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JOY MacKINNON, OWNER/DIRECTOR

Hello and Welcome!

I am Joy MacKinnon, Owner/Director of the MacKinnon Dance Academy, Oxnard, California.  I was born into a family of dancers, dance teachers, and performers.  I don’t remember learning to dance – especially Tap or Scottish Highland Dancing.  My cousins and I began to perform at 4 years of age and it wasn’t until I went to Kindergarten that I discovered the fact that all kids did not know how to do “time-steps” or the Highland Fling.

I have never stopped learning about dance and have studied jazz with Luigi in New York, Gus Giordano of Chicago, tap with whomever I could steal from, modern dance, ballet, character, and musical comedy from teachers all over the country.

I have been, or am currently a member of:  the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists, the American Guild of Variety Artists, the British Associations of Teacher’s of Dance, the Professional Dancers Society, and the International Tap Association.  Although I have performed in hundreds of cabaret venues, clubs, television, and community theaters – teaching is my focus and my first love.

I have learned more about dance, love, expression, and commitment from my precious students over the years, than I ever learned in any dance class in my entire career.  I began teaching at age 14, and produced my first ‘show’ at age 16 with three hundred people attending.  Although I have had other jobs throughout the years, I have always been called back to teaching.

I am primarily a choreographer who teaches.  I believe in dance and that the creative processes involved in dance should not be restricted to dancers or to those with pre-determined physical characteristics.  There is a great therapeutic value to be gained through being comfortable in your body and moving fearlessly through space.  Dance can provide all who partake, a new and exciting dimension through movement, music, and challenge.  My belief is that every child should have some sort of dance training.  Dance elevates the soul, addresses the spirit, and enchants the human experience. 

Welcome to MacKinnon Dance Academy!

Joy
Joy MacKinnon

Owner/Director

 

 












SUSAN ESKRIDGE

Susan “Susie” Eskridge teaches Tap, Ballet, and Scottish Highland Dance in addition to being Joy MacKinnon’s Assistant.  She grew up at MacKinnon Dance Academy and has been a member of the Pure Joy Moving Company, the Pumping Metal Tappers, and the Scottish Highland Concert Dancers.  She has also studied with Stanley Holden and Mara Lysova, as well as dozens of instructors in professional workshops and dance conventions.  She is currently the Director of MacKinnon’s Scottish Highland Dance Program (and is accredited to teach Scottish Highland Dance by the Scottish Dance Teachers of America) and Assistant to Joy MacKinnon for the Pure Joy Moving Company. 










OTTIS GILLESPIE

Ottis has trained in Salsa Dance with:  Jay Byam and Molly Anderson, Juan Purazaca, Eddie Espinoza, Kirsten Miller, Isabelle Pompillo, Laura Canellias, Liz Lira, Salomon and Sandra Rivera, Joby Brava, Teresa Zamorano, Jaime and Gail Arias, Walters Emmanuel Jones, Mike and Tina del Campo, Conrad Diaz, and Louvie Hernandez.  He has been teaching Salsa Dance for singles and couples at MacKinnon Dance Academy in Oxnard, California for over nine years and is certified to teach Salsa dancing through Josie Neglia Dance Academy.
 











VANESSA GONZALES

Vanessa has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Scottish Highland dancing for over 25 years.  She is an alumnus of both the Pumping Metal Tappers and the Pure Joy Moving Company.  She has also been a Scottish Highland competitor, winning over 6 Aggregate Trophies and dozens of medals.  Vanessa teaches Levels 1, 2, and 3 Jazz Dance.












LISA LAUBACHER

Lisa began her Ballet training in Medellin, Columbia and continued at the Toledo Ballet School and National Ballet School of Mexico City.  She danced with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company, Santa Barbara Ballet, State Street Ballet, and with the Plexus Dance Theatre.  She has accumulated over 30 years of teaching and performing experience.  Lisa has been with MacKinnon Dance Academy for over 27 years.











JEFF MOLONY


Jeff Molony leads Mornings and Ballet Workouts.  He is a veteran of several local ballet companies and dance organizations and has earned multiple academic degrees in both mathematics and sciences throughout his career.  In addition to leading Mornings and Ballet Workouts at MacKinnon Dance Academy, Jeff teaches Astronomy and Math at ULV and CLU (Cal Lutheran University).












KAREN NARULA

Karen Narula is a dedicated performer who has toured with modern troupes based out of Los Angeles, California.  Companies Karen has been a member of include:  Los Angeles Modern Dance & Ballet, Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers, and Brockus Project Dance Company.  As an alumni of MacKinnon Dance Academy and the Pure Joy Moving Company, Karen is excited to take her passion for the performing arts and share it with the students of MacKinnon Dance Academy.
 











JOSIE “KEALOHA” RAMIREZ

Aloha – la Orana – Haere Mai – Talofa – Mabuhay … Auntie Josie “Keoloha” is the mother of 3 boys and 1 girl, grandmother of 5 and an Auntie to many.  She has been performing Polynesian dances for over 30 years.  She gives credit for her knowledge of the Polynesian dances to the many Aunties and Kumus who have shared their knowledge with her.  Now she shares what she has learned with those who want to learn the traditional dances of the islands.  Please visit www.kealohaandco.com for information.  Polynesian Classes are held at MacKinnon Dance Academy on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00-7:00 pm.










 
ANNA REED SANCHEZ

Anna teaches Tap, Ballet, and Creative Movement for pre-schoolers.  She grew up at MacKinnon Dance Academy, and has also attended countless workshops with prestigious instructors from the large dance community – most notably any and all Tap she could find, including workshops with Fayard Nicholas and Jimmy Slyde.  She is the primary choreographer and Director of the Pumping Metal Tappers.











ASHLEY SKILLMAN

Ashley is trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Scottish Highland.  She has grown up dancing at MacKinnon Dance Academy and started dancing at the age of two.  She is a member of the Pure Joy Moving Company and FLORA.  She was a Scottish Highland competitor for eleven years and won countless trophies and medals.  She is furthering her dance career through college and is teaching Jazz Classes for children.











SARAH TROTTER

Sarah has trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Scottish Highland.  She is an alumnus of the Pure Joy Moving Company, FLORA, and the Pumping Metal Tappers and was also a Scottish Highland competitor winning dozens of trophies and medals.  Sarah is teaching ages five through seven in Combination Ballet/Tap Classes, ages three through four Combination Ballet/Tap Classes, and ages five to seven Jazz.

Joy is a member of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, The British Association of Teacher's of Dance (BATD), and the Federation of United States Teachers and Adjudicators (FUSTA).  In Addition, she supports local program and charitable organizations such as:  Senior Nutrition Action Council (SNAC), FoodShare, the State Street Ballet Company, American Arthritis Association, and others.  Although she no longer regularly performs, Joy is also a past member of the National Association of Dance and Affiliation Artists (NADAA), and the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA).

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