Ballet / Pointe / Pas de Deux
Choreographer / Actress
Catherine Demonchaux-Botwin, born in Dunkerque France, started ballet lessons at the age of four. She has been dancing, instructing, and producing professional dance theater for over 35 years. As a dancer, she attended the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. She also trained with Ballet West in Snowmass/Aspen, Colorado during the 1970s. As a founding member, Catherine danced and toured as a principal dancer in Kansas with Ballet Midwest, under the artistic direction of Barbara Ebert, a graduate from the University of Utah / Ballet West. Catherine attended the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, official home of Ballet West, which at the time was directed by founder, William Christiansen, and co-directed by Bruce Marks. Additionally, she also trained with Patrick Crommet of the Wichita Ballet Theater, Tom Steinhoff of the Florida and Kansas City Ballet, Terry Thomas of the Royal Canadian Ballet, and Merce Cunningham to name a few. During college, Catherine obtained degrees in the performing arts/dance and in the field of nursing as a Registered Nurse. Shortly after moving to the desert, Catherine started her work in the desert as a nurse educator, and directed programs for the Arthritis Foundation. She worked for the Arthritis Foundation for nearly a decade. There she trained over 500 health professionals locally and abroad and locally, established over 100 weekly land-based and aquatic exercise programs for Coachella Valley residents afflicted with arthritis. In 1992, Catherine was appointed by Governor, Pete Wilson, to become a Board Member for the Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for the Greater Palm Springs area. As a Board Member, she has led in the support and recognition of physical fitness and sports for many community events benefiting valley residents and numerous non-profit organizations. In 2000, Catherine was featured in a nationally televised Volkswagon commercial and is a a member of SAG, Screen Actors Guild, as a commercial actress. Catherine and her faculty members at Desert Dance Academy have dedicate their time to providing an encouraging and professional environment in the Performing Arts helping to shape dancers and actors into healthy individuals and accomplished professionals.
Actress / Vocalist / Choreographer Dance Teacher & Black Dance Historian
Born & raised in Brooklyn & Harlem, NY.
Trina’s a graduate from the NY H.S. of PERFORMING ARTS, majoring in modern dance.
(Martha Graham technique).
Trina joined the ‘Katherine Dunham’ dance company in 1964 –1966 (when Ms. Dunham was still performing). Trina performed on Broadway and the classical dance stage, in the United States, Europe & the Far East.
Trina was principal dancer with the tally Beatty, Donald Mc kayle, Anna Sokolow, Geoffrey Holder & Eleo Parmare, NY dance companies.
Trina’s been teaching the special ‘Katherine Dunham (Caribbean/African) & the ‘Graham’dance techniques since 1970.
Trina was the first African American, ‘007, James Bond’ girl and the first African American featured performer, in the Palm Springs Follies, (CA) 2002 – 2008.
Contemporary / Ballet / Choreography
YOUTH & ADULT INSTRUCTOR
Lois Bondurich is formerly from the east coast, Pocono region of Pennsylvania. She has been dancing for over 35 years and instructing dance for over 25 years. Prior to moving to the west coast, she performed and toured as Ballet Mistress for Ballet Notheast. Lois has performed and toured professionally in New York, Deleware, VIrginia, and Florida.
She has received awards in ballet, jazz and hip-hop and and has been teaching classes and performing and assisting with the the Academy's ballet productions at Desert Dance Academy for over nine years. She enjoys encouraging young adults to strive for their very best, evidenced by her work and commitment to the Boys and Girls Club of Palm Springs for nearly a decade. At the Boys and Girls Club she helps to manage and direct the teen center, enhancing the lives of hundreds of young lives on a daily basis. Lois is also the mother of two teens, who have also studied dance and remained involved at Desert Dance Academy for a number of years.
Star of "42 Street"
ADVANCED TAP & VOICE
Ken Prescott (Director/Choreographer) has directed from Broadway to Brazil. As a Director and Choreographer he has created production numbers for "THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW" and "THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW" in Branson Mo. He has directed and choreographed "CRAZY FOR YOU", "GEORGE M !", "THE BOYFRIEND", "A DAY IN HOLLYWOOD - A NIGHT IN THE UKRAINE", “WEST SIDE STORY”, “SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN”, and "ON YOUR TOES", which garnered him a Carbonnel Nomination and on and on. He co-authored a musical version of “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” called “A DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS” which has been produced across the country and was nominated as best new musical of the year. His “GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES” as director/choreogapher was lauded by the New York Times at Gateway Playhouse, and His “NUNSENSATIONS” assuming the same duties, had the critics saying “Nun Better” ! His latest directorial plum was also co-creating a one woman show, starring SUZY CADHAM, One of the original Dean Martin Golddiggers, titled, “A GOLDDIGGER, NOT THAT KIND”!
As a performer, has won 3 DESERT THEATRE LEAGUE Awards as Best Leading Performer, Best Director and Best Special Production for the spectacular "A SALUTE TO THE TROOPS". In addition he has won 2 Los Angeles Drama Logue Awards for his performance in the Gene Kelly in "SINGIN' IN THE RAIN" and as Eddy Ryan in "FUNNY GIRL". He has sung with the “New” Modernaires - starred on Broadway in "42 STREET", toured the country as the star of "CRAZY FOR YOU", "SUGAR", "PAL JOEY", "WESTSIDE STORY", GEORGE M !", "THE BOYFRIEND", "OKLAHOMA", "DAMES AT SEA", and dozens of other productions. His leading ladies include Yvonne De Carlo, Vivian Blaine, Gale Storm, Alexis Smith, Dorothy Collins, Ann Miller and many more. His tenor voice soared in such roles as "THE STUDENT PRINCE", "NEW MOON" with Harve Presnell, and and extensive tour as Prince Danillo in "THE MERRY WIDOW". He had his own Big Band Show in Myrtle Beach, S.C. called "BIG BAND AT THE SAVOY" which cast him in several roles: Star, Producer, Director, and Choreographer! He just returned from Casino Magic doing “SILVER SIZZLES REVUE” as the lead singer. He has reprised his act many places including on the High Seas on Crystal Cruises doing his one man show called “KEN PRESCOTT – The Song and Dance Man” !
As a teacher, Ken has taught for every major dance organization in the country and also in Europe. He has assistant professor of Theatre Dance at Cal State University, a master teacher at the Amsterdam Tap Festival, and he has taught from the “lights” of Broadway to the “tinsel” of Hollywood.
Tap / Choreography
Jeanette Knight began her stage career as a dancer, garnering adjectives like "superb" from Variety for her adagio dancing with Joe DeGuenther. Other dance credits include the Las Vegas Hilton’s Bal du Moulin Rouge with Suzanne Somers. She studied tap with Tony-award-winning choreographer/tap dance icon Henry LeTang, who worked with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover in films like Tap and The Cotton Club. She has acted in, directed, and/or choreographed productions nationwide, including a stint at the Tony award-winning Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, IL. She has served as an artist-in-residence for the California Arts Council, Beaumont Actors Studio, and the McCallum Theatre, where she also was its Education Program Manager for nine years. She continues to serve on the selection committee for the McCallum Theatre’s annual Choreography Festival. Her choreography can be seen in the feature film, Shakespeare’s Cat. She directed Trying and The Little Dog Laughed (starring Greg Louganis) at the Indian Wells Theatre on CSUSB’s Palm Desert campus to critical acclaim. At the Indio Performing Arts Center, Jeanette played Louise in Always ,Patsy Cline to sold-out audiences. She currently teaches as part of the theatre faculty at the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy, one of only three arts-based boarding schools in the United States.
Ballroom Instructor & Director
ALL STYLES, LATIN, SWING & SOCIAL
Our professionally certified ballroom and Latin dance instructor, Charles L. Thomas is the director and instructor of the ballroom and Latin dance program now offered at Desert Dance Academy. With over 20 years experience he has taught, trained and coached men, women and couples of all ages and all levels throughout his career at several ARTHUR MURRAY Studios, FRED ASTAIRE Studios and independent studios throughout the country. His knowledge of both Latin and social ballroom dances and various styles is vast. He has competed in various competitions nationally and understands what it takes to make dancing shine. Whether it’s for the purpose to learn for competition or socially Charles is passionate about dancing and all the benefits it brings students. Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and then relocating to Vancouver, Canada in 1994, San Diego, CA in 1997, and finally Palm Springs CA in 2008. He had trained extensively in both American and International styles as has also received coaching from several world champions.
Charles has taught throughout the US and Canada and has developed a unique and entertaining style of teaching. His classes and private lessons are fun, educational and very entertaining, and have prove methods that he has developed over the years of teaching, training and coaching have allowed him to develop a teaching style that makes it easy to learn, and a style one that correlates all ballroom dances into one complete package by giving each dance it’s own look, feel and personality.Charles offers both private and group lesson at Desert Dance Academy. His latest offering, a new two hour Ballroom Class and Social every Friday Night for Adults. The group class is very affordable, and students gets to vote on the style of dance they focus on each week! SO MUCH FUN!
Hip Hop / Lyrical Jazz
Musical Theater / Choreography
Yalonnda Lee began her dance training as soon as she could walk, having dance as her first love. Raised in the Desert, she continued her dance training in high school becoming an assistant dance coach for the PSHS dance team, and later a fitness trainer and dance instructor for World's gym. Yalonnda's position at Desert Dance Academy quickly had her instructing as well as leaping into choreography as she started her classes in 2010. Since then, she has been actively choreographing numerous shows and community events. Her choreography accomplishments continue to grow with each stage production, and special events. Her unique ability to offer amazingly hip and dynamic award-winning dance pieces to a skillfully crafted and choreographed cultural dance is quite impressive. She has toured and choreographed, just this year, several pieces for locals schools, the Desert Arc Association, Loving All Pets Animal Humane Association, the Italian Festival, the Week of the Young Child, and the International In-Women Conference and several other event groups. She has also achieved status of choreographer and director of contemporary dances for the academy company and continues to offer superior training to dancers throughout the area. Yalonnda has been teaching classes and competition groups in lyrical, contemporary, jazz, and musical theater for over a decade.
Along with her dance training, she is a Certified fitness Trainer, a Group Fitness Instructor and Certified ZUMBA Instructor. She is able to use both her knowledge of movement to strengthen dancers and prevent injuries. Yalonnda is also a dance mom to a young dancer, Evan, who is age six and loves to dance and perform with Desert Dance Academy. Yalonnda feels blessed to have and offer her love of dance and her talents to the Desert Dance Academy and Performing Arts Center. She is currently teaching several classes in hip hop, jazz and contemporary styles to ages four years of age through professional adult. Students adore her class moves and irresistible routines, her passion for dancing and performing, and the individual care and attention to detail that she offers her dancers.
TAYLOR JANE BRADLEY
INT / ADV Hip Hop / CHOREOGRAPHY
HIP HOP INSTRUCTOR
Taylor Jane Bradley has been dancing since the age of five and from the very first step, she found herself in love. She began dance at a notable studio in Connecticut, where she found her natural talent and passion for hip-hop. She was featured in numerous performances as the lead of the class, taking on front and center positions through out every year of her dance career up to date. At twelve years old she began taking intermediate/advanced hip-hop classes at another highly recognized studio in Connecticut, where she later interned as an assistant dance instructor along side primary teachers who choreographed for popular artists, featured in music videos, and danced in films such as Step Up. In her freshman year of high school, Taylor was elected as the youngest coach, captain, and choreographer to ever lead the Varsity dance team, performing both competitively while also casually at Varsity home football and basketball games. The Varsity cheerleading coach was so inspired by Taylor’s choreography that she then asked her to choreograph competition routines for the high school cheerleaders. At the age of 17, Taylor practiced primary instruction for intermediate/advanced hip-hop courses with ages 16-adult where she trained and choreographed multiple filled classes in preparation for recitals and performances. At the end of her senior year, there was an Awards Ceremony that announced Taylor as the Best Dancer among all students in the grade school. When she graduated in 2010, she began classes in New York City at Broadway Dance Center where she continued to grow as a dancer and choreographer. In 2013, she moved to Palm Springs, CA with the hope to share her passion and love for dance, which became her ultimate therapy through out the years, to as many interested students as possible.
International & American
Styles - Ballroom / Latin-American
Argentine Tango / Theater Arts / Peabody
Originally from the NY Metro area, Sandra comes from a Ballroom and Latin dance family of multiple generations. Her Grandmother, Parents, Uncle and Cousins instilled in her the love of her chosen profession from the time she was old enough to walk. Sandra has trained around the world with some of the most highly recognized and decorated Master coaches in the industry - World Champions in Ballroom, Latin, 10-Dance, Segue, Theater Arts, Viennese Waltz and Argentine Tango and US National Champions in both International and American styles. Sandra specializes in teaching technique of dance for social and competitive dancers. Her love of the dance lead her to train in the Alexander Technique for ease of movement in a healthful manner, for dance and life movement skills. She loves all dances, but primarily specializes in International style Ballroom and American style Peabody. She has won many competitive awards throughout her decades-long competitive career including the most prestigious competitions: Ohio Star Ball, Florida State Championships, New Jersey State Championships, New York State Championships, Virginia State Championships, La Classique du Quebec. As a teaching professional of more than 30 years, she now enjoys dancing with her male students at competitions as well as coaching couples in all facets of the competitive and social dance. She is a member in good standing of the Professional Dancer’s Federation.
As a young girl she was a competitive skater, giving her additional expertise Theater Arts. She also was an accomplished equestrian, having ridden dressage and show jumping and worked with thoroughbred race horses,. She is also well known in the Ballroom Industry for her beautifully designed competition style jewelry and other accessories. She also designs knitting patterns and manufactures dog related items.
Irene Feigeheimer is a nationally recognized teacher, choreographer and dancer. She has received critical acclaim in the New York Times,and Dance Magazine among others. She has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet , Anna Sokolow dance company, Cliff Keuter dance company and was soloist for 9 years with the Don Redlich dance company. Since 1973 she has been artistic director of her own company Dancemoves.
Irene has taught dance at over 20 universities in the US including the Juilliard School, Sarah Lawrence college , the university of Illinois, Dartmouth College and Cal Institute for the Arts. Irene was a full time professor for four years at Manattanville College in NY.
cymbals and veil techniques
Angelique is a master of the dance with 35 years of knowledge and performance experience.
ALUMNI DANCERS / INSTRUCTORS
Alumni Dancer / Substitute Instructor
Alumni / Substitute Instructor