Angela Apel

Owner / Instructor

Angela has 15 years of dance experience in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and acrobatics. She was a company dancer at a nationally awarded dance studio, Suzette's Masters of Dance.  There, she was part of an elite group that won several 1st overall National Championships.  

 

Throughout high school, Angela was also on the varsity dance team.  During that time, she was honored to be chosen as a member of the Shock Wave NBA dance team and was also asked to join the dance team for the NBA Detroit Pistons.

 

Angela attended Michigan State University where she was selected to be on the MSU Cheer Leading Team.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and later received a Masters in Education from DePaul University. 

Tara Tassio
Owner / Instructor

Tara began dancing at the young age of 3 and soon developed a strong love for dancing, performing, and competing. Her years of competitive training took place at Suzette's Masters of Dance, one of the top rated dance studios in the nation. She trained extensively in Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Tap, and Acrobatics.  She has traveled around the country performing and competing and has won several National Dance Championship awards. Tara has had the privilege of performing at NBA halftime shows and also received a dance scholarship to University of Northern Colorado.   

Tara has always had a passion for teaching and choreographing. She was the captain of her varsity high school dance team where she was a first place National Dance Team Champion and appeared on ESPN.  She also coached an All-Star Dance Team who took a national championship award in Orlando, Florida. Later, Tara attended Michigan State University where she received a degree in Elementary Education.  

Dance has been such a positive part of her life, providing numerous lifelong skills as well as wonderful memories. Tara is excited to share her love for dance and everything it has to offer with the students of District Dance Company.

Alyssa Slack

Owner / Instructor

Alyssa grew up dancing competitively in Michigan where she trained intensively at Suzette’s Masters of Dance, a renowned dance studio, for 14 years. She is trained in Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Acrobatics and Ballet. During her years of studio training, Alyssa was also a high school Varsity Dance Team member for four years. She was the first freshman in the history of UCS to make the Varsity team.

 

Some exciting opportunities Alyssa had during her dancing career include being a back-up dancer for Enrique Iglesias during the Detroit Half Time Show and dancing multiple half time shows for the Detroit Pistons. She was also asked to model in the Leo’s Dancewear National catalog, which was an experience of a lifetime.

 

After graduating, Alyssa attended Oakland University where she received a Bachelor's in Elementary Education. During that time, she was a studio director and studio choreographer for a local dance studio. There, she won over 300 Platinum medals, multiple National Titles and was awarded numerous Choreography Awards. Alyssa is excited to share her wealth of knowledge and love of dance with the District Dance Company.

Mrs. Esther

        Instructor

Mrs. Esther was born in England and started her Ballet training in South Africa under the direction of Liz Millington and Mignonette Furman.  After returning to England, she continued her training with the Royal Academy and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, earning high honors in several genres of dance.  She began her professional career after graduating with distinction. 

 

After moving to the U.S., Mrs. Esther began performing and teaching with many notable companies such as Princeton Ballet, Ballet Florida, Houston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Ballet San Antonio where she performed many major roles and worked with renowned international choreographers.  Her students and choreography have received high accolades and have been accepted to many renowned national and international companies.  Mrs. Esther is thrilled to share her knowledge and passion for ballet with the students at District Dance Company. 

Mrs. Sara

        Instructor

Mrs. Sara has 15 years of dance experience in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, hip hop, pom and kick dance genres. She began her dance career at her local dance studio where she began assisting and leading classes at the young age of 14.

Sara competed on her high school dance team for 3 years where she performed in the annual Houston HEB Thanksgiving day parade multiple times.  She was a member of the elite jazz company as well as an inaugural member of the elite district-wide technique company.

 

After high school, Sara studied Dance pedagogy at the University of Houston where she received her Bachelors degree in the Fine Arts of Dance and became certified through the Texas Education Agency to teach Dance and Physical Education in public schools state wide.

 

Sara was an assistant dance team director in Fort Bend ISD for 3 years where she lead her JV team to the prestigious Grand Champion title in her last year. Her choreography has won multiple awards over her time directing. She also received the highest rating of “Division I” for her teaching methods and practices from the Texas Dance Educator’s Association in 2018.

 

Sara and her husband share two beautiful daughters, one of which they just recently welcomed into the world this past August. She is excited to jump back into teaching in the studio setting and share her love of dance with the community.

Mrs. Imelda

        Instructor

Mrs. Imelda has had the amazing privilege of teaching dance to young children for over 20 years.  Her dance teaching journey started in Queens, NY at Dance Dynamics Inc. where she began teaching while in high school and until she moved to Katy, TX in 2017.  She attended Queens College, CUNY earning her BA in Family Consumer Science- Nutrition during which time she also trained in dance. 

 

Her dance experience is in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Contemporary.  Mrs. Imelda has instructed contemporary dance classes at Dance Space Inc., performing works from emerging NYC and international choreographers including Jana Hicks, Max Stone, Marijke Eliasberg, Diane McCarthy, Guido Tuveri, Apollonia Holzer, and Victor Butcher.  She credits this time in her dance journey for realizing her movement vocabulary , potential and artistry as a dancer. 

 

Imelda feels blessed that she has been given the opportunity to enrich children's lives through teaching them dance.  She is excited about sharing her love for dance with her students and helping them discover the joy of movement.  

Ms. Casey

        Instructor

Ms. Casey is a former National Level Gymnast.  After winning multiple national championship awards, she was accepted into the prestigious Cirque du Soleil as an acrobat, aerialist, and artistic acrobatic diver. Ms. Casey performed and traveled the world with Cirque du Soleil for 12 years where she worked under world renowned acrobats, therapists, and coaches.

After her acrobatic career with Cirque du Soleil, Ms. Casey became a licensed massage therapist where she provided injury rehabilitation, pain management, and massage therapy to many different athletes.

Singing, dancing, diving, swimming and learning the Russian language are a few of her favorite hobbies.

Mrs. Jenny

        Instructor

Mrs. Jenny is thrilled to be returning to her musical theatre roots and using her 37 years of theatre experience and 18 years of teaching kiddos!  

 

Jenny began her professional theatre career at age 7 with the Houston Grand Opera and went on to perform with HITS theatre for the next 11 years. After graduating from HSPVA in theatre, she attended UC, Santa Barbara and received a degree in Film Studies.  She then moved to Los Angeles, where she worked in the film industry before returning to musical theatre, performing in numerous musicals around Los Angeles.   It was here, in 2000, that she began teaching children. 

 

Upon returning to Texas, she became Program Director for HITS theatre, directing children between the ages of 5-19.  She then moved to the Humphreys School at TUTS where she taught dance and acting until she had her 3rd daughter.  Currently, she is co-owner of Mud Flower Yoga, a company that has empowered thousands of children, teachers, and parents through mindfulness and yoga-inspired movement. 

Mrs. Sabryna

        Instructor

Mrs. Sabryna, affectionately known as Mrs. Sunshine, began her dance journey at the age of three and is classically trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Modern, and Pointe. She was a member of her high school dance team and has been a dance & gymnastics instructor, event coordinator, and gym director in studios across the Houston area since 2008. She has coached children from 4 months old through USAG level 4.

 

Mrs. Sabryna received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston in 2009 and went on to obtain her yoga teacher certification from The Yoga Institute of Houston and has trained in aerial acrobatics since 2010.  Sabryna has also worked as a behavior therapist, certified substitute teacher, and has coached swim, karate and sports. Through these varied professional experiences, Sabryna has developed a depth of knowledge in education and child development.  Her ability to establish lasting relationships through serving the families in her community even earned her the prestigious international director’s circle award in 2017.

 

When Mrs. Sabryna is not in the studio creating memories, she spends time practicing circus skills, crafting, and event planning at home with her beloved pets and husband.  Her passion for inspiring growth within her students is apparent in her classes and she is excited to share her love of performance arts with the District Dance Company.

Mrs. Tracy

        Instructor

Mrs. Tracy has 23 years of extensive dance experience combined with 10 years of teaching and choreography to a wide range of levels and age groups in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop.  She developed a strong love for dance while training under Keely Jardell and began dancing competitively at the age of 10.  Under the direction of Keely Jardell, her team won multiple national championship titles, Grand Champions at the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Dance competition, and Mrs. Tracy was awarded first runner up soloist as Teen Miss Headliner during National competition.  

 

Mrs. Tracy has had the honor of performing in New York City and Washington D.C. as well as being a part of the showcased act in the pre-game performance for the Dallas Cowboys and multiple half time performances. Tracy also performed with the Mid County Performing Arts Company as one of the original cast members holding several lead roles. After high school graduation, she served as an Assistant Director for the company for 5 years until moving to Houston.

Mr. Austin

        Instructor

Mr. Austin began competitive cheer when he was 9 years old and has over 13 years of cheerleading and tumbling experience.  Austin was a Varsity cheerleader at Seven Lakes Highschool where he became a UCA ALL American his senior year.   

 

While a competitive cheerleader, Austin was a two-time national champion at NCA Nationals and won several 1st place awards at many other National Cheer Competitions, including the Cheer Sport National Competition.  

 

Mr. Austin graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Kinesiology and hopes to attend nursing school in the spring. 

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