tondalaya pearson.founder/cdp director
Tondalaya’s study began at the age of three. Her professional training began at the age of thirteen in the ballet program at the NC School of the Arts (NCSA). She studied from dance legends, Melissa Hayden, Mel Tomlinson, Frank Smith, and others. Tondalaya also enjoys Musical Theater. Her credits include “Oklahoma,” “Anything Goes,” “West Side Story,” “Hello Dolly,” and Raleigh’s “A Christmas Carol.” Tondalaya studied at East Carolina University on a scholarship in the dance program. From there she began to teach in local schools until she opened Cary Dance Productions in 1995. Tondalaya continues to study through national workshops affiliated with NYCDA, Tremaine, WCDE, and JUMP, to name a few. Next to her husband, Scott and little boy, Peyton, Tondalaya considers CDP one of God’s greatest blessings.
jessica mcmillan.senior company director
Jessica’s passion for dance blossomed at the ripe age of four! Soon, she began dancing in CDP’s company, participating in many competitions and conventions. Her style has been influenced by teachers such as Kim Wolfe, Marcelino Palamino, and Wes Veldink. Jessica is a former member of Enloe’s Modern Dance Ensemble. She has taken classes at Broadway Dance Center in NYC and worked with choreographers Tiffany Rhynard, Nick Bowman, Dustin Phillips and Michael Lemanski. She had the chance to collaborate in choreography as a student, which earned her awards at several competitions. Jessica’s passion lies in creating new and innovative choreography. Jessica now lives in LA but will be back to the studio periodically to choreograph and teach master classes.
ashley wade.dance instructor
At age three, Ashley began her training with various dance schools in Virginia before coming to CDP as a student. At CDP she danced with the company for 7 years competing at many competitions, both regional and national. After graduating, she continued her training at East Carolina University receiving a B.F.A in dance performance with a concentration in Jazz. During her time at ECU she performed and choreographed different pieces for the Senior Choreography concerts. She also danced with the performing ensemble, studied and performed at the American College Dance Festival, danced in the 2005 Dance Theatre concert, and served as president for the East Carolina Dance Association. In 2001, she studied at the American Dance Festival from well known dancers/choreographers such as Mark Haim, Miquel Gutierrez, Jeffery Bullock, and David Dorfman. Ashley is excited for her 5th season with CDP!
kathryn ayers.dance instructor
Kathryn, a Charlotte, North Carolina native, began dancing at the age of seven at Jami Masters’ School of Dance. In high school she studied at DancePlace, the official school of North Carolina Dance Theater, under Darleen Callaghan, Patricia McBride, Mark Diamond, and others. During the summer she would travel to North Carolina School of the Arts and Kirov Academy of Ballet for dance intensives. Kathryn attended Indiana University on scholarship and graduated with a B.S. in ballet performance and an outside field in business. She has been a member of the Charleston Ballet Theater for the past three years performing in many shows including The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Rubies and Serenade, Cat in the Hat, as well as many others. She is very excited to join the staff of CDP and share her love and passion for dance with others.
caitlyn juengel.dance instructor
Caitlyn began dancing at age 3 at Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts and continued there for 16 years. After receiving the “BADA Dancer of the Year Scholarship,” she was able to finalize her decision to pursue dance as a career at Elon University. While there, Caitlyn performed in a number of faculty, site-specific, and student-run dance concerts, as well as the musical, Nine. She also performed with professional company, kearns dance project, and in the ACDFA Informal Concert at VCU. She was also on the Elon Varsity Dance Team during her freshman year. For the first two summers of college, Caitlyn attended the Broadway Theatre Project in Tampa, FL where she took master classes and trained in dance, voice, and drama. Last summer, she attended the Rockette Summer Intensive at Radio City Musical Hall in NYC. Caitlyn was trained mostly in ballet and pointe, modern and contemporary, jazz, theatre dance, tap, and voice. Earlier this year, Caitlyn was certified in the Pilates Mat I Sequence through Lauren W. Kearns. She graduated from Elon in May, magna cum laude, with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and is now teaching class in Raleigh and performing in Virginia Freeman-Dupont’s contemporary modern dance company in Burlington.
caitlin hines.dance instructor
Caitlin Hines grew up in Winston-Salem, NC and began dancing at the age of five. She spent several years studying ballet at the North Carolina School of the Arts, then compete for 6 years under Gena Surrat with Fusion and Advance Dance. In addition, she has studied with Crhis Johnston, Ted Levy, Tokyo, Michelle Dorrance, and David Mann. Though Caitlin enjoys teaching all styles of dance, she specializes in tap. She began choreographing tap routines at age fifteen and has received regional and national recognition from crompetitions such as Hall of Fame and Kids Artisitc Revue. Cailtin is currently a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is Director of the Carolina Style Tap Company.
ronnie west.dance instructor
Ronnie began studying dance in 2005 under Kirstie Spadie and Hip Hop teacher Dywon Fischer. He has also studied at “The Pulse” student and teacher workshops in Atlanta and NYC, briefly at “Koresh” in Philadelphia under Collete Tini, and at the Cary Ballet Conservatory. A natural study, Ronnie began assisting six months into his training and was asked to teach by the end of the first year. Within this timeframe he has choreographed for a vast majority of the top dance programs in the triangle, several televised events and is undertaking the choreography for the new tour and video release of new recording artist, Jean Morrison. He moves into the upcoming year being on faculty at several dance schools in the area and as a guest artist of the high school programs Cardinal Gibbons, Enloe, Saint Mary’s, Cary Academy, Durham Academy, Wakefield, Garner and Millbrook. In store for 2010 includes choreography for the North Carolina State University Dance Team, an invitation to audition for the modern dance company Even Exchange and dancing under the direction of Courtney Greer for her intense modern dance project! Ronnie is originally from Asheville, North Carolina and attended C.A Erwin High School. He has always had a very strong interest in singing, and began working with difficult pieces at a young age under the direction and mentorship of Martha Weathers. Through a choral group called “Voices of the Laurel”, she was largely responsible for making a great impact in the arts for Ronnie. Rebecca Caldwell, Band Director, instilled a sense of rhythm and tempo. Both paved the way to dance as Ronnie understands music on a compositional and detailed level; this allows him to connect to music not only physically and emotionally, but intellectually. Ronnie attended All-District Band (French Horn), All-State Chorus, Honors Chorus, and most notably N.C. Governor’s School for Choral Music. N.C. Governor’s School was the turning point in his thought process for dance as it was the first time he saw dance as an abstract art form.
cassie adcock.dance and gymnastics instructor
Cassie began her training at the age of three at Victory Talent Dance and Gymnastics and continued there for 15 years. She competed since the age of five, winning many regional and national titles. While competing Cassie was chosen as a member of the American dance team where her team traveled to Barcelona Spain and won the 2004 Dance World Cup. She has had the privilege of performing at Disney World, The Jenny Jones Show, The Alabama Theatre, and Broadway’s Choreographer showcase. Cassie decided that she wanted to make dance her career path and attended East Carolina University where she received a BFA in Dance Performance with a concentration in Jazz and Modern. She had the honor to study under the training of Galina Panova, Tommi Galaski, Rodger Bellman, and Patti Weeks. While attending ECU Cassie cheered all four years and was Coed Varsity captain her senior year. Cassie looks forward to an amazing first year at CDP!
christina markulic.dance instructor
Christina Markulic begin her dance education at the age of four with Joyce Smilek in Hamilton New Jersey and her ballet training at the age of six with The Princeton Ballet. Christina auditioned and performed for ten years in their annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Starting as a toy soldier and progressing through the years, she became a member of The Princeton Ballet Pre-Professional Company studying with Dermot Burke, Marjorie Mussman, Jane Miller-Gifford and many visiting instructors. Christina was awarded a 4 year dance scholarship to Butler University and was a member of the Butler Ballet, studying with Stephan Laurent, Michelle Jarvis, Bud Kerwin and Martha Faesi. Following graduation, Christina continued to dance professionally with Indianapolis Dance Company and Four Star Entertainment Company. She became an active teacher at the Ocean County School for Performing Arts, where she taught and choreographed for the school’s Rising Star Dance Ensemble. Her students won several top national awards at ShowStoppers and StarBound National Dance Competitions. Christina earned her Masters Degree in Education from the College of New Jersey and has taught elementary school for the last 8 years in Wake County. Presently, she lives in Fuquay-Varina with her husband, Chris and children, Elizabeth and Michael. She is excited to be part of the CDP staff for a second year and looks forward to sharing her love for dance with her students!
diana raymond.office assistant
Diana began dancing at Cary Dance Productions the very first year it opened and danced as a part of the CDP family for 15 years! Shejoined Company in the fifth grade and continued to be a part of the group until her senior year of high school. She participated in conventions every year including Jump, Pulse, Tremaine and many others. After high school, she was accepted into the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University and is now majoring in Chemical Engineering. Diana recently joined the dance company Elevate and is very excited to get back to dancing! Dance will always be Diana’s number one passion and she is very excited to be a part of the CDP staff!
eileen juric.dance instructor
Eileen was a soloist with the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet. Under the direction of former New York City Ballet prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, she performed Balanchine repertoire with such notable dancers as Jacques d’Amboise, former NYCB principal, Academy- and Emmy-Award winner, and founder of the National Dance Institute; Hinton Battle, three-time Tony Award winner, the original star of Broadway’s Miss Saigon, and the original “Lion” in The Wiz; Ronald Perry, formerly of American Ballet Theatre and the Dance Theatre of Harlem; and Daniel Baudendistel of the Joffrey Ballet Company. “Miss Eileen” trained on full scholarships at the Joffrey Ballet School and the School of American Ballet (school of the New York City Ballet). She also had the great honor of studying with prominent New York teachers David Howard, Robert Joffrey, Finis Jhung, Maggie Black, Zena Rommett, and Lawrence Rhodes. After her performing career, Miss Eileen returned to the Joffrey Ballet School to pursue a teaching career and train, assist, and substitute teach in the children’s program. She was a faculty member of the Princeton Ballet School (official school of the American Repertory Ballet), and she toured throughout the country on the convention and competition circuit. For fifteen years she owned and operated her own studio, Basically Ballet, in New Jersey. Her students from this school have received scholarships to the famed Joffrey Ballet School; attended the North Carolina School of the Arts; ranked among the top four finalists on an Emmy-nominated dance reality TV show; trained at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles; served on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey School; and started their own companies. For the past several years Miss Eileen has been teaching in North Carolina, and she is enjoying her new-found home.
brandi mauricio.dance instructor
Brandi Mauricio, originally from Southern California, recently moved to North Carolina and has never felt more at home. In 2000 she earned her degree in Dance from Cal Poly Pomona Ca and has performed in many dance productions across the country. Her introduction to dance began at the age of 3 when she began taking classes at Twin School of Dance and quickly began a love for tap, ballet, and jazz. She danced competitively for 12 years and traveled throughout the US and Bahamas attending dance competitions and conventions. She has performed at Lakers games, the opening number at the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty, and in a Pepsi commercial and during the 1986 Super Bowl half time show. In 1999 she opened her own dance studio in Los Angeles and has trained thousands of dancers. She sold her studio in 2009 and now travels the country choreographing and teaching master technique classes as well as judging dance competitions. Brandi enjoys spending time with her 3 children and her dog Cody and is very excited about the upcoming year teaching at CDP!