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.
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.
Grace is a current student at UT Austin majoring in chemical engineering. She began her ballet training at the age of 4 in Arizona where she studied classical ballet before moving to Texas. She then expanded her horizons to include jazz, contemporary, and modern. She has competed in many different competitions with group routines as well as solos; along with her fair share of ballets.
In addition to dance, Grace enjoys singing and playing the piano, and works as party princess through the company, 'Wish Upon a Star'. Grace volunteers at her church mentoring younger students.
Currently taking ballet classes at UT and Ballet Austin, Grace is also a member of the Texas Ballet Club where she performs variations as well as teaches classes to other students.
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 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
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 use her background in bookkeeping and administration in her new role as Operations Manager.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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: email@example.com
Now that you've learned about our staff, go to the 'Gallery' to meet our students!