Kat is the owner of Tacoma Dance studios and has an extensive history of performing Raks Sharqi (also known as belly dance). She is well known for her sense of humor, grace, and strong technique. Kat teaches weekly, mentors private students, produces both monthly and annual shows, runs a podcast on belly dance, and is Washington's only snake belly dancer. She believes that all shapes, sizes, and genders are welcome to belly dance.
Rico Lastrapes is a Seattle based actor who has been fortunate enough to perform internationally. He toured the United States co-hosting SeaWorld Kid's Generation Nature LIVE with Bindi Irwin and has also appeared in Nantes, France, originating the role of Chief Saturiwa in La Caroline: A New Rock Opera. He spent a summer in Chillicothe, OH, riding horses and swinging war clubs as Kitate in Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama, danced and played saxophone as a “Wonderer” at Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA and Idlewild in Ligonier, PA, tap danced in Gyspy (Tulsa) at the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine, FL and crossed swords with Lancelot in Camelot (Ensemble) at the Baton Rouge Little Theatre in Louisiana.
ico moved to Washington in 2015 after receiving his BFA in Acting from the University of Central Florida and has been very active in the Puget Sound theatre community, with five featured roles since his arrival. Most notably, he was featured as Race in Village Theatre's production of Disney's NEWSIES.
His Orlando theatre credits include RENT (Clandestine Arts), Dreamgirls (Mad Cow Theater), Godspell (The Vine Theater), and numerous events at the Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Resorts. He has understudied major productions at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater (including Peter and the Starcatcher) and also been seen in Little Shop of Horrors, Tommy, The Full Monty, Beauty and the Beast, and Schoolhouse Rock LIVE in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL.
Tribal Fusion Belly Dance
Catherine Bird is a tribal fusion belly dancer, hoop dancer, and fire arts performer from Tacoma, WA. Her love of movement began when she saw fire poi performers for the first time in 2003 at a small house party. With electronic music as her soundtrack she began to explore the flow arts, delving into hoops, poi, fans, staff, and fire eating. In 2011 she began performing with the local cirque/fire troupe Flair Entertainment and has entertained for everything from children’s parties to corporate occasions to music festivals to burlesque shows. Eventually she came across tribal fusion belly dance and life was never quite the same. She is certified in Phase 2: Cultivation of Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements training program, is a former member of Off the Cuff Tribal directed by Nancy Brown, and is a current student of Nadira in Seattle. She also travels multiple times a year to continue her belly dance education. When she isn’t adorned in sparkles, she is kept quite busy managing her urban farm.
Tiffany is an independent contractor who teaches Hip hop from ages 4 and up. Over her 15 yeas of experience she has choreographed musical theater numbers, group ensembles and solo routines. Tiffany’s dance training began young and lead her to many studios such as Prima Dance and the Riverside Ballet Academy. She also began, choreographed and ran a school dance team encouraging young girls with no dance training to learn and grow their technique. She has choreographed for community theater productions of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Zombie Prom and Once Upon a Mattress. After having her first child Tiffany began to assist in the instruction of a Baby-wearing Barre class. Upon moving to Washington Tiffany began working as a dance instructor at a local studio and has since decided to expand. She loves teaching all ages and skill levels, and believes that dance is a wonderful way to bring people together, break down barriers and relieve stress.
Matt and Kayli
Matt and Kayli have been dancing and studying Bachata together in the area for several years and now look forward to starting a beginning Bachata class here at Tacoma Dance Studio. They can't wait to see students expand their sense of movement, develop greater confidence and gain a new appreciation for music through the practice of this beautiful and versatile dance.
Kayli grew up practicing a wide variety of dance styles, including jazz, ballet, lyrical, and contemporary. After college, her love for dance drove her to find adult classes and led her to Arthur Murray in Orlando, Fl. Ballroom and social dancing brought a new energy to her life-long passion for dance. She hopes to make Bachata class fun and exciting, giving people an opportunity to get out of their boxes, meet new people, and overall have a very enjoyable time moving and grooving with a smile on their faces.
Matt's path to becoming a dance instructor was probably quite unconventional. He only started dancing a few years ago, but brought with him a lifetime of diverse athletic experience. He grew up as a competitive martial artist, and enjoyed the sport's focus on precision of movement and proper bio-mechanics. In college he worked as a personal trainer and gained valuable experience helping clients reach their fitness goals in both group and individual settings. He recently left the US Army after serving for six years, much of it spent working alongside the US Special Forces, where he had to repeatedly overcome diverse and demanding physical challenges. Although he began social dancing by taking a wide variety of different classes, upon seeing an advanced Bachata performance, he immediately knew that not only would Bachata be his main focus in dance, but one of his primary passions in life. After years of absorbing the lessons offered from both athletic success and failure, Matt is confident that anyone can achieve their goals, no matter their starting point, and looks forward to encouraging and guiding students along their path as a new dance instructor.
Jen Cerdena is a performer, instructor, and ever-evolving student of tribal fusion and American Tribal Style® (ATS®) belly dance. Jen holds General Skills and Teacher Training (I and II) teaching certifications as well as Sister Studio Status through FatChanceBellyDance®, directed by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman (creator of American Tribal Style® bellydance). Jen’s love affair with bellydance began at a young age, since growing up in a Palestinian household, she has been immersed in the art of Middle-Eastern dance for as long as she can remember. Jen’s a founding troupe member of Damiana Dance Company and Davina Tribal Collective. She also travels to teach and perform for various events as a Tribal Fusion soloist, with double swords, as well as with Damiana Dance Company.