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Introducing Our Assistant Director Erica Arnold

The Fordney Foundation is proud to introduce their new Assistant Director Erica Arnold.

Erica was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her love for dance started at the tender age of three when her friend invited her to join a class because they were a girl short in a studio that ran out of a home basement. That humble beginning was the start of a lifelong love affair with dance. While Erica's friends from the neighborhood ran around through sprinklers and played catch, Erica was already a serious dancer with an ambition to eventually become a top pro in the dance industry.

She became obsessed with Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, and Ballroom dance. Naturally her dance career took off like a wildfire and at a very young age she was picked as a guest performer for Odyssey Dance Theatre, Ballet West, and Hale Center Theater. Erica also performed in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics. She was the youngest person to become a member of Odyssey Dance Theatre.

Erica's career includes being a member of Odyssey Dance Theatre, a dancer on Holland America Cruise Line, a performer for Feld Entertainment, a guest entertainer for Disney Cruisline, a dancer for Ballroom with a Twist, and multiple performances for Hale Center Theater. Erica was also asked to star in commercials, TV shows and Hollywood movies that require intricate dance numbers.

Erica has won numerous awards in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop and Ballroom over the course of her career as a dancer and choreographer. With the mega success of the TV blockbuster D.W.T.S. Erica was asked to help prepare and choreograph a multitude of dance numbers for the stars of the shows by the pros that work on the show. Erica was a multi USBADA National Champion in Latin and Ballroom dancing which was the American chapter of the World Dancesport Federation. She held a National Champion title at the age of 14 and had the honour of representing the United States at the World Championship in Russia in ballroom dancing where she holds a world ranking. Erica was also a finalist in the Professional America Rhythm Championship in the United States.

After representing the United States on the world stage and touring with professional dance companies all over the globe, Erica picked her next challenge, to share her passion and knowledge of dance with others, she moved to Los Angeles, CA.  In 2014, Erica joined the Fordney Foundation. With Marilyn's mentorship, guidance, trust and generous support Erica was inspired to design a dance program for school children. In 2016, Erica decided to share her wealth of knowledge and created, from scratch, the DREAM Dance Program. The DREAM Dance Program enriches the lives of 4th and 5th grade children in the LAUSD and teaches them the art of ballroom dance.

After thousands of students have gone through the DREAM Dance Program some of her first students are already in college. Them and their parents still to this day hold fond memories and valuable lessons that they took away from this program and remain in close contact with Erica. Others have also joined the ranks of the competitive ballroom dancers and  have became champions in their own right.

In her private life Erica is also a mother of two beautiful children, Radion, 5, and Zlata, 2.5. Erica, together with her husband, runs a successful ballroom studio located in Encino, CA.

The future looks bright for the young dancers in LAUSD as more and more schools join the DREAM Dance Program and now that Erica will become a part of the Fordney Foundation team and become director once Marilyn decides to retires, she will be contributing her passion and knowledge for dance to help achieve the Fordney Foundation's vision. Nothing can stop this little girl from Utah with her enormous dreams!

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Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website

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