The CDE Dancers
As a professional dancer, singer, choreographer and performer, Scott Bodily has a diverse background. While attending Utah State University, Scott received a BS in Psychology with a Minor in Dance. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Sam Houston State University, he received a Master of Fine Arts in Dance. In addition to Classical Ballet, Contemporary and Modern Dance, Scott is accomplished in Opera and Musical Theater. He is a founding member of Utah Festival Opera and has performed leading roles in Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (AEA), the International Broadway tour of Saturday Night Fever (AEA). He has performed many leading roles for Houston Grand Opera, Omaha Opera and for the luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises. He has danced professional ballet and for several modern dance companies, including: Dayton Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theater, Dance Kaleidoscope and Pennsylvania Ballet and has performed works of international choreographers Doug Verone, Christian Holder, Septime Weber, Judith Fugate, Steven Mills, Mark Morris, Jeffery Hughes, James Clouser, David Hochoy, Dermot Burke, Brenda Daniels and Pat Graney. His teaching pedagogy and choreographic works include Musical Theater, Classical Ballet, Contemporary and Modern for Center Dance Ensemble, Arizona Youth Ballet, Dayton Ballet II, 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 he has been selected to appear multiple times in Dance in the Desert Festival (Las Vegas) and Harvest Chicago Festival. Scott teaches Company Class for CDE and is Adjunct Faculty at Mesa and Scottsdale Community Colleges. He is an active mentor of young artists throughout the Valley, promoting and teaching dance with youth organizations, dance troupes and intensives. This is Scott’s fifth season with CDE and he is excited to share, learn, grow and participate in the art, love and passion of its founder Frances Smith Cohen.
Arizona native, Priscilla Campa 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 dance companies, studying under Angela Rosenkrans and Andrea Hansen, as well as local companies such as Ignite Collaborative and Classical Fusion Dance. Priscilla has also participated in local dance festivals and showcases such Blaktina, BetaDance, RAW Phoenix and Celebration of Dance. Although she enjoys a diversified dance experience, her home is with Center Dance Ensemble and she is thrilled for her third season with the company. She considers it a blessing to work with so many inspiring individuals.
Rosy is 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, and ELEVATE/DanceWorks under Diane McNeal Hunt. Rosy is the owner of Ignite Collaborative – a dance company that provides a medium for personal growth, creativity and artistic expression through immersive performances, community workshops and classes, and other unique dance therapy/restorative movement activities designed to enhance communication skills and empathy. She leads the movement program at Arizona Actors Academy for adults pursuing a professional career in theater and film. She also leads a dance therapy/restorative movement program for people of all ages and abilities, from teens with Down Syndrome to CEOs in corporate settings. Rosy is the social media manager for several local businesses including CDE.
Mexican dancer, Gina Garrido, received a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Dance from the Universidad Veracruzana and a Development Master Academic Skills for Higher Normal Education from Simon Bolivar University. Her graduate studies include a Body Wonder Diploma in Dance Pedagogy and a Teacher Training Diploma in Yoga by the International Association of Yoga Yoghismo. As a dancer, Gina has performed with Modulo Contemporary Dance, Barro Rojo, Scenic Art and Independent Ballet. She has received many prestigious awards and scholarships, including: 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); and grants from the State Fund for Culture and Arts, (Veracruz, 1999-2000 and 2006-07). She has served on the Theatre and Dance Faculties of the College of Arts of Veracruz and Universidad Veracruzana and on the Faculty of Arts in Contemporary Dance at the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico. This is her third season with Center Dance Ensemble.
When she was eight years old, Samantha Head learned dance at Creative Edge Dance, formerly Leap of Faith Dance Plus. She has trained and competed in many styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, pointe, acro, contemporary and modern. Samantha was the principal artist for 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
This is Daniel Hollingshead’s eighteenth season with Center Dance Ensemble! With a BFA in Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University, Daniel has performed in Arizona and Colorado with Desert Dance Theatre, A Ludwig Co., The Dance Connection, Boulder Jazz Dance Co., and the Jan Justice Dance Company. In addition to performance, he is an award-winning costume designer, hair and make-up designer, and an accomplished cutter/draper. As a theatre technician, he has worked with many local and national dance and theatre companies throughout Arizona and the Southwest. Daniel is currently Costuming and Wardrobe Director for Childsplay in Tempe, Arizona.
Resident choreographer for the International Baccalaureate Dance program at Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix, Kelsey Kroll is dance instructor at Leap of Faith Dance where she teaches a variety of dance styles. In 2016, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Chapman University studying under many great instructors/choreographers including Sean Green, William Johnson, Liz Maxwell and Amanda White. In 2015, Kelsey was inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and graduated with honors from the National Dance Education Organization. She will begin her seventh year with Center Dance Ensemble and wishes to thank her friends and family for all their love and support which has made it possible for her to follow her dreams and pursue her career in dance throughout the years.
In 2000, Erica Lizotte received a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. After graduation, she relocated to Chicago to pursue her passion for dance and has toured nationally with Zephyr Dance and the Cindy Brandle Dance Company. Erica taught dance in the Chicago Public Schools and for numerous afterschool programs. She moved to Arizona in 2006 where she has danced with the Dulce Dance Company, Desert Dance Theater and Center Dance Ensemble. Erica presently serves on faculty at Southwest Ballet Theatre in Goodyear and teaches jazz and modern dance. She is thrilled to return for her seventh season with CDE and resides in the west valley with her husband and three children.
Katherine “Katie” McDowell
At the early age of five, Katie McDowell discovered her passion for dance. She enrolled at Dance Theater West (DTW) at the age of seven and trained in ballet under the direction of her beloved friend and mentor, Susan Silverman. With ten years at DTW and six years dancing with Storybook Ballet Theater, she performed lead roles in several ballets, including: Coppelia, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and portrayed 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 Beyoncé. This is Katie’s eighth season with Center Dance Ensemble and she could not be more excited and grateful for the opportunity.
Born and raised in Venice, Italy, Emilio Minto has always possessed a passion for the arts, from drawing to singing Broadway musicals. It was not until Emilio moved to Phoenix that he discovered his passion for dance. He progressed quickly, working as a performer both on and off the main stage for several years on television and music videos, in plays and musicals, and for several local dance companies. Today, Emilio directs his own dance company, WMW Productions. This is Emilio’s tenth season with CDE as a company dancer.
At age five, Rebecca Needhammer began her dance training at the School of Ballet Arizona. She continued her ballet training at the Royal Academy of Dance under Mary Moe Adams and Andrew Needhammer. Rebecca received a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She choreographed and performed for the college theater group and created a ballet piece for the Danchibition – a dance showcase of the students. In 2008, Rebecca was selected as a semi-finalist at the Genee International Ballet Competition in Toronto. Now in her fourth season with Center Dance Ensemble, Rebecca participates in CDE’s school-touring shows The ABC’s of Dance and From Ballet to Beyoncé. She currently teaches at Phoenix Dance Academy and School of Ballet Arizona.
(Outreach Program Director)
Raised in Oklahoma City, LaTonya Pentzer began dancing at the age of two. She attended Oklahoma City University where she majored in Dance Performance and was a member of the prestigious American Spirit Dance Company. LaTonya continued her education at the University of Central Oklahoma for Dance Education and is classically trained in the Cecchetti Method of ballet. As an educator, she holds grade one through five teacher’s certificates with eighteen years teaching and choreography experience in all dance styles. She continues to work with dance studios, elementary schools, pageants and high school dance teams throughout the Midwest. As a performer, LaTonya has danced with Ballet of Oklahoma, Radio City Rockettes and Silvertree Productions. She has performed with CDE since 2014, where she also serves as Outreach Program Director and as Dancers’ Representative on the CDE Board of Directors. She is excited to continue to bring the lecture/demonstration Poetry in Motion, The ABC’s of Dance along with the newest show From Ballet to Beyoncé to children in schools throughout the Valley. To LaTonya, dance is the language of the soul. She believes it moves us to feel and experience something greater than ourselves and is blessed to share her love for dance to touch, motivate and inspire dancers and audiences alike
A lifelong student of dance, Amber Robins started her dance training at age six. She attended Glendale Community College and studied under Lenna DeMarco. While attending ASU, as a student, dancer, teacher and choreographer she worked with many high schools and colleges throughout the Valley and danced for Parke and Dancers. After graduation she moved to Savannah, Georgia and danced the corps de ballet earning soloist roles at Ballet South. When Amber returned to Arizona, she discovered her true home at Center Dance Ensemble. This is her seventeenth season under Frances Smith Cohen and is now CDE’s ballet mistress and principle dancer. She has danced many lead roles at CDE including Anne Frank, Ophelia and Snow Queen and also dances under Diane McNeil Hunt with Elevate Danceworks which performs in Phoenix, Las Vegas, California and Chicago. Amber is co-founder of Kaleidoscape Dance – a Phoenix based adult dance studio and performing dance company. She is truly thankful for her amazing family and friends who continue to support her artistic vision and passion for dance.
Originally from Wisconsin, James Roeske began dance at the age of three where he learned jazz, tap and tumbling, before moving to California at age six where he continued his dance training. In 1999, James joined a competitive dance team at Burbank Dance Biz, where he placed either first or second in every competition. He joined the Patsy Metzger Dancers at Debbie Reynolds Rehearsal Studio and began performing in and around Los Angeles for the Israeli Festival, Haha Café and Knotts Berry Farm. 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, Young and the Restless, and starred in Ninjas High Noon at Mega Mountain alongside Hulk Hogan. James owns Surprise Family Karate in Surprise, Arizona and enjoys choreographing routines that combine dance, gymnastics and martial arts. This is his fourth season with Center Dance Ensemble and he currently performs in CDE’s school-touringshows The ABC’s of Dance and From Ballet to Beyoncé.
At the age of nine, Felicia Trevett began dancing at Arizona Desert Dance Power where she studied ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern, musical theatre and tap. Upon entering high school, Felicia joined Ascension, Skyline High School’s dance company which presented many opportunities for her to choreograph and perform throughout the Valley. She was inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts in her final year. In 2013, Felicia attended Mesa Community College and performed with The MCC Dance Company for two years under the direction of Tina Rangel. She graduated in December of 2015 with an Associate of Arts-Fine Arts in Dance. This past summer, Felicia attended a summer intensive dance program in New York City dancing with the Rockettes. She 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