Sean and Brandi Nichols

Sean and Brandi Nichols have lived in Bend for about seven years, and during that time, got married, had two children, and finished up a few degrees: Brandi--a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master's degree in teaching from George Fox University; Sean--a bachelor's degree in business administration from Oregon State University. 

Sean's primary experience is in hospitality management, and more specifically, in food and beverage. Brandi, when she hasn't been dancing, has gained experience as a writer working for a couple of local magazines (1859 Oregon's Magazine and Central Oregon Magazine) and as a teacher substituting for the Bend La Pine School District. She has also written a picture book, being currently illustrated, and is four chapters deep into her children's fantasy novel. (Stay tuned for publishing details as soon as the chaotic dust of business acquisition settles.)

With regards to her dance career, Brandi began her journey at Dance & All That Jazz (DAATJ) in Newport, Oregon at age 7. She focused on tap, but then progressed to jazz and ballet shortly thereafter. While at DAATJ, she became a "T.J. Hoofer"--a coveted position for dancers in the area--and studied under master dancers J.T. Horenstein, New York Broadway Dance Center instructor, and Bill Prudich, Edge Performing Arts Center Executive Director. She attended several L.A. Dance Force (LADF) conventions in Washington, which lead to a showcase piece, and a silver medal for Tap 4's advanced tap number. She then received the privilege to teach at DAATJ as a student instructor. Along with dancing and teaching 10+ hours a week, she delved into a bit of local theater and landed the leading role of "Sandy" in Grease her senior year of high school.

After high school, she ventured from Australia to Europe. She then moved to southern California where she studied jazz, tap, and West Coast Swing at the University of San Diego. After one and a half years of studying at USD and six months at Universita' Cattolica in Milan, Italy, Brandi relocated to Eugene, Oregon. There, she finished her bachelor's degree in journalism and Italian at the University of Oregon and found time to attend tap, jazz, and West African dance classes—the latter quickly becoming one of her favorite dance genres. A marriage proposal landed her in Bend, lending her an opportunity to teach at Dance Magic in Redmond for a year, and finally, at her new dance home, Gotta Dance Studio & Company, where she's been instructing for five years! 

When Brandi and Sean are not working, they're busy raising their 3-year-old and 1-year-old daughters, Penelope and Charlie. Family time currently looks like long drives to the countryside, walks on the river trail, and visits to their hometown, Newport, Oregon. Golf and snowboarding, their two favorite sports, are on the back-burner until their children can handle a golf cart and chair lift.  

Brandi and Sean are ecstatic to be the new owners of Gotta Dance Studio & Company, starting July 1! Brandi will continue to instruct, and with her husband's assistance, will take over all administrative duties this summer.