Our teachers provide not only technical expertise in the art of dance, but also strive to be examples of self-disciplined, compassionate, and respectful individuals. We take our responsibilities as role models very seriously. Our first priority is to provide a positive example through discipline, structure, and mutual respect.
Cara Zic, Owner/Director
Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Intro to Dance Program
Ms. Zic has been teaching dance for over 20 years. She has had the pleasure of watching her students join ballet companies, win national competitions, dance in national tours and videos, and become dance instructors themselves. Her students have been accepted to numerous prestigious programs, including the School of American Ballet, Idyllwild Arts Academy, North Carolina School for the Arts, Arizona School for the Arts, and multiple major university dance programs.
Cara's classical training began here in the valley with the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus and continued with Richmond Ballet and Ballet Arizona, for which she performed as an apprentice while still in high school. Her formative teachers include Mary Moe Adams, Malcolm Burn, Jasmine Grace, Katharine Frey, and Ruth Petrinovic. While performing on scholarship with the ballet program at Indiana University, she had the privilege of studying under the tutelage of Patricia McBride, Jacques and Virginia Cesbron, and Violette Verdy.
"Miss" Cara discovered her passion for teaching while instructing classes for the IU pre-college program. She continued to teach while dancing professionally and worked with children with special needs which began the process that would become her Creative Movement program. As a dance instructor at the University of Texas at Dallas, she was also instrumental in instituting a creative and performing arts syllabus for the university's core curriculum.
Cara has danced with several classical and contemporary groups, including Ballet Arizona, Indianapolis Ballet, Prairie Dance Theatre, and DanceConsortium. She has been teaching since 1994, and her choreography has been performed in the Chicago, Dallas, and Phoenix metropolitan areas as well as various national conventions and competitions. Cara holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Ballet and Comparative Literature from IU and a Master of Arts in Humanities/Aesthetic Studies from UTD. Cara and her husband, Larry, live in Anthem, Arizona with their two daughters, Cayle and Quinn.
Akin Akinwande, Hip Hop
Akin is a self-styled hip hop instructor whose influences include artists such as Michael Jackson and Usher Raymond and the techniques of contemporary, jazz, and ballet. His musical and athletic abilities play a huge role in his dancing and choreography. Akin enjoys all forms of art and creativity, including videography and photography. He performs throughout the valley and enjoys teaching and choreographing to students of all ages and levels. Akin is excited to be joining the faculty of Prima Dance Arizona!
Mariah Barber, Hip Hop, Tap, Choreography, Musical Theater
Mariah began her training in Phoenix, AZ at the age of three and studied tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Jazz Funk, and Hip Hop. She competed locally and nationally earning high accolades such as “Top Technique”, “Broadway Performer”, and “Senior Miss Hip Hop.” Mariah continued her education at Colorado State and also taught dance in Fort Collins, CO. Miss Mariah is a Middle School teacher in Paradise Valley. She enjoys choreographing and seeing her students grow in their own training. We welcome Mariah to her second year with PDAZ!
Dana Clark, Ballet, Jazz
Miss Dana moved to the Scottsdale area from the Midwest, where she began her dance training at the age of nine. Dana has studied Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Hip Hop and Clogging and brings 15 years of teaching experience to PDAZ. It is Miss Dana's goal to share her passion for dance technique and love of the arts to her students. Prima Dance Arizona is happy to have Dana with us for her fourth season!
Rachel Davies, Intro to Dance Program, Tap
Rachel began her dance training at the age of three and studied ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, modern, hip hop, and musical theater and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Oakland University. Rachel has performed with the Oakland Dance Theater, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble’s Motown in Motion, Phoenix Contemporary Dance Company, and as a background performer in David Shelby’s “Kick a Little Dirt” music video. Rachel has experience teaching ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary to children of all ages and is currently a substitute preschool teacher at Bright Horizons Child Care. She is excited to teach at Prima Dance Arizona!
Ashley Langston, Acro, Lyrical, Contemporary, Choreography, Ballet, Competition Team
Ashley is a certified Acrobatics Arts Instructor and follows their professional curriculum for Acrobatic Dance. A charter member of The National Honor Society of Dance Arts, Ashley holds an Associates of Fine Arts in Dance. While at Millenium High School she was a member of the varsity dance team and taught gymnastics, and she has taught and choreographed for various competitions, pageants, high school dance programs and studios across the valley. Ashley is a part of the professional dance company, The Parking Lot Project. She loves teaching the students at Prima Dance Arizona!
Angie Petersen, Jazz, Tap, Competition Team, Improv/Choreography
Angie began dancing at the age of 3, following in the footsteps of her mother. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, swing, and musical theater. As a child, she realized her passion for dance and traveled the U.S., competing in over 25 regional and national conventions and receiving over 100 honors and awards.
She has taken classes with several of the industries top teachers and choreographers, including Frank Hatchett, Mia Michaels, and Joe Tremaine. She continued her dance training at Columbia College in Chicago, where she also modeled for emerging Chicago designers while pursuing her degree in Fashion. Angie has performed on tour in the Caribbean and Europe with National Olympians Show Tours. Miss Angie has been choreographing for the past 12 years and is often requested to choreograph special projects around Arizona and Illinois. Angie is passionate about sharing her love for dance and performing with her students.
Rhonda Sevey, Prima Performance
Rhonda Sevey's professional work includes choreography for the Warner Brothers / Disney Channel feature film, “Wish Upon a Star,” the PBS television special, “John Tesh, Live at Red Rocks,” “Star Search,” and the Renaissance Films “Point Blank” talk show pilot. Her teaching credits include Chicago National Dance Masters, Studio 225 in Zurich, Switzerland, National Dance Camp, (Director), the Tanzsommer Festival in Innsbruck, Austria, and master classes in studios and schools across the nation. Adjudication work includes Odyssey Talent Competitions, Starlight Productions, LA Dance Magic, and KAR Competitions. Rhonda owned and directed the nationally recognized Utah Academy Dance Studios for 20 years; producing students who consistently received scholarships and performing contracts worldwide. Rhonda has been directing Nexus Dance Conventions and Competitions for the past 13 years; an education and performance platform designed to motivate dancers from the inside out.