Originally from El Paso, TX, Ada the attended University of Texas at El Paso on full scholarship, graduating Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance, and a concentration in Creative Writing. She was the recipient of the Theater and Dance Department’s award for "Outstanding Major". She continued her higher education at New York University, receiving the Dean's Opportunity Scholarship. She holds an M.A. in Dance Education, with a certification in American Ballet Theater® Pedagogy. While in New York, Ada studied with the faculty, accompanists, choreographer, and physical therapist of ABT’s® Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.


Ada has performed at Universita di Roma, the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia in Italy, Elements Contemporary Ballet, AMEBA Acrobatic and Aerial Dance, Firebox Dance Theatre, Ballet Nacional de Cd. Juarez, DTM2 Improvisation Ensemble, Peoria Ballet, Reflections by Collective Essence, Ballet El Paso/UTEP Ballet, El Paso Opera, El Paso Symphony, El Paso Association for the Performing Arts, & UTEP Dinner Theater.


Ada is a NDEO member and an ABT® Certified Teacher who has taught for The Washington School of Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, National Dance Institute NM, Chicago’s Having a Ball Dance Program, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, & NYC’s Building Educated Leaders for Life. She is a former faculty member of UTEP’s Department of Theater and Dance, El Paso Community College’s Continuing Education program, and Peoria Ballet Academy.



Born and raised in El Paso, TX, Gabby recently graduated from Texas State University with a Masters in Healthcare Administration. During the last two years, her studies focused on hospital administration and healthcare leadership. She moved to Austin upon graduating from UTEP with a Bachelors in Political Science and a minor in Legal Reasoning to work the 84th Legislative Session. She also holds a certificate in Politics and Public Policy from Georgetown University.

While at UTEP, Gabby received a prestigious scholarship from the Political Science Department, & was actively involved in the Liberal Arts Honors Program & the Chicano Pre-Law Society. She completed several internships, most notably with Congressman Beto O’Rourke in Washington, DC & the Luna Scholars Program at the Texas Capitol.

She is currently working the 86th Legislative Session with the Department of State Health Services in Government Affairs and after that, will continue serving the State of Texas with the Health and Human Services Commission in their Medicaid division. Additionally, Gabby is the School Manager at DANZA. The best part of her week is when she is at the studio, seeing the students smiling faces and working with the parents!



Emilia Adcock is a student at Westwood High School where she enjoys theatre, French, piano, and psychology. She participates in leadership positions in organizations such as National French Honor Society and other specialized clubs. Since middle school, she has been volunteering at summer camps and with charitable organizations, including teaching positions in religious school. Outside of school, Emilia also enjoys babysitting, painting, and playing guitar, piano, and the ukulele.

Emilia plans to become a child psychologist. She is moving towards this goal through her work with kids and studying psychology and other sciences. In university, Emilia plans to major in psychology with a focus on clinical work and minor in French.

As a child, Emilia took dance for two years and continued into musical theatre for five years after that. She continues to participate in performing arts through her school and she is proud to support the artistic community at DANZA!



Jen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Angelo State University with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Music, Kinesiology and Communications. She then continued on at the university to receive a Master of Education in Coaching, Sport, Recreation, & Fitness Administration. Her vocal performance studies with the ASU music department include musical theater, opera, pops choir, and the concert chorale. Within the community, she received a college student scholarship to sing with First United Methodist Church Choir. 

A diverse background has fueled Jen towards impacting lives in the community by promoting health, wellness, and creative artistry on a large scale. Her vision is to inspire children to awaken their creative artistry.


Jen also received her 200 RYT Yoga Therapy & Yoga Teacher certifications from Paramanand Ashram in Indore, India. Her training is a mix of world dance, yoga, theater arts, musical theater, exercise science, fitness, and vocal performance. Currently you can find her teaching dance, fitness, yoga, and dancing professionally for Chamacos Dance Company.


Grace began her ballet training at the age of 4 in Arizona where she studied classical ballet before moving to Cedar Park, Texas. She then expanded her horizons to include modern, jazz, and contemporary. She joined DANZA as a student in order to properly hone her abilities and continue a more formal ballet training. Grace has also competed in many different competitions with many group routines as well as solos; along with her fair share of ballets. 

Along with dance, she enjoys singing and playing the piano; both hobbies that she began to pursue at the age of 6. She is a part of varsity choir as well as an acapella small ensemble group. Grace has also volunteered at her local church as a leader and mentors younger students, giving them a safe place to express themselves. 

She hopes that by working hard now and striving to do her best in all aspects of her life, she will be able to pursue a career in the medical field while continuing to follow her passion and love for not only ballet, but all art forms. She is extremely excited to bring her creativity and positivity to the team and help others achieve their dreams as well.


Jennifer holds a Bachelors degree from The University of Texas at Austin, Associate degree in graphic design from Parsons The New School in New York City, and she most recently completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. She also has trained and studied another mind body practice of energy movement, ki gong, in Sedona.

Her yoga training was the greatest gift of self love to herself after passing her 1 year post kidney transplant. She loves to share yoga to help others become more aware of themselves and their own potential and power within. She really believes through the practice of yoga the journey "of the self through the self to the self" can be experienced, and with daily practice great personal transformation and benefits can be received. In her class you can discover how movement can be like a form of medicine, a way to unite mind & body, and cultivate more self love and compassion. Her classes have a unique touch, mixing a bit of ki gong with hatha yoga postures, and ending with a Tibetan singing bowls sound healing session.


Melanie began her piano instruction in McKinney, TX with Dr. Mary Humm and continued her education with Dr. Terry Hudson at Baylor University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance with a secondary emphasis on piano. While at Baylor she taught voice and piano lessons and performed with Baylor Opera. Currently, she plays piano at Providence Church and teaches at her piano studio, Melanie Hebert Music. 


In addition to music, Melanie studied ballet for 10 years in Dallas and McKinney, Texas. A highlight of her dance training was taking classes with live piano, and she has been interested in dance accompaniment ever since. 


Melanie is excited to be a part of the ballet world again as our accompanist.


Cecile Fusco Photography is our official school photographer. Cecile has been published online with Univision, Alcade, and in print with the Austin American Statesman austin360cooks section. Her work can also be seen on the album cover of "Tomar" and the FCs latest album "Heart Attack", and she’s currently working on a couple new covers. She has photographed several music events such as the SXSW Austin Music Awards for the Austin Chronicle & SIMS Foundation events for the Craftbox Agency. 


In addition to us here at DANZA, her clients also include other local women entrepreneurs launching their own businesses, such as The Cook's Nook and the Sneaky Apron, community organizations like El Buen Samaritano and Austin Bakes, several bands and music producers, and countless families across Austin. 


"I've been a fly on the wall for as long as I can remember. My lens is just an extension of my fly-eyes. I like to capture the moments that make experiences and people memorable." Please visit her work at:



Amanda Cuoco currently resides in Montclair, New Jersey. She graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a BFA in Ballet. Amanda has performed with Ballet of the Americas, Ballet El Paso/UTEP Ballet, Lone Star Ballet, El Paso Opera, El Paso Symphony, "Viva El Paso!", Shakespeare on the Rocks, El Paso Salseras, UTEP Dinner Theater, Amarillo Little Theater, West Texas A&M Ballet, & "TEXAS!" Outdoor drama. 

Amanda began teaching ballet at the age of 18 under the direction of Andree Harper and later under Neil Hess. She later continued her career as the Head of Administration and a resident substitute teacher for The School at Steps, a division of Steps on Broadway in New York City, for almost a decade. Her professional career then took way at Barnard College, Columbia University, and Mason Gross School of the Arts-Dance Department.


Amanda currently works at Montclair State University and teaches throughout various studios in New Jersey including Backstage Performing Arts Center, Westfield School of Dance, Motion Arts Dance Studios, Starlight Dance Center, Studio L and Maria Priadka School of Dance. She is vibrantly passionate about ballet, fitness, and dance in general and is working on opening up her own studio in the near future. 


Brittany Strickland is from Winston-Salem, N.C., where she attended the North Carolina School of the Arts from 2001-2007. There she trained under Melissa Hayden, Nina Danilova, and Kee-Juan Han. She continued her education as a Ballet Austin trainee under a full scholarship and then spent two years with Ballet Austin II.


Since joining the main company, Brittany has enjoyed dancing featured roles in Justin Peck’s In Creases, Balanchine’s Agon, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Requiem for a Rose, Stephen Mills’ Wolftantz and in works by Pam Tanowitz, Lar Lubovitch, Gabrielle Lamb, and Jimmy Orrante. Brittany has performed roles in classical ballets such as Snow Queen and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker,  Peasant Pas in Giselle, The Nutcracker, and Big Swans in Swan Lake.


Brittany has her Bachelor's Degree from St. Edward’s University and teaches for Ballet Austin’s Academy.


Growing up in Southern California, Debbie was either in the kitchen or dancing. Her love of cooking was guided by both of her grandmothers from two different cultures, German and Spanish. They taught her the basics of cooking from scratch. Meanwhile, she also enjoyed studying dance: ballet, tap, and jazz. 


Now as an adult, she has been able to travel the world with her husband and fine-tune her cooking skills. From schools across Europe and private lessons with Michelin Star Chefs, she’s learned how to create delicious healthy dishes.  


Debbie has been providing health and wellness workshops and private events all around the world including, California, Las Vegas, New York, Texas, as well as Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Mexico, and London.


Debbie holds the following certifications:  YogaFit®, Zumba® ZIN Network, and AFFA Nutrition and Exercise Professional. She is also a two time International award-winning chef in Mexico and France. Her passion is teaching women of all shapes and sizes to have fun moving their bodies and eating delicious healthy food.


Isabella Rodriguez graduated Cum Laude from Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet and Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies.


Prior to TCU, Isabella trained at various studios in her hometown and attended summer intensives with San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet, where she was offered a position in their year-round pre-professional programs. During her time at TCU, she performed both solo and ensemble work in Gerald Arpinos' Birthday Variations staged by Willy Shives, Giselle and Paquita staged by Dr. Jessica Zeller, Balachine's 3 Themes (excerpt) from The Four Temperaments®, Valse Fantaisie®, and original works by Toni Pimble and General McArthur Hambrick.

Isabella is currently the director of middle school and high school dance at All Saint's Episcopal School and a middle and high school dance teacher at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts where she teaches pointe, technique classes in ballet, modern, and jazz styles of dance, and directs one of their after school dance companies, Company II. She is also on dance faculty at Gayle Corkery School of Ballet and Texas Ballet Theater.


Crystal Verver has been dancing since the age of fifteen. As a member of  the Travis Rebelettes Drill Team, she was able to train in jazz, modern, ballet & contemporary. She has also gained significant experience on stage through performing and competing with her team. Her salsa adventure began in 2005, after winning 1st place in the Havana Nights Salsa Competition. With love, passion and appreciation for the dance, she continued to train with many diverse dancers in the salsa scene.

She is part of the Austin-based group, Collective Essence, which was born as a collaborative artistic expression from some of the best salsa talent that Austin has to offer. They pride themselves in being a non-traditional ladies dance company as all members contribute to the management and artistic direction of the company. Through the team, Crystal has had the privilege of traveling, performing, competing, & teaching workshops in the US and internationally.


Crystal continues to be inspired (and inspire!) as she broadens her craft, and grows as an artist.


Lucy received her B.A. in Dance from The University of Texas. She has taught Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Musical Theatre in New York City, Los Angeles, and now Austin. Lucy was awarded summer scholarships to American Ballet Theatre, performed with Houston Allegro Ballet Company, performed with the European tour of The International Festival of Youth Orchestras and Ballet, Austin Ballet Theatre, New York’s Modern Company Facets, and New Jersey’s The Whole Theatre Modern Company. 


Lucy has been a musical theatre choreographer for over 75 musicals including Off- Broadway for The All American Boy. Some favorite stage credits include Evita, Pippin, West Side Story, Grease, Footloose, Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line, Mary Poppins, and Anything Goes. Lucy is a 6 year recipient of Santa Monica Theatre Guild’s Geoffrey Award for Best Choreography & was awarded Best Choreography in the Southern California DTASC Competition for her work on the Music Man.

Lucy has been the Resident Choreographer for the Burt Wood School of Performing Arts in Greater Boston each summer for the past 20 years.

DANZA is always looking to collaborate with experienced and talented dance, music, and theater teachers for substitute positions, guest teaching, or for our Summer Camps, Children's Program, and Adult Program. Interested candidates may send a resume to:​

Now that you've learned about our staff, go to the 'Gallery' to meet our students!

512 - 508 - 9285

12233 Ranch Rd 620 N #101

Austin, TX 78750

©2016 by DANZA, Center for the Arts

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