Planet Dance Center for the Arts
Michael began his instruction in dance at Deborah Case Dance Academy in McAllen, TX at the age of 4, starting off with traditional Spanish dances of Folklorico and Flamenco. After realizing his passion for the art form, he decided to broaden his training. At the age of 7 he began his training in Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop and Modern techniques where he also traveled around TX working with different Master Teachers. Finally realizing the importance of a solid background in Ballet he began his training at a late age of 14, receiving ballet instruction by Galina Mezentseva of the Kirov Ballet, Alex Ossadnik of Ballet Theatre de Bordeaux, and with Michael & Olga Wise of Moscow Classical Ballet. Michael then began performing with The Rio Grande Valley Ballet where he has worked and performed in lead roles in different classical and contemporary ballets. Michael began his teaching at the age of 15 with students ranging from 4-50 years of age in classes of Ballet, tap, jazz and modern. He began choreographing for both local performances at his studio along with choreographies for competition pieces in YAGP, Co Dance, and Treamaine. He also has worked with local artist in Rio Grande Valley TX with music videos, live concerts, musicals and plays. Michael is former Mr. Dance of America 2013.
Nathalie Occean is a New Jersey native now living in Charleston, SC by way of Memphis, TN. Her dance training began at the age of 8 in Rahway, NJ where she was exposed to all genres of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Acro, Modern, Hip-Hop, and of course, Tap. While in Memphis, she tapped with the city’s only professional tap company, Hot Foot Honeys, as a founding member for four seasons out of the five years she has lived there. During her time with the Hot Foot Honeys, she had the opportunity to choreograph a piece that was set to a cover of Nina Simone’s “Four Women” for their Spring 2017 show with a live pianist and vocalist. After years of performing, she has developed a deeper passion for sharing her love of Tap through teaching, especially for those in the community without access to formal studio training. Nathalie has taught a variety of levels of Tap from Absolute Beginner to Intermediate levels spanning all age groups. When she isn’t teaching dance, she works in administration for a local health care organization.
Daequan graduated from Goose Creek High School and Berkeley Center for the Arts in 2015. He has performed with the Footlight Players and as well as other local events, including a filming of a commercial for JCPenny. He continues his training by taking master classes, and has taken many classes with Brian Friedman, Dejan Tubic, Kathryn McCormick and most recently Comfort from SYTYCD.
He is the current Mister Dance of SCDM Chapter 44. He has worked with local schools and dance teams and has choreographed award winning competition pieces for local and national competitions.
Is a current student at Berkeley County Middle College High School. Kira has been dancing since the age of four and joined dance team at the age ten. She has studied multiple genres in jazz, contemporary, modern, ballet, tap, and hIp hip She has won numerous awards with her solo and duet. She has trained with Mia Michaels, Nick Lazzarini, Madison Cubbage, and more. She is currently training and sharing her knowledge and love of dance with others.
Sarah is a graduate of Goose Creek High School and the Berkeley Center for the Arts dance program. Sarah has been dancing and competing most of her life. She has won numerous awards, including America's Junior Miss, top solo, 1st runner up to Miss Dance of Souther Council. Sarah has been a Junior Member of Southern Council of Dance Masters for the past 5 years, and has held the title of treasurer, vice president, president, and past president. Sarah has trained and examined in th e Cecchetti Method of ballet. She became a member of Southern Council of Dance Masters in August 2016.
MEET OUR TEACHERS
Gingham Hoover, originally from Florence, SC, moved to Summerville three years ago. She has been involved with cheerleading and tumbling for over 20 years. As a cheerleader at Francis Marion University, Gingham worked with Action Cheer and Tumble teaching classes and summer camps. In 2000 she started her own company, Ms. Gingham's Tumbling. She has worked with dance studios, martial arts students, double dutch teams and all-star competitive cheerleaders to help them strengthen their acrobatic skills. Many of her students have gone on to cheer for teams including NFL team Carolina Panther Topcats, USC Gamecocks and Coastal Carolina. Gingham joined Planet Dance in December of 2012 as an acrobatics instructor.
Janine Kaiser grew up in Sumter where she began dancing at the Freed School of Performing Arts at the age of 2 1/2. She became part of the Freed Spirit Dance Company for 3 years before graduating high school. At Freed’s she studied ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, modern, and tap under Andrea Freed Levenson. She then attended Coker College where she obtained a Degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics and a minor in dance. She was also a part of the Coker College Dance Team, took a study abroad session in Europe for dance, and has had the opportunity to dance in pieces set by the Amy Marshall Dance Company and The Wanda Project. During her years at Coker she taught at the Brenda Cranford’s School of Dance, where she taught tap, ballet, and jazz to all ages. At Brenda’s she got introduced to hip-hop and has since included it with her other favorites, modern and jazz.
Brenna has been involved in dance, cheerleading and gymnastics for 20 years. She began her training in Goose Creek, SC at Bonnie’s School of Dance. After years of training in Ballet, Acrobatics and Jazz she moved on to having a private instructor in Gymnastics. She spent her high school years dancing and cheerleading where she won numerous awards, including a top 25 national placement. Brenna has taught competitive cheer and dance teams winning top placements in their divisions. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and is the current President and Junior Member director of Southern Council of Dance Masters Chapter 44. She is also a member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has completed her Associate Grade III Teachers examination. She is the proud teacher Petite Miss dance of South Carolina 2009 and 2017, and along with her business partner the former Mr. Dance of America 2013.
Nancy has been involved in dance for more than 30 years, teaching for the past 20 years. She received her training from the Myrtle Beach School of Performing Arts, where she was trained and examined in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. She was also a member of the Strand Ballet Theatre and Karavan Moving Company. She has been a member of Dance Masters of America and the Southern Council of Dance Masters since 1999. She is currently the past president of Chapter 44 and director for the Solo title competition. Nancy has also been a member of the Cecchetti Council of America since 1993. She is the current registrar of the South Coastal Committee. Nancy is also the co-director of the dance program for Berkeley County’s Student Talent Enrichment Program (S.T.E.P.). Her students have won numerous awards at regional and national competitions including Top Duet/Trio, Petite Grand Champion, and the Crowd Pleaser Award. Teacher of Recognition for DMA's Mr Dance of America 2013, and Teacher of Record for Mister Dance of SCDM 2015 and Mister Dance of America 2016.
All our teachers have been involved in dance most of their lives and continue to excel with certification through Dance Masters of America and The Cecchetti Council of America. Not only are they certified, most have had careers of their own within the dance world!