Experience. Passion. Creativity.

Mike McGee

Teaching Artist

Mighty Mike McGee is a well-traveled funny hobo-poet from San José, California. He is the first and only poet to win both the 2003 National Poetry Slam Grand Championship and the 2006 Individual World Poetry Slam Grand Championship. McGee is a co-founder of the live spoken word groups Tons of Fun University (TOFU) with Shane Koyczan and C.R. Avery. He also co-founded The Whirlwind Company with Mindy Nettifee, Brian S. Ellis, and Jon Sands, and the Poetry Revivals with Dan Leamen, Derrick Brown, Buddy Wakefield, and Anis Mojgani. McGee was appointed Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley) for 2018 & 2019 and serves on the Poetry Center San José Board of Directors.

Alex Flores

Teaching Artist

(Prince Ali) was born and raised in the city of San Jose, CA. His love for music and dance led him to discover the artistic expression of “hip hop” during his early teenage years. In 2005, he began his journey with street-dance and in 2013 started his career in teaching youth throughout schools and community centers across Silicon Valley.

Since then he has been given the chance to represent alongside some of the longest running dance crews in the Bay Area: Playboyz Inc (est. 1981) and Renegade Rockers (est. 1983). Ali competes, performs, and teaches in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. His travels have led him to U.S. hot spots such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and even overseas to London, England.

Brian Rapaido

Teaching Artist

Brian Rapaido is the owner of The Get Down Dance Studio in Japantown, San Jose. He began dancing in garages with neighborhood kids in the early 1990’s. In the 3rd grade, Brian performed a hip-hop routine at a talent show with friends and realized he had a strong passion for dance. 

In 2000 Brian joined the Army and lived on the east coast where he was introduced to the Latin styles.  Brian saw the heavy influence of Latin and Afro-Cuban movements in many hip-hop dances. He wanted to train in these dance styles and become an effective teacher to be able to teach others about the culture of these dances. In 2007, Brian and his wife, Jeannette, opened a studio in Mexico teaching both hip-hop and Latin dances. After obtaining a linguistics degree from SJSU, Brian started substitute teaching for different schools as well as teaching for different arts programs in the South Bay. Shortly after, Brian and Jeannette were invited to teach and perform internationally in different countries. They were fortunate to travel, compete, and be involved in musical productions but realized they had a strong passion in building a strong community through dance in the Bay Area, which is when they decided to open a street styles based studio in San Jose, CA. 

Brian believes that even as a teacher, he must always be a student. He continues to learn from others and spreads the knowledge so he and others can continue to share the joy of dance.

Doni Bee

Teaching Artist

Doni Bee is a musician based in Hollister, Ca.

He says: I play keyboards, specializing in piano in classical, jazz, and contemporary styles. I'm also an instructor of music and piano. My approach is a blend of traditional, jazz, and original. My background includes things as divergent as Bach, grunge, jazz, medieval chanting, and experimental and street performance, for example. Poetry and recitation have also been a focus. Nowadays I spend my time playing organ at a church and studying classical repertoire while developing an improvisatory compositional style.

Patty Flores Reinhart

Teaching Artist

Patty Reinhart was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States at the age of three. Growing up in Southern California, she graduated from UCLA with a BA in Theatre Arts. Patty appeared on both English- and Spanish-language television in Los Angeles while simultaneously teaching elementary school. She has performed with several theatre companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, where she now lives. 

Stories have always been an integral part of her life. After publishing her first novel, HIGH WATER, in January 2021, Patty realized she had something valuable to share with the world & is now working on the sequel.

Carol Cloud

Teaching Artist

Carol Cloud is a retired public school teacher with over 20 years experience.  Yoga instructor for Yoga for All Movement.  Student of Guinea culture, music and dance.

Priya Narayan

Teaching Artist

Priya Narayan  is an Indian classical artist. She is trained in the classical dances of India, Bharatanatyam and Kathak.  Since 2006, Priya has taught numerous students and adults in Dance Academy settings, as well as in Community Outreach programs such as the After School Programs of the Chicago Public Schools. From 2010-2013, she was the principal dancer for Kalapriya Center of Indian Performing Arts and served as their Assistant Artistic Director from 2013-2014. She made her choreographic debut with “Reimagine: a Tribute to Vyjayanthimala.” She has performed at many notable venues, such as the Harris Theater, Field Museum, Chicago Cultural Center, and the Logan Center of the University of Chicago. Priya has also performed as a solo artist in India, her first International tour taking place in 2013. Much of her original work is deeply rooted in the classical dances of India, which she reshapes to push boundaries and ask tough questions regarding societal issues. She received her MA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago in 2014. Priya joined Audacity in 2021 and has brought the world of Indian dance to San Jose and Campbell schools. She is excited to share Indian dance and music with the children of the Bay Area.

Sasha Quetzali Hernandez

Teaching Artist

(Connie) a Missouri native, has lived in both Mexico and the United States. She began piano lessons at the age of three in Missouri and plays five instruments to date at the age of 15. She has performed the underscore for plays with Teatro Vision in San Jose and Artists Ink in Salinas. She was a member of the choir performing through C.A.N.T.A of Hollister in the play Macario for Teatro Vision and has written a play on the difficult theme of youth gun violence. She was a student of the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage plaza where she also participated as a junior counselor.

Jamie Paz

Teaching Artist

To me the impact and importance of Performing arts education is big. I believe kids should learn basic fundamentals to develop, as well as seeing and experiencing the joy that can be hidden among learning all for themselves. Performing arts can change the perspective in which kids tackle daily tasks at school. Providing them the tools and allowing them to create their own crafts/projects allows them to see reward as well as grasping knowledge in such an amazing way. While under Audacity I am fully grateful for the support Rosalinda and all my other mentors/ peers are providing me with.

When I first met the kids at these schools I 100% saw the excitefulness within the kids. learning new things like Podcasting, Hip Hop dance, Folklorico, Art, and even African Drumming. They get to fully engage into different cultures and traditions the way they want to. We as Teaching artists see the massive change and result because of Performing arts. Coming from a low income neighborhood, I had no idea school could be so fun. I was super grateful to be a part of my school's Folklorico community since grade 2. Now that I get to be that person for a child, it makes me super happy and excited that kids get to fall in love with something the way I had the opportunity to. 

Shanmukh Krishna

Teaching Artist

Shanmukh Krishna, recently moved to the states to pursue his master's in software engineering at San Jose State. He was born and brought up in India, the land of festivals. Being an Indian he grew up with a lot of family gatherings and it is almost mandatory for the kids to perform in those gatherings. Shanmukh used to take part in those events very actively and developed a liking for Dance.

In 2016, Shanmukh was in his freshman year and auditioned for the college dance crew which is the top collegiate dance crew in his city Hyderabad. When he made it into the crew his perspective for dance has completely transformed. Because it was that time when he got introduced to street styles. During his time in the crew, he took part in numerous dance competitions across the country. In his final year he was elected as the head of the crew and under his leadership Livewire has won every competition that they took part in the city Hyderabad. He and his crew got the opportunity to do a guest showcase for numerous conferences and events like Comic con. After his graduation Shanmukh had to leave the crew but he did not stop dancing. During the pandemic, he started taking classes from the professionals in India and across the world. Today, House, Locking and Hip-Hop are his strengths and he also has knowledge of other styles like Whacking, Lite-feet, Krump and Chicago Footwork. Shanmukh was fortunate to find new friends in San Jose and was given the opportunity to teach kids in the school districts. In addition to teaching kids, he also attends top-rock classes in the The GetDown and freestyle sessions and battles (with the stage name MAD ANT) happening in and around San Jose while balancing his academics.

Shanmukh believes that there is no one in this world that you need to satisfy except for the child inside you and dancing is what makes it happen to him. That is why he says “Never miss a chance to Dance!“

Guillermina Castaneda

Teaching Artist

Hello! My name is Mina Castaneda and I am a Folklorico Dance teacher. I have been dancing for around 13 years and I have been teaching for 5 years. I am extremely proud of my culture and all the beauty it holds. I teach students and perform because I’d like to share my culture with the rest of the world. I’ve performed in many theaters, such as Santa Clara University, Mexican Heritage Plaza, Mexican Consulate, and even a Warriors basketball game. I also have a passion for my community and giving back to it in the form of performances with our group around the city. Thank you!