meet youR judges & master class instructors!
Alice Henrichsen: Judge
Alice Henrichsen is from Houston, Texas and is in her 20th year of teaching dance and directing the Celebrities dance team at Baytown Lee HS. Alice danced at Blinn College for 2 years before finishing her degree at the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. She has over 20 years of adjudication and choreography experience throughout the state of Texas. One of her greatest professional accomplishments is being a part of the Lady Gaga Super Bowl halftime show in 2017 with her dancers as well as the pregame flag ceremony with Luke Bryan.
Bettina Fields: Judge
Bettina Fields has over 15 years of experience working with dance teams and coaches across the nation. She has served on many professional dance judging panels over the years as well as having completed extensive advanced judging courses and the USASF Dance All-Star Safety Certification. Most recently, she served as the head dance team coach of Eastern Kentucky University. Her teams have been recognized for immense dedication to the spirit program and university. Bettina continues to share her love of dance with others through consulting, cleaning routines, offering team technique, coaching, and judging.
Brandi Tucker: Judge & Master Instructor
Growing up Brandi trained at Art In Motion Dance Studio in Champaign, IL under the direction of Tricia and Chad Trimble. Since then, she went on to graduate from Louisiana State University where she was a member of the Nationally recognized LSU Tiger Girls Dance team. While in college, she was in both a Disney and a BET music video. Brandi currently travels choreographing and teaching dance teams nationwide. Her choreography has won numerous high score, choreography, and special awards as well as National titles. She also enjoys traveling to assist choreographers such as Dejan Tubic, Zack Venegas and Steve Ewing among others.
Carlos de Barros: Judge
Carlos de Barros received his BFA in Dance, from the University of Florida/New World School of the Arts performance program. He has also completed certifications in Zumba, Piyo, two children's yoga certifications and his 200 hour yoga teacher training with Haute Yoga. He has taught all levels of jazz, modern, yoga, dance conditioning, and contemporary at summer intensives and has taught master classes and adjudicated for competitions around the country. His love and passion for all aspects of the dance world has lead him to becoming a free-lance dance and yoga teacher, conditioning coach, choreographer, model, and adjudicator.
Carrie Nitchoff: Judge
Carrie Nitchoff has been part of the dance community for over 30 years. Her interest and expertise include jazz, ballet, tap, lyrical, hip hop, pom, and cheer. In addition to being a certified Colorado Spirit Coaches Association and Colorado High School Activities Association dance judge, she is a staff member for the United Spirit Association. She teaches science and coaches the dance team at a high school in Colorado as well as teaches and choreographs for dance studios in the Denver area. Her choreography and her students have been the recipients of many awards and titles. Carrie is truly honored to make a difference in the lives she touches and cannot wait to share her experience, insight, and love of dance.
Cathy Jenkins: Judge
Cathy Jenkins originates from Pittsburgh, PA and has been dancing since the age of three, studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Musical Theater. She has choreographed and coached Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, and Pom for over 20 years. She danced at the University of Pittsburgh, as well as being a member of the Dance Alloy Ensemble. After graduation, Cathy was given the opportunity to become the Dance teacher, Dance Troupe Coach and Artistic Director at Chartiers Valley High School. Cathy has won several choreography awards in Contemporary, Hip Hop and Musical Theater. Cathy believes that dance is an art form and a sport that allows each participant to express his/her feelings, artistic expression, athletic ability, and connect with their audience.
Courtney Scherer: Judge
Bio: Coming soon.
Deanna Tetner: Judge
Bio: Coming soon.
Donnette Castle: Judge
Donnette is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Chicago, IL. She is a co-producer of Carnival-Choreographer's Ball Chicago, part of the Carnival Choreographer's Ball started in LA. Working in both the concert & commercial world of dance, her highlights include performing for the Oprah/Black Eyed Peas Flash Mob performance, Vanity Fair, Taylor Dane, Kellogg’s, DIFFA, and Toby Keith. . Donnette is a former choreographer for Scotland's national dance team as well as the former Head Coach for the nationally ranked UIC dance team. Her choreography has been presented across the country, including the Industry Dance Awards in LA, Alabama Dance Summit, Ballet Tennessee, as well as many dance studios and teams.S Donnette teaches master classes across the country and abroad. She runs a non-profit dance program in the Chicago area & has been a guest faculty teacher at the Alabama Ballet summer intensive for the past 15 yrs. She holds a B.A. in dance and performance from Columbia College Chicago.
Ebony Johnson: Judge
Ebony received a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Arizona State University, currently holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and has 25+ years of experience in studio and competitive team dance. She studied tap, hip-hop, ballet, jazz, and modern from the Universal Dance Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago, IL, and Broadway Dance Center in New York, NY. Ebony was also a high school dance team coach in Illinois, studio dance instructor in Arizona, and assistant choreographer for dance teams to Toya Renee Ambrose and Brandee Evans. She continues to train and develop her foundation in dance at Ballet Arizona and as an aerialist. She is the Operations Manager for TRA Choreography, LLC, co-founder of CircleUp Leadership, and is a dance team judge for Dance Team Union, Varsity All-Star, +more competition brands. In the corporate world, Ebony is a strong leader with a demonstrated history of building highly effective teams within higher education for the past 16 years.
Jennifer Whitford: Judge
Jennifer grew up in the dance studio and has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham and was a member of the Golden Girls Dance Team there. She later went on to coach that team to several top ten finishes at the NDA College Dance Championships. She is a former Instructor & Choreographer and has traveled the world teaching and choreographing. Jennifer worked as a Biology teacher and Spirit Coordinator at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, AL for 11 years. There she coached the Cavalette Dance Team to 10 years of state championships and three appearances on ESPN as part of UDA's National Dance Team Championships. She has choreographed for junior high, high school, college, and professional teams, and she recently relocated to eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and son.
Jennifer Keller: Judge
Jennifer Keller is the Head Coach of the nationally ranked Diamond Gems Dance Team at Temple University, located in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to her time at Temple, Jennifer served as the long time Head Coach of both the Cheerleading and Dance Teams at The College of New Jersey and is also a former Assistant Coach and team captain of the University of Delaware Dance Team. Jennifer has judged for numerous dance and cheer organizations at the state, regional and national level for over 18 years.
Jennifer Hodge: Judge
Jennifer has spent the majority of her life either dancing or teaching dance. She began dancing at an early age and has had the opportunity to turn her passion for dance into her career. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance Education and Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science from Texas State University, where she was a member of the "Southwest Texas Strutters." Upon graduation, she began her dance team coaching and teaching career at the high school level and later moved on to the collegiate level at Texas A&M University for the "Aggie Dance Team." She has opened various dance studios in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. Jennifer now continues as a studio owner, consultant, and choreographer for studios, high schools, colleges and professional teams across the US.
Jennifer Shetland: Judge
Jen Shetland has been dancing since her first tap class back in Detroit Michigan at a very young age. Her passion developed into performing, choreographing, and ultimately coaching & directing at the high school level for 25 + years. She earned her MA in Dance from Cal State Long Beach and recently traded in her coaching “hat” to be a certified Yoga instructor She currently teaches Dance & Yoga and lives in Long Beach California.
Jenny Raiche: Judge
Bio: Coming soon.
Jessica Denham: Judge
Bio: Coming soon.
Joni May: Judge
Joni May is an Advertising Professional with a varied background in Dance Team Judging and Coaching. She is the current Co-Director of the National Dance Coaches Association Judging Credentials Program. Joni has authored and taught a judging course in England and Scotland for the British Cheerleading Association and consulted with competitive teams in the UK. She was a founder, former Executive Director, and Academy Director of TeamDance Illinois(TDI), a state competition/education circuit that served youth through collegiate teams. Joni has served as a dance team judge, official and trainer for 25+ years, judging for Dance Team Union, multiple state and competition circuits. She has coached, choreographed and consulted with a variety of teams that all share their own success stories. Joni lives in Scottsdale, AZ, is the mother of four sons, and feels privileged to be a part of DTU.
Jordan Pierluissi: Judge
Jordan coached the nationally ranked The Villages High School Golden Girls dance team from 2013-2020. Jordan went on to lead The Villages to 7 top 5 finishes in the High Kick Division as well as 6 finalist placements in the Varsity Pom Category at NDTC. In 2020, Jordan’s team was awarded the DTU All Star High Kick & All Star Pom National Titles. Jordan was a graduate of The University of Central Florida where she served as a member of the competitive dance team. Jordan has been teaching dance for 17 years and served as high school dance techniques teacher and program director for The Villages Charter Schools expansive program of over 600 students during her time there.
Julie Price: Judge
Bio: Coming soon.
Kalee Stapp: Judge
Kalee Stapp was born and raised in Orlando, FL while training in all styles of dance. She attended the University of Tennessee, where she won two Jazz National Championships in 2015 & 2016. While at Tennessee, Kalee was selected to travel to Dubai, UAE to be a performer at the 2015 Rugby 7s event. Kalee graduated from Tennessee with a degree in Advertising and went on to obtain her MBA from UCF in Orlando. She has coached at the high school and college level for several years. Kalee has been judging at the All-Star and school divisions for the past 6 seasons. Additionally, she has choreographed and consulted for high school and college teams across the country. She’s excited to see all the talent and dancers shine on the stage at this event!
Katie Marsh: Judge
Katie Marsh is an experienced dancer, choreographer, coach, and judge. This is her second season with Dance Team Union, and is an official for the Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota State Associations. As the Head Dance Coach at Midland University from 2017-2021, she led the team to one national championship, two conference championships, three regional championships and in 2019, Katie was named the NAIA Dance Coach of the Year. A native of Miami, Florida, Katie was a member of the nationally ranked Coral Reef Dance Team and won multiple titles through UDA and ADA. In her spare time, Katie volunteers for the National Dance Coaches Association as the interim Marketing Director and enjoys spending time at home in Sioux City with her husband, Scott and cavapoo, Ruffles.
LaTasha Hinex: Judge
Tasha Hinex has been the coach of the Oklahoma City University Dance Team for more than a decade. She loves to teach and develop students into the best versions of themselves. By using a mix traditional and creative procedures she is able to develop trustworthy and respectful athletes who are champions not only on the floor but in life.
Lindsay Starr Dye: Judge
Lindsay is a nationally awarded coach and choreographer with over 17 years of competitive dance experience. Lindsay has coached and choreographed for many championship teams, as well as judged on the National level for the past several years. She worked as Head Coach of Decatur High School Dance Team for the past 15 years, leading them to countless State and National titles throughout her time as coach. She was awarded Dance Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2013 from the Washington State Dance/Drill Coaches Association. Lindsay has recently been working under Tribe 99 as a choreographer and consultant. In addition to her work with TRIBE, she serves as President of the WSDDCA and is pursuing a Law degree. Lindsay continues to enjoy judging, and is excited to help young athletes reach their potential no matter what role she may be serving.
Monica Douglas: Judge
Monica is a professional dancer from Severn, MD. She started dancing at the age of six, where she trained and competed in many styles of dance. At age 16, Monica graduated high school a year early and was accepted to Penn State University. While at Penn State, Monica was on the Lionettes Dance Team. Soon after graduating, Monica moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue her dreams as a professional dancer. Since being in LA, Monica has been on television shows such as Girl Meets World, Liv and Maddie, Dancing With The Stars, The Grammy's, The Voice, and many more. She has been in many music videos and has shared the stage with such artist as Justin Bieber, Prince, Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Camila Cabello, Jason Derulo, Pit Bull, Becky G, Sabrina Carpenter, and so many more talented artist. Monica is currently still pursuing her career and hopes to teach the younger generation that truly anything is possible.
Emma Desiderio: Master Class Instructor
Emma is from the Chicagoland area and is currently a student and dancer at Grand Valley State University. As a member of the GVSU Laker Dance Team, she was a 2x National Champion and a team captain. Prior to college, she trained for 15 years in various styles including ballet, jazz, hip hop etc. and danced competitively for two competition teams. Alongside her personal dance experience, she also coaches a local high school varsity dance team.
Ramona Kitching: Judge
Ramona has over a 30-year history of involvement with dance team competition at many levels and genres of dance. She served as a member of her high school Winter Guard, high school Competitive Pom and two college Pom teams. Additionally, she was a founding member of the Augustana Dance Company before graduating with a minor in Dance. After college graduation, she coached spirit and dance teams in Illinois and California. Since 1997 she has been actively judging for the IDTA, IHSA, TEAMDance Illinois, Varsity Brands, IHSDTA, NMAA and Dance Team Union. She was in the inaugural class of judges to complete the National Dance Coach Association Judge Credentialing program and currently serves as a NDCA Judge Trainer. Ramona received her Masters in Medicine from The Chicago Medical School and currently works as a Physician Assistant in Phoenix, Arizona. When she isn’t working or judging, she is also a wife, a mother of 2 teenagers and a full-time dance mom herself!
Ryan Green: Master Class Instructor
Ryan Green is a professional dancer/choreographer based in Los Angeles. Ryan has been in numerous music videos for a variety of different artist including Carly Rae Jepson, Blake Shelton, Tracee Ellis Ross, SubUrban, Jackson Wang and more. He’s appeared in commercials and live shows. Being signed with Bloc, Ryan continues to teach around the country and explore his love for movement and experimental style.
Sammy Stephens: Judge
Sammy is a Hot Springs, Arkansas native. He moved to Arizona to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Dance at Arizona State University and graduated in May 2010. His undergraduate studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock consisted of theatre, dance, and health science. Theatrical credits include Hair, The Wiz, To Kill a Mockingbird, Spunk, and Revenge of a King. Sammy performed Jose Limon’s The Exiles at ASU and at the Congress on Research in Dance conference in NY. Sammy has danced and instructed hip-hop/urban dance for over 15 years. He also danced with The Tidwell Project, a modern dance company in Little Rock, AR and founded Floor Rockers, a hip-hop dance company at UALR. In addition to facilitating workshops and master classes in Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona, he taught and co-created Urban Movement Practices at Arizona State University. He also served as dance faculty at Mesa Community College and Chandler Community College. He has served on the judging panel for many regional and national competitions.
Sara Fugate: Judge
Sara Fugate is currently the Dance Director at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA where she is the coach of the nationally ranked Presentation Dance Team and director of Presentation Dance Company. She started dance at the age of 2 studying jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop in San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and New York City. She is a graduate from San Jose State University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Dance. She received her Masters in Education from National University and has a single subject teaching credential in Physical Education. Sara is a member of Dance Masters of America as well as National Dance Educators Organization. As a performer she was a member of “The Crew” a percussion movement ensemble that traveled and performed in San Diego County and at Seaworld in San Diego. She was also a featured dancer for three years at Great America in Santa Clara, California. She is an experienced judge with Dance Masters of California and USA Dance/Drill.
Shan Stavropoulos: Judge
Shan Stavropoulos’ career includes twelve years as the coach and choreographer for the nationally ranked Millard West Dance Team. Under her direction the team was crowned UDA National Champions in 2009 and was National Champion Runner-Up in 2011. The team also obtained 8 Nebraska State title awards. Individual awards for Shan Stavropoulos include: 16 Best Choreography Awards, as well as being a 3-time recipient of the Coaches Leadership Award (voted on by other Coaches) and being named Top 40 Under 40 for 2013. In addition, Shan is an instructor at Nebraska Dance teaching Dance Team Prep classes. She has choreographed for the University of Iowa, University of Nebraska Wesleyan, University of Nebraska-Omaha, and was the Director and Choreographer of the United Football League's, Omaha Nighthawks Cheerleaders and Dance Team.
Shannon Bonwell: Judge
Shannon Bonwell grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she was classically trained for 15 years under Aimee Langlas. Shannon earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Iowa, where she danced under Jenny Eustice on the Iowa Dance team from 2008 - 2012. As a senior captain, Shannon led her team in 2012 in their best Nationals showing , with two top 10 finals finishes. Post graduation, Shannon began her coaching career in Waterloo, at Columbus Catholic High School. As head coach, Shannon led her team to 4 championships in 3 seasons. In 2015, Shannon relocated to Milwaukee Wisconsin where she began working in the All Star Dance Industry at Brookfield Center for the Arts. During her time at BCA, Shannon was responsible for leading her staff to 4 Summit Championships, and 3 USASF Worlds globes - the first in the 18 year program history. Shannon most recently started a new adventure in the creative arts marketing field, and is back to working with dancer's and programs in her home state of Iowa!
Stephanie Yonkovich: Judge
Stephanie graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance from California State University, Long Beach. She is trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, pom, hip hop and tap. She has performed on America's Got Talent, Saturday Night Live, Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Falling Water, and recently in the film, Hello Again. She has also danced and modeled for KENZO X H&M, Target, T-mobile, Desigual, and Hermès. She was also a member and captain of the Orange Coast College Dance Team, Coach of the Rosary High School Junior Varsity Dance Team and assistant to the Rosary High School Varsity Dance Team. Both teams were nationally ranked and appeared on ESPN. In 2012, Stephanie was awarded Cheerpros Coach of the Year. Stephanie is currently the Head Coach and Choreographer for the Columbia University Dance Team. She also teaches at Steps on Broadway and Equinox.
Steve Chapla: Judge
Steve has coached for 18 seasons at the Allstar & College level. He has judged numerous local/regional/national competitions and auditions for junior high, high school, college and professional dance team events. Steve is also a certified dance judge.
TJ Jacobs: Judge
For over 15 years, TJ has trained in various styles from fosse to contemporary jazz, with a passion for teaching hip-hop. Jacobs unparalleled passion for the arts prepared him for several industry opportunities including touring with pop sensation Betty Who, work with Wyclef Jean, Showtek, and DJ Lina. His love for the stage continued on with the chance to perform twice at the Kennedy Center, Showtime at the Apollo, perform live in Times Square, Dream Magic Studios LA, Carnival: Choreographers Ball NYC, World of Dance: New York and New Jersey, Wizards Half-Time Show and Internationally.