Leticia Hernandez- Artistic Director / Owner
Leticia Hernandez began her dance training with the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet, under the guidance of Nancy Sulik. At the age of 16, Leticia was invited to dance with the Compania Nacional de Danza of Mexico City. She has also trained with Nakita Tolin, David Howard, Jorge Cano, Susana Moreno Benavides, Edward Villella, Evelyn Ireton, Deborah Quainam, Susanne Longley, and Jan Simonds. Leticia received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance & Theatre from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. While in Houston, she was a member of Joan Karff’s Modern Dance Group and the Exclamation Dance Company. Her professional musical theatre background includes performances in THE KING & I, WESTSIDE STORY, PHANTOM, SOUTH PACIFIC, and CAMELOT.
In 2005, Leticia was honored by then Mayor Lee Brown & Deborah Quainam, as an outstanding citizen of the City of Houston, as well as one of Houston’s rising Latin Artist’s. Also that year, UNIVISION featured her along with 2 other upcoming artists in the Houston area. She has taught at Sullivan’s Dance Studio, Texas Tap Ensemble, HSPVA, HCC-Central, Houston Academy of Dance, & West University Dance Centre. Leticia was a member of the faculty at St. Mark’s Episcopal School, for 16 years, where she taught dance, music, and movement. She also serves as an adjudicator of dance for both public and private schools, as well as guest teaching.
Carolyn Benson – Instructor
Carolyn began dancing at the age of 6 years old with Marguerite Benson Hall School of Dance, in Mobile, Alabama. During her high school years, she was also a member of choir and competed in various competitions. She went on to study education at Springhill College in Alabama. Carolyn also studied piano as a child, and currently teaches from her home. She has taught at Carolyn Roberts School of dance, Bradley McWilliams Y, and Kinderdance. Most recently, Carolyn has set choreography on musical theatre productions for Tomball High School and Cy Woods High School. Those musicals include a Broadway Revue, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, MEDEA, LITTLE MERMAID, SHREK Jr., and ALADDIN Jr.
Richard Freeman-Carter – Director of our Ballet Program
A native of Washington, D.C., Richard began his training with the District of Columbia Youth Ensemble and The Washington Ballet. He received additional training from Duke Ellington School of the Arts, as well as Virginia Commonwealth University. He has danced with professional companies such as Elisa Monte Dance and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Richard has choreographed works for the Atlanta Dance Connection, Texas Ballet Theater School, Dallas Black Dance Theatre(DBDT) and DBDT II. Mr.Freeman-Carter has performed in over six countries and teaches master classes and workshops nationally.
Julie Holmes – Company Director
Dancing since the age of 4 at Stephanie’s School of Dance, learning ballet and tap for 2 years. Started competitive drill team at 7 years old with Dancin’ Bluebonnets, followed by The Woodlands Dance Force 4 years later, winning several National Championships at Showtime International and MA competitions. Trained in tumbling with Woodlands Elite for 3 years while cheering on school’s squad. Selected hip hop dancer for Planet Funk Academy’s Sr. Team at the age of 16, and for the Pro Team at 19 years. Studied Dance at University of North Texas, as well as participating in Glee Club for the Fall and Spring semester of 2010-2011. Taught at The Woodlands Dance Center for the last 2 years, where many dances and students placed in overalls as well as receiving judges choice awards.
Taylor Kalen – Studio Instructor
Taylor began dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of Paula Abbott of Abbott’s Performing Arts Center. She began dancing competitively on the APAC dance team at the age 7. While in High School, Taylor was a member of the national award winning Jersey Village Gold Duster Drill Team, under the direction of Betty Buchner. Taylor served as military officer both her junior and senior year, and received many awards including, “Best Dancer”, in 2004. As officer, Taylor choreographed numerous national award-winning pieces for the team and officer line. Taylor also qualified for several solo finals over the years, including Marching Auxiliaries Miss Drill Team USA in 2004.
Taylor graduated from Texas A&M University with Bachelors Degree in Communication and a Minor in Psychology. Taylor has served as a judge at both drill team and competitive dance auditions. This is Taylor’s third year on staff at Koenig, and she is passionate about sharing her love for dance with our students. Taylor, her husband Travis, and their son live in Jersey Village.
Erin Peyrani – Hip Hop Instructor
Erin Peyrani started pursuing the dance world in 2012, after graduating from the Klein Oak Dance Company. Since then, he’s performed with hip hop crews, artists, and event organizers around the Houston area. From winning 1st place at WOD Houston with the Wyldstyl dance team, to performing at venues such as the Wortham Center, Discovery Green and the Staples Center. Erin carries this broad experience into the classroom as well, using in-depth training that he learned from becoming a Co-director for the Soundbox Studios Training Program (C.O.R.E.). His teachings and choreography have even reached across to Austin and Dallas, in hopes of bringing more growth to the Texas dance community. He’s so excited to bring his passion to Spring Cypress Dance Center, to help sculpt the next generation of amazing and versatile dancers.
Anthony Silva – Break Dancing Instructor
Anthony Silva was born and raised in Houston, TX. Dancing for 20 years now, he has traveled the world performing, competing, and teaching dance. He’s performed with the Houston Rockets Launch Crew for the past 9 seasons, is a member of the world famous Havikoro Crew, and tours with the high energy stage show called Vocal Trash. He has been teaching for over 10 years now at schools, community centers, and dance studios all over the Houston area. Along with his group Havikoro crew, the City of Houston declared March 4th Havikoro Day in Houston! Notable performances – NBA All Star Games 2010 and 2014, Super Bowl 38, NBA Global Games (Taiwan, The Philippines, and Mexico City), and The UK World B-Boy Championships in London, UK (3rd Place).
Bekkah has been dancing since the age of 3. She is trained in ballet, lyrical, modern, tap, hip-hop, and drill team (military, kick). Bekkah has been associated with the competition and performance teams of NHPA (North Harris Performing Arts), Fairfield Dance, and American Academy of Dance ballet guild. During high school, she was an officer and member of the Jersey Village Gold Dusters Dance Team. After graduation, Bekkah was invited to join MA Dance as staff member for camps/competitions and was selected to travel with MA’s touring (USA) staff. Bekkah continued to dance during her college years and was selected to be a member of the Lone Star Dance team and Texas State Strutters (3 years). She has worked at various studios and daycare facilities as a preschool dance instructor. After graduating from Texas State with an Education degree, Bekkah has worked for the CFISD school district in long-term sub assignments and tutoring programs with high risk students. Her love of dance has continued and she is very excited to a part of the SCDC staff as a teacher!!!
Colette R. Miller
Colette R. Miller began her training with the Santa Fe Aspen Ballet Company. She went on to work with Moving People Dance Theater in Santa Fe New Mexico. In 2015, Colette completed her undergraduate degree in dance at New Mexico State University where she was a member of their contemporary ensemble, Contemporary Dance Theater. During this time, Colette had the privilege of attending the American College Dance Festival for five consecutive years performing in numerous works for adjudication. In 2014, Colette’s work String of Connections was chosen for adjudication at UT Austin. In 2016, Miller and Jermey Edmondson’s work, The Manipulator, was selected for Gala at the regional American College Dance Association conference and was selected as an alternate for the National Conference in D.C. Other notable training experiences include, Josè Limon, Noble Motion, Bill Evans, Lux Boreal and the American Dance Festival where she had the privilege of working with Vanessa Vsokuil, Rodger Bellmen, T. Lang and others. Miller was adjunct faculty at New Mexico State University and has since transferred to Sam Houston State University where she is working towards her Master of Fine Arts in Dance.
Gina Marchese Joe
Gina is thrilled to be a member of the teaching staff at Spring Cypress Dance Center. Throughout her dance career she studied with Patsy Swayze, was a member of the Houston Jazz, Ballet Company, Glen Hunsucker’s Dance Arts Unlimited where she performed as a Company Member, trained at Houston Ballet under the direction of (Ben Stevenson), and Houston Dance Center under the direction of (Nicholas Palajenko) and (Gilbert Rome’s) Studio of dance. A graduate of The High School for Performing and Visual Arts, she was awarded the Most Outstanding Dancer Award under the Directorship of Mary Martha Lappe. She attended Houston community college under the direction of Deborah Quanaim while performing at Six Flags over Texas in a magic show under the ownership of Mark Wilson.
Gina’s teaching career started as a substitute teacher at HCC, Yates High School, and teaching H.I.S.D. drill team work shops. She also taught at The Academy of Creative Dance for Director (Joee Shapiro), Cherokee gym in Jacksonville, Texas where she was the recreational Director, Kinder Care Learning Centers as Center Director and Dance teacher, and at Progressions Performing Arts. Gina was also the Owner of (Just 4 Dance- dance apparel shop).
Dorena Battaglino studied Broadway-style tap, jazz, and ballet for thirteen years at the Shirley Wolfe Dance Studio in Plano, Texas, beginning at age four.
Dorena attended Colorado School of Mines, where she earned a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. She also stayed active in dance performance, was president of Mines Little Theatre, and choreographed the annual musicals, Damn Yankees, Oklahoma!, Sugar, and the Faculty Follies from 1987 to 1991. From 1992 to 1995, in the San Francisco Bay Area, she was active as an actor, dancer, and choreographer in the local community theatre scene. Choreographing tap-rich 42nd Street was a personal favorite. She improved her improv skills as an actor in murder mystery dinner theatre, and was the inaugural Resident Staff Choreographer of the Oakland Lyric Opera.
In 2004, Dorena discovered the world of rhythm tap while studying with Karen Callaway Williams in New Jersey. Since then, she continues her professional development by taking class with masters such as Dianne Walker, Derick K. Grant, Jason Samuels Smith, and Anthony Morigerato at annual tap festivals, including Soul to Sole (Austin), Third Coast Rhythm Project (San Antonio), and our local True Sound Rhythm Festival (Houston).
Dorena initiated and taught the Adult Beginner Tap class at the Katy Family YMCA in 2011, before making a move overseas. While living in Scotland for three years, Dorena studied Scottish step dancing. She participated in Step Swap Workshops for adults at all levels, beginner to professional, as well as taught American rhythm tap. Among her Scotland performances, she accepted an invitation to perform in Natalie MacMaster’s concert in Aberdeen.
Dorena returned to Texas most recently in 2015, and is the youth tap instructor at Allegro West Academy of Dance and Spring Cypress Dance Center. She is also a guest instructor for Tap 4 Dancers adult classes at Tap Happy.
Carla Gleason began her ballet studies at the age of three in Brazil and continued to fulfill her love of dancing at multiple studios both in Brazil and the United States. At the age of 11 she entered Classical Ballet Theatre in Northern Virginia under the direction of Cynthia Donavin.
Carla began the Pre-professional program at CBT at the age of 13.
During her studies at CBT, she had the privilege of performing Jean Paul Comelin’s Daughters of Mourning, Colorado Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, Nell Hacker’s Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty,Cinderella and Peter and the Wolf. During her senior year in high school, Carla danced for the Manassas Ballet Company where she performed in several pieces including Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.
In 2012, Carla received her B.S. with an emphasis in Sports Medicine Exercise Science and a Minor in Dance from Belhaven University. During her years at Belhaven University, she studied dance under the artistic direction of Cynthia Newland and instructors Caleb Mitchell, Erin Scheiwe Rockwell, Stephen Wynne and Britta Wynne. Carla had the opportunity to perform various works by instructors Laura Morton, Ravenna Tucker and guest choreographer Robert Wesner. In 2016-2017 Carla danced for The Dance Project in Austin, Texas in several works showcasing both contemporary and Ballet works choreographed by Latisha Coffey, Diana Wang and Emily Tergesen. Carla has had the privilege to choreograph and teach for all ages ranging from 4-16 years old.
As a newcomer to Houston, Carla is excited to be able to share her passion for dance as a company member of Ad Deum II.