Sue Gilson

Sue Gilson has professional credits in jazz, Polynesian, and tap dance from performances in the Los Angeles area. She began choreographing musicals for the Palomar College Theatre in 1975 including Cabaret, Can Can, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story (1981 and again in 1999), Sweeney Todd, The Merry Widow, Quilters, and Little Shop of Horrors. Her choreography for Palomar’s 50th Anniversary Musical, Kiss Me Kate, received critical acclaim. Sue is part of the Performing Arts Department’s outreach program which has presented numerous programs for local high schools and community organizations and as featured entertainment at Palomar College Foundation black tie events. To maintain state-of-the-art skills and techniques, Sue regularly participates in professional dance workshops and master classes. On frequent trips to the East Coast, Sue has studied with Gus Giordano in Chicago and Frank Hatchett in New York City. She also studied dance in London and Stuttgart, Germany. Sue is on the Board of Directors for the World Jazz Dance Congress. In addition to teaching at Palomar College, she is the working owner of Georgia’s School of Dance in Escondido.

Sohaila Handelsman

Sohaila is a world renowned professional Belly Dance artist with over 35 years of Belly Dance performance and teaching experience. She’s an award winning director and choreographer and has performed on major entertainment stages across the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, with extended stays in Mexico City, The Middle East, Egypt, Syria, Dubai, Jordan, and Greece. She has been featured as a top solo performer in venues that range from cruise ships to dignitary events. She has received instruction and training from a diverse set of world famous dancers and teachers from the Middle East. Sohaila was also featured in Time Magazine in April 2005 and in Cosmopolitan Magazine in August 2005.

She has her own company, Sohaila International Promotions, dedicated to promote Middle Eastern Dance at its finest. Sohaila has published several widely referenced instructional DVDs and books on the classical Egyptian dance and Folkloric dance styles and techniques including, “Near and Middle Eastern Dance workbook”, “Abcs of Belly Dance Costuming, Ideas and More,” and “Belly Dancing, A Holistic Dance.”

Sohaila is committed to passing on her knowledge to her many students through patience and encouragement.

Don Cheek

Don Cheek was introduced to Polynesian dance as a drummer and fire-knife dancer. In the thirty years of his involvement in Polynesian dance, he has had the honor of working with great entertainers such as Teri Rua, Tini Turi Ake, Pete Sanoa, Malala McCormick, Foi Moi, Liz Kahaleponi Edwards, and of course, his mother, Dawn Cheek. Don teaches Tahitian drumming and Samoan fire-knife dance, although he still performs, playing the ukulele and bass.

Ericka Moore

Since starting to study dance (jazz, ballet, modern, and hip-hop) seriously at the age of 15, Ericka has been driven to perform and to create pieces that speak about the world she lives in. Ericka made her 2000 choreographic debut with Fingers N the Hood. The piece toured 5 inner-city areas in San Diego (The Urban Village, Encanto Boys and Girls club, Chicano Park, Centre City, and North Park Community Center) receiving the Union-Tribune Critic’s Choice Award and extensive television coverage. Funkalosophy was her second full-length show created in 2002. Funkalosophy revealed how the hip-hop subculture contributes to an activist dance theatre, while empowering youth and others with a voice concerning their political and social issues.

Ericka has been a professional dancer for Eveoke Dance Theatre since 1997, performing in over 17 full-length shows as a principal dancer for Eveoke and has danced with the Colette Harding Contemporary Dance Company and with Peter Kalivas in the PGK Project Dance Company. Ericka is also a seasoned music designer and has worked with Eveoke Dance Theatre, Stone Soup, and Sledgehammer Theatre.

Valerie Clark

Valerie Clark has had a long dance career.  She has performed in numerous concert tours, television shows and specials, and regional theater productions throughout the years. She has taught many types of dance for the past 40 years including tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, musical theater, tahitian/hawaiian and ballroom.  She has received various awards for her choreography and has taught master classes and workshops all over the US and Europe. Valerie started her training very young and began dancing professionally very early.  She was a student of Joe Tremaine and Stephen Peck for jazz, Fred Strickler, Lynn Dally, Sam Weber and Brenda Bufalino and many more for tap, and many others for Ballroom.  She attended Utah State University, UC Riverside and Arizona State University where she received her Bachelors and Masters degrees. She was trained in Cecchetti and RAD methods and received her Royal Academy of Ballet teaching certification. She is currently a member of the Professional Dancer’s Society and a former member of the California Rhythm Project Dance Company.  She is currently the coordinator for the Palomar Dance Department Outreach program which has presented numerous programs for local high schools.  She has helped many new teachers over the years by developing a training program for tap educators.  Her goal is to pass on her love and knowledge of dance to her students and to future generations.


Valerie Clark

760.744.1150 ext. 5323

Dawn Cheek

Dawn Cheek started as an apprentice at the tender age of 12 teaching tap, jazz, and Polynesian dances. As the years went by, she decided to focus on her first love, Polynesian dance, and studied under Valerie Sills, Liz Kahaleponi Edwards, and Nia Souie. Her performing groups have appeared on national television and are often featured at local events. One such group, the Tiki Hut Dancers, was a predominant force in the Polynesian Dance scene in Southern California during the 70s and 80s. Her current group, Tipanie O Patitifa, won a major event in Los Angeles and currently entertains throughout Southern California.


Dawn Cheek

Sadie Weinberg

Sadie Weinberg has been teaching in Colleges and Performing Arts High Schools across San Diego for over 12 years. She graduated with a BFA in Dance from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College and an MFA from UC Irvine. Sadie has danced professionally in San Diego with Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater, Malashock Dance, IMAGOmoves, McCaleb Dance, Gibney Dance and many other independent choreographers.  As a choreographer, Sadie has presented her work in numerous self-produced and collaborative concerts locally, nationally, and internationally.  She currently teaches at MiraCosta and Palomar Community Colleges, Coronado School of the Arts, UC San Diego, CSU San Marcos and San Diego State University. Sadie continues to attend workshops and festivals in both dance and somatics and make and perform her own work. In her classes, she is interested in articulating classical and contemporary movement from a somatic perspective while also interjecting elements of improvisation.

Joei Waldron

Joei Waldron is a choreographer, director and educator living in San Diego, CA.  He is the Founder, Artistic Director, and Choreographer of AXXIOM Dance Collective, a San Diego-based dance company.  Joei has presented work both nationally and internationally. In 2012, Joei presented work at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland. Joei followed that up the following year by presenting work in the 55th International Choreographers Festival held at the Sala Cuatra Pared Theater located in Madrid, Span. Domestically, Joei has presented work throughout San Diego, Los Angeles, Arizona and Washington, DC. In 2013, Joei’s work, Windows Within, was selected as a finalist for the 15th annual Choreographers Festival held at the McCullum Theater in Palm Desert, CA. In his work and his life, Joei is driven by adventure and empowerment. Joei holds a B.S. from Salisbury University and an MA from San Diego State University.

Silfredo La O Vigo

Silfredo La O Vigo is a Professional dancer in the Afro-Cuban and Haitian tradition, Popular Latin dances, and Modern dance. Silfredo graduated from the National School of the Arts in Havana Cuba in 1994 where he obtained a Technical Arts degree as a certified Dance Professor and Professional dancer.

In 1993, he trained and performed for one year with the Cuban National Folkloric Company and Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. He was also a soloist for five years with the professional touring company Cutumba: Ballet Folklorico Afro-Cubano, based in Santiago de Cuba. In 1999, Silfredo was a guest soloist in the Retrospective of Cuban dance Performance, La Pena, Berkeley, CA and Mission Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA. Silfredo’s professional performing experience later included dancing with the Modern dance Company OCD/San Francisco from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, Silfredo was a guest dancer for “Bravura!” with The Blankenship Ballet Company, Riverside, California. He also appeared as a principal dancer and guest artist for the Warner Brothers film The Matrix Reloaded.

Silfredo is skilled in teaching modern dance, folkloric dance, popular dance, and percussion, and has shared his knowledge during master classes at Portland State University, University of Hawaii, University of Florida, and Santa Clara University.