The Company Board of Directors
Assistant Artistic Director
Anne is delighted to be performing with CORE and sharing the love of movement with fellow company members. Growing up and learning to dance in the Sacramento area, Anne went on to dance with Sacramento Ballet Company as an apprentice in her early teens. She then earned a scholarship to dance at the Marin Dance Theatre where she received extensive dance training in ballet, modern and jazz. She went on to earn her degree at Humboldt State University in education and continued dancing through college. While studying and dancing, she had the opportunity to attend ACDFA with Humboldt State Dance department. Since then, she’s been blessed to have the opportunity to dance professionally and work with a variety of talented choreographers. Her professional musical theatre experience includes roles in Pokemon Live! Las Vegas, Mississippi Love, Branson Missouri, and ‘Rosie’ in Cabaret. In addition to performing, she also shares a love for teaching dance in the local community.
Assistant Artistic Director
Blair is originally from Colorado and received her early dance education from Robin's Danceworks in Colorado Springs. Her first fifteen years of dance included performances and dance tours all over the United States, working with numerous choreographers and dancers of all genres. Throughout high school she taught dance and volunteered at a Veterinary Hospital in her remaining free time.
When she moved to California to receive her B.S. in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis, she became a member of the hip-hop dance company, NewStyle Motherlode, based out of the Oakland/San Francisco area. In college, she was a member of the nationally ranked UC Davis Dance Team for three years, which included a national championship debut on ESPN in 2003. She was a dancer/performer in the UC Davis Annual Spring Dance Concert for four years which included modern, jazz, and ballet choreography. She also volunteered her time to help coach the Davis High School Dance Team.
Since graduating from UC Davis, Blair works full-time as a Veterinary Technician at a local Veterinary Hospital. Ms. Kendall’s previous affiliations include three-years dancing with Pulse Dance Ensemble. In February of 2007 she helped found CORE Dance Collective and is currently on the Board of Trustees; Ms. Kendall serves as one of the Assistant Artistic Directors under Kelli Leighton. She continues to work full-time as a Veterinary Technician, teaches Contemporary Jazz at Step 1 Dance and Fitness and dances for CORE.
Artistic Director / Founder
Kelli started dancing at the age of three and immediately fell in love with dance. She trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and contemporary. Mrs. Leighton studied at the Tueller School of Dance under the direction of Valene Tueller, where she was a member of Company and Competition teams. She later took on responsibilities of assistant student teacher and student choreographer, which then led her to join the faculty. As a dancer, Kelli won top honors at numerous competitions all over the US, including the honor of being featured on “The Today Show”. She was selected for the U.S.A. All Star Team, and was awarded numerous dance training scholarships for schools all over the US, including the prestigious Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.
Kelli was awarded two dance scholarships to Utah State University, where she was a member of the Sunburst Performing Company and had the opportunity to choreograph in addition to performing. She later moved to Los Angeles where she became a member of the Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA working in Film, Television and Industrials. Ms. Leighton has worked with such greats as Gregory Hines, Thommie Walsh, Luigi, Barry Youngblood, Christopher Smith and Robert Alverez just to name a few. She also worked as the Programs and Entertainment Director for UC Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center, where she co-wrote, choreographed and directed many productions and managed multiple entertainment groups.
Kelli continues to seek growth and knowledge as a dancer and teacher. She has studied under such greats as Doug Varone, Abby Fiat (University of Utah), Jan Erkert (University of Illinois), Mia Michaels, Dwana Smallwood (Alvin Ailey), Ana Marie Forsythe, Ronald K. Brown, Carla Maxwell (Jose Limon) and many more.
Mrs. Leighton choreographs for soloists, drill and dance teams, as well as dance companies throughout Utah, California, and Idaho. Her choreography has garnered awards at multiple competitions and national conventions, and she received the Dance Educator of the Year Award for the Sacramento region for 2010-2011. She is on faculty at Hawkins School of Performing Arts in Folsom, and is the Artistic Director of iMPACT, the studio’s non-profit youth contemporary dance company. She is also on faculty at Step I Dance and Fitness in Sacramento, where she heads the jazz competition teams.
Kelli finds inspiration in the human experience and in the bonds that people form through movement. Her vision for CORE is to promote a healthy professional environment where dancers of all experiences come together to inspire each other and enrich their surrounding community. Her unique athletic contemporary style along with a contagious passion and energy for dance has made her one of the most sought after master teachers and choreographers.