Wynesha Garner-Groce

Studio Owner/Competitive Team Director/ Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Turns/Jumps



Wynesha Garner-Groce graduated from Cal State University of San Bernardino double majoring in Business Administration concentrating in marketing and Kinesiology emphasis in pedagogy. She then attended the University of Redlands to get her teaching credential, teaching dance at several studios, and choreographing all over the Inland Empire. Her work has been show cased by AB Miller HS, Los Osos HS, Rancho Cucamonga HS, Upland HS, Don Lugo HS, John W. North HS, Arroyo Valley HS, Alta Loma HS and many more. She has performed as a dancer for a fashion show charity event hosted by "Pretty Little Liars" Lucy Hale and several other events around Southern CA. Wynesha has been dancing for over sixteen years in jazz/lyrical, hip hop, modern/contemporary, and ballet.  Dance has always been her passion and driving force that gets her through the obstacles of life. Her professional career as a dancer consist of being a former client for DDO dance agency which gave her a chance to explore the entertainment world of dance through auditions for a variety of music videos, movies, and commercials. .  “A DAY WITHOUT DANCE IS A DAY WASTED” Nietzsche  

christie ann bengtson

Jazz, Lyrical, Choreography, Tap

Christie Ann Bengtson has been dancing since the age of two and has won numerous awards and titles in her competition years. She has also choreographed competition routines, and has studied jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop. She also competed in pageants as a model, singer and dancer. In addition, at the age of eight she premiered as a Radio Disney Event performer and also went to New York to study broadway and musical theater. Christie has had two knee surgeries during sophomore and junior year of high school. She had torn the right ACL in practice and the left onstage doing her solo. Both knees have two pins and a cadaver ACL with meniscal repairs in both. Doctors have told her that she would never dance again, but that didn’t stop her. Christie is to determined and passionate about her dance life that, not being able to dance wasn’t an option. A year later she was picked to be in the open number for the KAR TV Awards show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Christie has been featured as a lyrical assistant at KAR dance convention in Michigan, and a hip hop assistant at Dance Force studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Christie is in Marco Cruz’s dance company entitled “Crack” meaning dance is our addiction. When Christie finishes her classes she always wants her students to leave their hearts on the dance floor and feel good before they walk out the door because you never know what life has in store for you.  

Jason Bittner

Jazz, Lyrical

Jason started his dance training at the School of the Ohio Dance Theater under the direction of Denise Gula & Nancy Brensth;.  As a pre-professional scholarship student, Jason has performed in many ballets including The Nutcracker, House in the Woods, The Gathering, Peter and the Wolf & more.  In 2001, Jason received the promising artist award from the University of the Arts.  Spending two semesters abroad, he had the unique opportunity to study with the Paris Opera Ballet & also attended many master classes in Madrid.  With Universal Entertainment, Jason has performed with such recording artists as Aaron Carter, Take 5 & Samantha Mumba.

Currently, Jason is the director of the nationally ranked Esparanza High School Varsity Dance Team.

As a choreographer, Jason has had many great opportunities to create original works  for dance studios, high schools, colleges, dance companies & events around the country.  He has won many awards for his choreography including: the National Choreography Achievement Award from Star Systems National, finals in 2005; The Directors Award from Spotlight Dance Nationals, 2009; & an outstanding choreography award from Bravo National Dance Competition in 2011.

With a background in Ballet & Modern, Jason brings a high level of technique & creativity to his classes & choreography.

Andrew martinez

Ballet

 Andrew has trained at Anaheim Ballet under Lawrence and Sarma Rosenberg. He has performed in many productions in roles as the Prince, in The Nutcracker and Puck, in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Mr. Andrew received National Scholarships to train at Joffrey Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theater, Inland Pacific Ballet, and Los Angeles Ballet. He enjoys creating entertaining and engaging curriculum, always demonstrating full out, and expecting 100% in return from his eager-to-learn students of all ages. 

Ashley Rodriguez

Hip-Hop, Tap/Ballet/Jazz Combo, Adapted

Ashley has her A.A. in Liberal Arts: Kinesiology and an A.S. and certificate in American Sign Language Interpreting. She is continuing her education to receive her bachelors in Kinesiology. She has been training as a dancer for about eleven years.  She is a trained hip-hop dancer, but has also done training in jazz, tap, and other genres.  Professionally dancing for about seven years, she has appeared in professional studios, companies, and productions in Los Angeles, Anaheim, and across the Inland Empire.  Ashley has experience working with deaf people, hard of hearing people, as well as people with special needs; her philosophy is equality and inclusiveness in the classroom. Ashley's greatest passion is dance, and she truly believes it is a beautiful way for anyone to express themselves and a way to prepare them for life lessons. She encourages her students to push themselves, believe in themselves and be the best they can be. There is no such thing is “I can’t”. Watching her students grow as dancers and individuals is the biggest reward she can receive.  

SARA PIECUKONIS

Acro/Tumbling

Sara is currently the Acro/tumbling teacher at Elevate Dance, a Certified Level 1 Crossfit Trainer at Crossfit Foothill and Crossfit Kindle. She received a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Sciences from California Baptist University and is currently working on her M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from Loma Linda University. Sara was a cheerleader for 15 years working up from the little league level to competitive cheerleading, eventually received a scholarship to CBU where she ending her cheer career as a CBU cheer alumni. As a tumbler and stunter, she helped the currently undefeated 6x national champion cheer team win their first 3 NCA Collegiate national titles and continue to win 3 more USA Collegiate Nationals titles from 2013-2015. On her time off from cheer, Sara participated in Hip Hop and gymnastics in her younger years. Though her main sport was cheer, Sara always aspired to be more involved in dance as her favorite part of cheer routines was the dance portion.
Throughout her collegiate career, Sara has helped run summer camps, coach private team tumbling, and worked as a tumbling coach at Intensity Athletics competitive cheerleading gym. She also took small jobs choreographing routines for local teams. Sara personally received the NCA Collegiate All American Award and similar other All American awards in high school. In addition, she was given the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Spain to help run cheer camps and a mission trip to China with CBU's Global Health Engagement Program to help start up a nutrition rehabilitation center for children recovering from cancer. 
"Passion, God, Success" is the motto she lives by everyday and, with a passion for health and fitness, Sara is motivated to use her collegiate education and experience to help young athletes maximize their full potential in acro and tumbling.

kendell mays

Hip Hop

Kendell started dancing hip hop in 2012 at Riverside City College under the direction of Wynesha Garner-Groce. He has trained and performed  with many different hip hop crews including 909 Hip Hop Dance Troupe, Three23, Academy of Villians and currently he is co-director of Elev8 crew.  Kendell teaches hip hop throughout the Inland Empire.

 Dance is therapeutic. Dance is life!  

Nichole Gonzalez

Mommy & Me

  

Nichole Gonzalez has been dancing for 16 years in many styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. She has danced under the direction of Joan Collenette, Amy Sweitzer, Rosanne Magdaleno and many other choreographers. She performed ballet at the San Gabriel Civic auditorium for 8 consecutive years, and danced competitively for 4 years. Her other hobbies and professions include singing and acting as well as taking care of her two daughters. 

michele warner

Studio Owner, Front Desk

Michele, along with her husband Harold & Wynesha Garner-Groce, opened Elevate Dance in June 2012 with a small competitive team of 22 dancers. With the support of our parents, phenomenal teaching staff and eager dancers, Elevate Dance has just begun it's 7th season! We are proud of our studio and our accomplishments; several regional titles at KAR, Rainbow, Nexstar & Starpower; KAR winner for Video of the Week for "A Little Party," choreographed by W. Garner-Groce; Industry Dance Nomination for "Divas to the Dance Floor," choreographed by W. Garner-Groce; 4 Grand National Showcase Winners from Kids Artistic Revue: "The Climb," "Meeting In The Ladies Room," "Divas to the Dance Floor" & "Joke's On You," all choreographed by W. Garner-Groce; and 8 Grand National Showcase entries at KAR Nationals; The Elev8 Project- A Fundraiser Scholarship Show; Dancer Against Cancer, Circle of Hope Studio; Association of Dance Conventions and Competitions (ADCC) winner 2016 & 2017 for Studio of Excellence; Studio of the Year Award (KAR) 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 and the KAR National Studio Spirit Award for 2017, Las Vegas, Blue Room.  

Michele's primary role at Elevate is managing the daily operations at the studio.