BIO. PHILOSOPHY & PURPOSE
Teach it so they can do it. Break it down. Verbalize it. Demonstrate it, and by all means- never stop encouraging....
Dj grew up in the performing arts and is a graduate from the nationally renowned Jefferson High School Performing Arts program committed to educating and preparing students for the physical and mental demands of a performing arts career. She has extensive formal cross-training in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and theater, and in the traditional ethnic forms of African and Polynesian. Complementing her formal training— Dj developed her Hip Hop skills being raised in the original roots of underground street mastery focusing on the real life experience of cultivating the style, steps and culture.
Dj’s background includes performing for launch parties, fashion shows, Cable Network Television, Starry Night Club, KBOO radio, Oregon Symphony, Funksion III, the Miss Portland Pageant, Five Fingers of Funk Band, Hip Hop artist Timothy C., a modern dance soloist directed by Keith Goodman, and has been featured in the Oregonian, Willamette Week, KOIN 6 News, KATU with Helen Raptis, and Dance Studio Life Magazine.
For the past 16 years Dj has been teaching Tap, Hip-Hop and Contemporary dance classes from beginning to advance levels through a variety of institutions and programs such as Reed College, Mt Hood Community College, Portland State International Special Programs for Japan, Korea and China, Renaissance Art Academy, YMA young musicians and artists, and other related organizations like private studios, community centers, and Portland Public elementary, secondary and high schools.
Dj’s diverse background both as a performer and teacher has given her the knowledge to assist many of her students to advance into professional dance careers in L.A, New York, Washington D.C. and internationally. Her work has been recognized both regionally and nationally; granting her with awards for entertainment, age appropriate content, creative staging and musicality. Her personal commitment to dance education and training has given her liberty to study with famed choreographers form So You Think You Can Dance and You Got Served.
Growing up in the dance world both formally and informally taught Dj two things, it can be tough or under the right guidance it can be the best therapeutic activity to unleash an individual's spirit or heal a community's social struggles. More than anything it takes an immeasurable amount of courage to enter a dance class, freestyle among peers, or learn a new style, that is why she believes in fostering an environment that is fun, safe, supportive and free from the traditional industry pressures.
Originally dance was about community, spirituality and celebration, a time when no matter how you moved everyone was accepted and honored, and it is this idea that allows her to pass on the knowledge and legacy of dance, and so Dj serves the Portland Community through a variety of venues to enhance the dance experience one student at a time.
In addition to teaching dance, Dj holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from Warner Pacific College, is a member of NEA the National Education Association, was certified by Oregon Teachers Standards and Practices Commission in 2009, and is a freelance lecturer for a series of teaching presentations for PSU, City Club of Portland, and Highline Community College.
"Dj continually motivates us to be excited and do our best even if we don't think we know what we are doing! She is super positive and supportive!"
-Mt Hood Community College Teacher Evaluation