Dance Instructors & Staff

CarlaCarla Kendall-Bray, Owner

Jazz/Tap/Creative Movement

Carla grew up in a home with a Radio City Music Hall Rockette turned Ballet studio owner mom and an opera singing, symphony playing, airline pilot dad so her love of performing started as far back as she can remember.  Now Carla brings 30+ years teaching experience and 40+ years study as well as an extensive background in dance, theater, vocal performance, choreography, acting and instruction to Dance Fusion NW.

Carla trained in the Vancouver/Portland area, New York and LA doing study & workshops with instructors including: Ann Reinking, JoJo Smith, Frank Hatchett, Luigi, Andre Paradis and Ray Hesselink. She worked as a dancer/vocalist for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and spent years performing in numerous Musical Theater productions with roles including: Ulla in ‘The Producers’; Celeste Romano in Portland’s long-running production of ‘Tony & Tina’s Wedding’; Diana, Sheila and dream-role Cassie in several productions of ‘A Chorus Line’; Sister Mary Amnesia in ‘Nunsense’, Rizzo in ‘Grease’, Sonia in ‘They’re Playin Our Song’, Nancy in ‘Oliver’ and Laurie in ‘Oklahoma’. In Los Angeles she was honored to perform in Long Beach Civic Light Opera’s productions of ‘Cinderella’ and then ‘Follies’ alongside the legendary Juliet Prowse.

In more recent years as a singer/songwriter with her original band, Colorfield, she has shared stages with Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Animotion, Rob Hotchkiss (Train), Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) & Gin Blossoms, to name a few. She recorded the song ‘This Time’ with Frankie Valli for the Eternity movie soundtrack and spent years with several show bands including Portland favorite ‘5 Guys Named Moe’. Theatrical choreography credits include: The Producers, Anything Goes, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Guys & Dolls in addition to choreographing for numerous showcases & studio performances.Acting & commercial work includes: Oregon Forestry Service, On Point, Bissell, Intel, Sunbeam, Con Air, Oster, WebMD, Parr Lumber, AT&T, Xerox & Nike.

Carla is honored to own Dance Fusion NW and work with such world-class instructors and wonderful dance families.

 

TONY-P-thumbTony Palomino

Tap

Tony’s extensive professional dance/theatre background includes the Broadway Cast and National Tour of 42nd Street, Carnegie Hall, NY City Opera, NY Theatre Ballet, Cruise Lines, Do Jump and numerous productions across the country. Plus…he’s a ton of fun!

 

 

MichelleRachel Narhi

Ballet

Rachel Närhi holds a B.F.A. in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. She has taught at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, Western Washington University, and The Firehouse Performing Arts Center. Additionally, she is a Teaching Artist and Mentor to public school students and their teachers through Young Audiences and the ARTS Impact program. Her works have been commissioned by The Seattle Opera, The Burning Man Festival, The Seattle Solstice Fire Festival, and performed throughout Western North America. She has performed with Cornish Dance Theater, Pacific Dance Company (Bellingham, WA), and with choreographers David Dorfman (NYC) and Gerard Theoret (Cirque de Soleil).

 

Ikolo GriffinIkolo Griffin

Ballet

Ikolo Griffin was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He received his first ballet training as a scholarship student with San Francisco Ballet School’s outreach program. He is the first and only outreach student to graduate the school and continue into the San Francisco Ballet company. After seven years with SFB, Ikolo joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as a soloist and was later promoted to principal. He danced principal roles for two seasons at the Joffrey Ballet before returning home to San Francisco as a member of Smuin Ballet. Currently, Ikolo works as a resident corps dancer for the San Francisco Opera and freelances for Oakland Ballet, as well as companies and schools around the world.

Ikolo has danced leading roles in Fancy Free, Agon, Stars and Stripes, Prodigal Son, and St. Louis Woman and has created many world premieres with choreographers such as Val Caniparoil, James Kudelka, Stanton Welch, Christopher Wheeldon, and Mark Morris. Mr. Griffin has also danced in works choreographed by Helgi Tomasson, Lew Christensen, Paul Taylor, Lar Lubovitch, Anges deMille, Arthur Mitchell, Lila York, and Antony Tudor.

Throughout his career as a dancer, Ikolo always made time to participate in outreach programs. One of his missions in outreach is to generate awareness for people of mixed heritage like himself. He and his business partner Nathalie-Andree Muzac created Living Bridges, a mixed heritage awareness organization built on promoting diversity and understanding through lectures, classes, and performances.

As a seasoned artist, Ikolo is now transitioning into his role as teacher, coach, and mentor. His philosophy emphasizes a positive, healthy artistic environment and a fresh approach to classicism. Ikolo’s unique teaching style and talents as a dancer led him to create the Just Turns Workshop, a curriculum specially designed to target and improve turning technique. The workshop can be tailored to dancers of all levels and styles, from individuals to schools, summer programs, and professional settings.

KatherineKatherine Kyte

Jazz/Tap/Lyrical/Sing Dance Act

Katherine has had extensive training in Ballet, Tap and Jazz and has been a featured performer and/or choreographer at DanceFusion, VDT, ABA and NWCB. You may also find her onstage in local college and theatre productions!

 

 

Dar_thumbDar Vejon Jones

Modern/Tap/Jazz

Dar Vejon Jones was born and raised in Southern California.  He was enrolled in his first tap dance class at 8 years old to combat the health issues of his early childhood.  He was privileged to study under renowned artists Paul and Arlene Kennedy of Universal Dance Designs and was asked to join their pre-professional company. During his high school years he performed for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Rowell Foster Children’s Positive Plan, numerous LA Tap Fesitvals, The Nate Holden Theater and The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion [televised].

Dar Vejon holds a Bachelors of Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography with a Minor Degree in Japanese Language from San Francisco State University. He received numerous scholarships allowing him to study at Alonzo King LINES Ballet in Contemporary Ballet, Horton Technique and Contemporary Dance. Through the National Endowment of the Arts he performed works by Brenda Way, KT Nelson, Mark Foehringer and Kimi Okada. He has also studied with and performed works by Ray Tadio of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Wendy Diamond and Kat Worthington, to name a few.

In 2011 Dar Vejon founded his company Sharp & Flat, an experimental Contemporary Jazz dance company in San Francisco performing at the Black Choreographers’ Fesitval and PUSH Benefit Concert. His masterwork “Atonal Aves” was commissioned by San Francisco State University to be set on the University Dance Theatre; the first time in the history of the university a student was hired as a Commissioned Guest Artist. Concurrently he was commissioned by the Theatre department to choreograph Spring Awakening.

Dar Vejon looks forward to his new life here in the Portland metropolitan area with his wife and is a firm believer that dance is a language; and like every language, clear communication is key.

Kai-Tonio-Hip-HopKai Tonio

Hip Hop/Boys Hip Hop/Boys Tap Basics

Kai’s core training is in Hip Hop, but he has trained in many dance forms including: Tap, Contemporary, Ballet, Salsa, Merengue, Cha Cha, Argentine Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Swing and Rumba. He is constantly looking to expand his knowledge and love of dance in all areas and it is evident in his positive attitude, encouraging nature and huge heart for teaching.

 

Andre Baker

Hip Hop

details coming soon…!

 

Alicia CutaiaAlicia Cutaia

Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary

Alicia Cutaia earned her BFA with honors from Point Park University with a double major in Classical Ballet and Jazz. Her previous training included scholarships at Hubbard Street Dance, North Carolina Dance Theater and River North Dance Company.

She has worked with and performed pieces by many renowned choreographers, including Lauren Edson, Jamey Hampton, Ron De Jesus, Gina Patterson, Lar Lubovitch, Louis Falco, Michael Foley, Keisha Lalama-White, Joel Hall, Lou Conte, Daniel Gwirtzman, Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Daniel Ezralow, Choo-San Goh, Alan Hineline, Harrison McEldowney, Kevin O’Day, Frances Patrelle, David Storey, Margo Sappington, Christian Holder and Bianca Sapetto.

Ms. Cutaia previously worked as Rehearsal Director, Costume Manager and Dancer with Eisenhower Dance, Dancer with Hubbard Street Dance and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. She also enjoys teaching and setting choreography nationally. Her choreography has been showcased at many choreographic festivals such as the Jazz Dance World Congress “Leo’s Choreography Competitive Event”, the “Maggie Allesee New Choreography Award”, “Michigan Youth Arts Festival”, “Dance Chicago”, Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival, Kaleidoscope Dance Festival, Midwest Rad Festival and the “NSAL Mid-Michigan Chapter.” Her work “Impact” was recently set on Eisenhower Dance and her choreography for competition studios has won many National awards.

Some of Ms. Cutaia’s teaching credits include the Lou Conte Dance Studio, Oakland University, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theater of Harlem and the Eisenhower Center for Dance and a number of her students have been accepted on scholarship to many prestigious summer and college dance programs. Ms. Cutaia has recently relocated to Portland and is currently in her first season dancing with Bodyvox.

Randy DavisRandy Davis

Tap, Musical Theater Jazz

Texas born, Randy Andre’ Davis was raised in Germany and then Portland, Oregon.  It was in Portland, Oregon that Randy began his dancing ‘career’ when he joined an experimental magnet program within the public school system.  “Dancin’ Davis” hasn’t stopped!

Randy has been seen in numerous Broadway shows and National tours throughout his career.  One of his favorites was the colorful Broadway revival of “Guys & Dolls” with Peter Gallagher, Faith Prince, and Nathan Lane where he featured in the Crapshooter Ballet.  In “Cats,” Randy performed the challenging and beloved role of Mistoffelles;  Noodler the Pirate in Cathy Rigby’s “Peter Pan.”  Essential as Dance Captain, Randy assisted in the Broadway production of “All Shook Up.”   When theater history was made by the opening of “Harlem Song” at the famed Apollo Theatre, Randy Davis’ name was among the select actors chosen to appear.

In addition to his skills as a dancer, singer and actor, Randy is known for his choreography work.  He assisted in the restaging of the National Tour of “All Shook Up” and became the Children’s Director and Stager for the National Tour of “Whistle Down the Wind.”  In Japan, Randy choreographed the “Japanese Musical Review” for one of Tokyo’s theaters.   Across the country, Randy’s choreography has been in demand by numerous upscale dance studios for the restaging of “Guys & Dolls,”  “All Shook Up,” as well as numerous other musicals.

On his first visit to the White House, Randy performed a tap solo at the request of the White House after having seen Randy’s performance in “Hot Mikado.”  The second visit was a part of Black History Month celebrations.  Randy and the cast of “Harlem Song” were invited to visit and perform in honor of the history of both the show’s content and the Apollo Theatre.

BrittanyBrittany Walsh

Acro (Tumbling)

Brittany Walsh competed nationally and internationally in the sport of gymnastics for 12 years. During that time she helped to choreograph floor exercise routines for high school and national level gymnasts and design leotards for Snowflake Designs. After gymnastics, Brittany was not ready to be done moving and jumping around! Between 2005 and 2012, she performed and toured with Do Jump! Physical Theatre Company. Now, Brittany has run away with the circus and performs her solo hand balancing and contortion act for audiences across the globe—but she always makes sure to stay close enough to her Portland home to continue inspiring and encouraging young dancers as they develop their tumbling and acrobatic skills! See Brittany’s amazing work at http://youtu.be/Kr-Xc6nVSK8

 

WillWill Johnson

After graduating from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, William received his BFA in Theater Education from Western Washington University. Previous favorite roles include Puck in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Dream Curly in ‘Oklahoma’ and Jack Sprat in the national tour of ‘Jack Sprat Low-Fat World Tour’. William is inspired by both theater featuring children and theater for children and aspires to make his living as a teacher and mentor.

 

Robyn-Dalke-thumbRobyn Dalke

Contemporary/Ballet

Robyn has a heart for dance, especially ballet and contemporary.  Starting in ballet at the age of 3, Robyn branched out into other styles of dance such as: jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and contemporary.  She has both performed in, and choreographed for, numerous recitals, competitions, and productions.  At Western Oregon University, where she minored in dance, Robyn found a passion for movement exploration and teaching.   She has taught for several years now and enjoys introducing a fresh perspective of dance to her students.

 

 

Office Staff

Jodi Swanson, Office Manager

details coming soon…!

 

Sue Williams, Costumer

details coming soon…!

 

Guest Choreographers and Instructors

DFNW guest choreographers and instructors include: Maria Tucker, Ching Ching Wong, Jamal Story, Kemba Shannon, Aaron Wheeler-Kay, Lauren Edson, Bosco and Mary Hunt.