Meet Our Team

Directors

Spencer John Powell
Spencer John PowellArtistic Director & Co-Owner
Spencer John Powell has been in the performing arts all of his life. He retired from the professional stage and has only done rare performances here and there. His latest was as Edna in Hairspray. Powell has been teaching for over 30 years. He has been the Education Coordinator for the Head Start program in Utah. Kidz Danz Kompany, founded and Directed by Powell in 1994 and was revived in San Diego. Powell Choreographed his first major work at 19 years old. He has performed in all dance genres from Ballet to Tap. His passion is choreography. In addition to being the Artistic Director of Visionary Dance Theatre, Powell has also joined forces with Mickey Mounarath to create Mounarath-Powell Productions. They focus on producing emerging and professional artists in all art forms. Spencer and his partner were name Power Couple of the year by San Diego Theatre Reviews.

Powell is the former artistic director of Ogden Contemporary Dance Theatre. He was the co-founder and director of Tanner and Powell Dance Theatre. Powell attended Weber State University on a full-ride talent scholarship. He has studied dance and theatre in New York and Houston, TX under the likes of Ben Lokey(director of Santa Monica Dance Theatre), Diane Ramos, and Cliff Keuter. Powell has danced and studied under his mentor Jeanne Travers (Associate Professor School of Theatre and Dance USF), Abbie Fiat, Lisa Roll, Eric Stern, and Patti O’Neal. Powell has also worked with Penelope Dudleston (former dancer with New York City Ballet). He has performed with such institutions as Utah Musical Theatre, Orchesis Dance Theatre, Weber State Performing Arts, Discovery Dance Theatre, Junction City Theatre, and Another Language Performing Arts Company. Powell’s second work Kaffir(1989) won many awards and was commissioned by the Utah Arts and Humanities Book group. Powell’s choreography is in rep. with many dance companies. In addition to being an award-winning Choreographer, Powell is also an award-winning Actor.

Powell has also been a dance and theatre instructor and choreographer for 30 years. He has worked at the Dudleston School of Ballet, Norma Dutson School of Dance. Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, and Kroc Kids junior theatre company. His work has been performed at high schools such as Helix High School and Point Loma High School. Powell has been a guest teacher at North Coast Theatre. He has choreographed and/or directed professional and community theatre musicals such as Next To Normal, The Wiz, Music Man, and Gypsy, to name a few, as well as many musical revues. Powell’s students have graced the Broadway stage and have danced in major Ballet and Modern Dance Companies around the world. Students of Powell have gone on to be teachers, college professors, and other noble professionals.

As a producer, Powell has produced many productions as well as individual artists such as Blythe Barton, Jess Humphrey, Daniel Marshall, Michael Mizerany, Lavina Rich, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, Khamla Somphanh, Gina and Kyle Sorensen, Jeanne Travers, Diana Valero, KO Dance Company, La Diego Dance Company, and [the] movement initiative.

Powell has a passion to empower the youth through the performing arts, especially in choreography. Powell provides a platform for youth to express their voice and talent through choreography.

Contact Spencer at: Spencer.Powell@VisionaryDanceTheatre.org

  • Member, Board of Directors, College Area Business District
  • Professional Photographer
  • Choreographer, Dance & Musical Theater
  • Artistic Director, Ogden Contemporary Dance Theatre (2001-2007)
  • Co-Founder & Director, Tanner and Powell Dance Theatre
Mickey Mounarath
Mickey MounarathBusiness Director
Mickey is a former member of Ogden Contemporary Dance Theatre. He has also performed with Orchesis Dance Theatre and Another Language Performing Arts.

Mickey has co-produced all of the dance concert productions for Visionary Dance Theatre. He occasionally participates as a dancer in the Visionary Dance Theatre concerts. Mickey has also produced/co-produced numerous dance productions and artists within the San Diego area, including the Choreographer’s Showcase series. For Visionary School for the Performing Arts, Mickey has co-produced all recitals and musical theatre productions. He has co-produced numerous theatrical productions from plays in the Director’s Showcase Series to musical theatre productions for Visionary Musical Theatre Company. Mickey has also coordinated and arranged numerous public performance events and opportunities for Visionary Dance Theatre, Visionary School for the Performing Arts, and Visionary Musical Theatre Company.

Alongside being the Business Director for Visionary Dance Theatre, Visionary School for the Performing Arts, and Mounarath-Powell Productions, he continues his career in the computer industry. He additionally does consulting for both IT and the performing arts.

Contact Mickey at: Mickey.Mounarath@VisionaryDanceTheatre.org

  • Co-Producer, Visionary Dance Theater
  • Dancer, Visionary Dance Theater
  • Producer, Choreographer’s Showcase series
  • Member, Ogden Contemporary Dance Theatre (2001-2007)
  • Performer, Orchesis Dance Theatre (2001-2007)
  • Performer, Another Language Performing Arts (2001-2007)
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Visionary staff, thanks for all you do.

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Artistic Staff

Taylor Smith
Taylor SmithMusic Coordinator & Composer
Taylor Smith is a musician, producer, composer, musicologist, and educator. He is equally at home in pop, jazz, electronic, classical, and early music settings. Taylor has performed with the Idaho Falls Symphony, and the Loma Linda Lyric Symphony; he has played alongside Gladys Knight, Nicholas Payton, and Kevin Mahogany; he has produced albums by Three, Gunther Yazoo, and Kiltergrey.
Jeanne Travers
Jeanne TraversIn-Residence Choreographer
Jeanne Travers received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography and Performance from the University of Utah where she graduated with honors. Professor Travers has been a member of the Dance faculty at the University of South Florida for the past 17 years where she teaches Modern dance, Choreography, Pedagogy and Improvisation. Professor Travers is deeply involved in collaboration and in interdisciplinary, multicultural choreographic projects. Ms. Travers has also taught master classes, seminars and dance workshops abroad, most recently she’s premiered her choreography, Visions of Peace in Paris, France under the high patronage of the Mayor of Paris.

Dancers

Eva Anderson
Eva AndersonDancer
Eva Anderson was born in San Diego and danced with Kidz Danz Kompany on scholarship for nine years. She made her premier as a member of Visionary Dance Theatre during the summer of 2018, when she danced internationally acclaimed choreographer Jeanne Traver’s solo work, “Tremors.” Eva has also worked with choreographers suchas Kiona Daelyn, Elyssa Dru Rosenberg, Ramon Montes, Krista Kaye, Kyle Sorensen, and Marty Anthony Dorado. She studied modern dance at the Mark Morris Dance Company in New York. She also has musical theatre experience, having worked with Michael Sokol and Marc Caro, and has performed with local actress Lenelle Wylie. Eva teaches ballet, contemporary, and modern dance at Kidz Danz Kompany, and is currently one of their main in-resident choreographers.
Christian Drugan
Christian DruganDancer
Christian Drugan is a Healer and a Performer. He studied massage therapy with other healing modalities such as yoga and Chi Kung. Chi Kung is a Chinese style of mindful moving meditation. You may see elements of Chi Kung in some of his slower mindful movements. He currently studies dance at San Diego City College so that he may become an Art Therapist. He believes that everyone has a unique beauty to express. We should all be given the opportunity to explore the depths of expression that are buried in our souls. “Life’s too short to worry so get out and write your story!”
Jodi Ferri
Jodi FerriDancer
Jodie has been part of many dance forms starting when she was in elementary school. She performed in dance theater and was involved in dance competitions as a teenager. Her love of dance evolved in her adulthood and became essential to the joy and inspiration she finds in life.
Caley Hernandez
Caley HernandezDancer
Caley Hernandez was born and raised in San Diego. She began dancing seriously with The Dance Conservatory when she was eight years old. During her five years there, she performed and won top awards in competitions such as Showstoppers and Dance America. At thirteen, she became the youngest member of La Diego 2, under the direction of Artistic Director Daniel Marshall. Caley then auditioned for Owner/Director Kevin Charles Patterson of The Academy of Performing Arts where she earned scholarships for professional training three years in a row. In 2014, Caley was selected to perform in San Diego Ballet’s Nutcracker. In 2016 she joined Visionary Dance Theatre for one performance before she moved to the Pacific Northwest. Caley danced professionally for two years with Polaris Dance Theatre under the direction of Robert Guitron and also choreographed a piece for Portland’s Fertile Ground Festival. Taking full advantage of her new surroundings, she participated in film and other dance projects in addition to training at Northwest Dance Project and Portland Ballet. Now back in San Diego, Caley is a company dancer with Visionary Dance Theatre as well as Artistic Director Spencer Powell’s assistant for both Kidz Danz Kompany and Visionary Dance Theatre. She also teaches dance, choreographs, and performs around the city.
Grey Higley
Grey HigleyDancer
Grey Higley (they/them) is a Company Dancer with Visionary Dance Theatre who debuted season 2018/2019 in Spencer John Powell’s “Manifesto,” a solo portraying the internal struggles and external biases faced by the transgendered community. Grey is also studying dance performance and choreography at San Diego Mesa College where they have danced with Faith-Jensen Ismay of Mojalet Dance Collective, Blythe Barton of the Blythe Barton Dance Company, Nancy Boskin-Mullen of California Rhythm Project, Daniel Marshall of Ladiego Dance Theater, and department head Donna Flournay. Grey is also a teacher for with Kidz Danz Kompany! Outside of dancing, they maintain a second major in Anthropology with a long term goal of studying the diversity of dance culture worldwide.
James LaRose
James LaRoseDancer
James LaRose started dancing with Visionary Dance Theatre in the summer of 2016. His dance career started around 2015 as a student who took dance as an elective and then ended up falling in love with it. Finding his home at Visionary Dance Theatre, James began training under Spencer John Powell. He has had the opportunity to dance for choreographers such as Jeanne Travers, Kiona Daelyn, and Trixi Agiao. He also danced for Natalie Valerdi in Opera NEO’s production “The Fairy Queen”, where he was casted as Puck. A lifetime goal for James is to dance on at least four continents. In April of 2019 he was invited to The Soul Music & Performing Arts Academy for the Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange event in Vietnam to perform ,”Son of Cain.” a solo choreographed by Spencer John Powell. James also teaches and set choreography for Kidz Danz Kompany. This young man loves to entertain and perform in many art forms. Not only does he dance, but he also acts and produces his own music.
Tanya Lewis
Tanya LewisDancer
Tanya Lewis started her dance career as a competitive studio dancer, she discovered a love for modern dance at Palomar Community college and continued her dance education at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) where she graduated with her BA in Dance and a minor in Theater in December 2012 and received the Stewart Prize in Choreography. She currently dances with Visionary Dance Theater and is entering her fifth year with the company. Her stage career includes work with Eveoke Dance Theatre, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, KO Dance Co, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Eric Geiger, and Somebodies Dance Theater to name a few. As an independent artist Past projects include Prism and You’re Late both evening length works. Her short film Between Two Ends was selected as part of 40 North, an international dance film festival. She choreographed for the short film Song of Birds and Bees, winning the Silver Award for best choreography from International Film Awards. Beyond performing and creating work she has found a special joy in teaching students of all ages. She has taught and choreographed for VDT and VDT’s Pre-Pro company, World Dance, Momentum, Jibes, Scripps Ranch Academy of Dance, Dance and Company, etc.
Emily Martinez
Emily MartinezDancer
Emily has been dancing since she was little. When she started taking classes at 19 she fell more in love with it. From just her High School Dance team she has found many opportunities to learn and expand her horizons through dance. Through this she has learned lessons and made friendships that will last forever. She doesn’t have a favorite style but her favorite thing to do is move. From Afro- Cuban, Samba, Ballet Folklorico, BellyDance, Jazz, Hip Hop, and contemporary, she loves it all. Her plan is to continue to grow in the world of dance and never stop dancing. She has studied both world and Euro Western forms of dance at Palomar College where she became apprentice for the Agogo Drum and Dance Ensemble under the Direction of Patriceann Mead, and dancer for Axxiom Dance Collective under the direction of Joei Waldron. She was also the dance team assistant director for the San Diego Waves Basketball (TBL) and former dancer of Bite Dance Company. She is also currently an independent gogo dancer and model; Is also a dancer for Safari Park San Diego, The BluPrint Dance Agency, Khaaranna Dance Entertainment Company, and one of the three founders of A.M.E. Dance Company with Margaret Moreno and Alder Flores. She has assisted in choreography and has presented her own original works at Palomar College, White Box Theater, City Heights Performance Annex and House of Blues. Emily now teaches at Balletiquette, Lovely Leaps, and YMCA. From starting of her adult dance career as the Captain of Palomar College Dance Team all the way to the present time; she always strives to keep growing and to spread the knowledge she has gained over time to others that she meets, teaches, and trains with. Alongside working on her Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology she also dreams of opening her own complex one day that can offer both world and euro western dance opportunities at an affordable cost. Emily’s mission is to teach others how to dance for themselves before they can dance for others.
Morgan Taylor
Morgan TaylorDancer
Morgan Taylor hails from New Mexico where she began dancing with NMSU’s Contemporary Dance Theater and the aerial troupe Project in Motion. She received a BFA in Psychology and a BA in Dance from New Mexico State University. Upon graduating Morgan moved to San Diego where she has enjoyed dancing for the PGK Dance Project and Visionary Dance Theater. She has studied under the likes of San Diego Dance Theater, Noble Motion, and the PGK Dance Project and performed several works from masters such as Andy Noble, Bill Evans, and Monica Bill Barnes. Morgan hopes to inspire others to find the joy in movement through choreography, teaching, and performance. She’d like to thank her family and friends for their everlasting support.