Meet Our Team

Calli Fonua

Company

Calli Patricia Fonua is 15 years old and attending Ventura High School in Ventura, California. She has been dancing since she was five years old. This is her first year in SSBYD. She has attended Boston Ballet's five-week summer intensive program twice (2017 and 2019).

Sydney Coffman

Company

This year will be Sydney’s 5th year dancing with SSBYD. She is 15 years old and a sophomore at Nordhoff High School. She has been dancing for 10 years and has performed roles such as Thumbelina, in the 2017 production of Thumbelina, and Rudolph in the 2018 production of Rudolph. While she’s not at the studio, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, hiking, swimming, and playing with her dogs. She is excited for another year full of dance and new, fun experiences with SSBYD.

Tessa Storr

Company

Tessa is 17 years old and a senior at San Marcos High. This is her fifth year in SSBYD and she is a Company member. In the past, Tessa has attended the State Street Ballet Summer Intensive as well as the GD Junior Intensive. She has performed roles such as Clarice and Charlie in Rudolph, and is looking forward to dancing as a Princess in the Nutcracker this season, as well as Spirit of Winter in Rudolph. Aside from dance, Tessa enjoys traveling, singing, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. She is excited for another wonderful year of SSBYD!

Olivia Gobbell

Company

Olivia is a 15-year-old junior at carpinteria high school and is excited for her 4th year in SSBYD! Olivia's favorite role is princesses in the nutcracker which she performed last year and will be repeating this year. When she isn't dancing Olivia loves the beach, hiking and playing with her cats.

Ava Benhayon

Company

Ava is 14 years old and a freshman at Santa Barbara High School where she is a member of the MAD Academy. The 2020-2021 season marks Ava’s 11th year at GD and 4th year as a member of SSBYD. Ava loves being part of this amazing studio and has performed many roles in Rudolph, The Nutcracker, and the spring performances over the years. Ava dances year-round by attending summer intensives and is looking forward to another fantastic year.

Ashly Pryor

Company

Ashly is 15 years old and attends Laguna Blanca School. She has trained at GD since she was 3 years old and this is her 4th year in SSBYD. Ashly attended the State Street Ballet Summer Intensive in summer 2020. She is grateful to be dancing the role of Clara in SSB’s Nutcracker 2020. In addition to her passion for dance, Ashly also enjoys traveling with her family and hanging out with her friends.

Rebecca Lennon

Company

Rebecca is a 15 year old sophomore at Dos Pueblos High School. Rebecca has been dancing with Gustafson dance since she was 2 years old and is in her 4th year with SSBYD. Rebecca has attended the State Street Ballet Summer Intensive program and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Dance Intensive along with participating in the summer programs at Gustafson Dance. When she is not dancing, Rebecca keeps busy by participating in her schools Broadcast Media Arts program where she is an anchor for the school’s news program and the new podcast.

Madelyne Herbert

Company

Madelyne is 14 years old and is a freshman at Santa Barbara High School. Madelyne has trained with Gustafson Dance since she was three years old and this is her fourth year in SSBYD. She is very grateful to get the opportunity to play Clara in SSB’s production of The Nutcracker this year. When Madelyne isn’t dancing she loves to hang out with friends and go to the beach.

Jacey Woodall-Allen

Company

Jacey is 16 years old and is currently in 11th grade at Santa Barbara High School. She has been dancing at GD since she was 2 years old. Jacey is pleased to be a Company member of SSBYD this year and continuing her dance training. She loves helping others discover their love for dance. Jacey has been a teaching assistant for ballet, tap and summer camp for the past 5 years. Jacey’s dream is to have her own dance studio where she can choreograph and teach. Dancing is her passion, whether it is jazz, ballet or tap, and would love to continue dancing throughout the rest of her life.

Sadie Ugoretz

Company

Sadie is 16 years old and a junior at Dos Pueblos High School. She has been dancing at Gustafson Dance since she was 3. In previous summers, she attended the State Street Ballet Intensive and Idyllwild Arts Intensive. This past summer, she attended her 7th Gustafson Junior Intensive. In her free time, Sadie enjoys being an editor on her school’s yearbook and hanging out with her sisters. She is really looking forward to her 4th year of SSBYD as a Company dancer.

McKenzie Gosney

Apprentice 2

McKenzie is 14 and a freshman at Bishop Diego high school this year. She has been dancing with GD for 11 years. McKenzie is most excited to get to be Rudolph this year and be in Waltz in the Nutcracker. In her free time McKenzie likes to hang out with friends and ski.

Tali McPeters

Apprentice 2

Tali McPeters is 14 years old, and a freshman at Santa Barbara High School. This is her third year in SSBYD, and her fifth year dancing at Gustafson Dance. She is looking forward to performing in Waltz of the Flowers in this year’s Nutcracker, and dancing in Rudolf. Outside of ballet, she enjoys being in the VADA arts academy at SBHS and going to the beach.

Olivia Pires

Apprentice 2

Olivia is 15 years old and is an 9th grader. She has been a dancer since the age of 3 and has danced many different styles such as Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap, and Musical Theater. Olivia joined GD 4 years ago and has been attending their junior intensive summer programs and dancing in the Nutcracker along with other shows each year since. This will be her third year with SSBYD. When Olivia isn’t dancing, she enjoys spending time with her friends, listening to music and traveling with her family.

Lucia Ramirez Solano

Apprentice 2

Lucia is a 13-year-old and in the 9th grade at San Marcos High School. She is excited to be in the Apprentice 1 this year. In her free time, she is on the freshmen cheer team at San Marcos. She enjoys Hanging out with her two sisters and watching Netflix with her friends. She has been doing the Gustafson dance summer programs and junior intensive since age the age of 8. Lucia has been dancing with Gustafson Dance for 7 years now and is excited for this upcoming year with SSBYD!

Luna Ramirez Solano

Apprentice 2

Luna is 13 years old and is in the 8th grade at La Colina Junior High. In her free time, she likes hanging out with friends, listening to music, and spending time with her family. She has been dancing at Gustafson for 8 years and has been participating in the Gustafson junior intensive since the age of 7. She is excited to be an Apprentice 2 this year.

Lauren Wilk

Apprentice 2

Lauren is 14 years old and is in 9th grade at San Marcos High School. She started ballet at GD when she was just a few years old and has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and musical theater. She has participated in the Nutcracker, Rudolph, the spring performances, and the camps during the summer. This year will be her third year in SSBYD and she is very excited to continue dancing with her friends. When Lauren is not dancing or working on schoolwork, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing the piano, and traveling with her family.

Taylor Wolf

Apprentice 2

Taylor is a 16-year-old student at Santa Barbara High School. This is her 3rd year dancing with SSBYD, joining GD in 2007, and has greatly enjoyed being apart of this program. Taylor is experienced in jazz, contemporary, aerial, hip-hop, musical theatre, etc; but ballet is her passion. Taylor has performed many roles in Rudolph, The Nutcracker, Celebration of Dance, the Emerging Showcase, spring performances; and has studied with SBDA, as well as State Street Ballet, over the Summer. Outside of dance, Taylor is very involved in school with both academics and community service. Taylor loves to travel, play the piano, ski, and engage in a multitude of outdoor sports, with friends and family. She hopes to continue dancing far into the future, and is excited for another great year of SSBYD!

Grace Wyman

Apprentice 2

Grace is 15 years old and a sophomore at Santa Barbara High School. She began ballet at Island Dance Academy in Hilo, Hawaii when she was 5 years old, and joined GD in 2017. She loves all kinds of dance and has done Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Folk dance, and Hula. This is her third year in SSBYD and she is excited for another year of dance, and hopes to experience new things and improve on her dancing. Other than dance, she loves paddle boarding and spending time with her friends and family. She hopes to continue ballet far into the future.

Ella Richardson

Apprentice 1

Ella is 13 years old and is in 7th grade. She has been dancing with Gustafson since she was 2 and has danced in Rudolph, Nutcracker, Spring performances and every summer camp since she was old enough to participate. She was honored to perform as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
In addition to dancing, Ella enjoys singing and theatre and has performed at many events and venues in Santa Barbara since she was 4 years old. She is beyond thrilled to be an Apprentice 1 member of the SSBYD family and can’t wait for an exciting year!

Lucia Camp

Apprentice 1

Lucia is 13 years old and an 8th grader at Santa Barbara Junior High. This is her first year in SSBYD and her second year dancing at GD. She has been dancing since she was 6 and is excited to be an ice skater in the Nutcracker. She has participated in GD’s junior intensive for the past two summers and is looking forward to doing it again this year. She is also looking forward to attending her first festival. When not dancing Lucia loves to spend time at the beach and with her friends.

Berenice Clair

Apprentice 1

Berenice is 13 years old and an 8th grader. She started dancing at the age of 4 and joined GD during a 2018 summer intensive. This her second year as a member of SSBYD, she is really exited to learn new dances and steps. Outside of dance Berenice enjoys hanging out with friends and traveling.

Audrey Messer

Apprentice 1

Audrey Messer, 12 has a great regard for the performing arts as a performer and a spectator. She has had the privilege of being at Gustafson dance from age 2, learning ballet, jazz, tap and contemporary. Audrey has attended the junior intensives and the State Street Ballet intensive. She has danced in Rudolph, the spring and summer shows at the Lobero Theatre and the Nutcracker at the Granada Theatre. She is thankful to be in her second year of SSBYD and looks forward to improving and growing as a dancer this year as an Apprentice 1.

Sophia Kanard

Apprentice 1

Sophia is in 9th grade and is having a great time. Sophia began her ballet training when she was three at Dance Center of Evanston. She has been dancing at Gustafson’s for two years. She has done many styles of dance including; Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Tap and Jazz. Sophia is extremely excited to be a battle toy for the Nutcracker and a misfit toy as well as an ice skater for Rudolf. It is Sophia’s second year in SSBYD and she is very excited. She likes to read, write, and be with family and friends in her free time.

Freya Dogic

Apprentice 1

Freya is 14 years old and a freshman at Dos Pueblos High School. She has been dancing for around 10 years and is starting her fourth year at Gustafson Dance. Freya is excited to grow as a dancer in her second year of SSBYD. She loves to try new styles of dance and is looking forward to performing on pointe for the first time. Outside of dance, Freya enjoys water skiing, traveling, hanging out with her friends, and playing tennis.

Micaela White

Apprentice 1

Micaela White is 13 years old and has been dancing with GD roughly 9 years. She attends Inspire Charter School as an 8th grader this year. She was born with an innate love of dance and always enjoys performing in all the various shows with GD. She is so thrilled to be part of SSBYD as an apprentice this season.

Siena Romo

Apprentice 1

Siena Romo is 13 years old and an 8th grader at Santa Barbara Jr. High. Siena started dancing at 2 years old. She started GD at 3 years old. Throughout her time at Gustafson Dance, she has learned that being close with people then not being able to physically see them is hard but eventually you see your happiness again. Being in SSBYD is a very special opportunity for Siena. She has many amazing friends by her side, with whom she enjoys laughing, smiling, and hanging out with. When not dancing, Siena enjoys cleaning random places in her home, painting, and hanging out with family.

Nicole Cornejo

Apprentice 1

Nicole is a 14 year old student, currently in 9th grade. Nicole has been dancing with Gustafson Dance since the age of 3 and is so excited to now be a part of SSBYD. She looks forward to working hard this year as an Apprentice 1 and taking part in upcoming performances as well as continuing to develop her talents in all dance styles.

Zsa Zsa Zemeckis

Junior

Zsa Zsa Zemeckis is 13 years old. She has been studying dance with Gustafson Dance since she was two years old. Every year since joining GD she has danced in Rudolph at the Lobero Theatre and the Nutcracker at the Granada. Zsa Zsa loves to dance, play the piano and create videos. She is an original and current member of Lights Up! Theatre Company dancing, singing and acting in “Big Fish and Music Man” at the Marjorie Luke Theatre and 2021’s “The Sound of Music.” She is thrilled to be a junior member of the SSBYD family.

Mia DiMaggio

Junior

Mia DiMaggio

Chloe Nydam

Junior

Chloe Nydam is 13 years old, an 8th grader at La Colina Junior High. Since age 4, she has been dancing at Gustafson. She has been in many Nutcracker, Rudolph, and spring performances since then. Almost 10 years later, Chloe holds dance very close to her heart and it is her passion. She loves to learn new steps and work on them, and she loves learning choreography and feeling the music. Of course, one of her favorite parts of dancing is being on stage. Chloe has done Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Pointe and is always eager to learn a new style. Her favorite steps in Ballet include: Grand Jetes, Fouetté turns, and her splits on her left side.
As well as dancing, Chloe loves singing. Most of her singing happens in the shower, although she does take singing lessons too. Chloe also likes to go to the beach, hang out with friends, bake and cook. She loves all animals too. She has two very fluffy Ragdoll cats at home. Chloe is thrilled to be a part of SSBYD. She is also looking forward to being an Ice Skater and a Misfit Toy in Rudolph, and a Battle Toy in Nutcracker. She is ready to work hard and learn new steps, as well as dancing many more hours a week. Chloe is very grateful that she has the chance to be a part of SSBYD and is excited to be a Junior!

Everly Rhode

Junior

Everly Rhode

Gisela Zuzunaga

Junior

Gisela Zuzunaga is 12 years old and has been dancing since she was 4. She is in seventh grade and homeschooled. Gigi, as her friends call her, has participated in Gustafson dance's Nutcracker, Rudolph, and spring performances. When she is not dancing, she is at youth group, hanging out with friends and family, or reading a good book. This is her first year in SSBYD and she can't wait for the next few years to come.

Taylor Alfama

Junior

Taylor Alfama

Ava Knothe

Junior

Ava Knothe is 11 years old and a 6th grader at Mountain View School. Ava has been dancing at Gustafson's since she was 2 years old and is looking forward to her first-year dancing with SSBYD. When Ava is not at the dance studio, you'll find her at the beach, Lake Nacimiento, or with her friends and family.

Sonia Melkonian

Junior

Sonia is 12 years old and is in seventh grade at La Colina Junior High. She has been dancing since she was three and started dancing at Gustafson when she was four. This is her first year in SSBYD.