Meet the Staff


Shakira Ortiz

Shakira Ortiz, the owner and director of MOVEMENT ELEV8TION DANCE ARTS. She started off as a gymnast for most of her childhood and then transitioned into dance in her early teens. From there, she developed an undeniable passion for dance and competed with Dance Academy USA’s production company for five years. She then went on to establish the Los Altos High School Dance Team which she later returned to coach. Her career as a dancer has taken her all over the Bay Area choreographing and performing with local companies for the last 15 years. She also spent the past ten years focusing on child development as a preschool teacher in Silicon Valley, working most recently for The Harker School in San Jose. Dancing and education are her two passions and she is excited to bring them together and to share them with you and your child.


Rina Ohta

Rina has been dancing for more than 20 years. She first took up dance as a youngster in Japan, where she studied tap, jazz, ballet and hip hop; tap was her favorite style.  Rina later joined a professional dance performance group in Japan, where she performed as a dancer and also an actress on the stage and sometimes on TV.  After performing on a variety of stages in her home country, Rina decided to expand her horizons and move to the U.S to study performing arts and English. 

She moved to CA in 2010 to learn English and American culture, and to practice her performance skills. In 2012, she started teaching tap to kids at Marina Ballet Arts. Rina loves kids and tap dancing, so working with kids has been very enjoyable. From this experience, she learned how kids have fun dancing without fear or thoughts. They reminded her that she still loves performing and dancing on the stage, so she joined Tap Explosion in 2016 directed by Gayle Greenbrook. She is looking forward to teaching tap to everyone at Movement Elev8tion!!

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Devann Sheuerman

Devann Sheuerman is a yoga and meditation teacher based in San Jose who loves to teach whether in the studio or at special events. Her passion is to help others find their inner peace and purpose by promoting mindfulness of spirit and body. Her classes are filled with a variety of tools to help students attain this enjoyably and effectively. She loves to instruct all ages from grade school to elderly and everyone in between including prenatal/postnatal students & fire fighters. Whether you need to calm your nerves from wedding planning, your profession or just need to regularly tune-in to yourself, Devann would love to help!

Devann may be reached at or found on Instagram and Facebook as devanntheyogagoddess 


Elizabeth Insalaco-Latona

Mrs. Elizabeth has a metaphor for life which is to, “keep on dancing”. What happens if your shoe falls off? You must keep on dancing!  What  happens if the music stops?  You must keep on dancing! Whatever happens to you in life, you MUST, “keep on Dancing!’

Elizabeth N. Insalaco-Latona began dancing at age 3. Her dance experience spans more than 3 decades.  Her mother, the late Sally Riggs Insalaco, a Broadway and London’s West End Theater District performer (Hello, Dolly!, Celebration, Jesus Christ Superstar) began “Studio One for the Performing Arts”, considered one of the finest dance schools in Arkansas for many years and where Elizabeth danced and later worked for 16 years.  Elizabeth reopened the school for several years, where she worked as the owner and Artistic Director, before moving back to Northern California. 

Elizabeth is a graduate of Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz where she also danced at Studio 10 Dance in San Jose, CA. In 2002, Elizabeth graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Cinema and Dance. Elizabeth taught dance at Hillsdale High School upon graduation from San Francisco State where she coached the cheerleading and dance team.  Elizabeth also taught dance at Funky Diva’s and the Ballet Barre in Los Angeles and Reflections in Dance in Woodland Hills, CA.

She spent 10 years working in Television and Film including the series Half and Half, Designing Women, According to Jim, HBO’s “12 miles of Bad Road”, starring (Lily Tomlin), and Saving Grace, starring (Holly Hunter). She also worked on the theatrical films War Eagle, Arkansas (Brian Dennehy, Mare Winningham, Mary Kay Place) and worked as Line producer for “You” starring, (Melora Hardin).  

Elizabeth performed at the opening of the Sally Riggs Insalaco Theater  located in the Argenta Community Theater (Arkansas) in 2010 along with speakers (former) President Bill Clinton and Academy Award Winning Actress Mary Steenburgen.  This theater was built by her family in memory of her mother, Sally Riggs Insalaco.

After reopening her mother’s studio, Studio One Dance, her and her family relocated to San Jose, CA.

Elizabeth’s favorites teaching styles include Ballet, Broadway Jazz, Lyrical Jazz and Musical Theater*.


Amrit Kaur Goraya  

-Started dancing at the age of 7

-Learned Bhangra (Traditional Punjabi dance from the Northern Indian State of Punjab)

-Attended University of Nevada, Reno and minored in dance

-Organized a team (Nachda Nevada) to perform Bhangra at competitions 

-Took Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz and Modern dance classes for 3 years

-Performed in various dance shows, including Gallim (NY Dance Company specializing in Gaga Technique) 

-Choreographed multiple performances, many which were Bollywood 

-Moved to San Jose, taking classical Indian dance classes (Kathak) and Bollywood technique.


Alfred Mendioro

At 14, Alfred started his dance training at Independence High School. Started off by taking modern with Kellye Dodd and grew a passion and hunger to learn more styles. While his time there, he studied ballet, jazz, tap, and eventually joined the performance team, IndepenDance. After his high school years, he ventured off into other styles. He began taking contemporary at Nor Cal Dance Arts, and joined hiphop group AK, who is based out of SJSU’s Akbayan. Since then he’s danced at/with Ohlone College, De Anza College, Project M, and VIP San Jose, where he eventually became Assistant Artistic Director. These days, Alfred currently dances and competes with Groove Against The Machine, who is based out of Oakland. He hopes to show and bring versatility to his classes to teach the wide array of styles he’s trained in.

Irene Cruz

Irene Cruz began her dance experience when she joined the Overfelt hip hop dance team in 2003.  In 2007, she joined Wrawsome, a hip hop crew under the direction of Jeffro Rosalejos. Later on, she joined Ladies of Silhouette, an all female hip hop crew directed by Crystal Gandeza.  She has opened for hip hop artist, Baby Bash and has also competed at World of Dance and NorCal Prelude. Irene also fell in love with the art of Polynesian dancing where she danced with Polynesian Entertainment and currently dances for Tahiti Nui, under the direction of Pomaikai De La Fuente.  Irene is also Buti Yoga certified. She is looking forward to teaching Buti Yoga and Hula sweat at Movement Elev8tion.


Alicia Romano W

She started dancing in her late teen age years in México City. She fell in love with ballet from day one. She took classes with Eva de Keijzer at Estudio de Ballet Tecamachalco, Farahilda Sevilla and Francisco Martinez. She taught ballet for 5 years and she joined a Dance company called “Modulo Dancística” (Ballet) and “Grupo Folklórico International”(European Folk dancing) both groups under the direction of Eva de Keijzer. While she was part of these two companies she performed in Theaters, Universities, Private Events, Museums, and Schools. She participated in a tour to Mérida, México to be part of a festival called “Otoño Cultural Yucatán’86. The European Folk Dancing company was the Closing Gala Performance of that festival. She danced for 8 years in México.

In 1987, she came to San José, she joined San Jose Dance Theater under the direction of Paul Curtis and Shawn Stuart. She danced in different productions including The Nutcracker. Later on she took Ballet classes at San Jose City College with Gary Palmer. She took a Summer workshop at San Jose State University with the José Limón Dance Company and Los Lupeños de San José.  While she started raising her family, she taught pre-ballet for 4 years at the South Valley YMCA. Later she took a break to continue raising her family. She is back doing Liturgical Dancing at women's retreats and church functions. She also enjoys Mexican Folk Dancing and takes class at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.


Brandon Alcala

Alaizza Rato

Mimi Rana

Ilishia Sook-Kyung

Juan Carlos Camarena

Kento Vo