Now she resides with her husband and 2 children in San Diego and is a Vocal and Acting coach, teaching Musical Theatre at SDDW.

Katie Ryan

Dance Instructor

Katie Ryan received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet with an Emphasis in Teaching from the University of Utah while dancing seasonally with ballet and contemporary company Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Following her undergraduate career, Katie continued her seasonal performances with ASFB (2008-2014) and performed professionally as a full-time member of the contemporary dance company BodyVox in Portland, Oregon (2011-2014). Her passion for making dance accessible led her to receive a Master of Science in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University as well as a K-12 Teaching Credential for Dance and Physical Education. She taught dance in the public school system for six years including one directorship in a high school dance program. Since moving to San Diego in 2018, Katie has taught ballet and pointe at San Diego Danceworks and loves setting Waltz of the Flowers and Sugarplum in their annual performance of The Nutcracker. She also choreographs and teaches ballet, modern, and jazz courses at Grossmont College, Mesa College, and Southwestern College, and she performed in Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater’s “20th Anniversary Best of Trolley Dances” (2018). She continues to seek professional development and is certified in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) as well as Distance Education (DE). Katie loves to share her passion for education by developing curricula involving kinesiology, movement-mediated learning, dance pedagogy, and individual empowerment. Her joyful yet thoughtful approach to course design examines ballet’s relevance and seeks to cultivate joy in the Classical art form.

Amanda Ascher

Dance Company Coach & Dance Instructor

Amanda Ascher has been involved in dance since the age of three. She started in ballet/tap combo classes and has grown to love the art of dance ever since. At the age of 15 Amanda was given a scholarship to attend the Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary Program in Los Angeles and New York City. Amanda had the opportunity to work and perform with famous choreographers and was able to train with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Amanda grew up dancing in a rigorous dance competition team in Orange County, CA. At the age of 16 she was given the chance to start teaching and choreographing and from then on, the rest is history! Amanda graduated from San Diego State University, class of 2020, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Since graduating college, Amanda has continued to teach and choreograph throughout San Diego and loves working with dancers to help them each bring out their character and personal artistic expression. At the end of the day, Amanda hopes to continue to inspire her students to work hard, stay humble and always be their best self!

David Nguyen

Dance Company Coach & Dance Instructor

David began learning choreography at 8years old, then started training at Mesa College since 18. He danced at Mojalet for a year, and now currently an ensemble dancer at Culture Shock San Diego.
David's main style is hip hop, but also has cross trained in Modern, Jazz and Ballet.

Sabrina Biddle

Dance Company Coach & Dance Instructor

Sabrina is a graduate of Ohio State University, where she studied Biology and Dance. She also studied and performed with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio in addition to training at The Ohio State University. She currently has her Law degree and is working towards helping the Arts Industry. She has worked with and for The Tap Legacy Foundation and Oui Danse. She is also a graduate of the prestigious intern program at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, where she continuously trains. She has studied under great choreographers and dancers such as Wes Veldnik, Mia Michaels and Derek Mitchell. Some credits include Fuerza Bruta, Walt Disney, Carnival Cruise Lines and some present recording artists. She is a well-known choreographer and teacher in the southeast and now the far west! She is a resident teacher at a few prestigious studios in sunny California, however, she judges and instructs Master classes all over the United States. She is involved with the production of the hit TV show Dance Moms for the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th seasons. Sabrina’s passion is dance, she lives and breathes it! Her dedication to dance is unstoppable!

Chantal Branscomb

Dance Instructor

Chantal started dancing when she was three years old at the former In Motion Dance Center in Bonita, California. Throughout her time there, she studied hip hop, tap, jazz, and ballet and was a part of their Company dance team. Growing up, she was very involved in the performing arts and community theatre. At Bonita Vista High School, Chantal was a member of both Sound Unlimited and The Music Machine show choirs and went on to be the Dance Captain of The Music Machine her senior year. In college, she studied musical theatre and drama at both San Diego State University and University of California, Irvine where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Drama. She is happy to be joining the San Diego Danceworks team this season!

Lindsay Brzenski

Dance Instructor

Lindsay Brzenski has been dancing since the age of nine. She teaches jazz, contemporary, ballet, ballroom, salsa, lyrical, and tap. A San Diego native, she has studied at various studios throughout the city. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego and received a bachelor’s degrees in both Theatre and Dance. While at school, she studied and performed with Patricia Rincon, Allyson Green, Tony Callahan, and Jean Isaacs. In addition to dancing, Lindsay also works in the San Diego entertainment industry, specializing in lighting, audio and costuming.

Bex Walker

Dance Company Coach & Dance Instructor

Bex Walker started dancing when she was 5 years old. She danced her way through school at San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and graduated with honors in 1997. She went on to minor in dance at San Diego State University while she continued training and performing with Unity Dance Ensemble from 1997-2004 under the direction of Tessandra Chavez. She has also trained with Culture Shock under the direction of Sherman Shoate (2010) and performed in Afta Shock under the direction of Trina Lyons (2009). In 2005, she joined the performing group Eveoke Dance Theatre and became a Master Teaching Artist as well as a concert company member and choreographer. She has performed in multiple shows in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Becky also toured as a performer in the Dominican Republic.
She had the honor of co-choreographing the hip hop workshop production Refuge with Myriam Lucas in 2011. The choreography was extended into a full production for La Jolla Playhouse titled BREAK in 2012. Break won the 2012 Bravo SD Award. Bex now teaches outreach for La Jolla
Playhouse, is Program Director for Creative Stages of San Diego, and hopes to further grow as a choreographer while creating a group of expressive dancers at San Diego Danceworks.

Elena Voytilla

Dance Company Coach & Dance Instructor

Elena recently graduated from San Francisco State with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and an emphasis in exercise and movement sciences. While at SFSU she took classes in the dance department training in ballet and modern. She also worked for StretchLab in Burlingame which focuses on one-on-one assisted stretching. Growing up, she trained in tap with Lindsay Brzenski for 8 years and in her senior year competed an award winning tap solo choreographed by Jenna Ingrassia.

Teran Brown

Dance Company Coach & Dance Instructor

Teran Brown (Coach Tea) is a master-level teacher with 20 years of dance teaching and coaching experience.  Here at Danceworks, Teran works as a teacher, choreographer, and director of our studio’s competitive dance company.  She is heading into her 8th season with the SDDW Dance Company.

Coach Tea comes to us with a resumé of national and international performance credits, dancing professionally in the modern dance concert world and commercial dance industry.  She is also a former public school dance teacher and curriculum writer.

Before retiring as a performer in 2017, Teran spent two years as a dancer for the National Football League.  She continues to work in the sports entertainment industry, directing the largest professional dance team in greater San Diego.

When Coach Tea is not coaching, she loves traveling and learning about other cultures, practicing yoga, and thrift shopping for vinyls.  Her greatest passion is being a mentor.    She uses her diverse experiences within the dance industry to guide and train students for real-world dance opportunities, and to help them through day-to-day challenges.   Coach Tea looks forward to seeing the many places their dance training will take them!

Kanna Burch

Dance Instructor

Kanna Burch is a performing and visual artist, also a teaching artist and choreographer with over 20 years of experience. She was born and raised in Japan, and completed her B.A. in Fine arts and Drama at the Tamagawa University College of Arts in Tokyo, Japan in 2000. She has been trained in ballet, hip hop, jazz and tap dance since the age of five. She directed and performed many dance showcases, music videos in Japan from 1996 to 2005. Kanna moved to the United States in 2005, she continued her passion of serving local communities through the arts. She was selected as a Teaching Artist of the Year from the Art Education Connection (formerly Arts for Learning San Diego, an Affiliate of Young Audiences) in 2019. Kanna always loves new challenges, and recently started her new journey as Taiko (Japanese drum) ensemble member of the Genbu Daiko She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Art Education at the Azusa Pacific University expecting to graduate in fall 2022.

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