Dance & Fitness Instructors
Vicki Parsons, Director of the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness and Pilates Center
Vicki helped design and develop programming that now offers dance, fitness, and Pilates classes to over 11,000 adults annually. The encouragement of health and well-being is part of Ballet Austin’s mission. Through classes, community-based programs, and BeWell (wellness) Talks, Vicki helps promote health and well-being in the Austin community through the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
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 improve overall wellness. Vicki taught at Austin Community College and worked with several non-profit organizations to develop and present workshops on health and well-being. As a Life Coach, promoting physical activity and wellness to people of all ages continues to be one of her greatest interests and passions. She is an avid believer that recreation is therapeutic.
She holds the professional designation of Certified Brain Health Trainer (CBHT) from the Functional Aging institute, as well as certifications in Senior Fitness Programming, Group Exercise, Advanced Sports Nutrition, and is a certified Fitness Business Manager. Vicki developed curriculum for the ACTIVE AGING program, including classes for falls prevention and workout classes promoting physical and cognitive functions in older adults. In 2015 Vicki implemented the free BeWell Healthy Living Talks and is a requested speaker at area businesses, organizations, and conferences.
Her advice is simple, “Find your recreation. It’s your life, your health, YOU are in control. Be active. Be resilient, Be well!”
Vlada Sheber, Pilates Program Director & Master Instructor
Originally from 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 member of Ballet Austin from 1992-2003 and danced a variety of classical and contemporary roles, including the original Lady Capulet in Stephen Mills’ Romeo & Juliet.
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. As Ballet Austin’s Master Pilates instructor she is highly requested.
In 2005 she was acknowledged as a “Pre-eminent Purveyor of Pilates” by Austin Monthly Magazine. And in 2007 Vlada was appointed Director of the Butler Community School’s Pilates Program. She designed the layout of the original Pilates studio and has worked closely with the Bommarito Group during the expansion of Ballet Austin’s Pilates Center.
In January 2013 Vlada was voted “Best 2012 Pilates Instructor in Austin” by Austin Fit Magazine. Vlada’s knowledge and approach to her practice of Pilates make her a highly requested Master Instructor. Vlada is also a Post-Rehabilitative Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist and has developed a specialized rehabilitative workout for breast cancer survivors.
Stephanie Albrecht, Associate Director of the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness
As Associate Director of the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness and the Pilates Center, Stephanie oversees the design, execution, and evaluation of new and ongoing programs that connect the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness and Pilates Center with other Ballet Austin programs and community partners. She manages ongoing research and evaluation of Pilates client acquisition, the client experience, and retention. Stephanie works with the Director to develop ongoing best practices for the Customer Experience Team and MINDBODY management.
Stephanie teaches POUND – Rockout. Workout® and PlyoJam® cardio dance classes at the Butler Center. She is an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor and a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP®). She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin.
Jenny Alperin, Dance & Fitness Instructor
Jenny graduated from SUNY Buffalo where she received her Bachelor of Arts 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.
She is a certified Zumba Instructor and is working towards her Personal Trainer Certification. Jenny has also taught children’s dance classes and especially loves working with young children. She is also passionate about dance and fitness and is loves sharing her knowledge at the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
Max Azaro, Company Dancer and Ballet Instructor
Max is a member of Ballet Austin’s professional company.
Max began dancing under Risa Kaplowitz, Director of Princeton Dance and Theater (PDT) Studio in Princeton, N.J. In 2014, Max began studying at American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School after winning a full scholarship through Youth American Grand Prix. He trained at the JKO School from 2014-2017, first under Franco De Vita and then Cynthia Harvey. In 2016 Max was awarded the prestigious Northern Trust Scholarship. Max spent his summers at PDT, Orlando Ballet School, the Chautauqua Institute, and American Ballet Theatre, N.Y. He also studied at the Amsterdam International Summer School, IBStage in Barcelona, and International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague. He began performing at age 12 with Princeton Youth Ballet. While at the JKO school, Max performed Jeremy McQueen’s original work, Garden of Dreams, at the Ballet Across America Gala. He performed the Paquita Grand Pas de Deux and George Balanchine’s La Source at JKO’s year-end performance.
Courtney Borrero, Dance fitness Instructor
Courtney Borrero is a born and raised Austin girl, who started dancing by the age of 5. She trained at many different dance studios around South Austin and studied different types of dance growing up. She then became involved in her middle and high school drill teams where she really found her love for jazz and hip hop. During college, she became a certified group fitness instructor for dance fitness and traveled to Dallas back and forth to train and learn the fast pace professional dance team Pom/hip hop style. Courtney has experience teaching a range of ages and levels. She hopes to bring out joy, confidence, and sassiness in all of her students with dance.
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.
Dane Burch, Contemporary Dance Instructor
Dane was raised in northwest Oregon where he started dancing at the age of 10. After high school, he was awarded a scholarship to Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. He trained there for several years, preparing him for the performance industry. Dane has worked with choreographers such as Mandy Moore, Malaya, JT Horenstein, Terri Best, and many more. He has worked with MTV, danced on the NBC show “American Dreams” and has performed and choreographed numerous live shows around the L.A. area. In 2008 he ended a five-year run working with Tremaine Dance Conventions and he has been traveling the United States judging for Creations Dance Championships.
Dane currently lives in Austin where he teaches dance and choreographs for private studios and local high schools. He was a part of the professional development of Austin Independent School District dance teachers. He has also helped in the production of live shows benefiting charities around the U.S. He is enjoying sharing his talents with the dance community of Austin.
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.
Lisa del Rosario, 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.
James Fuller, Company Dancer and Ballet Instructor
James Fuller a Ballet Austin company dancer, originally from Irvine, Calif. James trained at Ballet Pacifica Conservatory. In 2004, James received a Youth America Grand Prix scholarship to study at the Boston Ballet School, where he completed his final year of training. James apprenticed with Oregon Ballet Theatre for a year before enrolling at Harvard University. At Harvard, James performed works by choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and Alvin Ailey. In the summers, James studied modern dance with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Dance Festival, and Beijing LDTX. James directed the Harvard Ballet Company in 2009 and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy, a secondary field in dramatic arts, and a language citation in Urdu-Hindi. Since joining Ballet Austin, James has performed in original works by Stephen Mills, including Luminaria and Though the Earth Gives Way, danced in Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante, performed with the National Choreographers Initiative, and choreographed for Houston City Dance.
Jared Hale, Hip Hop Instructor
Jared teaches hip hop to both kids and adults at Ballet Austin.
He started learning hip hop when he was 13 and has continued to dance ever since. His passion to learn and perfect dance for himself helps him to teach. He has a unique style and an enthusiastic energy he brings to class every time.
Liv Hockaday, Pilates Instructor
A former dancer, Liv has always been passionate and curious about movement. Her love for the Pilates method stems from the physicality of the work as strength training combined with the precise technique of dance. She was comprehensively trained and certified in North Carolina through Balanced Body.
Liv grew up in NC and attended NC State University in Raleigh where she studied Art + Design. She has just arrived to Austin, her new home, within the past few days.
When Liv isn’t teaching Pilates she’s designing + painting; inspired by lots of skeletons, bright colors, and organic mark making.
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.
Mia Moi, Dance & Fitness Instructor
Beginning dance at age 3, Mia has maintained multi-disciplinary 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.
April Nygaard, Pilates and barre Fitness Instructor
April is a Minnesota native found Pilates 15 years ago while on a quest to gain more energy, flexibility, and strength. Not only did she see a positive transformation of her body but she also truly looked forward to working out. In 2014 April began her journey to become a certified Pilates instructor by taking the STOTT Pilates Mat and Reformer courses. She loves to teach both group and private lessons and share her passion for mindful movement with others to help them reach their goals and improve their wellness.
Currently, April is certified in all levels of Pilates Mat, Reformer and Barre. Her goal is to continue taking courses and workshops to expand her knowledge of Pilates and improve as an instructor. When not teaching, April enjoys studying and learning about nutrition, holistic healing, and alternative medicine. She also loves traveling, music (especially 80’s New Wave), animals, cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.
Selena Offenberg, Ballet Instructor
Selena Offenberg is originally from Munich, Germany, and enjoyed a 14-year professional career at Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden and Nuremberg City Ballet, Germany, at Paul Henry Dance Company, London, at Concert Dance Theater, Munich, and at 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, with Ballet Rambert and Michael Clark in London, and with David Parsons and Alvin Ailey School in NYC. Selena was also a dance model in fashion shows with Nike, Reebok, Goldwell, Wella, and Mercedes Benz. She has worked as a personal trainer with members of the HBO Fitness Center, New York City, 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.
Lauren Parra, Dance & Fitness Instructor
Lauren has danced ever since she could walk. Originally from Austin, she studied Dance at Skidmore College in Upstate New York. While at school, Lauren had the opportunity to perform in many shows and to teach dance in the local community. She has studied an array of styles including Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern, Ballet, Salsa, and Tap. Lauren has taught hip hop and jazz in both New York and Austin and has experience teaching all ages. Lauren has a passion for dance which she loves imparting to students of all ages. She is excited to be a member of the Ballet Austin Butler Center for Dance & Fitness Faculty.
Elise Pekarek, Company Dancer and Pilates Instructor
Originally from the Chicago area, Elise began her ballet training with Judith Svalander in Crystal Lake, Illinois. In 2007 she was accepted into Ballet Austin’s Trainee Program and moved to Austin to further her dance education. In 2009 Elise joined Ballet Austin II and became a Ballet Austin company member in 2011.
Elise had utilized Pilates as a part of her ballet training and as a means of injury prevention and rehabilitation, but after moving to Austin Elise found a passion for Pilates, fitness and wellness. In 2009, Elise studied with Ann Arnoult and became certified in the D.K. Body Balancing Method of Pilates mat instruction. She is also certified with Balanced Body Pilates. When not dancing, she enjoys running, kickboxing, Pilates reformer classes, and teaching swim lessons.
Elise looks forward to working with clients in the Pilates Center, and motivating people through her fitness and conditioning classes to achieve results and improve wellness through movement all while having fun.
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!
Megan Richard, Pilates 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.
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 has recently been teaching ballet in the Los Angeles area and is excited to be teaching at Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness
Leanna Rinaldi, Ballet Instructor
Leanna relocated to Austin, TX and spent one season with Ballet Austin dancing roles choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, George Balanchine and Stephen Mills.
Morgan Stillman, Company Dancer and Pilates Instructor
Morgan Stillman is a member of Ballet Austin’s professional company and a certified Pilates instructor. He is originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., and joined the Ballet Austin company for the 2017/18 season after dancing two years with Nevada Ballet Theater where he was featured in a variety of classical and contemporary roles. Morgan received most of his formal training at Indiana University Ballet Theater under the guidance of Michael Vernon, Violette Verdy, Jacques Cesbron, Guo Pin Wang, Victoria Lyras, and Shawn Stevens.
Morgan is also a certified Pilates instructor where he received his training and certification at Las Vegas’s Classical Pilates Comprehensive Pilates Training Program.
Dereke’ Thompson, Hip Hop Instructor
Dereke’ Thompson is a dancer, choreographer, and personal trainer and has taught group fitness and hip hop classes for several years and brings great energy to his classes.
He has trained with Monsters of Hip Hop, Millenium Dance Complex, The Edge, and more.
Ramsay Wall, 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.
Kelsey Walsh, Dance and Fitness Instructor
Kelsey, born and raised in Chicago, began her formal training at Visceral Dance Center under the direction of Nick Pupillo. She went on to receive her BFA in dance from the University of Arizona. Kelsey apprenticed for River North Dance Chicago and received additional training from Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Keigwin + Company, the Movement Invention Project, and Joffrey Ballet intensive programs.
Kelsey has danced for Walt Disney World, Odyssey Dance Theatre, and Justin Giles’ SoulEscape. She most recently traveled with the National Broadway tour of Dirty Dancing as an ensemble dancer and the Penny understudy.
Kelsey is signed with the Movement Talent Agency in Los Angeles and the Neal Hamil Agency as well as Naturally Fit Agency in Texas. Her most recent commercial credits include American Horror Story, Audi, Jimmy Johns, HP, and TravelTX.
Taylor Williams, Ballet and Barre Instructor
Born in Houston, Texas, Taylor began her ballet training under the direction of Gilbert Rome & Margo Marshall, founder of City Ballet of Houston. She also studied under Victoria Vittum, now director of Ballet Center of Houston. Taylor was involved with the Southwest Regional Ballet Festival for seven years.
Her performances include many independent works as well as the classics such as Pas de Quatre, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and Les Sylphides. She received numerous scholarships including Dance Aspen, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Southern Methodist University, and The University of Oklahoma. Taylor spent her summers studying at renowned summer intensive programs at Ballet Austin, Joffrey Ballet, International Ballet Competition Dance School, and Summer Wind at Oklahoma University.
Taylor attended college at The University of Texas and accepted an apprenticeship as a trainee with Ballet Austin. Taylor later danced with Austin Contemporary Ballet and then after transferring and graduating from Auburn University, continued dancing as a company member of Festival Ballet of Atlanta. She began teaching ballet at Briarwood Ballet in Birmingham, Al., and then had the opportunity of studying and teaching under David Keary at Ballet Mississippi; with Kirt & Linda Hathaway at The Hathaway School of Ballet in Dallas, Texas; Dallas Contemporary Ballet; Encore Dance School in Stillwater, Okla.; and at Oklahoma State University.
Boo Wong, Pilates Instructor
Boo Wong began dancing at the age of 3 where she trained in tap, hip hop, jazz and ballet until the age of 12 when she entered the pre-professional training program at Ballet Austin under Mr. Stephen Mills. After graduating from high school Boo worked professionally in the commercial and contemporary dance worlds in Chicago, LA, Toronto, New York and Spain. She began teaching hip hop, jazz, breaking, and contemporary styles in 2000, and began her second career in Pilates in 2007.
She helped open the Ballet Austin Pilates Center with Master Instructor Vlada Sheber in 2008. As an educator Boo believes deeply in the importance of self acceptance and love in order to find your voice in movement. Her hope is that dance and Pilates instruction with her will feel therapeutic.
Erick Yanez, Hip Hop Instructor
Erick started dancing at the age of 16. Self-taught in hip hop, he began taking dance classes at Burnet High School where he learned the principal elements of dance. From the moment he started, he fell in love with dance and entered into his first of two dance competitions. He placed in the Top 10 overall in both of them and received performance/showmanship awards along with a scholarship to New York Dance Experience. This provided multiple opportunities as an instructor and a performer.
Erick has performed as a dancer in House of Torment, numerous music videos, and Premios Texas with multiple artists like Gloria Trevi, Chingo Bling, Grupo Treo, and Danie Pearl just to name a few. Erick is an instructor at various studios throughout the Austin area and continues to spread his love for dance with others.