Meet Our Crew


Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

Val Cunningham

Val Cunningham has been instructing, performing, and choreographing dance professionally since 1997.  She is ISTD, DIVIDA and ZUMBA certified with 'High Honors’ in both Ballroom and Latin. She is a member of N.D.C.A., and her extended studies include Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Yoga, and Pilates. Although she is extremely proficient in all the dances, her passion lies in the street/club style of Lindy Hop Swing, Cuban Salsa and Argentine Tango. Val has studied extensively with all the great masters both in the Bay Area and around the world such as world champion Tom Slater and world-renowned master Richard Lambarty. She has extended her teaching across the U.S, Australia and throughout Europe.


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Kayleigh Cook

Kayleigh Cook has been dancing and performing since the age of 5. She studied ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, modern and Irish dancing at SFS Dance Center of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles, CA under the direction of Jason and Lisa Weiss. She then followed her passion and continued to Dance at California State University, Long Beach where she learned from world-renowned choreographer Andrew Vaca. Kayleigh spent years performing for large companies in Los Angeles, such as Disneyland, The Los Angeles Clippers and The Royal Caribbean Cruise. She transitioned from being a soloist to partner dancing just a few years ago and her love for the art and connection continues to grow as she studies West Coast Swing, Lindy-hop and Salsa.

Kayleigh is so excited to be joining Val Cunningham and the dance team at The Dance Loft.  She hopes to bring her joy, love and understanding of dance to all that she teaches .


Photo Credit: Fred Pique

Photo Credit: Fred Pique

Josh Hoover

Josh started dancing at the age of 4 in the Lakewood Ballet, WA where he trained for 8 years in ballet and jazz.  After finding his passion for dance again as an adult, thanks to the revival of Lindy Hop Swing, Josh has spent the past 13 years social dancing, performing, and teaching dance in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Josh has been a core member of Loose Change Dance Company, for five years,with whom he has performed with at Yerba Buena Center for Performing Arts, Cowell Theater, and the Palace of Fine Arts.  Josh has taught and performed Lindy Hop and Hip Hop throughout Europe and he has been performing with Val Cunningham for the past 6 years, who he has since married and help co-run The Dance Loft.


Melissa

Melissa Rutz

Melissa began her training at age four at Star Dance Studio in San Francisco. Three years later, she found herself at the prestigious San Francisco Ballet School for seven years under the direction of Lola DeAvila. While at SFB School, Melissa studied classical ballet, and performed in various performances with San Francisco Ballet.  From there, Melissa desired to expand her dance education and soon found herself at the Metronome Ballroom studying two of her favorite types of dance: swing, with champion Lindy Hop instructor Sharon Ashe, and Theater Arts Adagio with coach, and World Champion adagio cabaret dancer, Tom Slater. Under Tom's wing, she won the 1998 title of United States Pro-Am Theatre Arts Adagio Champion