Ultimate Dance Faculty
Join our expert
for your dance education
Because just "ok" is not ok!!
Poor training can take years to correct.
Bad habits need to be broken before they become too engrained, and thus more difficult to correct. In the dance world, there is no governing body that certifies whether an instructor is qualified to teach. ANYONE can open up a dance school and teach your children. In her dance career, Annette Alvarez-Gutches has created and run arts preschool and academic dance programs, choreographed multi-award winning dances for many studios, schools, and venues, all around our great nation, as well as taught professionally for over 30 years. MTV personally requested her for her choreography for a new television series. She is sought out for her master lyrical and jazz classes around the country. She is also a competition judge for some of the most prestigious dance competitions around. Her considerable background in dance serves her well in choosing the most competent instructors to teach your children.
At ULTIMATE DANCE we choose instructors who have demonstrated excellence not only as a dancer and teacher,
but also in their own dance career.
Annette Gutches, M.Ed.
Founder and Artistic Director
Ms. Annette Gutches began dancing at the age of 2 and has never stopped! Ms. Annette has been educating students and teachers professionally since 1982 and as we head into year 28, has owned ULTIMATE DANCE FLORIDA. As a Master level teacher, Ms. Annette’s dance students consistently earn top scores (regionally and nationally), titles, scholarships, and special awards. Her students are invited to New York with scholarships to Broadway Dance Center, selected at competitions for scholarships to summer study and intensive groups, been selected to study with the Joffrey Trainee Programs in NYC, danced with the NYC Rockettes, headed up elite college dance teams, opened studios of their own, danced on world cruises and dance professionally in Florida, New York, and California. Ms. Annette is recognized for her cutting edge choreography and entertaining dances at dance competitions both regionally and nationally! Her dances win Entertainment Awards, Technique Excellence Awards, Clean Lines Awards, Emotion Awards- the list goes on. She loves judging and judges for national educational dance organizations as well as the professional competition circuit. She also teaches master ballet, jazz and lyrical classes at conventions and studios around the country. Ms. Annette is asked to choreograph for many venues, including MTV. The producers personally sought her out to teach a ballroom dance to a couple for the premier episode of MTV’s series, Engaged & Underage. She has been the lead dance teacher for multiple industrials with TD Bank. Ms. Annette is also an ABT® Certified teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive for Pre-Primary – Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum, and is continuing with the next levels. She regularly takes master classes with many outstanding teachers to stay on top of new material. A member of Florida Dance Masters since 1987, she is a dance test examiner and an active member. Additionally, Ms. Annette is a member of Dance Masters of America, Chapter 2. She is an affiliate member of More Than Just Great Dancing. She completed Progressing Ballet Technique and is certified to teach the method. Over and above her extensive knowledge and background in dance, she also holds a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Educational Leadership. In addition to overseeing daily operation at both studios, she also works for Brevard Public Schools during the day. In her free time, she enjoys walking on the beach, traveling, and playing with her Maine Coon kitties, Stormy and Kimba.
Owner and Consultant
Miss Carolyn is the ULTIMATE DANCE business consultant. She has been involved in the dance business for over 50 years in some capacity and was the business manager of Ultimate Dance for 26 years! Miss Carolyn is available to answer any of your questions relating to your dancer at Ultimate Dance. Please feel free to email her your questions at for a speedy response, or catch her at the studio and she can answer all of your questions for you!
Our ULTIMATE Faculty & Staff
Miss April Shock
April acquired a love for dance at a young age. At 10, she began cleaning a studio in Matthews, VA in exchange for dance classes and has been sleeping and breathing dance ever since. April went on to become the youngest member of the performing company at Diggs School of Dance in Virginia. She attended Eastern Virginia School of Dance before moving to Florida where she began dancing at The Orlando Ballet. She is trained in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Contemporary, and Hip Hop. She is the recipient of two dance scholarships from Dance Educators of America, and has taught for many studios. Additionally, she has danced professionally as a main stage performer with Disney Magic Cruise Line. She believes God has given her the gift of dance and seeks to share this gift with others, hoping to inspire people of all ages with self confidence, respect, and inspiration. Miss April is celebrating 10 years with UDF and hopes to continue to inspire and share her love of dance with her UDF students. Both of her adorable daughters dance at UDF too!
Miss Karis Rause
Karis Rause is very excited to be joining the UDF family! Karis grew up on Long Island, NY where she first began her dance training. She was lucky to have a found a studio run by 2 former Radio City Rockettes. Her career began with training in classical ballet, tap, jazz, theater and was fortunate enough to work with Broadway dancers and choreographers. As her love of danced developed she began making weekly trips into Manhattan to train at Broadway Dance Center, Steps, Alvin Ailey, American Ballet Theater and Paul Tayler Dance Company. She also studied the Martha Graham technique at Columbia University, Barnard College. Karis has been involved in countless shows, charity events, Nutcrackers and even films including “School of Rock,” “Elf,” “Mona Lisa Smile” and “The Guys.” She has taught at multiple schools across Long Island and brought many students to achieve top place in competitions. Karis is also a Certified Veterinary Technician and Dog Trainer. She moved to Florida in Sept of 2017 along with her husband and they welcomed their daughter Eve in 2019! Miss Karis is working on her Florida Dance Masters certification to add to her already very knowledgeable repertoire.
Miss Maicie Carter
Maicie was born and raised in Ft. Myers FL, where she began dancing at the age of 3. She trained at Robin Dawn Academy training and competing in all styles of dance winning numerous awards and titles with the team throughout the years. She also spent summers in New York city studying at Joffrey ballet, Broadway Dance Center and Radio City with the Rockettes. *Fun fact, she was apart of the Guinness World record of the Worlds longest kick line in Time square!* She attended college at Valencia where she studied modern dance and choreography. She was a part of the production of Carousel performing as a lead dancer. Studied under Dr. Suzanne Salapa and Lesley Brasseux. While living in Orlando she was a “Candy performer” in the Superstar parade at Universal. She continued her dance education at USF in Tampa with a focus on modern dance. Dancing under Jeanne Travers, Michael Foley, Andee Scott and Doug Varone in upstate New York. She taught tap at Centerstage dance academy and earned her 200 hour yoga certification through Bella Prana. She was apart of Collective Soles dance company while living in the Tampa area also worked for a professional dog walking company, Soho Hound. She lives in Indian Harbour beach where she currently teaches the community Yoga at Downtown Yoga and Yoga Art Lounge. She is so excited to continue teaching and training the dancers at UDF and incorporating her love for dance, yoga, and unity.
Miss Brittany Cavin
Brittany was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. As a young dancer, Brittany trained and competed with local Jacksonville studios. Although excelling in all genres of dance, Brittany found her greatest passion in classical ballet. At age 8 Brittany joined the Florida Ballet and at age 14 she joined the Conservatory to pursue dance as a career. There she received extensive ABT® training under Laurie Byrd, Linda Jenkins, and Brian Jenkins. Brittany has performed numerous Ballets with the Florida Ballet including the Nutcracker, Coppelia, Swan Lake, and La Bayadère. She has also performed with the Joffrey Ballet School New York, The Orlando Ballet School, and the Jacksonville Symphony numerous times. Brittany relocated to the Melbourne area to attend Florida Instituted of Technology where she is majoring in Astronomy and Astrophysics. She is very excited to be welcomed into the UDF family and share her knowledge and joy of dance.
Miss Alyssa Harrison
A long-time student and now UDF alumni, Alyssa Harrison, has been with UDF for 14 years. She has been well trained and involved in our studio through her time as a student. She was a part of the Powerhouse Team for over 12 years, bringing her experience in both the competition world and ability to be involved in their many community events and fundraisers. She has been awarded many achievements while a competition dancer. These include multiple judges awards, high scores, and scholarships throughout the competitions and conventions she has attended alongside the Powerhouse Team. She plans to continue dancing and further her experiences and knowledge, as she goes through her college years. Alyssa is certified by test to teach dance through Florida Dance Masters. She is grateful to have been giving all these experiences and opportunities and hopes to share her knowledge with the future generation of UDF dancers to come through our studio’s doors.
Miss Gabriella Diaz
Gabriella is a UDF alumni and has been dancing for 15 years. Ever since she was little, dancing has been a passion of hers. She enjoys dancing all genres, but her favorite would have to be ballet and contemporary. She was a member of the UDF Powerhouse Dance Team for 4 years, and was awarded many different scholarships, overalls, and was even the Senior Dancer of the Year recipient at Showtime Dance Challenge. She is currently attending Eastern Florida State College to continue her academics with plans to become a Pediatric Nurse. She will continue her dance training by attending numerous dance conventions and taking classes at the studio. During her senior year of high school, Gabriella became an Apprentice Teacher under the guidance of Miss Annette, to prepare herself for teaching children of all ages and levels. She is certified by test to teach dance Florida Dance Masters, as well as Progressing Ballet Technique certification. Gabriella is excited to be a part of the UDF staff and train our Ultimate Dancers!
Julie McKenzie, UDF Team Financial Manager
Nannette Irizarry, UDF Office Coordinator; both locations
Julia Criqui Matura, Brand Ambassador & Merchandising
Gabriella Diaz, Social Media Coordinator
Doreen Coryell, UDF Guest Services
Alyssa Harrison, UDF Guest Services
Tracy Antenucci, UDF Guest Services & Substitute Teacher
Cassandra Ebert, UDF Guest Services
Are you interested in joining our stellar faculty?
Please send a cover letter and resume to
We are always looking for quality instructors and substitutes!