The RWID Team

Tricia Gomez

Global Director, Rhythm Works Integrative Dance
Owner, Dance - In a Box Publishing

Tricia Gomez is the President of Dance – In a Box Publishing and Global Director of Rhythm Works Integrative Dance. She is considered a pioneer in pre‐school and elementary Hip Hop education, often daring to go where others thought impossible. Her unique Hip Hop teaching methods have landed her on the Dr. Phil Show as their dance expert and as the Head Judge of the CBS TV series “Dance Revolution,” which was loosely based on her flagship product, Hip Hop In a Box. Her philosophy on teaching kid’s Hip Hop has made her the subject of countless articles in dance and fitness magazines across the USA, Canada, and Australia. Tricia is the founder and former owner of HYPE Studios Cultural Arts Center and is currently a contracted Teaching Artist for the Disney Performing Arts Program at Disneyland.

Tricia’s Hip Hop Made Easy Curriculum is currently offered in over 2500 schools and dance studios across the world.

A few of Tricia’s credits include dancing for the Los Angeles Laker Girls, Universal Dance Association, Disneyland, Disneyfest Asia, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm and choreographing for Saved By the Bell, the Laker Girls, the Clipper’s Spirit Dance Team, the Portland Trail Blazers Dancers and Dance the Magic.

Tricia travels the world training new and experienced dance teachers and therapists on her Hip Hop Made Easy teaching methods and Rhythm Works Integrative Dance program for kids with individual learning differences. For information on how you can bring Tricia to your studio, school district, or clinic, email

Deborah Rothman

Physical Therapist, Pediatric Therapy Network

Deborah Rothman, PT, MSPT, C/NDT is a licensed pediatric physical therapist with over 15 years of experience in working with children of all ages, who have individual learning challenges and physical abilities. She is also certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment for children with Cerebral Palsy and other neuro-motor impairments.

Deborah graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and received her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from Regis University in Denver, CO. She began her physical therapy career working for Pediatric Therapy Network in Torrance, CA; a clinic known around the world for providing high quality treatment to children based on sensory integration techniques, taught by pioneer, Jean Ayres. It was here that Deborah completed a 6-month training intensive and received over 5 years of ongoing mentorship in Sensory Integration and Praxis.

Deborah began dancing at a young age. Whether it was dancing in her living room as a child, training as a dance student, joining and coaching competitive dance teams or becoming a dance instructor, dancing has always been an important part of Deborah’s life. As a pediatric physical therapist, Deborah began to see the ways that dancing could enhance therapy sessions as well as serving as an important community based physical activity that allows children to make friends, express themselves, develop their unique strengths, practice skills learned in therapy and keep physically fit.

Part of Deborah’s mission is to create dance programs that include people with all abilities and empower children to share their unique gifts with the world. To educate communities on how to respect differences, celebrate strengths, create an environment of acceptance and support people of all abilities in the various challenges they may face. Deborah has attended several training opportunities to support her mission, such as workshops taught by “The Miracle Project,” an inclusive musical theater and expressive arts program and “Kids Included Together,” an organization that specializes in providing training for community-based organizations committed to including children with and without disabilities into their recreational, child development and youth development programs.

Deborah is excited to be a part of Rhythm Works because it combines her love for dance and music, her passion for creating opportunities for inclusion and her fields of expertise into a fun and innovative program. She is currently co-teaching a class for children of ALL abilities in Torrance, CA and collaborates with Tricia and the Rhythm Works team to develop educational opportunities for teachers and therapists around the world.

Dr. Shaana Berman

Ed. D, Early Childhood Special Education
Education Consultant

Dr. Shaana Berman is an accomplished early childhood development specialist and educational consultant in the Los Angeles area. She holds a Masters degree and teaching credential in Early Childhood Special Education from California State University, and an Educational Doctorate with an Educational Psychology concentration from the University of Southern California.

Since 1998, Dr. Berman has worked in both private and public settings since to teach academic skills, reduce maladaptive behaviors, and increase functional and social skills among a variety of populations including but not limited to: students with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, cognitive delays, genetic syndromes, processing disorders, and physical disabilities.

Dr. Berman has designed and delivered graduate-level curriculum, has trained public school staff, and has conducted parent education workshops. Her philosophy is that all children can learn, given the right type of supportive instruction.

Akemi Davies

Occupational Therapist, Love 2 Learn

Akemi has a long history of working with children in many settings. Before attending college she volunteered with organizations that supported children with and without disabilities. It was these opportunities that encouraged and inspired her to enter pediatric practice. In 2004, Akemi received her Bachelors in Occupational Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Dominican University of California.

After moving back to Southern California and finding her first OT position in Los Angeles, she immediately went on to complete her Master of Arts degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2005.

Akemi is enthusiastic about continuing her education in Sensory Integration and developmental models such as the Developmental, Individual‐Difference, Relationship‐Based (DIR) model. These passions steered her in the direction of becoming certified in administering the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) and receiving advanced training in using DIR techniques.

In addition to treatment, Akemi enjoys being a clinical instructor, participating in conferences, and volunteering. She has presented workshops about developing parent education programs at both national and state occupational therapy conferences. Akemi is currently the Fieldwork Coordinator at Stanbridge University.

Zoe Mailloux

Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson University Occupational Therapy OTD and Advanced Practice Certificate in Autism
ASI 2020 Vision

Zoe Mailloux, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA is nationally and internationally recognized for her expertise in child development, sensory integration, autism, test development and occupational therapy. With more than 35 years of experience, Zoe has been a champion for increasing understanding of individual differences, with the aim of enhancing participation in meaningful ways, for people of all abilities.

As research assistant to Dr. A. Jean Ayres, the originator of sensory integration theory, Zoe began her career with a dedication to recognizing the importance of early sensory and motor experiences on learning and behavior. With more than 30 years, experience in executive leadership of non-profit therapy practices, Zoe has been known for developing innovative programs to support children and families. She also has an impressive record of research and scholarship, with more than 30 published journal articles and textbook chapters and over 500 presentations at workshops and conferences, worldwide. Currently, Zoe is on the faculty of the Thomas Jefferson University Occupational Therapy OTD and Advanced Practice Certificate in Autism.

Zoe also serves as a consultant in program development and program evaluation, Her passion is to share her knowledge and expertise about the importance of sensory experiences in everyday life. She currently partners with individuals, programs, corporations and organizations on projects aimed at increasing understanding of and support for the sensory needs of all individuals.