Kathy Dupuy Kathy 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 household staffing service, Mom’s Best Friend, which she founded in 1994. She and her husband, Stuart, now run this together, along with the College Sitters & Tutors Barton Springs franchise. She also started and ran a residential care, assisted living home for seniors, for 10 years. Kathy has served on various boards, and her companies have been recognized for outstanding achievement, as well as a commitment to giving back to the local community. As a dancer herself and mom of 4 kids who all danced at one point or another, Kathy understands the need for a high quality studio environment catering to the needs of both adults and children, thus the creation of Balance Dance Studios in 2012. 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 purchased a Round Rock studio, The Dance Spot, in 2017, and now manages both locations. Kathy and her family reside in Southwest Austin and are the proud parents of Grace, Kaitlyn, and James and Jordan.
Daniel Broxton Daniel started dancing in high school, participating on a crew his freshman year that turned into a team his sophomore year. He started pursuing dance more and training more seriously throughout his high school years. He now directs a high school hip hop dance team, teaches workshops, and choreographs for music videos, musicals, events, and performances. Daniel is excited to bring his background and experience, as well as his excitement for hip hop, to dancers at Balance!
Dane Burch Dane grew up in Oregon, where he started training in dance at the age of 10. He quickly fell in love with movement and the expressiveness of it. He moved to Los Angeles, when he was 18, with a scholarship to EDGE Performing Arts Center. After completing his training, he continued to dance and perform. He worked with Tremaine Dance Convention for 5 years. He also worked for Move Dance Competitions, where he judged and taught master classes all around the U.S. In 2008, Dane moved to Austin. He works for numerous studios and high schools all around Texas. He loves sharing his knowledge and love for dance with all.
Jairus Carr Jairus started his dance training at seven-years-old. Since then, Jairus has trained with Austin’s top instructors and choreographers, but Jairus primarily trained here, at Balance Dance Studios. Starting here when he was twelve, Jairus grew up and trained with Balance’s very own Push Dance Company. This allowed him to learn and understand Balance’s core message: Finding our balance in heart, soul, and mind. In more recent years, Jairus has danced with many local artists, such as the Early Era Collective, Jennifer Sherburn, and the UT student body. Jairus can’t wait to teach you!
Nikki “Blankenship” Chambers Since the age of three, Nikki 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.
Micki Fields Since the first dance class at 5 until now, dance has been a constant in Micki’s life. From cheerleading, drill team and baton twirling, to dancing on stage in community theater, to a life long love of cardio dance classes, a passion has grown and blossomed into the incredible opportunity of becoming an instructor at Balance Dance Studios.
Kenah Fuller Starting at the age of 3, Kenah has pursued her love for dance. Kenah was classically trained in Ballet and has danced on pointe for over 5 years. Along with her dance background, Kenah is an avid gymnast who is strong in power tumbling. Throughout her training she pursued a variety of genres of dance and competed in multiple styles including acro, modern, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre and hip hop as well. She began student teaching at 17 and is adamant to continue to share her love for the arts with students.
Taylor Harbin Taylor Noel Harbin was born and raised in Dayton, OH where she began dancing in a creative movement class at the Jeraldine School of Dance. From there she attended Stivers School of the Performing Arts studying dance and choir. In addition to dancing in her school Taylor trained with form Dayton Ballet principal dancer Barbara Pontecorvo at Pontecorvo Studios later joining their pre-professional company Gem City Ballet. Upon graduating from High School Taylor initially attended Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA where she studied for a year and was able to perform a Martha Graham original piece ‘Heretic’. Later Transferring to University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where she studied ballet and performed in Giselle, original pieces set by her professors, and fellow classmates.During her junior and senior year of school Taylor joined the Louisville Ballet as a Corps de Ballet dancer. Later retiring at Ballet Austin.
Shawna Hesketh Shawna Hesketh started dancing at an early age, at her one-room studio, in her small central Texas hometown. Her love of dance continued to grow, and she went on to join her high school’s drill/dance team, and then began teaching dance at the age of 16. She attended Sam Houston State University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, in Photography and Dance. While at SHSU, she was in several performances, including a graduate thesis, and also worked in the costume department for their Nutcracker production. After moving to Austin, she got back into dance full-time, diving into ballroom dancing. Shawna then joined Balance Dance Studios, in the fall of 2012, in its inaugural year. Since then, she has created a home and family with Balance, and now gets to share this journey with her two children, as she watches them dance and grow.
Kirsten Kemp Kirsten Kemp is a former professional dancer, classical ballet instructor, creator of TwinTalksBallet on YouTube, and a Mindset Coach for dancers. A native of Corpus Christi, TX, Kirsten grew up dancing alongside her twin sister, Kelsey. At 13, their passion for ballet grew into a drive to pursue ballet professionally, which lead to training during the summers at programs such as San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. Kirsten went on to train year-round in the top levels of the Houston Ballet Academy for two years, after which she went to study on full scholarship and perform numerous lead roles in the Department of Ballet at the University of Utah. She graduated from “the U” within three years with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Ballet and a Minor in Business Administration with top honors. Kirsten then danced professionally with Oklahoma City Ballet, where she performed in the corps de ballet of productions such as George Balanchine’s Serenade and Robert Mill’s A Midsummer Nights Dream. As a Company Apprentice, she was also chosen to perform with the company on their annual tour to Colorado Springs. After making the decision to step away from the professional realm due to a persistent knee injury, Kirsten now finds great joy and purpose in performing as a guest artist while supporting the next generation of dancers through her work as a ballet instructor and Mindset Coach for dance.
Matthew Kennedy started dancing at the age of 12, when he first discovered Michael Jackson. From that point on, he spent years training, building his technique, performance, and foundation in Jazz, Ballet, and Musical Theatre (in the hope that he would someday moonwalk in front of millions). During his high school years, Matthew received opportunities as a dancer and performer, all around the Austin area, including Summer Stock Austin, ZACH theatre, Zilker Hillside Theater, and The Long Center For the Performing Arts, getting to work alongside NYC and LA professionals, as well as Tony-nominated actors. It wasn’t until about the end of his high school career that he discovered a passion for hip hop, and the passion and storytelling that comes from a combination of all the various styles, textures, vibes, and pockets. After teaching himself some popular moves from viral YouTube videos, he began his real training in hip hop and musical theatre, starting with his time in college at Texas State University. Having spent time studying styles of creativity from different lenses, he discovered that musical theatre and hip hop genres have a lot more similarities than one would think. In his classes, Matthew dives into this style fusion, focusing on artistic expression, while having the grooviest time ever!
Kelsy Leyendecker Kelsy Leyendecker is our assistant director of Elevate and PUSH Dand Company’s Opal director. She began dancing at the age of 3 and has been teaching since the age of 16 years old. She began her studies and competitive years at Irvine Dance Academy but went on to receive training at some of the best studios in the country in the styles of ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, cheer, tumbling, and musical theatre. She has had the opportunity to study under legends such Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Molly Lynch, Christine Baltes, Jerome Robins, and Susan Stroman. In addition to them, she credits much of her growth and passion to her mentor, Monie Adamson who is a 3 time Emmy nominee and 2004 American Choreography Award winner. While still in school, she began choreographing young for her high school show choir and other local area theatre and children’s programs. As a diverse and performer, Kelsy danced as an extra on a couple TV shows, strutted the parade routes and stages of Disneyland as well as toured parts of the US as a member of the company, “Dance N’ ETC” and the “Concordia professional Chamber Choir”. She quickly found her passion in musical theatre and was cast in multiple theatre company ensembles such as “Guys and Dolls”, “Cabaret” and “Oklahoma” as well as lead roles such as Penny in “Swingtime” and Carol in “South Pacific”. She is proud to be a part of the Austin dance community and loves teaching all her students of all ages at Balance Dance Studios.
Stacey Lizette Stacey has been studying belly dance for twenty years. (Woah, how did that happen?) She is one of five dancers currently Level 5 certified in the internationally recognized Suhaila Salimpour format and hosts annual Suhaila workshops in Austin. Besides being a dance instructor, Stacey has taken on many roles and projects as part of the belly dance community, including: performer, choreographer, costume designer, artistic director of Tekatek Dance Ensemble, (former) producer of the annual Austin Belly Dance Convention, teaching assistant to Suhaila Salimpour, workshop sponsor, and show producer. Stacey’s style of teaching is patient yet challenging to guide students safely beyond their comfort zones and into personal growth. Belly dance will grow your brain, move your body and feed your soul!
Andi Loo Native to Texas, Andi Loo graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Spanish and quickly jumped on the earliest flight to Los Angeles. While in L.A., Andi worked for a local newspaper while studying dance at local venues. She recalls pre-Zumba days in L.A. being filled with healthy doses of “Latin Hip Hop” and “Salsa-esque” aerobics. Needless to say, her love and commitment to dancing grew quickly and after 3 children and a move back to Texas, she found her passion in teaching dance fitness classes.
For a short video of Andi, Click HERE
Emily Lofton Emily Lofton is a Texas native who enjoys yoga and pilates, walking long trails with her husband and consuming all types of art. She graduated with the class of 2020 from the University of Oklahoma’s Ballet Pedagogy program with a minor in Psychology and special focus in childhood development. While attending OU, Emily worked closely with Nilas Martins and performed Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, a standout in her educational experience. Emily worked with Jan Fugit and Rebecca Herrin on further developing her voice as a teacher, and is grateful to join Balance Dance Studios and The Dance Spot beginning June of 2020.
Natalia Maravi Natalia was born to dance. From dancing on the bleachers of a football game at 5 years old, to choreographing a dance performance for her and her friends for their 5th grade class talent show, to tearing it up on the dance floor of many clubs as an adult. However, it wasn’t until she was 26 years old that she took her first dance class and started her training. She fell in love immediately and got to work. She’s taken a ton of hip hop classes and heels classes and has traveled to LA to train with Brinn Nicole and Tevyn Cole. Her passion for dance and teaching runs very deep and she is grateful for every opportunity to shake her hips and flip her hair.
Kate McCann Kate fell in love with dance at an early age. The way that movement and music creates its own unique form of artistry has had an unparalleled impact on her life, both in and outside of the studio. She has been working with children since the age of 14, and has found that one of her greatest joys is being able to share her passions with a younger generation. Because Kate didn’t start her formal dance training until high school she is a huge proponent of self discipline, and regards dance as the medium which taught her that all things are achievable through hard work and diligence. It was at Balance Dance Studios she cultivated this understanding, as she is one of our very own Push Dance Company alumni. Kate looks forward to teaching, training, and exploring movement with you!