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FACULTY

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Katy Bugenhagen

Director

Katy Bugenhagen, originally from Buffalo, NY, has been teaching dance for  eighteen years.  She grew up dancing at The Future Dance Center’s Next Generation Dance Company, where she learned tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary and hip hop.  Since the age of eight, Katy has competed in many dance competitions both locally and nationwide.  Besides competing, she has also had a chance to perform in various events including Walt Disney World Orlando, Six Flags Darien Lake, and the annual Halloween “Thriller” performance in Hamburg, NY.  ​In 2009, Katy graduated from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a concentration in Sports Management.   Besides teaching at dance studios, Katy also teaches at a preschool and has her required early childhood education requirements for California State. ​ Katy moved to Los Angeles eleven years ago and has been teaching with Dance Street West for  ten of those years.  She took over the studio in August 2021 when the original owner retired.  She loves helping students grow as dancers and will help them as much as she can to achieve their goals.   She teaches both Company dancers and  recreational dancers at the studio in various styles of dance.  

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Melissa Rash Verlingo

Dance Instructor

Melissa is currently attending CSUF and working towards a double major in dance. She has trained in many studios throughout Southern California and Hollywood. She started her dance career in a Ballet studio and then moved on to competitive dance. She competed in Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, and Tap. She scored 1st with her dance teams as well as high scores in her solos and trios. During high school she participated in MVHS Dance Team and Dance Production. During her college years she was able to perform with a touring assemble in Southern California. Melissa has a strong passion for teaching all genres of dance. She began teaching at age 16. She teaches all levels from dance beginnings to adult.  Her award-winning choreography is  innovative, current, exciting and creative. Melissa has been with Dance Street West for over 10 years and has choreographed numerous award winning numbers.

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Ashley Yaxley

Dance Instructor

Ashley started off as a competitive gymnast then transitioned to a competitive dancer at a young age. She auditioned and was one of twenty-five accepted out of hundreds of applicants to be part of the dance program at Los Angeles County High School of the Arts. While taking classes at The Edge and Millennium, she also worked with many award winning choreographers  dancing half time shows for the WNBA and was a part of different clubs for hip hop, contemporary and jazz. She likes to teach convention style hip hop, and help grow dancers confidence and originality. Ashley’s also earned special awards for choreography and helped soloists achieve Platnium and 1st overall. She excels in creativity and is driven to teach new skills and instill hard work. Ashley teaches both Company and recreational dancers at the studio in hiphop, jazz, ballet and acro.

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Taryn May

Dance Instructor

Taryn began dancing at The Future Dance Center in Buffalo, NY at the age of three. Training under Gino and Denise Vacarro, Taryn became well versed in all styles and developed a strong desire for intense training and a genuine passion for performing. After completing high school, she moved to New York City upon being accepted into Broadway Dance Center’s prestigious Professional Semester. During this program, Taryn studied under New York’s greatest, most accomplished dancers and choreographers. She not only significantly improved her artistry, but learned the technical ins and outs of the dance industry. After her graduation from the program, she was contacted by several agencies in Los Angeles, where she then moved to continue her career as a professional dancer. Since moving to LA, Taryn signed with Go 2 Talent Agency, has danced for artists such as Meghan Trainor, Jowell y Randy, and has been featured of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But to date, Taryn’s proudest career moment was her Broadway debut, dancing in Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘The Illusionists: Magic of the Holidays’ Show. Most recently, Taryn has been training directly under the infamous Dana Foglia and José “Boy Boi” Tena, as she continues to prepare for the next defining moment in her dance career.

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Alyssa Hayne

Dance Instructor

Alyssa has been dancing for over 15 years and grew up dancing at Dance Street West. She has been trained in multiple styles, but her favorites are contemporary, tap, and musical theatre. She has earned a Bachelor's degree in theatre from Whittier College and was in college productions of Pippin and Two Gentlemen of Verona. She is currently pursuing a Master's in early childhood education and credentials to teach in special education. 

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Shannon Lancaster

Dance Instructor/Founder

Shannon has been dancing since she was 5, & opened Dance Street West in 1987. She has danced with the California Ballet Company and toured with a group called “The Entourage”- who combine Jazz with Pointe! She has also performed in many Company Ballets, her favorites being: Coppelia, Don Quixote, and Giselle. She studied voice and modeling as she put herself through San Diego State University with a major in education with a special emphasis on special education/early childhood development and a Minor in Dance. Because of her love for dance, children and teaching, her future was a given.

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JENNIFER YAXLEY

Studio Manager

Jennifer has been working at Dance Street West since 2012. Her daughter danced here and was on the competition team, and she fell in love with the family atmosphere. She also grew up dancing and was on her high school dance team and company. Jen is always available to help students and parents with questions or with anything they need. She also works for Glendora Unified School District for the past 15 years in special education. She currently works with children with autism at Sellers Elementary School.