Our instructors are dedicated professionals who seek to build dance skills, foster creativity, and teamwork. They are dedicated to instilling a love of movement, dance, and fitness in every student.
LONNIE LIDDELL, Owner and Creative Director — Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Creative Movement
Lonnie was born and raised in Bellingham, Wash. 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 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 2009 to officially open the Sisters Dance Academy. SDA now has nearly 250 students, from toddlers to adults.
KAYLA WILLIAMS,— Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, and Creative Movement
A 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 her Masters degree in Teaching. When she is not teaching dance, she is teaching kindergarten in Bend.
SHANNON ABERO GUERRERO,— Hip Hop, Competition Squads
Born and raised in San Jose, Calif., Shannon discovered her love for dance in high school, where she was a member of the Cheer, Dance and Drill Team. After earning a BA in Psychology at California State University, Long Beach, she realized 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 had the opportunity to perform at Monsters of Hip Hop and the House of Blues in Los Angeles. 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 shares her love for dance with all of us at SDA.
ASHLEY GAONA— Hip Hop
A love of music led Ashley Elizabeth Gaona to dance. Born and raised in Bend, 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”.
OLIVIA BERTAGNA— Ballet/Lyrical, Contemporary
Olivia danced with Sisters Dance Academy for 15 years and began teaching several years ago. She is a beautifully well-rounded dancer who found a calling in classical ballet. She was a member of the Sisters Dance Academy competition dance ensemble and set the standards for elegance, expression, and quality of movement. She is currently studying dance and special education at Boise State University.
EMILY HUBER — Contemporary
Emily Huber was a talented and inspiring member of the Sisters Dance Academy competition dance ensemble for eight years. She performed in several Sisters High School theatrical productions and sang with the Jazz Choir. Her grace and artistry shine through her dance and choreography, and her kind heart shines through her teaching. Her dance extensions, beautiful carriage, and quality of movement are greatly admired.
DENISSE CHURCHILL — Jazz
For 17 years, Denisse studied with Zayda Liardo in her hometown of Guayaquil, Ecuador, learning flamenco, Spanish dance, ballet, jazz, acro, and tap. She also spent 10 years training in ballet technique at the School of Arts Raymond Mauge Thorniel in Ecuador. Denisse has primarily taught jazz and flamenco for many years and often incorporates acro dance elements into her choreography. She loves the movement of the human body and introducing her students to dance as an art discipline and helping them set and accomplish goals, no matter how small or large. She is persistent, driven and passionate in all she does, including owning and running two businesses.
SARAH ARCHER — Ballet
Sarah graduated cum laude from California State University, Long Beach with a BFA in Dance in 2001. She trained in Cecchetti ballet since she was five. Then in high school, she added modern dance, studying under teachers who trained with Horton, Graham, Twyla Tharp, and Bill T. Moses. Sarah has taught ballet, tumbling, tap, and jazz to all ages at Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts in Camarillo, Calif. She then directed the children’s dance program at Plexus Dance in Ojai, Calif. and twice toured and performed with Plexus Dancers, a modern dance company in Ventura, Calif. Most recently, Sarah worked with Solvang Parks and Recreation, teaching children’s ballet classes.
LAUREN ALLISON — Jazz
Lauren grew up dancing in Central Oregon then trained with Ballet West and the Oregon Ballet Theatre. When she danced for two years at Sisters Dance Academy, she fell in love with contemporary and modern dance. Lauren’s love for ballet led her to dance in over 40 performances of The Nutcracker as well as a variety of other classical ballets. She holds a B.S. in Behavioral Sciences and works as a Victim Advocate.