Meet Our Directors

Kathy - Owner/Executive Director

Kathy Dupuy started dancing seriously in high school and has continued to take classes and had the opportunity to perform through various studios in Austin. Through the years, dance has proven a great way for her to stay fit after having 4 kids and maintaining a busy lifestyle. She has successfully pioneered multiple businesses from start up to maturity including Texas’ largest nanny/sitter service, Mom’s Best Friend, and an assisted living home for seniors.


Kathy serves on various boards, and her companies have been recognized for outstanding achievement in various venues, as well as a commitment to giving back to the local community. She was inspired by her sister-in-law who created and owns one of the largest and most successful Houston dance studios. As a dancer herself and mom to 4 little dancers, Kathy understands the need for a high quality studio environment catering to the needs of both adults and children, thus the inception of Balance Dance Studios.Kathy’s business expertise and entrepreneurial spirit, combined with her passion for the art of dance, create the perfect combination for her role as studio owner of Balance Dance Studios. Kathy and her husband Stuart, who is also very involved in the business operations, reside in Southwest Austin and are the proud parents of Grace, 17, Kaitlyn, 12, and James and Jordan, 9.

Danielle - Push Assistant Director, ACDT Director

 Danielle Storey grew up training with Tempe Dance Academy and Master Ballet Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended undergraduate school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. At SMU she trained under the direction of Andrew Parker, Leslie Peck, Danny Buraczeski, and Myra Woodruff while immersing herself in Ballet, Jazz and the Martha Graham modern technique. As a college student she kept busy performing, teaching, choreographing and pursuing a degree in Corporate Communications. She then moved to Austin, Texas, where she performed with numerous Austin choreographers and dance companies. Feeling as though she wanted to explore the LA Dance scene, Danielle moved to Los Angeles in fall of 2014 and signed with McDonald Selznick and Associates agency. In LA she immersed herself in jazz funk, hip hop and contemporary styles and trained most closely with Diavolo Dance Theatre, Jason Gorman, Cat Cogliandro, Nick Lanzisera, and Jackie Sleight.  Danielle has performed with LA based companies Daurden Contemporary and Alex Little’s Escape Artists.  In addition to performance and choreography, Danielle has a deep passion for inspiring young dancers through instruction. She is a judge and Master Teacher for Starquest Dance Competition.

Crystal - Hip Hop UGK Director

 Crystal De La Rosa is from the Rio Grande Valley where she began dancing at the age of 8, training in contemporary and jazz at local dance studios, in addition to her school’s dance team. She has competed all over Texas and received numerous awards with her teams and solos, including High Point National Champions and two 1st place solos. It wasn’t until she turned 13 that she discovered her love for hip-hop. Since then, she has been training in different styles of hip-hop including locking, housing, waacking, street jazz, and more. She has choreographed for many competition teams and fallen in love with spreading her passion and knowledge of dance to others. She moved to Austin to attend The University of Texas and major in Nutrition and Business Foundations. Here, she helped lead the co-ed hip-hop team, Redefined Dance Company. In her journey with the team, they have done countless local and out-of-town performances and won many awards, including two-time World of Dance Champions. She is beyond excited to be part of the Balance Dance family and get to share her passion for this art with her students. 

Ashley- Elevate Performance Company Director

 Ashley was born and raised in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK. From a young age Ashley has thrived within the Performing Arts, She completed her Teaching Degree in the UK and taught Dance and Vocal technique for Sunderland University. She then went on to complete her Masters in Musical Theatre at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Shortly after graduation she packed up and moved to New York City to pursue Theatre and Film. During her time in New York she appeared in numerous Off-Off-Broadway plays such as ‘Exposed’ and ‘The Hurtling Stillness’ whilst continuing to develop her skills within the Performing Arts. She moved to Austin in October 2015 and is very excited to be a part of such a dynamic and nurturing dance school such as Balance. 

Kristin - Studio Creative Director, Push Director

Kristin Nicolaisen is best known by our studio family as the Artistic Director and co-owner of Balance Dance Studios who conceived PUSH Dance Company three years ago at the urging of our Balance Dance family. Kristin started dancing at a very young age and is now the Artistic Director and co-owner of Balance Dance Studios.  Kristin grew up in Houston dancing with some of the best studios in the city including North Harris Performing Arts Center and Masters Upper Level where she was on the advanced competitive team under the direction of Melissa Hook. The company traveled all over the country seeking the highest level of well-rounded dance education and placed first overall at national competitions multiple years in a row.  She also received many awards and acclaim in her solo work including multiple scholarships, ‘L.A. Agent’ and ‘Teen Dancer of the Year’ I.D.C etc.  During these years Kristin also coached gymnastics and participated on her high school cheerleading team where she was awarded the honor of All Star as well as All American.  Kristin then attended Texas State University during which time she worked as a Dance Sr. Instructor/Choreographer for 8 years at a local dance studio.  She also has directed the off campus physical education program working with Austin Independent School District.  Kristin has worked closely with many area competitive dance teams as well as the school districts surrounding Austin, choreographing many award winning ensembles and countless solos including the 1st place District Champion 2011.  She travels to LA and NYC regularly to continue her training and stay current.  Recently, she toured North America as a backup dancer for singer Zayra.  She danced with Reverence Dance Company as well as Verge Dance Company where she has been the director and head choreographer.  Kristin is madly in love with the art of movement and is ever embracing and exploring this beautiful boundless art.  She has found in her dance experience that she not only loves the art but also truly loves sharing it with students.  Exposing people of all ages to a form of athleticism and personal expression that induces healthy happiness for the mind, body and soul is endlessly fulfilling.


Nikki - Push Co-Director, Communication Director

Since the age of three, Nikki Blakenship has learned to master the art of expression through movement, sharing her love of dance with others. She received her formal dance training, at Hallmark Dance Studio, practicing Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Folkloric, Flamenco, and Jazz. It was her exceptional performance as a jazz dancer which earned Nikki a scholarship to West Texas A&M University, where she earned her BFA in Dance. Some notable achievements include the Lady Viper Dance Team, Assistant Academy Director for the WTAMU Dance Academy, Artist in Residence for Lone Star Ballet, Amarillo Vixens Dance Team, and Captain and Choreographer for the WTAMU Thunderette Dance Team. She shares the positive energy and enthusiasm for her art with those around her, hoping that she can inspire others to discover and follow their own dreams.

McKenna - Pivot Director, Dancers & Dreamers Director, Achieve Director

McKenna has been dancing since the age of two, where her first performance on stage was to ‘Animal Crackers in My Soup’. Through her high school years, McKenna danced competitively, began teaching and started choreographing. Following her love of ballet, she earned her certification of completion through grade 6 in the Cecchetti Ballet Method and continues to work toward further certification. She attended the Cecchetti Ballet Summer School in Michigan, the Ballet Austin Summer Intensive, and the Joffrey Ballet’s Ballet Intensive in NYC. McKenna loves to “see a student begin to do things they never thought they could and to watch their confidence climb”. This is evidenced in McKenna’s involvement as the director of 2dance2dream, a dance program for children, teens and adults with special needs. Currently McKenna is the Director of Pivot Dance Company (Balance’s faith based performance company) and Dancers and Dreamers (Balance Dance Studios’ 2-6 year old program where tiny dancers and BIG dreams meet).

Meet Our Faculty


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