Sonoma County Dancers United (SCDU) is a local non-profit organization. Our mission is to work with dance studios, schools, and organizations to promote dance and provide free dance opportunities for children and teens in Sonoma County. SCDU believes everyone should have the opportunity to dance. We strive to make dance accessible to all youth in our community and increase opportunities for local dancers.
Our programs introduce youth to a variety of dance styles and spark their interest in the performing arts. Through dance, participants have the opportunity to build their creativity, physical fitness, and overall mental health which are all critical to youth development.
Since inception in September of 2014, we have introduced over 1,500 Sonoma County children and teens to dance, awarded over 40 dance scholarships, and held our first dance community showcase.
Visit our Programs page to learn more about our offerings.
Rachel Evans, Executive Director
Rachel started dancing at age 6. At age 10, she traveled for regional and national dance competitions for 7 years. She later became co-president of the Rancho Cotate High School Dance Club before graduating from UC Berkeley in December 2019 with a degree in Economics. At UC Berkeley, Rachel directed multiple dance choreographies for large groups of 35+ members for end of semester performances. She is trained in Hip-Hop, Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theater, Modern, Salsa, and Bachata.
Christy Lopez, CFO/Secretary
Christy is an SCDU Board Member and serves as our organization’s Secretary and CFO. She is an Office Administrator at a local commercial real estate firm who handles bookkeeping for multiple businesses, and she is also the Secretary/CFO for another local non-profit. Christy also worked as an interpreter for the Santa Rosa City Schools and with the community as a case manager. SCDU is grateful for her ongoing support as a Board Member and as an interpreter to ensure Spanish speakers have access to our programs.
Debroah Brooks, Board Member
Deborah fell in love with creative dance at an early age. Her mother was a dancer/athlete, and gave her training in gymnastics, dance and ice skating. In her late teens, Deborah entered into the world of the Los Angeles studio system. There, she was able to study under many prominent dancers such as Joe Tremaine, Jaime Rogers, Russ Tamblyn, etc. There were many aspiring dancers in her classes. Before they became well-known, Paula Abdul and Goldie Hawn took classes together with Deborah. Later, Deborah attended audition training at the Debbie Reynolds Studio off Lankershim Blvd. At the same time, Deborah danced with Modern Dance Troupe under Paulette Shafransky at CSUN. Over the years, she studied ballet under retired principle dancers Rozann - Zimmermann NYBC, and Sally Whalen SFBC. Deborah has studied, danced and taught dance for over 50 years. She taught dance at Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park for 25 of those years.
Natalie Makardish, Board Member
Founder of Empowered Artist Training (E.A.T.) and Fit Flow Fusion, Natalie Makardish has developed unique curricula and multifaceted kinetic approaches toward empowering her clientele through various healing modalities. Her interdisciplinary background in psychology, fitness, classical dance and theater invites an invigorating perspective toward educating and healing within the fitness, dance and eating disorder recovery communities. Natalie studied Dance, Theater and Psychology at the University of California, Irvine and went on to graduate school where she studied Depth Psychology at Sonoma State University. Her training in Jungian Analysis, Dance Movement Therapy and Sports Psychology compliments her movement repertoire as a movement specialist and mental health consultant. She has instructed and designed mindful-movement curricula for dance academies and fitness studios; facilitated therapeutic groups within intensive eating disorder and substance abuse treatment programs; and sits on two non-profit boards that provide awareness, education and resources for individuals and families who are on their path to healing and recovery from an eating disorder.
Sally Lopez, Admin. Assistant
Sally serves as SCDU’s Administrative Assistant and has worked as an admin. assistant for county/federal government for over 15 years as well as in community relations. She also has extensive experience as a Spanish/English linguist. Sally supports the Executive Director with overall operations and serves as the translator and interpreter for SCDU.