Jesus Acosta is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico. He started dancing at the age of 18 at Sam Houston State University where he received all of his dance training. Currently he dances for Houston Contemporary Dance Company. He has danced for Met Dance Company for four years, where he performed works by many notable and renowned choreographers. Other company credits include: The Kista Tucker Dance Company, Hope Stone Dance Company, and founding member/rehearsal director for NobleMotion Dance. While dancing for NMD, he performed in and collaborated more than 40 original works. Jesus has been working with MA Dance and Auxiliaries for seventeen years teaching, choreographing, and judging all more than the United States. His choreography has won many awards and titles regionally and nationally. He has had the opportunity of performing at The Ailey Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Paramount Theater, The McCallum Theatre, and The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Complex among others. Guest artist residencies include: Dangerous Lorraine’s Dance Theatre, Recked Productions and Aimed Dance.
Patty Adams’ knowledge base is extensive, from dance performance ensembles and musical theater to education and curriculum development. Her primary focus has been in the area of hip hop choreography and team preparation for competitive dance events. She has consistently led teams to top-five placements, as well as numerous championships and innovative choreography awards. Having coached at the high school, Division IA college, and All Star levels, Patty holds the role of coach in the highest regard. She is a veteran national and international dance adjudicator as well as a hip hop panel director for The Dance Worlds. As a member of the USASF Exceptional Athlete Committee, Patty is passionate about spreading awareness concerning this population. When not speaking at conferences or judging events, she enjoys her role as executive director of Spirit Ride, a non-profit Therapeutic Riding center that assists children with a wide array of diagnoses reach their goals through equine-related activities.
Dani Albertina is a St.Louis, MO, native based in Los Angeles, CA. Heavily involved in the field for more than 20 years, she’s a classically and competitively trained dancer whose proficiencies lie in both concert and commercial dance genres. She is an alumnus of Southeast Missouri State University where she received her bachelor’s in dance and bachelors in human environmental studies. A few of her performance credits include music videos with Miss Ko, soloist within the immersive theater show Menagerie D’Arte, lead performer for Meredith O’Connor, and The Golden Probe Awards hosted by Margaret Cho. A few of her choreographic highlights include her students performing at Madison Square Garden, selected choreographer to stage work at ACDA, and indie artists’ music videos. She currently is the host and producer of the podcast, Dance Tips Daily. Dani is thrilled to judge another season for competitions such as StarQuest, UDA, and The Dance Worlds.
Michelle Allison has a bachelor’s of dance performance from Ball State University. As artistic director of Curtain Call Dance Center, Indianapolis, she directs the Sr. Performing Company, and annual productions of The Nutcracker and Dance Against Cancer at Curtain Call where she develops curriculum and continuing education. She has judged The Dance Worlds since the inaugural year and is currently the USASF jazz panel director. Since 2010, Michelle has been choreographer for the Colts NFL Cheerleader auditions, halftime shows and has been a guest judge/master instructor with JCDA Tokyo, Japan, for nine years. She is a veteran judge of The Groove Experience, UDA College Dance Nationals, NFL Colts and Ben-Gals, spent 13 years teaching for NDA, choreographed and field produced numerous bowl games and nationally televised parades and has judged NDA Regionals, Class, All Star and College Nationals since 1992.
Erin Alvarado is in her ninth year as the coach at Texas Tech University. Her team has won national championships in both jazz and pom (2017, 2018 & 2019). Erin’s teams have travelled to Shanghai, China, and perform alongside the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders each December. She has her bachelor’s in exercise physiology and minor in dance from West Virginia University. She travels the world as a master class instructor, veteran adjudicator, and conference speaker. In addition to coaching the pom squad, Erin currently serves as a faculty member at Texas Tech University in jazz, hip hop, contemporary, movement analysis, and tap. Erin also serves on the USASF Judges Education Committee and is the USASF contemporary/lyrical panel director at The Dance Worlds.
Toya Renee Ambrose is a former NBA dancer with the Chicago Luvabulls and Memphis Grizzlies. She was a scholarship member of the University of Memphis Pom Squad. Toya is formerly the spirit coordinator of the University of Connecticut (UCONN) spirit teams and former head coach of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Dancing Flames. She currently owns T.R.A. Choreography and her company choreographs competitive teams all over the world, most recently in Slovenia, Finland, and Mexico. She’s also co-founder of Tone Society with Shandon Perez, a digital training and mentorship program for choreographers. She has an impactful voice in the industry and is a national and international judge. Toya brings experience from every aspect of the dance industry. She resides in Chicago, IL, and is married to attorney Garvin G. Ambrose. Their greatest adventure is being foster parents to three beautiful baby girls.
Sarah Miller Bate has studied dance for over 35 years and received a BA in Dance and Education from Old Dominion University. She was a 4-time National Dance Alliance (NDA) High School All-American as well as a 4-time NDA Collegiate All-American. Throughout college she worked as a Head Instructor for NDA and won the NDA Leadership Award. After college Sarah danced with Norfolk-based modern dance companies Second Wind Dance Company and Todd Roselieb Dance Company. She also performed with choreographer Amanda Kinzer’s company in NC, KY, Hampton Roads and in NYC for various International Dance Festivals. She has been judging at the national level for over 20 years and has also been a certified USASF Dance Legality Official since the inception of the program. Currently, Sarah serves as the Associate Director of Communications and Dance for USASF. She is also a 3rd generation Classical Pilates teacher, working with Olympic athletics and dancers in the Washington Ballet.
Kristin Best Kinscherff, MFA, is the director of dance and an associate Pprofessor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as well as the artistic director of the SIUE University Dance Company. Kristin is a former company member with The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, MO. She is the artistic director of Turn of Change Dance Collective based in the St. Louis Metro-Area. Kristin has a certification in Autism Movement Therapy© and developed a dance curriculum for children with special needs. Kristin is a former head instructor with UDA and has judged for UDA, NDA, USASF and The Dance Worlds.
Kristy Breinlinger started her dance training at the age of 3. Throughout her dance career she was highly competitive in her studio where she won numerous team and individual awards. She was also captain/choreographer of her high school dance team, which won first place at UDA NDTC her senior year. Kristy also worked as a UDA high school/collegiate instructor. At Florida State University, Kristy was captain of the Golden Girls dance team. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s in dietetics/nutrition and a minor in psychology. Kristy has judged The Dance Worlds and The Dance Summit, as well as national championships at the high school, All Star, and Collegiate levels for UDA, NDA, ICU, The Groove Experience, One Up, Spirit Sports, Stage 8 and WSF. Currently, Kristy continues to develop her dance education by participating in classes of higher education to maintain today’s dance industry standards.
Wanda Brown Weir is the former three- year director/choreographer of the NBA Washington Wizards Dance Team. Prior to joining the Wizards Dance Team as a dancer in 2003, Wanda was a cheerleader for the Washington Football Team for two years. She is a former head instructor and territorial manager for Universal Dance Association and sales representative with Varsity Spirit Fashion. Wanda is also the former captain/choreographer of the multi-national champion Towson University Dance Team and former coach of the George Washington University “First Ladies” Dance Team. For more than 20 years, Wanda has judged for many local, state and national competitions including The Dance Worlds (10-year veteran judge), UDA and NDA high school, All Star and collegiate championships. Currently, Wanda is owner/creative director for Premier Dance DC and head coach for Catholic University. Wanda is a sought-after dance fitness consultant, speaker and motivational coach.
Brian Cao has been involved in the spirit industry for more than 25 years on the school, All Star, collegiate and professional levels. Hailing originally from the Pacific Northwest, he began dancing shortly after graduating from the University of Oregon, where he was a captain for the Oregon Cheer Team. Brian’s dance resume includes performing with several companies in Oregon, including three seasons with the NBA Portland Trailblazers Jam Squad, and several dance companies including The Detail and LYFE. He currently works as a choreographer and consultant to cheer and dance teams of all levels and was the choreographer for Team England Freestyle Pom in 2018. In his limited free time away from training, he travels the world, speaking at conferences, judging for major cheer and dance events, and is a five-time judge for The Dance Worlds.
Amanda Casas grew up a competitive dancer winning won numerous titles including representing the United States in Australia winning the international title of “Dancer of The World” in 2006. She toured the world dancing on a cruise ship, won a national championship with collegiate dance team California State University Long Beach, background dancer for ‘Foreigner’, featured on So You Think You Can Dance, and performed with contemporary company Atlantis Dance Theatre. Amanda danced two seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and then continued to represent the NFL as an All Star cheerleader at the international games in London. Amanda graduated college from CSULB with a bachelor’s in dance and pilates certification. She currently teaches conventions with Kids Artistic Revue and is an internationally recognized adjudicator and teacher in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Mexico. Amanda has adjudicated The Dance Worlds for six years!
Rachel Domangue, originally from New Orleans, LA, is the former director of the National Dance Alliance. With an extensive background in high school and college dance teams, Rachel’s bachelor’s in performing arts-dance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has allowed her to network with all facets of the dance industry. She has worked all over the United States as a dance team coach, choreographer and studio teacher. She has been honored to judge for All Star Championships, Champion Spirit Group, Coastal Cheer & Dance, JCDA at the All Japan Cheer and Dance Championship in Tokyo, The Groove Experience, NDA, One Up, Spirit Sports and UDA. Rachel is currently living in Dallas, Texas, serves on the Rules Committee of the USASF, and works as a consultant, speaker, instructor and adjudicator at conferences and competitions across the United States.
Jenny Durbin Smith is a nationally recognized and award-winning choreographer. She is a former member of the UNC-Chapel Hill cheer and dance teams and a former captain for the NBA Dallas Mavericks Dancers. Jenny has been a principal dancer for many national projects and her choreography has been featured on major network TV shows, national television commercials, industrials, films, reality television shows, NFL fields, and NBA courts. In addition to being the proud director of the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue, the only coed hip hop dance crew in the NFL, she is the director of the Dallas Cowboys Rookie Squad and The Officials, a choreographer with Varsity Pro, and travels the country choreographing and master instructing for numerous dance organizations, professional teams, and studios. Jenny also proudly serves on the hip hop score sheet advisory boards for NDA and USASF.
Anastasia Miller Burns is a graduate and former dance team captain from The Ohio State University. After graduation, Anastasia became a talent agent booking choreographers, dancers, actors, athletes, and models in feature films, television, commercials, music videos, Broadway productions, and world artist tours. She was a senior agent and department director at BLOC Talent Agency LA, BLOC NYC, and Clear Talent Group NYC for nearly 16 years. For the past seven years, she has joined the team at Inside Publications as executive vice president and co-publisher of the all-access dance magazine, Inside Dance. Anastasia has been the hip hop director for USASF Dance and The Dance Worlds since 2013 and, as of 2019, is also a hip hop panel director for IASF divisions at The Dance Worlds. You can find her speaking and judging at numerous dance and talent competitions/conventions across the United States and internationally.
Cheryl Paquette resides in St. Louis, MO, and has been involved in the dance industry for more than 30 years. She is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe; spending six years as a company member with the Gateway Ballet. A graduate of the University of Missouri, she earned a national championship title with the Mizzou Golden Girls dance team. Cheryl is a former NFL St. Louis Rams cheerleader and NBA Dallas Mavericks dancer. In 2017, she was awarded the Herkie Legacy Award for her commitment to the industry. Cheryl is the USASF Dance Adjudication director and communications coordinator and serves as the pom panel director at The Dance Worlds. She enjoys judging for many national and international event producers.
Angel Feliciano is thrilled to be back on the hip hop panel at Worlds having served in 2015. Angel is a New York City native bringing 18 years of experience in hip hop dance. With numerous classes, workshops, and dance productions under his belt, Angel founded the Feliciano Dance Company in 2004 which received 36 consecutive standing ovations throughout Europe and Japan respectively. Angel has taught masterclasses and workshops in Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Singapore, and enjoys judging for various Event Producers in the United States.
Stacy Garrastazu has more than 30 years of dance experience and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the dance industry. Stacy has coached and choreographed for numerous studios, schools, colleges, professional sports teams, and All Star dance teams throughout her career. Traveling across the country to competitions, conventions, and workshops, she stays at the forefront of what is new and cutting edge in this industry. Stacy currently teaches master classes and choreography to select organizations and has sat on the safety and judging panels for Stage 8 Dance, Varsity All Star, Champion Cheer Central, Pennsylvania Elite, Champion Spirit Group, BCA Cheer and Dance, ICC, JAMZ, and NDA. Stacy has been a member of The Dance World’s judging panel since 2014. Her extended background of hip hop, pom, jazz, and contemporary have made her an asset to many studio, school, collegiate and All Star organizations.
Dan Gibson, a Georgia native, has been dancing professionally since he graduated from the University of Georgia. He opened his career with a national tour with 13th Floor Performing Arts where he was a featured performer and choreographer. Some of his formal training came from Gotta Dance Atlanta and the Joel Hall Dance Center where he trained in African, hip-hop, jazz, modern, tap, ballet, and breakdance. He then moved to Chicago where he has been fortunate to perform for Culture Shock Chicago, Chicago Dance Crash, the Seldoms, 5 Star Boogie, Elephant Filmworks, the Oprah Winfrey Show, a national campaign for UPS, Johnny Dangerous, and Kid Sister with Kanye West. He was a featured dancer in the short film, Wonderland or Humans Who Talk and Dance. This is his seventh time being selected to judge The Dance Worlds.
Tony Gonzalez is a professional choreographer, creative director, casting director, and producer from Los Angeles, California. Currently, Tony is the Creative Choreographer and Casting Director on the Fox series The Masked Singer Season 2-4 and working on Season 5. He recently wrapped 2 episodes of choreography for the CBS television show The Neighborhood. He is the choreographer for the Women in Black and the season opener The Masked Dancer Season 1. Tony continues to collaborate and create choreography for Tracy Anderson’s online streaming platform as well as her fitness empire. Tony has cast more than 120 national commercials and choreographed more than 310 for Network Television. With multiple upcoming projects in cheer and dance, Tony remains active in teaching Zoom classes around the world, along with virtual judging in Hip Hop, Pom, and Jazz. Tony continues to work with Pro dance team organizations and still remains Co-Producer and Supervising Choreographer for the BRING IT ON Franchise movies and their next journey.
George “GEO” Hubela has some 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry. GEO is a choreographer, artistic director, dancer, and dance educator. He is a Co-owner and director of one of New Jersey’s leading dance education facilities, ICON DANCE COMPLEX, home of the ICONic Dance Crew from MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew Season 1 and the ICONic Boyz, runner up of Season 6. GEO has choreographed internationally for stage and screen, danced in feature films, television, music videos, and live concert tours. He is a leading educator in hip hop workshops across the United States and around the world. One of his most recent choreographed works was the first-ever live stage show for Lionsgate Films’ Step Up franchise at Motiongate Dubai Theme Park in the UAE. GEO has also appeared as a dancer in the original Step Up feature film. As a performer, GEO has danced with some of the biggest stars in the music industry such as Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, P!NK, Britney Spears, ‘NSYNC, Selena, Deborah Cox, and Michael Jackson.
Julie Jacobson is from Watertown, WI. She has coached both cheer and dance at the high school and middle school levels for 30 years and co-coached the Wisconsin Down Under Competition Cheer and Dance Teams which competed in Australia and New Zealand for 15 years. She has panel and commentary judged for numerous local, state, national, and international competitions for more than 25 years. Julie is also a USASF dance legality official. She is active in her state coaches’ association, serving as a district representative, dance panel judge trainer, and coordinator for both dance panel and dance rules judges.
Vanessa Jungbluth-Fullmer currently lives in Chicago, IL,and is originally from northeast Ohio where she studied dance under Denise Gula at Ohio Dance Theatre. As an apprentice with ODT, she performed in numerous classical and original works. While in college at Ashland University, she was a member of the Eagle Elite dance team. After college, she furthered her studies at the Dayton Ballet and the Lou Conte Dance Studio (Chicago), in addition to master classes while living in New York City. Professionally, Vanessa was on the faculty of Ohio Dance Theatre. Additionally, she was the dance director for multiple competitive programs, coaching and choreographing for numerous national champion teams. She has also worked in dance event production as touring manager for New York City Dance Alliance and Onstage New York. Passionate about the future of performing arts, Vanessa served on the Board of Ohio Dance Theatre for eight years.
Jessika Leonard has more than 30 years of dance experience, including education/training, coaching, judging, and instructing. Her training includes ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, baton, gymnastics, and has extensive training in her area of expertise, pom. As a dancer, she studied alongside world-renowned dancers in NYC and received numerous accolades including her acceptance to the Minnesota Conservatory of Art. Jessika has performed and choreographed for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Walt Disney World, College Bowl Games, and several NFL halftime shows. As an accomplished dancer, she later chose to share her passion for dance by coaching high school and All Star teams, whom consistently made appearances in the state finals and captured national top honors. Jessika now focuses her efforts speaking at conventions and also conducts private workshops with teams and coaches. Jessika has extensive experience judging state, national and international competitions, including multiple years with The Dance Worlds.
Rochelle Mapes earned a master’s and bachelor’s in dance from Cal State University, Long Beach. She taught at the Orange County School of the Arts (commercial dance conservatory) for 18 years and currently is on faculty at the American Ballet Theatre Gillespie School. As a performer, she has danced with such musical artists as Gladys Knight and Wayne Brady, performed on the FX television show Nip/Tuck. She continues to dance with the bi-coastal (NY/CA) contemporary BARE Dance Company under the direction of Mike Esperanza and spent almost a decade as a dancer, choreographer and rehearsal director for RhetOracle Dance Company with Nate Hodges. As a master teacher, she has taught for the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s National Dance Day, Dance aTAK convention, USA, numerous studios/schools, and was a member of the USA dance staff for 17 years. Most recently, Rochelle has been freelancing teaching virtual master classes with dancers around the world. In addition, she judges for USA Dance, USA-Japan Nationals, and The Dance Worlds.
Melissa McGhee is a native of Toledo, Ohio and a graduate of The Ohio State University where she obtained a B.S. in Business Administration. She is the current Head Coach of The Ohio State University Dance Team. Under her direction, the team has consistently placed in the top five in Jazz and Pom at the UDA Collegiate National Championship. The team won the program’s first ever National Championship in 2018 and has four total to date. After sixteen years of studio training, she now choreographs and consults for dance studios and teams nationally and judges for numerous dance competitions including NDA, UDA, AmeriDance, Showcase America, OASSA, and USASF Dance Worlds. Melissa has been a speaker at the Varsity Dance Coaches Conference, National Dance Coaches Association Conference and provided coaches education classes for CLI Studios. She was also named NDCA’s College Coach of the Year in 2020.
Summer Moon began her training in jazz, modern, and hip hop and she continued to train during college while obtaining a degree in human resources management. She has been an adjudicator for the past 18 years and her dance background includes being a principal dancer for many national industrials and commercials as well as choreographing and dancing for up-and-coming artists. Her choreography for studios, drill teams, and All Star programs has won awards at competitions nationally. She continues to share her passion for dance with the next generation teaching at various studios throughout Texas and she continues to judge for competitions across the US and internationally. She has judged on the hip hop panel at The Dance Worlds and is currently a hip hop advisor on The American Championships Dance Advisory Board.
Michele Morgan is a dance judge and choreographer and former national champion college dance coach of the UMKC dance team. Prior to coaching at UMKC, she was the head coach at USC, cheerleader for the Cincinnati Bengals and dance team captain at the University of Kentucky. Michele is also a CPA and nationalmarketing director with a master’s from USC and a bachelor’s in accounting from University of Kentucky. She has a 10-year-old daughter and resides in Kansas City, MO.
Chris Moss can be found in the Academy Award-winning film La La Land as well as Gangster Squad, The Muppets, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish, Bring It On: In It To Win It, Bring It On: All Or Nothing, Meet the Spartans, The Comebacks, Music and Lyrics, and The Hot Chick. He’s trained actors for their dance roles including Tom Cruise (Tropic Thunder) and Rob Schneider (The Hot Chick). His choreography can be seen in Tropic Thunder, 2 Broke Girls, NFL promos, and several industrials. You may have seen Chris on numerous award shows and television productions such as The Emmys, Academy Awards, The Boys, Goliath, Euphoria, Fuller House, Dollface, and Legion. He’s danced and worked with some of the world’s most recognizable names: Britney Spears, LL Cool J, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Whitney Houston, Brian McKnight, Lionel Richie, Hugh Grant, Donald Glover, and Ken Jeong to name a few.
Gretchen Noack is a graduate from California State University Fullerton where she majored in dance and public relations. She began her dance career as the director of an award winning dance team in Southern California and then transitioned into the role of dance program director for the United Spirit Association where she was in charge of staff training and program development for five years. Gretchen has choreographed for many nationally ranked dance/drill teams and professional dance teams, such as the 49er Gold Rush, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. Gretchen was honored to choreograph for the first-ever NFL international cheerleading auditions held in Tokyo Japan in 2003. She has been involved in the production and teaching of many NBA and NFL halftime shows, as well as traveled to Paris and Australia to help produce holiday parades. Gretchen has been selected to the judging panel for many state and national competitions, as well as The Dance Worlds held every year since 2007.
Andrea Masters Oney has been a coach, instructor, judge, and choreographer for 30 years. Her background includes training in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap, gymnastics, and has extensive training in her areas of expertise, which are hip hop and pom. As the former assistant coach of the University of Kentucky dance team, Andrea helped them rise to become a top-three team in the nation in hip hop at UDA. She also danced for the University of Kentucky herself, where she was a part of the 1995 NDA National Dance champion squad. Andrea has been a UDA instructor, as well as an NDA college instructor. She has also choreographed for several national award-winning programs in the country. Andrea judges for both national and international events in Japan, England and Scotland, and this is her seventh season judging The Dance Worlds Championship.
Bea Ortiz-Arnold, San Diego, CA, has more than 20 years of collective experience as a professional dancer, nationally ranked choreographer and judge. Bea has trained in and taught ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern and hip hop. Previously she was a full scholarship recipient for the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Center in Chicago IL, danced with a San Diego-based Modern Dance Company, and was a former professional dancer with the NFL San Diego Charger Girls, as well as former Jazz Dance Program Director for the United Spirit Association. She has directed dance teams at the collegiate and high school levels, as well as worked extensively as a collegiate, high school, middle school and elementary dance judge on the national and international circuit, including United Spirit Association, Universal Dance Association, JAMZ, and USASF”s judging panels! Bea holds a California teaching credential in multiple subjects and a K-12 authorization in dance education.
Jarrin Rolle Warren has been in the dance industry for more than 30 years. She is a recognized dance coach/director, instructor, and choreographer with works ranging from pee wee to collegiate and professional. She has judged for numerous dance companies and competitions nationally and internationally and has received choreography awards in hip hop, pom and jazz. Some of Jarrin’s accomplishments include dance performance assistant of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, halftime performance coordinator/choreographer for the New Jersey Nets, cance camp instructor/choreographer Japan, dance assistant for the Aloha Bowl Hawaii, production assistant of Thanksgiving in Paris, France, an eight-year The Dance Worlds judge, a fifth year Dance Summit judge, CopBrands Mexico 2018 and 2019 dance judge and COP Virtual Games Mexico 2020.
Bonita Saldaña’s knowledge and credibility have taken her all more than the world. She was able to bridge 16 years of ballet, jazz, lyrical, and tap training, with her passion for hip hop to develop her unique and influential style. Also known as “Bgirl Bonita”, she has danced for The Phoenix Suns, Jason Derulo, P. Diddy, Black Eyed Peas, Sean Kingston, Fergie, Jamiroquai, and is a former member of The Rock Steady Crew, The Groovaloos, and The Beat Freaks. She has been featured on Disney, Nickelodeon, MTV, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and America’s Best Dance Crew. Bonita has been a master teacher in the dance team circuit for several years and adjudicates for ISASF, The Dance Worlds, UDA, NDA, Amp, Spotlight, and Hip-Hop International. Bonita currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, with her business partner and husband Gabriel, raising their two dancing daughters, all while rigorously leading her dance studio business, The Studance Lab.
Morgan Schulte has more than 20 years of experience in the dance industry as a teacher and choreographer. Currently, she is in her 5th season dancing professionally for the NBA Memphis Grizzlies. She was a 7-year head instructor for UDA camps at the high school and collegiate levels and has traveled internationally with UDA for special events. Morgan judges many competitions for various brands, including The USASF Dance Worlds. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she earned degrees in Exercise Science and Dietetics and has a master’s in nutrition from Saint Louis University. She fuses dance with her other passions of health, wellness, and nutrition as a speaker on these topics throughout the country. She is a kickboxing instructor, Orangetheory Fitness coach, and a dietitian and fitness coach through her own business, Motivate.
Valerie Stead Potsos is in her 20th season as the head coach of the nationally ranked University of Michigan dance team and is the director/owner of Dancer’s Edge in Dexter, MI. Recently, she traveled to Vienna, Austria, to choreograph and train three dance teams with the Vienna Vikings. She has choreographed for professional corporate sponsors including Ford Motor Company and much more. She a seminar presenter and curriculum consultant for Varsity University and UCA/UDA presenting on topics such as motivation, leadership, team building and more. Her students have auditioned for America’s Got Talent and have been featured on the show in 2015. Along with judging local, state and national competitions, she has judged studio, high school and college dance nationals as well for various organizations. Valerie resides in Dexter, MI, with her husband and three children.
Michelle Vaughn is a professional dancer/choreographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. Working in the commercial dance industry, she has had the opportunity to dance and work with artists and companies such as Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Becky G, Oscars, Latin Grammys, Google, and Nickelodeon. Michelle is an alumnus of the Monsters of Hip Hop show cast. Her choreography can be seen on numerous NBA and NFL teams across the pro dance world and also on pro action conventions. Michelle is a nationally ranked choreographer for numerous high school and college dance teams across the country. Her experience as a dancer and choreographer allows her to bring a level of expertise from both worlds into her work.
Meredith Walker is the director of Rules and Safety for USASF Dance and serves on the USASF and IASF Dance Rules Committee and is the head rules official at The Dance Worlds. Originally from Lexington, KY, she danced at the University of Kentucky and worked as an NDA high school and collegiate camp instructor and choreographer for many years. After college, Meredith continued to work in the industry coaching and choreographing for nationally recognized All Sta, high school and collegiate programs. Today, Meredith travels the world extensively providing education and training for judges and coaches as well as adjudicating competitions.
Dawn Walters is the head coach of the University of Kentucky dance team, which is currently ranked fifth in the nation in both the game day and hip hop divisions at Universal Dance Association. In 2017, her team was chosen to represent the U.S. national team in the pom and hip hop divisions at the ICU International Dance Championships; they brought home silver medals in both divisions. Dawn danced on the original UK dance team and then became a two-time UCA National Champion cheerleader for the University of Kentucky. Dawn owned CHEERS! Inc., where they were five-time Jr. All Star NCA National Champions and NDA Jr. and Sr. National Champions. She coached the UK Wildcat Danzers, the 1995 NDA Collegiate National Champions. Dawn judges and speaks at coaches conferences both nationally and internationally and is the IASF pom panel director for The Dance Worlds.
Shelly Mahaffey Warren is the current Golden Girl Spirit Squad director at The Villages High School in The Villages, FL, a veteran head instructor for Universal Dance Association, and the quality control director for judging panels at The Dance Worlds. In addition, Shelly is a veteran national and international judge and works as a choreographer and competition consultant for high school, college, studio, and All Star programs across the country. She is the rehearsal coordinator for the pregame performance for the Citrus Bowl held annually in Orlando, FL, and has served as rehearsal director for pregame at the ACC Championship Game in 2015 and 2016. Shelly has obtained national titles as a dancer, coach and choreographer in high kick, hip hop, pom, and jazz, and continues to pursue her dream of educating and inspiring dancers through her travels to studios and schools nationwide.
Mary Wendt has been involved in the dance team industry for more than 40 years. She is the education director for USASF Dance and the associate director of Enrichment and Leadership, assisting in the development of workshops for coaches and athletes such as Bolt, March, Dance FUNdamentals, What’s your IQ Jr and Impact. Mary is the dance scoring director for the IASF and the panel director for the junior and high kick divisions at The Dance Worlds. She is the former director of the North Texas State University Songleaders and the assistant director for the Texas Christian University Showgirls, her alma mater, where she received a bachelor’s and master’s in kinesiological studies. The Texas Dance/Drill Team Educators voted her as their youngest Lifetime Achievement Recipient and Hall of Fame Recipient. She is the executive director and former choreographer of the Citrus Bowl and worked for MA Dance as their vice president for more than 35 years.
Tami Whatcott graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s in modern dance and a bachelor’s in dance education. She has been a member of Synergy Dance Company, Contemporary Dance Ensemble, UVU Ballroom Tour Team, and danced as well as coached for the Utah Flash. Other notable professional companies include Diavolo, Joel Hall Dancers, Noumenon Dance Ensemble, and Myriad Dance Company. She has been trained in ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and ballroom. She has judged, performed, and taught in more than 15 different countries and has choreographed for professional NBA teams, dance companies, and numerous different studio’s and award winning high schools.
Christian Aleman is originally from Miami, FL, and has been heavily involved in the dance and cheer industry for more than 20 years. Alongside her All Star and high school dance companies, she achieved countless national team and solo titles. Christian continued to become a coach and choreographer for many area schools, as well as around the country. She also served as an American Dance Alliance staff member and later entered the judging circuit. In 2007 Christian relocated to Atlanta, GA, and became a company director for Powerhouse Dance Productions. Christian now resides in Chattanooga,TN, where she was the owner/creative director of First Step Dance Studio for four years. Christian dedicates her weekends to judging countless national and Worlds bid events around the world, including The Dance Worlds. Christian also teaches and develops multilingual educational dance courses at various locations worldwide.
Kathryn Brasfield is a Knoxville, TN, native and has been heavily involved in the dance industry for more than 20 years. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she was a member and captain of the University’s dance team and earned a degree in health and human performance. She worked as a UDA staff member from 2007-2015, instructing dancers and leading camps all across the United States. Kathryn is currently the assistant coach for a high school dance team in Knoxville, and has helped lead the team to multiple state championships and UDA National Championship titles. In addition to coaching, she choreographs and consults for various school and All Star programs and instructs competitive studio dancers. Her work has earned multiple choreography awards and has helped teams achieve top three finishes at the regional, state, and national level. Kathryn serves as a legality official for multiple USASF-sanctioned events.
Kaya Doyle received her bachelor’s in performing arts in 1975 and a master’s in architecture in 1988 and has been combing the skills of both fieldsever since. As an adjudicator for dance, each year Kaya brings a new depth of movement awareness and a deeper cognizance of spatial utilization. International judging events include locations such as Japan, Scotland, Englandand several Provinces of Canada, each bringing their own unique cultural experience. Kaya has enjoyed the honor of being a part of the 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Dance Worlds adjudication team and served as an ambassador at the 2014 Dance Worlds. Whether commenting on a hip hop routine at a recreation event, or scoring an open lyrical routine overseas, the language of dance is a universal experience that continues to resonate and provides fuel for the passion of our souls.
Nichole Hudson is a former competitive dancer and cheerleader and has been a USASF-certified Cheer and Dance Safety and Deductions Judge for 10 years, working both nationally and internationally. She has had the privilege to judge for several event producers, at The Summit and The D2 Summit, and has served as a legality official at The Dance Worlds since 2016.
Melissa Kidd has more than three decades of training in the areas of ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary/lyrical, pom, hip hop, kick and acro as well as more than 15 years of instruction/choreography experience in more than 30 studios and schools across the United States. Melissa currently owns a Cininnati-based dance and fine arts center. Her studies include training under the Cincinnati Ballet and members of the New York City Ballet and Boston Ballet. Melissa has choreographed for Cincinnati-based ROJO Productions and a tour for the rapper Gyfted. She has also choreographed and performed shows for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Her choreography has been featured on ESPN and Fox Sports Network. Melissa enjoys splitting her time between teaching and traveling judging competitions and teaching master classes. Melissa judges for both the all-star dance circuit and the studio dance circuit where she has served as a judging coordinator/trainer.
Robin Page has been judging cheer and dance for more than 26 years. She is a USASF-certified cheer and dance legality official. She also holds certifications with AACCA Safety and NFHS. Robin has judged for various cheer companies including Cheer & Dance Extreme, The National Cheerleaders Association, CheerSport, Elite Cheerleading, The World Cheerleading Coalition (ICC LTD), GMCE, The American Championships, The EPIC Brands and British Cheerleading Association. In 2017, Robin was inducted into the Oakland Mills High School Hall of Fame for her 25 years of coaching and dedication to the sport. In addition to judging cheer and dance, she also spends her time judging talent competitions and pageants nationally. She is currently a choreographer for the Miss American Coed pageant system. Robin is also a professional sign language interpreter with the Howard County Public School System in Maryland.
April Pence has been dancing for more than 20 years studying the styles of ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary/modern and hip-hop. She has worked with choreographers such as Tony Gonzalez, John Peters, Monie Adamson and Dee Caspary. For thirteen years she has worked for the United Spirit Association as a Song Head Instructor and Judge. During this time she has traveled throughout California, Utah and Arizona teaching dancers of all levels and judging middle school, high school and college competitions. For the past nine years, April has been USASF-certified legality official and is honored to be back at The Dance Worlds this year!
Sonia Ramírez is a professional announcer, panel judge, legality official and event director. As a former head instructor and member of the program development team for the United Spirit Association, Sonia has been involved with competitive cheerleading and dance for more than 15 years. Contributions of her choreography have been featured in halftime shows ranging from UCLA football to the Boston Celtics. Sonia has judged and directed competitions at all levels, both nationally and internationally, including the Japan Open, ONP Nationals in Mexico City, and the Dance Worlds from 2012-2021. She has also represented the International Cheer Union (ICU) as a dance rules educator and has led international trainings for coaches, panel judges and legality officials in Japan, Mexico and Panama.
Shannon Gregg has more than two decades of cheer and dance experience as a competitor, coach and judge, and has also been a contributing author to Cheer Biz News. Shannon owned an All Star dance and cheer gym and has been judging for 15 years, including international appearances in Mexico and England. Shannon’s dance experience includes studio and competitive dance through the collegiate level. She was a feature dancer in Kelly-award winning musicals Lil Abnerand Peter Pan (Tiger Lily/Dance captain), had an internship with the Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and went on to study with the Lake Erie Ballet. As a member of the University of Pittsburgh dance ensemble, Shannon studied modern dance with Dance Alloy through Susan Gillis. She was a finalist at the first ever The Dance Worlds, competing multiple years and judging hip hop and quality in 2015-2019. Shannon holds a bachelor’s in English literature with minors in history and dance from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s in management and a doctorate in community engagement from Point Park University.
Arikka Harakal is a former UDA and UCA head instructor, working for more than 15 years. She had the opportunity to choreograph summer camp material, chaperone the H.E.B Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade All-Americans, and judge at the international and national levels. As the former spirit coordinator at the University of Mississippi, Harakal supervised the mascot program, coed and all-girl cheer program, which she started in 2015. While there, the team received several awards at the UCA Collegiate National Championship. Harakal currently teaches at Red Oak High School where she also coaches the Varsity cheer team. She continues her passion of teaching advanced jazz and acro at RISE Performing Arts Center and can be found choreographing for high school teams across the country on the weekends. She is the proud owner of The Spirit Academy, an online service for cheerleaders and dancers who want guidance throughout the college tryout process.
Jaimee Montgomery has been utilizing her knowledge and experience as a dancer, teacher, adjudicator and event producer to contribute to the cheer and dance industry for the last 20 years. A former dance and curriculum director, she has created, planned and executed events from the local to international level and it is a veteran USASF Dance Worlds judge and legality judge. Currently residing in St. Petersburg, FL, Jaimee is a nationally licensed soccer coach and is passionate about developing programs that empower young athletes.
Tara Noyes, a native St. Louisan who now resides in Boston, MA, began dance at the age of 2, cheer at age 14, and has been vastly involved in both worlds ever since. She has more than two decades of experience as a coach, choreographer, and program director for All Star Programs, Community Non-Profit and Collegiate Panhellenic Organizations. Her teams have won numerous grand champion, high point, finalist and championship awards and titles. She has served as a dance and cheer adjudicator for seven years, and has been a member of The Dance Worlds, The Summit and D2 Summit panels since 2019. Tara feels blessed to have the opportunity to do what she loves year after year, to continue to uplift athletes and coaches from all more than the globe through a shared love of performance sport and the performing arts.
Chelsea Rohan is a graduate of the University of Florida. While at UF, she served as president of Floridance Dance Company. Chelsea is a fourth- year UDA staff member. She has served as a quality judge and deductions judge at the UDA National Dance Team Championship and is thrilled to be at The Dance World Championship.