Faculty

Sandra Mitchell
Owner & Creative Director

Sandra Mitchell is an Atlanta native who has been active in the dance community for many years. She started young with baton and then moved to ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, gymnastics and acrobatics, She has loved performing and taking her students to perform at various festivals community events, charity benefits, and dance competitions.

 

As a professional, Sandra has enjoyed performing in, choreographing for, and assisting with many trade shows, live industrials, theater productions, benefits, church productions, and more. She began teaching full time at a local dance studio where she danced most of her youth. From 1991-1994 she was the owner and artistic director of North Atlanta Dance Centre in Alpharetta, GA. She then merged with Tolbert-Yilmaz School of Dance, where she taught from 1994-1999.

 

Sandra was fortunate to be involved in the 1996 Centennial Olympics. She was involved in the audition process and hired to be a first assistant choreographer in the production of each section of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. She was fortunate to work with Judy Chabola, Doug Jack, Ana Domingo, Kenny Ortega, Michelle Berube, as well as Lyn Heward and Boris from Cirque du Soliel. She also was chosen to perform in several sections and was one of eight, in a cast of thousands, to portray the Goddess of Victory – in the Traditions of the Games shadow piece.

 

In 2004, her family was relocated to Charlotte, NC where she directed the dance ministry at Church at Charlotte from 2005-2009. Because of her daughter’s interest, Sandra got involved teaching recreational gymnastics classes and ballet to the competitive gymnastics team at International Sports Center. In 2006, she was hired to be the assistant director of Charlotte Allstar Cheerleading.

 

In 2011 her oldest daughter got married, her middle daughter moved to Hawaii to attend HPU with a cheerleading scholarship, and her youngest daughter’s interest let them back to Sandra’s love - dance. Sandra taught at Miller Street Dance Academy for 2 years before relocating to Corona, CA.

 

Upon arriving in Corona Sandra had a difficult time finding a program that she wanted for her daughter which led to the development of Performing Arts Empire.

 

Sandra is blessed to have former students performing at Disney, on TV and film, on Broadway, American Ballet Theater, and running successful studios of their own. She brings a wide variety of experience to her endeavors and is excited to be pursuing her passion in Southern California

Ariel Shedd
Owner & Managing Director

Having spent most of her youth in the world of dance studios and her high school heavily involved with coaching competitive cheerleading and gymnastics, Ariel Shedd has a plethora of experience to bring to the table as management and additional teaching staff. Through supporting herself through college as a nanny in both Georgia and California, she has acquired a solid perspective on what parents want for their children that she hopes will ensure the success of parent-teacher relations. Her knack for detail and organization will serve to create a functional and fun environment for working and learning.

Natalie Bou
Company Director, Instructor- Ballet, Tap,Jazz, Contemporary,

 Natalie found her love for dance at a very young age and teaching soon became her biggest passion. She graduate from OCHSA in 2001 and was a part of the Commercial Dance Department. She has taught and performed throughout Orange County & L.A for over 11 years. Working with many different dance studios and High School Dance Teams. Natalie has danced for Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios and was a featured dancer on Nickelodeons “Unfabulous”. She has also received her Yoga certification and teaches private and group Yoga sessions. Natalie is thrilled to be a part of the Performing Arts Empire family and can not wait to share her love for dance with her students. 

Analiese Alfonsi
Instructor- Acrobatics

 Analiese Alfonsi was born and raised in Southern California where she met and married her high school sweetheart. She now has 2 daughters. Analiese was trained in cheerleading beginning in 2nd grade, and was on the cheer team at Corona High School. She earned a B.S. degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Pedagogy from Cal State San Bernardino. Throughout her college career and beyond, she coached competitive gymnastics as well as recreational classes of all ages where she was able to apply my cheerleading experience, education and love for youth! She is thrilled to be joining the Performing Arts Empire family, and share her extensive gymnastics knowledge with dancers of all ages and levels!

Sanlyn Carter
Instructor- Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical

Sanlyn Carter has been dancing most of her life, and is happy to be a member of the Performing Arts Empire team. She has studied dance at Victor Valley College, and is currently attending Riverside City College. Besides dancing, she loves singing, theater, and worshiping Jesus on her church's worship team. She has choreographed many productions in the inland empire, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; It's a Wonderful Life; Alice in Wonderland; Pride and Prejudice; and the Christmas production for Teen Challenge - Beyond the Night. Sanlyn has worked professionally as a singer/dancer at Legoland,CA, playing LegoFriend Andrea for three seasons, and played a Dynamite in Performance Riverside's production of Hairspray. Sanlyn is an accomplished singer, winning first place at Candlelight's Got Talent, SOCAL Icon, and CSUSB's Solofest. She has been teaching dance for four years,  and enjoys watching her students grow and perform.

Dani Dexter
Instructor- Acro, Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, 

Dani is a competitively trained dancer and gymnast with a focus on contemporary, acro- tumbling, ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. She received her most predominant training from Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance and Kips Gymnastics, and has continued her dance education through master instructors and conventions. She had the honor of dancing for the Professional Arena Football League as an LA KISS Girl and spent her second year on the team as Dance Captain. During her time spent on the team she had the privilege of working with top industry choreographers and performing with KISS. Dani was featured on the 2015 ESPY Awards Show at the Microsoft Theater and has also performed numerous times at the Staples Center 

with the LA Sparks WNBA. Dani performed for the LA Sparks Home Opener production and danced back-up for recording artist, Antonique Smith. Additionally, Dani was part of the NBA Legends Dance Team that toured China, representing the USA overseas at celebrity basketball games and media appearances. Dani continues performing regularly at the Disneyland Resort in Pixar Play Parade, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, and numerous special events. Her past Disneyland experience includes Dj's Dance & Drive, Phineas & Ferb Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party, California Adventure’s Rockin’ New Year Party, and a Car’s Land commercial filming. She has also danced for Knotts Berry Farm Entertainment for four years and performed in several shows including, Calico Can Can Show, Peanuts Party in the Park, Snoopy's Merriest Tree Lighting, and It's the Merriest Christmas Show Ever Charlie Brown, where she was cast as a dancer/acrobat. She held the title of Dance Program Director at Centennial High School for two years and helped lead the team to placing top 5 on a national level, as well as having the dance team televised on Fox Sports. She has experience teaching ages 2-adult throughout studios and schools in the Riverside County and Orange County area, in addition to guest teaching classes and summer intensives. Dani feels passionately about sharing her knowledge and love for dance to all ages and aspires to make each of her students feel limitless in their potential and nurture their talents.

Tiffanie Levin
Instructor- Musical Theatre

Tiffanie Levin is a California native who grew up in Orange County and surrounding areas.She has over 25 years of experience teaching voice, music theory, choreographing, and performing professionally. After high school she attended Mt. San Antonio College where she began her studies in music. While in college she studied voice under the direction of Janice McVeigh (Classical voice), Maude Moore (Classical Voice), and Andrea Baker Wilkerson (Classical, Jazz, Musical Theater). She also recorded a jazz cd with the Mt. SAC jazz, was dance captain for the Mt. SAC Singers, and was the music department lead soprano. During her college years she performed in countless musical theater productions as well as charity events. In the years following college, Tiffanie worked for several high schools choreographing for show choirs, teaching private voice lessons, doing voice-over work for animated cartoon, performing in community theater, and doing background work for music videos. She was also the chairperson for the National Federation of Music (Corona Chapter) for several years. She continues to perform locally and thoroughly enjoys teaching young people to sing and perform as they build confidence in their skill as well as themselves.

Bethany Sahagun
Instructor- Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical

 Bethany Sahagun is from Norco, CA. Bethany excelled in Volleyball and Basketball from age 9, and started dance training at Performing Arts Empire. Bethany plays various instruments including piano, guitar and ukulele. She currently attends Riverside City College and is studying Hip-Hop and Modern styles. Her passion and love for dance grows every day, and she truly enjoys inspiring young children through the art of dance. 

Carrie Sappenfield

Instructor- Technique, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical

Carrie’s love for dance began as a young child.  Although jazz is her favorite style of dance, she also has extensive training in ballet, tap, and lyrical.  She credits her training to Julie Rhoton, Keri LeGrand, and Ray Leeper while training at Inspirations Performing Arts Center and The Edge.  Her love for teaching dance began at Temecula Dance Company in 1998 where she taught competition teams, local high school dance teams, and all levels of jazz for nearly 20 years. Her choreography and teams have been recognized throughout the years through choreography awards and top honors in the Top 10 and National Dance-Offs.  Her students can be seen in national commercials, Just Dance video games, musicals such as Billy Elliot, and as backup dancers for many current, successful artists. While receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Child Adolescent Studies, Carrie also competed on Cal State University Fullerton’s national award-winning dance team and was awarded dance team member of the year. She currently teaches third grade is a wife and mom to two kids named Andrew and Lilly.

Nicole Petsche

Instructor- Jazz, Ballet, Tap

Nicole has always done dancing ever since she was a little girl! She always loved to entertain her family at every Christmas and Thanksgiving. She has danced since she was 7 years old. She has danced at two studios her whole life one was Prima Dance and the other one was Cutting Edge Dance Center. She has done competitive hip hop, jazz, lyrical and contemporary. She was on Centennial High School dance team for 3 years and their song team for one year. She was the co-captain for three years and the captain for her senior year. Her passion is dance and teaching her skills to others. Coming to the studio and seeing her kiddos and co-workers makes her day so much better. She loves to share positivity through dance and help others better themselves.

Ansley Mitchell

Ansley was born in Atlanta, GA but a few years later moved to Charlotte, NC. She spent most of her childhood there doing competitive cheerleading and gymnastics. She started doing competitive dance when she was 12 years old and trained around 20 hours every week for two years straight! When she was 14 she moved to Corona, CA and her mother and older sister, Sandra Mitchell and Ariel Shedd opened this studio. She danced here in the troupe until she graduated. She also did multiple musicals throughout high school as well as trained her acrobatics at cirque school LA and her teacher is the choreographer for all of the Cirque du Soleil shows!