Sara Fraire-

(Owner)

Starting to teach at age 15, she has had many years of expreience in the instruction of several genres of dance, Sara is a "Jack of all Trades" 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. Sara most recently won the Spotlight Award for "Choreography Exellence" and highest placing number for junior groups 12 and under. Choreography credits include:  dance routines for award winning competition teams, several pageant title winners, and the TV Show "106 & Park", . Sara began her dance training at age 9,  starting locally and completing extensive training at the Dance Studio of Fresno. 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 A James Franco (" Spiderman") and Katherine McPhee (" American Idol") Throughout her training and career Sara has formed bonds and built bridges 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, and certifications to safely train and educate in the dance industry. 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.


Jessica Malone-Huff

(Tiny Dancers, Ballet/Tap Combo,   Jazz)

Jessica has had dance in her life as long as she can remember. She began at a young age as a student of Mrs. Sara' training in Jazz, Ballet, and Tap. As a teen she altered her focus into competitive cheer, but later returned to dance as an adult, to teach HIp Hop at STEPS in our early years. Now Jessica has returned once again, after conquering the challenge of Dance mom to her step daughter, Sierra ( member of our STARZ Team) and Riley in our Tiny Dancers class. Jessicas bubbly and encouraging personality has skyrocketed her to one of our more popular teachers within her first few months. Aside, from being a dance teacher, mother, dancer and wife..Jessica is also working towards her teaching creditials at Chico University! Wow! We are lucky to have such a driven woman part of our STEPS family. 

Lorene "LoLo" Fisher (Turns & Leaps, Contemporary)

We are excited to bring Miss Lorene to join our STEPS Family. Lorene comes to us after completing her BFA in dance at University of Arizona. She started her journey in Chino, CA as a student, competitive team member and as an instructor at The Talent Factory Dance Studio. While competing at various events and conventions, Lorene was granted many scholarships and roles as a company member, as well as the much desired role as a Protege member for the Pulse on Tour. Yes she is a jack of all trades. At 16 years old Lorene was also asked to join as a protégé for BoogieZone Adult Hip Hop Crew as well. We cant forget to mention her dance modeling experience. Lorene has also been featured in Dance Spirit Magazine in the article "How to be a Convention Scene Queen"  and as a dancewear model for Marcea Inc. 

Cyndi Ramirez

(Hip Hop)

Cyndi is another Merced Native that continued on to create a name for herself. Just as many other STEPS Staff members, Cyndi was once a student of Mrs Sara's and now a colleague. You may recognize Cyndi as a South Pacific Dance Company member and Choreographer. Cyndi has established herself as an award winning Hip Hop Dancer as well. She has won awards at World of Dance(1st place Houston, TX 2016),  Evolution Dance (2017) And Onyx Dance Competition (2018) Professionally Cyndi has worked as a member of SoReal Competitive Hip Hop team in Houston TX. We are happy to see what Cyndi can bring to our STEPS dancers.  

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.

 

Ameya Dickerson

(student Assistant/Choreographer)

Our youngest up and coming choreographer. Ameya is still a student at STEPS, yet she is getting recognition around the state for her flawless skill and incredible dedication. Ameya is our top placing competitive dancer earning several Platinum, Gold and Overall Award placements for her age division.  Ameya has been an assistant for 2 years, and helped choreograph her top placing solo last season. This season Ameya has been asked to branch out and choreograph some of our competitive pieces! Her choreography earned our students a Golden Ticket into Nexstar National Championship. Is there anything this 14 year old can't do? 

Sara Soto
(alumni 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.