SAVANNAH BLASS / COMPETITION DIRECTOR
Ms. Savannah Blass has been dancing for 22 years and teaching for 8. Growing up as a competitive dancer, she has had the opportunity to study from well known choreographers in both New York and Los Angeles. She is a graduate from University of Central Florida, where she received a degree in Advertising/Public Relations, and was one of the first students accepted into the University's dance program. After graduating in 2009, Savannah decided to follow her dreams and pursue her passion in choreography and teaching. She is now one of the most sought out teachers in the Central Florida area. Her work has been recognized both regionally and nationally for top choreography, top scoring, and most valuable performance. Savannah just started up her own costume design and dance apparel company, Savy Stagewear, which truly brings her visions to life on stage as well as in the classroom. Ms. Savannah's goal is to instill hard work and passion onto her students.
Mrs. Katrina Judy grew up dancing in Orlando where she studied ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap, and acrobatics. She received a bachelor of Science degree in Dance from Jacksonville University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Florida State University. During college, Katrina performed with the Jacksonville Ballet Theater, Florida Ballet Theater, and the Tallahassee Ballet Company. For the past seven years, Katrina has been teaching dance in Orlando and plans to do so for many years to come.
Miss Sahmi started at UPAC as a company member for 9 years. She left to attend college at Florida State University and graduated with a bachelors in Art Education. She then went on to get a culinary degree in Baking and moved back to Orlando. Miss Sahmi came back to teach at UPAC and has been teaching Jazz classes as well as Mini Troupe Dance Company for two years now. Since her time teaching Company, Miss Sahmi has won awards for her competition numbers, including the prestigious Teacher Award for her mini duet, Jump.
Miss Patricia Marquez began dancing at a very early age. There she was a member of the Performing Artist Company in which she participated in numerous presentations and dance conventions. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Psychology and Public Relations. She is a choreographer for the Psi Mu chapter of Chi Omega sorority and has choreographed the Christmas show for St. Mary Magdellan Catholic Church.
Geri J. Weinbaum, or Ms. Geri as she’s affectionately known, began dancing at the tender age of three in her mother’s dance studio. She is a third generation Dance Instructor as her Grandmother opened a dancing school in a small town in South Carolina in 1955 and her four children, Ms. Geri’s aunts and mother, all followed in her shoes teaching dance. She also has a BA degree in Psychology from the University of South Carolina.
She has studied dance in New York, Chicago and Atlanta with such greats as Gregory Hines, Frank Hatchett, Germaine Salsburg, and "Lady" Dianne Walker of the Broadway hit Black and Blue. Ms. Weinbaum performed with the Freed Spirits Dance Theatre in South Carolina for 3 years, and for the MGM Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida for 4 years, while also teaching for the University Performing Arts Centre. She had her own Dance Companies in Florida, South Carolina, and New Mexico, and was, Co- Artistic Director of Elite Dance Company in Missouri before returning to the UPAC family after 20 years.
Her choreography has won top awards, regionally and nationally, including Judge’s choice, highest scoring routine, and creativity.
In addition to teaching dance, Ms. Geri was the choreographer for Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, and South Pacific, for Colonial High School in Orlando. In Missouri, she was the choreographer for Liberty Public School’s performances of My Favorite Year, A Mid Summer Night's Dream, and Brigadoon, as well as their talent showcase, People In Motion.
Taking her knowledge and love of the Theatre into the Kansas City community, Ms Geri, was lead choreographer for local Community Theatres’ productions of Happy Days: The Musical, The Producer's, and Anything Goes. Upon returning to Orlando, she was the choreographer for University High School’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
When it comes to dance, Ms. Geri says, “It's in my blood." She has been giving the gift of dance to students of all ages for over 30 years. Her philosophy is to offer students the best dance education with the most individual attention, and ensure students learn while having fun.
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