Katie Buchanan is 31 years young with a passion and curiousity for life and laughter. She is always searching and creating new ways to express the many layers of herself through art. She started dancing at the Sunriver Dance Academy at the age of 8 with ballet and tap, and has moved through a multitude of dance styles since. She has spent the last 6 years in Eugene studying dance at Lane Community College and joined a professional dance company for 4 years. She is happy to be home and ready to share her experience with growing dancers. Her goal is to inspire and be inspired by the powerful expression dance is, and she believes that the art of movement and emotion have limitless possibilities.
Heidi Drake grew up dancing here in Oregon, and is a familiar face around the studio: she taught jazz, tap, and hip hop for 9 years before taking a break to open her yoga studio a few years ago. Now her worlds are coming together, as she will be back, teaching jazz and yoga at Sunriver Dance Studio (and taking a few classes herself). In her “off-dance” time, Heidi can be found at the EXIT Realty Bend office helping people with their home ownership dreams, choreographing dance sections for the Sunriver Stars Kids Theater, or relaxing with her husband, two teenagers, and pack of four dogs at her home on the Little Deschutes River.
Local hip hop dancer Karissa Shafe brings fun and energy to every class she teaches! Karissa has been dancing since she was three and is an accomplished competetive dancer. She has danced at nationals in Las Vegas, at Disneyland, at Trail Blazer games, in parades, and in many other exciting venues. She is trained in hip hop, ballet, lyrical, and jazz. She comes to us from the Vibe and La Pine Dance.
Judie Sandell, Founder
Judie received her basic dance training in Philadelphia with Peter Conlow and Gertrude Eggleston. After graduating from Millersville University with a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education, she taught second grade and opened her first dance studio in Manheim, PA. As a young mother of three, she discovered the challenge of teaching dance. She has choreographed and performed leads in "Finian's Rainbow," "Pajama Game," "Oklahoma," "Stop the World I Want to Get Off" with Treat Williams, "Anything Goes," and "Damn Yankees." Following her move to Oregon, she opened Laurel Valley School of Dance (Hillsboro) in 1976, LaPine Dance Academy from 1990-1993, and Sunriver Dance Academy in 1996 - present. She continues to teach ballet and tap as well as singing with her husband, Claude, at First Presbyterian Church, Bend. Judie has judged "Dance Magic" pageants in the Northwest for over 25 years. She values the inspiring relationships spanning nearly 40 years with children, parents, and her awesome staff members.