Meet Our Instructors

Our instructors are dedicated professionals who seek to build dance skills, foster creativity & teamwork and instill a love of movement, dance and fitness in every student.

Lonnie Liddell, Owner & Creative Director — Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Broadway Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop & Creative Movement

lonLonnie Liddell, owner and artistic director of the Sisters Dance Academy, was born and raised in Bellingham, WA and began dance lessons at the age of four. She has trained in classical ballet, as well as in lyrical, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballroom. She has trained with The Morca Dance Academy, Vision’s Dance Company of Canada, The Nancy Whyte School of Ballet, and Elizabeth Roper’s School of Ballet. Her love for dance led her to continue her dance education at both Eastern Washington University and Brigham Young University. She and her family moved to Sisters in the fall of 2006 and she began teaching for a small, local dance school. When the studio owner moved out of state only a year later, Lonnie was at a crossroads. With young children to care for, she was not yet ready to take on a studio of her own. In 2008, Lonnie began teaching ballet classes out of her home and was ready by February of 2009 to officially open the Sisters Dance Academy. Sisters Dance Academy now has over two hundred students, toddlers to adults, taking classes in a variety of genres.

Kayla Williams — Contemporary, Modern, Broadway, Jazz, Jr. & Sr. Performance Ensembles

KaylaA dancer most of her life, Kayla has a passion for dance and desires to cultivate a passion for the arts in her students. She began with jazz then branched into ballet, hip hop, tap and modern/contemporary. In 2010, she graduated from the University of Idaho with a Bachelor of Science in Dance. Kayla has taught for over ten years in studios, workshops, and classes for the University of Idaho. In her dance career, Kayla has had the opportunity to study with and perform in pieces from many great dance artists including the Bill T. Jones Company, Sherry Zunker, Christopher K Morgan, and Susan Hadley. Kayla loves choreographing and has had the honor of showing her work in many studio recitals, dance concerts, Dancers Drummers Dreamers, multiple American College Dance Festivals, and Groovin’ Hai Productions. Most recently, Kayla spent a year living and working in Shanghai, China. While in China, she performed throughout the city, taught in multiple venues, and choreographed for productions. Upon her return, Kayla finished up her Masters degree in Teaching and now when she is not teaching dance, she is teaching kindergarten at an elementary school in Bend.

Shannon Abero — Hip Hop, African, Hip Hop Competition Squad

shannon abero head shotBorn and raised in San Jose, CA, Shannon discovered her love for dance in high school, where she was a member of the Cheer, Dance and Drill Team. After earning her BA in Psychology at Cal State University, Long Beach she realized that she really wanted to pursue a dance career. Represented by the Dorothy Day Otis Agency, Shannon toured with the Asian Singers, received a part in Memoirs of a Geisha, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and worked with Nike. She has had the opportunity to perform at Monsters of Hip Hop and the House of Blues in LA. Shannon was a member of the Funkenometry Dance Company. She has trained with Wade Robson and Tabitha and Napoleon from So You Think You Can Dance, as well as Marty Kudelka (Justin Timberlake’s choreographer). She moved to Bend in 2011 with her family and is excited to share her love for dance at the Sisters Dance Academy.

Ashley Gaona — Hip Hop

A love of music led Ashley Elizabeth Gaona to dance. Born and raised in Bend, Oregon, she discovered a love for music as a child. She sang with the Youth Choir of Central Oregon, jazz choir in middle and high school, and then started taking hip hop classes at Gotta Dance Studio and Company in 2001. She went on to study music education and conducting at Central Oregon Community College and sang in three productions of Bend’s Obsidian Opera. Her focus soon switched to dance when an assistant opportunity presented itself, and she never looked back. Ashley has studied with Poppin’ Pete, Mr. Wiggles, Nappytabs, Brian Friedman, Luther Brown, Phi, Rhapsody, and Dave Scott. She has been a dancer for Dirtball, the Hot Shots, Globetrotters, and Lady Dice. Ashley choreographed a video called “Beer, Rec & Tech” in 2014 to highlight all the wonderful aspects of Central Oregon. Currently, Ashley teaches at Sisters Dance Academy, Gotta Dance Studio and Company, and Dance Arts Unlimited. She feels there is nothing better in this world than spreading the joy of dance. “I truly love what I do. I have the best job in the world.” Her favorite dance quote is from Fred Astaire: “Do it big, do it right, and do it with style”.

Liz Warren — Lyrical Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz

Liz started dancing at age five in Forest Grove, OR under the instruction of John Gardner and Joan Guinness.  She was a co-captain of her high school dance team, and then studied ballet after high school.  She has trained in jazz, modern, ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary styles, with some occasional classes in Bollywood, West African, jazz funk, Broadway, theatre, and pointe. Liz danced with Lyrik Contemporary Dance Company for two seasons in Portland, OR, and apprenticed for Portland’s InGauge Hip Hop Company for one season while training at Northwest Dance Project.  Since 2002, she has established and coached numerous ballet/jazz dance teams in both California and Oregon. She has also taught for Academie de Ballet Classique and Michelle Mejaski in Bend, OR. She is excited to continue with Sisters Dance Academy teaching her favorite things – a love of music and Contemporary dance!

Olivia Bertagna — Ballet/Tap

Olivia has been dancing with Sisters Dance Academy since she was three years old. She loves to train in ballet, contemporary, tap, and jazz. She is a member of the Sisters Dance Academy competition dance ensemble and is currently a junior in high school. Upon graduation, Olivia plans to attend Gonzaga University to study Special Education. 

 

Sharri Bertagna — Tap, Jazz, Zumba®, Special Sessions

sharri head shot2Sharri danced for the Tueller School Of Dance in Logan, UT for fifteen years, ten of which were competitive. Ballet, jazz and tap were her main areas of dance training, with a secondary focus on contemporary and lyrical. Sharri also danced and competed with her high school dance team in jazz, prop, novelty, and military styles of dance. She has been with Lonnie since Sisters Dance Academy first opened, teaching jazz, hip-hop, and tap. Sharri is also a Zumba instructor and has been teaching group fitness for ten years. She is a certified group fitness instructor through AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America). When she is not dancing, Sharri owns and operates Hike-N-Peaks outdoor store in downtown Sisters.

Makenna Liddell — Hip Hop & Contemporary, Summer Sessions

Makenna Liddell is an award-winning Sisters Dance Academy dancer, recognized at the 2018 Turn It Up dance competition as the highest scoring soloist. She has trained in ballet, pointe, contemporary & lyrical, hip hop, tap, jazz and Irish dance styles. With a focus on elegant, strong movement and beautifully articulated expression combined with positivity and kindness, Makenna is an incredible dancer, role model and teacher. Through Makenna, students fully understand the love of dance and the drive to be one’s best. In the summer of 2018, Makenna studied advanced contemporary dance in an intensive at Brigham Young University (BYU). Makenna is currently attending BYU with a double major in dance and special education.

Jordi Weaver — Ballet & Contemporary, Substitute Teacher

Jordi has been dancing on and off since the age of five. Although she moved frequently as a child, her mother always made sure she was enrolled in a studio or performing with a dance team. The combined movement, music and poetry of dance serves as a beautiful and positive outlet for Jordi to express her emotions.  In her free time, she also enjoys singing, reading and traveling.  Jordi has been teaching at Sisters Dance Academy since 2011. Her incredible talent and her charismatic approach make each dancer feel encouraged and able to find their individual potential.

Tiffany Bell — Irish, Substitute Teacher

Tiffany head shotTiffany began ballet, tap and jazz lessons at the age of three with the Salinas School of Dance in Salinas, CA. It wasn’t long before her love of rhythmic movement drew her to Irish dance as well. She advanced quickly, becoming a member of the Intermediate Company, performing in California and on cruise ships. After moving to Sisters, she continued her dance study and became a featured dancer with Sisters Dance Academy. Tiffany began teaching Irish at Sisters Dance Academy in 2012 and is excited to see the program grow. She loves for her students to tell a story and grow through dance. But above all, she hopes her students will enjoy the rhythm and joy of each step, big or small. When she is not dancing, Tiffany is an early childhood educator at a preschool in Sisters.

Haley Ellis — Turbo Kick®, HIGH Fitness©

A former teacher and now a busy mother of three, Haley is a group fitness fan who was first introduced to Turbo Kick back in high school.  While earning her BA in Special Education at Brigham Young University, she taught several Turbo Kick classes a week. These days she is a certified HIGH Fitness Instructor. HIGH Fitness is a high-intensity cardio class that will work your body, torch calories, and feel like a party!