About Cascadia Winterguard

It all started when...

Cascadia Winterguard was born when three friends got together and decided that the performers of the Pacific Northwest deserved a new opportunity to develop their skills, foster new friendships, and share their passion for performance.

Our goal is to provide youth an exceptional performance experience based in an environment founded on the ideals of dedication, creativity, and respect. We aim to help our members develop new life skills and empower them to pursue excellence both on and off the competition floor.

Cascadia Winterguard is an Independent Open-class guard operated by Cascadia Performing Arts, Inc. We perform locally with both the Northwest Association for the Performing Arts and the Northwest Pageantry Association, as well as regionally and nationally with Winter Guard International.

Our program might be new on the scene, but our staff brings decades of colorguard experience to the table. We’re excited to share our experience with the members and support them in developing their skills as great performers – and great people.

Cascadia Winterguard - Staff

Ryan Valencia – Founder, Unit Director, Designer, and Choreographer

Ryan Valencia was raised in St. Augustine, FL. He has performed with numerous winterguard ensembles – including Coast One Winter Guard, Ancient City Ensemble, Northeast Independent and Northern Lights. He also marched 4 years with The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps.

Since moving to the Northwest, he has worked with several HS and independent teams throughout the region. He has been the lead designer and choreographer for Skyview HS since 2010. He also taught multiple drum corps – including Oregon Crusaders, 5 years with Spirit of Atlanta, and recently with Seattle Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps.

Ryan graduated from Portland State University with a Master’s Degree in Global Supply Chain Management. He currently works for an natural food distributor as a Demand Planning Manager for New Seasons Market.

Jesus Flores – Designer and Choreographer

A native Californian, Jesus has began his performance career with Beyer High School. He went on to perform with Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, San Jose Raiders, Fantasia, and SCV Winterguard.

He has taught and consulted with a large number of scholastic and independent programs, including Beyer High School, Santa Clara Vanguard, Spirit of Atlanta, SCV Winterguard, and In Motion Performance Ensemble. While Jesus was working with In Motion, the unit earned two back-to-back silver medals at WGI Championships in Dayton.

Zach Dye – Choreographer / Technician

Zachary Dye is an Indiana native of Greenfield, IN where he began his color guard career in High School with Greenfield-Central Color Guard. Zach then continued his studies at Indiana University where he earned a degree in Sociology and Anthropology. While pursuing academics, he furthered his color guard experience marching with Zydeco World Color Guard (2012, 2013) and Carolina Crown (2010-2013).

Zach has choreographed and taught various groups such as Center Grove High School, Greenfield-Central High School, Mt. Vernon High School, New Castle High School, Northeastern High School, Juxtaposition Winter Guard, Legacy Performing Arts, Phantom Regiment, Music For All Summer Symposium, IHSCGA Clinics, and more. Zach currently lives in Portland, Oregon and is loving it!

James Healey – Movement Choreographer

James Healey is a freelance dance artist, teacher, and choreographer living in the Portland-area, where he teaches contemporary technique at Pacific University. 

James is also a choreographer and dance teacher at Canby High School, where he serves as the director the school’s dance team. Under his leadership, the Canby HS Dance Team has been three-time state champion in the Show Division.

Other recent projects include serving as artist in residence at University of North Carolina School of The Arts (2014), Shen Wei Dance Arts' Winter Intensive in NYC (2015); Lead Dance Faculty at The Governor's School of North Carolina (2013-14), Ten Tiny Dances performance presented by Portland Institute of Contemporary Art's TBA Festival (2015), and NEW Expressive Works choreographer residency (2016).

Earlier in his career, James was a founding member of Shen Wei Dance Arts of New York and served in a number of roles over his 10 year tenure with the company, including lead dancer, teaching artist, and rehearsal director.

James holds a BA from the University of Nevada–Las Vegas and a 200-hour vinyasa yoga certification.

Pedro Evenezer – Choreographer

Pedro originally hails from South Florida, and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2015. 

He brings a wealth of performance experience to the team, including seasons with The Cadets and Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps as well as Braddock Independent. Since moving to the Northwest, Pedro has taught guard at Skyview High School and has previously served as a choreographer for programs in Florida, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Pedro is currently a junior at Portland State University, studying Political Science.

Brian Ward – Technician

Brian grew up in Philadelphia, PA and is a graduate of Temple University. His passion for travel and new experiences motivated him to relocate to San Francisco in 2015 and then to Portland in 2018. He has built his career as a retail manager and as a colorguard director all over the country.

As a performer, Brian is an alumni of Carolina Crown, Alter Ego, BlackWatch, and The Patriots. His passion for teaching in the arts lead him to work with many groups in the activity such as The Colts, Mechanicsburg High School, Lampeter-Strasburg High School, Dublin High School, and Field of View. 

In his personal time outside the gym or store setting, Brian is an avid music fan and attends concerts regularly. He often spends time planning travel adventures with friends and loves spending time with his cat, Mr. Kitty.  

Genevieve Gahagan - Technician

Originally from Seattle, Genevieve is a colorguard director, and freelance dance choreographer in the Portland area.

Genevieve began her marching career at Kamiak High School and, since graduating, has been a member of numerous organizations around the Northwest including the Oregon Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, OC Indoor, and, OC Independent. She then moved on to perform with Phantom Regiment for four years until aging out in 2016.

In addition to receiving a Bachelor’s degree in French, Genevieve studied dance and movement extensively at Willamette University. During her semester abroad, she had the unique opportunity of studying Martha Graham technique at the Centre de Danse du Marais in Paris, France.

Genevieve has worked with multiple high school programs in the Northwest - including Skyview HS, North Salem HS and the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps. She is also a guest choreographer for Willamette University’ s theatre department for the 2018-2019 season. During her spare time she enjoys going on hikes, exploring new restaurants with her friends, and snuggling up to her cat,

Jonathon Brown – Founder, Administration, and Consultant

Jonathon Brown has worked with and designed for programs across the Northwest and around the country. He served as Director of Guards at Kamiak High School, in Washington for 12 years and grew the program into a premier scholastic guard in the region.

In 2005, he helped found Rhapsody Performing Arts Winterguards where he continued to teach and design for 7 years. During his tenure with Rhapsody, their ensembles were both the Independent A and Independent Open WGI Champions.

As an adjudicator, he’s worked with the NWPA, NWAPA, UCGC, MCCGA, and various fall marching band competitions. As a performer, he was a member of the Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps, Northern Lights Winter Guard, and the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps.

Jonathon also served as the President of the Northwest Pageantry Association for 6 years and continues to develop and support the color guard activity across the NW. Jonathon lives in Seattle and works at Amazon as an Instructional Designer.

Anthony Riederer – Founder

Zoe Norrgard – Graphic Consultant