What We Do

Building Block is an urban dance program and space that provides a personal dance training experience for any and all people.

MENTORS: Receive personal dance training and mentorship from some of the best urban choreographers and dancers in the world. Choreographing for So You Think You Can Dance, working with artists like Justin Bieber, creating viral and impactful dance videos, global dance instruction, multiple major competition winners, and being leaders in the urban dance world… our mentors have much to share with any dancer and we make sure our mentors are the right person for you.

PERSONALIZED PROGRAM: Our mentors and coordinators make sure to customize your sessions according to what you’re looking to improve upon. Between filling out our short questionnaire, to having a consultation before your sessions begin, our mentors will be prepared to work on your needs.

COME AS YOU ARE: As we like to say at Building Block, “come as you are.” There is no right or wrong level, right or wrong weakness, or right or wrong person. Advanced and professional dancers, beginning level, dancers trying to discover their uniqueness, people who just want a few more moves at their next dance party, freestylers, choreographers, youtubers, directors, leaders, the experienced and the non-experienced… We’ve worked with all of these, and are ready and excited to work with any of you!

OTHER PROGRAMS: In addition to our private sessions we also offer our two separate and unique programs; Double Class and Mentor Month. Double class is an in-depth training experience of 2.5 hours that caps at 10 students maximum for intimate focus between teacher and student. A great drop-in option for those not able to participate to our longer commitment programs. Mentor Month is a program that includes four 2.5 rehearsals with one mentor and 10 total students. In addition to the intimate training, this experience includes creating a dance video with the mentor. A great option for those wanting an in-depth training experience with a bigger group of people.

Mari Madrid

Mariel Madrid considers herself a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and all around creative. She began dancing with her family in her parent’s dining room as a child and eventually followed this path of loving music and movement. Credits include: Justin Bieber, Mark Ronson, Flying Lotus & Kendrick Lamar, a New York Times Square Billboard, So You Think You Can Dance, the Ellen Show, NBC's World of Dance, Dancing with the Stars, nominations for best choreography at the MTV Video Music Awards and the UK Video Music Awards, viral videos, multiple champions at major dance competitions with Choreo Cookies, global dance instructor, and more. She hopes to continue to spread the love of expression as long as humanly possible.

As your mentor I will give you tools in both technique, physicality, and mentality. Creating a positive environment through challenge, hard work, and fun is important for me. I look forward to spending time growing together in sessions!

Keone Madrid

Keone Madrid is most known for his partnership in life and dance with his wife Mari Madrid. Through their unique connection and original way of movement you may have seen them as MTV VMA nominees, starring in Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself," choreographers on SYTYCD, The Ellen Show, various viral dance and music videos, and more. Although they consider the occasional running man, in the kitchen, in socks to be more likely.

As your mentor, I'd be very honored to provide a purposeful direction towards your desired growth. The physical and mental, the technical and emotional, and the creative are all the means to which we can approach improvement. No matter what level you are, I look forward to building a relationship through mentorship, learning, and having a ton of fun.

Chris Martin

Chris Martin was born in Oakland, California, and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Chris's passion for dance is visible in his two decades of unwavering commitment to this craft. He has gained great international acclaim, teaching regularly at workshops and studios in over 40 countries and states. Chris is a member of internationally renowned team Choreo Cookies, through which he learned the value of being a part of a team that works towards a common goal of perpetual growth. He is currently an instructor at Building Block, a dance studio committed to helping students’ achieve their goals through the development of personal regiments. Chris freely shares his knowledge with the communities he is lucky enough to meet. He greatly values each and every one of his varied life experiences, which remind him to stay patient, kind, light hearted, and not take life too seriously.

As your mentor, I will take any and all of the knowledge I have acquired and use it to help you reach your goals. I look forward to exploring and collaborating in movement and finding new ways to push our bodies and minds. So excited to get into the studio with you!

Carlo Darang

Starting in 2007, Carlo Darang has always been into dance whether it was for his high school's Pilipino Culture Night or even if it was just taking class from time to time. In 2008, he decided to start training at Studio 429 where he joined his first team: Breakthrough. After a year, he was invited to join Choreo Cookies, where he continued to grow his passion for dance and community.

After a few years, Carlo became director of Choreo Cookies in 2013, where he joined already-director Keone Madrid, and is now currently joined by new director Jason Patio. They hope to help current and future members of the team grow and experience as much as they can during their time on the team.

Aside from directing, Carlo also teaches around the world. Places he has taught include: Germany, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore, Philippines, Spain, and various places around the U.S. Through teaching and training others, Carlo hopes to give back to his community by helping create an environment in which dancers can flourish and develop their skills while maintaining a positive mindset.

As your mentor, I will help develop your quality of movement through various foundational drills or choreography exercises. These can directly apply to creating/executing choreography, or simply breaking through the struggles of freestyling. I can also help develop leadership skills through various discussions. Whether your obstacles are physical or mental, I will make sure that you leave Building Block better than when you arrived.

Larkin Poynton

Larkin Poynton was born to the Basque region of Spain and grew up under the Rocky Mountains in Longmont, Colorado. Larkin founded and co-founded numerous events and organizations centered around community, artistic development, and unity, such as Side by Side Dance Company, Block 1750, Murmuration, and Project Home. He is incredibly invested in and has worked hard to develop dance communities around the world using movement as a means for human connection, conversation, and self-cultivation. In addition, Larkin has been teaching nationally and internationally for the past four years, spreading his knowledge of community building, the power of self and communal worth, and movement as a basis of expression.

As your mentor I will provide you with an extensive vocabulary and understanding of foundational dance skills, the experience and knowledge required to resonate and work with all skill levels, and an acute comprehension my own movement. With these as a base we will work together to create a better understanding of our skills, ourselves, and our movement.

Kevin and Dea

Kevin and Dea are an engaged, dancing duo from Temecula, CA. They are members of Choreo Cookies and direct a junior training group, The Pack't. Together they choreograph, teach dance workshops and conventions locally and internationally, and judge dance competitions. They are currently on tour with World of Dance and KAR Convention.

As your mentors, we are able to provide in-depth training for dancers of all ages and levels. Our goal is to help you take leaps toward your dance goals through a strong base in technique, groove and dynamic, along with providing creative consultation for aspiring choreographers. We're excited to work with you!

Amor Ledesma

Amor is a dancer/instructor from San Diego, CA. She began her dance career training in various styles including jazz, ballet, contemporary and tap, before she found and fell in love with hip hop. It was then that she joined Studio 429 and competed with Tru-Definition and Breakthrough, where she recognized the significance of beginning and fundamental movement. These teams and classes were taught by directors such as Kristen Aguinaldo and Emmett Agapay, who inspired her to become a director, herself. Amor co-directs the San Diego junior team Lost and Found beside Carlo Darang, where she builds sets and trains dancers of different levels and backgrounds. She also teaches in and out of San Diego, where she focuses on “technique” and is committed to teach what she believes are the fundamentals of urban dance, today. Amor currently dances with Choreo Cookies, under the direction of Carlo Darang and Jason Patio.

"As your Building Block mentor, I am committed to build dancers who embody the idea of quality over quantity. You will be able to grasp the significance of “urban dance technique” by further developing your skills in grooving, coordination, isolation, execution and how that profoundly affects how you create, freestyle, choreograph and perform. My goal is to genuinely ignite your individuality and hunger for learning and to supply you with the tools you need to bring your movement to the next level! In summary, I want to help you become

Devin Pornel

Devin is a choreographer from San Diego, California. He began his dance career with "Indecisive Dance Krew" and has since founded "Ill Habits." These teams, under the direction of Devin, have won numerous competitions such as, Body Rock Juniors, Hip Hop International USA and World Championships, and Vibe Jrs. Devin has taught classes internationally as well as various states across the U.S. He currently dances with “Choreo Cookies”.

As your mentor, I would be able to help you in a wide variety of ways. This includes improvements of technique in areas such as footwork, grooving, speed, creativity, and execution. As a director, I hope that my experience can help in ways of creativity such as blocking, choreography, visual layering, and stage preparation. I hope to be able to offer you everything that I can to help you improve and develop your growth whether it be physically, emotionally, or mentally in ways that you are looking for. I look forward to working with you!

Julian Sena

I first started dancing at the age of 5 to Backstreet Boys and NSYNC songs at family parties and talent shows. As time went on, my passion for dance grew deeper, and I took any opportunity to dance and learn from others. In high school, I was a part of the breaking club (Nomads of Funk), the Dance Team (Eastlake Dance Company), the all male squad (Eastlake All- Male), and my first community junior team (iDK). Since then, I have directed a junior team (iAM), directed a major team (220), and performed with Janet Jackson. I have also taught internationally, and I am one of the instructors for Steezy Studio, an online dance platform run by Steezy. Currently, I am finishing up my Undergraduate degree at CSUN, and I'm on my 7th year on 220. I aspire to be the best dancer/teacher/choreographer/person I can be, and to keep teaching and helping students wherever I go.

As your mentor, I am able to help all levels in many different ways. My extensive background in choreography, teaching, freestyle, fundamentals, and managing teams will provide any kind of guidance you are looking for. Looking forward to working with you!

Quinell Dixon

Meet Quinell, better known as Bash. Quinell has been dancing since early 2006 and introduced to dance by a fellow cousin who was doing movies, music videos and more which caught Quinell's interest. Since then Quinell has accomplishments that include: Top 4 on America's Best Dance Crew, music videos with celebrity artists, traveling the world to teach raw and authentic KRUMP, establishing a dance apparel company named SKULLIES BRAND and starting a JR Dance Crew of girls called: JR SKULLIES.

As your mentor, I am determined to provide raw and authentic movement in variation to your existing style. I am dedicated to expanding your creativity and giving you the right encouragement and help along the way. Lets create, share, laugh, and grow together. I can't wait to work with you.