Malashock Dance Instructors


Erica Buechner

Erica NEWA local to San Diego, Erica Buechner’s professional career began in 1999, as a professional dancer for many established companies in San Diego. She performed as a company dancer with Mojalet Dance Collective for eleven years and with The PGK Project for two years. Buechner has been a guest artist for Eveoke Dance Theatre, Patricia Sandback and Dancers, Malashock Dance, San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances, Opus Mixtus, and the Joe Alter Dance Group, among other individual choreographers.

Buechner is the co-producer of the youTurn Contemporary Arts Exhibition, an annual arts event created to mobilize artists within the San Diego Community to produce new works more frequently. Her work has been presented by Mojalet Dance Collective, including in Konstanz, Germany in 2012. She was selected to be a part of the La Jolla Music Society’s inaugural CHOREOLab and San Diego Dance Theater’s second annual Young Choreographer’s Prize in 2012. She has also presented her work at many other local events around San Diego, including the Celebrate Dance Festival and San Diego Dances. She continues to produce work, both as an independent artist and under her company name, Sound Dance Company, which was established in 2011.

Buechner received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival in 2013. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2006 from San Diego State University and was named the Outstanding Graduate of the Year in Dance. In 2011, she was awarded the Alumni To Watch Award from SDSU’s School of Music and Dance. In January of 2014, Buechner was named by the San Diego Union-Tribune as an “Artist to Watch” in 2014. She is a current committee member of San Diego Dance Connect, a local organization which has the mission to strengthen the dance community by providing opportunities to network, communicate, advocate, and share resources.

Beginner/Intermediate Modern (Adult) Tuesdays 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Intermediate/Adv. Modern (Adult) Wednesdays 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Laura Hodge, Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Laura Has been teaching with Malashock Dance on and off for the past 20 years. Executive Artistic Director of San Diego Creative Arts Project, and Co Artistic Director of Rosarito Dance Theatre SDCAP Baja Laura is a Dance and Theatre Master Educator, Choreographer, Director, and Performing Artist, whose work is respected from Coast to Coast, and Mexico. Prior to RDT and SDCAP Laura was the Owner, Artistic Director of several award winning companies in Pittsburgh, Pa., where she trained with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Point Park University, studied Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, and trained throughout NYC and LA.

Laura has performed in numerous Musical Theatre productions, Dance Theatre companies, Theatrical Touring companies, Touring Companies, Film, Television, both Pittsburgh and San Diego Symphonies, is a Union Member of SAG-Screen Actor’s Guild, and does Voice Over work.

Teaching credits include: San Diego Arts 4 Learning, CEART Playas de Rosarito, Point Park University, University of Pittsburgh, Millenium (L.A.), Malashock Dance, San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Mary Murphy’s (“So You Think You Can Dance”) Champion Ballroom, and private coaching throughout.

As a Director, Choreographer, and Producer, Laura has choreographed over 25 full-length dance concerts, directed and created original choreography for over 40 Musicals and Ballets, choreographed for a feature Film with star Oscar Isaacs, written plays, and worked on every artistic aspect of performance production.

Becky Hurt, Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Becky Hurt Headshot

Becky (Bex) Hurt started dancing when she was 5 years old. She danced her way through school at San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and graduated with honors in 1997. She went on to minor in dance at S.D.S.U. while she continued her training and performing with Unity Dance Ensemble from 1997-2004 under the direction of Tessandra Chavez. She has also trained with Culture Shock under the direction of Sherman Shoate (2010) and performed in Afta Shock under the direction of Trina Lyons (2009). She found Eveoke Dance Theatre in 2005 and joined the performing group, became a Master Teaching Artist and a Concert Company member as well as an award winning Choreographer. She has performed in multiple shows in San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and went on tour in the Dominican Republic.

She had the honor of co-choreographing the hip hop workshop production Refuge with Myriam Lucas in 2011. And then making it a full production for La Jolla Playhouse called BREAK in 2012 winning the Bravo SD Award. Bex now coaches two competition teams at San Diego Danceworks, teaches movement for the actor at La Jolla Playhouse and teaches outreach at Malashock Dance.

 Ian Isles

Ian is a native of San Diego and is an instructor of Dance, Pilates, and Movement for Non-Dancers. He finished his training in Pilates from the Body Arts Science International headquarters under the instruction of Rael Isacowitz. Ian holds a degree in dance from UCLA and is currently finishing his certification in Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals under Peggy Hackney. He has danced with Vic Marks, David Rousseve, Jesse Zaritt, Maria Gillespie’s Oni Dance, LA Movement Arts, and the IN/EX Dance Project. Ian’s own work has been presented at UCLA, San Diego Dance Theater, and the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Intermediate Contemporary (Adult), Mondays 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Gloria Lanuza, Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Gloria's Headshot

Gloria has many years of professional free-lance work as a featured performance artist in concert and commercial venues internationally since childhood. She also has extensive experience in teaching students of all ages and backgrounds in studios, schools and workshops internationally since 2007. In 2009 she also founded and incorporated Lanuza-Morales, an educational academy and performance company, consisting of her talented filled family and other professional performing artists.

Ms. Lanuza currently is performing internationally and here in San Diego with Café Sevilla, SD Bellydance Co, The MKM Bollystars USA, The San Diego Camarada, Ooh La La Dance Company, Emilio Modern Gypsy, The West Coast Cabaret and continues to direct and perform with her own performance companies. Gloria Lanuza, throughout her years of experience as an artist, is dedicated to developing exciting and unique approaches of fusing styles and cultures together to create an exhilarating experience in her classes, performances, and artist collaborations.

Lizette Ortiz, Education Outreach Teaching Artist

 Lizette Ortiz is a native San Diegan who has been involved with the dance community for over 7 years. Her passion to train and perform started at the Southwestern College Dance Department. She participated in faculty and student choreography, ballet, jazz, hip hop, latin, and modern for 4 years under the direction of Debbie Toth, Mary Jo Horvath, Dana Maue, Jaami Waali, and Colleen Shipkowski.

Lizette has been highly involved with multiple dance choreographers throughout San Diego and Mexico including Jaami and Angel Waali (Kruciaal Element), Peter Kalivas (PGK Project Apprentice), and Gabriela Equiz (Alma Latina Dance Company). Currently, Lizette travels and competes with Jasso Dance Academy under the direction of Sergio Jasso, participating in annual Salsa and Bachata Congresses across the United States and Mexico. She plans on competing this year, at the 2017 World Salsa Summit.

Khamla Somphanh

Khamla dancingKhamla Somphanh has performed and taught professionally throughout the country. She began her training at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and continued at the University of the Arts before moving to NYC to pursue her career. In addition to her classes at Malashock Dance School, Khamla is Artist–In–Resisdence at Canyon Crest Academy and is a freelance choreographer. As an established instructor, Khamla has taught at Mills College, ODC Dance Commons and Shawl-Anderson Modern Dance Center.  She has danced with ODC/ San Francisco Dance Company, Wylliams/Henry Danse Ensemble, Na-Ni Chen Dance Company, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, East/West Repertory Ensemble, New World Dance Company, Soundance Dance Company, as guest artist for Malashock Dance and on Broadway in the “King and I”, choreographed by Lar Lubovitz to name a few.  Khamla received her Horton Pedagogy Certification at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC.

Advanced Modern (Adult)
Tuesdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Thursdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Saturdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

 Heather Shershun, Outreach Teaching Artist

Heather Shershun has been an active teaching artist to students of diverse backgrounds in the San Diego and San Francisco Bay Area dance communities since 2005. Teaching Credits include Malashock Dance (since 2012), Eveoke Dance Theatre (2005-2013), ODC Dance Commons (San Francisco), California Academy of Performing Arts (SF Bay Area), and Outreach Dance classes at over 90 schools, having served over 5,000 students so far.

Heather completed her B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley (with international honors) in 2016, as well as an extensive Teacher Training program through Eveoke Dance theatre on the art of teaching dance in 2007. She specializes in teaching underserved “at risk” populations such as juvenile hall, homeless youth, foster youth and victims of domestic violence, and is certified to assist people with disabilities in movement classes.

Heather has developed curriculum and choreography on “positive body image and healthy self esteem for young women” through dance, and founded San Diego’s first Women in Hip Hop Conference (2007). She has trained at Culture Shock Dance Center, the Academy of Performing Arts, and Evoke Dance Theatre in San Diego, with Allan Frias (of So You Think You Can Dance) at Dance Mission in San Francisco, ODC Dance Commons, UC Berkeley, and Yanis Marshall in San Francisco and Vegas in the styles of; Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Dancehall, African, Burlesque and Ballet. She has performed professionally in Oregon, Oakland, CA and San Diego in numerous Hip Hop, Dancehall/Island Fusion, and Burlesque shows with Dance Northwest, Breakdown Dance Co., Bodywerk Dance, and Eveoke Dance Theatre.

Rachel Torres

Rachel Torres graduated from UCSD in 2012, receiving a BA in Literature with Honors and a minor in Dance. Since graduating, she has had the pleasure of performing for several local dance artists in events such as The Engagement Ring Series at Malashock Dance, youTurn2015, Sound Dance Company’s “An Unlikely Outfit”, IGNITE, The San Diego Fringe Festival, The Live Arts Festival, and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. In 2014, she performed as a UCSD Alumni guest dancer for Jean Isaacs’ “There the Dance Is.” Recently, Rachel was honored to join Malashock Dance as a guest dancer in “Signatures” and Classics for Kids. She is very excited to be joining the Malashock Dance faculty this year.

Intro/Beginner Modern (Adult)S
aturdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.