Michelle Mejaski ~

Michelle is the very proud owner of Gotta Dance Studio and Company. Michelle and her husband, Mike moved to Oregon from Indianapolis, Indiana where she has studied dance since age four at Dixon Dance Studio, On Your Toes Studio and at Ball State University. Since moving to Bend, she has choreographed for most of the local schools and theaters. Her choreography and stage credits include: Grease, FootLoose, The Rocky Horror Show, GodSpell, Singing in the Rain, A Chorus Line, Little Shop of Horrors, Cinderella, Annie, Beauty & the Beast, LaCage aux Folles and Once Upon a Mattress to name just a few! Michelle has had the privilege to travel to New York City, as well as attend conventions, workshops and competitions that have allowed her to study with tap greats such as Mike Minery, Tre' Holloway, Jason Samuels, Michelle Dorrance, JT Hornestein and the Hot Shot Tappers. Michelle is an award winning tap dancer who has studied at and competed in various conventions such as LA Dance Force, Monsters of Hip Hop, Hollywood Vibe, New York City Dance Alliance and Manhattan Dance Project. Michelle has partnered with Deb Degrosse, Eileen Heaton, and Tifany Leguyonne to form Cat Call Productions, Bend's newest professional theatrical company which debuted their first musical, Cabaret, at the Tower Theater in 2009.

Marissa Baranoff ~

Marissa began to study dance in Santa Ynez Valley, California at age 4. She was accepted into the Joffrey Ballet Company at age 16 on scholarship. She studied ballet, jazz and pas de duex under John Magnus, Francesca Corkle and Zelma Bustillo. She has studied with RDA, CPYB, and with Alvin Alley. Marissa toured Taiwan with the State Street Ballet Company in 2002. Marissa most memorable performance was the lead in Giselle, which she performed with the Santa Barbara Chamber Ballet. From 2003-2007, she taught for Gustafson Dance, the Ballet Conservatory, the Pacific School of Ballet and the Mission Viejo Dance and Performing Arts Center before moving to Bend.

Holly Kupetz ~

With the love of performance and teaching children dance, Holly has devoted her life to both. Holly began dancing at age 3 in Oregon City. Holly has trained in Central Oregon at the Redmond School of Dance, the Terpsichorean Studio and at Gotta Dance studio and company. Holly has trained with LA Dance Force, Hollywood Vibe and Pendulum Aerial Dance. Holly is an award winning choreographer and dancer. She also belongs to the aerial dance troupe, Vertigo and the visual arts troupe, Ubiquitous.

Ashley Piland ~

Ahley began dancing her Junior and Senior year at Bend High where she was on the Varsity Dance Team and Varsity Cheerleading Squad. After graduation she coached Bend High's Dance Team for 2 years. She started teaching at Gotta Dance in October of 2005 and has been open to an entire new world of dance ever since! Ashley has continued to train every year at conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop and The Hollywood Vibe working with amazing choreographers such as Kevin Maher, Rhapsody James, Nappytabs (her all time favorite!), Dave Scott, Brian Friedman, Teresa Espinosa (Beat Freaks-MTV's America's Best Dance Crew), Popin' Pete, Jamal Sims, Marty Kudelka and a member of Jabbawokeez (MTV's America's Best Dance Crew) just to name a few! In August of 2008 Ashley became the instructor of our Senior Hip Hop Crew. In May of 2009, Senior Crew's hard work and Ashley's choreography took home Platinum scores, 1st place in our division and highest overall score for our division!! Ashley's most memorable event in her life so far was travelling to Warsaw, Poland for 3 weeks to teach hip hop in August 2009! She taught at the Rivera Dance Studio in Warsaw, and taught at a Dance Camp in Kuebjek, Poland near the Baltic Sea! She also got to train with Storm, one of the most amazing pop 'n lock dancers/instructors Europe has to offer! During her trip she also helped Paul Zajac with choreography for a Levi's Jeans commercial! She had an amazing time and met many amazing people while in Poland as well as traveling to and from! (She will never forget the Scottish man and his kilt!)

Julie Hamby ~

Julie is a business major at the Central Oregon Community College. Julie has been dancing with Gotta Dance since it opened in 2001. Julie has a wonderful, natural ability to teach children. Her hip hop style is high energy, athletic and incredibly fun! Since instructing at Gotta Dance, Julie has attended workshops put on by the Monsters of Hip Hop and the Hollywood Vibe where she studies hip hop, jazz, tap and ballet. Julie's dance inspirations are Tony Testa, Nappy Tabs and Rhapsody, who she has trained with in Portland at the Monsters Hip Hop convention.

Sara White ~

Sara received her ballet training starting at age 7 at Renoux Dance Studio in Portland, Oregon. Sara studied dance at the University of Oregon and with the Eugene Ballet Company. Sara's performance credits include: Midsummer Nights Dream and The Nutcracker with the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Ballet West. In high school, Sara was a member of the dance team and the Performance Dance Group who performed for the Portland Trailblazer NBA playoff games. At age 22, she began studying tap at Sally Mack's School of dance in Portland and relocated to Bend with husband Brian in 2001.

Ashley Lanier ~

Ashley began dancing at Gotta Dance in 2001 when it's doors first opened. Owner, Michelle Mejaski, saw the tremendous potential in Ashley for her natural ability to not only dance but also teach. For the past several years, Ashley has trained in hip hop with dance greats such as Brian Friedman, Nabby Tabs, Poppin' Pete and Mr. Wiggles to name just a few! Ashley has studied jazz, tap and hip hop with the dancers of Hollywood Vibe and Monsters of Hip Hop for the past 3 years. Ashley instructs our own hip hop crew named HipNation and took our girls to competition in Portland in 2007 to perform for the amazing dancers at the Monsters convention.

Lexie Cook ~

Lexie has been with Gotta Dance for 6 years and has been a student and dance choreographer for 4 years. Lexie studies tap, hip hop, jazz and ballet at Gotta Dance. Lexie is in Gotta Dance's company. She is part of our award winning competition jazz team and our award winning hip hop CREW. Lexie's potential is limitless and her 8-10 year hip hop and jazz classes are always over-flowing. Since becoming a member of the Gotta Dance team, Lexie has attended and performed in the Hollywood Vibe and the Monsters of Hip Hop conventions and competitions in both Portland and Washington. Michelle looks forward to working with Lexie for years to come.

McKyeli Eastland ~

McKyeli has shown herself to be an amazing person and dancer. With Gotta Dance for only 6 years now, she has already proven to have unlimited possibilities. Mckyeli is a member of company. She is in our award winning competition jazz team, in our award winning hip hop CREW, and just this year has advanced into Gotta Dance's tap company, TAP ATTACK! McKyeli is training in ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop. She has trained and performed at Monsters of Hip hop and the Hollywood Vibe. This is McKyeli's third year with her own ballet class. She will be instructing a beginning ballet class for ages 5-7 starting this fall. We look forward to a wonderful year with our newest instructor, Miss McKyeli!

Nancy Scher~

Nancy danced before she could walk. Alright, maybe not, but she did climb out of her crib at nine months, beginning her lifelong love of movement, and a lifetime of worry for her parents. She attended the Dance Division of The Julliard School in New York City, danced professionally, and then added actress to her resume when she moved to Los Angeles. After dancing on an injured foot for many years, she was introduced to Pilates in 1993 to help in her recovery. With a keen eye, an intuitive sense, and the training to modify the Pilates repertoire, Nancy can work with clients that range from rehab to accomplished athletes. She emphasizes practical application of Pilates, encouraging clients to apply mind/body awareness to their everyday lives. She knows the body has it's own intelligence, and reminds her clients to "think with the whole body". Nancy is Stott certified and is continually taking classes and courses to deepen her relationship with the mind and body.

Kamini~

Kamini discovered Middle Eastern Dance soon after her migration to Oregon.  After dabbling in a few Egyptian Cabaret classes, she stumbled upon an American Tribal
Style Bellydance class and was immediately drawn to the improvisational structure and group nature of the dance.  A few years later she began performing and in 2005 she co-founded the award winning Tribal Fusion duet called The Bijou Project. 

A continual student of movement, Kamini has taken workshops in a variety of dance forms, including hip hop, ballet, and various world cultural dances.  When Kamini performs, she strives to convey the essence of the music and life experience through movement.  Whether she is conveying a particular emotion evoked by the music, a story, a feeling, technique, or humor, her performances give the audience a feeling of having experienced something timeless and uniquely special
.

Learn more about Tribal Fusion Bellydance and Kamini at
http://www.bijouproject.com.


Sensi Gaynair~

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Sensi Gaynair grew up playing soccer, cricket, tennis and other sports. He began Karate training in 1974 under Sensei Frank Woon-a-Tai. During the past 35 years Sensei Gaynair has instructed and trained in various Shotokan clubs in the United States and overseas. Sensei Gaynair focuses on five basic components of Shotokan, Kata, Kumite, Kihon, Mental Strength and Spiritual Strength.

Sensei Gaynair is retired from the United States Air Force Medical Corp and is currently working for the Bend LaPine School District. He is dedicated to the development of individuals and strongly believes in the benefits derived from Karate training.

He is associated with Sensei Cathy Cline, 7th Dan, who is Director of the ISKF Northwest Region and the highest ranked female karate-ka in the U.S.

Sensei Gaynair is a second degree black belt under the ISKF and is a registered yudansha with the Japan Karate Association.