“And if you are to love
love like the moon loves.
It doesn’t steal the night,
it only unveils the .
beauty of the dark.”
Cristy was born and raised in the Bay Area, where her love for dance started early. She began dancing at two years old and competed nationally for ten years in tap, jazz, and lyrical. In high school she fell in love with musical theatre and stepped away from studio-life for a few years. She was on her college dance team, co-captained the team her senior year, and went on to coach the team for three years, bringing them to a nationally competitive level. She has taught in studios, performed with an agency, and has been a member of a semi-pro dance team.
After graduate school, she and her husband moved to Redding and she spent a few years a little lost and without dance in her life. After a few misses with companies that didn’t quite fit and a debilitating knee injury, Cristy was able to audition for FDC. FDC has changed who Cristy is as a dancer and a person, pushing her out of her comfort zone, both, physically and emotionally. Her view of dance, herself as a dancer, and her concept of confidence have dramatically evolved over the last two years with FDC and she couldn’t be more grateful or in awe of the FDC family for everything they’ve done for her.
“The trouble is, you think you have time.” - Buddha
Celine is an ever-crafting, lover of all things art, hippie at heart. Making her own products is a favorite hobby, as well as bike-riding, scootering, camping, snowboarding, jet skiing -- basically anything outdoorsy. Her eight-year-old son, Christian, is the funniest person she knows, next to her fiance (and regular FDC cameo), Steve. This is Celine’s fourth year in FDC, after getting her start when Derek asked her to fill in, last minute, for a dancer who couldn’t perform in a show. After that first Beyonce chair dance, she was hooked. One of the (many) things Celine loves about FDC is the ability to promote and support topics that are important to each member in different ways. From performing at Redding Pride to the Out of the Darkness walk, supporting important issues and participating in the local community are the things that give FDC life. As a member of FDC, Celine has grown as a dancer and has continually worked to lessen her stage fright; she credits the family for constantly inspiring her to be a better person. She likes sushi, “Westworld”, Buddhism, good vibes, strong hair ties, socks that don’t slide, and sunshine.
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” - Unknown
Brianna is 28 years old, she lives in Red Bluff, California, and is a hair stylist. Brianna began dancing at the age of 4 and by the age of 10 she was competing throughout California and Nevada. In college, Brianna was a member of two of her school's dance teams. She then moved to New York, and Miami, where she enjoyed her passion for performing as a go-go dancer. When she moved back to northern California, she was searching for a way to continue dancing and that's when she found FDC. FDC has changed Brianna's life in the most incredible way; she has met some of the best friends she will ever have and has been able to relish in her passion for learning and performing. Brianna is so grateful for the friends and experiences that being a part of FDC has brought, and she is excited to continue on this journey with them. FDC gave Brianna the opportunity to continue doing something she has always felt she was born to do, and she will hold that in her heart forever.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” - Pablo Picasso
Kiri grew up in Ashland, Oregon. She started dancing as soon as she could walk and began taking formal ballet classes at the age of 5. When she turned 12 she branched out in to other forms of dance as she joined the middle school varsity dance team. She competed on dance team throughout high school and took first place with the team a few times. After graduating college, she and her wonderful, handsome, supportive, hunk of a nurse husband moved to Redding for work.
After about four years on hiatus from dancing she finally rekindled her dancing flame with Formation Dance Company. She wanted to be a part of FDC because it was obvious they were unlike any other company she had ever been a part of. They are cutting edge, raw, unique, and disruptive. They are a family. FDC has impacted her life in the deepest way possible. When she broke her foot opening night of her first season with FDC they were there for her. They supported her through her darkest moments, and they helped her recover from that trauma physically and emotionally.
Like the praying mantis, FDC has taught Kiri to be aware of her own body, to go within her own mind, to connect with herself, drawing up greater physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual power. She is honored to be a part of Formation Dance Company and has never met such an inspiring, impactful, and compassionate group of individuals.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” - Pablo Picasso
Bekah (also known as “Bex”) is a Redding, CA born-and-raised communications major who has been a part of Formation Dance Company for the last two and a half years. Bekah is an out and proud non-binary human being (preferred pronouns: they/them) who has been dancing since they were just a lad; they started taking ballet/tap combo classes as a wee youngster and instantly fell in love. Bekah joined FDC at a low point in their life and being a part of FDC has changed their life tremendously. From being a more confident human to knowing their worth, FDC has helped shape Bekah into the person that they are today, and it has been the most positive force in their life to date. Bekah is a Virgo, a Slytherin (with a small trace of Hufflepuff), an INFP, an avid Disneyland fan and Annual Passholder, and their patronus is a field rat. They play five instruments and they’re really shy about it and if they ever sing in front of you, call that a victory. You can find them spending their spare time in Disneyland, asking you what your sign is and getting way too excited about it, or most definitely cuddling a cat.
“Play it by ear.”
Nathan has been apart of the FDC family for all four seasons. Dancing in a close, loving group brings him back every year. "Play it by ear" is one of Nathan's favorite quotes to remind him to not stress the little things. Outside of being a fully employed adult, his nine year involvement with dance has brought him to many places in his life: the latest development is his new career move into Drag. The group cherishes his huge heart and goofy behavior as much as he cherishes the love shared throughout his FDC family. His closing statement in an FDC interview was, "As individuals we hold a statement, in the group we are the voice that shares its message."
Janette St John
“The more you like yourself the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” - Walt Disney
Janette was born in Sacramento, but grew up in Red Bluff. Her love for dance brought her to Redding. She started dancing in high school, then took jazz and hip hop with California Dance Company for five years. She wanted to become a part of FDC to express her love for dance with a group of positive people. To her, FDC means passion, inspiration, and being yourself. It has impacted her life by helping her learn to love herself and accept her flaws. Nothing and no one is perfect.
“We’re endlessly growing”
Emilio Siaz is 22 years old from Redding, CA and has been dancing for ten years. He started out with hip hop and progressed to lyrical and jazz during high school. As school became a priority for Emilio, dance gradually became secondary in his life, until he was scouted by Derek Saelee. At that specific time in his life, he felt a little lost and FDC was the positive support system that came in and saved him. The atmosphere was (and still is) positive and family-oriented, and everything just fell into place. The environment that came along with FDC supports infinite growth and happiness.
“If watching is all you’re gonna do, then you’re gonna watch your life go by without ya.“ - Quasimodo in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
Trenton grew up dancing and acting, since the age of 7, in Redding, CA. He loves video games, cats, dogs, cuddly koalas, and has always loved to perform for others; and, though he gets the occasional jitters, he has never dreamed of doing anything else. Through his performing community, he met a few people who later brought him into FDC and introduced him to his new-found family. Over time, Trenton discovered that FDC was more than just a dance group: it is a place where judgement is forgotten, help is given, family is made, and love is always plentiful and overflowing. The group has helped Trenton come out of his awkward shell and has pushed him to continue growing every rehearsal, every day, and in every way, shape, and form. He could not be more thankful for the constant love and support the group has given him and would be lost if it weren’t for FDC. It has shown him that there are no boundaries, only mindsets, and those mindsets are whatever you make them to be; with the help of this family, he is able to start and end each day with the mindset of a better tomorrow that brings a better rehearsal and a better person within himself. Every day he has learned to look for opportunities to learn from his mistakes and grow, because without growth there is no joy. He has also learned that there is no joy without Bekah Evangelista...his main man...his macho mano...his dude that just likes to be a dude… the two dudes of dudes.
“Where I create, there I am true.” - Rainer Maria Rilke
Sydney is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and moved to Redding five years ago. Sydney was a competitive dancer for fourteen years and has specialized in hip hop and contemporary. Sydney has performed in several NFL halftime shows, celebrity charity events, at Disney World and has competed in over 100 competitions. When Sydney moved to Redding, she had no plans of dancing due to the lack of opportunity in the area. When she discovered FDC, she knew she had to be a part of the like-minded community. Through FDC, Sydney has rediscovered her love for dance, collaboration and being a part of a team. Sydney just graduated Magna Cum Laude from Simpson University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. In January she’ll be relocating to Ghana to intern with International Justice Mission as an Executive Intern.
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” - Golda Meir
Holly Reilly was born and raised in Redding, Ca, and she has been dancing since age 11, building a foundation in Jazz, Hip hop, Ballet, and Modern. Holly joined Formation Dance Company in 2017, searching for a creative outlet, and finding a beautifully eclectic group of like-minded, passionate dancers. She has been a proud family member since.
"Keep the faith; Trust the journey."
It was five years ago when Derek discovered an immersing passion inside him for the arts. With opportunities to grow his technical dance abilities, Derek held on to that burning passion and never let go. He has challenged himself by learning from top industry professionals from Michael Jackson's assistant choreographers to Justin Bieber's backup dancers. He strongly believes in growth and to live the best life possible. Formation Dance Company (originally ProjectDance) is one of his hard efforts to bring opportunities and bring positive, diverse change to the community. He founded this company 5 years ago and has significantly grown it since then. His motto every year is "to become one step closer to making FDC a career for all his passionate dance fam."
On his leisure time, he likes to read, travel, take dance classes, help others, attend concerts, create magnificent memories, and work on next year's show. He is never not busy and you probably won't be able to reach him unless you leave a voicemail.
Overall, Derek is living his best life and FDC is proof of this. The rest is history.
"When people do what they love, the world becomes a little bit better."