ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTOR BIOS
Shawn Gardner began dancing in Tillamook, OR in 1990. She's now a professional dance instructor with over 22 years teaching experience and specializes in sharing the joy & benefits of dance with people of all ages and skill levels. Shawn has studied a wide variety of dance styles throughout her life including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Character, Contemporary and Hip hop. She's performed in numerous stage productions and was also a member of a Modern dance company.
Shawn has both co-directed and directed multiple dance shows in Oregon and Washington, received national recognition with her work in youth dancing and volunteered for Six years as Director of a Teen partner dance start up non-profit and social dance. Shawn's Ballroom career began in 2005, studying under Sunnie Page of The Ballroom Dance Company and just two years later, she won 1st Place National Titles in both Bronze & Silver International Standard at the 2007 USA Dance National Championships.
Shawn has taught in various dance studios, recreation centers and studios since 1997. Shawn is known in the Portland community for her creativity and award winning show dance choreography as well as her kids, teens and adult performance teams & fun Salsa Fusion events. Her most recent accomplishment has been transitioning into studio ownership at the beautiful Ballroom we've all come to love on Commercial street in Tigard. Shawn is available for private lessons of all ages & skill levels in Pro/ Am, Ballroom, Latin, Swing & Salsa, single & couple competition preparation, show dances and more! Shawn specializes in International Ballroom & Latin dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep, Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba & Jive. She also teaches social dances including Swing, Night Club 2-step, Salsa, Bachata & Merengue.
Mark Lowes Baker is one of Portland’s top and most accomplished competition ballroom instructors. With a BA in Ballroom Dance coupled with significant competitive experience Mark has won National and World championships in Latin, Smooth and Rhythm. His students has traveled worldwide performing and competing at the highest levels. In addition To his significant technical background, Mark also enjoys the social dance styles and can teach country, Argentine tango, club dances and more.
Mark Lowes Baker received his BA in Ballroom Dance in 2005 from Brigham Young University. During his time at BYU he trained and performed with the world famous BYU Ballroom Dance touring company. With BYU, Mark performed and competed extensively throughout the United States, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. In 2004 and 2005 Mark won the US Latin Formation title as well as won the prestigious Blackpool England Latin Formation Title in 2004. Mark was an elite instructor for BYU from 2001- 2005 and received the 2004 "Top Teacher" award for teaching excellence.
Mark is currently a US Ballroom Dance professional and travels to compete all over the US and internationally. He has won numerous competitions with his students including World titles in 2016 and 2017. He brings a tremendous amount of experience and teaching expertise gained from an extensive professional performing and teaching career and he can shake his hips like you can't believe!
Marina discovered her passion for dancing at a very young age. She was trained in the Portland metro area, but has also worked with great choreographers from Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. Extensively trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, and Hip Hop, Marina competed in these styles for nine years before branching out to advance in Ballroom and Latin dancing. Along the way, she discovered a love of teaching and choreographing. Marina always strives to improve her dance knowledge and craftsmanship. One of the ways she does that is by exposing herself to new styles of movement and performance such as musical theatre, gymnastics, aerial acrobatics, and contortion. She’s been dancing with Shawn Gardner for three years now and has performed on multiple dance teams including the ladies latin team, which she now co-teaches with Shawn. Marina was excited to see her choreography on the Las Vegas Salsa and Bachata Congress stage, and is eager to pursue her teaching career with Shawn Gardner Dancing. Marina teaches Ballet, Jazz & Hip hop classes as well as coaches the Ladies Latin team. She also teaches Beginning Ballroom & Latin and is available for private lessons of all ages.
Throughout her amateur competitive career Sunnie won five international standard titles at the US National Championships in the style cumulatively known as "International Standard.” During that time she lived in England and New York City 4 months a year for extensive training with the world’s top coaches. After turning pro and opening The Ballroom Dance Company in 2005, she continued to compete internationally in the professional championship division. Sunnie's produced many successful amateur competitor couples, who’ve won multiple national US Dance titles. Sunnie teaches intermediate ballroom technique classes Saturdays 8-9am & advanced ballroom technique classes Saturdays 9-10am. She is also available for private lessons weekday and Saturday mornings & early afternoons. Privates can booked by calling The Ballroom Dance Company at 503-639-4861. STARTING JULY 29, 2019 Sunnie will continue teaching Saturday morning group classes and daily private lessons. Please contact Sunnie directly to book private lessons at email@example.com.
Miles is a professional engineer with a wide range of music and dance experience. During his 20 years of dancing, he has competed in over 20 styles of dance and received training in over 40. His main competitive focus was his 10 years of competing in Ballroom at the Gold level in American Smooth, Rhythm and International Standard. He also competed successfully at the Pre-Champ level in International Standard. After dancing competitively, he decided to switch his focus to social dances such as Argentine Tango, Salsa and Bachata. Miles is known for his funky improv style and awesome musicality which he attributes to a long history of studying music. He has over 20 years experience playing various instruments as well as singing in bands, choirs and ensembles. This musical experience adds to his dance style as he focuses heavily on musicality in his social dances. Overall, his favorite aspects of dancing are exploring the technical movements and musical nuances of each individual dance. Miles met Shawn Gardner on the social dance floor many years ago and they hit it off right away. They now enjoy teaching & practicing together to help their students improve. Miles teaches many social dances as well as Ballroom & Latin and is available for private lessons of all ages.
Haley began dancing at age 13 in Portland as part of a school project. She found she loved dancing so much that after her project was over, she decided to stick around and keep dancing.In her early years training, she competed Pro/Am in International Latin (Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Paso Doble, Jive) and American Smooth (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz). In 2010, at the World Pro/Am Championships, she earned first place in every Youth Latin event she entered. She has taken private lessons and workshops with world class professionals, such as Yegor Novikov, Ryan Di Lello, and Shirley Ballas. Once she moved to Eugene to attend college at the University of Oregon, Haley was given a new opportunity to dance with the professional performance team, the Utah Ballroom Dance Company. With the Utah BDC, Haley kept up her technical training, but also began teaching hundreds of people across the U.S. not only how to dance, but how to perform. She stayed with the Utah BDC after graduating from University of Oregon and worked as their Artistic Director. As the Artistic Director, Haley choreographed dances in the show, trained the entire formation team, and lead the company in technique and performance training throughout the year. Now, after more than a decade of training and experience, Haley is back in the Portland area and available to teach private lessons ranging in styles from American Smooth to International Latin, as well as the social styles such as salsa, nightclub two-step, and disco. She is available for all levels of students, including wedding couples, competitive dancesport students, and showcase performers!
Jeanette has worked in fitness since 2007, and is certified as a Group Fitness Instructor and also as a Personal Trainer through AFAA. She has taught a variety of fitness formats through the years, starting with Turbo Kick and Zumba, adding Bodypump and many free-style classes focusing on low impact and seniors, and most recently she has added ESSENTRICS®. Fitness generally, and specifically ESSENTRICS®, has become a passion for Jeanette. She is motivated by her students, and believes that fitness is a journey not a destination. She is driven to help others obtain and maintain the strength, endurance, and mobility they need to do the things they love doing.
Eric is a unique voice in our dance community. As a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist with a degree in Human Performance, his knowledge of body mechanics provides a safe and effective training environment for his students. He has enjoyed the honor of traveling around the country teaching, performing and competing in a variety of dance forms. He was featured internationally as “America’s Personal Trainer,” teaching classes and techniques that included dance, fitness and mind/body wellness. He is the author of 4 videos, the latest being a dance / fitness creation drawing heavily on his ballet background called “The Barre.” Eric’s dance background began 30 years ago with extensive Ballet, Modern and Jazz training. Since arriving in Portland in late 1994, he has danced for the Portland Opera as well as the gamut of local musical theatre companies . Prior to finding partner dancing, Eric danced for Kinetic Images, a local modern dance company (where, by chance, he met Shawn Gardner for the first time). Eric’s partner dancing credits begin with Argentine Tango 15 years ago, studying extensively with Alex Krebs. Shortly thereafter he began his ballroom study with DVIDA, being at the forefront of the development of the examination tools available to ballroom instructors world-wide today. Since then, he has expanded his credentials to include West Coast Swing and competitive Country Dance with the UCWDC (United Country Western Dance Council), currently participating as a masters level competitor, adjudicator and instructor throughout the country. Eric’s instruction has been described as “skilled, warm, patient, positive and highly instructive.” He is available for private instruction and looks forward to meeting you
Paul has always been around music. His love of dance came from watching his parents at Tejano dances and watching them move around the dance floor with ease. As a boy his dad would play accordion at home and his mom would dance with him in the kitchen. Growing up, Paul was a big fan of Hip Hop and R&B music. Artists like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and New Edition were very much an inspiration to him and his dancing. In 2016, Paul joined Shawn Gardner's program and started learning Salsa and Bachata in her intro class. It quickly became a goal to take classes and practice as much as possible to improve his lead. Paul was excited to further his knowledge of Salsa & Bachata, meet people with similar goals and get connected to the Salsa community. In 2017, becoming Team Captain on Shawn's Bachata team also inspired him to assist & study more to become a student teacher in Shawn's program. That same year he joined the Salsa Fusion Team and has been a big part of helping run events ever since. All of these opportunities have inspired him to train harder and gain more experience so he can one day become a company instructor. Paul has learned by watching Shawn and how she interacts with her students as well as how she builds her program through the community. He currently teaches beginning Salsa and Bachata workshops, group classes and private lessons. He has also recently taken his love of dance a step further and has started his own company. "Dance On Cue" a clothing and accessories line for dancers. Favorite Quote: "If you can dream it, you can do it!!"