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Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Ryan began performing at the age of 8 in local theater companies, which eventually led him to the dance studio at the age of 11. Ryan began studying with Gary Kendell (founding member of Jabbawockeez) when he was 13 years old, as a member of the hip hop dance crew "Boom Squad". Ryan is a former five-year cast member of two international touring shows, "Monster Shop Bump’n" and "Break Shop."  In 2007 he teamed up with GEE FAM, David Bortnick and Joe Gray, to create the national touring show the “InnerACTIONS Project,” for which he was Artistic Director and Choreographer. Ryan’s Credits include “Westside Story," Disney’s “That’s So Raven," Billy Blanks' celebrity basketball halftime show, Redbull SF promo event, soloist in “A Midsummer Nightmare," San Francisco International Hip Hop Festival and SummerFest Dance Convention. Ryan is committed to sharing the gift of dance and working with those passionate to learn and create in the hip-hop medium.


Padma Curren has spent her life devoted to the art of dance.  She began dancing at the tender age of five and has not been able to stop since! She trained at The Studio School of Classical Ballet and at No Limits Dance and Performing Arts in Santa Cruz California, as well as with many master teachers from across the nation.   In college Padma studied dance with an emphasis on choreography and has since won several choreographic awards.  


After college she moved to the Reno/Tahoe area to focus on her performance career.  Her resume includes performances for Nascar, Disney, Verizon Wireless, Hoover, Paramount’s Great America, The World Famous Magic Castle, and NYE Extravaganza shows for the Silver Legacy, Atlantis and Peppermill Casino Resort.  She has performed in cities around the country such as Los Angeles, Charlotte, Los Vegas, and San Francisco, as well as in the Reno/Tahoe area. 


Padma has been a teacher for over 20 years and studio owner since 2015.  Padma continues perfecting her craft as a dancer, teacher and choreographer by taking classes and attending teacher training seminars and workshops.  She is extremely passionate about dance and is proud to call it her chosen career. She loves teaching and sharing her passion for dance with her students.  It is her ultimate goal to help her students uncover their own love and passion for dance by helping them grow and step into their own as artists.  


Amanda Lawson’s professional career began at the young age of twelve when she became one of the original members of Nevada Festival Ballet, the only professional ballet company in Northern Nevada at that time. During her ten years with the dance company, she rose from performing in the corps de ballet to the level of soloist.


With over 30 years of teaching experience, Amanda has produced, choreographed and directed numerous productions. She was the owner and Artistic Director of Danscape Academy for 11 years. 


Over the years, her students have been accepted to numerous ballet programs

including: The Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theater, Houston Ballet, The Rock School, Kirov Ballet and many more.

Amanda continually strives to explore and learn new techniques and strategies to share with her students. She has attended many teaching seminars these past years, including at the Houston Ballet Company and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company. Most recently, Amanda became a trained and certified instructor of Progressing Ballet Technique, or the PBT methodology.

As TDF’s Ballet Director, Amanda feels blessed for the opportunity to pass on her passionate love of dance, as well as the history and traditions of ballet, to each new generation of dancers. She is proud and grateful to be a member of the TDF family!


Jess began dancing at the age of 18 months. Growing up in the studio her mother owned in Denver, Colorado, put dance at the forefront in her early years. She trained in many styles including: Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics, Lyrical and Contemporary. During these years, she also trained in gymnastics, acting, and piano. As a dancer, Jess achieved many awards at both Regional and National competitions. She trained with several studios, coaches and choreographers around the country until the age of 19. She started teaching at her mom's studio at the age of 12, working with the young recreational and team dancers. Jess is a lifelong learner and continues to participate in training programs with Acrobatic Arts and Early Education Dance Professionals. Holding multiple certifications with Acrobatic Arts (M1, Preschool, Aerials), mUv Method Flexibility and Zumbini. Her mission is to always be learning and growing as a teacher and to provide the opportunities for our dancers to discover who they are as artists and athletes.   


She moved to Truckee in 2014 and found her way back to the dance world with TDF. Training this new generation of dancers in this amazing community is her greatest passion. As a dance teacher, Jess feels that it is important for the students to feel safe, confident and motivated to explore what they can achieve. Jess wants to see her students succeed and find their own love of dance and everything it has to offer. 


Haley Blakeman has been teaching dance for six years. She started dancing in Reno at age 6, training in hip hop, tap, ballet, and jazz. As a teenager, she began to work as an assistant to various teachers and learned to choreograph and teach. Throughout her teenage years, she was given the chance to perform in local musicals as well as in competitions and local shows. She studied Urban Dance in Los Angeles and San Diego through the Culture Shock Scholarship Program, performed in galas, and danced for Insomniac’s EDC Festival. She is now teaching locally in the Reno/Tahoe area and performing in local shows.

In her classes, she works on connecting students with music in a way that is both emotional and logical. She also teaches her students to express themselves through storytelling. Overall, she tries to create an environment that encourages the students to be present in their bodies. Haley finds great joy in sharing what she has learned with her students. She has a passion for dance and the way it brings people together. She loves her job and truly believes dance to be a profound tool for emotional healing and release, one that she hopes will create a positive difference in the lives of the

younger generations.


Mariposa Trustman, or "Posie" as most people know her, is 17 and currently a senior at Truckee High School. She has been dancing for 14 years and trained under PJ and Ryan for 11 of those years. She participates in two companies here at TDF, Inspire Dance Company and Quality Control. In addition, she has had the opportunity to train at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC for 3 summers. Throughout her time dancing, Posie has been awarded numerous scholarships at dance conventions. Last year, she began choreographing for competitions and was awarded a choreography award at an event in L.A. She has been assisting and co-teaching classes at TDF since she was in 7th grade and this is her second year teaching classes.


Mariposa thinks it is very important for kids who are starting out in dance to have the most fun while also learning. Therefore she makes her classes entertaining while maximizing learning. She feels that students are able to learn better and be more motivated when they are comfortable around the teacher and will see them as both a mentor and a friend. Posie enjoys making connections with each of her students!


Emma has been dancing since she was 12 years old, which is a much later age than most dancers. She has trained in the art of ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop and breakdance at Truckee dance Factory. She is on the competitive team, Inspire and she continues to dance up to 15 hours a week. Emma began assisting dance classes during her Junior year in High School. As a graduating Senior in High School, she is now teaching her own class. She wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!


It is Emma’s belief that it is very important that her students feel a strong connection to the art of dance. She provides them with the opportunity to express themselves creatively in class through their  movements. She finds the basics a very important foundation in dance and she strives to make sure each student feels confident in their abilities. She loves teaching young minds to grow and communicate through dance!



Tilly Ekers is a student and teacher at Truckee Dance Factory! She has been dancing since she was three years old. She started her training in Santa Cruz, where she danced for eleven years. She then moved to Tahoe and started classes at Truckee Dance Factory. As part of our elite Inspire Team, she  Tilly has been assisting with classes and participating in learning to be a great dance teacher while at TDF. This is her first year as an instructor.


Tilly is excited to be teaching Ballet and Contemporary. Her view point as a teacher is to encourage her students to express themselves in their individual creativity through dance starting at a young age. Students having fun while learning allows Tilly to share her passion for dance with them.  She is constantly learning from her students and it is important to her to have an individual relationship with each and every one in her classes.

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