Sara Fraire-

(Owner)

Starting to teach at age 15, she has had many years of expreience in the instruction of several genres of dance. Prior to opening STEPS She had taught classes at studios in Merced, Los Banos and Merced College. She has also coached cheer for Golden Valley and Cruickshank Middle School. She has not only choreographed winning dance routines for award winning competition teams, several pageant title winners, and the TV Show "106 & Park", she herself has competed and won awards in the fields of Tap and Jazz. Sara began her dance training at age 9  starting locally and with extensive training at the Dance Studio of Fresno.((Ranked #1 best studio in the Nation 2015) Here Sara was able to train under Sue Sampson-Dalena, Martha Kelley-Fierro (MKF Altered Modalities founder/director) , Shirly Winters, and Jeff Amsted. By age 16 she won a scholarship to further her instruction at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Ca. Her classmates included some well known names such as Aubrey O'Day (" Making the Band" Celebrity Apprentice"), James Franco (" Spiderman") and Katherine McPhee (" American Idol") Throughout her training and career Sara has formed bonds with former classmates who have now become industry celebs.  These relationships have opened the doors for her current projects ,creating, staging and choreographing  music videos and auditioning talent for them.  When available Sara is able to open the doors and prepare her students to walk through them to possibly work with some of these in demand dancers/choreographers. Currently Sara regularly travels to conventions with big name choreographer and brings along interested students to keep abreast the changing demands in dance styles. As a business owner Sara earned her degree in business management, This knowledge she uses to keep her studio up to date with the changing demands of her client base and the economy . Sara, her Hubby Jason and two boys Nick and Jack welcome everyone to STEPS as if they are already part of the family

Patrice Smith

(Hip-Hop, STARZ team)

Patrice brings a fun and energetic Vibe to the class. She has become one of our most requested choreographers. Patrice has been  educated in the styles of Street Dance, Tutting ,Cheer and most any style under the Hip Hop umbrella. Although, she has also trained locally in Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary her true passion is Hip Hop. Come check her out Wednesday Nights! Patrice is regularly auditioning for talent agencies and had recently been cast as opening act dancers with names like Kalin and Miles, along with their role as a founding member of the Noowgen Girls performing Hip-Hop team.


Taylor Oliver

(Ballet,Toddlers, Jazz)

Taylor has been part of the STEPS family from the very beginning! Starting as a students and quickly moving into our competitive team. Taylor has been our featured dancer in multiple Top Scoring and Award Winning pieces. Many of her team mates looked to her as a role model and mentor. She has had several years training in Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop. We can always look to Taylor for her consistency and attention to detail within her artistic work. After High School she was accepted to several Universities, and decided to continue her education in New York City. After completing a semester at Stonybrook University, Taylor found herself missing her home studio and returned to us.  we are happy to have Taylor back and  moving forward in your dance career from student to Teacher. Here she will continue to mentor and pass all she's learned to the next generation of dancers.

Dr. Katie Bass

( Turns/Progressions, Contemporary,STARZ Teen,)

Katie has been dancing since the age of four. She has been trained in tap, ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. She grew up in Merced and danced at Denisa's School of dance. While there Katie was a member of the DJ Dance team for six years while under the direction of Sara  Fraire. She attended college at Chico State and was on the Chico State dance team Expressions and a member of Chico Dance Theater. There she had the opportunity to choreograph for both groups as well as perform. Outside of college she was a member of Full Force's College jazz and hip-hop dance team. Her excitement to be involved in dance again was well rewarded.  During 2014 Katie received several 1st place awards for her choreography and overall top placing awards, not to mention she also recently earned her  pharmacy doctorate degree.

 

Sara Soto
(Ballet)
Sara has been dancing since she was 5 years old in the fields of Ballet, Hip Hop,Jaz,Tap and Contemporary. While training in her hometown studio in Aneheim, CA she was able to participate as an extra dancer with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, the San Francisco Ballet, and Kirov Ballet. In addition Sara has been on numerous competitive teams as a soloist and team member attending many regional and national competition in the areas of Lyrical and Ballet and Jazz. Sara joined our family in 2017 when her career moved her to Merced, and is now teaching 2 ballet classes with us.

Jet & Billy

(Boys B-Boy)

Nick has been dancing as long as he could walk. As the son of STEPS studio owners, Nick has been involved with dance since the age of 18months, when he performed in his first dance recital. With STEPS Nick has had many performance opportunities and has learned from all the conventions and competitions he has attended. Nick has had the opportunity to see and learn the current trends in todays commercial hip hop genres. He began learning hip hop and b-boy at the age of 6, and has recently started training in the art of Animation as a member of the crew "Starter Pack" In 2014 Nick was also able to perform as part of the Brett Nichols talent team. While a member he was able to perform at Minor League baseball and hockey teams as well as play a small role in his music video  "Moon Walking Dead". We are thankfull to finally have Nick as a member of our staff, offering a special class for boys only.


Greg Lumely

(Sub, Jazz, Contemporary)

Greg May be the newest member to our staff, however he is not a new face to STEPS. Greg has been dancing with STEPS since the beginning and is often a featured dancer. He started his training at a later age with Sara while she was teaching at Merced Junior College and followed us to our home studio. He has been with us and grown with us as an artist, performer and now choreographer. Greg is now one of the original members of the performing pre0professional company "Because Co."  and as requested by several, our new contemporary teacher.

Jen Dodson 

(Sub, Jazz, Contemporary)

You may recognize Jen as the previous owner of Del Sol Tanning Salon, or Merced City brochures. She is our all around girl! Once business owner and amateur Model, Jen is also an often featured dancer at STEPS.  Her training began in Merced with Sara as a teen, and continued throughout her high school career and into college training is Jazz, Ballet, Point, Tap, and Partnering.  Jen continues to take classes to learn the most current trends in dance. We can thank Jen for her creative selections of music and creative contemporary jazz choreography. During our season (2012-2013) Jennifer choreographed and received high gold awards for Mini STARZ and Jr. STARZ choreography,