The CDE Dancers
Scott has a diverse background as a professional dancer, singer, choreographer and performer. He received a vocal scholarship to Utah State University and studied Opera, Musical Theater, Classical Ballet and Modern and received a BS in Psychology and continued on to obtain a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Sam Houston State University. He has since performed several leading roles with his singing and dancing in Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (AEA), the International Broadway tour of Saturday Night Fever (AEA), leading roles with the luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises, Houston Grand Opera, Omaha Opera and a founding member of Utah Festival Opera. Scott has danced in professional Ballet and Modern Dance Companies including Dayton Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theater, Dance Kaleidoscope and Pennsylvania Ballet and has performed works of international choreographers including Doug Verone, Christian Holder, Septime Weber, Judith Fugate, Steven Mills, Mark Morris, Jeffery Hughes, James Clouser, David Hochoy, Dermot Burke, Brenda Daniels, Pat Graney and many others. Scott’s teaching pedagogy and choreographic works include Musical Theater, Classical Ballet, Contemporary and Modern and have been performed by Center Dance Ensemble, Arizona Youth Ballet, Dayton Ballet II and many colleges and universities including Mesa Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Sam Houston State University and Utah State University. His works have been presented at American Voices, Kick-A, Arizona Young Artists Competition and selected multiple times to appear in Dance in the Desert Festival (Las Vegas) and Harvest Chicago Festival (Chicago). Scott teaches company class for CDE, he is adjunct faculty at Mesa Community College and Scottsdale Community College and is persistently active in mentoring young artists, promoting and teaching dance for youth organizations, dance troupes and intensives. Scott is excited to return for his fifth season with CDE and share, learn, grow and participate in the art, love and passion of CDE founder Frances Cohen.
Priscilla, an Arizona native, discovered dance in her childhood with Folklorico. It wasn’t until her introduction to ballet and modern, under the tutelage of local dancer Nicole Olson, that she found her passion. She has gone on to dance with both Scottsdale and Glendale Community College’s dance companies, studying under Angela Rosenkrans and Andrea Hansen, as well as local companies such as Ignite Collaborative and Classical Fusion Dance. Additionally, she has participated in local festivals and showcases such Blaktina, BetaDance, RAW Phoenix and Celebration of Dance. She considers it a blessing to be able to work with so many inspiring individuals. Though she enjoys diversifying her dance experience, her home is with Center Dance Ensemble and she is thrilled for her third season with the company.
Rosy is so excited to return for another season with Center Dance Ensemble! She received most of her training at Scottsdale Community College and has performed with Dias Dance Life under Tsahal Dias, The Parking Lot Project under Lauri Roesch, ELEVATE/DanceWorks under Diane McNeal Hunt, and her own company, Ignite Collaborative. When not performing with CDE, Rosy fills her time with various activities. She runs the movement program at Arizona Actors Academy, a school for adults pursuing a professional career in theater and film. She leads a dance therapy/restorative movement program for people of all ages and abilities, from teens with Down Syndrome to CEO’s in a corporate office setting. She works as a social media manager for local businesses, (including CDE!) Find us on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter!). Finally, Rosy owns and manages Ignite Collaborative. Ignite uses dance as a means for communication and empathy, an opportunity for personal growth, and an outlet for creativity and artistic expression via unique immersive performances, community workshops and classes, and dance therapy/restorative movement.
Gina, Mexican dancer, is a graduate with the Bachelor of Arts (Contemporary Dance) by the Universidad Veracruzana, and Development Master Academic Skills for Higher Normal Education from Simon Bolivar. Graduates features: The Body Wonder Diploma in Dance Pedagogy, Teacher Training Diploma in Yoga by the International Association of Yoga Yoghismo. As a performer she has taken part in dance companies, to name a few: Modulo contemporary dance, Barro Rojo, Scenic Art and Independent Ballet. She has received awards and scholarships which are: best dancer in the XVII International Festival of Contemporary Dance, DIF Waldeen, San Luis Potosi, SLP; first place in the Video Documentary Eternity is Barro; Young Artists Scholarship Veracruz (1997-98); grant from the State Fund for Culture and Arts of Veracruz (1999-2000); grant from the State Fund for Culture and Arts of Veracruz (2006-07). As a teacher he has taken part in art schools, which are: College of Arts of Veracruz; theatre faculty of the Universidad Veracruzana. dance faculty of the Universidad Veracruzana; faculty of arts degree in contemporary dance at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua. Mexico. This is her third season with Center Dance Ensemble.
Samantha started dance when she was eight years old at Creative Edge Dance, formerly Leap of Faith Dance Plus. She trained and competed in many styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, pointe, acro, contemporary, and modern. She was the principal artist for the Repertory Ballet Ensemble for five years, dancing in various roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in Nutcracker, the Firebird in Firebird, Peter Pan, Swanhilda in Coppelia, and most recently The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella.
D. Daniel Hollingshead
Mr. Hollingshead is returning for his 18th season with Center Dance Ensemble. Mr. Hollingshead received his BFA in Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University and has performed in Arizona and Colorado with Desert Dance Theatre, A Ludwig Co., The Dance Connection, Boulder Jazz Dance Co., the Jan Justice Dance Company, among others. In addition to performing, Mr. Hollingshead is an award winning costume designer and hair and make-up designer, and has worked as cutter/draper for both theatre and dance; he has also worked as a cutter/draper and theatre technician for many local and national theatre and dance companies throughout the state and southwest region. In addition to his work with Center Dance Ensemble Mr. Hollingshead is currently the Costuming and Wardrobe Director for Childsplay in Tempe.
Kelsey is a 28 year old Chapman University graduate. She graduated in May of 2016 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance. During her time at Chapman University, Kelsey had the pleasure of working under instructors/choreographers such as Sean Green, William Johnson, Liz Maxwell, Amanda White and many other great teachers. She was inducted in 2015 into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and graduated with honors given through the National Dance Education Organization. Kelsey is currently the resident choreographer for the International Baccalaureate Dance program at Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and also a dance instructor at Leap of Faith Dance where she teaches a variety of different dance styles. She is returning to Center Dance Ensemble after her two year school break and will begin her 7th year as a full member of CDE. Kelsey is excited to bring her newest dance training from Chapman University and hopes to one day become a college dance professor. She will be looking into a graduate program to receive her Masters of Fine Arts. Kelsey thanks her friends and family for their love and support throughout all the years making it possible for her to follow her dreams and pursue her career in dance.
Lizotte graduated with a BFA in dance performance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2000. After graduating she relocated to Chicago to pursue her passion for dance. Erica performed and toured nationally with Zephyr Dance and the Cindy Brandle Dance Company. She also had the pleasure of teaching dance in the Chicago Public schools as well as throughout various afterschool programs. After moving to the Phoenix area in 2006 she has worked with Dulce Dance Company, Desert Dance Theater, and Center Dance Ensemble. Erica is on faculty at Southwest Ballet Theatre in Goodyear, AZ teaching jazz and modern dance. She resides in the west valley with her husband and their three children. Erica is thrilled to be returning to CDE for her seventh season.
Katherine “Katie” McDowell
Katie discovered dance at the early age of 5 and was fortunate enough to find Dance Theater West when she was 7 years old. There, she trained in ballet under the direction of her beloved friend and mentor, Susan Silverman. During her ten years with the studio and her six years with Storybook Ballet Theater, she performed lead roles in several ballets including Coppelia, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Odette in Swan Lake. After graduating from Arcadia High School in 2007, Katie attended Arizona State University. She is currently performing in CDE’s school-touring shows:The ABC’s of Dance and From Ballet to Beyonce. This is Katie’s eighth season with Center Dance Ensemble and she could not be more excited and grateful for the opportunity.
Emilio was born and raised in Venice, Italy. Although he carried a lifetime interest in the arts from drawing to singing, it was not until he moved to Phoenix that he began training in the field of dance at the age of 18. While his exposure was belated, he excelled in the field as many young men do and worked in the industry doing film, television, and live stage as a dancer, choreographer and actor. After establishing and running his own company for several years in Northern Arizona, he now directs his own company based in Phoenix. His decision to re-establish himself as a performer led him to join Center Dance Ensemble. Emilio is excited to return for his tenth season with the company.
Rebecca began her dance training at the age of 5 at the School of Ballet Arizona. Since then she has continued her ballet training in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus with Mary Moe Adams and Andrew Needhammer. In 2008, Rebecca was a semi-finalist at the Genee International Ballet Competition in Toronto. Rebecca graduated from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. While at St. John’s, Rebecca choreographed and performed for the College’s theater group, as well as a creating a ballet piece for the Danchibition, a dance showcase of the students. In her fourth season with Center Dance Ensemble, Rebecca is a part of the school-touring shows The ABC’s of Dance and From Ballet to Beyonce. Currently she teaches at Phoenix Dance Academy and School of Ballet Arizona.
(Outreach Program Director)
LaTonya was raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and started dancing at the age of two. She attended the prestigious Oklahoma City University majoring in Dance Performance and was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company. She then continued her education with the University of Central Oklahoma for Dance Education, and Cecchetti Method of ballet and holds her grade one through five teacher’s certificates. She has 18 years of teaching experience throughout the Midwest. Her teaching experience and choreography include dance studios, elementary schools, pageants and high school dance teams in all dance styles. She has performed with Ballet of Oklahoma, Radio City Rockettes, and Silvertree Productions. Along with performing with CDE since 2014, LaTonya is the Outreach Program Director and dancers’ representative on CDE’s Board of Directors. She is excited to continue to bring the lecture/demonstration Poetry in Motion, The ABC’s of Dance to schools along with the newest show From Ballet to Beyonce. Doing something you love everyday is what La Tonya has always wanted to do and hopes to touch, inspire, move, and encourage not only dancers but the audiences as well. She believes dance is the language of the soul, which can move us to feel and experience something greater than ourselves and feels blessed to be able to share her love for dance.
Amber started her dance training at age 6. She attended Glendale Community College and, under Lenna DeMarco, started her career as a lifelong student, dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Amber attended ASU and worked choreographing for many high schools and colleges around the valley, as well as danced for Parke and Dancers. After graduation she relocated to Savannah, GA and danced in the corps de ballet and earned soloist roles for Ballet South, but returned to Arizona and found her true home with Center Dance Ensemble. Amber is in her 17th season with CDE under Frances Smith Cohen, is the company ballet mistress, and principle dancer. She has danced many lead roles for CDE such as Anne Frank, Ophelia, and Snow Queen. During the off season Amber dances under Diane McNeil Hunt with Elevate Danceworks. They have performed in Phoenix, Las Vegas, California, and Chicago. Amber is also co-founder at Kaleidoscape Dance, which is a studio for adult dancers as well as a performing dance company. Many thanks go out to her amazing friends and family that continually support her passion and artistic vision in this field. Without them none of this would be possible.
James began dance at age 3 in Wisconsin where he trained in Jazz, Tap, and Tumbling. At 6, he moved to California and continued his dance training at several studios. In 1999, he joined a competitive dance team at Burbank Dance Biz and placed either 1st or 2nd in every competition. After a few years of competing, James joined the Patsy Metzger Dancers at Debbie Reynolds Rehearsal Studio. He began performing in and around Los Angeles for the Israeli Festival, Haha Café, and Knotts Berry Farm to name a few. James is also an accomplished Martial Artist having won several national and world titles. He was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and his acting credits include guest appearances on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Profiler, and Young and the Restless. James also starred in ” Ninjas High Noon at Mega Mountain” alongside Hulk Hogan. He currently owns Surprise Family Karate in Surprise, AZ, and enjoys choreographing routines that combine dance, gymnastics, and martial arts. This is his fourth season with Center Dance Ensemble, and he is currently performing in CDE’s school-touring shows The ABC’s of Dance and From Ballet to Beyonce.
Felicia began dancing at the age of nine at Arizona Desert Dance Power where she started her studies in styles of dance that included ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, musical theatre, and tap. Upon entering high school, she joined Skyline High School’s dance company, Ascension, where she was presented with many opportunities to perform around the valley and choreograph for her peers. In her final year, Felicia was inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. In 2013, she began attending school at Mesa Community College where she furthered her education and training in dance. She performed with The MCC Dance Company for two years under the direction of Tina Rangel, and graduated in December of 2015 with an Associate of Arts-Fine Arts, Dance degree. This summer, she spent time in New York City training under the Rockettes during their summer intensive program. Felicia is thrilled to enter her second season with Center Dance Ensemble.
Lisa Gray Young
Young grew up studying various genres of dance, as well as acting, voice, piano, and flute, in the metropolitan Phoenix area. After graduating from South Mountain Center for the Arts High School, Young went on to Arizona State University, graduating with honors and receiving a BFA in Choreography/Performance. She has performed, taught and choreographed for a myriad of dance companies, theaters, schools, studios, and churches around the Valley, including Center Dance Ensemble (dancing the principle role of “Gerda” in “The Snow Queen,” ’98-’00), The Movement Source, Inc., Dance Arizona Repertory Theater, Stageworks, MesaYoutheatre, East Valley Children’s Theatre, Greasepaint Youtheatre, The Mesa Arts Center (co-founded/co-directed Step to This Dance Company), Grand Canyon University, Mesa Community College, Phoenix College, and Paradise Valley Community College. She has received numerous ariZoni Theater Awards of Excellence nominations for her choreography in the theater community, and has won twice for her work in “The Orphan Train” and “The Jungal Book,” both with MesaYoutheatre. In addition to dancing with Center Dance Ensemble, Young freelances as a choreographer