Faculty Bios

JENNY GLENN

Jenny Glenn is a graduate of the nationally recognized Oklahoma City University Dance Program under the direction of Jo Rowan where she received her Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts. Her experience ranges from working on popular TV shows such as Veronica Mars to performing with professional sports networks including the ABA, NFL, NBA and NPSL. She has also worked for Barry Manilow's Stiletto Entertainment while performing for Holland America Cruise Lines. Ms. Jenny has been teaching dance to students of all ages for the past 15+ years and has worked in dance studio management for the past 10+ years. Her life-long dream has always been to open her own studio and that dream is now her reality! Jenny is originally from Michigan and relocated to San Diego with her husband in 2006. They have a beautiful 3 year old daughter named Gia. This is Ms. Jenny's 7th year as the proud owner of Signature Dance Academy.

JESSICA BESAW

Jessica is a college student majoring in Liberal Studies with a minor in English. She has been with SDA since 2015 along with a second job as a college English tutor. When she is not at work or going to school, she enjoys volunteering throughout San Diego County as a community representative with the Council for Youth Empowerment (CYE). She has received many awards for her volunteer work including 3 Presidents Volunteer Service Awards and 2015 Volunteer of the Year with over 600 hours in just one year. In her free time, Jessica enjoys going to Disneyland, country line dancing, watching plays and sometimes performing in musicals also.



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KATIE CARNETT

Katie Carnett grew up dancing in the San Diego Dance Community. She studied dance at Palomar College and UC Irvine, and has trained with teachers and choreographers all over Southern California. While her goal was to be a professional dancer, she unexpectedly fell in love with teaching. She has been teaching and coaching competition teams for 14 years and owned her own studio for 5 years. She also was the coach of Torrey Pines High School Dance Team for four years. Her love of teaching has grown over the years and she feels so privileged to be able to touch the lives of so many children. She truly values her position as a mentor and role model to her students. Katie is thrilled to be a part of the Signature Dance Academy faculty, and is so excited for what the future holds!


AMANDA CLARK

Amanda has been dancing since the age of 3 and has studied a variety of styles including: tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, Musical Theatre, ballet, Pointe, Modern and Irish Step.  She has studied, competed and performed with many studios and companies throughout San Diego County under award-winning Choreographers.  She has competed and won many group regional and national titles from competitions such as Star Systems, Starbound, KAR, and Showstoppers and she has had many opportunities to perform in venues such as Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Las Vegas, and aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship.  In high school, she was also on both the Co-Ed Dance team and Varsity Cheerleading squad, where they won many regional and national titles including 5th place Large Varsity All Female cheerleading squad her senior year.  In 2007, Amanda graduated from San Diego State University with her B.S. Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Physical Education.  She then went on to receive her Teaching Credential in both Physical Education and Dance.  In 2011, she obtained her life-long goal of becoming Head Varsity Cheer Coach and Assistant Dance Team Director/Coach and Dance Teacher at San Marcos High School.  That same year, she became a mother to her son, Alexander.  Amanda has a strong passion for teaching and for her students and she is always looking for ways to make her students improve, strive harder, push their limits, and achieve their goals.  Amanda joined SDA in 2012, and is excited to be around such wonderful teachers, students, and families. 

KELLY CONAWAY

Kelly Conaway, an acro, stretch and flexibility coach, has more than 20 years of professional teaching experience with studios nationwide. She has regional and national competition experience as both a coach and choreographer. Kelly has received performance award recognition for outstanding instruction by a coach and is known for her progressive approach to acro and spotting techniques that creates a fearless dancer. She has a passion for the art of acrobatics, a commitment to the studios she is involved with and pure dedication to the students she teaches.




KRISTIE CORDLE

Kristie Cordle began her dance training with the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Christian Youth Theater and San Diego Parks and Recreation. Later, she joined the California Ballet School on the coveted Jonny Jenning's scholarship and was accepted into their Junior Company. While a part of the Junior Company, she received training from many well-known local, national and international artists. She also supplemented her training by attending summer programs at the Summer Dance Lab in Washington State, North Carolina Dance Theater, the world-renowned Jacob's Pillow, and on a full scholarship at the International Russian Ballet Seminar. By the age of fifteen, and already a High School graduate, Ms. Kristie was chosen to join the California Ballet's Senior Company and later earning the title of principal ballerina. She has been a dance instructor with various dance schools in the greater San Diego area for the past 15+ years, and this will be her 7th season with Signature Dance Academy.

JULIE CRAWLEY

Julie has studied dance for over 40 years and has been teaching dance for over 30 years in the Southern CA and LA areas! She has been trained in all styles of dance with her specialty in Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics, Voice and Pom. Julie trained with such greats as Al Gilbert, Jo Rowan, Lynda Gache, Frank Hatchett, Steven Boyd, Dee Caspary, Dave Massey and more! Julie graduated with a degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education and minored in Theatre/Performing Arts. She performed and starred in many onstage plays and musicals including "The Taming of the Shrew", "Bye Bye Birdie", "Oklahoma", "To Gillian on her 31st Birthday", "South Pacific" and more!!! Her dancing has even taken her on two separate dance tours performing throughout Japan. Julie is a former UDA instructor and has coached numerous dance and cheer teams in the Southern CA areas. Julie has been involved with the Miss America organization as a Director and Judge for over 15 years. She is currently the Artistic Director and Board Member for the "Council For Youth Empowerment", a non-profit scholarship organization for young ladies ages 5-23 years of age. Many of her former students are now teaching, modeling, acting and dancing professionally in the San Diego, Los Angeles, New York and Nashville areas. Some of her students have been or are currently on Television productions such as "Arrow" and "DC's Legends Of Tomorrow" and Broadway shows such as "Wicked", "The Radio City Rockettes", "Aida", "Cats", "Oklahoma!", "The Lion King" and more! Julie loves teaching, choreographing and judging fresh new talent from all across the country!

MICHELLE CROSS

Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Michelle found her love of dance at the age of 14. Her dance background includes extensive training in ballet, lyrical, jazz, and contemporary. Seven years ago, she began her teaching career at Signature Dance Academy and since then has won numerous awards for her choreography at regional and national competitions, including KAR Dance 'Choreographer Of The Year' in 2015 and 2016.

Michelle has danced professionally for both the ABA and NPSFL and is currently studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer with an emphasis in Dance Performance. Michelle's goal is to teach her students the importance of building strength along with flexibility as well as injury prevention. Michelle has a profound love for teaching and choreographing and hopes to encourage and inspire each and every one of her students.

RAUL GOMEZ

Raul has years of dance experience in a variety of styles including hip hop, jazz, salsa, and modern, to name a few. His versatility as dancer and teacher has provided opportunities to teach all over the West Coast, Texas, Alaska, Mexico, and Switzerland. Raul was also a featured dancer and contributing choreographer for Sea World Summer Nights. Other performance and choreography credits include McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival, IDEA Fitness convention, Super Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Mardi Gras Festival, Color of We Benefit Show, Commercial work in Mexico, and was also a part of a ballet-hip hop collaboration with the San Diego Ballet. He is a former member of both Culture Shock of San Diego and Los Angeles, of one of the first hip hop companies to be assembled. There he trained under and danced with leaders in the L.A. Industry. Raul is currently working as an instructor for the United Spirit Association, teaching dance intensives, and camps throughout the western United States, as well as judging for USA dance competitions. His award-winning choreography can be seen on many junior high and high school dance teams throughout California and Washington. Most recently, he was awarded the honor of Rookie Head Coach of the Year from the state of California for leading the Poway High School Dance Team to Nationals. Raul also spends most of his spare time teaching dance classes to underprivileged youth throughout San Diego.

DEVRA GREGORY

Devra Gregory, is originally from San Diego and began ballet lessons at the age of 6. At 12 she joined the school of the San Diego Ballet Company under the direction of Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski. At 15 she worked as an apprentice with the San Diego Ballet and performed in repertoire pieces and full length ballets such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Copellia. She received a CETA grant at age 17 to work with The California Ballet Company under Maxine Mahon. At 22 she joined the San Francisco Opera Ballet Company and freelanced with many other local dance troupes. She has performed on the Norwegian Caribbean Cruise ships, at Sea World in the children’s show at Shamu’s Happy Harbor, in the Las Vegas magic production “Spellbound” and as a Michael Jackson Impersonator. In her spare time, Ms. Devra enjoys sewing, playing the djembe’, vegetarian cooking and spending quality time with her feline companion. This is her second season with Signature Dance Academy!


DANIELLE LOPEZ

Danielle Lopez has been dancing since the age of four. At the age of eight she started competing and continued on until eighteen, during this time she won numerous overall titles. She has studied various styles including: jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical and ballet. Her love of dancing and competing led her to start assistant teaching when she was fourteen. It was here that Danielle realized how much she loves getting to work with kids and helping them grow as dancers and individuals. She then started teaching her own classes at the age of seventeen beginning with children's work. Danielle is a graduate of San Diego State University with a B.S. degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Fitness Specialist and a minor in Dance. Danielle feels so fortunate to be able to work with so many amazing students throughout their dance journey.


IZZY MARRONE

Izzy Marrone, a student at San Diego State University, has been a part of the Signature Dance family for over 5 years. She began as a dance student at the age of 15. She later joined the SDA’s competition team and competed for 2 seasons. She still has a passion for dance and has formed a close bond with many of SDA’s students and instructors. Izzy is now a proud member of SDA’s staff.





TRILINA PUCCI

Trilina Pucci has been dancing since the age of 3 and began her professional career at the age of 17. She has studied various styles of dance including Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary at studios such as Millennium Dance Complex, The Edge, Nevada Ballet and Debbie Reynolds Dance. Some of her professional work includes Nike, MTV's Made, ABDC and Disney. She has toured and performed with various artists in the 90's including Dino, The Covergirls, New Kids on the Block and Janet Jackson. She has also mentored dancers that have gone on to perform with Lady Gaga, Immabeast Co, Jersey Boys on Broadway and SYTYCD. For Trilina, dance will always be more than just learning steps but the ability to connect to the audience and become the best possible dancer you can be. This is Trilina's 4th year with Signature!


KAYLA SCHAFFROTH

Kayla Schaffroth, a San Diego native, received her Bachelor of the Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at Central Washington University. She has been dancing since she was three and trained in the styles of ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop, and ballroom. She performs professionally in regional theatres across the country and can be seen as a featured performer at the world-famous San Diego Zoo this holiday season. Kayla choreographs for professional theatres in the San Diego area and competition dance. In addition, she has done commercial work and multiple award nominated feature films. When she is not on stage or on screen, she loves being in the classroom and sharing her love of dance with her students. Kayla is so thrilled to be part of the Signature Dance Academy team and hopes to see you in class!


TIFFANY SMITH

Tiffany Smith hails from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She received her early training at Ballet Theatre Workshop before joining the Boston Ballet School where she graduated in 2005. Ms. Tiffany danced with Ballet Quad Cities, Milwaukee Ballet II and Nashville Ballet II before joining Missouri Ballet Theatre in 2012. In 2009 she was selected to perform the duet Triptych by Luc Vanier in collaboration with the Milwaukee Art Museum for the grand opening of the Act/React exhibit. For MBT she performed Snow Queen, Clara, Lead Chinese, Spanish, Snow Flakes and Waltz of the Flowers in The Nutcracker, and Hermia in A Midsummer Nights Dream. Tiffany joined California Ballet Company in 2015 and was promoted to soloist this season. This month you can see her performing multiple roles for California Ballet's production of the Nutcracker including the Sugar Plum Fairy! Ms. Tiffany loves sewing and yoga. This is Ms. Tiffany's second season with Signature Dance Academy!


CHALDEA "DEA" SEVILLA

Chaldea "Dea" Sevilla is a professional dancer and choreographer who has been training since a young age, in various styles such as ballet, tap, and jazz around San Diego, CA. Introduced to the hip-hop dance community in 2004, she joined Future Shock SD under the guidance of Belle Abuyo and Jabbawockeez member, Rainen Paguio. Dea furthered her training with Boxcuttuhz under the direction of ABDC's Mos Wanted Crew's, Lando Wilkins, and Super Galactic Beat Manipulators, directed by Jabbawockeez Kevin Brewer. Dea is happy to call Choreo Cookies home for the past 9 years, having competed and placed at many competitions such as World of Dance and Body Rock dance competition. Dea has worked with Pharrell Williams, Gee Kazz and Korean Pop artists Sunmi, JYP, and Trouble Maker. She was featured on Fox's "Mobbed" with Choreo Cookies. Half of "Kevin and Dea," she travels across the world to teach and share her love for dance with her husband, Kevin Nguyen. They're currently on tour with World of Dance and Kids Artistic Revue. As Dea continues to grow as a dancer and choreographer, her hope is to inspire others; teaching dance abroad as well as with locally at Signature Dance Academy.

ASHLEY VALERIO

Ashley Valerio is most widely known for being one of the top finalists on the Fox hit show So You Think You Can Dance (Season 5). Since her time with SYTYCD she has been featured throughout television, including appearances on Monk and another Fox hit Glee. She has been a featured dancer in various popular music videos, including Twin Shadow’s "Patience" and Rachele Royale’s "Stupid Girl". She has also worked extensively as a dancer and performer in major national and international commercials as well as dancing at half-time shows for the Oakland Raiders and the NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks. Ashley's diverse performance background also includes theatrical roles, including an operatic production of Aida and aerialist performer at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Recently Ashley has started her own production company. Her company has produced music videos for Penny Bird Rabbit "Dumbbutton" and Dylan Dunlap's latest release "World of Hope" where she served as creative director and choreographer. Ashley studied for 15 years at Dance Connection Too and 7 years with the East Side Ballet Company in Mesa Arizona. Ashley has assisted and worked with dance icons such as Dee Caspary, Justin Giles, Wade Robson, Ray Leaper, Brian Friedman, Tyce Diorio, the late Andre Fuentes, Mia Michaels, Nappy Tabs, and many more. Ashley is also known to be one of the very first generation of dancers to compete and mainstream the contemporary movement. Through her prolific training and extensive professional experience she has developed a completely unique and innovative style that combines flairs of theatrical jazz with the sharpened technique of contemporary dance. This is Ashley's 5th year at Signature Dance Academy!