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The 2019-2020 Millikan Advanced Dancers


Athena Skiathitis - Captain

Athena has been dancing since she was 4 years old and finds her passion for dance to be contemporary and ballet and is currently training with the Southland Ballet Academy. She has performed with Lex Ishimoto the 2017 winner of SYTYCD as well as Maria Cochacova the prima ballerina with San Fransisco Ballet, and has danced a solo performance choreographed by Josie Walsh the artistic director of the Joffrey Ballet School. After graduation from Millikan she hopes to continue her dance education and get a fine arts degree. Words Athena lives by are "Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday." Athena's favorite color is red and her best memory at Millikan is making the dance team her freshman year. Lastly Athena would like to say, "I hope everyone creates the same wonderful and lasting memories that I've experienced with MHS Dance. It's been an honor to be a part of this amazing dance team and an even greater privilege to be supported as Captain this year."


Piper Hammond - Captain

Piper has trained in ballet from the early age of 3 and currently trains at Long Beach Ballet. You may have been lucky to see her cast as the "dying swan" last year accompanying the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. Piper hopes to continue dancing after graduation as well as study Kinesiology. When we posed to Piper what her favorite quote was, what she said truly embodies the person we see, "Life's as good as you make it" - you continue to make life look GREAT Piper! Her favorite color is blue and her favorite high school memory would be Prom 2019. Lastly Piper would like to say, "I am so thankful to be able to help lead such a supportive loving team. Everyone brings something unique to the table and I wouldn't want to end my MHS Dance career any other way."


Jillian Dempsey

Jillian has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She currently trains at one of our local studios, The Dance Company, in Long Beach where she also dances competitively on their Senior Elite team. Her favorite style of dance is Lyrical. When we asked Jillian, what was her most favorite dance memory, she replied, "Whenever we perform a piece for the last time because I can feel all the love that went into it and I am most connected to my team." We also asked Jillian what would she like to say to her team... "This team is family to me and without you guys I wouldn't be as strong or happy as I am. I am so thankful everyday that I get to dance with your guys. I love you with my whole heart and more." 


Vanessa Shoemaker

Vanessa has been dancing since she was 5 years old. When she isn't training with her MHS Dance teammates, you can find her training at Onstage Dance Center, where she dances competitively on their Senior Company team. Vanessa loves lyrical and contemporary dance. Her favorite MHS Dance memory is learning new choreography, for the Spring Dance show, as a team and seeing all the hard work pay off. After graduation Vanessa would like to major in Kinesiology and continue her passion for dance. Lastly, Vanessa would like to tell her teammates..."Never have I been so thankful for a dance team that I am truly connected with. Getting to share the stage and dance with you guys makes me the happiest girl in the world. I appreciate every single one of you and the bonds we have created. I love you guys so much!" 


Kalea Ono

If you have seen Kalea dance you will be gobsmacked to know that she has only been dancing since her Freshman year. Yeah, I type it and am in awe. Currently, Kalea trains and competes for, The Dance Company in Long Beach. Her favorite style of dance has come to be Contemporary. One of her favorite dance memories is the first time she competed at Showstoppers with her company group last year. "It was exciting and really brought our company together on stage." After graduation Kalea hopes to attend a 4 year university and major in Kinesiology and minor in dance. Kalea's favorite color is lilac and favorite quote is, "Do good and good will come to you." Kalea would like to tell her teammates, "#AD4L! This team is so supportive. I am so grateful the people I spend rehearsals and performances with are genuine and amazing. Thank you to Mrs Waters and Ms. Lung for giving me an opportunity to find my passion for dance, as the Millikan Dance program sprouted that interest in the beginning."


Genevieve Khoury

Genevieve has been wearing her dancing shoes since the age of 8 - when she quickly gained a passion for her favorite style of dance, jazz.  Today you can find her training at Center Stage Dance Academy, in Long Beach. Genevieve’s most memorable moment, as a Millikan dancer, was one Spring Show when she busted her knee open and was so into the moment that her bleeding knee totally went unnoticed to her. (Talk about going “full out”.) After graduation, Genevieve will be majoring in Business Finance and yes, of course, she will still continue dancing. She is a firm believer that, “everything happens for a reason”...”sometimes things may be rough, but you always come out stronger.” When we asked Genn what is her favorite MHS Dance memory, she said, “One of my favorite memories will always be our Advanced Dance chant before every football game or performance. Just looking around the circle and seeing everyone’s face light up brings me so much joy.” The message Genevieve would like to leave her team with is, “This team amazes me every single year. This shared love for dance is so strong and it’s so beautiful to see it bring us all together. You guys are my support system. Without every single one of you, I would not be close to the person I am now. But I am not going to get sappy before the end of the year... Let’s have an amazing Spring Show and KILL IT (like usual)!!!#AD4L. 


Kayleen Litzinger

Kayleen has been dancing since she was 3 years old and her favorite style has come to be contemporary. When she isn't dancing at Millikan you can find her training with her dance family at LB Dance Company, where she is on their elite competitive team. What makes a memorable performance for Kayleen is when you perform it for the last time and you put everything you have into it. Kayleen's favorite quote is "everything happens for a reason" and she loves the color pink! Kayleen would like to tell her teammates... "Im so thankful to be a part of this amazing team and know all of these amazing girls. You guys truly are my best friends and I wouldn't want to share the stage with anyone else. Love you guys always! #AD4L" 


Izzy Geldbach

Izzy has been dancing since she was 4 years old. Her favorite styles are contemporary, jazz and musical theatre. If there is a musical put on by our amazing Millikan Drama department you are sure to find her putting her musical theatre skills to master use! Izzy has enjoyed learning from countless amazing choreographers through dance conventions and master classes but the standouts would have to be Jessie Lee Thorne, Ido Tadmor, and Jennifer Backhaus. Currently Izzy likes to train at various studios like Millennium Orange County, Onstage Dance Center and her home studio Elevation Studios. Izzy loves the quote from Kinky Boots the musical, "You change the world when you change your mind". Her favorite MHS Dance memories are the annual Millikan Dance Spring Show and watching her teammates come together and show off what they can all do! Izzy would like to thank her parents "for all of their help and all that they do. I wouldn't be able to accomplish the majority of the things I do without their support." And to her teammates... "#AD4L!!" 


Jackie Iovino

Jackie has been dancing since she was 5 years old and currently dances and is on competitive team at The Dance Company. Her favorite style of dance is contemporary and color is pink. One of the most memorable dance moments for Jackie was last year at the Millikan Dance Spring Show, when she performed with her team their last number - "it was super emotional and we all felt connected with each other and it felt super good on stage. I am so thankful I am able to dance on stage with my best friends." When asked what she would like to tell her Millikan Dance teammates she said, "I would like to tell my team I know I can always got to them whenever I need help and that they are always there for me. I would also like to thank all of them for being so supportive and making me feel very welcome in the beginning of the year. They are the best teammates I could ever ask for and I am so excited to dance with all of them the rest of the year." 


Miles Silvera

Meet COMPASS Junior, Millikan Advanced Dancer, Miles Silvera. Miles has been dancing since he was 8 at his home studio, Elevation Studios. Being a male dancer in a female dominated industry has never been an obstacle for him other than "not being as flexible as the girls, but I overcome that with my energy." He walked away last comp season with a title from Velocity of Senior Male Artist. Miles favorite styles of dance are Tap & Hip Hop. A fun fact about Miles is that he has performed on stage at the Sydney Opera House with his teammates at Elevation. He is currently a senior member of the dance company out of Elevation, Off the Floor. Miles would like to tell his teammates, "Let's have fun the rest of the year!" 


Kendall Walters

Kendall is a Junior on the Millikan Advanced Dance Team. Kendall began dance when  she was 3 years old at The Dance Company of Long Beach and hasn't stopped since. Her favorite style of dance is contemporary "all the way, I love how much you can play with your art of movement and easily relate it to any kind of music." Kendall's favorite MHS memory, "would have to be my entire freshman year. I remember walking into the dance room for the first time with all the new beautiful face and thinking, “wow this is truly where i belong”, from then on I was pushed to my limit, being forced everyday to prove my spot to not only the team, but to myself. I learned to love other forms of dance and change my perspective on the small teaching community I once knew. The weeks of spring show were the most tiring, yet rewarding, weeks of my freshman year. The nervous feeling when walking on stage is accompanied by this overwhelming accomplishment presence, and that’s what I live for in the world of dance." Her favorite quote is "often said by my momma that is simply, “you got this”. This quote really hits close to home and applies to everyone’s daily life. Growing up I didn’t have the school life easy, so I would often get nervous before the day even started. Everyday before stepping out of the car I would say my goodbyes to my mom and she’d say “you got this”, and have the biggest reassuring smile on her face that would easily carry me throughout the day." The one thing Kendall would like to say to my team is "thank you. Thank you for all the memories, love, and support in the past couple of years. Each one of you, whether you know it or not, are the ones that make it all worth it. I’ve learned through you guys that loyalty is key on this team, and the quicker I realized it, the happier I was. So, thank you."


Elaina Gallo

Elaina is a Sophomore Millikan Advanced Dancer. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and currently trains at The Dance Company in Long Beach where she is also on their competitive dance team. Her favorite styles of dance are jazz & contemporary. One of her most memorable moments was last year one of her competitive team numbers took first at all the competitions they attended! Elaina loves the quote by Dr. Seuss, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” When asked what her favorite Millikan Dance memory was she said, "My favorite Millikan Dance memory was spring show. Knowing that I had to chance to dance with some of the most amazing dancers and some of my closest friends made me so happy." Elaina would like to tell her MHS Dance teammates, “I love you guys so much. This year has already been amazing and we’re only half way there. You guys are my world. Thank you for the endless laughs and memories. I have no idea what I would do without you guys. #AD4L”


Izzy Del Gaudio

Izzy is a Sophomore Advanced Dancer. As Izzy says, "I took baby ballet, but didn't get serious about dancing until I was 11." Her favorites styles of dance are Hip Hop and Contemporary. Izzy's most memorable moment was being called out in a Brian Friedman class at her home studio, Elevation Studio, summer intensive and break dancing at the Homeland Cultural Center which gave her the love for old school Hip Hop. Izzy likes to train/dance when she can because she spends a lot of her time training to be a part of the search and rescue crew in Long Beach. Her favorite MHS Dance memory is when she choreographed her first piece her Freshman year called, "Be Alright" and seeing everyone put their hearts on the dance floor that night! Izzy would like to tell her teammates, "Go where the love is, not where you want it. MAD got a lot of love!" 


Leslie Romero

Leslie is a  QUEST Sophomore and this is her second year as an Advanced Dancer. She has been dancing since she was two years old and started out dancing at a ballet school. By the age of 7 she joined The Dance Company where she currently trains and competes on their elite dance team. Leslie's favorite style of dance is contemporary where, "there is not limit to what you can do. There is always something new to explore with different types of movements which helps you really exploring urself within your body. With dancing and going to competitions I strongly believe the most memorable performances are the ones where you and your entire team come off stage says “that felt really good” because it not about the result but about how you felt about your dance." Her favorite color is yellow and favorite quote is “Aspire to inspire others and the universe will take note”. She believes inspiring others is one of the most powerful things you can do. "Inspiration is one of the most motivating aspects to when I dance and even when I get opportunities to choreograph and I would love to share this inspiration with others." Her favorite MHS dance memory, "was definitely my first spring show! Even though it was none stop and a little crazy, as a team we built such a strong connection and grew so much together when we preformed it was pure magic. I can’t wait to see what this year brings for me and my MHS dance family! I can not thank god enough for my teachers and all who truly believe in me and push me to be the best me. to my besties... i love u guys with all my heart i can’t wait for the countless more memories we will make, and to work our butts off together for this coming spring show... they aren’t ready for it! #AD4L"


Maddie Venegas

Maddie is a  Sophomore Advanced Dancer. She has been dancing since she was 3 and her favorite styles of dance have come to be Lyrical and Contemporary and continues her training at Onstage Dance Center where she also dancing on their competitive team. Maddie's favorite Millikan Dance memory is performing Ms. Lungs dance, "Rescue", last year at the dance show, as well as, doing the Advanced Dance chant prior to every performance. Her favorite quote is, "Everything happens for a reason." Maddie would like to tell her team, “this has been one of my favorite teams that I have ever been on. We all bring out the best in each other, and have the best memories. This family means so much to me and I can’t imagine a better team. Can’t wait for the rest of the year. Let’s kill it girls!”

Lexi Garbiero_48 Academy Ballet_0059280-

Lexi Garbiero

Lexi is a Sophomore Millikan Advanced dancer. Lexi started dancing at 2 years old at a “Mommy and Me” dance class and hasn’t stopped since. Lexi now trains in just about every style of dance making it very hard to choose a favorite. But if she has to narrow it down her favorite styles would probably have to be hip hop, contemporary, and tap. Being at her home studio Elevation Studios since she was 5, has afforded her many opportunities to dance with people such as Nappy Tabs, Nakul, Brian Friedman, Twitch, Erin Babbs, etc... but she is super thankful for the teachers she gets to train with on the daily “who help me to be the best dancer I can be!” At Elevation Studios she also is on their competitive team as part of their senior company, Off The Floor. Lexi’s favorite MHS dance memory so far, is her first Spring Show. She says “It was such a fun experience getting to be able to dance with all of my team members onstage, all of the hard work really paid off.” Lexi would like to tell her team, “I love you guys with all my heart! Thank you for being the best group of people ever! I can’t wait to share the stage with you all this Spring, let’s do this thing... AD4L!”


Kylie Plooster

Kylie is a Sophomore Millikan Advanced dancer. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and is continuing her training at Center Stage Dance Academy in Long Beach. Her favorite styles of dance are contemporary and lyrical. Her most memorable performance at Millikan so far was, "The hip hop dance from Spring Show last year. Even though I sucked at it, it was really fun!" Kylie's favorite MHS Dance memory," When I was going across the floor during technique with Ms Kelly and she yelled, "YES Daddy!" as a shorter version of my nickname Daddy Long Legs - I couldn't stop laughing." Lastly Kylie would like to tell her teammates, "I love you guys so much and I'm beyond happy to be on this team with each and every one of you. I'll never forget how scared I was to go to the first day of dance camp because I was so scared to dance with such amazing people. I felt like I didn't compare, but you guys showed me there's nothing to be scared of and you made me feel so loved.We have such a special bond that I wouldn't trade for anything, you guys really bring out the best in me. I can't wait to get closer with you guys throughout the year and dance with you guys at the spring show! ILY guys #AD4L" 


Lena Teeter

Lena is a Freshman Millikan Advanced dance and has been dancing since she was 2. Her favorite styles of dance are contemporary and jazz. Currently Lena trains at Elevation Studios where she is on their competitive company, Off the Floor. Lena has also been a prodigy for NRG Dance Project since 2018 where she travels the nation assisting classes and working at competition. She truly loves every bit of the experience as well as enjoys traveling and performing all over the country. Lena's favorite MHS Dance memory thus far was this years Invitational. It was special to her since it was the first time dancing with her Millikan team."I feel as though we put on a great performance and it was just an all around fun night." Lena would like to tell her teammates, "Thank you for being so welcoming and kind." 


Xene Sommers

Xene is a Freshman Advanced dancer and has been dancing since she was three years old. Her favorite styles of dance are jazz, contemporary, and ballet and currently trains at Kick it Up where she also dances competitively. A memorable performance for Xene was dancing in Orlando, Florida with my very first company and also performing the lead in the wizard of Oz ballet at her studio last June. This year she looks forward to dancing the lead in Kick it Up's ballet Cinderella. Words she loves to live by are,“Come on take a chance, kick off your shoes and dance!” Her favorite dance memory thus far was walking in the Belmont Shore Christmas parade with MHS Dance.

She would like to say to her teammates, "thank you for accepting me into to your wonderful dance family. I am so happy to be dancing with each and every one of you! When I watch you all dance it inspires me. I look up to all of you."

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