Originally from Sacramento, California, Elise Elliott currently dances as a Soloist with the Houston Ballet. Following four summer programs, she became a member of the Houston Ballet in November 2007. She has 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 is happily married to fellow TADA teacher, Rhodes Elliott. They have a daughter, Annie, who was born in February of 2017.
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!
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!
Nikki Sublet comes to us from Dayton, OH, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance from Wright State University. She has danced on company with the Brown Dance Project and Dayton Contemporary Dance, and is currently a company member with Ad Deum. She has been a guest artist at several venues including the Area Choreographers Festival, Striver's School for the Arts, and the Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet. She was recently 2014 Chosen Choreographer at the Area Choreographer's Festival in Cincinnati! She also spent time as the Director of Dance at Centerville Dance Company. Check out her choreography reel HERE. Miss Nikki works closely with the TADA Company, and has already received numerous awards for her brilliant choreography.
Rhodes Elliott comes to us from Florence, South Carolina, and he currently dances as a Demi-Soloist with the Houston Ballet. 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. Rhodes has been dancing with the Houston Ballet for seven years as a member of the corps de ballet since 2007. Since then, he has performed in numerous major ballet works by Stanton Welch, Jiri Kylian, Christopher Bruce, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Ben Stevenson, Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine, and Christopher Weeldon. TADA congratulates Rhodes, who wed Elise on July of 2014!
Amy Termina is a native of Houma Louisiana and has been dancing since the age of three. She began her teaching career in 1996. Amy has competed and won at many dance competitions including taking top place at Dance Olympus in Orlando, and receiving the honor to dance at Epcot. Amy has studied under great teachers such as Karen Hebert, Derrick Reese, Patty Danos, Jeffery Williams, Steven Boyd, and Al Lowe. Amy was a member of the Steven Boyd Dance Ensemble and a member of the Alfred Lowe Tap Collective. Amy has received degrees from Delgado in Musical Theater, Surgical Technology, and Surgical Assisting. She has performed in many shows such as Lucky Stiff, Bells are Ringing, Guys and Dolls, George M, and South Pacific, just to name a few. Amy also won Big Easy awards for Chess (which she performed in and choreographed) and Barnum. She is the current director of our amazing Star Team, and her daughter Elizabeth currently dances with our Star Team Minis!
Tessie studied dance from age 3 to 22 under the direction of the late Annabelle Taylor and the late Ron Abshire at Taylor Dance Studio in Nederland, Texas. From 1994-2002 Tessie was the Dance Director at Willis High School where her teams and officer lines won 4A Grand Champion Team and Officers at various competitions. Some of her former HS dancers have gone on to be a Kilgore College Rangerette, SHSU dance team member, NFL Texans Cheerleader, Houston Planet Funk Dancer and NBA Houston Rocket Dancer. Currently, Tessie is the LOTE department chair at College Park High School where she teaches Spanish. Tessie is the proud mom of daughter Maecey, who graduated from TADA in 2016 and is a dance major at Chapman University in California!
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.
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 currently serves as Director of Ascend Dance Collective, as well as teaches an array of classes at TADA...including some wonderful tap and modern classes for adults.
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.
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.
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 directionLauren 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
Kathryn Leonard is extensively trained in hip hop, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and ballroom, but most recently has focused her attention on opening a community center for street dance in Houston's inner city. She has taught for over 9 years in various notable dance studios, including Dance World, Jubilee School of Dance, Fred Astaire, and New Vibe. Her love of movement, precision, and lines also lead her to become a hair stylist too; so in addition to choreographing and performing all over the Houston area, she is also a stylist at Salon Beaux Cheveux. Kat has a fun-loving, positive energy about her that her students just love. TADA dancers and parents would like to congratulate both Kat and her husband Malik! They were just married in March 2016.
Risa D'Souza holds a BFA in dance from the prestigious Point Park University, and currently dances on company with the MET Dance Co. She began her training with the MET Too Youth Company, where she worked closely with Pattie Obey and Kiesha White, and danced in Tidal Intersections by Kate Skarpetowska with The Met in 2010. Since then she has performed in works by notables in the field such as Randy Duncan, Alejandro Cerrudo, Ohad Naharin, Toru Shimazaki, Doug Bentz, and Garfield Lemonius, Cheryl Mann, Tobin Del Cuore, and Jamy Meek. A scholarship recipient of the Parsons Summer Intensive and a company member for several years with the Pittsburgh project-based company, Reed Dance, Risa was fortunate to perform in works by Terence Green and Christopher Huggins. Risa 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.
Genene McGrath holds a BA in dance from the prestigious Point Park University under the direction of Susan Stowe and currently dances with the MET Dance Company. Genene grew up training with Delana Blore, Nadezhda Pavlenko and Maxim Ponomarenko, and throughout college she worked with choreographers Robert Battle, Melissa Barak, Whitney Moncrief, and Jason McDole. Genene worked professionally for three seasons with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet under the direction of Karen Mareck Grundy. While with the company, Genene worked with distinguished choreographers, including Kiesha Lalama, Jennifer Medina, Shannon Lee West, and Lisa Belrose. Before joining the METdance, she performed with Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, New York, where she performed pieces by Igal Perry, Bryan Arias, and Dwight Rhoden. Genene is an incredible choreographer and teacher, with strong points in ballet and contemporary. We are excited to have her as a new addition to the TADA Family beginning in the summer of 2016.
Tony Merriwether was initially inspired during an in-school outreach program conducted by Tapestry Dance Company—which then was the only full-time tap repertory company in the world. Instantly sparked, the fire grew as he moved through the ranks of the organization—from the academy, to the pre-professional company (Visions in Rhythm) directed by Tasha Lawson, to becoming one of the principal dancers in the professional company. In addition to six seasons of shows with Tapestry Dance Company, Tony’s performance credits include Sarah Petronio’s Tribute to Jimmy Slyde, Ayodele Casel’s and Sarah Savelli’s Wonderland (a tap tribute to Stevie Wonder), Lane Alexander’s Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Barbara Phillips’ Third Coast Rhythm Project, and ZACH Scott Theatre’s Sophisticated Ladies featuring Jennifer Holliday, where he was nominated for the B. Iden Payne Award for “Best Ensemble Performance” for his duet with Matthew Shields. His tour credits include Michelle Dorrance's Dorrance Dance and The Blues Project, the east-coast touring Thank You, Gregory (a tribute to the late Gregory Hines) written and choreographed by Tony Waag of the American Tap Dance Foundation, and Acia Gray’s nationally-touring production of The Souls of Our Feet, where Tony shared the stage with tap masters Dianne Walker, Sarah Petronio, and Arthur Duncan of the Lawrence Welk Show. He has joined the illustrious faculty of LA Tap Fest, Rhythm in Fusion Festival (RIFF), Soul to Sole Festival, and Space City Tap Fest, teaching and performing alongside a docket of legendary dancers. Tony’s teaching credits include world-renowned Broadway Dance Center, STEPS on Broadway, Dallas Powerhouse, HYPE Dallas, and Tapestry Dance Academy. He is the Artistic Director of True Sound Rhythm Productions, True Sound Rhythm Fest—Houston’s only tap dance festival, and Director of TAProots (the resident youth tap ensemble at METdance).
Photo credit: Amitava Sarkar.
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!
Bridget Kuhns began dancing at the age of eight at Opus II Dance studio, after two years she started dancing at BalletMet Academy. She competed in YAGP where she placed 1st in the Indianapolis semifinal and went on to make top 12 in the New York final round. In the summer of 2011 she participated in the Houston ballet summer intensive where she was accepted into the school. After a year in the school and a year in HB II, she was then asked to join the company as an apprentice, three years later she was promoted to Demi-soloist. Bridget has had the honor of doing multiple works by Jiri Kylian such as Sechs Tanze, Svadebka, Wings of Wax, and Stepping Stones. She also enjoyed performing Carabosse and Temperament Fairy in Ben Stevenson's "Sleeping Beauty", Suzuki in Stanton Welch's "Madame Butterfly", Mud Woman in William Forsythe's "Artifact Suite", and Balanchine's "Four T's", "Ballo della Regina", "Serenade", and "Theme and Variations". Bridget is excited to begin teaching and ready to help guide the next generation of dancers.
Tameara Ford is originally from Houston, Texas. She graduated with her Bachelors in Fine Arts in Dance from Sam Houston State University in May 2017. Tameara is very thrilled to spread the education that she has gained with young artists. During her time at SHSU, she has had the opportunity to perform a piece created by Elijah Alhadji Gibson at The Kennedy Center of Performing Art in Washington D.C. and at the Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Dance Theatre in Lee, MA. Tameara danced with the Orange Pride Dance Team at SHSU for two years as choreography officer and traveled to Daytona, FL to perform at multiple NDA Competitions. Tameara received a Best in Hip Hop Award and All American Collegiate Dance Award two years in a row. She has trained with the Houston Ballet Academy, Carver’s Aldine Dance Company and Eisenhower Eaglettes Dance/ Drill Team as a Major General and the head officer being the Commanding General for her senior year. She has also performed in many productions such as “Sweet Charity”, “The Wiz”, “The Nutcracker”, “The Seed Series”, “Swan Lake”, “Tail of the Dragon” and "Whose Afraid of the Dark”. Tameara has received multiple scholarships and awards for dance including New York City Dance Alliance Regional Outstanding Dancer, The American Dance/ Drill Team Solo winner, Salt Lake City Utah Ballet Conservatory, Sandra Organ Dance Company, Stage Presence Debbie Allen Dance Company, All-State Dancer for Texas Dance Education Association, and a Crowd Pleasers Officer where she placed 2 years in a row in Top 5 and Top 10 Dancer out of multiple Dance/ Drill Teams.
"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!
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Jordan Sims, currently attending Rice University, has been teaching and assisting for several years, particularly under the mentorship of TADA owner Kristan Ballard. She was one of the first seniors to graduate from TADA's elite dance company, where she had the opportunity to work with some of the top teachers and choreographers from all across the country. Jordan has danced her way to several regional and national top awards, but also has returned after graduation to help TADA's competitive dancers do the same. As a teacher, Jordan strives to make sure that her students master the fundamentals while keeping them engaged and challenged. She also has an excellent rapport with younger dancers, which make her classes delightful and fun!
Allie Durbin grew up in Katy, Texas where she developed a passion for dance through competing as an elite level gymnast during her primary school years. Allie enjoyed her years of dance competitions, high school drill team, as well as studying and performing with MetDance in their Met Too youth company. Allie graduated as a Nordan Fine Arts scholar in the class of 2017 from Texas Christian University with her BFA in Modern Dance. In October of 2015 Allie performed with Joshua L. Peugh’s Dark Circles Contemporary Dance Company in their Fall Series, and had the pleasure of working with Joy Bollinger, Leah Cox, Leslie Scates, Doug Elkins, Christian VonHoward, and Kihyoung Choi during her time at TCU. Allie is currently dancing with NobleMotion Dance, and excited to study under Andy and Dionne Noble in her first season with the company.
Mirannda achieved her Bachlor's of Science in Dance from Stephen F. Austin State University. She then went on to earn 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, choreographer Timithy Holecek-Child, and with the Texas Renaissance Festival Daytime and After Dark productions as a singer, actor, dancer, and stage combat technician. As a choreographer, Mirannda has had her work performed on stages in Italy and Corpus Cristi. 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.
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.
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.”
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