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Some DDE Alumni Who Have Danced Professionally

Ronelle Russell-Banfield


Ronelle holds the title of our very first professional dancer! Leaving Olympia at the age of 19, Ronelle traveled to Nassau, Bahamas where her 13 year career as a Jazz and Acrobatic dancer began. She dance in several production at the Paradise Island Resort and Casino "Le Cabaret" Theater dancing alongside headliners such as 3 Dog Night, Frank Sinatra Jr., Carrot Top, Merv Griffin and the 5th Dimension. Ronelle married her husband, Patrick, on the beach in the Bahamas and after their second child, moved back to the states where she currently operates “Roni's Dance Studio” in Greendale, Indiana. 

Amy Warren-Genovese


Amy began her career in 1991 dancing at the Horizon Hotel in Lake Tahoe. She moved on to dance in Spellbound in Atlantic City and Harrahs, Las Vegas before joining the yearlong Spellbound World Tour, dancing in 25 German cities, Switzerland, Seoul, Korea and Manila, the Philippines. Amy has visited Japan numerous times; first with the George Lucas Super Live Adventure tour and also as a dancer/choreographer for bi-yearly fashion Industrials. She has been seen as a dancer in the movie The Big Lebowski, on Pam Andersen's show VIP, and appeared on The Oakride Boys Show on TNN. Amy was a featured dancer on the World's Greatest Magic TV Special, danced in several Music Videos and did a stint in musical theater with The Will Rogers Follies. She performed in the show Enter the Night before accepting the position of Line Captain at Studio 54 at the MGM Grand Hotel. Amy met her husband, Dave, while dancing in Greece as lead dancer/ dance captain in American Superstars. Her comment? “Thank God I took THAT job!” 

Holly Moss


After obtaining her Associates Degree, Holly moved to Las Vegas and joined the cast of Jubilee! at Ballys Hotel where she remained from 1999 to 2002. Working nights and going to school days, Holly became a Licensed Masseuse and currently works for the Spa at the MGM Grand Hotel. Holly has made her home in Las Vegas with her husband, Tim Clothier, who works as an illusion designer! 

Shelly DeBoer


 One of our infamous Star Search semi-finalists, Shelley began her professional dance career aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines' Southward. She moved on to cruise on NCL's Seaward before accepting a position as a featured acrobatic-dancer with Mystique, a Dick Foster production. Beginning at Harrah's Hotel in Lake Tahoe and moving on to Atlantic City, Shelley was invited to join the select cast for a six month contract in Auckland, New Zealand! After returning to the states, Shelley did a brief contract as a lead acrobatic dancer for The Follies Bergere at the Tropicana Hotel before being cast as the Principal Dancer at the Luxor Hotel in the show Imagine! A tour followed and upon her arrival back in Las Vegas, Shelley accepted a position in the Siegfried and Roy production at the Mirage. She remained there until Roy's tragic accident in the fall of 2003, which closed down the show. (She was in the wings when the attack tool place!) Shelley & her husband, Tim, have made their home in Las Vegas.

Chey Smith


After graduating Timberline High in 1990, Chey left for her first dance job on Paradise Island and the Bahamas. Wanting to continue to see the world, Chey joined the cast of Circa Las Vegas for a tour of South America followed by a contract in Arizona with the show Latin Fire! Moving to Las Vegas, Chey has found nonstop work in Industrials, Conventions and showcases, the most notorious being her Janet Jackson Impersonation! Being muli talented, Chey accepted a position at the Hilton Hotel as a back up singer and dancer for Kristine W. She managed to fit in a contract at the MGM Grand with the show EFX performing with David Cassidy and was featured in the Comedy Cabaret. One of her favorite specialty jobs was the Sinbad show at Caesars Palace. During these performing years, Chey managed to attend college studying Hotel Management and graduated in the spring 2005.  Chey continues to be involved in dance as a sought after Master Teacher/Choreographer and Competition Judge throughout the U. S. 

Jamie Keating


After graduation in 1994, Jamie moved to Reno, Nevada. Her first professional dance position was at the Horizon Hotel & Casino in Lake Tahoe in the show Phantasy, a magic review. She began to learn the art of illusion and, being petite and gorgeous, has grown to be an accomplished Illusionist Assistant! Moving on to Brett Daniel's show Magic & Beyond, Jamie has danced in Mississippi and done an extensive tour of China! She has worked as Dance Captain/Choreographer for the show, which is performing in Branson, Missouri. Clips of the show can be seen on the website Brett Daniels. Jamie is currently on tour as Company Manager for the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Check them out at Goldendragon 

Kim Murphy


Dancer, actor AND singer, Kim has far too many dance and film credits to list here. Update September 2006! Catch Kim on “Cold Case” in October! The highlights these past 10 years have been acting with Sinbad in Houseguest, starring in the TV series Level 9 as ‘Sosh', playing an ongoing part in the TV hit Cybill, making two appearances with Kiefer Sutherland on TV's 24, major roles in the movies The In Crowd and Campfire Tales, playing opposite James Garner in a Rockford Files made-for-TV movie, and an outstanding performance in the Oprah Winfrey presentation of David and Lisa. Kim has also appeared on Melrose Place, Party of Five, L.A. Doctors, Snoops and Boomtown. She appeared as Balford's daughter in the movie City of Angels and has had bit parts and starring parts in live theatre productions in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Kim performs occasionally with the dance troop Fusion, a Los Angeles based group that features a blend of hip hop, acrobatic, African, jazz and belly dancing! Kim currently makes her home in Los Angeles with her husband.

Cherrise Gadd-Pawlak


Cherrise began her professional dance career onboard the Norwegian Majesty. She then went on to perform as a singer/dancer and adagio-dancer with Holland America Cruise Lines onboard the New Amsterdam. After cruising Bermuda, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal, Cherrise returned to the states, moving to Florida. Pursuing free-lance work, Cherrise has been featured as a hip hop dancer in the Nike Corporate Tradeshow, performed over New Years in Nassau Bahamas at the Atlantis Resort and Casino, filmed music videos with Shakira and La Bouche and finds time to teach dance in the Florida area! After signing with Poet productions, Cherrise finds herself even busier working as a dancer, magician's assistant and duo trapeze artist in the show Luminaire. Cherrise currently lives in Florida with her husband Keith and her two sons. 

Melissa Hortin


 Melissa has spent 5 years with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines! She has danced on the Sovereign, Grandeur, Voyager, Explorer, Brilliance, Adventure and Navigator of the Seas. Melissa has performed in 16 different full length shows and has been a featured soloist, vocalist and served as Line Captain! Her dance career has taken her to Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Mexico, Grand Caymen, Jamaica, Haiti, Boston, Bar Harbor, Portland, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, England, Scotland, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Russia, Estonia, France, Spain, Indonesia and both coasts of Australia! In her own words- “Phew!” She currently resides in Olympia with her husband and daughter. 

Meghan Gilstrap


In September 2001, Meghan took her first professional position dancing for Jean Ann Ryan Productions on the Norwegian Star during the Inaugural Season. She worked as a featured gymnast and web performer and, of course, dancer! She then moved to Las Vegas where she worked at the Rio Show in the Sky, the Stratosphere American Superstars and became involved in Industrials and Convention work.  Megan lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.

Marisa Kennedy


As a teen, Marisa was named Seattle’s Best Tapper Top 10 by Savion Glover.  Marisa graduated June 2004 from the University of Arizona, where she was involved with dance and drama from the start. She Moved to New York. She performed on Broadway and in National Tours for Matilda & Billy Elliot, numerous regional & NYC productions, and on Film and TV in Mr. Robot and Friends of the People.  Marisa is the co-writer and co-producer of Single Rules, a web series she also acts in. She lives in NY with her husband. 

Amanda Sherry


In the year 2000 Amanda began her professional dance career in the Brett Daniels show Journey into the Unknown in Memphis, Tennessee. She was then hired by Greg Thompson Productions for their Laughlin, Nevada show Bewitched. In 2001, Amanda was hired by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a dancer and Line Captain aboard the Monarch of the Seas. She has traveled and performed around the word on numerous ships and contracts and has worked on the business side of as well. She currently lives in Croatia with her husband. 

Jason Hortin


Jason graduated UNLV 2005 with a degree in dance with a Ballet/Modern dance focus. He performed The Human Show created by Kari Margois of the Marglois-Brown Company summer of 2003 for the Fringe Festival in Scotland. He also performed with the Mink-Colbert Ballet for a week as part of the Festival (the Largest Arts Festival in the world). The summer 2004 Jason performed with "Moving people Dance Theatre" a professional company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This took him to Keil, Germany for the Dance and Gymnastics Festival where the company performed original works by Richard Havey. In July 2005 Jason joined the company of River North in Chicago, a renowned modern/jazz dance company. In addition to his company duties & touring engagements, Jason is a guest instructor for various dance schools in the Chicago area. 

Vy Nguyen


 After graduating from Olympia High School, Vy went on to attain her BA in English Literature at WWU. While in college, she danced with the WWU hip-hop dance team and also the Seattle-based hip-hop group, Phyzical GraFFi-T. Shortly after her college graduation, Vy was signed by Van Son Entertainment and moved to Los Angeles where she began to write songs preparing for the 2005 release of her First CD, entitled “my story.”! After her debut show in Tokyo, Vy has performed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Washington DC, Houston, Japan, Australia, Philippines and Toronto where she wows the crowds with her sassy singing style and hot dance moves! Vy recently performed on the Red Carpet for the release party of CW television network! After a limo entrance, Vy and 6 other dancers showcased their dance style to a brand new song by Fergie! (not to mention being invited to the celebrity party after the show!) and Houston where she wows the crowds with her sassy singing style and hot dance moves! 

Lauren Bacon


 Lauren has worked as an Assistant Coordinator, Production Coordinator and Production Manager for countless TV commercials, Music Videos, Industry Films, and Feature Television! She began her career in 1998 in Los Angeles, CA where she continues to reside. Lauren has worked with Will Smith, Pharrell, Switchfoot, Anastacia, Cindy Crawford, Backstreet Boys, Marc Anthony, Limp Bizket, and Donna Summer to name but a few! She's produced commercials for Sears, Macy's, Foot Locker, MCI, Cheerios, Microsoft, ESPN and more! She currently is working for the third season as Production Coordinator for the mega hit Dancing With the Stars!! 

Natalie Walstead


Landing her first job at her very first audition, Natalie holds the record for getting that “magic” phone call. She was offered a contract within 3 days! Natalie danced all over the world and currently has a home base in Las Vegas, where she teaches and works for numerous shows and continues to train diligently & inspire current students. 

Lauren Miller


LO has quickly made her mark in Nashville as a groundbreaking pop artist, writer, & producer. She says her years in the studio became the cornerstone of both her drive and creative influences. She is a multi-talented dreamer and tireless go getter, LO was offered a full academic scholarship to Vanderbilt University, becoming a first generation college student. LO then served as captain of the collegiate dance team, graduated cum laude, & began teaching herself music production as a way to get her music out into the world. While her dance skills have landed her features in ESPN, ABC, and USA Today & titles like 'SEC Dancer Of The Year', her music is what has people buzzing. This multi-instrumentalist, fresh lyricist, and entertaining vocalist caught the attention of Dr. Luke's Prescription Songs in 2017, where she recently signed. Getting ready to release her first artist project, LO is certainly one to watch. 

Hailey Wood


Hailey studied dance at UNLV and is now an Apprentice at Inaside Chicago Dance.