The Dance Instructors
Deborah Fields Perez
Deborah has over twenty years of experience as a dance instructor and competitor competing in National Dance Championships across the country. Her titles include: United States Rising Star Theater Arts Champion, Dixie Invitational American Style Theater Arts Champion, South Eastern Theater Arts Dance Champion, Fred Astaire Dixie Invitational Theater Arts Champion, World Champion Dance Cheerleader – Notre Dame University. Deborah was certified by Arthur Murray Studios and Fred Astaire Dance Studios with high honors. She trained with dance greats such as Patrick and Wendy Johnson, Chester Whitmore, Rufus Dustin, Ron Montez, Rick Valenzuela, Terry Leone, Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. As a sideline special skill, Deborah also has a background in theatrical weaponry and has trained many of Hollywood’s stuntmen for movie scenes!
Deborah is a member of the National Dance Council of America, USA Dance, Inc. as an Athlete: Professional, a coveted member of the International Dance Council – CID and listed on the International List of Who’s Who in Dancing. Deborah has appeared and choreographed in numerous television, films, music videos & stage productions. Her latest television appearance was on “The Bachelor” as a dance instructor. Deborah now dances professionally with Craig Morris and owns the By Your Side Dance Studio as well as By Your Side Productions performance dance company.
Jordi is a two-time American Choreography Award nominee as well as a MethodFest Film Festival nominee. His passion and expertise for dance and Tango have led him to a very fulfilling career. Jordi has worked with a long list of celebrities including Cher, Madonna, the Spice Girls 2008 Reunion World Tour, Tony Bennett , Jennifer Lopez, and Macy Gray among many others. Hit Film and TV shows include Chris Columbus’ film/musical Rent, Rob Reiner’s Alex and Emma, The Oscars, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Next Top Model, CSI Miami, Nip-Tuck, Brothers & Sisters, Sex and the City, The Shield, The Unit, Cold Case, GRIMM and Entourage among many other.
Laura Canellias, also known as the “First Lady of Salsa” is one of the foremost salsa dance instructors on the west coast as well as one of the pioneers of the L.A. Salsa style. Originally from Texas, her dance training began at a young age with ballet, jazz, and tap and later included ballroom dancing. Since moving to Los Angeles 24 years ago, her reputation and teaching skills in the world of salsa have placed her in high demand taking her around the globe teaching, coaching, judging, performing as well as choreographing for television, film, and stage. As a featured performer, she has danced her way into movies such as: The Mambo Kinds, Out To Sea and Dance With Me. Her performance with the great Tito Puente, was one of the highlights of her career was performing with The Spanish Harlem Orchestra at the 2003 Montreal Jazz Festival.
Laura has received multiple honors including The Anibal Vasquez Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the salsa community presented to her at Bacardi’s 2000 World Salsa Congress in Puerto Rico, as well as Awards of Special Recognition in 1998 & 2001 at the W.C. Salsa Congress in Los Angeles and again at Puerto Rico’s 2005 World Salsa Congress. She produced and created the aerobic workout and DVD, Cardio Salsa as well as producing seven music CDs for Rhino Records, five of which were Latin cds that charted on Billboard’s Tropical Top 40. She performed and was artistic director of the eclectic salsa performance group, Salsa Confunction for seven years and was recently featured in the book, Faith In Carlos Gomez, by Samantha Dunn. Over the last 12 years, her skills extended into promoting local salsa events in Los Angeles with salsa promoter, Albert Torres, as she continued to teach, perform, coach and judge at various events and congresses around the world. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Santa Monica College for 11 years and has instructed at Loyola Marymount University and currently teaches at By Your Side Dance Studio in Los Angeles.
Shay Dixon is a very diverse professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer from Florida. He has become well known through-out the dance industry for his style, strong technique, and charisma on the dance floor. His love for music and dance has led to substantial success on and off the competition floor.
His 15 years of dance training spans from Latin, Ballroom, Hustle, Salsa and WC Swing to Ballet, Hip hop, Contemporary & Theater Arts. Over the past few years, under the leadership of Ralph Ramirez & Billy Farajo, Shay has captured six professional championship titles in Hustle & Salsa. He placed top 6 in the World Exhibition Cabaret at USDC, and won the World Hustle Championship title in 2009 at IHSC. In 2010, Shay was chosen by Maria Torres (acclaimed choreographer from SYTYCD & numerous Broadway shows) to be featured in
her dance company. Since then, he has been a featured performer in numerous shows across the country.
Guillermo was trained by Champions Felipe and Carolina Telona, Nadia Eftedal, Victor Kanevsky, Valentina Kostenko, Max Sinisa and Eulia Baranovsky. He was the 2005 Silver Salsa National Pro/Am Champion and 2009 American Smooth National Finalist and has been dancing a little over ten years. He specializes in Smooth, Standard, Latin and Rhythm dances.