Not pictured: Darin Dantice, Jada Smith, Mookie Washington

OUR TEAM

South Coast Conservatory’s team of faculty and staff members feature the best and most experienced dance professionals in the area. All of our faculty are certified through highly respected, recognized organizations with extensive training in dance, choreography, wellness, and anatomy training. Additionally, teachers are insured and hold certifications in First Aid and CPR.

LEADERSHIP

JENA MINNICK

Owner/Director

JENA MINNICK

Jena is a passionate dance educator. Under her leadership, South Coast Conservatory has received dozens of awards for choreography and has been voted as the best dance studio in the community for the past 8 years.

CHARD GONZALEZ

Principal

Chard has over 25 years of international experience as a dance artist, educator and advocate. His priority at SCC is to sustain and promote the highest caliber of dance performance and education.

KARA GARDNER

Vice Principal

KARA GARDNER

As a dancer, Kara competed and performed nationally for over 15 years. Now as SCC's Vice Principal, she will be working with all students and parents to provide the best dance education experience possible.

CHRISTINA SOWERS

School Manager & Costume Mistress

CHRISTINA SOWERS

Miss Chris has been a part of South Coast Conservatory since 2006. With her degree in communications and 25 years of corporate experience, she is a great resource for all SCC clients in all aspects of our school.

CASSIDY N. BREEZE

Competition Manager

CASSIDY N. BREEZE

Cassidy has spent the last 10 years coaching award-winning dance teams at South Coast Conservatory. She enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge of dance in all of her regular, team and master classes.

JILL PRUNELLA

Human Resources & Finance Manager

JILL PRUNELLA

Jill has a decade of experience in project and database management with a world-renowned neurological company. She has been a part of the Management team at South Coast Conservatory since September 2014.

SANDY PALENSKE

Store Manager

SANDY PALENSKE

Sandy graduated from Long Beach State University and has many years of experience in education, administration and sales. She has provided superior customer service to the SCC family for the past 15 years.

PAIGE UNDERWOOD

Marketing and Design

PAIGE UNDERWOOD

Paige is a graphic designer, working towards her BFA at Cal State Fullerton. As a part of SCC’s marketing team, she applies her design knowledge and clean aesthetic to sustain the SCC brand.

JACQUELINE STANLEY

Production Manager & Instructor

JACQUELINE STANLEY

Jacqueline toured the US and Canada for many years as a member of Orange County Song and Dance Company. She continues to foster a life-long love of the performing arts by sharing her passion with our students.

DEPARTMENT ADVISERS

AMANDA WHITE

Jazz Adviser

AMANDA WHITE

Amanda has BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University and a MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University. At SCC she directs the Compass Dance Company.

ASHLEY KORNGOLD

Pre-Academy Adviser

ASHLEY KORNGOLD

Ashley Korngold has been dancing since she could walk and enrolled in a dance studio when she was three. At SCC, Ashley is fulfilling her dream of working with children and being a part of their development.

ENTON HOXHA

Ballet Adviser

ENTON HOXHA

Enton graduated from the Bolshoi Academy in Moscow with a Master's degree. His vast repertoire includes principal roles in all the major ballets which he has performed and set on other dancers from all over the world.

JADA SMITH

Hip Hop Adviser

Jada received her Bachelor's Degree in Theater from Hamline University in Minnesota. She has since worked with artists such as Missy Elliott, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Tyrese, Ja Rule and many others.

JUDI SCUDDER

DanceFit Adviser

JUDI SCUDDER

Judi started dancing at five, attended The Hartford Ballet and later became a professional dance fitness instructor.. As a new team leader at SCC, she ensures that every client is welcomed in a way that has become customary.

MARJI HIMES

Musical Theatre Adviser

MARJI HIMES

Marji has been teaching dance and musical theatre in Orange County for over 20 years. Marji's classes epitomize the ethical training necessary to succeed in the highly competitive performing arts industry.

SARAH GABB

Tap Adviser

SARAH GABB

Sarah has been a dancer for 18 years and continues to study with some of the top artists in the country. She strives to be a motivator and innovator in both aspects of being a dance artist and an educator.

THERESA TURNER

Tumbling Adviser

THERESA TURNER

Theresa is a passionate dance instructor and an award-winning gymnastics coach. Over the past 20 years, she has created entertaining and original choreography for jazz and acro competitions.

FACULTY

ALI TERRONES

Instructor

ALI TERRONES

Ali has been dancing since the age of three. She fully utilizes her education in Early Childhood Development from Cal State Fullerton to facilitate an encouraging, nurturing and loving environment in all of her classes.

AMELIA BARRON

Instructor

AMELIA BARRON

Amelia has been teaching dance and musical theatre in Orange and Los Angeles Counties for the past 12 years. She has also been featured on a number of award-winning albums and in music videos.

ANISHA GIBBS

Instructor

ANISHA GIBBS

Anisha is an international dance artist known for her Hip Hop choreography. She was a top tier Junior Olympian and earned a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. She’s an amazing inspiration to all our students at SCC in every level.

CASSANDRA LAMBROS

Instructor

CASSANDRA LAMBROS

Cassandra started dancing at the age of 3 at SCC. She is extremely passionate about sharing her love for dance with her students and being able to watch them have fun and grow in each class.

DARIN DANTICE

Instructor

DARIN DANTICE

Darin has worked professionally as a dancer and instructor for more than 25 years. His teaching method infuses his extensive knowledge of the body with a highly developed technical background.

ELLY FOX

Instructor

ELLY FOX

Elly is from Scotland where she trained at the Royal Academy of Dance and with the Scottish Theatre Ballet. She enjoys the challenges that come from inspiring young dancers to be the best they can be.

JACQUELYN SUTKOWI

Instructor

JACQUELYN SUTKOWI

Jacquelyn received her BFA from Chapman University in Dance Performance. Her focus is on training, preparing and motivating dancers during their transition into professional careers and college.

KAYLA MALLARI

Instructor

KAYLA MALLARI

Kayla has been a commercial dancer for a decade and has presented choreography at venues throughout Southern California. Her teaching expertise includes Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary and Ballet.

MARIA TIKHOMIROVA

Ballet Master

MARIA TIKHOMIROVA

Maria received a PhD from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Her career has included creating choreography for Moscow Ballet and collaborating with artists from the Bolshoi Ballet and the Kremlin Ballet Theatre.

MICHELE GERLACH

Instructor

MICHELE GERLACH

Michele has coached numerous State, Regional, National and International Champions for over 37 years. And at SCC she creates a friendly environment for students to achieve their highest potential.

MOOKIE WASHINGTON

Instructor

MOOKIE WASHINGTON

Mookie has an extensive background as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. His credits include performing with different crews throughout the USA and teaching internationally.

MYCHAL GABB

Instructor

MYCHAL GABB

Mychal has been a teacher at South Coast Conservatory since 2007. He is the founder and director of the NXT LVL company which performs a wide range of productions from variety acts to musical theatre shows.

NYQUITA WILSON

Instructor

NYQUITA WILSON

Nyquita studied acting and performed on the stages of Louisiana State University. Here at SCC, she has been an acting teacher/coach, recital cast member, showcase production manager and make up artist.

RENEE FOX-MOORE

Instructor

RENEE FOX-MOORE

Renee has a BFA in Music Theater Dance from OKCU and a MFA in Dance from UC Irvine. Her main focus of research has been the study of multiple intelligences within the choreographic process.

SARA SANDERS

Instructor

SARA SANDERS

Sara has a wealth of experience as a professional dancer and educator. Her credits include training at Juilliard, dancing on So You Think You Can Dance and performing in nationally syndicated commercials.

SERENITY HARRY

Instructor

SERENITY HARRY

Serenity has all the qualities of a superb teacher: enthusiasm, compassion, tenacity and honesty. While she continues her own training as a dancer she immediately shares her knowledge in a supportive and encouraging way.

DANCEFIT DEPARTMENT

KIM PAGE

DanceFit Teacher

KIM PAGE

Kim has over 20 years experience as a fitness instructor/trainer/coach and began practicing Yoga 16 years ago. She also has a passion for dance and you will see her teaching a Zumba Class here and there at the studio.

KATIE LUNDGREN

DanceFit Teacher

KATIE LUNDGREN

Katie was in law enforcement for 25 years prior to becoming a dance teacher. Her classes combine low impact strength training, stretching and dancing with a non-competitive, non-judgmental approach.

NATALIE BROWN

DanceFit Teacher

NATALIE BROWN

Music and dance have always played an important role in Natalie’s life. In her BollyX classes, she especially loves the high intensity cardio workout and dancing to the captivating beats of Bollywood.

YASHIA NAVARRO

DanceFit Teacher

YASHIA NAVARRO

Yashia has been a ZumbaⓇ instructor for several years. She enjoys sharing her passion for Latin music and dance, plus helping others reach their fitness goals through dancing and having fun.

WENDY BLACK

DanceFit Teacher

WENDY BLACK

Wendy specializes in restorative yoga for wellbeing, vinyasa flow to build strength and hot vinyasa flow to elevate the heart rate and increase stability. She enjoys guiding students in their individual yoga practice.

KARATE DEPARTMENT

YUSUKE TOKASHIKI

Sensei/Karate Instructor

YUSUKE TOKASHIKI

Sensei Tokashiki has taught for over 18 years at Enshin branches in New York, New Jersey and California. He is an enthusiastic karate practitioner and always eager to share the spirit of martial arts.

ADMINISTRATION

KAITLYN RIZZO

Front Desk Advisor

KAITLYN RIZZO

Kaitlyn graduated from CSU San Marcos with a degree in Business Administration. After dancing for 10 years on high school and collegiate dance teams, she continues to enjoy sharing her love of dance.

SONIA SO

Front Desk Advisor

SONIA SO

Sonia has held a variety of positions in different jobs in which she has found her propensity for helping people. She truly enjoys providing customer service at SCC and making a difference in people's lives.

LULU PULIDO

Front Desk Advisor

LULU PULIDO

Lulu is studying to become a Registered Nurse at Saddleback College and hopes to transfer to get a Bachelors degree at Cal State Fullerton. She enjoys working and providing great customer service for SCC.