DIRECTOR | BALLET | POINTE 

ADA GRACIELA MARQUEZ

Originally from El Paso, TX, Ada attended the University of Texas at El Paso on full scholarship, graduating Cum Laude with a BFA in Ballet Performance, 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 NYC, Ada studied with the faculty, accompanists, physical therapist, and choreographer of ABT’s® Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

 

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

 

Ada is a NDEO member 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.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

CLARE BRAUN

Clare is currently a student at Westwood High School, where she participates in their fantastic dance program. Clare started dancing when she was two years old. Most of her background is in ballet, including pointe work, but she's been known to enjoy some jazz from time to time.

 

Clare competed on the Vision dance team for several years and then performed with Ovation Ballet Company's The Nutcracker for six years. There she learned many ballet techniques and what it takes to perform such diverse ballets.

Besides dance, Clare is a huge fan of Harry Potter and is a proud Slytherin. She was even chosen to be a part of the final round of auditions for the recently released TBS show: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses! She also enjoys competing on swim team and quiet time at home watching movies and tv with her family.

Clare's journey in dance has spanned multiple studios and she is excited to be at DANZA now. She came to DANZA during their return to in-person classes, where she now takes ballet. She is very excited to have a more extensive role at the studio and to put her odd love of paperwork and organization to good use.

BACHATA 
ULIANA BIRYUKOVA

Originally from Russia, Uliana graduated with a degree in Teaching from Penza Pedagogical University with an honor of Red Diploma and received an Award for contributions to Penza Puppet Theater during the festival in Turkey. She took a leap of faith and moved to the USA on a full scholarship to a private liberal arts school, Millsaps, which she graduated with a degree in International Relations. 

 

Upon moving to Baltimore, she discovered the world of salsa and fell in love with it. She studied with different salsa world stars from Washington D.C., New York and Boston. Later on she became an apprentice to a ballroom studio in Baltimore, Circle of Friends. Upon moving to Washington D.C., she was selected to become a Bay Area Shuckers Cheerleader, which is one of her fondest dance experience memories. While in DC, Uliana also performed contemporary with Allure Dance Company and started studying West Coast Swing Dancing.

 

When she moved to Austin, she joined DAS jazz performance group and performed contemporary dance on stages of North Door, Paramount Theater, and Hilton Hotel. Uliana also continued studying salsa and bachata and joining different dance team projects, like Dance Collective, Cinco Doce, Collective Essence, Cre8tive Control, and Sabor De Austin which allowed her to perform at Houston Salsa Congress, San Antonio dance convention, and multiple ballroom studios around the Austin area. She currently performs with Dos Y Seis Performance Team.  

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BALLET

CLARA NEUFELD

Clara Neufeld began her dance training studying classical ballet under Andrée Harper in El Paso, TX. Here she performed various soloist roles with the El Paso Youth Symphony, and various concerts with The Bridge BiNational Symphony. 

 

Clara has been accepted into summer programs with prestigious ballet companies across the nation, including Ballet Austin, Oklahoma City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Washington Ballet, and the Jilllana Conservatory.

 

Clara discovered her passion for teaching and choreographing as part of the 70 member Eastwood Trooperettes dance team. For the past couple years, Clara has been an instructor for MA Dance, teaching and choreographing for high school dance teams nationwide.

 

Through TCU's Dance Scholarship, Fine Arts Academic Achievement Scholarship, and English Heritage Endowed Scholarship, Clara is currently pursuing a BFA in Ballet, a BA in English, an Honors Research Thesis in Dance, as well as a Pilates Teaching Certification at Texas Christian University. At TCU, she has had the opportunity to perform in classical ballets, such as “Swan Lake” and “Konservatoriet,” and new contemporary works by Peter Pucci and Rubén Gerding.

CONTEMPORARY | GROOVE & STRETCH 

ELONY ROSADO 

Elony was born and raised in El Paso, TX where she found her love for dance at the ripe age of two. She grew up dancing as a competition kid; with the stage her home away from home. She was blessed with a mentor in dance, Rita Job Shaeffer, who gave her the opportunity to begin teaching others at just 14 years of age. She has been spreading her love for dance ever since and inspires others to find joy in movement, from the tiniest of tots to adults. She has danced professionally for over 25 years and has been teaching for over 20.

 

In 2009 her journey into the world of fitness and wellness began, obtaining her certification in Zumba Basic I & II, as well as Zumba Tomic (kids Zumba). A couple years later, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her education in dance where she trained through Lagree Fitness and earned her SPX Pilates Instructor Certification.

 

She is also a graduate of the Southern California Health Institute, as a Certified Massage Therapist. With her dance background, she has a unique perspective into how massage therapy can benefit others, not only athletes, but all people.

 

She's excited about her new chapter in life in the ATX with her son, Huxley, and husband. You can find more about her here: BodyworksByElony.com

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OPERATIONS MANAGER
MELANIE HEBERT

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!

GRAPHIC DESIGNER | YOGA
JENNIFER LEE MOULTON

Jennifer graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with her Bachelors, and an  Associate degree in graphic design from Parsons The New School.

 

In NYC, Jennifer was employed by a boutique design agency and real estate company in their internal design department. Here she worked on their seasonal ads, brochures, and marketing campaigns. She specialized in design for luxury retail, working along the director creating catalogs and ads for products made by brands such as Lancôme. Additionally, while in NYC, she worked on design for a  non profit, IBREA Foundation, an umbrella organization under United Nations.

Upon returning to Austin, Jennifer held an internship with Austin Monthly Magazine in their graphic design department. She's created several logos for a local hair salon, reiki/taro card healer, and physical therapist.
 

Jennifer most recently completed her 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. She has also 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 one year post kidney transplant. Her classes have a unique touch, mixing a bit of ki gong with hatha and Tibetan sound healing.

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TEACHING ASSISTANT
ERIN SHIN

Erin is in middle school at Hill Country Christian School of Austin. She has danced for 7 years now and has been a DANZA student for the past 4 1/2 years. This year she was promoted to her very first pointe shoes!

What she loves most about DANZA are the people she gets to see and learn from each week. As an assistant, she sees herself in the youngest of students and wants to help them grow and love being a part of DANZA just as much as she does.

Her favorite role thus far has been dancing The Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, and her favorite dancer is Maria Tallchief. 

 

When Erin is not dancing, she enjoys acting, drawing, and writing. She is also on her school cheer team, where her dance skills are also put to use.

TEACHING ASSISTANT
VALERIA PINEDA

Valeria is in middle school and started her dance journey 5 years ago. This year she was promoted to her very first pointe shoes!

She enjoys being a student at DANZA because she can see the possibility of what she can be in the future, and feels encouraged by her ballet friends. As an assistant, she wants to help the students continue to dance as they remind her of herself as a little girl.

Her favorite ballet dancer is the majestic Skylar Brandt. 

 

When Valeria is not at DANZA, she loves playing her flute and painting.

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PHOTOGRAPHER
CECILE FUSCO

Cecile Fusco Photography is an event, portrait, and food photographer in Austin. Her work has been featured by the Austin American Statesman, Rolling Stone (digital), and used on everything from album covers to food product packaging. She’s photographed the Austin Music Awards for the Austin Chronicle, events for non-profits around Austin, food for national and local food clients, as well as artistic portraits of many families around the area.

 

She has been capturing the events and classes at DANZA since its inception, and loves her DANZA family! 

 

Her work can be found at:  www.cecilefuscophotography.com/ (and on our site!).

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: info@danzacenter.com​

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