"Miss Kristan" has been teaching and choreographing for over 20 years. She was the director of a local dance studio in The Woodlands for 13 years, and has repeatedly won top recognition at national competitions for her choreography. Miss Kristan grew up training under several industry notables, including Ray Leeper (of NUVO) and Tina D'Amato, and she attended the University of Hawaii on a dance scholarship. She has performed at major venues such as the Jazz World Congress in D.C., has danced professionally for several years for Legends in Hawaii and Le Masque in NYC, and has choreographed and taught for several local performing arts troupes, drill teams, high schools, as well as SHSU. She also had the opportunity to choreograph and perform for country singer Clay Walker's concerts. In addition to Miss Kristan's love of art in dance, she also loves art in words, which is why she not only holds degrees in Dance and Education from University of Hawaii and SHSU, but also a Ph.D in literature from The University of Houston. Miss Kristan is extremely honored to bring you TADA dance studio, where all dance classes for kids and adults are taught by an amazing cast of bright and beautifully talented teachers!
Originally from Sacramento, California, Elise Elliott retired from the Houston Ballet as a Soloist in 2017. Following four summer programs, she became a member of the Houston Ballet in November 2007. She enjoyed being featured in works by many choreographers, including Stanton Welch, Antony Tudor, Ben Stevenson, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Christopher Bruce, Sir Kenneth Macmillan, Wayne MacGregor, and John Cranko. Elise has had the pleasure to teach with TADA since they opened their doors in 2014. In April of 2017, Elise became TADA's Ballet Director, as well as Artistic Director of TADA's Youth Ballet Company. Elise is happily married to fellow TADA teacher, Rhodes Elliott. They have a daughter, Annie, who was born in February of 2017.
Jessica Norwood grew up in Houston, where she trained with North Harris Performing Arts, eventually becoming a teacher and a partner in the NHPA facility. She became a member of the performing arts company REVOLVE, where she had the opportunity to work with an array of prominent dance figures such as Wes Veldink and Mia Michaels of NYC, Randal Flinn of Dance Ad Deum, as well as Houston Ballet's Barbara Bears, Fred Stroble, and Naomi Glass. In 2009 she became a Houston Texans Cheerleader, eventually becoming a captain and choreographer; she currently continues to give the cheerleaders technique classes. She has performed at venues and outreach programs all over the world and is exemplary in an array of disciplines--jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, and more, and she loves teaching students of all ages and levels! Jessica has two beautiful baby girls, Parker and Jaden!
Rhodes Elliott comes to us from Florence, South Carolina. Rhodes retired in 2018 as a Demi-Soloist with the Houston Ballet, after having been with the company for 11 years. He received his early dance training and pre-pro experience with UNCSA, as well as The School of Dance Arts and South Carolina Dance Theater under the tutelage of the esteemed Susan Rowe. He attended several summer programs throughout his training, including North Carolina Dance Theater, Houston Ballet, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. While dancing with the Houston Ballet, Rhodes enjoyed performing many works, including those by Stanton Welch, Jiri Kylian, Christopher Bruce, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Ben Stevenson, Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, and Christopher Wheeldon. Rhodes has been on staff at TADA since they opened their doors in 2014. He is married to TADA's Ballet Director, Elise Elliott, and they have a daughter, Annie.
Amanda was born in The Woodlands, Texas and grew up dancing in competitions before becoming a member of METdance's pre-professional company, Met Too. She then attended University of Arizona and graduated May of 2016 from UAdance with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. After graduation, Amanda joined Odyssey Dance Theater for their 2016 and 2017 Thriller seasons on tour. In the winter of 2017, she had the opportunity to dance in the east coast tour of Christmas Wonderland with Spirit Productions. She is currently represented by Movement Talent Agency and has done several commercial projects and shows in Los Angeles, California, including The B Side with 42 Seven Productions. She is currently a Houston Texans Cheerleader for the 2018-2019 season and loves teaching and choreographing at TADA!
Mirannda achieved her Master's of Fine Arts in Dance from Sam Houston State University. She now dances professionally in the Houston area, performing with contemporary ballet company, Nicolay Dance Works, Haven Arts Theatre, and the Texas Renaissance Festival Daytime and After Dark productions. As a choreographer, Mirannda has had her work performed on stages in Italy and Corpus Cristi. She is currently working with Dana Nicolay on an immersive production of Alice's Adventure's In Wonderland which will premiere in May 2018. Mirannda has studied dance in many places including, the Boston Conservatory, the American Dance Festival, and Dance Italia with notable choreographers and teachers such as Andrew Noble, Elizabeth Corbet, Dana Nicolay, Teoma Nacarrato, Giovanni Del Saenz, Jennifer Mabus, Christiano Fabbri, and more. Mirannda has been teaching children dance since she was in her teens. She is also a Yoga Alliance Certified yoga instructor and believes that dance and movement connect the mind and body in ways that cannot be achieved by any other means.
Jesus Acosta is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico and currently dances with the Houston MET Dance Company. He is currently in his third season with Jane Weiner and the Hope Stone Dance Company in Houston, and he is in his fifth season as one of the founders of NobleMotion Dance. He has been teaching and choreographing for 10 years in the Houston area, and has danced nationally at the Ailey Theater in NYC and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. among others. He was a guest artist for Dangerous Lorraine's Dance Theater and a performer for the Kista Tucker Dance Co., Reck Productions, and Rednerrus Feil Dance Co. Dance Magazine has recognized him for his "fluidity of motion...punctuated by sharp arrests and dynamic shifts of focus and presence." Recently his choreography received gala status at the RDA Festival. Jesus is also an award-winning choreographer for our TADA Company and Star Team!
Our exciting Miss Hannah Weaver has been performing, competing, and directing for over 18 years. Hannah trained classically in vocals from Paula Spencer through Joyful Sound Choir, where she competed in classical music for six years and finished her training with 13 "Superior" rankings. She was also trained in dance under the direction Lauren Reitzammer and performed all over Houston with Bravo dance troupe. She performed in supporting lead Roles in full Broadway style musicals with Christian Youth Theater. She has worn "all the hats," from directing to choreographer to stage manager for some well-loved, area theatre programs. In the past few years Hannah has held roles with Christian Community Theatre and The Players Theatre company. In the summer of 2015 Hannah was nominated for "Best Actress in A Minor Role" for "The General, In Guys and Dolls" by the Montgomery County theatre community. Most recently, Hannah had the incredible honor of being called back for the role of Tracy in NBC's Hairspray Live! Hannah believes Musical Theatre is one of our culture's greatest conduits for expression and empathy. "I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." -Thornton Wilder
Ana Acevedo comes to us from El Salvador, where she received her training at the National School of Dance, Morena Celarie. She was a member of the prestigious Teatro de Danza Contemporanea (contemporary ballet company based in El Salvador) for many years, dancing to sold-out performances throughout El Salvador and the United States. She was honored to appear as a soloist in several performances including Paquita, Don Quixote, and Swan Lake among others. In 2005 she received her certification at the Royal Ballet Academy in London to teach the most advanced levels of ballet and pointe, and to submit students for testers for the RAD Global Examination. She has directed and choreographed numerous ballets, including The Nutcracker, Cats, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and was the Director of Ballet at HFAC in Houston.
Jenette Anzalone comes to us from Singapore, where she graduated with a degree in Ballet and Contemporary dance from the La Salle-SIA College of the Arts. A veteran teacher of over 20 years and the owner of Dance Circle Studios in Singapore, she has taught jazz, contemporary, hip hop, ballroom, and ballet at various international schools, including La Salle-SIA and the National University of Singapore. She has choreographed and performed in several major productions including Broadway Our Way, Tune In and Turn Out, Sunrise, Sunset, among others, and was the lead dancer in Mercury Rising, the Musical and That’s Kit. She also starred in John Meade Dance Company’s production ofIcons. Throughout her career she received numerous accolades, including honors of distinction at the UK Royal Academy of Dance and the highest awards at The Dance Excellence International Dance Festival in Los Angeles. Jenette has an incredibly passionate and enthusiastic style of teaching all of her students, toddlers through adults! She is proud of her daughter Estrella who currently competes on the elite level with the TADA Company.
Donna K. Frogge holds a BFA degree in dance from William Woods University and a MFA degree in dance from the University of Colorado/Boulder. Ms. Frogge has been on the dance faculties of several colleges and universities including Florida Gulf Coast University, Missouri State University, and Cottey College. Her choreography has been recognized at multiple dance competitions as well as selected for an ACDF Regional Gala. Ms. Frogge served for over seven years as Artistic Co-Director for City in Motion Dance Theatre - a professional modern dance company located in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to performing with City in Motion, she has danced with The Boulder Jazz Dance Company (a.k.a. Interweave), Jane Franklin and Dancers and The Frank Holder Dance Company. She has also worked as a liturgical dance coordinator for several churches, and in July 2001, she was invited to choreograph and perform for the National Assembly of Disciples Musicians. Ms. Frogge teaches an array of classes at TADA...including a wonderful modern class for adults.
Originally from Singapore, Priscilla Nathan-Murphy received her classical ballet training in the Royal Academy of Dancing Syllabi and has also been trained in oriental dance mudras, modern dance and jazz. Ms. Nathan-Murphy has a certification from the British Royal Academy of Dance in teaching and has acquired a Teaching License Diploma from the British Association of Teachers of Dance. She has also recently completed a teachers seminar and course in the Cechetti method in London. Some of the teachers and masters of dance that she has worked with include Rose Eberwein, Eve Pettinger, Kitty Daniels, James Clouser, David Horchoy, Bill Evans, Doug Varone. Ms. Nathan-Murphy taught creative movement, ballet and modern dance in the pre-professional and professional division of Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy since 1985, where she held the position of Principal over the Pre and Lower School Divisions for 12 years, as well as headed the modern program. While on staff with the Houston Ballet Academy, Ms. Nathan-Murphy further developed and delineated the syllabi for the Creative Dance Program, as well as introduced the Pre-Ballet Syllabus. She was also instrumental in introducing Improvisational Composition, Cultural Dance and Musical Theater into the curriculum of Houston Ballet’s Summer Intensive Program. She has also been a teaching artist with the Texas Institute for Arts in Education for several years and has held the position of adjunct faculty at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts for 19 years. Ms. Nathan-Murphy has also conducted numerous master classes and workshops within the United States since 1980. Locally she has choreographed for Houston Ballet II, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and numerous other companies.
Nicole Odom is a licensed Zumba® Instructor and an AFAA Certified Group Exercise Instructor. For the last 14 years, Nicole has taught a variety of fitness formats including Zumba® Fitness, step aerobics, kickboxing, body sculpting, core strength, and specialty classes for senior citizens. Nicole had the privilege of getting her initial Zumba® License from the founder, Beto Perez, in Los Angeles, California in 2012. She is also a part of the Zumba® Instructor Network with licenses to teach many of the specialty formats in Zumba® Fitness. Her goal is the same no matter the format--to teach a safe and effective class that inspires people to improve their quality of life through exercise.
Hayden Stark grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He began dancing at 3 years old, toured with Minnesota Ballet at ten, and, at fifteen, left home to attend North Carolina School of the Arts. After graduating in 2012, Hayden joined Houston Ballet II, was hired into the Houston Ballet Company in 2013 and has since elevated to Demi-Soloist. Hayden has enjoyed performing the lead role of Ariel in David Bintley’s The Tempest and soloist roles of Fire God in Stanton Welch’s La Bayadere and Indian Boy in Christopher Bruce’s Ghost Dances.
Sara Webb received her early training at the Academy of Nevada Dance Theatre and at the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. She then attended the Houston Ballet Academy for one year and joined Houston Ballet in 1997. Ms. Webb was promoted to Principal in 2003. She performed lead roles in many classical productions and featured roles in a number of contemporary works. Ms. Webb performed in Hong Kong, Moscow, London, Germany, Spain, Canada, Australia, Panama, and Tokyo, as well as many cities in the United States. Ms. Webb retired from Houston Ballet in 2018. She is married to Ryan Bardo, and they have four children.
Marrisha Babineaux has been studying and competing in all styles of dance since the age of five. Marrisha performed as a principle dancer for Lamar University under the direction of Brixey Blankenship. Prior to and during this time, Marrisha performed in shows produced by Beaumont City Performing Arts, danced at the Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City at their summer intensive program, and also participated as a contestant on the national hit show Showtime at the Apollo as a representative from Houston after winning the spot from numerous contestants across the city. As a result of this notoriety, she landed a position for McDonalds as a company representative at conventions across the nation. Marrisha’s dance accolades are numerous. Most memorably, she won the Scene Interactive Award where her video and headshot were posted for a year for choreographers in search for dancers, and also the DDO Artist Agency Award which allowed her to be represented and contracted by DDO as a dance professional at the age of 18. Upon graduating from Lamar she began her career at Masters, the Upper Level(MUL) as a teacher/choreographer under Artistic Director Melissa Robinson. During her time there, her students won numerous first place regional and national championships; her most recent was the Mini Large Intermediate Group Ultimate Challenge and Choreography Award of 2019 at the Hall of Fame Nationals. While Miss Marrisha teaches a variety of ages and levels, she is also contracted with the Universal Dance Association for Collegiate, Secondary and Primary Students, teaching and choreographing for local high schools. In 2019 her students won numerous top awards for regional school competitions. Marrisha will be teaching at the Woodlands and West locations, and working closely with Team TADA.
Ms. Moy brings a depth of knowledge, insight, joy and inspiration to her teaching that is matched only by her unwavering quest to find the best for her students. An acclaimed dancer of extraordinary versatility, Ms. Moy’s career has taken her around the world. With the Boston Ballet Company, under the Direction of Founder E. Virginia Williams she has danced the works of: Petipa, Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, and others. She has also danced for Ohio Ballet, Spokane Ballet, Rhode Island Festival Ballet, Ballet Theater of Boston, and the Boston Dance Company. The New York Times wrote of her featured performance as Amour, in Rudolf Nureyev’s “Don Quixote”, “.. Stephanie Moy’s great success as the Cupid figure, A more darting, mischievous and totally alive in the classical spirit, was well deserved!”. These are qualities her students might well recognize in her classes. She has taught at the Boston School of Ballet, Boston Conservatory, Ballet Theater of Boston, Ohio Ballet & Festival Ballet of RI. In addition, she was the director of the American Academy of Dance in Mansfield MA from 2001 to 2014. Ms. Moy’s charisma is matched by her professionalism, making her classes inspiring for all who study with her. She is dedicated to sharing her passion for the art of dance with all. “ I have found that dance can make a positive impact on the lives of all. Dancing is for everyone, and it can contribute in so many ways to quality of life. Art is so important to our culture and for our children. We all want our children to be happy, healthy and well educated. It is so imperative that we dance. Dance is an expression of life.”
RISA D’SOUZA is a Houston native, where she began her training in the MET too Youth Company performing works by Pattie Obey and Kiesha White. She attended the HSPVA and had the opportunity to dance in Tidal Intersections by Katarzyna Skarpetwoska with METdance during her senior year. She is a Point Park University graduate where she performed works by Randy Duncan, Alejandro Cerrudo, Ohad Naharin, Toru Shimazaki, Doug Bentz, and Garfield Lemonius. She was also awarded a scholarship to the 2013 Parsons Dance Summer Intensive. Upon graduation she danced with Reed Dance where she got to perform works by Terence Green and Christopher Huggins. She recently finished five seasons with METdance performing works by Kyle Abraham, Josh Manculich, Mario Zambrano, Rosie Herrera, Joshua Peugh, Camille A. Brown, Joe Celej, Larry Keigwin, Jess Hendricks, jhon stronks, Kiki Lucas and Katarzyna Skarpetowska. Risa is elated to be a founding company member of Houston Contemporary! She currently teaches, choreographs, and performs all over the Houston area and abroad, and is highly trained and gifted in jazz and contemporary. TADA welcomes her to our staff, beginning in the summer of 2016.
Davis Stumberg graduated from the University of North Texas with his BA in Dance in 2014. Aside from his dance training he was a collegiate and competitive cheerleader, and has taught gymnastics and cheerleading for many years.He is a professional dancer and lives in Houston. He has been a guest artist for Nobel Motion, and performed in the Houston Grand Opera’s productions Rusalka and Faust. He is currently in his second season with Open Dance Project, and a member of FRAME dance. We are thrilled to welcome Davis to the TADA family!
Lexi Lee grew up in Alabama and began dancing at age 3. After moving to Texas in 2005, she continued her competitive dance training at Prodigy Dance and Performing Art centre studying Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary and Hip Hop. In her youth, Lexi traveled all over the nation competing as a group member and soloist winning numerous overall and standout awards from various competitions and conventions including NUVO, Star Power, Jump, NYCDA, Hall of Fame, and Dance Awards Studio of the Year to name a few. Lexi received her BFA in Performance and Choreography from Texas State University. She had the honor of working with various choreographers from all over the world as a member of the Pre-Professional Dance Company, Merge Dance Co. Lexi was also a company member and the financial director of Orchesis Dance Company throughout her college career. During this time, she had the opportunity to train at multiple studios such as Broadway Dance center, Peridance Capezio Center and Gibney Dance in New York. Her Senior year of college Lexi was awarded the Karen Earl Scholarship for Choreography and Performance - one of the highest honors a dance major can receive at Texas State. Lexi's passion for performing is only matched by her passion for teaching dance. Lexi began assistant teaching at age 15 and has continued her teaching career ever since. Lexi has taught and choreographed all styles of dance and has received numerous winning choreography awards both regionally and nationally. Her versatility and energy in the classroom is unparalleled. Lexi is thrilled to share her love for dance with TADA students at both the West and Woodlands locations in the 2019-2020 season.
Cedric Hicks is an artist born and raised in Houston, Tx who's known for his street style of dance and ninja like flips. He's a full time dancer with over 13 years of performance experience and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and many other countries as a Diplomats of the United States. He and his company (Soul Street) have some of the number one outreach shows in the country.
As a Result of this notoriety, they receive a Proclamation Date in Houston Texas “SOUL STREET DAY” every July 3rd. Although self taught in dance he’s been trained in Gymnastic for 10 plus years under the guidance of Coach Wilma Smith. He has performed at some of the most prestigious theaters and festivals worldwide with some of Hip-Hop’s biggest musical acts. From 2008- 2016 he was a member of the HOUSTON ROCKETS Launch Crew, the number 1 Entertainment crew in the NBA. He was also a member of “SONKISS’D Dance Theater” Lead instructor at the “ENSEMBLE THEATRE" and is now Director of Soul Street Dance Company. He's recently joined up with one of the only Hip-Hip Schools in Texas “Break Free Hip-Hop School”, which teaches children all the elements of Hip-Hop (MC, DJ, Graffiti Artist and the Dancer ). As of 2018 he is now touring with “MONSTER ENERGY” entertainment. Dancing is his passion and with it he loves to create.
Amy Franklin Leonards has been teaching and performing in the arts for many years and comes to TADA with a wide range of experience ranging from stage to screen as well as behind the scenes. Originally from Louisiana, Amy studied all forms of dance as a child and was classically trained in ballet, tap, and jazz. Ballet was always her favorite! Her ballet education and training spans from Vaganova, Cecchetti, and RAD. Amy graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana with a BA in Performing Arts. Upon graduating, Amy moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the arts. While there, she had the exciting opportunity to rebuild a ballet program for a successful dance studio. After a few years in LA, Amy moved to the San Francisco area with her husband. While in the Bay Area, Amy continued to perform professionally on stage and is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association. Some of her favorite roles include Hope in Anything Goes, Rose in Enchanted April (World Premiere), Marian in The Music Man, Maggie in A Chorus Line, and Jellylorum in Cats, to name a few. Amy also has international, national, and regional commercial and print credits, including Ford, Legal Zoom, LeapFrog, and Salesforce and is currently represented by Neil Hamil Agency. Before moving to Texas in the summer of 2018, Amy spent 5 years building and growing a successful ballet program at Performing Academy in the Bay Area. Amy holds an MA in Education and is a certified teacher for CISD. Amy loves to inspire her students in the arts and in the traditional classroom that you can truly do whatever you set your mind to; follow ALL of your dreams!!
Dene Kiblinger is a Houston native who has been dancing for 11 years. He began dancing through online breakdancing tutorials and later joined his high school hip hop crew OBK. Through OBK he trained in many other hip hop styles such as popping, house, locking, and hip hop choreography or Urban dance. While in high school he also began training a broad range of other dance styles including ballet, modern, contemporary, and jazz.
After high school Dene attended Sam Houston State University to pursue a BFA in dance and trained under the talented professors and staff of the university as well as guest teachers from around the world. Through his time at SHSU he was able to perform with the dance company Nicolay Dance Works and had the opportunity to take the summer college intensive at the Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago.
After leaving the University Dene wanted to focus primarily on his love for hip hop and began teaching hip hop classes in Houston. In 2017 he auditioned and was accepted into the world renowned Acadmey of Villains crew from Los Angeles and trained with them under their month long Villains Family Intensive.
Dene now works to bring his unique skillset and knowledge from his time as a competing freestyle street dancer, his classical training, as well as his modern hip hop training, to his students to create strong hip hop dancers in every aspect.
Joel Rivera has 20 years of experience in Bboy, House, and contemporary movement. Highlighted performances include the 8th Annual Folk Art Festival in China, Super Bowl XXXVIII/LI, Warp Tour 2006/2008, MTV’s Americas Best Dance Crew, Elijah A Gibson's "The Black Card", and represent SHSU at Jacobs Pillow with Elijah Gibson’s “We Are Greenwood” and Jared Doster's "Umbilic" in 2016 and 2018.
Also known as "Judo", Joel has won numerous dance battles such as 2006 Top Finalist for the I.B.E. US qualifier, All the Way Live 2009, B-boy City 2011, Texas Freestyle Session 2016 and more to come.
Teaching/advocating is Joel's passion. Gaining experience at the ERJCC, Youth Advocates, 5-year teaching track at Westside H.S. and Westbriar M.S., B.C.D.F., Bailando Dance Festivals, and with American Voices: YES Academy where Joel taught master classes in Eritrea, Ethipioa and Erbil, Iraq.
Currently pursuing his BFA at Sam Houston State University and a company member for Social Movement Contemporary Dance, Joel is continuing his artistic pursuit and following his passion as a dancer, a teacher and as a student.
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