STAFF

JOY DITTBERNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Joy moved to Laguna Beach in 1999 with her husband Tom and quickly became involved in the community. For eight years she served on the Board of Friendship Shelter, a homeless shelter for adults. She spent a year as a docent at the Marine Mammal Center sharing all she knows about pennipeds with visitors.

Joy functioned as Volunteer Coordinator for the Laguna Dance Festival for four years prior to joining the board. Joy brings more than twenty years of experience in business development, marketing, sales and professional relations working in the pharmaceutical industry to the table. She loves yoga, travel, hiking and scuba diving. She is excited and honored to be involved with the Festival as it continues to bring world class dance to Laguna Beach. She is a graduate of UCSB in Biology and earned an MBA from the University of Utah.

JODIE GATES, FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Founder & Artistic Director Jodie Gates is a former principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. When she retired, this California native chose to settle in Laguna Beach. Always active, she decided to start a dance festival, bringing to her new hometown, members of major international dance companies to perform in an intimate setting.

This was in 2005. Since establishing Laguna Dance Festival in 2006, Jodie has presented members of American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Parsons Dance, CorbinDances, Diavolo, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Trey McIntyre Project, Ballet West, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Backhausdance, UCI Etude Ensemble, The Groovaloos, San Francisco Ballet, Les Ballet Grandiva, BalletX, Sacramento Ballet, Breed, Los Angeles Ballet, ABT II, Hubbard Street 2, Malpaso, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Ballet BC, BODYTRAFFIC, and Paul Taylor Dance Company.

 

DEENA HARROS, OPERATIONS MANAGER

Deena Harros joined the LDF team in 2017, bringing a degree in business administration from Cal State Fullerton and a long list of accomplishments working with other local non-profits.

Ms. Harros’s organizational skills, technical savviness, fresh ideas and eagerness to learn have provided essential guidance in stream-lining and updating systems as well are redesigning our website. Her business background and expertise enabled LDF to completely revamp and update its accounting system.

With a background in jewelry design, Ms. Harros adds an artistic flair to all she produces. We are thrilled to have Deena working with the organization to fulfill our ambitious mission.

 

CHRISTIE BALL, EDUCATION MANAGER

Christie Ball graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Business Management.

Prior to joining Laguna Dance Festival in 2013, Christie managed a successful dance studio in Orange County and later worked on staff at the University of California, Irvine Dance Department.  She brings with her a passion for dance and is excited to continue her work with the Festival, expanding opportunities for young dancers and bringing world-class dance to Southern California.