guest faculty

JEE EUN AHN is a choreographer, performer, and educator from Seoul, Korea. She holds a MFA degree in Dance Performance and Chorography from Florida State University. She formally trained at Korea National Ballet School and majored in Dance Education at Seoul National University. Jee as the co-artistic director of the Ainos Dance Company choreographed and danced at prestigious festivals both at home and abroad. Since she has moved to the States, her choreographic works have been invited and presented at Women in Dance Leadership Conference, Wave Rising Series, KoDaFe in NYC, Wave Rising Series, Dumbo Dance Festival, Reverb Dance Festival, Sans Limites Dance, Of Bones/Mouthfull, SpectorDance’s Choreographer’s Showcase and more. Recently, Jee has been selected as one of 12 choreographers in Doug Varone’s Devices Choreographic Mentorship program, and she will present her new work at Gibney Dance, NYC this summer Jee is currently teaching dance courses at Texas A&M International University.

SHANNON BENTON began dancing at a young age. She hails from central Virginia where she studied at Dance Theatre of Lynchburg, Virginia School of the Arts and Central Virginia Ballet. She attended Liberty University where she founded Divine Call Dance team, which began her journey as a teacher and choreographer. She was also introduced to the world of arts administration during an internship with The Alvin Ailey Foundation before graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communications: Advertising and Public Relations. After graduation, Shannon continued her dance training at The Ailey School and Dayton Contemporary Dance 2 before moving to Houston to join Ad Deum Dance Company. Shannon enjoys performing the company’s diverse repertoire. She also values the opportunity to teach a variety of styles - ballet, jazz, modern, and African fusion - both in Houston and abroad.

ORLANDO JULIUS CANOVA began his ballet training in Southern California with Lawrence and Sarma Rosenberg at the Anaheim Ballet School. At age 16 he moved to New York City to train at the School of American Ballet. There, he received a full tuition merit scholarship and was sponsored by Debbie Allen. Orlando furthered his ballet training with Miami City Ballet School. In 2001, Orlando became an Arpino Apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and in 2003 he joined as a full company member. While at Joffrey, Orlando played the part of apprentice in Robert Altman's movie, The Company. At Ballet Austin Orlando has danced lead roles in The Nutcracker, Cult of Color: Call to Color, Truth & Beauty: The Bach Project, Romeo & Juliet, Nine Sinatra Songs, silence within silence and The Magic Flute. He has worked with such choreographers as Stephen Mills, Twyla Tharp, KT Nelson, Dominic Walsh, Nicolo Fonte, Sonya Delwaide, Toni Bravo, Michelle Thompson, Reginald Harris, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Orlando has also had the pleasure of dancing for Molly Lynch’s National Choreographers Initiative in 2012 and 2013. There he worked with Darrell Moultrie, Melissa Barak, Val Caniparoli, Frank Chavez, Kitty McNamee, and Susan McCullough. In addition, Orlando teaches dance at the Ballet Austin Academy, the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness, Saint Mary’s Hall, Austin City Ballet, and Alamo Heights High School.

MARK CHAVES has been dancing for fourteen years with various dance styles that include Bboying, House, Popping, Locking, Ballet, Modern and Contemporary. He was given the opportunity to perform on television show “Heroes Among Us”, Peoples magazine, The Tony Danza Show, and MTV’s Americas Best Dance Crew Season 2. In the B-boy community he is known as “Marksman.” Winning his first two on two in Dallas at “B-boy Massacre,” Mark continues to enter in many local competitions. He graduated from Sam Houston State University with his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance. He plans to teach in the Independent School District and create a Hip-Hop curriculum to engage in community outreach.

VICTORIA DERENZO is a dancer/choreographer originally from Tampa, FL. She received her classical training in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap from New Tampa Dance Theatre, and continued on to receive her BFA in Dance at The Ohio State University. After graduating from OSU, Victoria moved to New York where she created, performed and taught her creative work with a foundation in athleticism, partnering and floorwork. Shortly after moving, Victoria was hired by

Pilobolus Dance Theatre as a company member.  From 2010 to present day, she has toured internationally performing in twenty-eight countries on four different continents.  She is currently pursuing her MFA at Sam Houston State University and dancing with NobleMotion Dance Company.  

JARED DOSTER is from Huntsville Texas, where he started dancing in college in 2004.  He went on to complete a B.F.A in Dance and a B.S. in Industrial Design from Sam Houston State University. Jared is a diverse movement artist with a background in Hip Hop, Modern, and Partnering. He was a founding member of NobleMotion Dance Company, where early on he was a part of the collaboration of many of their signature works. Jared has been touring internationally with Pilobolus Dance Theatre for the past 5 years and has performed in over 25 countries on 5 different continents.  

RANDALL FLINN is the founder/artistic director of Ad Deum Dance Company, a professional contemporary dance company based in Houston which includes an apprentice and trainee program which has drawn dancers to Houston from all accross the world.  Ad Deum celebrates their 14th year anniversary this season. Mr. Flinn began his own dance training in Houston over thirty years ago with Glen Hunsaker, Camille Long Hill, Dina Vail, Jan Simonds and Patsy Swayze.  His most recent modern dance influences have come from studies with The Limon Company and Steve Rooks, former principal dancer with Martha Graham.

MELISSA GLOUCHKOVA has been teaching ballet for the past 30 years.  Her teaching experience includes Corpus Christi Concert Ballet, Ballet Academy, Texas Ballet Concerto, Tapestry Dance Company and Academy where she was a company member for 10 years, Westwood High School’s Fine Arts Academy, Premiere Dance Academy, Rodnichok Vorkuta, Russia (guest teacher) and currently Metamorphosis Dance Academy which she considers home. Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Melissa grew up studying ballet under Nancy Sulik, Artistic Director of Corpus Christi Concert Ballet.  She has studied under master teachers during summer intensives at Ballet West, Houston Ballet, Compania Nacional de Danza Classica, Mexico and the Joffrey School of Ballet, NY as well as received many scholarships to prominent schools such as Boston Ballet, The National Ballet School, Canada and Academie de Danse Princesse Grace, Monaco.   
In 1991, Melissa was one of five dancers chosen to participate in the Kirov Ballet’s “Glasnost Buddies”, a program which allowed her to take classes with the Kirov Company.  Her professional dance career spans over 20 years with wonderful roles in numerous ballets such as The Nutcracker, Raymonda Pas de Dix, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, and The Red Shoes.  In addition to teaching ballet, Melissa is a certified pilates instructor at Center Pointe Pilates (owner) and Castle Hill Fitness, holds a BA in Interior Design, is certified in the Cecchetti Method of ballet, has a secondary education certification in Dance, is married to her wonderful husband, Vlad, and is the mother of two beautiful daughters, Misha and Maia.

DANI HAMMACK began her training in Houston, TX.  She received her B.F.A. in Dance Performance and B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Southern Methodist University where she performed works by Paul Taylor, Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey, and Martha Graham.  Upon graduating she moved to Houston, TX to become a company member of Ad Deum Dance Company and to serve on faculty as modern dance instructor for the High School for the Performing Arts. She was also the Company Director of Dance Du Coeur Dance Studio in Sugar Land, Texas where her company team won numerous awards at their national competitions. She has also been on faculty in NYC and Houston for Project Dance, an internationally touring, open air dance concert. Ms. Stinger was a member of The Martha Graham Dance Company for the 2014-2015 season where she performed works such as Serenata Morisca, Chronicle, and Diversion of Angels. She has also worked with Deborah Zall in the Deborah Zall Project, performing her work entitled Shadow of Her Sister.  Mrs. Hammack is currently the Associate Artistic Director and a Principle Dancer of Ad Deum Dance Company.

VALENTIN HERNANDEZ - Dancing for over ten years, Valentin has grown to be a fine choreographer, director, and mentor. Valentin's dancing consists of swift intention, and creative choreography. He is energetic, has excellent coordination, confidence, uncommon stamina and strong musicality. Valentin’s dance history includes performances and competitions with Brown Bag Special in Monsters of Hip Hop and World of Dance Dallas, where they placed in second, Refined Dance Company in World of Dance Dallas, placing first twice, and FSA Goodphil UTA where they placed first. Currently, Valentin dances with The Neighborhood, and has competed in World of Dance Dallas and Houston, SBS Meltdown, and Dancers Paradise Playa de Carmen, Mexico, placing high in all competitions.

MELANIE KREGEL is the owner of Metamorphosis Dance Academy and Artistic Director of Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble.

She began her training in Victoria, Texas with Debbe Busby and continued there as a member of Victoria Ballet Theatre from 1984 to 1993.  She also studied with the Boston Ballet and Joffrey, San Antonio.  She holds a B.A. in Dance Pedagogy from Butler University graduating with honors in 2007.  Her career continued following graduation with the Alabama Ballet.  Her career highlights include roles in The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, Petrouchka, La

Viviandière, Swan Lake, Coppélia, La Bayadère, Dracula, Serenade,

Giselle, and Johan Renvall’s Between the Lines. She also appeared as a guest with the Indianapolis Opera in Die Fledermaus and on an

international tour to Taipei City, Taiwan with the Butler Ballet.  She has taught for The Jordan Academy at Butler University and for

Exclusively Ballet in Birmingham before returning to Texas where

she taught for Tapestry, Ballet Austin, and The Dance Studio.  In 2004, she opened Metamorphosis Dance Academy and has been directing and dancing with the Ensemble since its creation in 2003. Under her direction the company has performed Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Cinderella, as well as, debuted many original works of both emerging and seasoned choreographers.  

SHANNON MOCKLI is an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Oregon with an emphasis in choreography and performance. Shannon has danced with choreographers such as Stephen Koester, Harry Mavromacalis of Dance Anonymous, Doug Elkins, Brent Schneider, Eric Handman, Abby Fiat, Tandy Beale, Lisa Race, Pamela Geber, Satu Hummasti and Brad Garner. She performs and presents work regularly throughout the Northwest U.S., and nationally at the La Mama Theater in New York City. White Wave Dance Festival in Brooklyn, New York Dance Alliance 50th Anniversary, and at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Theater in Salt Lake City. International presentations include the Physical Theatre Lab in Slovenia, and the Festival Internacional Dance al Borde in Tijuana, Mexico. Her dance film, “Fluctuating Frequencies” was one of three highlighted at the World Dance Alliance Americas Assembly at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla 2016. Shannon was recently honored with the Thomas F. Herman Award in Specialized Pedagogy form the University of Oregon 2017.

SUHASINI MUTHAKRISHNAN is an Indian classical dancer specializing in BharataNatyam. She graduated from the world renowned college Kalakshetra, Rukmini Devi College of fine arts, India . A staunch believer in lifelong learning as an artiste, she continues to hone her skills under Maestro Professor C. V. Chandrasekhar. Her experience and association with a Sanskrit theatre group has further enhanced her dancing and choreography. She has worked with many leading choreographers in the field from the great maestros to emerging artists, and has performed in many countries including United States, Canada, Mauritius, Reunion Islands, UAE, Poland and Mexico. Her most recent performances include : Performing at WDA  Americas 2016, Mexico and at cultural interchanges, Ladek, Poland. All this experience has only made Suhasini enjoy what she does best – dancing. As the artistic director of Sharmadayini Dance Academy, she teaches other dance enthusiasts with the dedication and conviction with which she learnt, loving every second dancing and never compromising on quality. Suhasini currently lives and teaches in Atlanta, Georgia

DAT NGUYEN is a native from Vietnam. He received his BFA degree in Dance at Sam Houston State University where he was first exposed to dance and technology that later became the driving force in his art making. He is currently based in Salt Lake City where he is pursuing a MFA degree with a Screendance Certificate at the University of Utah – School of Dance. As a visual artist, Dat loves exploring different media/technologies (photography, film, installation, projection, animation, etc…) and their often intangible relationship with dance. This allows him to expand his artistic landscapes and understand the dancing bodies through invigorated perspectives. His current physical research focuses on creating the “Fantastic Moving Bodies”, bodies that exhilarates in 3D space & time while their composition allows a sculptural quality to be captured in 2D still. In 2014, He founded his own business - MotionVivid™ - to further this research and put it in practice by relocating it from academia to the local community that he is serving.

LUIS PIEDRA - Bio coming soon.




TRAVIS PROKOP is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Lamar University. He received his MFA from Sam Houston State University and BFA from West Texas A&M University. Travis is currently a company member in NobleMotion Dance and Hope Stone Dance in Houston, and has showcased choreography at The Dance Gallery Festival New York City. He also performed on the ABC broadcasting show, American Crime in its second season. Travis has also worked and performed as Dance Captain for TEXAS: The Musical Drama, performed as a principal dancer for Lone Star Ballet in Amarillo, TX, and studied Jiri Kylian, Gaga and Batsheva repertory in Lucca, Italy. With performances under his belt at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, Travis has also choreographed numerous theater and musical theater productions including Trojan Woman and CHICAGO: The Musical.

JOEL “JUDO” RIVERA has been dancing for 17 years with experience in b-boy, house, jazz, salsa, modern, contemporary hip hop, and more. With 4 years of experience in internationally known Inertia Dance Co throughout his high school career, Joel has performed in New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, all over Texas, and was honored to represented the United States at the 8th Annual Folk Art Festival in Su Zhou, Shang Hai, and Beijing China. Joel also appeared in People Magazine’s “Heroes Among Us”, The Early Show on CBS, Super Bowl XXXVIII, and MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Participated in projects such as NobleMotion “Collide’ Show as a guest artist, Choreographer/Lead Performer under “Illuminate” for The Methodist Hospital Benefit, co-choreographer for the 2014 HEB Thanksgiving Parade, co-director for the 2015 “H-town Get Down” Hip Hop show. Joel was invited for the 2015 ERJCC DanceMonth: 4+4 Show at the Kaplan, and was selected to be 1 out 3 artist for the 2014-15 Dance Source Houston’s “Artist-In-Residency” Program to set a piece in the 2015 Barnstorm show. Also known as, "Judo" in the Hip Hop community, Joel has won dance battles such as 2006 Top Finalist for the I.B.E. US qualifier, All The Way Live, B-boy City, Dance Houston: Warehouse Live All Style Battles, BYSF 8 and more to come. Joel has served as an instructor at ERJCC Hip Hop program, DanceHouston kids program, and 5 years as a dance instructor at Westside HS and Westbriar MS.  Currently enrolled at Sam Houston State University, Joel had the honor of representing SHSU at ACDA Nationals and Jacobs Pillow while pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in dance. 

MARY ROBERTS - As a choreographer, performer, and dance educator with a career spanning sixteen years, I was a dancer who took on many gigs, a huge diversity of dance styles, and lived successfully as a dancer. I experienced some incredible moments including success as a choreographer in moments like opening for NARAS Atlanta Heroes Awards, choreographing and performing for BRE’s Man of the Year Gala, and being assistant choreographer to Gigi Hunter for her F/X Fashion, Xcetera Show. As a performer, I was a member of the inaugural cast of the Celebrity Eclipse, opening multiple shows with Poet Theatricals, Vox Lumiere, and Marguerite Scott Entertainment. I also danced in Atlanta, GA, and thoroughly enjoyed my days as a showgirl with the Dames Aflame and Kingsized Entertainment. Now, I am focused on my career as a dance educator, using my experience as a professional dancer and choreographer who worked successfully in the American dance and entertainment industries. I performed following completion of a Bachelors in Science in Dance Management at Oklahoma City University, and that's where true understanding of my American dance legacy began. I am currently pursuing my Masters of Fine Arts in Choreography and also teaching jazz and ballet at Florida State University. What I brought with me from my professional performing career was that the majority of my success was based on incredible training in American vernacular forms, coupled with a sense of legacy and the history of my roots as an American dancer from Oklahoma City University. I pass along this information in jazz class, focusing on the continued instruction of an American vernacular dance form, with its full vitality, energy, and history intact. I want to help students find themselves and focus on their intrinsic abilities in a high-energy, challenging environment. I place emphasis on students finding the style for themselves because the benefits of technique are only found after a student understands their goals in learning, allowing them to become the architect of their own physical foundation. I provide a supportive environment filled with energy, positive reinforcement, practical technical knowledge, and motivation. Whether a student is considering a career in dance or just enjoy dance as movement, they will walk away with a greater level of physical awareness, self-confidence, and liberated physicality in their everyday lives. I aim for lessons to translate to life outside of the dance class, encouraging creative and critical thinkers. Appreciation of dance as an art form comes naturally as students find their own unique voice within movement. Appreciation of American dance forms happens when dancers find pride in being part of the continued legacy of American dance.

LEAH WIERICHS is in her fourth season as a principal member of Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, Texas. She holds a degree in dance from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Leah has traveled with Ad Deum both nationally and internationally. She has served as a jazz and ballet dance faculty member of Ad Deum's summer intensive in Biel, Switzerland for the past two years.

VERONICA YANEZ began her studies in Tampico (Mexico) with French maestro, Michel Reznikoff.  She then studied in New York at the Joffrey Ballet School, Neubert Ballet Institute, with full scholarships.  At 15 years of age, Yanez became part of the National Dance Company of the CD of Mexico, being the youngest professional dance there.  At 19, she became a dancer of Ballet de Monterrey, with roles as a soloist and principal in classical, neoclassical and contemporary ballets such as The Nutcracker,

Coppelia, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Tarantella, Giselle, Majísimo, Corsaire, Allegro Brillante, and others.  In 1995, Yanez left BDM to live in Costa Rica, where her career began as a teacher of classical ballet to professional dancers of University Dance and Open Dance at the University of Costa Rica, National Dance Company, Masters and National School of Dance Conservatory The Boat national Dance Workshop (TND), Los denmedium,

Jazzgoba and Danza Libre, where she also received national awards of

"best group" and "best dancer-performer."