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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, Ballet El Paso, UTEP Ballet, El Paso Opera, El Paso Symphony, and the UTEP Dinner Theater.


Ada taught for The Washington School of Ballet, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, 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.

Ada founded DANZA in January of 2016. She was most recently named 'Trailblazer' of the year, being recognized as a noteworthy Austinite for her excellent service in the arts field; and was featured in Voyage Austin Magazine's 'Hidden Gem' series.

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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. 


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 celebrates her 6th year of being part of the DANZA team, where she uses her background in bookkeeping and administration in her role as Operations Manager, where she oversees the online system as well as operations for both the children and adult program.


Cecile graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in International Studies. Before becoming a photographer, she spent a decade as a technical headhunter, and was a personal chef in the Austin area.


Born in Vietnam, Cecile spent most of her life in the Northern Virginia area but has also been shaped by her time in Guam and Malibu, California. She has been a photographer based in Austin for the past 7 years and credits the colorful and diverse culture of the city for shaping her creativity and signature style. Her work has been featured by Billboard, Univision, NPR, CBS News, Austin American-Statesman, Austin Monthly, Texas Exes, record albums, and national food labels. Her clients have included award winning musicians and producers, local entrepreneurs, non-profits, and countless families across Austin.

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

Her work can be found at: (& on our site!).


Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Anna received her training with the Cincinnati Ballet Academy, studying under notable faculty such as Sarah Hairston Berkley. Years later, as Anna turned her role to teaching, she became an assistant for summer programs and other classes at the academy. Additionally, she worked with the nonprofit, Princesses Ballet. While coordinating and choreographing for their yearly productions, as well as teaching weekly technique classes, she learned how to present ballet as an expressive art form with emphasis on accessibility and non-exclusivity.

Anna has explored her love of teaching and passion for dance through her career as a preschool teacher at the Children’s Academy of Mason. Instructing the extra-curricular classes there, she found a way to incorporate dance and creative expression into her daily curriculum.

Anna came to Austin in the fall of 2021 as a Registered Behavioral Technician within an ABA company, and is now excited to return to teaching dance. As DANZA's newest team member, she began her position in January of 2023 and each day looks forward to sharing her love of dance with another young generation of students.


Since joining DANZA 5 years ago, Jennifer has 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.


Born in Bay City, TX, Mary spent the majority of her childhood in Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, and Needville, TX. She started acting when she was 11 at Fort Bend Theatre where she debuted as Kanine Krunchie in 101 Dalmatians. Her love for the arts continued throughout high school where she played various roles in annual musicals and One Act plays. Her favorite role to date was playing Grace Farrell in Annie. After high school, she was cast in her first film called Soulless and several other community theatre plays. 


Now, a seasoned digital marketing professional based in Austin, Mary is armed with a B.S. in Electronic Media and Mass Communications from Texas State University. With over four years of hands-on experience, she adeptly oversees email marketing campaigns, blog content, social media strategies, and company events.


Mary is the person behind our social media content, giving us an uplifting online presence. Follow us on Facebook & Insta @danzatx to show her work some love.


Beyond her professional pursuits, Mary is also a dedicated student of DANZA and has been taking classes with the studio for 3 1/2 years.


Hong, a woman of many passions and talents, has embarked on a diverse journey in both her professional and personal life. Graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Management in 1994, she continued her education in 1996 and began her pursuit of a Master's degree in Horticulture; later expanding her horizons by achieving a Master's degree in Computer Science in 2001.

While her primary role is that of a dedicated mother raising three children, her professional life shines as she assumes the role of a Software Development Manager. In her scarce spare moments, Hong reveals her creative side through various artistic endeavors. With a deep connection to the earth and a love for crafting, she immerses herself in pottery, knitting, and gardening.

In 2018, Hong ventured into the world of costume design, accepting the challenge to create costumes for DANZA's production of 'Alice in Wonderland.' This experience ignited her creative spark, leading her down a path of endless inspiration. Her portfolio has since grown to include captivating costumes for 'Carnival of the Animals', 'Peter and the Wolf,' and the recent 'Wizard of Oz,' showcasing her boundless creativity and dedication to the art of costume design.


Cathy Chen began her dance training 4 years ago after participating in Danza's “The Young Artist Camp”.

Her favorite part about DANZA is the family it creates between the students and teachers, "one that will always be there for you". She also loves "the moments that are more precious than gold"; including dancing with her friends, performing on stage, and teaching the younger students the principles that she herself has learned.

Cathy has been dancing on pointe for one year now, and this year was accepted and attended Colorado Ballet's summer intensive.


Her favorite role thus far has been the Python in “Carnival of the Animals”. To her, it is an experience she’ll never forget.


Besides dance, her passions are playing the violin and reading.


Emma is a high school senior and has been dancing for 13 years. She is currently a member and social co-president of her high school’s varsity dance team. Among the many dance styles she has explored, ballet and contemporary hold a special place in her heart. 

One aspect of DANZA that resonates with Emma is their commitment to nurturing strong teacher-student relationships. As an assistant, she aspires to create a welcoming and secure environment where students can not only develop their dance skills but also flourish as individuals. 

A professional ballerina she looks up to is Sylvie Guillem.

Beyond her love for dance, Emma’s passions extend to baking and traveling.


Erin is in middle school and has danced for 7 years now and been a DANZA student for the past 6 years. She began pointe work last year.

What she loves most about the studio are the people she gets to spend time with 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 Bird in Peter and the Wolf. She loved this role for the freedom it gave her, being able to bring a character to life, and tell a story. "Right before I went on stage for Peter and the Wolf I realized this is why I dance. The make-up, costumes, hours working on choreography, and crying with friends after the performance is over... all the hard work is worth it all."


Her favorite ballet company is The Royal Opera House because of the artistry and creativity they put into every production.


Kaja, a homeschool student, is in the 6th grade. She has been dancing since joining DANZA at age 5. Last year she added contemporary classes along with her ballet training. She will be getting her first pair of pointe shoes this year! 


This past summer Kaja attended her first summer intensive with the Joffrey Ballet and  looks forward to more opportunities like this.


As a teaching assistant, Kaja looks forward to watching the class learn and grow. She loves her DANZA family and the friendships she has made.


Her favorite role thus far was being part of the wolf pack in Peter and the Wolf


In her spare time she enjoys watching/cooking/reading videos on YouTube, baking, arts and crafts, playing board games, and reading to her 2 year old twin brothers.


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!

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