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INSTRUCTORS

 
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ERIN BABBS

Owner/Director

 

ERIN BABBS has been dancing since the age of three. She has studied with some of the most well-known dance instructors and professional schools throughout the United States.  Erin received her BA in English from San Diego State University while training and teaching at various schools dedicated to the arts.

Erin’s training has led her to dance professionally with the Brain Setzer Orchestra, the Black Eyed Peas, MTV and DJ AM, to name a few.  In addition, Erin has modeled for Divine Eyewear, Juicy Couture and Shuz and has been a featured vocalist for Moonshine Records and One World Entertainment.  Erin has been teaching dance for the past 20 years.  She has been named a top choreographer in the industry for the past 15 years. 

Erin’s passion for teaching and love for kids led her to open Murrieta Dance Project in 2006.  As MDP’s main Progressions Instructor (Turn & Tricks) Erin is always studying new teaching techniques and finding new ways to collaborate the classic techniques with the most cutting edge tricks.  She has a way a breaking down each movement so that her students have a better understanding of their bodies and how to use them.  

Her students have been featured in film and television, won top awards and scholarships as well as agent representation and have taken the United States by storm!  Erin’s students have gone on to dance with the world-renowned companies: The Nederlands Dans Theatre, Julliard, Joffery and more!  Erin has also trained dancers who have been top 10 finalists on So You Think You Can Dance as well as the winner of season one of Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition!  Currently Erin has a team of talented dancers that are featured on the Life Time network on a little show called Dance Moms!  And just recently had students debut on America's Got TalentEllenLittle Big Shots, national commercials and more!  Erin Babbs is a featured choreographer for the show Dance Moms and recently accepted an award for Murrieta Dance Project at the Industry Dance Awards for Choreography of the year (choreography Kirsten Russel).

Currently, Erin is excited to be heading up the Mini Program of a new convention, Art Of Movement, under the direction of Robert Prescott Lee and Mikey Trasoras.  Erin will be traveling the US teaching some of the most hungry young artists!  In addition to this new venture Erin will be going back to one of her long time passions as a judge for one of the top competitions on the circuit, Hall Of Fame Dance Challenge.  Being able to inspire and connect with dancers on stage as a judge has always given Erin even more inspiration to take back to her amazing students at Murrieta Dance Project.

Erin is proud and excited to share her love and knowledge of dance, art and life with all of her talented dancers here at Murrieta Dance Project!  Erin feels that dance will empower all of her students to move forward in life and succeed in whatever lies ahead!

 

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.  This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking”- Agnes De Mille

 
 
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AARON CHAVARRIA

 
 

AARON CHAVARRIA is currently a member and soloist with the touring tap company, Rhapsody in Taps; He has been performing with the company for five seasons. Mr. Chavarria has also been on faculty at the Orange County School of the Arts - Commercial Dance Department for the past eight years. 

Aaron's film credits include: Sony Pictures “Hail, Caesar!” and “America’s Kids”. Stage credits include: “Oliver”, “Grease”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”, “Annie”, “Peter Pan”, “The Sound of Music”, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Cinderella”, “Cabaret” and “Beauty and the Beast”. Aaron has also danced professionally in “The Music Man”, and “Oklahoma”, with the West Coast Opera Theatre at the McCallum Performing Arts Center. 

Aaron was a co-choreographer and performer in the U.C. Irvine Medical Center’s “Baby I’m a Star” breast cancer awareness video. His choreography has been featured in the Spotlight Awards, by YoungArts scholarship winners and several national competitons. 

Additionally Aaron was guest performer in Final Cut Dance Concert with L.A. Dance Magic in 2007 and 2009 and has judged and taught for several competitions and conventions throughout the United States. 

Aaron is excited to share his love and knowledge for the arts with all of his students at Murrieta Dance Project.

 
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BRITTANY CHADD

 
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BRITTANY CHADD took her first official dance class at the young age of 2 and performed on stage for the first time at 3 years of age. She has enjoyed training, competing, performing, choreographing and teaching ever since. Brittany grew up in Southern California training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary and hip hop in some of the Nation’s strongest studios and conventions.

Brittany is an accomplished dancer, choreographer and teacher that is currentlyrepresented by Go2Talent Agency. In addition to being a proud Murrieta Dance Project Alumni, Brittany has also enjoyed dancing and working on projects such as IM5, HeyDay Footwear, IVIVAA Athletic Wear, Radio Disney and “The Fast Lane” (Pilot).

Brittany is also a proud alumni of the GRV Family/GRaVy Babies and an original member of MAKER EMPIRE’s TROUBLE MAKERS under the direction of Beau Fournier winning World of Dance San Diego 2012 & ranked 4th in the United States at Hip Hop International 2012.

Brittany’s training, musicality, movement and work ethic have enabled her to work with some of the most amazing and inspiring dancers and choreographers in dance today.

Brittany’s passion for dance and love of life are evident both in and out of the classroom. She is so excited to share her passion with the talented dancers at Murrieta Dance Project! M.D.P ~ You KNOW!!!

 
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CORY BUFKIN

 

CORY BUFKIN began her ballet training over twenty years ago in Modesto, CA with Central West Ballet. During this time, she trained with Contra Costa Ballet, The Rock School and American Ballet Theater. In 1999, Cory moved to New York to attend the New School University while training at the Joffrey Ballet School. She later became a corps member with Inland Pacific Ballet where she performed George Balanchine’s Serenade, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, Graduation Ball and the Nutcracker. In 2004 Cory returned to college and now holds her BFA in Dance/Performance from UC Irvine. While at UC Irvine, Cory performed in several ballet and modern pieces, including a solo role in Extreme Memory choreographed by Douglas Becker which was performed in Paris, France as part of Danes de Mai. After graduating from UC Irvine, Cory performed as a professional freelance dancer. She has continued training and performing throughout southern California over the past nine years. She has performed both principal and soloist roles with various ballet companies: 2006 Ballet Pacifica’s Nutcracker (Snow Queen, Spanish soloist, Marzipan soloist, and Waltz of the Flowers soloist), 2008-2009, Cory performed as the principal dancer in the Crystal Cathedral’s the Glory of Christmas. 2010-2011 California Riverside Ballet (Snow corps, Marzipan soloist, Dew Drop soloist), and 2012 City of Angels Ballet (Raymonda soloist, Vales Fantasies soloist). Cory has been teaching ballet to students of all ages throughout Southern California for over 15 years and is passionate about creating strong, healthy dancers. As a certified Pilates instructor for the past 10 years, it was important for her to bring her Pilates training to the dancers at MDP. Pilates is the perfect complement to any dancer’s training. Cory’s teaching style focuses on strengthening, aligning, and challenging her dancers with both ballet and Pilates techniques. 

 
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DAMIEN DIAZ

 
 

DAMIEN DIAZ was born in Monte Bello, California and began his first ballet training in Miami, Florida with Thomas Armour and Renee Zingraft. He was a full scholarship student at the North Carolina School of the Arts, The School of American Ballet in New York City, the Alabama School of Fine Arts and the Houston Ballet Academy. At the age of seventeen, Damien performed his first professional full length “ Swan Lake “ as Prince Siegfied as well as the Cavalier in “ The Nutcracker “ and Romeo in “ Romeo and Juliet “ with Ballet South under the direction of Dame Sonia Arova. He then accepted a corps de ballet contract with the Zurich Ballet of Switzerland under the direction of choreographer Uwe Scholz. After the fall of the Berlin wall, Damien followed director Uwe Scholz to the Leipzig Ballet, Germany, where he became asoloist and later a principle dancer. His roles with the Leipzig Ballet where Prince Desire in the full length “ The Sleeping Beauty “, the lead male dancer in “ Symphonie Fantastique “, the lead male in Beethoven’s “ 7th Symphony “, Adam in Haydn’s “ The Creation “ and the lead male of “ Bach Creations “. Damien has danced as a guest artist with the Stuttgart Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Tokyo Ballet, Dallas Ballet, Tuzer Ballet, Warsaw Ballet, Dance Theatre of Vienna, Clair Obscur Dance Company and the world renown Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo in New York City. He was resident choreographer for the California Riverside Ballet and has choreographed the musical event “ The Silence Is Broken “ at the Saban Theatre in Los Angeles. Damien currently lives in West Hollywood, CA and is the Artistic Director of Ballet d'Hommes, an all male ballet company of men who dance on pointe, and teaches ballet at the Edge Performing Arts Center and Dance Arts Academy in Los Angeles. Damien is thrilled to be a part of Murrieta Dance Project.

 
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EMILY SULLIVAN

 
 

EMILY SULLIVAN has trained in all styles of dance since the age of four and was a competitive dancer at Murrieta Dance Project since it's opening in 2006.  She concurrently participated in the studio’s assistant teacher program and has since used that training to teach not only at Murrieta Dance Project, but also at various studios in Southern California.  She has choreographed national routines for award winning high school dance teams in the San Diego area. She currently attends California State University San Marcos, where she is a member of the nationally-competitive dance team and will act as captain for a second year.  Emily is excited to be employed by Universal Dance Association and travel throughout California this  to teach routines to high school dance teams.  Emily is proud to teach at her home studio and looks forward to sharing her love of dance with her own personal style of instructing while maintaining the high-caliber technique and teaching methods that makes MDP a successful and one-of-a-kind studio.

 
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GRAYSON MCGUIRE

 
 

GRAYSON MCGUIRE, originally from Kansas City, moved to Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue a career in the commercial dance industry. Represented by Clear Talent Group, Grayson is currently a member of Dana Foglia Dance and Entity Contemporary Dance Company, under the direction of Marissa Osato and Will Johnston. Grayson has danced for Lady Gaga, Twenty One Pilots, Helene Fischer, Asia Monet, Trevor Moran, Shane Dawson, and more. Grayson’s style infuses classical contemporary movement with a strong Hip Hop and Jazz Funk foundation for an intricate and athletic experience. 

 
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HEATHER WEDMORE

 
 

HEATHER WEDMORE is an accomplished competitive dancer, choreographer, and dance educator with over 20 years of experience in tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, and contemporary. She began her training at age 5, studying dance in the Inland Empire and surrounding cities. She quickly fell in love with not only dance but choreography; Heather followed her heart and started choreographing for competitive dances at the age of 13. By the time Heather was a junior in high school, along with being captain of her dance team and being a full time competitive studio dancer she took on the role of choreographer of her high school’s theater department, which she continued to do until she graduated in 2001. After graduation she continued to train at studios in Los Angeles, on “Solid” hip hop productions, and was training under Al Gilbert in tap to help further her ability to teach proper tap technique to children starting at a very young age. In 2007 Heather opened a studio which she owned and directed for 5 years. In that time Heather received numerous choreography and judges awards from competitions throughout California and Las Vegas. After having her youngest daughter she decided to sell her studio to spend more time with her family along with enjoying educating dancers. Heather has a great passion for dance and is extremely excited to continue her journey of spreading dance education at MDP.

 
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JACOBIE BLUHM

 
 
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JACOBIE BLUHM is a choreographer, artist, coach, director, and professional competitor in hip-hop. His body control and musicality have impacted many of his students, also expanding the world of dance to be fun and limitless. His positivity and drive are what make him the person he is, courageous, optimistic, and always striving to be better. 

Jacobie is a traveling choreographer, and coach. He coaches for multiple schools and is the co-director of Unofficial, a training group designed to bring dancers together.  This Company brings dancers together regardless of the studio or school the dancers train at.  Unofficial is currently going onto their 4th year of training under Jacobie and Brittany Chadd.

In addition to running Unofficial, Jacobie co-directs Community Live.  CL is a series of monthly workshops looking to bring everyone together under one teacher for the night, to empower, impact, and inspire one another. 

For more information on Unofficial or Community Live contact Mr. Jacobie.

 
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JENNIFER DUSTMAN

Vocal Coach, Showdown Studios

 
 

Jennifer Dustman studied music at California State University Long Beach as a Elementary Education/Music major and then began singing professionally. She tours with one of the top vocal jazz groups, Beachfront Property, performing with the country's finest Symphonies, Jazz Bands and Jazz Trios. She was associate producer for Beachfront in the recording studio and sang professionally in studio recordings, commercials and off Broadway productions.

Jennifer created Showdown Studios for singers, has taught voice for over 12 years and has a passion for bringing out the best in her students.  She coaches students from beginning levels to Broadway and audition prep. She focuses on technique, style, confidence and performance.

She is married to Tom and they have three grown kids, Demi, Cooper and Makenzie, who are all working professionals in the performing arts.

For Information:
Jennifer Dustman 909.851.2819 (call or text)
Email: showdownstudios@gmail.com

 
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JULES CHAVARRIA

 

JULES CHAVARRIA has danced professionally throughout America, Europe, and Asia.  Her most recent credits include, dancing for the NBA Legends tour, and being an LA KISS Girl for the LA KISS Arena Football Team. 

Jules has enjoyed performing around the world.  Her credits include the Mexico/Alaskan tour, and Caribbean/Mediterranean tour, dancing onboard Holland America Cruise Lines. 

Jules has danced for such artists as "N'Sync", "PINK", and "Destiny's Child, on Nickelodeons "SNICK HOUSE" and "Teen's Choice Awards".

In addition to her professional dance career Jules can be seen singing and acting throughout Southern California.  She has performed in various musicals. her most recent credits include:  "Funny Girl" with 3-D Theatricals, and "Wonderful Town" with the Musical Theatre Guild. Other credits include: "Annie", "Peter Pan", "Oliver", "Cabaret", "Grease", "Cinderella", and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat".

Dance is a passion for Jules and has opened up the door to being even more creative through choreography.  Jules's most recently had her choreography debut on America's Got Talent.

Jules Chavarria is one of MDPs competitive instructors and her choreography has received many national titles with her creative and innovative cutting edge style.  Jules continues to share her love of dance on stage and in the studio and is excited to continue to share her passion with her students in Season 12!

 
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KERRY FLORES

 
 

KERRY FLORES started singing and dancing at 5 years old.  After years of training, she began directing, choreographing, and starring in various musicals throughout high school and college. Through the course of 10 years, Kerry won numerous dance titles as a competitive dancer, as well as performing in over 20 ballet productions.

She won the "Dance Star" title when she was a senior in high school and flown to London to dance and represent the dancers of California. She attended UCI where she majored in dance. While in college, she worked as a professional dance instructor for the Universal Cheerleading Association for four years. She taught dance camps to high school and college dance teams all throughout California.

Kerry is also an accomplished singer. She released her first CD with the Tyler Street Praise Band in 1997. She was the dance director at SCEGA gymnastics, where she trained the competitive gymnasts in the areas of jazz and ballet. Kerry's energy is contagious and she always gets 100% effort from all of her students. Of her many accomplishments, the ones she takes the most pride in, are her four beautiful and amazing children. Kylee is 22, Allie is 20, Ian is 18, and Titus is 16.

Kerry is the Director of Murrieta Dance Project's Father/ Daughter Revue routines and is the Co-Director of MDP's The Nutcracker "All Tapped Out."

Kerry has been with Murrieta Dance Project going on 12 years and excited to continue to train and love her students here at MDP!

 
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LISA EBEYER

 
 

LISA EBEYER began her dance training at Giacobbe Academy of Dance in New Orleans, LA.  It was there that she learned most of what she teaches now.  She also trained with The Mississippi Ballet where she began her professional career at the age of 16.  She  went back to New Orleans & joined Delta Festival Ballet, the professional company of Giacobbe Academy of Dance, where she was lucky enough to work with some  amazing dancers, coaches & choreographers.  When she left New Orleans she went to NYC & freelanced there helping to create an organization known as New Choreographers on Pointe.  After NYC she moved to Los Angeles where she danced in films & television & concert work including a Disney tour where she played Snow White.

She started teaching for Stanley Holdenwhen he retired.  After taking a break from teaching ballet to learn Gyrotonic & Pilates she returned to teaching ballet to work with Shaping Sound & Dana Foglia Dance as well as other commercial entities.

She is so very happy to be working with Murrieta Dance Project and in thrilled to be going into her 2nd season at the studio!

 
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ORIALIS ASHLEY

 

ORIALIS ASHLEY, a Puerto Rican native, is a Los Angeles based Dancer, Choreographer and Instructor.  She has been seen tap dancing on Good Morning America, BET music awards, and at the London launch for Beyonce’s IVY PARK clothing line.  She is currently a member of Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies and teaches full time at Murrieta Dance Project in Southern California.  

Orialis earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from The Florida State University.  There she was honored to work under master ballet and modern teachers such as Suzanne Ferrell, Ronald K Brown and Alonzo King.   Following her college graduation, Orialis joined the Denver based Cleo Robinson Dance Ensemble in 2003.  She toured nationally with the company as featured soloist in works by Talley Beatty, Christopher Huggins and Alvin Ailey  

After leaving the company in 2005, she expanded her dance career from concert to commercial work and moved to Los Angeles.  She has been seen dancing at such venues as the he Hollywood Bowl, Top Hats at the Grove, New York Fringe Festival, Glamour’s Woman of the Year Summit, Essence Festival in New Orleans, Ford’s Man of Honor in Detroit, Vail Dance Festival, Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago, DC Tap Festival, Music Videos and various Stage Shows.  

With over 15 years of teaching experience, her students and choreography have been seen many TV shows including So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Moms, Little Big Shots, Abby Lee’s Ultimate Dance Competition, Ellen, and the Late Late Show with James Corden and also at Tokyo Disney.  

Orialis presently resides in Southern California with her husband Raymon and son Rylan, where she continues to perform and share her love of dance with her students.  As one of MDPs original instructors Miss Oreo is one of the most sought after choreographers and instructors in the biz!

 
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ROBERT DURAN

 
 

ROBERT DURAN'S creative style and passion for dance makes him a sought after Master Teacher/Choreographer.  Robert is a member of the American Guild ofVariety Artists & has been a featured dancer in several projects for The Walt Disney Company. Robert’s work can also be appreciated throughout many original shows produced in New York, Canada, Lake Tahoe, and Palm Springs.

Robert’s personal favorite genre of dance is Musical Theater and Classic Jazz.  Robert has worked with Murrieta Dance Project for the past 5 years & officially been on staff for the past 2. He is extremely excited to work with the talented dancers at Murrieta Dance Project & looks forward to creating many more award-winning pieces with his MDP family!

 
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SUSAN BARNETT

 

SUSAN BARNETT, a California native, is an accomplished teacher, choreographer and dancer whose energetic teaching style can be seen in both the Riverside and Orange county areas. She began dancing later than most professional dancers training with various teachers and choreographers such as Sue Gilson, Currie Pederson, Mandy Moore and Malaya. Shortly after graduating high school, Susan ventured into teaching and setting pieces throughout Southern California. Her love of dance has led her to perform and choreograph for many exciting venues throughout the nation. 

In addition to her many years of professional dance training, she has over 18 years of teaching experience. She has held the position of teacher and dance director at both Temecula and Chaparral High Schools and has choreographed for many high school dance teams.

Her distinctive choreography has received numerous high point and top choreography awards at regional and national competitions. Susan’s students have been recipients of many scholarships, cash prizes and have gone on to be represented by top agencies in dance, modeling and acting. Many of her students have continued their training at the collegiate level and have performed with professional dance companies in California, Colorado and New York.

In 2006, Susan realized her dream of opening a dance studio along with Erin Babbs when Murrieta Dance Project opened its doors. Forever grateful of the opportunity to own such an amazing studio, she decided to retire the position of co-owner/director in 2013 to focus more on teaching and continuing her education. Susan has a great enthusiasm and passion for teaching and sharing this love with all of her students. She teaches from the heart, dedicated to her students, making sure each and every dancer understands, embodies, and loves the art of dance.

 
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TAYLOR WARD

 
 

TAYLOR WARD’s passion for dance was first sparked during her years of rigorous training under a nationally ranked high kick team; well known for their athletic ability and stunning technique, winning National Champions in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Upon graduating, she continued her training in dance, attending several years at Boogiezone University where she studied with many sought after choreographers such as Gina Starbuck, Leo Morimune, Andrew Winghart, and Jillian Meyers. Her credits don’t stop there as she was a lead dancer in Inc. the Company, a contemporary company trained and directed by well-known choreographer and teacher, Marco Cruz.

During this time Taylor remained a student athlete and was recognized on the Dean’s List multiple years in a row.  Her goals remained high as she traveled across the nation to teach and train with some of the top studios and teachers, such as Francisco Gella and Tokyo Kevin Inouye. To take her love of dance to the next level, in 2013, Taylor auditioned for a world renowned TV show: “So You Think You Can Dance”. She was highlighted as one of their favorites in Los Angeles but due to injury could not continue.  In light of this event she co-founded an elite training program, True Dance Potential, in hopes of increasing the longevity of dancers’ careers as artists and athletes. While pursuing her dreams by continually training as a professional dancer and teachers, she also works alongside Kids Artistic Revue as a Production Assistant.

 
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WILL JOHNSTON

 
 

Coming from the San Francisco Bay Area, WILL JOHNSTON received the majority of his training at A.K.A Dance Company under the direction of Kelly and Alex Velasquez. Will holds an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of California: Irvine as well as a B.F.A in Dance Performance, a B.F.A in Dance Choreography, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Credits include Clear Talent, Sonya Tayeh, Stacey Tookey, Justin Giles, Erica Sobol, Donald McKayle, Loretta Livingston, Jodie Gates, Wade Robson, Tyce Diorio, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, Glee, Son Lux, Sigur Ros, FARR, X Ambassadors, and Katy Perry. In addition, Will is the co-director of Entity Contemporary Dance and a faculty member at West Coast Dance Explosion, Murrieta Dance Project, and Chapman University. He has taught and choreographed across the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Australia.

Recently Will won the ACE awards for his choreography will his Company Entity.  Will's innovated style is loved by all and he is excited to continue sharing knowledge with the students at Murrieta Dance Project!