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
Lonnie 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, Performance Ensembles
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 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 Squads
Born 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”.
Rachel Lilley — Contemporary, Jazz & Tap
Rachel is our SDA triple threat! She is a member of the Sisters Dance Academy competition dance ensemble, she has been featured in Central OR theater productions and she sings with the SHS Jazz Choir. She loves to train in ballet, contemporary, tap, and jazz, but she has a particular love of Broadway Jazz. She is currently a senior in high school.
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!