Dance Staff

Tiffani Lawrence

Dance Program Coordinator
tlawrence@mcfetridgesportscenter.net
Classes: Ballet, Jazz, Acrobatics, Tap

Tiffani is the coordinator for the McFetridge Dance Studio, as well as a ballet, jazz, tap, and acrobatics instructor. She started dancing when she was 3 years old, started teaching when she was 12, and hasn’t looked back since then! She received Bachelor’s degrees in both Dance and Education from Kansas State University. She was the first dance instructor hired at McFetridge and has seen and helped the program grow immensely in a short period of time. Tiffani has experience teaching ballet, acrobatics, jazz, musical theater, hip-hop, and modern to dancers both young and old. She believes in the power of dance to improve students both physically and mentally, and she hopes to fuse her dance experience, education experience, and a deep care for every student into her program.

Marissa Olavarria

Classes: Ballet, Tap, Musical Theater

Born and raised in Chicago, Marissa began taking ballet and tap classes at the age of three years old. As a teen she decided to expand her horizons by joining her studio’s competition team and by taking jazz and musical theatre classes. Marissa began her teaching journey at the age of 15 when she began assisting tot and youth students in their combination ballet and tap classes. During her four years of college, she participated in her school’s dance company where she performed multiple dances in the company’s yearly spring showcase. She contributed to the showcase her junior and senior years by choreographing an advanced tap number for the show.

Marissa aims to provide dancers with a dance environment where they feel that they can express themselves freely through dance while also ensuring that they are receiving proper dance technique. Her goals are to share her love of dance with younger generations of dancers and to be a positive role model and mentor to her students.

Sarah Lemley

Classes: Ballet

Sarah is and will always be a student of all things related to movement. Currently, she has 12 years of dance education with a bachelors degree from Columbia College Chicago and 6 years of yoga education with a certification through Amber Daniel Cook. She is working to continue her higher education in physiotherapies and psychotherapies to eventually cultivate a private practice as well as a community building service.

For the last four years, Sarah has worked with children and adults instructing or coaching dance, yoga, swimming, and rock climbing. She has an enormous amount of gratitude for each and every student, colleague, and teacher along the way. She approaches her classes with a compassionate awareness and applies the science of movements to improve her student’s compassionate awareness with their bodies.

In her time outside of moving, she‘s learning about astrology, history, morbid curiosities, and music of all kinds. She looks forward to sharing a movement practice with you and would love to know which movements allow you to feel most empowered.

Alexa Calingo

Classes: Ballet

 

Always a curious individual, Alexa started dancing at a young age, when she initially crashed her older sister's ballet class. She started broad - studying ballet, tap, and jazz. Alexa ultimately focused on ballet and had the opportunity to study with professional companies - The Fresno Ballet and Singapore Dance Theater. While an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, she was a founding member of Ballet Club at Berkeley. Though she loves ballet, she has had the opportunity to explore other forms of dance and is an adult student of hip hop, commercial jazz, and salsa. Originally from California, Alexa has lived in Grand Cayman, Singapore, and the Philippines - all places where she had opportunities to  learn and teach dance. Through her years as a dancer, she believes that dance is a way for people to express emotions without words, and a way for young dancers to develop the skills of discipline, dedication, and determination. She hopes to share her love of dance with others through being an instructor with McFetridge. 

Ana Paula Saldana Cisneros

Classes: Ballet 

Ana Paula (she/her) was raised in Mexico, she came to the United States to get her Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre and dance from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota graduating in May 2022. Upon graduation she has done professional dancing and acting work in North Carolina and now in Chicago. Currently she is a trainee with Visceral Dance Chicago Company.

She has experience teaching dance in Mexico and in the United States from youth to adults in styles such as ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, and musical theatre, as well as different dance and fitness classes. 

Ana Paula believes in the arts as a power to enhance development and growth not only within the dance studio but as human beings in the world and as a way to create community. She hopes to be able to share her love for dance with all of her students in a fun and safe environment.

Cynthia Kiehnau

Classes: Ballet 

Cynthia Kiehnau has performed professionally for 30 years in NYC, Wash Dc, and the DC metro area with Windemere Ballet (NYC), Long Is Ballet Theatre (NYC), Asaph and Chamber Ballet (VA), and the National Ballet of Md. Ms. Kiehnau started her own company, Crossroads Dance Project (CDP). CDP performed full length contemporary and ballet productions as the resident company at the Gunston theatre. Crossroads Dance Co also toured, bringing arts education and performances to schools in Va. CDP continued for 10 years. Ms. Kiehnau opened her own studio in Va, teaching and producing full- length ballet productions. She moved to accept a position as the dance coordinator for the dance program at PWC parks & Rec in Va. She grew the program from 30 students to 130, performing in full-length productions. Ms. Kiehnau has passed her Cecchetti Teacher Training to the advanced level. (This is the Italian method, the oldest codified methodology of dance.)

Rina Rivera

Classes: Hip-Hop 

Human. Story Teller. Creative. Mover. Artist. Athlete. Shape Shifter. Community Builder.

 

Rina is a Boricua Chicago Native who's a Student/Caregiver by day, and Dancer by night. When she's not hitting the books or taking care of the little ones, she's moving and grooving to the beat of what's in her heart.

 

Rina is involved in Chicago's street dance communities. Her main focus is to share, uplift, preserve, nurture, and assist in building respect for Chicago's street dance culture and communities. Rina gained her knowledge and experiences from the various roles and responsibilities such as but not limited to street dance/battle culture practitioner, performer, event hostess/organizer, MC, and dance/movement instructor. She's worked and collaborated with but not limited to BSeries Columbia College Chicago, World Of Dance Chicago, and Red Bull Dance Your Style Chicago. 

 

Her dance journey is an ongoing self exploration, rediscovery and healing practice in embracing herself as an artist by loving her trustest self unapologetically and embodying her macsuline and feminine energies. Rina aims to give to others what dance has given to her. 

 

She is always eager to learn and share her love and passions while providing safe and non judgmental spaces of expression, love, and art through music, dance, and movement. 

 

Rinas Favorite Mottos;

Lead with curiosity not judgment. 

Dance. Grow. Give Back. Repeat.

Being impactful is more memorable than being impressive.