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de•fine/ dance space

/dəˈfīn dans spā/



1. an environment that emphasizes technical and artistic excellence in dance training.

2. A place and/or group of people that builds strong character, confidence, and integrity within individual dancers. In defining dance, we are defining lives.



de•fine/ dance space is an education center that provides quality, up-to-date training for young people who share our passion for dance. de•fine/ features experienced teachers, award-winning and internationally-recognized choreography, with a strong focus on creating long-lasting relationships.


As teachers, mentors, mothers, daughters and siblings, we wanted a space that celebrated our love, respect, and high expecations for young people coupled with a focus on creating dancers with self-respect, outward focus, character, and strong family bonds.  To be a great dancer is one thing, to be a great dancer with a strong character is another. 

de•fine/ dance space operates on a school schedule (September through June) but we take new enrollment at anytime.  In addition to our fall/spring schedule, we run a separate summer schedule that includes unique summer classes, as well as exciting master classes. We offer a yearly recital, as well as a Holiday Showcase. 

We are excited about your interest in de•fine/ and would love to become your new dance family! For more information about our studio, or for class placement assistance for your children, please contact de•fine/ dance space today.  In defining dance, we are defining lives.

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Vanessa Atchley

Operations Manager

Bio Coming Soon

Raven S. Gantt

Co-Artistic Director

Raven has been dancing since the age of three. Throughout her training she has studied with numerous teachers including Terry Schulke, Mandy Schulke-Rodgers, and Terri Russell. She has also trained and taken master classes in tap, hip-hop, modern, contemporary and jazz with Marinda Davis, Courtney Miller, and Clifford Breland of The Dance Theater of Harlem. In addition, She has taken classes and studied at Millennium Dance Complex, The Edge, and Elevation Studios. Locally, she has trained at Just Plain Dancin’ & Co., Backstreet Performing Arts, and Bre Dance Studio. Raven grew up as a competitive dancer and has competed as a soloist, and in small and large groups at numerous regional and national competitions; winning top awards in jazz, tap, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, and modern. 


Raven attended California State University Northridge where she was an apprentice of the CSUN Dance Department under the direction of  Paula S. Thompson. Raven was also a member and choreographer of the CSUN cheer team and competed nationally as a Division-1, Co-ed squad.


Raven graduated from California Baptist University in May 2015, receiving a bachelor’s in Journalism and New Media. Currently Raven is a certified judge for Universal Dance Association (UDA) and judges nationally and internationally for the company. She works with several high school dance teams in Riverside County, offering her expertise in choreography, cleaning and technical training. Raven is also the choreographer and creative director for the ‘Acrobots,’ the first ever acrobatic hoverboard dance group, who appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and opened for Justin Bieber in December 2015.


Raven has received numerous top awards for her choreography at both regional, national and international competitions, including Thunderstruck Dance International Finals “Best Choreography” (2014) Thunderstruck Dance International Finals “Most Creative Concept” (2015) and Kids Artistic Revue “Choreographer of the Year” (2018). Raven has appeared in several television series, major motion pictures, and music videos including ABC’s Television series, No Ordinary Family, and The Amazing Spiderman 2.

Megan Rae Jenkins

Co-Artistic Director

began her dance training with Stefannie Valencia Kierlin & Tammy Schmidt at the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts in Winona, MN where she focused on classical ballet training that combined the best attributes of the French and Cechetti schools.  Megan earned her B.F.A in dance performance from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, training extensively in ballet, pointe, and various modern techniques, with further experience in jazz and hip hop. Her time at UMN was an intensive study in Horton technique under the direction of former Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancer, Toni Pierce-Sands. 


She lived, worked, and studied in Minneapolis for the five years prior to moving to Riverside, working with a variety of local, national, and international choreographers, performing at the American College Dance Festival, and apprenticing with Shapiro and Smith Dance.

Her performance credits include multiple performances in various full-length ballet productions with MCA’s Pre-Professional Company, including the Nutcracker, Spells and Rhymes, Sleeping Beauty, and Paquita (all of which she was a solo performer). She has performed in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story, founder of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Lin Huai-min’s, Crossing the Black Water, and Paul Taylor’s Lost Found Lost. Moreover, her education/career has led to work with both nationally and internationally renowned choreographers, including—but not limited to—Doug Elkins, Shouze Ma, Paula Mann, Scott Rink, Bill Young, Danny Buraczeski, Linda Talcott Lee, Peter Kalivas, Michael Nickerson-Rossi, etc.


She has danced and travelled professionally with  The P.G.K Dance Project: A Contemporary Dance Company based in San Diego, CA where she also served as rehearsal director.  She was a soloist for Justin L. Viernes and brown paper bag dance. She was a guest dancer for Heather Dale Wentworth of Opus Mixtus, representing the company at Los Angeles' MixMatch Festival. And also danced professionally for Sandra Kazama.

Twice she has served as a United States Cultural Ambassador through her work with the P.G.K Dance Project: in 2008 to Kazakhstan, and again in 2012 to Belize. 


Megan's choreography and dancers have received top awards at both regional and national competitions over the years.  She is a certified Sugarfoot Therapy instructor and Level 2 certified Progressing Ballet Technique©


Beth Small

Chief Financial Officer

Bio Coming Soon

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