Our dance instructors take pride in their knowledge of dance and instructional expertise. All instructors are professionally trained in the form of dance they teach. They understand the joys and benefits of dancing and look forward to bringing the experience of dance into your life.

 

JUDI FREED-SIEGFRIED / OWNER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

 

Mrs. Judi Freed-Siegfried has been involved in dance throughout her whole life as her family has owned and operated dancing schools in South Carolina for over 55 years. A dancer and choreographer, Judi studied dance at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (B.F.A.). After graduation she then received a teaching assistantship to Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas where she obtained her Master of Fine Arts Degree (M.F.A.) in ballet.

In 1986, Judi served on the faculty at Coker College in Hartsville, South Carolina teaching jazz and ballet. After moving to Florida, Judi taught on the faculty of local colleges including, Valencia Community College, Rollins College, and the University of Central Florida.

Following her family’s footsteps, Judi opened up her own studio in Oviedo, Florida in 1991. On top of educating her students in dance, Judi has stressed the importance of being involved in the local community. Her studio has been active in performing for retirement communities, schools, local festivals, and fundraising for Relay for Life.

She still teaches and lectures on tap, ballet, jazz, and modern at the University of Central Florida, where she has remained on faculty since 1988. For over 20 years, Judi has supported Tremaine’s workshops and conventions, where her studio students have grown throughout the years, winning scholarships and title awards. Judi and her students have studied in New York and California in order to keep up with the current dance trends. Her students continue to win top awards at many dance competitions on the regional and national levels and have appeared on local and national television broadcasts.

In the summer of 2009, Ms. Freed-Siegfried was honored by Tremaine Dance as the 2009‐2010 Teacher of the Year. This nationally recognized prestigious achievement is awarded to dance instructors who have demonstrated leadership, innovation, and commitment to the art of dance education.

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.

 

KATRINA JUDY

 

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.

 

SAHMI SHETA

 

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.

 

PATRICIA MARQUEZ

 

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 WEINBAUM

 

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.

HEATHER SUNDERMAN

MELISSA LYON

TAMMY ROYAL

Our office employees know and understand everything about UPAC. If you have any questions regarding course offering, tuition, important dates, or UPAC advice, our office employees are always here to help.

 

LAUREN TERRY

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