Born and raised in Southern California, Tristen McClendon began her ballet studies at the age of 8 at California Dance Theater in Agoura Hills, California. She studied under Artistic Director Kim Maselli and American ballet dancer Stanley Holden. Tristen has studied at the San Francisco Ballet School, Hartford Ballet, and The School of American Ballet’s Summer Intensive Programs. Her roles in California Dance Theater’s annual Nutcracker include Clara, Dew Drop Fairy, and Snow Queen. While her primary focus was training in classical ballet, she also competed in jazz, tap, lyrical, and contemporary, winning several national dance competition titles in Los Angeles and New York City. Tristen double-majored at University of California, Irvine earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Dance and Psychology. After college Tristen traveled to New York City where she continued to dance at Broadway Dance Center while attending graduate school at New York University, receiving a Master’s Degree in Applied Psychology. Since moving to the San Diego area three years ago, Tristen’s daughters have loved being welcomed into the 4SDA dance family. In her spare time you will see Tristen with her family at the beach, hiking, camping, and dancing around the house!