Teacher Bios

Heather Zornes-Almanza is the Visual and Performing Arts Dance teacher at Mission Hills High School. She earned her BA in Dance from San Diego State University and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Award in Dance.She performed as a company member of Mojalet Dance Collective from 1999-2005 for which she served as Director's Assistant.Heather has performed throughout San Diego County, Los Angeles, Mexico, and East Coast.She has performed works by Jean Isaacs (San Diego Dance Theater), Kevin Wynn (New York), Katie Stevenson-Nollet (Connecticut), and Christopher Pilafian (San Francisco). Heather performed in San Diego Dance Theater's Trolley Dancers for 10 years including Yolande Snaith's (internationally acclaimed choreographer) Ten Green Bottles.Currently, Heather dances with Allyson Green Dance (Allyson Green, director and UCSD Dance Department Chair), Sadie Weinberg (San Diego, LA), and BOUND Contemporary Dance Project (Jillian Chu, director).Heather's choreography has been shown throughout San Diego.Her most recent work, Sudden Take, was selected for presentation at the San Diego Emerge Festival VI to critical acclaim as “daring, aggressive… then [falling] into smooth unison. The movement was non-stop and embraced the music, but also played with the rhythms so it was never predictable.” (Janice Steinberg, San Diego Arts October 2009)

“I believe dance is a universal language of the human spirit. It bridges our minds and hearts and translates emotion into movement. My belief is that dance enriches the mind, body, and emotional well-being of our students and unites them in common artistic exploration. Without this art form, students are stripped of a means to communicate ideas and feelings via a healthy kinetic endeavor. Every student deserves the opportunity to develop their whole mind in our educational system. With the incorporation of dance we give them the chance to learn more about themselves, others, and we provide them with skills to make healthy lifestyle choices. It is my ambition to ensure that each of my students is given the equal opportunity to benefit from the highest quality of dance education. Every student has the potential to succeed, both artistically and academically, and each can become a beautiful contribution to our society.”

-Heather Zornes-Almanza, Educational Mission Statement