Leann Underwood … started dancing at the age of 7. She became an apprentice at Oregon Ballet Theatre in 2003 and joined the company in 2004. She was offered a contract with the ABT Studio Company in August 2005 at just 16 yrs, then joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in November 2006 and the corps de ballet in August 2007 where she performed with ABT for ten years,
Her repertoire with the Company includes a Lead D’Jampe and a Shade in La Bayadère, an Odalisque in Le Corsaire, La Lionne in Gaîté Parisienne, Bathilde and Zulma in Giselle, An Episode in His Past in Jardin aux Lilas, the Spanish Dance and one of the Nutcracker’s Sisters in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Older Sister in Pillar of Fire, the Ranch Owner’s Daughter in Rodeo, Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet, a big swan, the Spanish Princess and the Spanish Dance in Swan Lake, Diana and Ceres in Sylvia and roles in Airs, Ballo della Regina, Birthday Offering, The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Duets, From Here On Out, Overgrown Path, Private Light and Thirteen Diversions. She created the Countess in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty and a role in Everything Doesn’t Happen at Once. She has performed principal roles in classical and contemporary works by choreographers including George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Yuri Possokhov, Christopher Stowell, Mark Morris, James Canfield, Brian Reeder, Marius Petipa and Stephen Mills.
Underwood is fully certified in the ABT National Training Curriculum, Primary through Level 7, and is currently on the teaching faculty of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and the Young Dancer Summer Workshop. She is also one of the current Ballet Mistresses for Alexei Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, and travels the US as part of the audition team for ABT’s Summer Intensives.
After appearing on the popular talent search show in the 90’s, STAR SEARCH, Wes opened All That Jazz Dance Studio at age of 16 in Grants Pass with his dance teacher, Karen Daggett Austin. Wes was quickly accepted at the prestigious Orange County High School of the Arts for his senior year, and relocated to southern California. After graduation, Wes taught at the EDGE Performing Arts Center, co- choreographed Paula Abdul’s video Blowing Kisses in the Wind, was Michael Jackson’s dance double in two videos, improvised live onstage with singer/songwriter Ani Difranco, appeared in multiple commercial and dance videos and danced in the Disney film Newsies.
After moving to New York City, Wes started his own professional dance company, The Wes Veldink Movement, which toured Los Angeles, Toronto and South Korea. Wes has been invited to teach and choreograph for the Oslo State Ballet School/Oslo Dance Ensemble (Norway), the Osaka School of Music and K- Broadway (Japan), the Mediterraneo Dance Festival and World Dance Movement (Italy), Studio Harmonic (France), Amsterdam Dance Center (Holland), and the Nadine Bommer Academy (Israel), as well as at Columbia and other universities, conservatories, and conventions throughout the U.S. and Canada. Wes was also the Director of the pre-professional training/scholarship program at Broadway Dance Center.
Recently, Wes has choreographed a series of commercials for Joe Fresh, an international campaign for Nikon with Kate Moss, and a Revlon campaign with Olivia Wilde. In music, Wes was a contributing choreographer for Alicia Keys’ Set the World on Fire Tour and performed live with Ani DiFranco. Additionally, Wes choreographed and set the dance sequences for Gwyneth Paltrow and Leighton Meester in the feature film Country Strong. Through his own production company, “Calm & Sense Creations,” he has conceived, directed, and choreographed two dance short films: Full Circle (filmed in the Redwood National Forest) and Untitled (filmed in Tropea, Italy).
Currently living in Mexico, Wes travels home often each year to inspire, teach and choreograph for our SODC students and performance groups.
Bryaunna received her dance training at All That Jazz Dance Studio where she was a member of the acclaimed Advanced Production company during her four years of high school. As a part of Advanced Production she performed, competed in and was booked in concert tours across the Pacific Northwest, Los Angeles, Florida and Austria, Europe with the prestigious TANZSOMMER dance festival. She was recognized with numerous scholarship and excellence in achievement awards for both solo and choreography work at many national dance conventions and competitions.
Bryaunna stretched her teacher/choreographer wings, during the years pursuing her Degree at Oregon State University, by teaching and choreographing award- winning pieces for many studios and groups. In 2021, Bryaunna was invited to Germany to perform under Victor Quijada, founder and director of the RUBBERBANDance, based in Montreal where she and the ensemble showcased his creation, Enterweaving, at the Dock 11, a black box theater in the center of Berlin.
Bryaunna currently lives and teaches in northern Oregon and her innovative, stunning choreography continues to captivate audiences and adjudication panels across the Pacific Northwest.
Trained in various studios in the Northwest area including MVP Dance Elite and the Westview Dance Team. While teaching and choreographing across the state, Alexis completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree at George Fox University.
Alexis in known for her incredible Hip Hop and contemporary style… she performed on the set of Portlandia for Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, Durante Lambert’s “OZ” production, with Twitch (from SYTYCD) at Excel Dance Convention. Appeared in Con Bro Chill music video “What I Like” in 2015. Has received multiple choreography awards, most noteworthy being, “RAW: Mother Mary” at Monsters A-List Convention. Directed RAW dance crew, alongside Charlie Chheath and Jason Wickett, to their World of Dance Seattle win in 2016, as well as two full length-shows, “Lucid Dreams” and “The Glass Sneaker” in 2017.
Charlie trained in Contemporary, Musical Theater, Jazz and Hiphop under various teachers including Lorena Aranda, Julio Fuentes, Don Flores and Beau Sem .
He Choreographed and competed with the esteemed Portland area Hip Hop studio, Groove Nation between 2009 – 2012, and began teaching at MVP Dance Elite in 2013, and coaching/directing their pre-professional company RAW in 2014 to present. Charlie is a master of Hip Hop fundamentals and creates fun, upbeat hip hop choreography for dance ensembles across the Pacific Northwest.
Sheri Lewis has been the owner and Artistic Director of the esteemed Westlake Dance Center in Seattle for more than two decades. Her incredible gift for choreographing hilarious Dance Comedy and engaging Musical Theater dance pieces is unmatched and won numerous awards and dance titles for dance ensembles across the west – including for SODC! She continues to teach, choreograph and travel internationally to share her gift with studios, at conventions and with entertainment companies. We are SO fortunate to have Sheri as one of our Guest Choreographers
Although the world lost an incredible, genius dancer/choreographer/teacher and friend in 2021, the wonderful, enchanting legacy of Gregg Russell’s choreography lives on at Southern Oregon Dance Center. Having had a 20-year relationship with Gregg as a Guest Master Teacher and Choreographer for our studio, our “Gregg Russell Repertoire” is vast, and his pieces are/will be rekindled and performed again and again by our dancers in concerts and competitions indefinitely.
Gregg was an Emmy nominated choreographer and worked with such stars as: Bette Midler, Gene Kelly, The Nicholas Brothers, Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Kenny Ortega. He directed a commercial for Carvel Ice Cream, and has also performed with numerous music artists: Reba McEntire, Smashmouth, The B-52’s, Jason Mraz.
Gregg repertoire is too vast to list, but notably he appeared in a Volkswagon national commercial portraying Donald O’Conner, and performed on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”. He also performed and choreographed on the TV show “Mobbed”, debuted a live stage show in Los Angeles with his tap company Tap Sounds Underground, and made it to the semi-finals on the CBS TV show “Live to Dance” hosted by Paula Abdul.
He traveled extensively to work with and inspire young dancers all across the US at dance conventions, at his tap company workshops, and as a writer for Rhee Gold’s Dance Life Magazine. We love you, Gregg, you are in our hearts always!