Apprentice Company

The Apprentice Company aims to nurture, strengthen, and support committed young dancers who are choosing dance performance as a tool for personal development.  The Apprentice Company was created for students who have demonstrated artful thinking when approaching the study of movement.  They perform at least One major concert work per year and are often invited to understudy or perform with the Concert Company in major productions.  Participation is by invitation only, and you must participate in Eveoke’s Summer Intensive to be considered.

Meet the Dancers…


Shayna Cribbs

Shayna Cribbs began dancing at Eveoke Dance Theatre in January of 2009 and immediately fell in love with dancing that empowers, transforms, educates, and heals.  She was drawn to Eveoke’s emphasis on community and social activism as well as the presence of strong, fierce women as her role models.  Shayna became a member of Eveoke’s Outreach Performing Group from 2009-2011, where she performed in the assembly shows Ripples on the Water (2009-2010) and Evolution of Hip Hop (2010-2011).  In 2011/2012, she participated in Refuge in The Arts, a program which brought a message of non-violence and peace-building to schools and festivals.  She performed in Eveoke’s productions of Las Mariposas (2010, 2011) and Refuge (2011).  She is excited for her upcoming role in the Eveoke production of Agape.  By day, Shayna teaches third graders at Explorer Elementary Charter School.  She trained under Erika Malone in Eveoke’s Teacher Training Program and has since become passionate about integrating the arts and dance more fully into her classroom.  Shayna hopes to further explore her possible role in bringing more art into classrooms and in facilitating creative, artistic, healing experiences.  She has been profoundly affected by her teachers at Eveoke and how they have nurtured her as an artist, an observer, a well of strength, and so much more.

 Laura Derickson

Laura was born and raised in San Diego and is currently a junior at La Jolla High. She took her first dance class at the age of four when a guest teacher came to her preschool.  From there, she fell in love with classical ballet and trained with City Ballet of San Diego for twelve years. There, Laura participated in eight Nutcrackers, four Summer Intensives, and performed with their junior company “City Ballet II.” She has volunteered with City Ballet’s Discover a Dancer program for four years. Laura also did a summer intensive with Anaheim Ballet in 2011.  She was first introduced to Eveoke and modern dance in March, and she instantly knew that she wanted to spend more time with Eveoke. This is Laura’s first year dancing with Eveoke and she looks forward to working with Eveoke’s  fantastic teachers and fellow dancers.

Jen Gruman

Jen Gruman started dancing at age four, but took some time off to pursue cheer and gymnastics. She participated in cheer and gymnastics throughout high school and continued with cheerleading into college, being a captain of Palomar College’s cheer team in 2006. After cheer, Jen started taking dance technique classes at Palomar and quickly developed a passion and love for the art of dance. In December 2009, Jen moved to the state of Washington, where she furthered her dance training in ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. During her time in the Northwest, she auditioned for and became part of a small dance company directed by Tino Nozaki called iN.GAUGE, which trains out of Portland, Oregon. Jen took charge of a few of the company’s weekly drop-in classes, teaching her own choreography to students. She also performed many times with iN.GAUGE in Portland and the surrounding areas. Jen moved back to southern California in August 2010 and began taking choreography and technique classes at Palomar again. Since then, Jen has continued her training through Palomar College and surrounding studios. Jen has also performed several times with Axxiom Dance Company, such as Carnival Choreographer’s Ball held in Hollywood, Axxiom’s Unleashed show, and The Mix Match Dance Festival held in Santa Monica to name a few. She is excited to start her journey with Eveoke’s Apprentice Company and hopes to continue in dance throughout her life, whether it’s actually being on stage, choreographing pieces, or teaching and inspiring a passion for dance.

Nicki Herz

Nicki Herz was raised in San Diego and has spent most of her life dancing in various studios and spaces throughout the community. In 2010 she earned her BFA in Dance from San Francisco State University.  Her education focused on  kinesiology, anatomy, choreography, and theater performance.  She is grateful for all the companies, teachers, and members she has had the privilege of working with including San Francisco University Dance Theater, Unity Dance Ensemble, Funkanometry San Diego and San Francisco, and De La Femme.  Currently, she is excited to be working with Eveoke Dance Theatre and to have a home teaching dance at Danceology in North County, San Diego. Aside from dancing, Nicki is also certified in yoga and Pilates, and teaches classes at Pure Barre, 4S Ranch.  She looks forward to the day when she can take her passions for dance arts abroad and travel around the world.

 Nick McGhee

Nicholas McGhee was born in San Diego. He is currently a senior at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA), and he began dancing at CCA his sophomore year. Nick has been committed to dance ever since his first class, and as soon as he walks into a studio, he cannot help but smile. He enjoys contemporary and jazz mainly, but also enjoys hip-hop, and musical theatre dance. Before dancing, Nick was involved in acting and drama, and participated in many shows in middle school and in high school. Nick is very excited to join Eveoke’s Apprentice Company this year and share the same love for dance with many other amazing people and movers.

Anabel Roca

Anabel Roca is nineteen years old. Her training in dance began in Spain in modern and ballet. Throughout her childhood and adolescent life Anabel moved to over five different cities in two different countries. After beginning in Spain, Anabel trained under Gina Angelique, Ericka Aisha Moore, and Nikki Dunnan at Eveoke Dance Theatre. Her dance training is rooted in Modern, Jazz, and Dance Theatre. She continued to study all types of dance in Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara, where she also performed in in the Nutcracker and in many studio show. After graduating from Dos Pueblos High School, Anabel returned to Eveoke Dance Theatre. She became a part of the Apprentice Company in order to be more active in her pursuit of dance; she has been a part of two Apprentice Company seasons and continues in her third. She performed as young Dede in the second run of Las Mariposas at La Jolla Playhouse, as well as on its tour to the Dominican Republic. She has most recently become a member of the Dancescape, a choreography program, and she has been recently invited to be in Eveoke’s Concert Company.

Bruce Walker

Bruce is 21 years of age and was born and raised in San Diego. He started dancing at 15 with Kearny Senior High’s dance team and was introduced to Eveoke after working with Eveoke Teaching Artist, Yvonne Hernandez.   Bruce was invited to train in Eveoke’s education program and once he became a member of the Outreach Performing Group, he knew he would dance for the rest of his life.  Since then Bruce has danced with Eveoke for about 6 years taking part in amazingly beautiful works of art.  He has participated in Celebrate Dance Festival, the Teacher Training Program, and currently with Eveoke’s wonderful Apprentice Company. In his years of dancing he has learned a lot from Eveoke.  ”I know deep down in my body, mind, and soul that I will always take part in everything Eveoke Dance Theatre has to offer.  I love them with all my heart.”