We are united, UNITED BY 8.  Clearly undivided, UNITED BY 8.  'Cause we are united, UNITED BY 8!  1 2 3 4…5 6 7 8!!

WHY UNITED BY 8?

Our worlds revolve around dance and we know the magic that dance brings to the spirit, to the soul, to the heart.  With so many different dance classes and formats, we wanted to create an experience that united them.  We created a weekend getaway not to just give an opportunity to grow as a dancer, but to step outside the daily grind, connect with like-minded people, and rediscover the inner kid again.

Amber Powell, Co-founder

Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Amber has always possessed an inherent sense of compassion, joy, and passion for her family and friends.  Discovering at an early age the undeniable beauty and joy that came from communicating through dance, her sense of passion for dance and all of the benefits it held became undeniable.  The light that shined bright through her eyes as she performed in front of crowds was apparent to all.

Amber completed her B.S. in Accounting at the University of La Verne in Southern California.  She also obtained her CPA license shortly thereafter.  With limitless entrepreneur spirit she began a successful CPA practice where she focused on helping her clients achieve their dreams using her advisory services.  Well on her way to building a thriving business, she rejoined her original passion for dance by taking class at The Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. 

After a couple of years it was obvious that pursing a professional dance career was not only viable, but imperative. With this goal in mind, Benjamin Allen and her paths crossed. Amber and Ben became fast friends, working on many philanthropic projects together when he began the journey of creating GROOV3, Amber was there to lend a helping hand in any way she could.  Fast forward to today, she is currently pursuing a professional dance career, has a thriving CPA firm and is enjoying being the CFO/COO of GROOV3 where she, through all of her endeavors, passionately attempts to changes lives one eight count at a time through the power of dance.

Candis Yamamoto, Co-founder

Candis began her love for dance during her early school years.  During her senior year, her family moved from Los Angeles to Anaheim.  She tried out for the dance team to make new friends where she discovered for her love for jazz dance.  This new exposure led to dancing with a college dance troupe-Skyline Dancers (UCSB) for 4 years.  Candis continues to hone on her talents by taking dance class in different styles to have a variety in her back pocket.

Candis has gained several opportunities to be a dance coach and/or choreographer for youth including 32nd St School (Winter recital), Forshay Drill team (MLKingdom Parade) and Nora Sterry School (Black History Month recital).  She’s the resident dance coach for the community choir- Preachin’ Soul.  Additionally, she’s received a Dance It Out (DIO) certification to continue to expose youth and adults in ways to have fun and stay fit through dance.  

A chance meeting with fellow dance instructor/mentor/BFF/co-founder, Tor Campbell, led to a serendipitous AHA moment of the importance of dance expression in her life.  What started out as a kernel of inspiration from the mind of Tor Campbell has turned into a journey with happy feet and blossomed into what is known as United By 8.  Along with the collaboration of Amber and Ben–these 4 are now spreading the joy of movement to others, creating lasting memories, and forging new friendships.  When you come to camp and see Camp Director, Candis, don’t be afraid to bust a move with her because sharing is caring.

Tor Campbell, Co-founder

As Tor “eased on down the road” in a Tin Man Suit (which was tight as hell by the way) at the age of 12, he realized two things: first that the costume designer should have gotten him a bigger suit and second, he wanted to somehow find a way to ease on down that road more than just one time.  Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin he continued to dance throughout high school and starred in 42nd Street, a play that features tap dancing; this was ironic given he had never tapped a day in his life!  Fortunately, tap came easy for Tor and he soon realized that dance was in his soul.

After high school, Tor continued to pursue dancing and choreography at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City where he starred in many musicals including Dreamgirls, Tap Dance Kid and Fame.  Upon graduating, Tor went on tour with The Wiz in New York City, but this time he did not play the Tin Man, he starred as “The Wiz” and was directed by the acclaimed George Faison (original choreographer of The Wiz).   More recently, Tor returned from Macau, China where he was the lead choreographer for the Venetian Hotel.

Tor’s choreography and experience has spanned the globe, provided a wealth of exposure to different cultures, technique and dance movement.  As a result, he is a versatile instructor who has created his own unique style combining many genres of dance including funk, hip-hop, African and jazz.  Tor is known for his creative, innovative, trend-setting dance classes and fluid music mixes.  It is his masterful combination of music and easy to follow dance instruction that make him the one of the top dance instructors at Your Neighborhood Studio in Culver City.

Tor now resides in Los Angeles where he works full-time as a choreographer and dance instructor.  Being a part of making United By 8 come to life has been a surreal journey for him.  World get ready, United By 8 will be the new religion of the world!!

Ben Allen, Co-founder

Benjamin Allen’s life changed when he went away to camp as a kid. Living in Arizona, escaping the summer heat to epic adventures on Catalina Island was like a fantasy paradise. Those summer months couldn’t come fast enough.  Benjamin Allen’s life changed again when he discovered his love for dance. Growing up in the Bar and Bat Mitzvah circuit, it was clear his feet were meant to move to the beat, but it wasn’t until college he took his first formal class.

Now, with over 13 years in the business, his vibrant personality and fresh originality bring a unique style that has inspired people throughout the world.  As a dancer, he has performed on TV in the Kid’s Choice, People’s Choice and American Music Awards as well as on Scrubs and in national commercials for xbox, Subway and Miller Lite.  As a choreographer he has worked with Will.I.Am and Drew Barrymore, and developed routines for Vh-1, Oxygen and several NBC projects.

After making his way through film and television, he found a true passion for teaching which has taken him to countries like Japan, Australia, Spain, Austria, England and Canada and connects him with thousands of amazing students.  Locally he teaches at The Edge Performing Arts Center, as well as, runs a dance fitness movement he created called GROOV3™.  The movement has caught the attention of ELLEN, Extra, ABC7, Popsugar, American Fitness Magazine and fitperez.com

Now, as a co-creator of United By 8, it’s as if his whole life has lead to this.  Being the “Camp Director” of a dance camp is a dream come true.  It could not be more rewarding and inspiring to be giving campers this life changing experience. Taking people away from their “real” lives, allowing them to disconnect, be a kid again, and connect with new people who share the same love.  One day, United By 8 will be offered worldwide.  No matter your dance background or style, we are United, United By 8!