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Dance & Fitness Instructors

Vicki Parsons, Director of the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness and Pilates Center / Community & Wellness

vicki.parsons@balletaustin.org

Vicki helped design and develop programming at Ballet Austin that now offers dance, fitness and Pilates classes to over 10,000 adults annually. Through classes, community-based programs, and Ballet Austin’s Be Well strategies, she helps promote best practices for physical and mental health and overall well-being in the Austin community.

Vicki joined Ballet Austin in 1997 after years of experience working in the field of Long Term Care, specifically in direct care as a Recreation Therapist, using therapeutic recreation as a treatment intervention to promote healing and living a healthy and well life. Vicki taught at Austin Community College and worked with several non-profit organizations to develop and present workshops to encourage and empower people through all ages and stages of life. As a Life Coach, promoting healthy living, and “living life to the fullest” continues to be one of her greatest interests and passions.

She holds the professional designations of Certified Brain Health Trainer (CBHT) and Certified Functional Aging Specialist (CFAS) as well as certifications in Senior Fitness Programming, Group Exercise, Advanced Sports Nutrition, and is a certified Fitness Business Manager. Vicki developed curriculum for and teaches Active Aging at Ballet Austin, including Better Balance & Movement, a falls prevention program, as well as other aging classes promoting physical and cognitive functions. In 2015 Vicki implemented the free BeWell Healthy Living Talks and is a requested speaker at area businesses, organizations, and conferences.

Follow Vicki: Twitter @VickiBeActive   Instagram @Vicki_BeWell  and Ballet Austin’s Be Well Youtube Channel 

Lauren Parra-Faudree, Associate Director of the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness

lauren.parra-faudree@balletaustin.org

Lauren has a BA in Sociology and Psychology with a Minor in Dance from Skidmore College in Upstate New York. Originally from Austin, Lauren began dancing at the age of 2 and never looked back! She spent her early dance years training in a variety of styles including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern and Ballroom. In College Lauren continued her dance training in Modern and Ballet, while serving as the Captain of her College Dance Team. It was in college where Lauren began to fall in love with teaching. She was a teaching assistant in the dance department while simultaneously working at a local studio and directing an after school dance program for High Schoolers with Special Needs.

After moving back to Austin in 2013, Lauren taught at a variety of studios in the Austin area while also working as a freelance performer. For many years, Lauren served as the Director of Dance for St. Gabriel’s Catholic School & St. Michael’s Catholic Academy. She was responsible for building dance curriculum for all students ranging from 5-18 years old. Lauren also served as the Head Coach for the Crusaderettes Dance Team for 6 years where she was able to focus on field performance styles while growing and leading a team of young women. She has been a favorite instructor at Ballet Austin for years, and is excited to program for and manage the future programming for the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Lauren’s knowledge of and experience teaching dance, combined with being a lifelong Austinite and her ability to connect with people, make her a great leader for the BCDF team and programming.

Follow Lauren: Instagram @laurenwhodances and Youtube

Vlada Sheber, Pilates Program Director & Master Instructor

vlada.sheber@balletaustin.org

Originally from the Ukraine, Vlada Sheber received her training in classical ballet from the State Classical Ballet College of Russia (Voronezh.) Vlada performed as a soloist in the Donetsk Ballet Theatre before immigrating to the United States. She was a company member with Ballet Austin from 1992-2003.

In 2002, Vlada received her diploma as a Certified Core Connections® Pilates Instructor from the Core Connections® Comprehensive Teacher Training Program at the Pilates Center of Austin. There she studied under Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle.

In 2007 Vlada was named Program Director for Ballet Austin’s Pilates Center, participating in both the original design of the Center and expansion in 2015.

In 2009, she attended a training under Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle and Michele Larsson providing insight and approaches into working with older clients. In 2010 Vlada attended the Pink Pilates Program training in Houston, Texas and became a certified Post-Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist. Having worked with breast cancer survivors continuously since 2010, she further developed a specialized rehabilitative workout for breast cancer survivors to include humor and compassion; Ballet Austin’s Pink Pilates.

Vlada also has trained extensively in a physical therapy clinic under Allison Bennett (Women’s Health specialist) which expanded her knowledge of anatomy and Pilates rehabilitation. She has developed Pilates workouts specifically for osteoporosis, scoliosis, and chronic back pain.

In 2005 she was acknowledged as a “Pre-eminent Purveyor of Pilates” by Austin Monthly Magazine. In recognition of Ballet Austin’s commitment to excellence, Ballet Austin’s Pilates Center was a past recipient of “Best Pilates Studio in Austin” by Rare Magazine and Austin Fit Magazine. In 2021 Vlada was voted BEST PILATES INSTRUCTOR in Austin by Austin Fit Magazine.

Vlada’s knowledge and approach to her practice of Pilates make her a highly requested master Pilates instructor.

To see Vlada’s Group Pilates teaching schedule click here. To book a private Pilates reformer session email Vlada.

Leah B, Dance Instructor

Leah B has a BA in Dance and Mass Communication/Public Relations. In addition, she received her Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

At an early age, Leah B discovered an undeniable passion to choreograph and perform on stage. Leah is a former drill/dance team Captain who won many awards such as 1st runner up in solo division, Miss High Kick, and the Gussie Neil Davis award, to name a few. She trained and worked with many renowned local and national choreographers and artists such as Tyrese Gibson, Rasheeda, Tyce Diorio, Hi-Hat, Frank Gatson, Alvin Ailey’s Matthew Rushing, Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler. She was recently appointed a spot as an Alumni dance member with the Galen Hooks Project.
Leah has taught dance in public schools for 12 years. She enjoys teaching summer dance camps, judging dance contests, and presenting at conventions such as TDEA and TAHPERD. She worked as a professional dancer and earned her many accolades in Texas, Washington, D.C, New York, and Los Angeles.

Leah is a firm believer of “finding your own rhythm and swag” in her dance classes. She promotes positive self efficacy as well as learning to how to “feel good in your own skin.” Currently, Leah is doctoral student working on a Ed.D in Organizational Leadership. She is also a proud Pandemic Newlywed!

Leah rocked the crowd as she performed as a contestant on NBC’s 2022 dance show “Dancing with Myself” hosted by Shakira,  Nick Jonas, and Liza Koshy.

Click here to see Leah’s schedule and take a class! Follow Leah on Instagram!

Pei-San Brown, Hula Instructor

Pei-San teaches Hula (Hawaiian Dance) at Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness. She has danced with Disney Entertainment Arts (Los Angeles), Third Coast Jazz (Austin), Austin Musical Theatre (Austin), Halau Ho’ola Ka Mana O Hawai’i (Dallas and Houston), and as a featured dancer in the movie Miss Congeniality (2000). She taught undergraduate and graduate education courses at The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education and was the co-founder of an educational research firm. She has been involved in research funded by The Wallace Foundation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the National Institutes for Child and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Her publications include The Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds (2004), the CPSC’s Age Determination Guidelines: Relating Children’s Ages to Toy Characteristics and Play Behavior (2002), as well as numerous chapters and articles in the field of early childhood education.

Pei-San holds a Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin and has completed her doctoral course work in the same field. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Pedagogy and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of California at Irvine. She also holds the title of Kumu Hula, which is equivalent to a graduate degree in the study of hula.

Daniel Broxton, Hip Hop Instructor

Daniel has been dancing since he was eight years old and started his dance career in 2014. He is from Austin, Texas and grew up dancing in the South Austin area. His favorite movement is hip hop, grooves, and house dance. He currently coaches dancers how to be their best selves, elevate skill and performance quality, while also directing his adult exhibition team, New Genesis. He is a strong believer in maintaining the culture of dance styles, teaching foundation first, and allowing dance to be therapeutic and healing.

Alexa Capareda, Ballet Instructor

Alexa Capareda was born in the Philippines, where she began her dance training at Ballet Regina, following the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum. She attended the study program of the Ecole Superieure de Ballet Contemporain de Montreal in Canada, where she trained under renowned classical and contemporary artists and performed with Le Jeune Ballet du Quebec in works by Gioconda Barbuto, Shaun Hansell, and Jean-Louis Morin. While in Montreal, she performed as a guest soloist with Ballet Ouest in their production of “The Nutcracker.” In 2011, Alexa joined Mario Radacovsky’s newly formed contemporary company, Balet Bratislava, in Slovakia, as one of 16 original company members. Aside from working with Radacovsky on the company’s repertoire of neoclassical and contemporary works, Alexa had the privilege of performing Jiri Kylian’s Falling Angels and Six Dances and performing creations by Libor Vaculik, Sarka Ondrisova, and Jan Durovcik.

Alexa has been teaching ballet and contemporary at Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness since 2013. She also dances professionally with Austin-based Arcos Dance and has performed with Andrea Beckham Dance Collaborative and Jennifer Hart’s Performa/Dance. Alexa received a BA in English with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015.

Click here to see Alexa’s schedule and take a class!

Ivana Castaneda, Latin Dance Instructor

Ivana Castaneda was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She moved to Dallas, Texas 9 years ago where she graduated from Booker T. Washington High school for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Ivana recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.F.A in Dance and a Business minor.
She has studied the disciplines of salsa, flamenco, modern, ballet, African dance, jazz, hip hop, Ballroom, and others. She trained and competed professionally in salsa dancing as a soloist and in a group with Calirumba Salsa Dance Academy. She has taught salsa, bachata at Calirumba and was an instructor at Flamingo Rhythmic Gymnastics Club for two years.
She currently is an instructor and a choreographer at Connections Dance company where she teaches ballet, hip hop, acro, Latin Fusion and jazz.
She is happy to join Ballet Austin as a Latin Fusion instructor.
Click here to see Ivana’s schedule.

Sophie Chkaiban, Contemporary Dance Instructor

Sophie Chkaiban, a vibrant dance instructor, brings her diverse background and multifaceted passions to the world of dance. Hailing from a suburb of Dallas and of Lebanese-American heritage, Sophie’s cultural influences fuel her creative expression.

During her adolescent years, Sophie found her calling in dance, sparking a lifelong passion for performance and instruction. While earning her Master of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Texas A&M University in 2024, Sophie also discovered her affinity for marketing and advertising, which she now enjoys alongside her dance pursuits, with the management of her own floral business.

With a profound appreciation for the expressive power of movement, Sophie finds joy in choreography and exploring various dance forms and genres. Her versatility as a dancer allows her to connect with students on multiple levels, inspiring them to find their own unique voices through movement. Based in Texas, she is deeply immersed in the regional dance scene, leveraging her diverse background and network to make meaningful contributions to the community. The very exciting news is that Sophie is now a part of the Houston Texans football team professional dance/cheer team!

Taylorann Evans, Contemporary Dance Instructor

Growing up in Boise, Idaho Taylorann danced competitively at various local dance studios until transitioning into company work, and developing her artistry and future as a professional dancer. After graduating high school from Fresco Arts Academy, Taylorann set out to Nevada to focus on a dance major from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. While accepted into the commercial program to train with many distinguished teachers in various styles, Evans simultaneously worked for Spotlight Dance Cup as a stagehand across the USA as well as a Showgirl entertainer across the Vegas Strip.

In recent years, Taylorann completed her college education with her BBA in Entrepreneurial Management and a minor in dance from Boise State University. While attending BSU, Taylorann became a principal dancer with Idaho’s contemporary company, Idaho Dance Theatre as well as the Co-Director of FUSE Dance Collaboration. She has been fortunate to wear many hats such as directing the ballet program at The Spot Dance Studio and serving as the Head Coach for the Idaho Horseman Lady Spurs.

Taylorann has lived in Austin for 2 years working as an analyst for a software company, while teaching ballet and contemporary dance. Through training and freelance performances, she continues to hone her craft and most importantly, she strives to share her passion with the city through movement to heal, celebrate and love. She is thrilled to be a part of the Ballet Austin family.

Danielle Cortier, Ballet Instructor

Danielle is originally from South Bend, Indiana. After graduating from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in Dance Education, she moved to NYC where she worked as a freelance performer and dance educator for 13 years. On top of freelance performance work, she danced with several companies including Eidolon Ballet in Concert and Mariana Bekerman Dance Company. She has performed all over NYC and the East Coast, including the Lincoln Center “Out of Doors” Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and City Center Studios. She has also performed abroad in Japan. Danielle’s national credits include back up dancing for Twenty One Pilots on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Teaching has always been a large part of her life, and she taught at Ballet Academy East on the Upper East Side during her time in NYC. Danielle enjoys teaching students of all ages in many forms of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and Contemporary. She has been a Dancer, Assistant Choreographer, and US Company Manager with Keiko Fujii Dance Company based in Osaka, Japan since 2015.

Click here to see Danielle’s schedule.

Lisa del Rosario (Hueske), Feldenkrais Instructor

Lisa began her dance studies at the Margo Marshall School of Ballet and the Cleveland San Jose School of Ballet. She continued her training as a Heywood “Woody” McGriff Presidential Scholarship student at the University of Texas at Austin where she received her BFA in Dance. She also studied classical piano and violin for many years and in her later years Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, qigong, Droznin System, Vipassana Meditation, and the Feldenkrais Method® of movement education.

Lisa has danced professionally in the Philippines with The Philippine National Folk Dance Company, Bayanihan. She currently is a member of DA! Theatre Collective and Sheep Army/Elsewhere Dance Theatre, and also performs her own solo work, along with independent choreographers, locally, nationally, and internationally. She has taught and choreographed at the Dougherty Arts School, the McCallum High School Fine Arts Academy, Tapestry, and The Texas Arts Project at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. Lisa is thrilled to be teaching at the Ballet Austin Academy and Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Katherine Deuitch, Ballet Instructor

Katie is a member of Ballet Austin’s professional company. She is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. She began her pre-professional training at Minnesota Dance Theatre under the direction of Lise Houlton and went on to become an apprentice with the professional company at age 16. She attended summer intensives at the Juilliard School, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, DanceWorks Chicago, Boston Ballet, and the School of American Ballet (SAB). In 2014, she was invited to solidify her professional training as a part of SAB’s winter term. She participated in multiple NY Choreographic Institutes including choreography by Dana Genshaft and Peter Walker as well as her own. She performed Jerome Robbins’ Fanfare as well as George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments in the annual SAB Workshop performances.

Upon graduation, Katie danced in Ballet Austin TWO for two years before her promotion to the company in 2018. With Ballet Austin, she has performed in works by Stephen Mills, Jennifer Hart, Michelle Thompson, Paul Vasterling, Thang Dao, and Septime Webre. Her most notable performances include soloist and principal roles in George Balanchine’s Rubies, Amy Seiwart’s Traveling Alone, as well as Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Symbiotic Twin. She also enjoyed dancing Odette/Odile in Stephen Mills’ staging of Swan Lake and as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.

In the off-season, Katherine is a member of project-based contemporary company Performa/Dance. In conjunction with her dance career, she has completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification, teaches in the Ballet Austin Academy, and is a part-time student.

Kaelie Geiser, Ballet Instructor

Kaelie Geiser has a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance from the Boston Conservatory, where she had the opportunity to dance lead roles in Twyla Tharp’s Eight Jelly Rolls, Dwight Rhoden’s Hissy Fits, and Trey McIntyre’s Blue Until June Suite.

After graduating, Kaelie joined Nashville Ballet as a second company member where she danced in productions including Paul Vasterling’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Kaelie also danced the principal role of Anne in Gina Patterson’s Anne Frank while on tour with the second company.

Kaelie began teaching ballet in 2011, and decided to pursue her passion for teaching full time in 2017. Kaelie was on the dance faculty at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy (Laguna Hills, CA), OC Music and Dance (Irvine, CA), and Odyssey Dance Academy (Newport Beach, CA) until she relocated to Austin, TX. Now Kaelie continues to share her love and knowledge of ballet with dancers at Ballet Austin. She teaches both at Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness in downtown Austin as well as Ballet Austin’s Dance Studio at the Dell Jewish Community Center.

Jennifer Hart, Ballet Instructor

In addition to teaching for the Ballet Austin Academy and Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness,  Jennifer pursues an active career as a choreographer. Jennifer Hart has been commissioned by Ballet Austin, Ballet Austin ll, Ballet Nouveau Colorado (now Wonderbound), James Sewell Ballet, Minnesota Dance Theater, The Walker Art Center’s Momentum Series, The McKnight Fellowship for Dancers, Metropolitan Ballet Project, University of Kansas, University of Massachusetts, Lawrence Ballet Theatre, and Merick Strategies for its production of Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass” and “Icons of Broadway Holiday Spectacular.” Upcoming commissions include Ballet Austin and Halcyon Dance Project in San Francisco, California.

In 2014, she formed Performa/Dance with Ballet Austin dancer Edward Carr. Performa/Dance launched its inaugural show. Ignite: Three Works, in June, 2014. Her work for Performa/Dance was awarded four Austin Critic’s Table awards for Best Short Work (“On Truth and Love”and “Camille: A Story of Art and Love”), Best Choreographer (“Fellow Travelers” and “Murmuration”), and Best Dance Concert (Ignite: Three Works). Along with her work in concert dance, she has choreographed and performed cabaret shorts for nightclubs and television. She recently choreographed and co-directed the epic Bernstein’s Mass, a work involving 300 performers.

She trained at Minnesota Dance Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Her performing career includes Minnesota Dance Theater, Ballet of the Dolls, and L.A Chamber Ballet, as well as independent choreographers.

Heather Haycock, Dance Instructor

Heather has been dancing since she was four years old. She danced competitively on many teams and companies from age seven through college. She choreographed for dance teams at Dellos Dance studio in Southern California and Millennium Dance Complex in Denver, Colorado.

Heather was a Laker Girl for three seasons and danced with Rihanna, Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz and Drake.
She is excited to be teaching at Ballet Austin, and cannot wait to spread light and joy through the beautiful movement of dance.

Click here to see Heather’s schedule.

Arletta Howard-Logan

Arletta Howard-Logan, Ballet Instructor

Arletta began her relationship with Ballet Austin as a guest dancer in 1992. She has been on faculty since 1996, when the Austin Dance Academy (ADA), which she co-owned from 1986-1996, merged with the Ballet Austin Academy.

During her career, Arletta has focused on artistic direction, teaching, performing and choreographing for such establishments as Austin Ballet Theatre, Austin Conservatory of the Arts, San Angelo Civic Ballet, and Northcross Mall’s ice skaters. As a performer, she danced for institutions including Ballet Austin, Austin Ballet Theatre, Incarnate Word College Ballet in San Antonio, Corpus Christi Concert Ballet, Victoria Ballet Theatre, and Beaumont Civic Ballet.

Her professional experience, as well as the education she received as an aspiring dance pupil, helped to shape her distinctive approach to teaching dance. Arletta trained with the Royal Academy of Dancing Majors, earning various awards and accolades for her ballet technique. She has also studied with Oklahoma City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and several other schools and companies. Arletta enjoys making ballet available to both professional and non-professional dancers through her instruction at the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Click here to see Arletta’s schedule.

Vivian Kaw

Vivian Kaw, Hawaiian Dance Instructor

Vivian was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She began taking hula lessons from her mother, a hula teacher. These lessons eventually grew into a deep love of Hawaiian dance and culture. Vivian studied hula with Kumu Hula Keli’i Chang’s Halau Ho’ola Ka Mana O Hawai’i in Houston, Tx, and also studied with Kumu Hula Ellen Gay Delarosa (Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie, HI), Kumu Hula Keith Awai (Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie, HI), Kumu Hula Lorraine Daniels (Honolulu, HI), Kumu Hula Paul Ho’omanawanuiikana’auao Apo (Honolulu, HI), and Joyce Flaugher (San Antonio, TX).

She competed in the prestigious Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in April 2006 with Kumu Chang. She is a founding member of the Island Rhythms Hula Company in Austin, and is its current Artistic Director.

Stacey Huston, Dance Instructor

After graduating from UT with a Business degree, Stacey moved to the L.A. area to pursue her passion for dance and musical theater. She attended The University of California at Irvine and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Dance, Theater and open-by-audition Choreography program. At UCI and an away-program in NYC, she studied dance, voice and acting under such renowned greats as Susan Stroman, Uta Hagen, Donald McKayle and Harry Garland to name a few.

It was while she was in school that Stacey “stumbled” on to a Fred Astaire Ballroom Dance studio and joined their training program. She fell in love with the style and has been involved in partner dancing for over 35 years now. She is certified through the highest levels and competed heavily in International Latin for 3 years. Her national competition rankings include many top six placements, and upon completion of her competing career in 1998, she was ranked 7th in the U.S. and 13th in the World.

She has continued training in, performing, choreographing and instructing ballroom, partnering, jazz and musical theater for over 30 years. Her vast experience includes feature films, television appearances, commercials, special gala events, and stage productions. Her more recent performance work involved live productions in theaters and hotels in California, New York, Philadelphia, and finally overseas on cruise ships. She has quite literally been around the world and back many times over.
Stacey calls Austin home and enjoys teaching, coaching and choreographing locally, as well as being a public school teacher and director in Drama, Dance and Theatre. She has choreographed over 25 musicals for youth in Austin. Working with high schools, colleges, community theater, studios and outreach programs remains a strong passion and inspiration in a continued wonderful and blessed career.

Jean-Claude Lessou

Jean-Claude Lessou, West African Dance Instructor

Jean-Claude was born and raised in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in West Africa. He began dancing professionally at age 15, and performed with the Dante Theater Company for five years before touring the U.S. as principal dancer with Ballet Jolem. He regularly performs and teaches at dance camps and festivals throughout the U.S. He produced a special event for children at the Kennedy Center, performing masked dances from his own village. During the past 10 years, he taught at Lisangua Ya Bato Dance and Drum Camp in Woodstock, New York and worked with students and faculty at Goddard College, Saint Michael’s College, Middlebury College and Norwich University in Vermont. For the past several years, he has choreographed and taught classes at “Africa in the Ozarks”, a West African dance camp in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. He was also the lead choreographer for the Lannaya West African Drum and Dance Ensemble in Austin. Today he works regularly with high schools and dance studios around Austin to choreograph professional and student performances.

Click here to see Jean-Claude’s schedule.

Kerin Martinez, Dance & Fitness Instructor

Kerin began studying tap, musical theatre, jazz, and ballet at the age of seven in Northern California. She was a varsity dance line member and choreographer for both her high school and junior college dance teams. She began teaching tap at the age of sixteen at the Katherine Wheeler Dance Studio in Santa Rosa, California. At eighteen she was hired as a drama and dance instructor for the West County Theatre Arts Guild in Petaluma, California. Before moving to Austin, Texas, she lived in Anaheim, California where she spent 4 years performing dancing, singing, and character roles in parades and stage shows at The Disneyland Resort, which was a dream come true!

Keren is fascinated by movement theory and the inspiring, healing power of dance. Her teaching style is upbeat, welcoming and positive.
In addition to over 20 years of dance teaching experience and expertise, she continues her education as a dancer by taking dance classes, regional convention classes and traveling to dance workshops each summer. She holds an ACE Certification for Group Fitness Instruction and is a 2021 graduate of the Yoga, Meditation & SEL Certificate from Breathe For Change. She specializes in musical theatre, tap, lyrical, jazz, and kick line choreography, and she is overjoyed to be teaching classes for the Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance and Fitness.

Emily McLaughlin, Barre Fitness Instructor

 

Emily McLaughlin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance from the University of Utah. In her last year of school (2009-2010), she joined Ballet Austin II to dance professionally while completing her degree. Emily danced professionally with Ballet Austin II, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, and Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. Upon the conclusion of her professional ballet career, she became a 500 R-YTT Yoga Teacher. She moved on to use her ballet and yoga background to manage a local Austin fitness studio and help it thrive.

Mia Moi, Contemporary and Tap Dance Instructor

Beginning dance at age three, Mia has maintained multidisciplinary training in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip hop, jazz, and tap. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas, where she trained with the pre-professional company, BalletForte, under Michael Banigan and Dianne Jarrell. She also served as captain of the Dulles Dolls Dance Team under the mentorship of Angela Hayes.
Currently, Mia attends the University of Texas at Austin for Communication & Leadership and Psychology. As an undergraduate student, she is the director of Steel Dance Company. She also performs with local companies, such as ARCOS and Early Era Collective, and teaches at various studios in the Austin area.

Mia aspires to continue her passion for dance throughout her future career and is grateful to give back to Ballet Austin and Butler Center community.

Selena Offenberg

Selena Offenberg, Ballet Instructor

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. Selena is a favorite instructor at Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Rohit Ramachandran, Bollywood Dance Instructor

Rohit graduated with a distinction in Attakkalari’s Diploma in Movement Arts and Mixed Media, and he has studied & trained in Bharatanatyam, Ballet and Contemporary dance techniques.

He has great energy and teaches a super-fun class!

Jason Rhodes, Hip Hop Dance Instructor

Jason Rhodes is from the Austin area. After growing up in a studio he now travels to take classes in Dallas, Houston, and L.A.
Jason is an award winning choreographer and is currently the Creative Director for New Genesis a performance based company. He was also a part of Austin’s competitive team EPEK for two seasons, has danced for a local artist, performed for Old Navy and done a multitude of other dance gigs in and out of Austin.
Jason has been teaching for 6 years and strives to bring out the best dancer in all of his students, using techniques and skills he has picked up over the years.

Click here to see Jason’s schedule.

Megan Richard

Megan Richard, Certified Pilates Instructor and Ballet Instructor

Megan began training in ballet at the age of four in Lake Charles, La. She was first introduced to Pilates in 2001 through her studies in dance. She quickly noticed how effective the exercises were in strengthening and toning the body, as well as helping enforce proper alignment and aiding in injury prevention. Recognizing the compliment to her ballet technique, she continued practicing Pilates throughout her performing career.

In 2008, Megan received her Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts with a concentration in Photography from McNeese State University and began teaching ballet while continuing to dance.

Megan is enthusiastic about pursuing a career that promotes a healthy, active lifestyle for herself and others while staying involved in the Arts. She began her Balanced Body Comprehensive Training with Susan Clark in 2017. She attended Pilates on Tour in 2018 and had the opportunity to receive continuing education from Shari Berkowitz, Diedra Manns, Karen Clippinger, Tom McCook, and Joy Puleo.

Megan is a Balanced Body-trained and PMA® Certified Pilates Instructor.

To see Megan’s Group Pilates reformer teaching schedule click here. To see Megan’s drop-in dance & fitness and Pilates mat classes click here.

To book a private Pilates reformer session with Megan email the Pilates Center.

Lucy Record, Ballet Instructor

Lucy Record received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance at the University of Texas in 1977.

Lucy was awarded summer scholarships to American Ballet Theatre, performed with the Houston Allegro Ballet Company, the European tour of “The International Festival of Youth Orchestras and Ballet,” Austin Ballet Theatre, New York’s modern company, Facets, and New Jersey’s The Whole Theatre’s Modern Company.

She has been a musical theater choreographer in more than 50 musicals. She taught ballet in the Los Angeles area for years before moving to Austin.

Lucy travels during the summer choreographing for summer productions.

Click here to see Lucy’s schedule.

KC Shonk, Contemporary Dance Instructor

KC started dancing at age two and hasn’t stopped. Originally from Southeastern Michigan, she grew up dancing competitively at Spotlight Dance Works and is heavily influenced by her time training under nationally recognized teachers and choreographers, Sonya Tayeh, Liz Schmidt, Brooke Pierotti, Lauren Adams, and Meg Paul. She went on to study at the University of Michigan, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Business Administration. During her time at U of M, she was also a member of the Michigan Dance Team, for which she performed during the home football games, men’s and women’s basketball games, traveled to bowl games and tournaments, and competed annually at the Universal Dance Association (UDA) College Nationals. As a dance major, she had the privilege to perform in works such as Camile A. Brown’s, City of Rain and Sandra Torjiano’s, Impetus and produced an evening-length showcase that included a 10-minute original work, The Human Condition for Now, and solo, Something Along the Lines of Change.

After graduation, KC danced professionally for the Chicago Bulls as a Luvabull and taught dance classes and workshops in the Chicagoland area, while also working as an Account Director for a fitness and wellness company, LulaFit. She has recently settled in Austin and is now an Account Manager at Square, Inc.

KC is trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and pom and feels contemporary is her body’s native language. She has experience teaching students of all ages and levels and loves sharing her passion for movement. In her classes, she empowers her students to get exactly what they want out of the class – whether that’s a good workout, a new skill, improved technique, an exploration of self-expression, and/or a fun new experience. It is her goal to make dance for everyone!

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Dereke’ Thompson, Hip Hop Instructor

Derekè Thompson started his dance career in Chicago Ill., in 2006 with the performance dance group “Dance2XS”.

He was later invited to audition for Janet Jackson in Los Angeles, where he was also selected for the Monsters of Hip Hop show under the direction of Tabitha & Napoleon. These opportunities led to featured roles in several commercials choreographed by Lisette Bustamante, Kevin Maher, Tony Testa & more.

Derekè has been a stand-in dancer for MTV’s ABDC & assistant choreographer on FOX’s SYTCD. He has toured internationally with artists Kat Deluna, Amei (Tiawan artist), and Anahi (Latin artist). Derekè lived in Mexico City for 5 years where he worked as a judge for Hip Hop International and Infinity Dance Studio. Derekè continued to teach, and also choreographed various tours including Belinda & Gloria Trevi.

He now resides in Austin where he’s been teaching Hip Hop at Ballet Austin for 2 years.

Click here to see Derekè’s schedule.

Jenny Trejo, Dance & Dance Fitness Instructor

Jenny is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo where she received her BA in Dance. While in school, Jenny had the opportunity to perform and choreograph in numerous concert dance shows in styles ranging from jazz to contemporary to modern. She was given the opportunity to collaborate her choreography with Digital Poetry media as well as choreograph for the Department’s second company. Jenny has studied with artists from Jazz Dance World Congress, River North Jazz Dance Chicago, Paul Taylor Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, LehrerDance, Urban Bush Women, San Francisco Ballet and Giordano Dance Chicago.

When not teaching, Jenny is the owner and lead event planner with RosePOP Parties. We are so excited to have Jenny back on the weekly schedule for summer 2023.

Sydney Vila, Dance Instructor Instructor

Originally from Texas, Sydney graduated from Oklahoma City University with her Bachelors of Science in Dance Management. She performed in several major productions while in college.

After college she was fortunate to spend several years on the high seas performing with Norwegian Cruise Line. Some of her performance credits include productions of Footloose, 9 to 5, Legally Blonde, and Carousel.
Sydney is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.
Sydney is thrilled to be a part of the Butler Center for Dance and Fitness family and teach when she is available!
Ramsay Wall

Ramsay Wall, Fitness, Pilates, & Dance Fitness Instructor

Ramsay has taught many forms of movement for more than 15 years. She began teaching spin classes in 2001 and then ventured into Pilates and yoga. In the last few years, Ramsay has expanded her fitness repertoire to teach dance fitness classes, fusion classes, and barre. She is a registered Yoga teacher (E-RYT 200), a certified mat Pilates instructor, a certified barre instructor, a licensed Dance-Fit instructor, and has a general group exercise certification through AFAA.

Her primary goal is to make her students feel at home, happy, and healthy in her classes. She takes pride in doing so, and loves what she does! You will enjoy her upbeat and personal teaching style.

To see Ramsay’s Group Pilates reformer teaching schedule click here. To see Ramsay’s drop-in dance fitness & fitness classes click here.

To book a private Pilates reformer session with Ramsay email the Pilates Center.

Juliet Wallace, Ballet Instructor

Juliet trained at Texas Ballet Theater under the direction of Ben Stevenson. She trained in the pre-professional academy in the Royal Academy of Dance and performed annually at the Youth America Grand Prix as well as various Jazz and Contemporary Conventions throughout DFW.

A 2019 graduate of Texas Tech University (Dance Major and Public Relations and Health Professions Minor in undergrad,) and a 2022 Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Certificate in Urban Nonprofit Management, Juliet continues to explore career opportunities in government, nonprofit, and private-sector work. Juliet worked with the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts further gaining knowledge in how to sustainably connect a community of visual and performing artists with the general public.

Juliet teaches adult ballet at Ballet Austin’s Dance Studio at the Dell Jewish Community Center.

Carla Wright, Ballet Instructor

Carla danced in the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet, and trained at Central PA Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. She is happy to be back at Ballet Austin where she has taught children and adults since 2005.

Carla especially loves teaching beginning adults in an approachable and fun manner. When not teaching or dancing, Carla works as a speech pathologist at the Texas School for the Blind and enjoys performing in community theater musical productions.

She lives in Austin with her husband, three children, and a rather large German Shepherd

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