Sara Anderson- Polaris Dance Co-Founder and Company Member
(Open Contemporary, Mature Fitness) Ms. Anderson is the co-founder and Managing Director of Polaris. Originally from Minnesota, she received her BFA in Dance and Fine Art from Luther College in Decorah, IA. Trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz as well as Musical Theatre and Hip Hop, her dance career spans over 25 years and has led her to dance with companies such as Bodyvox, Portland Opera, Opera Pacific, Minnesota Opera, Utah Opera, American Dance Theatre, Portand Musical Theatre Company, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, St. Claire & Company, Lakewood Musical Theatre Company and Dance CO-Motion. Aside from stage performances, she has appeared in several fitness videos, print advertisements, television commercials and a 32-episode season of the Body Shoppe television series. Additionally, she owns and operates SAgraphics, teaches dance classes at Polaris Contemporary Dance Center, and resides in Portland with her longtime partner Robert Guitron and their daughter, Xena. She is grateful for everyone who has ever been a part of this adventurous Polaris journey!
Jenny Dubac- Polaris Dance Company Member
(Ballet 1, 2) Ms. Dubac joined Polaris Dance Theatre in 2009. She is native of Massachusetts, where she studied dance at the New England Dance Conservatory and the Boston Ballet School. In the spring of 2004 Jenny completed a BFA in dance from the Juilliard School. She spent several years on faculty at the Milwaukee Ballet School and dancing with City Ballet Theatre. She currently teaches for Classical Ballet Academy, Stites Performing Arts Center, and Polaris Contemporary Dance Center.
(Hip Hop 3, 4) Jocelyn is a dancer, filmmaker and writer from Portland, Oregon and founder of the Urban Body Project, a multi-media collective that explores the relationship between dance, culture and community. She received her BA in dance and cultural studies from Western Washington University and went on to study at The Hip Hop Dance Conservatory in New York. She has also studied with various teachers throughout Brazil including Rosangela Silvestre and with Donna Oefinger in Portland. She has taught hip-hop dance at Polaris Contemporary Dance Center since 2009 and her previous choreography has appeared in ‘Tangled’ and ‘Hand Picked’. Jocelyn’s upcoming documentary, Believe The Beat, follows a group of Brazilian hip-hop dancers and can be previewed at www.urbanbodyproject.com .
Colleen Genuine- Founder of Genuine Movement
(Pilates Privates and Massage) Ms. Genuine is a member of Polaris Dance Theatre and grew up dancing in her home town of Austin, TX, under the direction of Arletta Howard Logan at Austin Dance Academy. She later went on to train with the pre-professional program at Ballet Austin, developing a lifelong passion for dance. During her time in Austin she performed with Texas Youth Ballet, Austin Dance Ensemble and Ballet Austin. Life brought her to Portland, where she continues to develop as a student and educator in movement. Colleen danced with Portland-based Kinetic Images Modern Dance Company from 2003-2006 while receiving a BS in Physical Exercise from Portland State University. She is a certified Pilates and Yoga instructor, spinal cord recovery specialist and licensed massage therapist. She has been teaching Pilates since 2005, but was first introduced to Pilates at 9 years old during ballet class. Colleen is also an instructor for the Polaris All Access Program, which is dedicated to offering movement and dance education to those with disabilities. She is grateful to be a part of Polaris and excited to keep moving and dancing with all of life’s adventures.
Robert Guitron – Polaris Dance Artistic Director
(Company Classes) Mr. Guitron has been at the helm of Polaris since its inception in 2002. He continues to map the organization’s artistic and physical growth. Mr. Guitron’s career in dance has taken him throughout the world performing and choreographing for many prestigious dance companies and performing arts organizations. Aside from his repertory work, his credits and accolades come from his involvement in many outreach programs, operatic performances, musicals, music videos, and collaborations with corporations, artists and charitable organizations. Mr. Guitron also nurtures the next generation of dancers through his signature teaching and guidance. His students have been accepted into both national and international dance companies and colleges, such as Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, KDNY, The Julliard School, and Batsheva Dance Company. Mr. Guitron is at his happiest both professionally and personally when he gets to share his life-long passion for dance, music and the arts.
(Aerial 2 and 3) Sara is a professional aerialist and committed teacher based out of Portland, Oregon. After a career traveling the world as a flight attendant, she decided to trade in her rollerboard to pursue her passion in dance and aerial arts. She has been fortunate enough to teach in various studios and schools in Denver and Portland. She has performed with such groups as the Wanderlust Circus, AMP Theater, Aerial Dance Over Denver and Elevated Arts. Sara strives to inspire and reach the world through the art of dance and to emphasize a blend of choreography, grace, strength, and personal flare in every student.
Julia Ostrovskaia- Polaris Dance Company Member
(Ballet 3 & Pointe 1) Julia Ostrovskaia is very excited to join the Polaris Dance Center as a faculty member this year. A graduate of the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London, UK, Julia began her training in Dublin, Ireland before moving to the Northwest. Having spent five wonderful years dancing in Europe, Julia is looking forward to continuing her dancing career while continuing to foster her teaching interests in the Northwest. Since moving to Portland Julia has had the pleasure of working with the Northwest Dance Project in LAUNCH: 7 & LAUNCH: 8, performing in Lindsey Matheis’ Alchemy project and dancing the Dance of the Seven Veils in Portland Opera’s production of Salome before joining Polaris Dance Theatre for her first season. Having an interest in teaching and coaching since she started dancing herself, Julia got her first experience of leading younger classes at the International Ballet School, WA where she trained during her high school years. It was while dancing in Switzerland, however, that Julia discovered her passion for sharing accumulated knowledge of technique and performance when she often taught company class, lead company rehearsals and set work on company members at the Cinevox Junior Company. Julia is very grateful to be able to continue her teaching experience in Portland. She is currently also a ballet faculty member at Dance Works, WA and is working on her Pilates trainer certification with the Momentum Studio. Julia is looking forward to sharing her knowledge with the wonderful dancers of the Polaris Dance Center!
Gerard Regot- Polaris Dance Company Member
(Contemporary 2) Born in Barcelona, Spain, Gerard Regot has danced in Spain, Israel, New York and currently in Portland with Polaris Dance Theatre. Gerard has also choreographed pieces for Estudi Anna Maleras (Spain), Polaris Dance Theatre, Chop Shop Bodies of Work (Seattle) and KCDC Dance Journey (Israel). This year Gerard will be setting a piece on the Polaris Junior Company, and is thrilled to be teaching the Contemporary 2 class at Polaris Dance Center this season!
(Acro and Aerial) Emily has a BFA in Choreography and Performance in Dance from the University of Montana. She has been performing since the age of five in styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, physical theatre, and aerial. Her dancing has taken her from Montana to Los Angeles to Paris before finally arriving in Portland where she has been sharing her passion for movement with students and audience members for the past five years. Emily also loves to teach! She was a founding member of the education programs for both AWOL Dance Collective in Portland and Diavolo Dance Theatre in Los Angeles. She is trained and recognized as a teaching artist through the Music Center of Los Angeles and has taught workshops and residencies both in the US and France. In addition to dance Emily has taught Movement for Actors with Theatre of Arts in Hollywood and is certified in both Pilates and yoga. Emily likes to categorize her multiple interests under the title Movement Inspired.
Blake Seidel- Polaris Dance Company Member
(Hip Hop 1, 2) Blake Seidel is ecstatic to be starting his second year as a company member with Polaris Dance Theatre and teaching Hip Hop for the Polaris Dance Center. Blake started dancing at the age of 18 and became a self-taught hip hop dancer before beginning his professional training at age 20 with Charlottesville Ballet in Charlottesville, Virginia. After dancing Charlottesville Ballet for two years, in addition to summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary division, Blake decided he wanted to pursue a more contemporary style of dance. He moved to Portland to expand beyond his ballet training and become a more well-rounded dancer. Blake started teaching at Charlottesville Ballet Academy, where he taught Contemporary and Hip Hop. It was there that he found his passion for teaching and it has continued to grow ever since. Now, Blake teaches Hip Hop for the Portland Parks & Recreational Dance Program, Cami Curtis Performing Arts, and Polaris Dance Theatre. More than anything, Blake loves to teach his students to have confidence in themselves, their dancing abilities, and to help them find their own personal style of Hip Hop. This allows them to be free of fear, to dance without hesitation, and to show the world who they really are!
M’Liss Stephenson- Polaris Dance Company and Jr. Company Rehearsal Director and Company Member
(Contemporary 1, 3, 4, JCo Rehearsals and Tiny Toes) Ms. Stephenson is a founding member of Polaris Dance Theatre. She was born in Indianaplois, IN and began studying dance as a child, performing in many Nutcracker productions with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre. She graduated from a performing arts high school and then earned a major in Modern Dance at the University of Utah. M’Liss was then accepted as a full-time student at the prestigious Alvin Ailey School in New York City. That led to performances with Milton Meyers and Jolie Maffie. In addition to her passion and experience in dance, M’Liss is a world-class synchronized swimmer. She has competed in, as well as coached, synchronized swim teams in national, international and worlds competitions.
Tia Zapp Palomino- Polaris Dance School Director and Company Member
(Aerial, Tap, Dance With Me) Growing up in Colorado, Tia began her dance training at three years of age. As a teen, she competed at the national level in Power Tumbling and Trampoline and also danced with the Colorado Jazz Dance Company. In 2004, Tia had the chance to see the world and dance at the same time while she was employed by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. In 2006, Tia moved to Portland to perform and teach for Do Jump, where she gained more knowledge in trapeze and physical theatre. Tia has since left her sweat mark on multitudes of local stages, trapezes and trampolines, working with Do Jump, Dancetastix, SubRosa Dance Collective and Polaris Dance Theatre. She is excited to be sharing her accumulated knowledge of dance and gymnastics with the Polaris Dance students this year!