It all started when...

Todd Van Dorn is a native of Whittier, CA and began dancing at the age of 12, honing his talents in tap, jazz and ballet at renowned studios such as Showcase, Al Gilbert, Paul DeRolf, Joe Tremaine and Stephen Peck. He furthered his studies with college dance courses at Rio Hondo (Dorothy Brewer), Cypress (Kaye Ragland) and Orange Coast (Linda Sohl-Ellison, artistic director, Rhapsody in Taps), with an emphasis in jazz and modern.

Soon, he began translating his dancing skills onto the stage, most notably as an original cast member for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, as well as a specialty performer for Disneyland parades. As both a singer and dancer, he performed in the Broadway production of Sugar Babies at Harrah’s Hotel in Lake Tahoe, in addition to numerous civic light opera musical theater productions, including Hello Dolly, Annie Get Your Gun, and Applause at the La Mirada Civic Theater. Other stage credits include Jubilee and Hello Hollywood, Hello at the MGM Grand Hotels in Las Vegas and Reno, NV, principal dancer at the Lido in Paris, France, Bally’s Hotels Industrials, and Bally’s Hotel Corporations in Reno, NV and Monterey, CA , and extensive touring performances throughout California and Mexico, Tijuana, Cancun and San Luis Rey, Colorado, in the Olga Breeskin Show, with renowned choreographers, Steve Merrit, and Claude Thompson.

Todd has also landed several roles in television and film, as a dancer in Francis Ford Coppola’s One From the Heart, a dancer and singer in HBO’s hit Dream On, and lending his tap/footwork recordings for ABC and Canal Plus television.

Todd’s artistry quickly evolved into instructor and choreographer positions at several dance studios in Southern California, including Smart School of Dance, Whittier, CA., Backstage Dance Studio, Cypress, CA., Spotlight Dance Studio, Buena Park, CA., Diana’s Dance, Canyon Lake, CA., Pacific Dance, Irvine, CA. ,Carolyn Norris School of Dance, Fullerton, CA., and Stars of Tomorrow, Sparks, NV. Under Todd’s tutelage, his students acquired the training necessary to earn performance contracts in Las Vegas, Universal Studios, Holland America Cruise Lines, and Disneyland parades. 

By 1993, Todd decided to parlay his vast experience as a dancer and instructor into realizing his dream of owning his own studio, first with Imperial Dance Studio in Brea, CA., and then in 2005 with Backstage Dance Studio in Lake Elsinore, CA. Over the years, the studios have garnered national competition awards at K.A.R., Starpower, Spotlight, Thunderstruck, Showstopper, That’s Dancin’, Exchange Club of California and Exchange Club of Nevada. 

Todd is also proud to have served as a special choreographer for Fullerton, Temescal Canyon and Chapparral High Schools, and to have performed for the national charities Children’s Miracle Network (with Bob Hope) and the Make a Wish Foundation.

Todd Van Dorn
Owner of Imperial Dance Studio