Tap 1 (Ages 6-8)

This class is taught by:

Gina Quintana

Gina comes to us with over twenty five years of teaching experience. A graduate of University of California, Irvine with a degree in dance, Gina has taught ballet, jazz, tap, modern, creative movement, and cotillion in studios and schools throughout central and Southern California. When she isn't in the studio she can be found at elementary schools with The Wooden Floor, and in hospitals teaching dance for Parkinson's disease, and Discovery Arts, bringing the arts to hospitalized children. She also teaches at UCP in their recreation department, and spends her evenings performing at Disneyland. Gina is grateful for her many opportunities to share the joy of dance!

Amber Skipps

Amber made her performance debut as the title role of "The Pancake Girl" in the 2nd Grade and hasn't looked back since! Besides doing musical theater, Amber danced competitively for 4 years and has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, modern, Irish and Polynesian and when she was 15, began assistant teaching at Bailey's Young World in Huntington Beach. She has choreographed many musicals including ANYTHING GOES and CRAZY FOR YOU at Marina High School, ANNIE and HONK! and FORUM at The Attic and BYE BYE BIRDIE at TheAtree Productions. Amber has been an intricate part of South Coast Performing Arts since 1999, specializing in both musical theater and dance. She has taught many competitive pieces since beginning her career at South Coast, teaching styles such as tap, musical theater and jazz. She also spent 5 years as Choreographer and Assistant Director of the South Coast Theater Company before becoming its Director in 2004, with productions such as "The Wizard of Oz", "Cinderella" and "Into the Woods". After an 8 year hiatus, Amber is proud to have been part of the team bringing theater back to South Coast, directing and choreographing this season's "Disney's Alice in Wonderland Jr"in 2014.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Amber continues to perform herself. Recent credits include: "Rosie Alvarez" in BYE BYE BIRDIE (Candlelight), "Serena" in LEGALLY BLONDE (Per Riverside), "Cassie" in A CHORUS LINE (Center Stage), "Demeter" in CATS (The Norris), "Miss Hannigan" in ANNIE and "The Witch" in INTO THE WOODS at The Attic, and "Dancer/Ensemble" in many amazing productions including SOUTH PACIFIC (MTW), FUNNY GIRL (3DT), andMY FAIR LADY (Moonlight).  Amber holds a dual degree in Family Life Education and Child Development and a minor in Anthropology from California State University, Long Beach and works full time at Edward Jones Investments. Amber loves teaching and hopes to instill and nurture a love and appreciation for Performance Arts in all of her students, as her teachers did for her.

Valerie Barrow

Valerie has been dancing since she could walk. She has had 20+ years of training in Tap, Jazz and Classical Ballet through the Westminster performing arts center, Bethel Ballet Academy and The Metropolitan ballet Company. She has also had 10+ years of training in Hula and Polynesian through her Halau, Hula O Napualani. Her performances include: Luaus, Recitals, O.C. Fair shows, Special Events, and The Nutcracker Ballet. Valerie has been teaching dance for ten years. She became an assistant teacher at age 12 and has been teaching + choreographing her own classes since she was only 14. She is currently sharing her passion and love for dance through performing in shows, teaching ballet and hula at birthday parties, and teaching + choreographing at South Coast Performing Arts.

Talia Serra

Talia Serra: Company Director
Dancing since the age of three, Talia has trained throughout the Southland with such notable instructors as Monie Andomson, Desiree Robbins and our very own Julie Rhoton. Having a wide experience in various dance styles as a performer and instructor has benefited Talia in being an important part of the University of Fullerton’s dance team, being a National Championship team while she was in attendance. Talia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the California State University, Fullerton and was inspired to have worked with Mike Esperanza, a notable choreographer. As Company Director of SCPA there is much excitement for developing a venue for dancers to be extraordinary. Talia’s enthusiasm for dance is fueled by both her student’s endless energy and willingness to step out of their comfort zone and by her sister, Stacey, with whom much gratitude is bestow upon for being a light to be guided by.

Jacquelyn Sutkowi

At the age of 10, Jacquelyn began her professional dance career at Disneyland and this opened the doors for years of performing for the Disney Company. She grew up singing and dancing with theater companies, training and performing at Jimmie Defore Dance Center and Orange County School of the Arts, as well as competing with her high school dance team.

Jacquelyn received her BFA from Chapman University in Dance Performance with a Minor in Communication Studies. Extensively trained as a contemporary jazz dancer and choreographer, she danced at the Jazz Dance World Congress, American College Dance Festival, Long Beach Grand Prix, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Sean Greene Dance Company and The Carnival. In addition to live stage, Jacquelyn worked on television shows and promos on MTV, SiTV and many music videos.

Jacquelyn then experienced the dance industry from a Dance Agent’s point of view. Beginning as an internship based purely on curiosity, she ended up discovering that being a Dance Agent at DDO Artists Agency was the next stop on the map of her career. With years of experience and education in dance, it was a perfect outlet to share her knowledge and to guide young talent to living out their dreams of dancing professionally. She helped launch the careers of countless dancers, choreographers, models, singers, actors and stunt performers from across the country. Her former talent can be seen on TV, Feature Films, Commercials Artist Tours and Music Videos including Music Videos including the High School Musical Films, GLEE, The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, The Muppets Movie, Campaigns for GAP, Old Navy, Sears, SYTYCD, DWTS, Wicked on Broadway, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, just to name a few!

After years of working as a Talent Agent, Jacquelyn made the transition back to Orange County to further her career as a teacher in dance studios, high schools and universities, to train and inspire young dancers. She hopes to educate dancers about the realities of college or career and lead dancers in the right direction after high school. She teaches all ages, recreational to professional level, in the styles of jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, musical theater, creative movement/preschool dance and audition techniques.  Jacquelyn remains well connected in all aspects of dance internationally; as she can still be seen on tour with dance conventions, guest teaching, choreographing award winning competition numbers, judging and lecturing on the commercial dance industry. She is a Manager for Hollywood Connection Dance Convention and Competition, as well as a Representative for DIVINA Dancewear. If you haven't met Jacquelyn already, you are sure to cross paths with her soon!

Sierra Tanji

Sierra is one of our own and began dancing at South Coast Performing Arts at the sweet age of 6! Sierra was a stand out student who is, even now, devoted to her craft. If you had the pleasure of watching Sierra perform, then you know how excited we are to have her join our SCPA family. Sierra was accepted to AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy) and after graduating high school, Sierra began her first year at AMDA, which is a college conservatory for the performing arts in Los Angeles. While at AMDA, Sierra soon discovered that she was not a complete fit with this College and her passionate, spirited heart pulled her toward being a dance educator.
Sierra discovered she loves being with kids and especially teaching dance to kids and young adults. Rather than waste time, Sierra shifted gears immediately and jumped into the world of Dance Education. Being that Sierra is an inspiring and motivated person, we are thrilled that she has also accepted the position of Co-Director of our Performing Group Program here at SCPA. In addition to joining SCPA's faculty, Sierra will be pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, so that she can expand her range of expertise in physiological, mechanical and psychological mechanisms as related to movement. Helping others is what she loves to do and helping dancers with injuries and technique is a big part of that. Sierra is passionate, loving, fun, patient, and super excited for her future with SCPA!