Ballet Austin's Butler Center for Dance & Fitness (made possible by the generosity of Sarah and Ernest Butler) is passionate about helping you to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle. Our high quality classes appeal to the diversity of our community. We offer classes that are current and cutting edge for the beginner to the more advanced participant, and strive to provide a meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable experience every time. There is a class for everyone at the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
We inspire confidence, encourage fun, and offer:
Vicki Parsons develops, implements and directs dance and fitness programming for Ballet Austin's Butler Center for Dance & Fitness and Pilates Center. Health, fitness, and overall wellness are a priority, and through classes, community-based programs, and BeWell Talks she helps promote the value of life-long health and well-being in the Austin community. Vicki also oversees employee wellness initiatives at Ballet Austin.
Vicki joined the staff of Ballet Austin in 1997 and has over 25 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. She also worked extensively with young children, developing physical activity programs that are developmentally appropriate and promote an active and healthy life. Vicki taught at Austin Community College for 13 years and worked with several non-profit organizations to develop and present workshops on lifelong health and fitness. Promoting physical activity and wellness to people of all ages continues to be one of her greatest interests and passions.
She holds current certifications as a Senior Fitness Instructor, a Youth Fitness Specialist, a Group Exercise Instructor, and in Advanced Sports Nutrition. She is also a certified Fitness Business Manager. Vicki also teaches the Better Balance & Movement Workshop, a falls prevention program for adults. She implemented the BeWell Healthy Living Talks, offered at no cost in the Austin community. Her advice is simple, "it's your life, your health, YOU are in control. Be active. Be resilient, Be well!" Vicki looks forward to developing people and programming that will fulfill one of Ballet Austin's Core Values: "We dance to encourage lifelong health and well-being."
Follow Vicki on Twitter @VickiBeActive
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 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.
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.
As senior manager of the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, the Ballet Austin Academy, and the Pilates Center, Stephanie is responsible for the day-to-day management of programs, operations, and customer relations. Her goal is to ensure the overall organizational effectiveness and efficiency of these areas, while optimizing the customer's experience. Stephanie also serves as the Summer Intensive coordinator, managing operational and administrative responsibilities for the program which serves several hundred ballet students each summer.
Stephanie joined the Ballet Austin team in 2013 bringing with her over 10 years of hands-on experience in customer relations and project management. Prior to joining Ballet Austin, she performed similar duties for the Bullock Texas State History Museum and The University of Texas at Austin. She is a native Austinite and a proud supporter of the Texas Longhorns. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin.
Erin began training at Ballet Austin when she entered the Academy in 2004. During her time with the Academy, she also volunteered and interned for the Butler Center for Dance and Fitness. Erin began working as a part of the Customer Experience team in 2012 and is now the Team Leader during evening hours. Erin also enjoys working backstage with Academy student cast members during productions of The Nutcracker. She graduated Westlake High School in 2014 and attended the University of North Texas before transferring to the University of Texas at Austin, where she currently studies Broadcast Journalism.
As a member of the customer experience team, Stacy Dunavan is responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction of Ballet Austin patrons in numerous capacities; in the theater, the box office, and in Ballet Austin's downtown studios/offices. Prior to joining Ballet Austin, Stacy worked with special needs students in the Eanes ISD, and as a caseworker for Big Brothers and Sisters in Dallas, Texas. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology.
As a member of the customer experience team, Michael Owens is responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction of Ballet Austin patrons in numerous capacities; in the theater, the box office, and in Ballet Austin's downtown studios/offices. In addition, he recruits and trains new ushers for performances in the AustinVentures StudioTheater.
Prior to joining Ballet Austin, Michael was a member of the house manager staff at Texas Performing Arts and also spent a number years in the criminal investigation field as an investigative aide. Michael is a published writer whose work has appeared in, "Barr's Postcard News," "The Plymouth Bulletin," "WPC News," "Lotus Remarque," "Forward," the newszine of the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Mich., and "Over the Front," published by the League of World War One Aviation Historians. Michael was a member of the Chrysler Customer Advisory Board during 2009-2010.
In his role as Pianist Coordinator for Ballet Austin, Joshua Piper accompanies dance classes and manages accompanist schedules for the Ballet Austin Company, Ballet Austin Academy, and the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness. In addition to working for Ballet Austin, Joshua is also the pianist for the Tosca Tango Orchestra, works with the Vintage 15 jazz big band, is staff organist and pianist for Asbury United Methodist Church, plays for Royal Academy of Dance exams, and teaches a small group of piano students ranging from children to adults. He holds a BA in Piano Performance from Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas.
Jenny graduated from 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.
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. In addition to teaching at Ballet Austin, Jenny works with schools and youth around Central Texas. She is extremely passionate about dance and fitness and is very excited to share her knowledge at the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
Tara began her advanced dance training at Sarah Lawrence College under the direction of Sarah Rudner. While in New York, she trained at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway under a wide variety of inspirational teachers including, Sheila Barker, Michelle Barber and Tracie Stanfield. She moved on to Prescott College to explore her own artistic voice and earned her BA in Integrative Arts with an Emphasis in Dance Choreography. After graduating she moved to Chicago to be part of AMEBA Aerial Dance Company where she performed works by Nefertiti Thomas and Autumn Eckman (Choreographer for Hubbard Street Dance.) During her years in Chicago, Tara also trained with Nick Pupillo, and Ricky Ruiz (of River North), Nan Giordano, Diona PidGeon, Becca Lemme, Eddie Ocampo and Toyko to name a few. Tara has directed several of her own evening length dance works as well as multiple dance films. She is excited to share her love of dance with Ballet Austin.
Phil Amador is an aerobics instructor specializing in Zumba® Fitness. He is an enthusiastic teacher and has brought his style of aerobic dance fitness to several local fitness venues over the years including: Galaxy Dance, Corazon Latino Dance Studio, YMCA of Austin, Tapestry Dance, 24 Hour Fitness, The Hills Health Club and Wellness Center, Uptown Dance, and BodyBusiness Fitness Club.
Phil holds Group Exercise Instructor certifications with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and YMCA USA. He is a licensed Zumba® Fitness Instructor and also holds certifications in CPR and AED. Phil is very excited about sharing his passion for fitness at Ballet Austin's Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
Follow Phil on Twitter @MWPhil
Meghan began her dance training at her mother’s dance studio as in Florida. At 15 she moved to Dallas, Texas and began competing in dance competition circuits, placing overall as a soloist for many competitions. She has performed in several industrials including companies such as Taco Bueno, Galderma, and Cadence Software. She was lead dancer and assistant choreographer of Urban Dance and Cheer, an instructional hip hop DVD. Radio Disney star, Jer-Z, hand-picked Meghan to be one of her back-up dancers. Meghan performed in New York with Break the Floor Productions and performed in their entry into the Fringe Festival.
Upon moving to Austin, she began performing with Ballet East Dance Company. She has been a guest performer in the Butler Community School’s performances of Holiday Road and Broadway in May, and was cast to dance in the production of Imagine Christmas at Gateway Community Church in Austin. In 2011, Meghan choreographed for and performed in the movie Rebellious Children of the Unconscious. She worked at Ballet Austin in downtown Austin for almost 5 years before opening her own studio. Meghan has taught master classes from Toronto, Canada to Laredo, TX. Her junior dance company is an award winning group and has won awards, titles and scholarships from various dance competitions. She has adjudicated for Camp Pulse and Vista Ridge Dance Competition in Austin. Meghan is also currently a choreographer for the Austin Round-Up’s annual fundraiser, Drag-o-ween, the resident choreographer for Austin Children’s Theater and Austin Conservatory of Theater, the Artistic Director for TRU dance Company and the Executive director and founder for the non-profit organization TRU dance Project. She is currently on faculty with the University of Texas teaching dance.
Toni Bravo is originally from Mexico City and holds a Master's Degree in Theatre History and Criticism, with a minor in Dance Pedagogy from the University of Texas. Since 1975, she has taught and performed as a professional dance artist in Mexico, England, Israel, Costa Rica, Germany, Spain and throughout the United States. Toni began teaching for the Ballet Austin Academy in 1990 and the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness in 2007. Toni teaches modern dance and movement classes, and designed the Body Sculpting class to keep adults of all ages active and moving longer.
As Ballet Austin's Community Education Director, Pei-San Brown is responsible for developing and implementing dance- and arts-based curricula and programs for Central Texas schools, providing professional development for teachers in dance education and arts-based teaching strategies, researching and preparing historical and contemporary information about ballet repertory for audience education, and helping to develop and implement Ballet Austin's Strategic Plan.
Pei-San is currently on faculty as a dance instructor 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.
Brown 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 has also holds the title of Kumu Hula, which is equivalent to a graduate degree in the study of hula.
Hannah is originally from Southwest Louisiana where she fell in love with the art of dance at age 13. Hannah trained and competed in dance until she went to Northwestern State University of Louisiana where she earned her BA in Business & graduated Magna Cum Laude. During university, she also studied modern dance and composition extensively. Hannah has continued to train and expand her passion and knowledge through various intensives and classes spanning the country from New York to Los Angeles. She has found a new home in Austin where she is able to share her passion and style with the community as an instructor and choreographer, as well as the Artistic Director of Verge Dance Company. She is excited to work more closely with Austin's beautiful and artistic community through Ballet Austin's Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
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 5 year run working with Tremaine Dance Conventions and he has been traveling the U.S. judging for Creations Dance Championships.
Dane currently lives in Austin, TX 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.
Orlando Julius Canova began his ballet training in Southern California with Lawrence and Sarma Rosenberg at the Anaheim Ballet School. At age 16 he moved to New York City to train at the School of American Ballet. There, he received a full tuition merit scholarship and was sponsored by Debbie Allen. Orlando furthered his ballet training with Miami City Ballet School. In 2001, Orlando became an Arpino Apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and in 2003 he joined as a full company member. While at Joffrey, Orlando played the part of apprentice in Robert Altman's movie, The Company.
At Ballet Austin Orlando has danced lead roles in The Nutcracker, Cult of Color: Call to Color, Truth & Beauty: The Bach Project, Romeo & Juliet, Nine Sinatra Songs, silence within silence and The Magic Flute. He has worked with such choreographers as Stephen Mills, Twyla Tharp, KT Nelson, Dominic Walsh, Nicolo Fonte, Sonya Delwaide, Toni Bravo, Michelle Thompson, Reginald Harris, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Orlando has also had the pleasure of dancing for Molly Lynch’s National Choreographers Initiative in 2012 and 2013. There he worked with Darrell Moultrie, Melissa Barak, Val Caniparoli, Frank Chavez, Kitty McNamee, and Susan McCullough. In addition, Orlando teaches dance at the Ballet Austin Academy, the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, Saint Mary’s Hall, Austin City Ballet, and Alamo Heights High School.
Alexa was born in the Philippines, where she began her dance training at Ballet Regina, following the Royal Academy of Dance curriculum. At age 16, Alexa started a three-year traineeship with Ballet Austin while attending college at the University of Texas. 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 extensive training in dance and choreography, having participated in top-notch summer programs and workshops at Springboard Danse Montreal, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Northwest Dance Project. Shortly before leaving Balet Bratislava, Alexa received 3rd place in the 2013 Festival of Choreographic Miniatures choreography competition held in Belgrade, Serbia.
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-Austin in 2015.
Originally from San Antonio, Marisa began dancing competitively starting at the age of 7. She was accepted into the nationally ranked performing arts high school, Northeast School of the Arts where she had the privilege to participate in master dance classes, seminars with professional artists and various performance opportunities. Marisa continued her passion for dance at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she received her BFA in 2007 with an emphasis in choreography and dance performance.
Inspired by the strength, flexibility and the mindfulness that Pilates provided throughout her years of dance, Marisa became a certified Pilates instructor through DK Body Balancing under Dolly Kelepecz at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2008. Wanting to explore her love of dance and fitness further, Marisa relocated to New York where she spent the past 8 years teaching Pilates for the luxury fitness brand, Equinox.
Now back in Texas, Marisa looks forward to being a part of Ballet Austin Pilates Center and is passionate about caring for clients and getting them the best result.
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.
Originally from Bangalore, India, Divya is an engineer at Intel Corporation by day and a dance aficionado otherwise. She is formally trained in Kathak, an Indian classical form of dance, and has been dancing to Bollywood songs her entire life. She is also a certified Zumba® Fitness instructor. In addition to dance, Divya is a running enthusiast. Dance and fitness combination classes always excite her and she is thrilled to be an instructor at Ballet Austin's Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
Defne Enç is a dancer and choreographer with over 20 years of experience. She began her flamenco training and professional career in the San Francisco Bay Area, performing and teaching throughout the U.S. and abroad. In 2005 she moved to Madrid, where she spent a decade working with some of the top artists in Spain and furthering her own studies. She has performed as a featured soloist and company member in a number of internationally touring flamenco companies based both in the U.S. and in Spain and has been invited to participate in numerous dance festivals as both a dancer and as a choreographer, including Dance Under The Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA, Certámen Coreográfico DanSalt in Girona, Spain, Certámen Coreográfico de Danza Español y Flamenco in Madrid, Spain, Fuego Flamenco Festival in Washington, D.C., Flamenco in the Sun in Miami, FL and the ODC Pilot Program in San Francisco, CA.
Throughout the years she has continued her dedication to teaching, and she has only recently returned to the U.S., where she is thrilled to become a member of Ballet Austin’s Butler Center for Dance & Fitness family and share her love of flamenco with the dance community in Austin.
An avid student of Brazilian dance since 1995, Rebekah continues to study and share the dance traditions of Rio, Bahia and beyond. Since 2000, she has been teaching students how to samba "like they do it in Brazil," focusing on footwork, technique, and the Brazilian spirit of "alegria e charme"—joy and charm. Rebekah has worked in the United States and the United Kingdom as a performer, choreographer, and teacher of Brazilian dance for all ages and skill levels. In addition to teaching ongoing classes in the community, she has worked as choreographer and dance director for the Austin Samba School, one of the largest samba schools in the U.S. Rebekah is also a licensed Zumba® Fitness instructor and an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor. She enjoys transforming her exercise classes into a dance-party workout while having fun with students on the dance floor. She has trained in Brazil and the U.S. with Rosangela Silvestre, Nildinha Fonseca of the Balé Folclórico da Bahia and members of DanceBrazil. In addition to showing her students just how fun Brazilian dance and dance fitness can be, she also works as a translator.
Bra'Kehri has trained extensively in a wide variety of social dances including hip hop, House, Street Funk, Waaking and Popping. He is an award winning choreographer and dances with a Dance Crew, Uran Dance Empire. His outgoing and energetic personality make his classes interesting and fun.
James Fuller is from Irvine, Calif., and was 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.
Emily Furillo began her training in Irish Step Dancing at Inishfree school of Irish dance from 2001 to 2006, where she studied under the direction of World Champion Irish step dancer, Neill Regan TCRG. She then began her training in Sean-nós dancing in 2012. She has also studied English waltz clogging, American flatfooting, and English country and border dance with various instructors.
Emily performed Irish step dance with Grammy winners The Cheiftans under the choreography of Neill Regan, and has performed in Celtic shows and has performed Sean-nós in a variety of places. Emily is excited to be bringing Sean-nós to Ballet Austin, a traditional form of Irish dancing that originated in the Connemara region of Ireland.
Tyler has had a passion for fitness and nutrition all her life. Her involvement in athletics and interest in clean eating habits led her to pursue a Personal Training certification through ACE. After graduating from SMU with a degree in Journalism, Tyler moved to Austin and began her career in fitness, teaching boot camps, spinning classes, and creating customized programs to help clients reach their goals.
Tyler began her advancement in Pilates training through PEAK Pilates in 2009 while continuing her personal training pursuits. She is an education enthusiast who loves learning about the body and what techniques help each client find their ideal level of fitness and performance. Tyler has an understanding and compassionate approach to fitness. She enjoys challenging her clients and tailors each workout regimen carefully to ensure that she is meeting the particular needs of each client.
In 2013, Tyler took a leap to follow her passion of health and attended The Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute in New York. There she gained an understanding of the fundamentals of human nutrition and the connection between food and wellness. This 619 hour program excelled her to start helping clients not only with fitness, but also with food and lifestyle choices. Tyler makes herself available to her clients at all times to answer questions, motivate, and help each client reach their true potential.
Brittany was introduced to Pilates though her 15 years of classical ballet training. She studied under Vlada Sheber, director of Ballet Austin's Pilates Center. She is also certified with Peak Pilates and Power Pilates; both internationally recognized companies.
Brittany danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's scholarship program and The Richmond Ballet. Her knowledge, experience, and passion for fitness and movement help her guide clients though personalized sessions to achieve personal goals and specific fitness needs. Her group Pilates-based drop-in classes are also favorite workouts. Brittany also implemented the Mommy & Baby Fit classes at Ballet Austin, including the ever-popular Babywearing Barre Workout.
Follow Brittany on Twitter @HarpoleBrittany
Erika is a licensed Piloxing instructor and a licensed fitness instructor. Above all she believes exercise should be fun. Erika is excited, energetic, and passionate about her teaching, encouraging and motivating class participants to keep going to the end. Piloxing is a fitness program that blends the best of Pilates, boxing and dance into a high-energy interval workout.
Aminya was born and raised in Austin, TX where she began dancing at the age of 3. She is trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop and musical theater. She competed and performed with the award winning dance company Body Talk, directed by Kim Willett, for 11 years. While in Body Talk she performed at the 1999 Texas Inauguration and also appeared on the FOX Network. Aminya received scholarships from several training conventions such as L.A. Danceforce, Tremaine, L.A. Dance Magic, and Monsters of Hip Hop. She enjoys training in Los Angeles at the Edge Performing Arts Center with Bill Prudich, Adam Parsons, Mandy Moore, Malaya, Doug Caldwell, Tovaris, Erica Sobol and Tabitha & Napoleon, and many more talented choreographers. She's also had the opportunity to teach at the 2012 Texas Dance Educators Association Convention.
Aminya currently teaches dance and choreographs for several high schools in the Austin area, and private studios around the U.S. Aminya loves sharing her passion for dance and very excited to do so at Ballet Austin.
Follow Aminya on Twitter @Aminyakitchen
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.
Vivian was born in Honolulu, Hawaii where 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 currently studies hula with Kumu Hula Keli'i Chang's Halau Ho'ola Ka Mana O Hawai'i in Houston, TX. She has 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, TX, and is its current Artistic Director. Vivian is active in film, television, print, and runway in Austin, TX and is also an avid salsa dancer.
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 three 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.
Jae Hoon Lim, a native of South Korea, began his dance career in San Diego in 1997 with San Diego Dance Theatre under the direction of Jean Isaacs. He has since danced with Koresh Dance Company, Shapiro and Smith Dance, Sarasota Ballet of Florida, Chicago Civic Ballet, Brandywine Ballet, and River North Chicago Dance Company; working with renowned choreographers such as Ohad Naharin, Donald Byrd, Itzik Galili, Alberto Alonso, Paul Selwin and Roni Koresh.
Jae Hoon has a BFA in dance from The University of the Arts and a MFA in dance from Temple University. He received his Power Pilates Comprehensive Certification in 2012, and is also a Reiki practitioner. Jae Hoon believes in joyful and healthy living through the harmony of mind, body and spirit and finds great pleasure in helping his students live exuberant lives.
Originally from San Antonio, Felicia began her ballet training at the age of 12. She attended summer intensives at Houston Ballet, The Chautauqua Institute, Tulsa Ballet, Ballet Austin and also trained as a trainee with Charlotte ballet. Felicia has danced professionally with companies such as Ballet Austin II, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Hedwig Dances, Kristina Isabelle Dance Company, Chicago Repertory Ballet and Hubbard Street 2. She has performed works by Jiri Kylian, Matts Ek, Mauro Bigonzetti, Dominic Walsh, Stephen Mills, Alejandro Cerrudo, Maurya Kerr, Penny Saunders, Edgar Zendejas, Gabrielle Lamb, and Robyn Mineko Williams.
Felicia has also guested for three seasons with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens in their production of The Nutcracker. She has toured to Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands for various performance opportunities with a few of the companies listed previously. Within the past year, Felicia expanded her skill set and can now dance on stilts as well.
Felicia is currently based out of Austin and will continue her freelance career dancing in Austin with ARCOS Dance as well as smaller companies outside of the city. Felicia is extremely excited to be back in Austin and has a great interest in fitness and movement as a certified Balance Body Pilates instructor.
Alex Miller is a modern dancer and certified Pilates instructor originating from Louisiana. She earned her BFA in Performing Arts with a concentration in dance in 2010 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. After moving to Austin, Alex completed her Pilates certification through Balanced Body University in mat work, reformer, chair, cadillac, and tower.
Alex danced with Verge Dance Company, Lorn McDougal, Katherine Hodges, Jennifer Sherburn, and was a back-up dancer at Austin City Limits Music Festival for pop-star Grimes in 2013. Alex completed her first evening length work entitled "Forgotten Memories" in December 2014. She has taught modern dance at several local dance studios and is currently teaching both dance and Pilates at Ballet Austin.
Alex continues to keep up with her training in the ever-changing dance world, includeing Tisch NYU Summer Intensive, Bates Dance Festival, American College Dance Festival, Doug Varone Summer and Winter Intensives, Prague International Contemporary Workshop, and most recently, completed a mentorship at DanceInArt in Haarlem, Netherlands. While in the Netherlands, she had the pleasure of doing a master class with Netherlands Dance Theater, study at Henny Jurriens, Chasse Studios, and Amsterdam Dance Center. Alex's Pilates instruction is motivating; her dance classes are upbeat.
Prakash is the founder of Agni Performing Arts based in Austin, TX. He is trained in Bollywood, Hip Hop and Jazz. He is also a filmmaker, entrepreneur, actor, and musician and is the founder of Agni Entertainment, film and theatre production company. His recent theatre project Lanka was a touring stage production that combined theatre, dance and martial arts.
Prakash produced and directed a larger than life touring Bollywood musical this past year, "Om Shanti—Once upon a Time in Bollywood."
Follow Prakash on Twitter @PrakashMohandas
Originally from Roseville, California, Kevin Murdock-Waters began his training at Hawkins School of Performing Arts. He then went on to train at the San Francisco Ballet School where he performed roles in multiple main company ballets, including John Cranko's Onegin, Rudolf Nureyev's Raymonda, Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella and Helgi Tomasson's The Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet. During the San Francisco Ballet student showcase, Kevin performed the second movement principal in George Balanchine's Western Symphony. With Ballet Austin II, he enjoyed performing as Hansel in Nelly van Bommel's Hansel and Gretel, the judge in Nick Kepley's Season of Innocence, and in Stephen Mills' Belle Redux / A Tale of Beauty & The Beast.
Selena Offenberg is originally from Munich, Gemany, 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, 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.
Sandra Organ Solis was Houston Ballet’s first African American ballerina, dancing there for 15 years and as a soloist under Ben Stevenson. She worked with choreographers like Christopher Bruce, James Kudelka, and Jir Kylian, while dancing in the works of MacMillian, Balanchine, Tudor, and Ashton, to name a few. She then founded her own contemporary ballet ensemble, Earthen Vessels, The Sandra Organ Dance Company, for which she created 100 ballets and employed more than 120 dancers over sixteen seasons of programming in theatres and sacred spaces. Ms. Organ Solis has served on the boards of Dance USA and Dance Source Houston, as a panelist for Houston Arts Alliance, and has written and received grants from local, state, and family foundations. She participated in Urban Bushwomen’s Leadership Institute in New Orleans, and with Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange Institutes as well as in Regional Dance America’s Craft of Choreography Conferences. Ms. Organ taught in the adult and Parkinson’s for Dance programs at Houston Ballet Academy for 18 years, and was a master teacher at various dance academies, universities, and regional ballet schools in Houston and beyond. While she continues to choreograph locally and nationally, she teaches ballet at a private school in San Antonio, as well as yoga and water fitness for the Austin YMCA. Sandra is pursuing Bachelor’s of Arts from Antioch University online, and lives in Wimberley, with her husband Carlos, where they moved after 30+ years in Houston.
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.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Sara began her dance training at the Peabody Preparatory under the direction of Carol Bartlett and Barbara Weisberger, founder of the Pennsylvania Ballet. She studied both classical ballet and contemporary dance and spent her summers studying at renowned summer intensive programs such as The Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theater, The School of American Ballet, Ballet Austin, The San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Spectrum Dance Theater, and The Northwest Dance Project.
Sara has performed professionally with Ballet Austin’s Professional Trainee Program, Ballet Austin II, and became a founding member of Wideman/Davis Dance under the direction of Thaddeus Davis and Tanya WidemanDavis. Both in New York and on tour, she performed principal roles in Davis' work. She has also performed works by Stephen Mills, Thang Dao, Gina Patterson, Michelle Ulrich, David Justin, Robert Moses, Ohad Naharin, Alex Ketley, Alessio Silvestrin, Bobbi Jene Smith, and Magdalena Jarkowiec. She continues to perform as a freelance artist.
Sara currently teaches students of all ages and levels at Ballet Austin where she has been teaching since 2013. She is also a ballet instructor at the University of Texas at Austin, her alma mater, in the Department of Theatre and Dance. She hold a B.A. with Special Honors in Psychology. At UT, Sara teaches ballet technique to both non-majors and B.F.A. candidates.
Madison is a graduate of Oklahoma City University where she received her degree in dance performance. Maddie has extensive musical theatre experience from the time she was a young child. She studied dance at the Ballet Austin Academy and Butler Center for Dance & Fitness for 12 years including classes in ballet, jazz, tap and musical theatre. She also studied voice with Dr. Michael McKelvey and was a member of Performers Workshop.
Some of her past musical theatre production credits include Music Man and Carousel with TexARTS, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Assassins, Sweet Charity, The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors and SWING with Summerstock Austin, and The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz and Celebrate! with Austin Musical Theatre. Maddie performed the roles of Judy in White Christmas, Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, for which she was awarded Best Actress in the UIL Zone competition.
Maddie has served as dance captain for numerous musical theatre productions, choreographed for both high school and college students, taught jazz and musical theatre at Ballet Austin's Summer Intensive program, directed The Broadway Kids camps for several years at Ballet Austin, and has taught many other Ballet Austin camps and classes. She is also sought after as a choreographer in the Austin area for many local musicals. Madison looks forward to being in Austin for awhile choreographing and teaching.
Taylor began her dance training in Coppell, TX at Ballet Academy of Texas where she studied under Lisa Slagle, Thomas Nicholson, Jenny Johnston and Tammie Reinsch. She was a founding member of their performing company, Ballet Ensemble of Texas. She attended the Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theatre summer programs, including the first ABT Collegiate Summer Program in New York City.
Taylor continued her education at the University of Oklahoma where she received her BFA in Ballet Performance with Academic Distinction in 2010. While at OU, she was a member of Oklahoma Festival Ballet and studied under Mary Margaret Holt, Steve Brule, Donn Edwards and Jeremy Lindberg. There she performed a variety of works, including featured roles in many classical, neoclassical and contemporary ballets, and was selected to perform at the Shanghai International Folk Arts Festival in China.
She is also a graduate of ColdTowne Theatre’s conservatory program, where she performs weekly with her B. Iden Payne Award-nominated improv comedy troupe Loverboy.
Ramsay has taught many forms of movement for over fifteen 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.
Lucy graduated with honors with a BFA in Dance from the conservatory at Purchase College, SUNY. While at Purchase, she worked with a number of talents, including Bill T. Jones, Monica Bill Barnes, Catherine Cabeen, and Kevin Wynn. She has had the wonderful opportunity to train in a wide range of dance styles, in several countries around the world, and with artists from companies that include Batsheva, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Shen Wei, Kyle Abraham, Doug Varone & Dancers, Inbal Pinto, Mark Morris Dance Group, and more. Lucy's performance credits include Annie Rigney, Brooke Broussard, The Dreamland Follies, Pam Tanowitz, and Nelly Van Bommel // N-A Dance.
She continues to study and perform in Austin, and is currently pursuing her yoga teaching certification. In her classes, Lucy draws from different techniques to create movement that ranges from technical and challenging, to sweeping and simple. She is absolutely in love with dance, and loves to explore its possibilities with her students.
Terri Lynn Wright received her early training with Barbara Carson and Stanley Hall in Austin, Texas. She studied with Robert Joffrey, Patricia Wilde, Kristen Ralov, Kirsten Simone, and Peter Appel during summers in the U.S. and Europe. Terri began her professional dance career in Wiesbaden, Germany, followed by ten years with the North Carolina Dance Theatre where she became principal dancer, as well as an assistant to director Salvatore Aiello. She enjoyed Dance Theatre's diverse repertoire that included works by choreographers such as Salvatore Aiello, Oscar Ariaz, George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Bill Evans, Lambros Lambrou, Luk de Layress, Robert Lindgren, Lar Lubovich, Susan McKee-McCullough, Elisa Monte, Vincente Nebrada, Marius Petipa, Helgi Tomasson, Mel Tomlinson, Norbert Vesak, Mauricio Wainrot and Alvin Ailey.
She danced leading roles in Balanchine's Allegro Brillante, Scotch Symphony, Glinka Pas de Trois, Pas de Dix and Valse Fantasie were coached by Melissa Hayden and Marina Eglevsky. Terri has taught master classes while touring with NCDT throughout the U.S. and Europe, for summer sessions at North Carolina School of the Arts, and was a guest teacher at the Arts Magnet School in Dallas. She continues to help care for works choreographed by the late Mr. Aiello. As a teacher, Terri's methods evolve with Ballet Austin, the students' needs and the ever increasing demands put upon the professional dancer.
Erick started dancing at the age of sixteen. 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 top ten 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.
Classes are offered on a drop-in basis allowing you to start at any time and come when you can. Classes allow for a very flexible schedule and the ability to take a variety of classes.
Workshops are enrollment based and are typically 4-6 weeks in length. You must pre-pay for the workshop when you enroll.
To take drop-in classes you must first create a MINDBODY account. If you are unable to create an account before arriving for your first class, allow a few extra minutes before the class you plan to take, and we will be happy to assist you.
Once your account is set up, you can purchase a single class or multiple classes, register for a workshop, purchase packages for the Pilates Center, check your schedule, check how many classes you have remaining, update your personal information, and update your payment information.
It's not necessary to pre-register for a drop-in class but you may do so online. If you sign-up for a drop-in class online and are unable to attend, the class must be cancelled 30 minutes prior to the start of the class or you will be charged. Early cancellation of a drop-in dance or fitness class will automatically return the class to your account.
Dance and fitness workshops DO require pre-registration before the start date. Workshops are enrollment based and generally last 4 to 6 weeks.
Everyone receives their first drop-in class FREE.
Drop-in classes are offered at a single class rate and in packages of 5, 10, 20 and 40 at a reduced cost. Current deals and special offers can be found on our Pricing Page.
Workshop pricing varies by style and length of workshop. Workshops must be pre-paid in full at the time of enrollment. Information about current offerings can be found on our Workshops Page.
Purchasing a package of drop-in classes will expedite your sign-in process and offer you many convenient benefits:
Yes, Gift Cards are available for any dollar amount for the purchase of classes, workshops, and Pilates appointments. Gift Cards have no expiration and are non-refundable. Please referece the Pricing Page for more details.
Our members take classes for a variety of reasons: recreational fun, burning calories, or learning or improving a technique. If you are looking for a class to dance and have fun, there are a variety of classes such as Hip Hop, Videodance™, or Pop Jazz. If fitness is your focus, then you will want to check out the many conditioning or dance fitness classes. If you are not sure about a class, have questions about the level, or just want more information, feel free to speak with a member of our Customer Experience team at 512.501.8704.
We are located at 501 W. 3rd St. in downtown Austin across from Lady Bird Lake. More information regarding parking can be found here.
Instructors are uniquely trained in their field of dance and/or fitness. They are authentic and experienced in what they teach.
Many of the classes offered by the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness are suitable for older adults at a variety of fitness levels. Feldenkrais® is a great drop-in class for those looking for something less intense. We also offer the Better Balance & Movement Workshop which is excellent for people of all ages, but especially beneficial to the older adult or those dealing with the affects of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.
If you have a questions about a particular class, or its intensity level, feel free to contact us.
Yes! We have a state-of-the-art Pilates Center in our building. Read more about Ballet Austin's Pilates Center.
In general, we suggest you wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes that you can move in, like shorts, sweats, yoga pants, jazz pants, t-shirts, tanks, etc. Please refer to each class description for more details about recommended attire or contact us at 512.501.8704.
For a ballet class, leotard and tights is recommended but not required.
Yes. We are very involved in the community and love the opportunity to speak about the importance of lifelong health and fitness, and how to get fit and have fun through regular physical activity. We also love to attend events and offer some of our favorite classes. Find our more about Private Group Classes here.
Yes! Learn more about Private Lessons here.
Parking Guidance: Ongoing building and road construction projects around Ballet Austin's studios may cause temporary changes in traffic patterns, along with changes in access to Ballet Austin's east and west parking areas over the next few weeks. Please note directional traffic signs for the best way to access our on-site parking spaces and drop off or pick up Ballet Austin Academy students as well as Pilates Center and Butler Center for Dance & Fitness clients during the completion of these projects.
Free Parking Spots
Meters also reside around the building (allow for three hours of parking at the rate of $1 per hour via credit/debit cards or coins). Click on the additional parking options available below. Note: Access to metered parking may be affected by ongoing construction projects near the Butler Dance Education Center.