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Tony Caligagan

Continuing Lecturer in Dance


TONY CALIGAGAN has  danced with the world's most celebrated dance companies As a Principal dancer to rave reviews with Jazz Unlimited Tony also won awards from the San Diego Dance Alliance for his performance with “Three’s Company “ . A local modern dance company directed by Jean Isaacs. Tony has also performed as a principal in numerous musicals.Other credits include San Diego Opera, Lead dancer in productions by Pacific Opera and Starlight Theater, Sacramento music circus.

In 1985 he left for New York on a full scholarship and was eventually offered a contract to dance with  Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre where he was trained in Horton, Graham, Ballet and Jazz. Other credits include:  Milton Meyer dance co. Contemporary Motions, Euro-ballet and Ballet Jazz de Paris starring in a work by the World Reknowned, Roland Petit.   Tony was cast as a principal dancer  in the Broadway production of "Jerome Robbins' Broadway", where he learned an enormous amount from Robbins' genius. Tony worked directly with Jerome Robbins  as a  principal in both the  broadway cast and the International tour. The experience of working with a choreographic legend rubbed off as Tony has won awards for his  staging and choreography   in  the corporate entertainment industry. Tony also was awarded  a “Tommy” award as “Jazz Dancer of the Year”.  He has performed in numerous Television commercials including a principal spot with Paula Abdul. Recently he is featured on the  PBS 2006 broadcast/ DVD of “Broadway  The American Musical” for his role of Bernardo in West side Story.

Tony was an  honorary guest faculty  at Hope College in Michigan and City Univeristy in New York, as well as The School of Creative and Performing Arts.  Tony is currently teaching Jazz and  Dances of the World Latin at UCSD. A Jazz and Salsa  teacher in high demand Tony’s teaching style incorporates Graham and Horton technique, Luigi   with the  influence of  Bob Fosse’ s unique Broadway style in jazz .  His focus is for dancers to leave UCSD  with  a grounded base utilizing strong dance technique with the versatility to succeed in the dance world. IN the Latin dance world his classes have received praise from the Union Tribune, North county times and La Sonrisa magazine.  As instructor of the largest on-going salsa class in the region (enrollment varies from 70-105 students each Friday night). These classes have spawned the growth of a Salsa performance team in which Tony’s choreography is presented in venues throughout southern California by members of the “Salsa Inferno dance  company”. Tony is also an instructional writer for La Sonrisa Magazine sharing his vast knowledge of  dance and partnering skills with  other instructors and dancers alike.

Tony has made a living as a professional dancer for 20 years and is owner and Executive producer of “Heatwave Productions” a leading entertainment company in San Diego staging Corporate event shows all over the country. He has written, directed and choreographed for hundreds of events for the conferences and meetings around the nation.  He brings his experience as a performer and working choreographer to UCSD as he enters his 15th year teaching for the Theater and Dance Department.


Wagner Dance Bldg.