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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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. 


This school year Melanie celebrates her 5th year of being part of the DANZA team and is excited to use her background in bookkeeping and administration in her new role as Operations Manager.



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:


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 and 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.

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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! 


Her work can be found at: (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:​

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