Meet the Crew...

Brenda

DanceMode Founder & Owner, Lead Trainer

Certifications: Franklin Method

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“Why so serious?” That’s what people always ask when they first observe me. I think I was born with that look on my face. My aunt said I was so serious as a child it was intimidating. Don’t let my look of concentration mislead you.

Really I am a laid back, easy going, pretty geeky girl. It’s the geeky part that tends to put me in a focused, driven sort of state. I can be intense. I don’t do things a little bit. I go for it, and with passion. Like the meaning of my name “enthusiastic, fire brand”.

I am in many ways introverted, like most technicians. I can be particular, but am not as obsessive as I often get accused of. I love my work and my students. I give as much as I can and sometimes more to teaching. I really love studying movement and watching the transformation that occurs when someone shifts the way they stand, breathe, move.

I also love kids, being around them relaxes me. I love hiking, swimming, lying in the sun, drinking tea, reading books, gardening, cooking. All the typical life stuff. I even love cleaning.

I am also a nutrition nerd, and crazy irrational shopper. I love shopping, I love stores. I like grocery shopping, clothes shopping, any kind of shopping really. Antique, thrift, and garage sale shopping are the best.  

Candace

Movement Instructor

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Candace grew up under the spell of the cheerful old black-and-white movie musicals of the 1930s and 40s, and has always considered herself a throwback to that era. While her friends were listening to the BeeGees, she was wearing out Billie Holiday records. The culture finally came to its senses, and when the swing revolution hit, Candace was ready for it. She has been active in the dance community ever since as an organizer, instructor and social dancer. She performs with the Rose City Sweets and the Silver Slipper Sisters, and is also their resident milliner!

Sensibly realizing that healthy movement is beautiful movement, Candace also practices and teaches various movement modalities; she has been a student of the Franklin Method, Nutritious Movement, Dahn Yoga, African dance, and other widely varied traditions. She is a certified Hoop Love hoopdancing coach and is currently studying MogaDao Qigong.

Julia

Movement Instructor

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Julia Box spent her childhood studying ballet and modern dance. At 22 she discovered Lindy hop, and fell in love. Soon after she discovered blues and a love for solo jazz dance. She loves all kinds of dance, both partner and solo.

Dante

Assistant / Musican

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 Dante Zapata is a well known performing artist in his home town of McMinnville, OR. He has been a performing musician for more than seven years. Playing acoustic guitar and singing is one of Dante’s specialties and he has preformed at many wine bars, private parties, and down town events. Along with playing guitar and singing, he has also mastered drums and percussion is several different styles including rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop, Latin, and funk. Not only is creating music one of Dante’s passions, but he also is an experienced dancer in many different styles. Creativity and tastefulness are with no doubt Dante’s main focus with music and dancing.

Joseph

Lead Assistant

Certifications: Franklin Method

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Joseph is a dancer best known for his hair movement. His passion for dancing drives him to seek a deep understanding of the harmony between music and movement. This search has lead him to study numerous movement styles including Swing, Blues, Jazz, Ballet, Yoga, Gyrotonics, and Guinea West African with Naby Bangoura. Currently he is studying, assisting and teaching The Maven and TheMan method with Barry Douglas and Brenda Russell and the Franklin Method with Morten Dithmer and Tom McCook. His first and favorite dance is the Macarena, and his favorite Pokémon is the Snorlax.

Catherine

Lead Trainer, African Dance

Certifications: Professional Dance Study & Performance

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Catherine was born and raised in Paris. Her first taste and experience with dance was in her household where she saw her parents from Guadeloupe, West Indies, dance Zouk, Compas, Biguine, and Gwo Ka.  She also had the chance to live in Guadeloupe for a year, in which she deeply experienced and understood the partner dances of the Caribbean.  After a year in Guadeloupe, Catherine developed a keen and curious eye for movements.  While in nursing school, she studied West African dance in Paris.

She studied under Norma Claire, whom Catherine calls her mentor, and whose pedagogy enabled her to explore every part of her body in order to combine physical sensations and observations.  With this powerful tool, Catherine continued her training in African dance with Elsa Wolliaston, Hawa Kouyaté, Koffi Koko, Moustapha Bangouroura, Mouminatou Camara, and traveled to Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Guinée to polish her art.  Catherine also spent five years at a professional dance school in Paris where she studied Modern, Jazz, contemporary, and anatomy.