ERIKA BANDY • Erika grew up in Thousand Oaks, Ca and began her dance training at the age of 12. She spent summers training at the School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Miami City Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago. Upon graduation from high school she joined the Los Angeles Ballet, where she worked for 5 years, performing in many works by George Balanchine, as well as new works by Melissa Barak, Jennifer Backhaus, Sonya Tayeh, and Mandy Moore. Erika holds a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from San Francisco State, and is currently finishing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at California State University Northridge.
KRISTIN BENJAMIN • Kristin has more than 30 years teaching experience throughout the Los Angeles area and as director of the Lawrence School of Ballet in Lawrence, KS. Her students have gone on to dance on Broadway and with ballet and modern dance companies across the United States. Kristin taught and produced Dance in Flight at Pepperdine University, Malibu, and taught ballet, modern dance and dance compostion at the University of Kansas. Kristin is founder and former artistic director of the Kaw Valley Dance Theater, Lawrence, KS, where she choreographed and produced The Nutcracker with orchestra and actors. She produced two major concerts each season, collaborating with musicians, composers and visual artists. Her company received numerous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Kristin's work has been showcased for such diverse programs as the American Music Symposium, MTV, Musing in Museums, Nebraska Educational TV and liturgical dance. She is the first American invited to the British Arts Festival in London to present her choreography. Kristin trained with Tomi Wortham (NYCB), Elizabeth Sherbon (Martha Graham Co.), Tatiania Dokoudovska (Ballet Russe) and the renowned teacher Finis Jhung. She earned her Pilates instructor certification through master teachers Diane Severino and Carol Monaco who trained and worked with Ron Fletcher, a protégé of Joseph Pilates. Favorite roles Kristin has danced include Sugarplum Fairy, Bluebird pas de deux, Phaedre, Leyenda, Aria from Holberg Suite and Don Quixiote pas de deux. As a dancer in New York City, she performed in Song of Norway, with the Light Opera of Manhattan and two modern dance companies, Jacob's Ladder and Edith Stephen Dance.
MORGAN DELLINGER • Morgan has been dancing since the age of 2. She grew up in Granada Hills, CA and trained in various styles such as jazz, ballet, pointe, tap, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop. Shortly after graduating high school, she joined the Joseph Allen Decker Dance Company from 2010-2012 where she performed in several shows and advanced her training in modern and contemporary dance. In 2013 and 2014 she worked as a dancer and magician's assistant at Six Flags Magic Mountain in their Full Throttle Night Show, Magic and Mayhem Show, and Voodoo Nights Halloween show. She is currently a Senior at Cal State Northridge University finishing her bachelors degree in Business Management. While at Cal State Northridge, Morgan also competed with the school's dance team at national dance competitions as well as choreographed for the team.
ALISON FRIEDMAN • Alison has been performing on stage for over 20 years. Previous musical theater credits include The Wedding Singer (Donatella, Ensemble), The Producers (Usherette, Lick-Me-Bite-Me, Ensemble), A Wonderful Life: The Musical (Ruth, Ensemble), Ragtime (Immigrant Ensemble), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ethel Peas, Ensemble). She also starred in the Elite Theatre's production of Wrong Turn at Lungfish (Anita). Alison has been part of the ARTS summer workshop's production team and helped direct Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and West Side Story. Alison's favorite role, however, was portraying Wilma Wildcat, the University of Arizona NCAA mascot for 3 years in college. Alison is currently a teacher in the Conejo Valley Unified School District and has coordinated school shows as she infuses drama in all of her lessons. Alison is thrilled to work with the talented kids of Protégé and looks forward to exploring the many layers and textures of acting, improv, rhythm, character voice, and body movement.
JESSICA JAUCH • Jessica is thrilled to be starting her fourth year on faculty with Protege and is excited to bring her love of dance to young hearts. Jessica started dancing at the age of 3. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Dance from California State University Long Beach in 2011. She was on Long Beach States dance team where her team placed 2nd in the Nation at the UDA National College Competition in Florida in 2010. After college she was a Dance Instructor with Webby Dance Company till 2013 where she shared her passion of dance in preschools and elementary schools. She has performed with Pacific Festival Ballet in their annual Nutcracker, Noah's Ark, Sea Princess, Heaven and Hell...the Journey, Bambi, Mary Poppins, The Secret Garden, and Peter Pan. Jessica spent her summer of 2005 at ABT Texas and 2004 at State Street Ballet. Jessica currently works in Hollywood as an Associate Casting Director for television and film at Central Casting.
CALIDA KUZEK • Calida grew up dancing in a small town in BC, Canada. After many years of working and training in Vancouver, her talents have brought her to Los Angeles and she couldn't be more excited. Some of Calida's favorite film credits include Disney's Descendants 2 (Kenny Ortega and Tony Testa), ABC's Once Upon a Time (Paul Becker), a crossover episode of CW's The Flash & Supergirl (Zach Woodley and Kelly Konno), and a Lifetime Unauthorized Life Story of Britney Spears (Heather Laura Gray). When set has closed and the cameras are off, Calida takes her talent to the stage. Some of these performances include Vancouver's WE Day, the launch of MAC Cosmetics Archie's Girls line, the Step Up 4 Revolution national launch, a BC tour of Legacy North's Iconic Superstars Tribute Show and Seventeen Magazine's Proposals presented by CoverGirl as Assistant Choreographer. Calida has traveled throughout Canada and the US teaching an inspiring dancers for over a decade.
ANDY MORESI • A.J. Moresi has been involved in the performing arts for his entire life. His career was built from a strong background in theatre arts and he has studied with many world renowned professionals. He began on stage as a child; acting, singing and dancing. As a teen he was deeply involved in the music and theatre programs at the schools he attended and extra curricular theatre programs. He has worked with Conejo Players (YEA), Stage and Video Education (S.A.V.E. Theatre) and studied ballet and jazz from Patsy Swayze’s Dancer’s Studio. More recently he has played guitar and piano in the orchestra pit for dozens of musical production companies such as DOMA Theatre, Whittier Center Theatre, Simi Valley Cultural Arts, Golden PAC, Moorpark College Theatre Dept, CSU Northridge Theatre Dept., and many more. He holds a Bachelor's Degree of Music in Jazz Performance with an emphasis on guitar from the prestigious music department at California State University, Northridge. A.J. has studied vocal training for years with the world renowned vocal coach, Robert Edwards, and loves to share that wisdom with his own students.
LORETTA RICHERT • Loretta is a teacher, dancer, and artist. She began her studies at Dance Unlimited in Simi Valley where she competed in their award-winning jazz and hip-hop companies. Loretta then earned her degree in Dance and Photography from Loyola Marymount University in 2011. Shortly after graduating, she became fully certified in Bikram Yoga. Over the past seven years, Loretta has enjoyed working as a choreographer for dance studios, show choirs, and high schools as well as choreographing "first dances" for weddings. You can currently find her choreographing at Thousand Oaks High School. She is very excited to bring her experience and passion to Protégé Performing Arts!