It was at the age of three when Charleigh France was introduced to a beautiful art form we know of as dance. Unable to keep still and keep off stage, she was put in the competition world at the age of 5. From there she has continued to pursue dance as a professional career. She believes it started in high school when she joined the San Jose Ballet School and from there it unraveled to becoming a part of the San Diego State School of Music and Dance. Being apart of the dance department at SDSU opened many doors and allowed her to take advantage of traveling opportunities such as attending the World Dance Festival in Poland, which included work by Johannes Wieland and Idan Cohen(Israel), and a summer intensive at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, along with master classes at Julliard. There she participated in choreography work by well known companies such as Ronald K. Brown, Battleworks and Gina Gibney Dance Company. A move to Vegas led her to work with the worlds famous Cirque Du Soleil along with cast members of Jubilee. From Vegas came a job offer in Mexico where she choreographed and performed with Barcelo Resorts and CoCo Bongo. During this time she has also been recognized by recording artists such as Ciara, Christina Agulaira and Busta Rhymes along with a participant in So You Think You Can Dance in 2008.
Years later, Charleigh has pursued her dream of becoming a world renowned choreographer and dance coach working all around the globe. From show choirs, competitive dance teams, productions and conventions to working with special needs children, and being a judge for both national and international competitions, Charleigh’s passion for teaching and mentoring has allowed her to inspire children and adults around the world. Her most recent accomplishment was being featured on ESPN as choreographer for the opening of The Humanitarian Awards in memory of Muhammad Ali, where her piece stood for overcoming social issues in our communities. “The most beautiful part about choreographing this piece was incorporating children and teens between the ages of 10-18 and having them send a message, through dance, to the world that portrayed strength, passion, faith and the strength of believing. All we need to do is believe.”
Nadia Hinds, a local Santa Cruz coach, teacher and choreographer, has had a full and versatile career in the dance community. Nadia’s credits and contributions range from regional and national competitive dance, both as a dancer and choreographer to training and performing with world-renowned choreographers to inspiring the teenage dancers in our community as the Aptos High School Varsity head Coach for the past 8 years and choreographing tons of musical productions. As a young dancer starting at the age of 7, Nadia trained at The Studio of Classical Ballet Directed by Robert Kelley and Diane Cypher and at No Limits Directed by Athena Knight and Tisha Nusbaum. Her training styles include ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, tumbling and contemporary.
As a teenager Nadia, while attending Soquel High School, traveled and trained with Teen Dance Company Directed by the late Sioux Lahner, Darlene Easterling and Jason Myhre and The Dance Company of San Francisco Director and Choreographed by Chris Jacobsen. After graduating high school, Nadia attended Cabrillo College as a dance major under the Direction of David King.
Wanting a more commercial dance experience, Mrs. Hinds auditioned and received a prestigious year long professional dance scholarship at The Edge Dance and Performing Arts Center in Hollywood, Ca. It was during her teen and adult dance education that Nadia trained under working choreographers including; Brooke Pierotte, Sonya Tayeh, Mark Miesmer, Tina D’Amato, Adam Parsons, Malaya, Terry Best, Mandy Moore, Kevin Maher, Tabitha and Napoleon, Ryan Heffington and the late Doug Caldwell.After graduating the Scholarship program, Nadia returned back to Santa Cruz and continued to pursue both dance and teaching. She taught for Motion Pacific, Kids on Broadway, Santa Cruz Dance Company, No Limits, Steps Dance Studio, Little People’s Theater, SLV High School, Scott’s Valley High School, Pacific Arts Complex and most recently NorCal Dance Arts. She was a member of Rugged Dance Company Directed and Choreographed by Tawnya Kuzia and Flex Dance Company by Leslie Johnson. These companies gave Nadiathe experience of performing all over the Bay Area, New York and Los Angeles. In 2017 Nadia was apart of casting and choreographing a dance movie staring local dancers, shot right here in Santa Cruz called Hope Dances Directed by Andrew Dillon.
Many dancers Nadia has trained have gone on to dance in College (UCLA, Chapman, UCSB, University of Memphis, UC Davis, Chico, San Jose State, San Francisco state), or dance professionally in Los Angeles, Sacramento and New York. Nadia Hinds continues to draw inspiration from her loving community in Santa Cruz and is eager to spread her love of movement to Freedom Blvd Dance Company.
Jacqueline Stiphout is the office manager, merchandise line curator, and the social media strategist at Freedom Blvd Dance Company. Jackie has been making friends and showing off her hospitality skills in Santa Cruz for nine years. The New Jersey native turned Hoosier, moved to California in 2012. While growing up in Indiana, Jackie fell in love with the visual sport known as Color Guard. During her performing days she was proud Captain of the Royal Command & Color Guard, Captain of Hypnotix Visual Company, and a member of the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps. Jackie has choreographed and traveled the country captivating marching band & color guard lovers in some of the biggest football stadiums and arenas in the United States.
Before joining the FBDC staff, Jackie spent 22 years working in the restaurant industry, waiting tables, bartending, and managing such restaurants as the East End Gastropub and Ruby Tuesday’s. Jackie has acquired the organizational business skills to drive Freedom Blvd Dance Company to the next level and her willingness to learn, creativeness and drive to help make everyone shine are her biggest attributes.
Jackie dances at FBDC 4-5 days a week and is a member of The 5 Mile Minx, a cabaret troupe here at Freedom Blvd Dance Company. She loves expressing herself through movement and the unity dance brings.
Excited for what the future holds, Jackie is thrilled to work with our competition teams this fall. With an eye for performance quality and cleanliness, she has the tools to push our performers to the limit.
Hanna Samson grew up doing ballet, tap, and musical theatre in San Diego, CA, and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2020 with a major in literature and minor in dance.
In Santa Cruz, she has had teaching experience with Wings School of Dance, Motion Pacific, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. Hanna is proud former college community member, holding key leadership positions such as Philanthropy Chair and Sunshine Chair of UCSC’s chapter of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, and Fundraising Chair for the UCSC Dance Team.
When she’s not dancing, Hanna manages social media and does administrative work for
Tandy Beal & Company, a multi-faceted arts organization designed to unite community through the wonder of art.
Hanna is excited to share her love of dance with the youth of the Santa Cruz community. Her enthusiastic and positive approach to teaching encourages students to use what they learn in the classroom to help create an atmosphere of compassion and positivity in all aspects of life.
She is thrilled to continuing her dance training at FBDC with Charleigh France and Nadia Hinds, and values the safe and loving dance community cultivated at Freedom Blvd Dance Company.
Kira McMillian has been dancing and performing in Santa Cruz for over fifteen years since she took her first ballet class at International Academy of Dance. There she trained Vagonova ballet style under Shannon Chipman and Vicki Bergland and contemporary, lyrical, jazz and modern styles under the instruction of Melissa Palumbo until graduating Aptos High School in 2018.
Since then she has been dancing at Cabrillo College under David King and Cid Pearlman and performed with Tandy Beal & Company and Rebecca Blair in 2020.
Kira’s dance teaching experience so far has been at the Santa Cruz Co. Parks & Rec. Afterschool program at La Selva and Mar Vista Elementary where she lead activities, games, crafts and dance classes to K-6 students. Her ultimate dream is to become a dance teacher to anyone and everyone and she is absolutely ecstatic to share her love of dance with the FBDC community!
Joseph is heavily involved and invested with the hip-hop freestyle and choreography scene within California, the US, and internationally. Networking with people all over the world, training with new dancers, and being able to connect with the history and culture of the hip-hop scene is what stokes the flames inside this Bay Area native.
Joseph is the only Litefeet dancer in the Bay Area, and there are only a handful of dancers on the west coast who really understand the vocabulary and essence of the Litefeet culture.
He was trained by professionals from New York City with whom he has established deep connections with and is continuously learning more about this culture/dance style.
Having developed a great love for dance, Joseph has been able to train in several technique styles such as: ballet, contemporary, modern, Latin, and hip-hop. He truly appreciates the understanding he has gained for each one of these styles. His true passion in dance is teaching, where he truly shines, sharing his knowledge of technique and culture. which helps bring a sense of community no matter where he goes.
Elisa Bridges, also known as Samirah, started her Bellydance experience in 1999 under the instruction of Sese Gedes. The class Sese offered was enough to get Elisa hooked on this hypnotic art and so her passion for Bellydancing began.
Her dedication to this beautiful art form is apparent the moment she steps foot on the dance floor. As a solo artist performing at local restaurants, private events, and soloist showcases she is able to express herself with subtle yet powerful movements. Elisa is not only an accomplished soloist, she has worked with several other local Bellydance artists. Elisa has also been apart of such troupes as Bakhriari, Intitisar, and Tyanna; as well as apart of the troupe “Desert Jewels” under the direction of Surreyya Hada at Dancing in the Desert Dream Dance Company. Elisa has also been a part of Santa Cruz Shimmy Mob, a bellydance flash mob held annually to raise awareness of domestic abuse, for almost a decade and has proudly started an Aptos Shimmy Mob chapter this year. She hopes to inspire all women to appreciate their curves and this creative dance form.
Elisa's Intro to Bellydancing class Tuesday nights at 8:00 pm is designed to focus on isolating our upper and lower bodies, moving them independently, while building core strength and flexibility. Bellydancing creates a special balance and harmony in our bodies as we move to the music.
Rosie grew up in Santa Cruz County, where she spent her early years dancing and moving at every opportunity, enjoying such styles as tap, ballet, gymnastics, and Salsa. Rosie's mama, is one of the original Zumba instructors her in Santa Cruz and her father is a local physician know as the "dancing doc". Dancing is in the Solinas Family blood. As a young woman, Rosie was lucky enough to travel the world exploring dance, fine tuning her Latin dance skill at various World Salsa Congresses in LA and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
In 2009, Rosie made her passion for dance an official part of her career by becoming a certified Zumba fitness instructor while studying psychology in Santa Barbara. After six years down south, she moved back to Santa Cruz and began her career as a therapist and social worker/counselor, where she has learned to value the fitness benefits of movement and the mental health effects it has one ones self and others.
Rosie's primary goal for all students lucky enough to enjoy her classes, is this, HAVE FUN! Let loose, free your mind, shake off the stresses of the day, and open your heart. Let Rosie help you feel confident in yourself and your SALSA dance moves!
Esteban Deleon studied dance at West Valley and Mission College, where he was an active member of the community, putting together local events for charities and other organizations. Shortly after college he got his dance and fitness certification and started working with adults and children. He is currently a fitness instructor at various gyms and studios around San Francisco including Bay Club, 49ersFit, and Uforia.
In November 2015, Esteban started his own business teaching adult dance and fitness classes where he offers a multitude of workshops, dance and fitness group classes, private dance lessons, and personal training.
Esteban has been featured in commercials, in an NBC TV series, music videos, and has been a backup dancer for various music artists. He is an active member of the community and has put together fundraisers for LGEF, MAAP, Amor.org, and many more. He has also donated his time and classes to several non-profit organizations for fundraising including, Purple Stride,
AIDS Life Cycle, Cycle for Survival, and the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Lindsay Stewart began dancing at the age of 3, taking classes at a community center. She then began attending Dance Center in Santa Cruz at the age of 5, training exclusively in ballet. At age 7, she joined a performance group at Steps Dance Studio, training in a multitude of genres. Lindsay began competing with Steps Dance Studio at age 11, and continued competing as Steps Dance Studio which later became P.A.C. She finished her senior year at Aptos High competing under the direction of Elaine's Dance Studio.
Beginning in 2014, Lindsay was a member of the Aptos High Dance Team. She went on to become a team captain in 2016 and an assistant coach from 2018-2021. After graduating from Aptos High in 2018, she went on to receive her A.S. in biology, chemistry, and health sciences. Lindsay will be transferring to Sonoma State to get her B.S. in biology.
Lindsay has continued her dance training journey at Freedom Blvd Dance Co with hopes of becoming an SSU sapphire on the Sonoma State Dance Team.