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 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.
Taylor Almanza Taylor’s passion for dance came early; she started dancing when she was 2 years old, at Jo Ann Neal Dance Studio, in San Antonio (now known as Dance Infinity SA). At first, dance was an outlet for her energetic and creative personality. Upon entering high school, she realized how much she loved dancing and decided to pursue her dance career more seriously. She became the youngest member of the Warren HS Majestics Varsity Dance Team and was a member for three years, two as an officer and captain. In her time as a Majestics, she earned several group and individual awards, including 1st place at regionals for her senior year self-choreographed solo. High school is also where she began to venture into other areas of dance, including tumbling and acrobatics. She trained at Powerhouse Gymnastics, and then continued to self-train.
Taylor has been teaching dance for more than three years now and is currently studying Psychology and Sociology at UT Austin. When she entered college, she wanted to challenge herself with something new and decided to become a member of the award-winning Texas Gymnastics team. Though she missed out on competing at NAIGC (nationals) due to injuries, she was on track to compete as a level 8 in floor (her favorite), bars, and beam.
She has been awarded several dance achievements, including being awarded membership in the acclaimed Showmakers of America staff, being on Spurs Teen Elite, a junior NBA team, performing in South by Southwest for Lizzo, and choreographing competitive and recreational routines, for all genres and ages, from San Antonio to Austin.
Working with others and dance are two of her greatest passions—she aims to utilize the fusion of these passions to make a positive, lasting impact on all those around her, and especially dancers!
Mandy Anstey graduated with a BFA in Dance from the University of South Florida in 2013. Amanda has performed, choreographed and trained all over the world including Paris, France and Beijing, China. After graduation, she moved to Orlando, FL where she was the lead performer for the dance theater company VarieTEASE for 5 years under the direction of Blue Star. VarieTEASE dance company has been awarded “Top Dance Company of Orlando” for the past 5 years. In 2015, Amanda received her Yoga Teaching Certification from Asheville Yoga Center.
As an educator, Amanda has produced, choreographed and directed multiple dance concerts and musical theater productions, for all ages for the past 17 years. She created two successful dance programs at Paredes Middle School (Austin, TX) and University High School Performing Arts Magnet (Orlando, FL) from ground zero. While at University High School, her impact resulted in the school receiving the national award of “Top Magnet School” in 2021. Her career in dance education values movers of all levels and promotes character building through the vehicle of dance.
Her choreography offers a fresh outlook on life. Her show “Let Go” and “Forgotten Memoirs” performed in the Orlando Fringe Festival in 2017 and 2019, both pieces were asked by patrons to perform in venues throughout the state of Florida. In 2016, the American Association of University of Women offered Amanda a grant to create a curriculum and dance film for her show, “Let Go”. The curriculum and dance film creates awareness around self-defeat and guides the viewers to become the master of their mind.
Christine Bourgeois Autin, a native of Baton Rouge, LA, has been teaching ballet for 25 years and most recently taught at Revolution Dance Company in Baton Rouge, LA. She implemented the first dance program at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge in 2006, was Director of Dance, a Pilates instructor, and Psychology teacher at Episcopal High School of Baton Rouge from 2007-2011, as well as Co-Director and choreographer of The Bridges Project for the 2008 Young! Tanzsommer Tour in Austria and Germany. Christine was also the Production Stage Manager for Debbie Allen for her productions of “Dreams”, “Just Dance”, and “All the Right Moves”, has appeared on Mario Lopez’s “Name Your Adventure” on NBC, was a guest dancer for Luciano Pavarotti’s Concert Gala in Baton Rouge, and danced with former NBA player Glen Davis, the first year of Dancing with Big Buddy.
Christine has trained around the globe, such as the Royal Ballet in London, Joffrey II in San Antonio, Joffrey Ballet in NYC, & The Rock School in Pennsylvania. She was also accepted into the School of American Ballet in NYC, Virginia School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Houston Ballet School. She was a principal dancer with Louisiana Dance Theater and Mid City Dance Project, & also performed with the Delta Festival Ballet & Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. She is certified in Kathy Corey Pilates (formerly West Coast Pilates) for Mat and small apparatus, Reformer, Wunda Chair, Spine Corrector, Cadillac, and Ladder Barrel. She is also certified in PiYo, Progressing Ballet Technique, a Merge Level I practitioner, and recently completed the Dance Teacher Training with Australian physiotherapist, Lisa Howell. She is a 200-hour RYT & member of the Yoga Alliance, a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS), a NASM Virtual Coaching Specialist, an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor, a Fascial Fitness Trainer, & an Advanced Instructor & Master Trainee with Buti Yoga, certified in all 7 formats.
Being a lifelong lover of learning, Christine is currently working on the Brain Longevity Therapy Training Certification with the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation, and will begin her 300-hour YTT & Ayurvedic Nutrition Certification this summer. Christine is excited to share her love of ballet, yoga, and fitness in and around Austin, TX, where she currently resides with her family.
Melissa Best began dancing at age 2 and has studied dance across the world from New York City to Germany. Her dance career has been very active in the local Austin community since 1999, teaching in numerous dance studios and Drill Teams in around the country. She is certified as a pre-school teacher where she is educated and trained in early childhood development and has spent the most of her adult life inspiring a love of life and dance in her students. From 2013-2020, she co-owned Evolution Dance Center and created a nurturing home for professional seeking dancers with the award winning EVOLVE Dance Company. Melissa is passionate about cultivating an environment that is safe and explorative for her dancers, challenging them to set goals, take risks, and make change. Under her direction, her dancers have received regional and national recognition and her choreography been nationally recognized and awarded. Melissa brings a fresh and exciting energy into her classroom, instilling confidence and creativity in her students. As a military wife, she is ready for anything life throws at her, and is passionate about cultivating a future of leaders that are confident, powerful, fearless, and creative. Melissa’s goal is to provide a customized dance experience for each dancer based on their own personal needs and goals and to provide a safe space to explore their growth and lead us in the future.
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!
Erin Carle began dancing at the age of 3 at Sugarland Dance Center in her home town, Houston Texas. While there she studied ballet, modern and jazz dance, later became an assistant teacher at the age of 14. At the age of 15 Erin began studying the aerial arts at The Vault in Houston. While there she became versed in silks, trapeze, triple cloud swing, contortion and flying trapeze. She danced with both her middle school and high school dance teams competing in team and solo competitions. In 2016 Erin won third place in the state at the high school level for her solo. The summer of 2017 Erin moved on to dance with the Balletforte ballet company starting as an apprentice dancer. By 2018 Erin worked her way up to dance as a corps dancer with the ballet. Under direction of Michael Banigan, Erin danced in many ballets including Don Quixote and Sleeping Beauty. Erin them moved on to dance with the UT Tyler dance team for one year where she was awarded all American status by National Dance America. Erin is now a student at Texas State University studying painting. She currently teaches dance and choreographs all over the Austin area.
Mica Carson began her dance training near Austin, TX at the age of 8, training and performing as a member of a competitive dance company. Her instructing career began at age 15 as she assisted special needs dancers of the program 2dance2dream. She continued her dance training at Hope College, earning a BA in Dance Performance & Choreography. While attending she was in H2 Dance Company and toured the Midwest, performing modern and afro-fusion works by Matt Farmer and Crystal Frazier. Her favorite performances include tapping in Chicago Tap Theatre’s holiday show and also showcasing her choreography at the Centre Du Danse De Marias in Paris, France. Mica choreographed and danced for Outlet Dance Company In Chicago and instructed dancers both in studios and as a faculty member for Activate Your Artistry Dance Convention. Now an Austin resident, she looks forward to teaching to her home community!
Krystel Conover Bio Coming Soon!
Elzanne Crause-Fields studied at Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa where she completed her national diploma in dance as a ballet major. She performed as principal dancer with Bovim Ballet, Cape Dance Company and South African National Dance Trust and as a soloist dancer with Joburg Ballet and Free Flight Dance Co. Elzanne also produced, choreographed, directed and performed ‘HOPE’, a fundraising event for South African orphans in collaboration with Young Blood Art Gallery. She was employed in South Africa by various dance companies including Tshwane Dance Theatre, Ballet Theatre African, South African Ballet Theatre (later Joburg Ballet), Darkroom Contemporary and The Fugard Theatre. Elzanne has worked with both national and international choreographers from the USA, Sweden, Canada, Netherlands, and Spain. During her employment at Tshwane Dance Theatre, her choreographic works for the company began her reputation as “one of the new and upcoming choreographers’ “, as reviewed by critics. Her accomplishments as a choreographer continued when another work entitled ‘Five’, was invited to YAGP Finals NY 2020 and won outstanding ensemble at Icon Dance Convention 2020. Her most recent work, ‘Parade’, finished top 12, 2021 YAGP L.A. Her solo ‘Morphametisis’ won top 12 YAGP 2021, junior second runner up at Dance makers Convention 2021 and 1st place at Spotlight Competition 2021.
Elzanne has also had the wonderful opportunity to teach ballet, contemporary, body conditioning and pilates for the last 5 years to some of South Africa’s and San Diego’s top young dancers. Most recently she has been training and teaching in Austin Texas, where in addition to teaching ballet, she also started teaching PBT and CTR curriculum. Two of her students finished top 12 ballet at YAGP Houston in 2021. In the same year, after 5 years of retirement from stage, she entered Ballet Beyond Borders ballet competition. She received a gold medal for her self-choreographed contemporary work “Truth to Freedom” and a bronze medal for her ballet variation from the ballet Raymonda.
Cassidy de Kooker is an accomplished, professional dancer and entrepreneur from Johannesburg, South Africa. She trained at a high-performance center for dance in South Africa with some of the best teachers and choreographers from around the world. In addition to her dancing career, she studied Exercise Science and runs her own personal training business. Cassidy is an accomplished professional dancer and choreographer who has performed with esteemed companies and artists such as Royal Flux in L.A., singer-songwriter John Legend, and the South African Ballet Theatre (now Joburg Ballet).
Kaitlyn Dupuy Bio Coming Soon!
Emily Figueroa began dancing at the age of 5 at Barbara and Tammy’s School of Dance in San Antonio, Texas. She’s trained in a variety of different styles, with a focus on Acrobatics and Jazz. She started teaching and assisting classes at 15 and has been teaching for 5 years. She is currently studying at the University of Texas at Austin pursuing a degree in Dance Education.
Kira Fredericks Kira Fredericks began dancing at the age of four at Betty Jacks School of Dance in San Marcos. It quickly became a large passion for her. While there, she practiced Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Contemporary. It was very apparent to her that she truly enjoyed the art that is dance. Later she went on to join her High School Drill team. She graduated from San Marcos High School, and is currently attending Huston Tillotson University. She is very excited, and so grateful to share her passion of dance through teaching at Balance Dance Studios.
Jordan Gilbertson (she/her) is a movement artist, instructor, and choreographer currently located in Austin, Texas. She is currently pursuing her B.F.A. in dance and B.S. in physics at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of UT Austin’s Dance Repertory Theatre (DRT). At the University of Texas at Austin, Jordan has trained under Charles Anderson, Erica Gionfriddo, Gesel Mason, Dorothy O’Shea Overbey, Leah Cox, Magda Riley, and Rachel Meador. She has studied a range of styles including afro-contemporary, postmodern techniques, contemporary techniques, and ballet. She has furthered her knowledge of dance as an artform in courses such as Choreography, Dance History, and Dance Pedagogy. As a member of DRT, she has performed in works by Ido Tadmor, Jesse Zaritt, Charles Anderson, Erica Gionfriddo, Gesel Mason, and Dorothy O’Shea Overbey. She has also served as the rehearsal assistant for Charles Anderson for his work in DRT’s Pivot. Recent performance credits include Common Conservatory Create and Perform, DRT’s Emerge, American Dance Festival’s Footprints, DRT’s Pivot, The Cohen New Works Festival, and DRT’s Fall for Dance. In the future, Jordan hopes to continue to develop artistically as a performer, instructor, and choreographer.
Avery Hampton Avery, originally from Savannah, GA, began her dance journey at the age of 3. She’s studied a variety of movement styles, including tap, jazz, acro, ballet, modern and contemporary. She graduated from Emory University in the spring of 2021 with degrees in neuroscience and dance movement studies. There she gained a deep appreciation of dance as a link between mind and body communication. Now, Avery looks forward to helping others discover their own creative voice using movement as a means for self-expression.
Shawna Hesketh Shawna 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.
Maya Hirose is a sophomore in college, having completed her first year at Pace University, in NYC, before moving to Austin to study. She studied, danced, & performed with The Pace University Dance Collective (NYC), Steps on Broadway (NYC), The Westchester Dance Academy (Mt. Kisco, NY), among other places. She has taken classes at studios throughout the Austin area, including Balance Dance Studios, as a teen, and has competed solos and on group dances on dance teams regionally and nationally. She has also taught gymnastics and acrobatics. She specializes in contemporary, jazz, acro and lyrical, but also teaches musical theater, ballet, hip-hop and tap.
Kirsten Kemp is a former professional dancer and Mindset Coach for dancers. A native of Corpus Christi, TX, Kirsten grew up dancing alongside her twin sister, Kelsey, training during the summers at programs such as San Francisco Ballet,
Houston Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre.
Anna Kerwin began dancing when she was 6. When she was 13, she decided to take her dance training to the next level and joined various competitive teams at her studio. Anna then switched to Balance Dance Studios for her senior year in order to further her artistic training by joining Ignite and AYCB. Anna is currently attending Texas State University for Exercise Sports Science and Dance. Anna has always enjoyed teaching/assisting and can’t wait to help your children learn about dance!
Monica Landois Meet Monica Landois, a Mompreneneur of two boys who inspires others to live passionately and find a fun way to move their bodies. She has been leading unique group fitness classes in Austin for over 12 years. Her fitness classes are designed to uplift you in a positive community that leaves you wanting more. She is passionate about helping others build confidence through dance and movement. It’s an extremely powerful experience that changes people’s lives all around. She facilitates a healing space through movement that empowers you. Monica is the creator of all her dance fitness routines and choreographies. She programs all her fitness classes in her own distinctive way. You have a fun experience in each class she teaches.
Monica is an Austinite and first generation here as her family originates from Monterrey, Mexico. She is bilingual and didn’t learn English until grade school. This was a challenge for her growing up. She loves encouraging others from different cultural backgrounds to create space for themselves confidently.
Monica is a true jack of all trades when it comes to Dance and Fitness. She can adapt her creative work for anything. She collaborates with other local artists, High School Dance Teams, and Businesses.
Kelsy Leyendecker 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”.
Kelsy is the Creative Director for Ignite Dance Company and Assistent Director of Elevate Performance Company. She is proud to be a part of the Austin dance community and loves teaching 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 began her dance journey at a young age, through high school and college! She continued studying Latin Fusion and Hip Hop classes at local studios in Los Angeles. While in L.A., Andi worked for a local newspaper while studying dance at local studios. However, she found her passion in teaching dance fitness classes at a local big box gym, which influenced her decision to create her own brand – the very popular JAM Dance Fit certification program, which under her direction, has now grown nationwide to over 3 states with six instructors! If you’re looking for a super fun way to have un and get fit, drop into a JAM Dance Fit class at the studio today!
Kyrie Lloyd began her dance training in Philadelphia, PA where she studied classical ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. Upon graduating high school, she attended Palm Beach Atlantic University earning a degree in dance. While at PBA, she had the opportunity to study under Demetrius Klein of Demetrius Klein Dance Company, Jin Young Lee from NYCB, and Eileen Hebron from ABT. She also performed and choreographed original work for the university’s dance ensemble. Since graduating college, she has been teaching at dance studios teaching all levels of dance, with an emphasis on ballet and modern dance. She also teaches barre fitness classes for teens and adults. She has performed for various South Florida dance companies and artists including Demetrius Klein Dance Company, REACH; A Dance Theater Collective, and Florida Grand Ballet. In addition, she has worked with MUSE Theater Company and has performed works such as CHICAGO and A Chorus Line.
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!
Chantel Mead is a seasoned vocalist, performer, recording artist, and voice educator. While she loves the stage & studio, she is also passionate about helping others more fully understand their voice, fall in love with their own unique sound, and feel truly confident with their voice in the world.
Chantel has a BFA in Musical Theater, Minor in Classical Voice, graduate work in Vocal Pedagogy, over 20 years of experience, both as a performer & educator, and is continually attending trainings to stay up to date on the most current vocal science available.
Chantel grew up in the hill country, but found herself happily tucked away in Boulder, CO after college where she lived, performed and taught for over 12 years. During her time in Boulder she was the Children’s Choir Director at Sacred Heart of Mary for 5 years, directed multiple youth musicals with multiple local performance companies, and founded her own teaching studio.
In 2010, she and her husband moved to NYC where she took a full time position as the Music Teacher and Performing Arts Director at the Stephen Gaynor School. 2013 brought the blessing of their daughter, and they decided to move back to the hill country to raise her close to Grandma & Grandpa!
Here in Austin, Chantel homeschools her daughter, runs her own voice studio (private lessons, audition & performance coaching, voice related masterclasses, & singing camps), is in her 9th year of directing the musical at the Austin Jewish Academy, and is the Youth Choir director at the First UU Church of Austin.
Jalani Miller is currently a student at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in dance! I am a military child who lived in Germany, then moved to Mississippi. My passion for dance comes from my incredible culture of the African Diaspora. I am so excited to make great memories and help create greatness in dance.
Clay Moore Originally from Houston, Clay Moore grew up as a competitive dancer. After graduating, he trained in Los Angeles and New York City where he has trained and worked with the Edge Performing Arts, Mark Morris Dance, Terrill Mitchel, and Dorrell Martin before relocating to Austin Tx. Now an Austin based choreographer and performer, he is a current company member with Blue Lapis Light where he trains and performs in aerial apparatus. He has been featured in works with ARCOS Dance, BLiPSWiTCH, Jennifer Sherburn, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, and many more. Clay has been featured in local ATX musicians music videos Including Tomar & the FCs. Clay shares his passion for movement by teaching and choreography with non-profit groups and schools in the AISD and LISD and non-profit groups. He is excited to be back with the CTDC family where he’ll be working the admin desk and hopping in to sub classes from time to time.
Makaila Natividad was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii, where she started dancing at the age of 3, and has not stopped since. She began her training in ballet at Prisma Dance Studio, adding on the genres of hip hop, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and hula. With a wide range of dance training, Makaila fell in love with contemporary and hip hop, both of which make up a big part of her movement composition. As an extension of her dance journey and training with Nicole Lam, she completed the teacher training program with Aubrey Van Benthem, in 2019, and started leading her own classes shortly after.
She was a part of various spring dance recitals, as well as dance productions that the studio produced, such as “Creation” (2016, 2018, 2021), where she was in the main cast. Through Prisma, Makaila has had the opportunity to do outreach at different homeless shelters, and create pieces with an organization, Ho’olanapua, which combats child abuse. Currently, she is a student at the University of Texas, pursuing her BFA in Dance, with a Minor in Arts Management and Administration, where she has performed in various productions, as seen in the “Cohen New Works Festival” and “Evolution” (2022).
She remains steadfast in her belief that dance transcends boundaries, and is an art form that thrives on limitless expression!
Selena Offenberg is originally from Munich, Gemany, and enjoyed a 14-year professional career; Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden and Nuremberg City Ballet, Germany; Paul Henry Dance Company, London; Concert Dance Theater, Munich; Michael Mao Dance and Dance Imprints, NYC.
Selena worked with choreographers Royston Maldoom of the Scottish Ballet and Mauricio Wainroth of Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal. She also trained with Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv; Ballet Rambert and Michael Clark in London; David Parsons and Alvin Ailey School in NYC.
In the fashion industry, Selena was a dance model in fashion shows with Nike, Reebok, Goldwell, Wella, and Mercedes Benz. Selena also worked as a personal trainer with members of the HBO Fitness Center, NYC, and in Miami. From 2007 to 2013, Selena was ballet mistress, instructor (all ages) and administrative director with the New Mexico Dance Theater School and Performance Company.
Kelsey Oliver, an Austin native, is a freelance choreographer, performer, and artist in the digs for ridiculously experimental theatre, video, and dance. As she has taught a wide swath of styles, commercial/competitive dance forms, as well as experiential post-modern explorations, Kelsey has more recently fallen in love with Momentum + Floorwork, her squirrelly take on contemporary movement. Routinely in scrappy, maximalist, humor-struck collaborations, Kelsey has worked with Frank Wo/Men Collective, Rude Mechanicals, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, Magdalena Jarkowiec, Heloise Gold, Thee Gay Agenda, Body Shift, + more. Kelsey received a B.F.A. in Dance in 2015, studying at the University of Texas at Austin and Le Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers, France. She has also been an adjudicator, choreographer, and dance instructor for studios and teams throughout Texas.
Darby Perkins grew up dancing many different styles and has always had a passion for dance. As an adult, after having three boys, she started going to dance classes again, and her love and appreciation for dance grew. She loves trying new classes and learning new skills, including bungee fitness and sling aerial, which has led her to teach those skills to adults of all ages. For her, dance isn’t onlya a way to stay active, it’s a way to build community and a fun way to improve in all aspects of personal health.
Meagan Reese grew up in Frisco, TX and began dancing at the age of two. After dancing competitively for 7 years, she started pursing singing and acting as well. She graduated from Baylor University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and immediately moved to Los Angeles upon graduating. Since then she has been pursing acting in TV/Film out in California and has worked on various films and shows. Meagan taught at a studio for 5 years in Los Angeles and absolutely loves working with kids. She is so excited to finally be back in Austin and continue to act, and help young dancers explore their creativity in dance, musical theatre and beyond!
Jak Michael Ryan was born in Melbourne, Australia. Given his parents were Austral-asian champions and his aunties and uncles: world semi finalists. All of which owned a dance studio together….there was clearly no escaping a pair of Cuban heels and a lifetime in the Ballroom/ Latin world.
Jak’s career began being coached by his family. Jak’s dedication earned him many titles in Australia, all whilst honing his teaching skills in the family studio and schools around Australia. Teaching was always just as important as learning for Jak. At the age of 18 , ever hungry, Jak decided to venture to the United States to form relationships and gain knowledge from some of his favorite dancers and the top coaches in the business. From then on, Jak continued to absorb and pass on information from some of the best dancing minds of all time. Jak has dedicated his entire life to the purity and authenticity of Latin American dance. Jak takes great pride in entertaining, educating and empowering. His mission, with his own dancing or his students has always been to create dancing you can feel instead of just see,
Dani Sanders, CPT, FMT is a wellness professional that focuses solely on dancers health, fitness, and performance. A native Texan, Dani grew up dancing in the DFW area from a young age. She was heavily involved in her dance studio as a student teacher and was captain of her drill team. She then went on to study dance in college until her early twenties when hip injuries pushed her in another direction. This is where her passion for training and educating dancers about their bodies began.
She then graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science at Texas State University, where she specialized in dancer’s strength training. Years of dance coupled with a formal education in kinesiology and physiology allow Dani to help dancers keep their bodies safe and reduce injuries so they can continue their passion for a lifetime. She has worked in fitness boutiques and dance studios across Texas as a faculty member and masterclass teacher with a focus on teaching and advocating for healthy physical, mental and emotional development of dancers.
Dani is a professional member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science as well as the National Dance Education Organization. She has contributed to many different organizations by writing articles and publications centered around dancers injury prevention training and development.
You can find Dani teaching youth classes for CTDC north and south locations as well as adult FUSE bungee fitness classes and private training sessions. When not teaching, she is hiking with her pups, taking yoga classes, or traveling the country.
Haley Sikes is a dancer, performer, choreographer, and teacher based out of the Austin area. She started dancing at the age of three, training in many different styles, with a focus on hip hop and contemporary. Haley has been teaching dance for the past five years, and her resume includes working for Prestige Dance Convention, choreographing for many Hip Hop crews all over Texas, and being a background dancer for local artists. She has a fresh new view that she uses to spark creativity among other young artists.
Ms. Haley is also the Director of the award-winning UGK Hip Hop Crew!
Paradise Taylor Paradise’s love of fitness and movement brought her to her yoga mat over 15 years ago. Her practice began in the Ashtanga lineage under the guidance of Sharon Moon. It didn’t take long for her to discover that the practice was not only good for lengthening and strengthening the muscular system but also provided a sense of balance and calm throughout her life. After years of reaping the benefits of yoga Paradise felt the desire to give back and to share yoga with others through teaching. Now a registered 500-hour Yoga Alliance instructor, Paradise combines energetic forms of yoga such as Flow and Vinyasa with quieter practices of Yin and Restorative, for a well-rounded class. In whatever style she is teaching she brings a warm, welcoming aura that empowers her students to grow in the practice by fostering a challenging and nurturing environment. She encourages playfulness, honesty, and enjoyment as each student explores and creates their individual practice and experience. Paradise believes passionately in yoga’s ability to unite oneself and those around you in a positive environment of personal growth.
Quinton Weathers started dancing at the age of eight in Austin, TX. He studied in jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, lyrical, musical theater and gymnastics at Joyce Willett School of Dance. He was a part of their youth dance company, Body Talk. Quinton won numerous scholarships from L.A. Dance Force, L.A. Underground, Urban Jamm, West Coast Dance Explosion, and New York City Dance Alliance. At twelve, he started training at the Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. There, he trained with Bill Prudich, Mandy Moore, Adam Parsons, Doug Caldwell, Malaya, Tabitha & Napoleon, Marty Kudelka, and Roger Lee, among others. Quinton’s fresh choreography and outgoing attitude have made him a sought-after teacher and choreographer. He has taught master classes all over the United States, Canada, Korea, Japan, Central America and Mexico. Quinton has judged and taught for Break the Floor Productions, Adrenaline Dance Convention, V.I.P, Showbiz National Talent Competition, Move Productions, Hall of Fame Dance Challenge and Flow 40. For five years, he taught lyrical, jazz and hip-hop at Simi Dance Center in Simi Valley, California. His students have won numerous scholarships and awards, including national titles, and have gone on to work as professional dancers. He has also had the opportunity to assist award-winning choreographer Mandy Moore in Seoul, Korea at the International Jazz Festival and at the Edge. Quinton lived in Los Angeles for five years and was represented by Bloc Talent Agency. He has worked with many famed celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Angie Stone, Snoop Dogg, Salt & Pepa, Kylie Minogue, Anastasia, Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, Solange Knowles, Yasmeen, Parker Posey and Chris Katan. His T.V. and film credits include Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “Taina,” the “2002 Olympics,” “Soul Train”, “Trading Spaces,” “Varsity Blues,” “Honey,” “Adam and Steve” and “Dreamgirls”. He has done commercials, industrials and print work for: “So You Think You Can Dance,” I-pod, Motorola, Smashbox Cosmetics, Nintendo, Diesel and Levi Jeans, Nike, 7-up and Pepsi. Quinton was also a dancer on the American Idol 2 Tour of North America. Quinton choreographed his first full musical, Legally Blonde-The Musical, at the Georgetown Place Theater. Quinton loves teaching all ages and level of dancers. His life purpose is to inspire and mentor through the art of dance.
Wyntergrace Williams was born and raised in Connecticut and began dancing, at the age of four, with African dance and ballet. Over the years, she trained and competed in Latin & Ballroom, at Maria Fiora’s Dance Studio and, when she was a pre-teen, she began training in jazz, jazz-funk, heels, ballet, hip-hop, broadway, and contemporary, at Broadway Dance Center, while being part of the Jimmy Locust Dance Company, with whom she competed and performed (in addition to her high school dance team). When she moved to Los Angeles, she trained at Millenium Dance Complex and Edge PAC, while acting in a kids sitcom, This Just In. She studied under prestigious choreographers and teachers in LA, performed in music videos, and danced in a Lifetime movie, Psycho Party Planner, and the sitcom, This Just In. Wyntergrace has extensive experience working with kids as a nanny and acting coach and is now excited to be teaching, and sharing her love for dance, with kids at Balance Dance Studios. She respects the littles and their vast imaginations, unique personalities and creativity. She also loves teaching adults because she believes in the infinite possible capabilities that each individual possesses to continue to discover about themselves, physically and mentally. She loves dance because it brings people together who share the same passion for authentic expression, through movement, music and fun, as well as the overall health benefits that dance provides. She is thrilled to be a part of Balance Dance Studios’ faculty, especially because of the supportive, encouraging, talented and community-focused environment.
Alex Wood Alex Wood is a dancer and artist, originally from Michigan. He studied dance at Marymount Manhattan College, with a concentration in choreography. Since college, he has worked with several dance companies & performance art groups, including Ann Liv Young Dance Company, as well as creating independent works.