Dance Headquarters Features the Finest Dance Instructors in San Diego!
For more information about any of our featured instructors, click on the “More Info!” button listed below their photo.
Shawn opened the studio Dance For 2, now better known as San Diego’s, Dance Headquarters in 2005. At that time it was just the top floor of the American Legion in Linda Vista. The room was small but, was the start of what is now one of the largest dance studios in San Diego at 7,700 square feet and features what he feels is the best of the best in staff, students, flooring, sound, lighting, and location. While able to teach with high proficiency a multitude of styles his specialty is club dances and uses his background in hip hop and breakdancing to create unique and cool pattern combinations that can be used in partner social dancing. He now focuses primarily on running the studio and making sure it continues to be evolving at a top-notch level while teaching a limited amount of private lessons and classes.
Dance Headquarters is his complete vision. A place where all dance styles and people of any gender, race, size, or religion are welcomed. A favorite saying of his is, “Dance is a form of expression and everyone should learn to express themselves.”
He has worked very hard in putting together a place that offers everything from social partner dancing to top-level competitive dancing while making sure staff and students are warm and welcoming. Whether you come here to learn, train, or practice he hopes you enjoy the dance.
Janae Kelsey/Studio Manager
Janae is the heart and soul of the studio! She is the welcoming face you see when you first walk into Dance Headquarters and the friendly voice on the phone when you call to ask questions or schedule lessons. She oversees the dance instructors and event coordinators along with being tasked with the day to day responsibilities of running a dance studio with more than 20 instructors and hundreds of students. This includes scheduling, promoting on social media, managing the newsletter, collections, cleaning, website management, troubleshooting & more!
Facility Dance Alumni (FDA)
We are Facility Dance Alumni! Our mission is to provide a fun, welcoming, and safe space for people to dance and be themselves. We want to continue to keep our dance community alive and see it grow and thrive! All our instructors are highly talented and trained in their craft.
Here are just some of the names our instructors have worked with & been a part of: Jabbawockeez, Super Galactic Beat Manipulators, Saweetie, Kendra Jae, Adam Sevani, Nick Pauley, Nicole Kirkland, San Diego Rock Angels, SeaWorld, Disneyland, Legoland, Fuego Dance Crew, NBC’s World of Dance, World of Dance Competition, SNOWTORIOUS, NRG Music and Productions, District 2 Dance Team, SDSU Diamonds Dance Team, Moonshine Beach, Moonshine Flats, and many more!
Zhenia has been in the dance world her whole life. Growing up a competitive dancer in Russia, achieving numerous dance titles in Amateur and Professional divisions. While she has worked as a professional dancer, her love for teaching took over and that has been her focus for the last 16 years.
Teaching all levels in:
• International Standard
• American Smooth
• International Latin
• 3 place WDC Open European Championship Professional 10-Dance
•Finalist of the WDC Open World Championship Professional
•Semifinalist of the WDC Open European Professional Ballroom Championship
•Vice Champion EDSF European Professional Standard Showdance
•Semifinalist of the WDC World Professional Latin American Showdance
•Vice Champion IDSF World Cup 10 Dance
• Rising star champion Vegas Open
• Finalist of open Professional American Smooth competitions
• Finalist of the Moscow and Russian National Championship in Ballroom and 10 dances in Amateur
Declan Cordova, native to Pasadena, California, is a lifelong dancer, teacher and performer. His parents were both dancers: Frederick B Cordova, Jr, was a West Point military Academy officer and he met Declan’s late mother, Joan McGuinness, at a WPMA Christmas dance, 1942. Spanish Fred cut in on Irish Joan’s date and he danced her away from her date with Joan’s father witnessing overhead on 2nd floor – laughing about it. They dated a couple times and married the day after his graduation, 1946. They were in love for 64 years and bore 12 children, raising the family with dance education, countless dance parties, weddings, and ‘performances’ like a dance version of the Von Trapp family singers and they spoke 6 languages in the home (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin) and Declan would go on to study and speak 19 languages to the present. He started teaching dance professionally at Arthur Murray studios in Atlanta, GA, 2002, then onto a series of other studios in Georgia, Florida, and Texas before returning to California in 2004, Sacramento. He went on to certify at The Ballroom Dance Teachers College in San Francisco under Diane Jarmelow, 2005. There he continued at local area studios, churches and an assortment of other public and private venues performing, exhibitions and individual special event showcases with other teachers and students over the years and in a wide variety of locations, events, conditions, audiences and dances. He has danced internationally in Mexico, Australia, Panama, Italy, and Ireland as well as on cruises. Declan also grew up with “Traditional Irish Step” dancing in both soft and hard-shoe, as his mother was of the Clann McGuinness of Co Dublin & Down, Northern Ireland. He was a member of Irish dance schools that performed famed ‘Lord of the Dance’ numbers. Declan absolutely loves dancing in every form and loves teaching anything and everything and on any level – weddings, special events, groups, privates, and consulting.
Katia, originally from South America, specializes in Argentine Tango. She has been dancing and teaching Argentine Tango most of her life. Katia teaches all styles of Tango including salon, milonguero, fantasia, stage, milonga & vals. She teaches both leader and follower roles and is one of the very few women instructors that can lead tango as well her male colleagues. Katia is also a Ballroom & Latin Dance Instructor, Performer & Competitor. She holds numerous national and world titles in American Rhythm & Smooth and currently teaches social students, competitive dancers and competes & performs worldwide.
Katia is also the founder of Milonga MagnificaTM, “Southern California’s most Magnificent Milonga,” TangoBurlesqueTM, an Argentine Tango & Burlesque show scheduled to debut next year, and has been featured as the lead dancer in several dance music videos.
But Katia’s true passion is for teaching. She genuinely loves teaching and her students mean more to her than anything. She is incredibly happy to watch each and every one of them as they improve and succeed on the dance floor.
You can contact Katia or follow her on Facebook to keep up with her latest classes, events, workshops & more!
Award winning dancer, choreographer, & coach. Former owner of Synergy Dance Zone.
David Fan’s mantra is simply this; that dancing should be for everyone! Whether your goal is to just try something new, to have that wedding dance you’ve always dreamed of, or even to go compete and perform at the highest levels, we can develop a program that fits you. David has been teaching since 2016, and have coached numerous dancers ranging in age from four to ninety-nine, and of all levels from newcomers to other professionals. He specializes in International Ballroom, International Latin,American Smooth, American Rhythm, Theater arts, and weddings. David brings a strong artistic background as he is also a classically trained operatic baritone. He looks forward to sharing his live for dance with you!
Linda Garwood is originally from Mexico and is now permanently residing in San Diego. She has been dancing and studying tango since 1998 and has been teaching since 2002. She teaches strictly social tango both from the leader’s and follower’s perspective in both traditional salon tango and the more intimate Milonguero style. She has traveled extensively to complement her training, learning from well known Argentine masters such as Facundo Posadas, Guillermo Merlo, Fernanda Ghi, Sergio Cortazzao, Stella Barba, Graciela Gonzalez and many more. Most recently she trained in the Milonguero style with Susana Miller, Argentina’s foremost teacher in this style. Linda has been in Buenos Aires twice, both times spending a month perfecting her dancing technique and investigating different teaching methodologies. The Argentine influence can be felt and seen in her approach to teaching Tango. Posture, connection and musicality are emphasized extensively through all her classes. Technique is always the focus point of her teaching. She strongly believes in a solid foundation and complete understanding of the basics of the dance.
Christann Heideman, a San Diego native, began dancing jazz and hip hop as a kid. In junior high and high school, cheerleading became her avenue for performance and creativity through body movement. After high school, Christann had a strong interest in partner dancing and, in 2003, she began training in to be a ballroom dance teacher, becoming a certified instructor in 2005 through Dance Vision.
In January 2011, Christann joined the team of incredibly talented teachers at Dance For 2, now San Diego Dance Headquarters where she still teaches. She has a passion for teaching new dancers and watching them transform right before her eyes. She has taught numerous wedding couples their first dance including Katie & Steve who’s first dance consisted of a mash-up of famous movie choreography like Dirty Dancing, Thriller, Pulp Fiction, and Austin Powers- Yes, all in 2.5 minutes! She has also loved working with families for the Father-of-the-bride dance and surprise wedding dances.
Christann’s style of teaching varies and each lesson is tailored to the student. The most important part of a lesson is to give each person what they need to have fun and learn to dance with the approach that works best for them. She offers Salsa, Cha Cha, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, East and West Coast Swing and more. If you have any questions, just ask!
Sergiy is a 5 time Ukrainian Latin Champion, a Professional World Latin ChampionshipSemi-Finalist, and a Winner and Finalist of many international competitions in England, Russia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Norway, Switzerland, USA, Austria and MORE! He has more than 30 years of dance experience and has been teaching for over 20 years. His students are pro/am World Champions and US National Champions. Sergiy specializes in International Latin and Ballroom dancing.
Fun, friendly, patient, flexible, & talented are some of the words students have used to describe dance instructor Liza. She has been choreographing and teaching wedding dances as well as beginning level country, line, ballroom, swing, & Latin dancing in San Diego for 20 years. She was professionally trained at Mac Vitties Dance Studio where she taught for a few years and then branched out on her own furthering her training with experts in the field. The daughter of an accomplished international folk dancer, Liza has been dancing all her life and loves inspiring and motivating people.
John Nagel is also concurrently teaching dance and fitness classes at SDSU. He has been teaching partner dance for decades, having a repertoire of over thirty dances. Everything from cumbia to country western two-step.
Mark teaches classes for both social and competition dancers with his dance partner, Christann Heideman.
U.P.T.O.W.N Dance team
Hawaii Dance Alliance
Honolulu Dance Studio
808 Dance Project
Starlight Dance Studio
El Mundo del Tango
Pattie Wells’ Dancetime Center
24 hr. Fitness
Disneyland’s Magic Music Days
SILK (R&B group-Elektra records)
MTV’s “the Grind”
Salsa Congress (Los Angeles/Albert Torres Productions)
Salsa Congress (Hawaii/Albert Torres Productions)
“Tango Caliente” (w/ Fernandha Ghi & Guillermo Merlo)
Rihanna (Def Jam recording artist/album promo)
Tango for “Celebrity Sonnets Presentations” – Old Globe Theatre
Jill Perez believes that everyone is a dancer, and with the right teacher, dance can change your life. In her professional life, Jill is a former elementary school teacher who taught in the classroom for over 20 years. She is currently working as a Professional Learning Specialist at Chapman University. Jill has combined her two passions in life, dancing, and teaching, and loves to share her passion with others. Jill is Dance Headquarter’s (formerly Dance for 2) longest-standing employee and teacher. She enjoys dancing with her professional partner Shawn Torgerson, golfing, and Crossfit. She has experience in teaching most dances and specializes in teaching beginner and intermediate dancers. If you are looking to laugh, learn and grow, Jill is the teacher for you!
Our Fitness Infused and Dance lover Danielle (Dani) has been dancing since she can remember, in many genres some including Hip Hop, Latin, Lyrical, Hawaiian and Tahitian. She is looking forward to adding in her Fitness background and infusing it into her Country Fit Line Dance, Body Movement (Dance cardio), KIDz Dance and Move as well as Athletic Stretch and Lengthen Classes and more!
Dance Champion Michael John Saltus, a navy brat, realized as a child how to adapt to each new environment his family moved into. This helped create his outgoing personality. At a young age he learned discipline and the value of hard work in the farm country, where breaking horses taught him the balance he later used in sports and dance. However, hitting the gym proved even as valuable. The hard work and long hours there gave him a healthier lifestyle and kept him injury-free, allowing him to play three sports in high school and two in college. The skills he learned on sports teams also turned out to to be an asset years later in the development of his own dance company. At the end of high school Michael began learning the Western jitterbug–which he continued in college–introducing him to tricks and lifts. As a Grizzlies football player at the University of Montana, Michael started taking jazz for flexibility and balance. Along with earning a BA in psychology, he discovered another passion: acting. After relocating to San Diego, he began performing with the Pacific Repertoire Jazz and Ballet Company, where he learned the art of pas de deux (ballet partnering). Michael‘s acting and modeling career also began to pick up, and over time he was represented by several agencies and appeared in numerous student films, commercials and pilots. He has the honor of being apart of the first salsa couple on the long running tv show Soul Train. By 2000, Michael had experimented with many dance genres, including ballroom, but it was salsa that matched his high energy and passion. After meeting his partner in 2001, Camille Yannantuono, the pair began competing and started Positive Energy Dance Company. Since becoming a salsa devotee, Michael has danced with Rumba Rica-1 year 2002, Majesty in Motion-1 year 2003 and Son y Pasos-6 months 2004. After dissatisfaction with only a few performances per year, Michael and Camille founded their own group performance team in 2005. Since 2001 Michael has become San Diego’s most popular club dance instructor. He’s been teaching weekly at the Queen Bees Salsa/Bachata club for over 20-years and substituting at many other venues. He has also performed at a Tango Dinner show for over 15-years at Pampas Argentine Restuarant. Before they closed just before Covid hit they had performed there 1000th dinner show! That puts him at well over 2,500 different performances in just over 25-years! Many were benefits or fundraisers of which he is most proud of. He also teaches various workshops both locally in San Diego and on the road at many Dance Festivals & Congresses. The workshops are focused on traditional dance styles & fusion dances such as Bachatango, Salsatango, Zoukchata & Kizango in addition to Salsa, Cha-Cha, Tango, Swing, Kizomba & Bachata.
Hi It’s Mehmet Sezen. I am 33 and from Turkey. I came here 7 months ago. I’ve been dance instructor in my country for ten years and I’ve been dancing for 14 years.
I used to be a flight attendant from Turkish Airlines Business Class for six years. So I had a chance to travel around and take the famous artist classes of Salsa and Bachata. I improved myself very well. We had lots of international dance festival in Turkey Istanbul I attended most of them I took the classes as well.
I went to Cuba Havana for 3 weeks which place is originated Salsa Dance comes from. I’ve danced around the world many different places. Japan China Africa Europe and The USA. And I have found my own dance style.
I love dancing very much and I love touching hearts by teaching people. It’s affected my every parts of life in a good way. I wanna tell this good things about dancing to everyone.
Dan studied many styles of dance before diving into ballroom. For the last 8 years he has studied, taught & competed in the Arthur Murray Ballroom Dance system. He was a Future Champion finalist multiple times and won the Future Champion smooth category in 2016. Having studied multiple styles of dance, he is well versed in American Smooth and American Rhythm, alongside many club style dances, including West Coast Swing, Hustle, Argentine Tango, and many more. He believes that anyone can learn how to dance and loves helping people grow no matter what their experience level is.
Certified professional training instructor in ballroom, Latin dancing and wheelchair dance instruction. Training new teachers to pass their certification credentials. Offering private and group instruction in studio and on location. Teaching and competing for over 35 years, operating as dance director of AbsolutelyDancesport training available for student and teachers in all ballroom and latin dance styles.
Vanessa has been Ballroom Dancing for more than 30 years, having started in her native New Zealand. She trained in Ballroom, Latin and New Vogue and competed successfully in the
Amateur International Standard division in New Zealand while studying for her MS in
Psychology. Moving to the U.S. in 1998, Vanessa started her career as an instructor in 2003, taking a position at a Pennsylvania dance studio, and training in the American dance styles of Smooth, Rhythm, and Club. In 2005 she and her husband moved to San Diego, where she loves to share her joy of dance with
students of all ages and abilities. She has many students whose primary goal is enjoying social dancing, but also trains students who perform in showcases and competitions. During her time in
San Diego she has become sought after as a wedding dance specialist, and has helped over 150 San Diego couples make their wedding dance memorable. She is especially good at working with beginners (including reluctant grooms!), developing a unique course of instruction to fit
each individual’s goals and learning style.
Vanessa is the primary instructor and Dance Program Director for Let’s Dance Kids!, a non-profit foundation based in the South Bay School District with the goal of providing Ballroom Dance training to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
She is a member of the Dance Vision Professional Teacher Organization, and has achieved professional certifications in both Smooth (American style) and Ballroom (International style).