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Arielle has supported individuals on the autism spectrum in educational, employment, and therapeutic settings for 12 years. As a special education teacher in Arizona, a studio intern at an art therapy program in New Zealand, and a Behavior Specialist at an inclusive preschool in San Diego, Arielle has witnessed the immeasurable positive impact of high quality arts instruction on the lives of individuals with disabilities. She is eager to help grow the Creative Stages as a welcoming, inclusive program that allows people of all ages and abilities the ability to express themselves through dance.
Fiona Chatwin received her Doctorate in Music from UCSD in 2006 with a view to a career as a performer and educator. She has dedicated the past 15 years to the non-profit sector and is Founder/Executive Director of Villa Musica - San Diego's Community Music Center. Her passion for dance started at the age of 9 when she studied ballet and tap and her love of music theater. More recently Fiona is inspired by her daughter's passion for dance. Fiona is thrilled for the opportunity to "give back" and to be a member of the board of Creative Stages; to share her expertise and looks forward to helping inspire dancers of all ages and abilities through this work.
Emilie Amrein is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of San Diego where she facilitates the USD Choral Leadership Collaboratory, and teaches courses on the intersection of music and social justice movements, community music, and changemaking. Emilie is the co-artistic director of Common Ground Voices / La Frontera, a bi-national community music project that aims to build relationships and understanding across political, demographic, and perceptual borders as an exercise of non-violence. She is also executive producer of The Choral Commons, a virtual community where choral and community music practitioners can gather in order to envision equity-centered choral futures. Emilie is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion within the arts and academia. She is coauthor of the forthcoming book, Empowering Song, to be published by Routledge in 2022. She contributed to Wisdom, Wit, and Will: Women Choral Conductors on Their Art, and to Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir (Vol. 2-3). She has presented her work for several distinguished professional organizations, including Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, the College Music Society, and the National Youth Leadership Council.
Rebecca Ordas has been a practicing physical therapist for 30 years. She received her Bachelor's degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland in 1990 and her Doctoral Degree from the College of St. Scholastica in 2010. Rebecca was introduced to San Diego Danceworks 10 years ago when her daughter expressed a desire to dance in a nurturing and collaborative environment. Dance has since become an integral and invaluable part of her family's life. In fact, every member of her family has participated in dance at San Diego Danceworks! Rebecca is passionate about dance as a powerful form of self expression and fitness for all and is thrilled to serve on the board of Creative Stages.
Alejandra Warner has spent more than 30 years working in the design and construction field. She has worked on large to small projects ranging from the convention center to small playgrounds. Alex is specialized in accessible design with more than 25 years of experience, ensuring that people of all abilities can enjoy the facilities built in the City of San Diego.
"Alex" has a Degree in Architecture and is an Accessibility Specialist for the Office of ADA Compliance and Accessibility; she oversees the City's compliance program, evaluating needs and prioritizing accessibility improvements at City facilities. She has also consulted for a wide range of facilities from libraries, museums, fire stations, sports facilities, recreation, and community centers.
Alex's passion for serving the community and especially her commitment to people with disabilities stems from the fact that she believes that the inclusion of enrichment programs for young people can be life-changing. She believes that it is within a broader cultural context that inclusive teaching addresses the very real barriers to participation, and through the amazing work of Creative Stages, children of all abilities will have a place where all may dance.