All of us at Chehalem Valley Dance Academy – staff past and present – are proud of the dancers that have passed through our doors and danced on our floors. We truly believe that dance skills are life skills and the Alumni of CVDA prove that. Whether you become a professional dancer, take dance class, or never dance again, your time spent at CVDA will have a great impact on your life. Check back for more updates on these Alumni and more.
Charissa Fuller I began dancing when I was seven years old at CVDA and instantly fell in love with dance. After I took my first jazz class with Holly, I knew that I had finally found an activity that I wasn’t going to dread going to, like I did with playing soccer and swimming. Instead I couldn’t stand waiting a whole week to go to class again. Then after only dancing for a year I was asked to be a part of the Performing Company. I felt like this was such a huge accomplishment for me, which pushed me to dance even better. While dancing at CVDA I have took every opportunity to expand my skills as a dancer but without all of the help from the teachers at CVDA I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today. This year I am attending Cornish College of The Arts in Seattle, Washington to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. I would have never thought that I would still be continuing dance as my career, but because of the encouragement and support from all of the teachers, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else but dancing. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the training and skills that I have learned from CVDA. I was taught to never give up and always work towards your dreams and goals. I find inspiration from my peers and especially the teachers at CVDA. I have seen many people accomplish their dreams and I know I am capable of doing the same because of what CVDA has taught me to do.
CVDA has and always will be a home to me. I love substituting in classes every once in a while. With how much passion and love I gained from dancing at the studio I started a summer dance program with the McMinnville Community Center. I had so much fun and learned a lot from that. I taught a jazz and hip hop class for six weeks for teenagers. I also had the opportunity to choreograph Newberg High School’s musical, Pirates of Penzance. I put over one hundred hours into choreographing and teaching the dances. With much help from Kristen Coats, I felt very accomplished and was happy to say that I was a dancer at CVDA. I am now a freshman at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. I am a member of the dance team here, and teaching a few routines. I am also a Licensed Zumba Instructor. Story is, Chehalem Valley Dance Academy and all of the amazing people that run that studio have lead me along this awesome life I am jumping out into. I am so appreciative of EVERYTHING they have done for me.
In 2009 it became time for me to move to SOuthern California. A dream that I wanted to acheive for at least a moment in my life. Also with that dream I wanted a chance to have some sort of a career with dance. Since I have lived in California I have been in 5 shows and parades at Disnleyland Resort. Each parade/show has had something very significant and inspring with it. I also have been a part of making a music video for Ryan Marks (at ryanmarks.com). And still attending classes while im down in Southern California.
From history to present I have carried all of my training and love that I received from CVDA on back in all these years. I would have never made it this far with out all my instructors or even my core group from CVDA. All my credit goes to what came out of that studio. With that I know I have many more dreams and many more goals I will work towards. As long as I put my foot out there I am proud whether I get there or not! God has a plan, and you just have to make sure you give anything a shot because something great will come out of it!
Daphne Clark Hello. My name is Daphne Clark, formerly known as Daphne Morter. In other words…I’m married now and happier than ever! After I left Chehalem Valley Dance Academy I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I took a year off and traveled with a Christian singing/dancing group called the Continentals. I was able to visit 10 countries and 35 states. That was a beyond amazing opportunity for me, but it also made me realize that Newberg is the place for me! I applied to George Fox University attended for 2 years studying marketing (may or may not continue that endeavor)… In March 2010 I married the love of my life. I may not be a Lady Gaga back-up dancer, a Rockette or a prima ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre, but I definitely do boogie hard in my living room. I will ALWAYS love to dance, where ever I may be.
I danced at CVDA from 2002-2007. Those five years were definitely life changing, and I would not be the person I am today without the people I met and the skills I was taught. The main thing I learned at the studio was the importance of optimism. The encouragement I received from my teachers helped me to build confidence and a positive attitude. We were taught to dance because we loved to dance, not because we loved to compete or show off.
I also gained an incredible group of friends through CVDA, dance is something that can bond people like nothing else. I am still best friends with the girls that I grew up dancing with. Although we all may be in different places geographically, we stay in close contact and when were together its like no one ever left.
I am not sure where life is going to take me next, but as for now I am beyond blessed and full of joy every day. And don’t worry for everyone who misses me…I haven’t gone far. You can find me slingin espresso on a daily basis at Dutch Bros, or walking my adorable dog downtown Newberg. Life is good.
Sami Roberson I was apart of CVDA from 2004-2010, and am now attending the University of Oregon (go ducks) and am on the UO hip hop team (Jam Squad). I have also been able to begin classes in the UO performing arts program because of my CVDA training. Within the next year or two I’m hoping to get involved in a few dance internships based out of California. My greatest friends have all come from my CVDA family, and I would not be nearly as a responsible, strong, or goal driven person if it weren’t for my time at CVDA.