Guard Caption Head
This will be Allie’s 3rd year with Heat Wave. His first 2 years were spent as a tech with emphasis on weapon. Now in his third year, he will be taking in the role of Caption Head. Allie is also the Director of two high school programs. This will be his 6th year with Palm Harbor University High School and his 1st year with Countryside High School as Director, Designer, and Choreographer. This past year, Allie started working as a clinician for the annual Spintronix spin clinic. While associated with Spintronix he will be releasing videos via their YouTube channel through the upcoming winter season.
Courtney Verna-Brown began her marching career in 2009 as a member of the Upper Darby Marching Royal’s fall colorguard, located in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania where she is originally from. She spent three fall seasons with the marching Royals, going undefeated for the 2011 season in addition to serving as a captain for the 2011 fall season. During this time, she was also a member of the Upper Darby Indoor Drumline, winning a WGI Scholastic Open bronze medal in 2010 and placing in the top 10 in the class in 2011 and 2012, during which she also served as captain. Taking a break from the performance side of the activity following graduation, Courtney returned to her alma mater in 2014 and 2015 to tech the fall colorguard full-time, serving as a co-director of the program in 2015. During this time, Courtney became very active in the Philadelphia region’s dance scene, attending classes across numerous styles of dance in several city-based studios. In 2015 and 2016 Courtney marched in the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps colorguard, affectionately referred to as the “Delta Diamonds”; spending both summers on the dance line, the 2015 summer on the flag line, and the 2016 summer on the rifle line as well as serving as one of three colorguard captains. In 2016, Courtney spent the WGI season with the Cadets Winter Percussion as a member of the Visual Ensemble, placing ninth in Independent World. Courtney aged out as a member of the 2017 Infinity Percussion Visual Ensemble, finishing in ninth place.
Outside of the activity, Courtney moved to Orlando from the Philadelphia region in May of 2016 and is currently studying General Education at Valencia College. She enjoys puppies, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with friends and family.
Victoria Lopez is a student at the University of South Florida seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences. She started her color guard career in 2011 at Freedom High School serving as a captain for years 2013 and 2014. After high school, she marched four years with the USF Herd of Thunder Color Guard, serving as captain for the 2017 season, and two years with the 2015 University of South Florida A and 2016 USF Open Class Winter Guards. Victoria has been a color guard instructor for both the Freedom High School (Tampa) and Liberty Middle School colorguard the past four years. Currently, she is the colorguard director at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Florida. This will be her second season on staff with Heat Wave and is thrilled to be working with the color guard for what will be a successful 2018 season.
Emily is a student at Saint Petersburg College, seeking a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies and Community Leadership. While her roots started in classical ballet and lyrical dance at age 3, she fell in love with color guard at 14 and never looked back. She spun for Osceola Fundamental High School from 2008-2012, and was the dance soloist in 2011 and 2012. After graduation, she spent the 2014 winter season spinning with Sunburst Arts Independent. Emily has been the color guard assistant at Osceola since 2013 and stepped into the director roll this past marching season. This will be her first season on staff with Heat Wave and she is so excited for this new experience!
Karissa VanDyke is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in psychology with a minor in interdisciplinary studies and continuing on into nursing school. Originally from upstate New York before settling in Orlando, Florida, Karissa marched with her high school marching band from 2011-2014, earning her school’s first superior in guard. Karissa was captain two out of the three years that she marched with Celebration High School. In 2013, she marched with Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps and continued in the performing arts with Paradigm Winterguard.