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.

We're so blessed to work with you beautiful, talented and creative people!
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Artistic Staff

Caley Hernandez
Caley HernandezStudio Manager
Caley Hernandez was born and raised in San Diego and began dancing seriously with The Dance Conservatory when she was eight.  During her five years there, she performed and won top awards in competitions that included Showstoppers and Dance America.  At thirteen, she became the youngest member of La Diego 2, under the direction of Daniel Marshall.  Caley then auditioned for owner and 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, and in 2016 joined Visionary Dance Theatre for one performance before she moved to the Pacific Northwest.  She 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.  Back in San Diego, Caley has rejoined the Visionary family as a company member and Studio Manager. She also continues teaching dance, choreographing, and performing around the city; most recently on stage with singer/songwriter Jason Mraz and his new production, Shine.
James LaRose
James LaRoseDance Manager
James LaRose started dancing with Visionary Dance Theatre in the summer of 2016; he fell in love with dance after taking it as an elective the year before.  Finding his home at Visionary Dance Theatre, James began training under Spencer John Powell where 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. There, he performed” Son of Cain,” a solo choreographed by Spencer John Powell.  James also teaches and sets 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 LewisAssistant Artistic Director
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).  She graduated with a BA in December of 2012, majoring in dance and minoring in theater where she also received the Stewart Prize in Choreography.  She currently dances with Visionary Dance Theater and is entering her eighth 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 the international dance film festival 40 North. She also 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, Kidz Danz Kompany, World Dance, Momentum, Jibe Studios, Scripps Ranch Academy of Dance, Dance and Company, etc.
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.
D'Marcus Andrus
D'Marcus AndrusDancer
Karla Espejo Rodarte
Karla Espejo RodarteDancer
I began my training as a dancer in my freshman year of high school. I learned the basics of ballet, hip hop, jazz, and contemporary. My junior year, I joined our prestigious performing arts academy, SAVAPA, under the dance component. After graduating high school, I attended La Casa de la Cultura in Mexicali B.C. Mexico. I studied ballet and contemporary techniques like Alvin Ailey and Graham. I joined their representative performance group, DUNAS, and got the opportunity to perform internationally, on television, and for the local community of Mexicali. I then moved on to the Orlando Lopez Cuban Ballet school where I solely focused on ballet techniques 5 times a week. All of this preparation led me to attend UCSD for a bachelor’s degree in dance. I got the wonderful opportunity to learn under dancers such as Maria and Tony Caligagan, Eric Geiger, and many more. Some of the main techniques I studied were, Alvin Ailey, Horton, Fosse, and multiple works by Jerome Robbins. I also joined the hip hop group Alter Ego in order to further my diversity in techniques. I find inspiration for dance everywhere I go and am excited to have found a place which fosters growth as a dancer, a performer, and a teacher through embodied and spiritual practices.
Caley Hernandez
Caley HernandezDancer, Teacher
Caley Hernandez was born and raised in San Diego and began dancing seriously with The Dance Conservatory when she was eight.  During her five years there, she performed and won top awards in competitions that included Showstoppers and Dance America.  At thirteen, she became the youngest member of La Diego 2, under the direction of Daniel Marshall.  Caley then auditioned for owner and 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, and in 2016 joined Visionary Dance Theatre for one performance before she moved to the Pacific Northwest.  She 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.  Back in San Diego, Caley has rejoined the Visionary family as a company member and Studio Manager. She also continues teaching dance, choreographing, and performing around the city; most recently on stage with singer/songwriter Jason Mraz and his new production, Shine.
Kiara Jones
Kiara JonesDancer
Born and raised in California, Kiara Tiana Jones has always considered herself a dancer before anything. She’s trained and danced professionally in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, modern, and tap since the age of five. She has modeled for Discount Dance in 2018, is an assistant dance fitness teacher with her mother’s company Dance Me Fit, performed on stage at Pride San Diego with D.R.E.A.M.R.’s Project in 2018 and 2019, performs with Brickhouse Dance Productions since 2018, she also choreographed for many on stage and live performances while attending the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SDSCPA) as a dance major. Kiara was Vice President of the Design Club in 2019. Kiara continued her dance education at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and is now pursuing her Associates Degree in Fashion Design at San Diego Mesa College. Kiara currently is the creator and designer of She, He, and They, all the designs are hand crafted streetwear by Kiara.
James LaRose
James LaRoseDance Manager, Dancer, Teacher
James LaRose started dancing with Visionary Dance Theatre in the summer of 2016; he fell in love with dance after taking it as an elective the year before.  Finding his home at Visionary Dance Theatre, James began training under Spencer John Powell where 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. There, he performed” Son of Cain,” a solo choreographed by Spencer John Powell.  James also teaches and sets 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 LewisAssistant Artistic Director, Dancer, Teacher
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).  She graduated with a BA in December of 2012, majoring in dance and minoring in theater where she also received the Stewart Prize in Choreography.  She currently dances with Visionary Dance Theater and is entering her eighth 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 the international dance film festival 40 North. She also 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, Kidz Danz Kompany, World Dance, Momentum, Jibe Studios, Scripps Ranch Academy of Dance, Dance and Company, etc.
Aza B. Li
Aza B. LiDancer
Being a descendent of a culture and an ethnicity of African and Caribbean heritage where dance has been a means of communicating, celebrating, and creativity, which continues today; it is no wonder that Aza was destined to be a gifted and natural dancer! Growing up, she enjoyed music that involved physicality, coolness, and originality. She loved to emulate Hip Hop, Pop, and R&B dance routines and adding her own flair to it. Upon entering junior high school, Aza auditioned and earned a position on the Lisle Drill Team. In high school, she continued her desire to dance by joining the Lionettes Drill Team where she competed regionally in Pom, High Kick, and Hip Hop, and won many team awards. As a Praise Dancer at the church she grew up in, Aza was always commended for her natural ability to embrace the music with passion, feeling, and interpretation. She was chosen to do a solo dance performance at the Annual African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Christian Education Conference. In 2018, she decided to utilize her training and auditioned to become a member of semi-professional dance teams. She made it and was officially on the San Diego Queens Dance Team for the San Diego King Basketball Team. At the end of the season, Azantia received the “Rookie of the Year” Award! In 2019, she became a member for the San Diego Enforcers Girls for the Enforcers, a Nation Public Safety Football League. Always one to “Live her Passion,” when her church, The Rock Church, began production on a Live Nativity production to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ, Aza immediately took the opportunity to audition and was chosen to be a part of the Dance Ensemble. During the “Meet the Cast” sessions, she was lauded and applauded for her energy, creativity, and passion throughout her performances! Aza was asked to audition and was accepted to become a member of the Catalyst Dance Ensemble at the Rock Church. Aza has a genuine passion for dance and feels blessed that she is able to use the talent that God has given her. She feels honored and considered it a blessing that she is recognized for her extraordinary dancing skills and her free spirit to dance!
Daniel Makholm
Daniel MakholmDancer, Teacher
Born and raised on the East Coast, twenty-five-year-old Daniel “Danny” Makholm grew up in a family of musicians. Having been introduced to piano, guitar, saxophone, violin, drums, and voice, it naturally paved the way for him to express his own creativity through dance.  During his days studying marine sciences at Eckerd College, he became certified and taught Zumba Fitness throughout college. Daniel’s appetite for energizing the crowds only grew before getting involved in performance groups such as the Boston and the San Diego Gay Men’s Choruses along with dancing for The BluPrint Agency.  Singing and dancing his way into the heart of the San Diego community has only fueled his fire to continue to inspire and celebrate differences by living through movement.  Danny has performed for events such as San Diego Pride, Balboa Park December Nights, The Harvey Milk Diversity Conference, and even Demi Lovato’s world tour in San Diego.  As Daniel continues to branch out, he focuses on styles in Hip hop, Urban Dance, Modern, Latin, Contemporary, and Burlesque, as well as classes in heels. Being enthusiastic for different experiences and a fast learner means that the list won’t stop there!
Emily Martinez
Emily MartinezDancer
Emily began dancing on her own as a little girl and that love for dance led to her taking classes at the age of nineteen.  Experiences with her high school dance team created many opportunities to learn and expand her horizons through dance.  Emily’s love for dance was strengthened even more as hard lessons were learned and lasting friendships were made.  She has been blessed with the opportunity to study world and euro-western dance forms which allowed her the chance to perform and teach different types of dance.  Emily doesn’t have a favorite style but her favorite thing to do is move since one of the biggest lessons she has learned is knowing how to dance for yourself first.  Her goals include getting people to dance, sharing knowledge with dancers and educators, and especially to keep growing and helping others along the way.  Dance to her is love, opportunity, friendship, and much more.
Margaret Moreno
Margaret MorenoDancer
Margaret is a tarot reading, energy healing, herb weilding dancer from the east coast. She holds her BFA in Dance from the College at Brockport SUNY and worked with Futurpointe Dance and Borinquen Dance Theatre in Rochester, NY, before moving to San Diego to rediscover her Mexican cultural roots. Over the years, dance has become a healing experience and inspired her journey into yoga and herbal medicine. She now has her 200hr YTT from Yoga Alliance and is a clinical herbal student accepting clients at the Self Heal School of San Diego. Her aim is to deepen her connection with the Earth and the natural world through movement and art. The ephemerality of dance is in itself proof that the present moment cannot be recreated and therefore gives us a reason to celebrate.
Jair Ramirez
Jair RamirezDancer
Jair grew up in Mexicali, B.C., Mexico. He attended Southwest Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, where he had the opportunity to perform Nationally at venues such as The national mall in Washington DC and Disney World stages in Orlando, Florida. Jair is a recent graduate at the University of California San Diego where he majored in communications with a minor in business. He has trained and or performed at Choreo Cookies, SGBM, and many others. Jair has also studied Greg Chapkis and his company featured in NBC’s World of Dance and America’s got talent.
Isaac Stoudamire
Isaac StoudamireDancer
Marcella Torres-Sanchez
Marcella Torres-SanchezDancer
Marcella Torres-Sánchez hails from Tijuana, Mexico, where she began her dance training at Denz Dance Studio at the age of three. She then continued her studies at Lux Boreal Dance Company, where she received a certification in Contemporary Dance and Scenic Production. She later received her Associate in Visual and Performing Arts at San Diego City College. Marcella is a recent graduate from UC San Diego. She double majored with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance and a Bachelors of Sciences in Education Sciences, where she was awarded the Chancellor’s Associate Scholarship Program and Patricia Rincon Diversity Award. Throughout her college career, she was grateful for the opportunity to perform in works by Terry Wilson, Dr. Grace Shinhae Jun, Debbie Toth-Ward, Gina and Kyle Sorensen, Liam Clancy, and Eric Geiger. Marcella has completed summer programs at Black Studio in Mexico City, Broadway Dance Center, New York, and Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theatre.