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TAYLOR PITTMAN:

Owner, Instructor, Choreographer

Miss Taylor is from Dale, Texas a small town just south of Austin. She started taking tap and ballet lessons when she was eight years old which led her to a spot on a competition team later on that year. She continued dancing competitively through her senior year of high school at various competitions and conventions primarily in the central Texas area. However, she has also traveled to New York where she trained at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and performed at Encore Nationals in Las Vegas where she danced with the Encore Elite Dance Team. Since she started dancing, she has had extensive training in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, contemporary, and acro-dance. She started assisting classes when she was fourteen and began teaching at FCDC at sixteen. She graduated from Texas State University in the spring of 2020 with degrees in accounting and marketing. She was promoted to Company Director spring of 2019 in which she took on more responsibilities around the studio such as planning performances, leading the competitive companies, and creating and planning studio classes and camps. She took ownership of FCDC in 2020 and continues to share her passion for dance with San Marcos youth while helping them reach their fullest potential both in and outside of the studio.

MACEY PHILLIPS :

Assistant Director, Hip-hop Program Director

Macey began her love for dancing at the age of two and competed for eleven years winning regional and national titles with her studio. She trained in tap, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, jazz, and contemporary. Through dance, she became a part of many programs and dance communities. 

In high school, she was a member of the award-winning Jack C. Hays Varsity Highsteppers and served as Senior Lieutenant. After graduation, she worked for Crowd Pleasers Dance Company for 5 years where she taught, choreographed, and built strong leadership skills for Dance Teams across Texas. While Macey was in college, she danced as a World Famous Texas State University Strutter. During this time, she served on the officer line as Lieutenant for three years and Head Captain her senior year. Her favorite part about being a Strutter was the performance opportunities, which included the Royal Caribbean cruise line, the San Antonio Spurs and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. 

Macey graduated from Texas State University with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education and a Business Minor. Upon graduation, Macey spent one year as the Dance Director at Miller Middle School. During this time, she built relationships with her students and helped continue to build the dance program. She has enjoyed her time in studio and public school settings and is grateful for the perspective and experience she has gained through both. 

Macey is heading into her 7th year at First Class Dance Center, where she proudly serves as the Hip Hop and Assistant Director. Macey takes pride in her abilities to teach a variety of dance class types and styles. She wants her students to understand the importance of all styles of dance and respect the connection they have to each other. Her lively energy and passion for teaching helps her connect and push her students to new levels of artistic and technical excellence. Outside of the technical performance, Macey believes that dance instruction can have a monumental role in shaping young lives. The classroom is an opportunity to help build life skills, leadership skills and to grow as a human. Dance class is more than just dance. Macey is passionate about creating a more compassionate dance environment where these connections and skills take place.

ADDISON KEY : Company Choreographer, Instructor

Meet Miss Addison! Addison was born in Austin and grew up in San Marcos, Texas. She did not follow the traditional path of a dancer. Growing up, she participated mostly in cheerleading and gymnastics with Texas State University. It was at the age of 11 that she took her first dance class and realized her passion. She quickly became part of the Elite Company at her Jr. high and competed multiple group dances and solos. She became a member of her high school drill team Elite Company and was a lead in multiple group routines as a freshman, while also competing a solo and a duet throughout the year. She joined the FCDC family at the age 15 and continued her training in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, lyrical, musical theater, and hip-hop. Throughout her dance career she has been invited to perform at Pro-Bowls and dance in several performances at Texas State University. She is now the head athletic trainer at Luling High School. Addison has been a part of the FCDC family teaching for 6 years and loves being here.

SCARLETT MCGRAW : Ballet Instructor 

Scarlett came from the Ozsoy School of Ballet in Duncanville, TX, where she danced for 14 years. She began dancing at the young age of 3 at Stacia’s School of Dance. Her mother realized that her daughter’s true passion was ballet, so she found a more ballet-focused school. Scarlett went through her years at Ozsoy striving to be the best. At the age of 12, Scarlett received her letter that deemed her strong enough to begin pointe. That same year Scarlett auditioned for Joffrey Ballet’s summer intensive where she attended for four consecutive years— three years in New York City and one year in Denton, TX. Scarlett then went on to lead the ballet program at Oak Cliff Dance in Dallas for 3 years, before moving to San Marcos. She enjoys teaching the discipline and technique to beginners and more advanced students. 

KIERSTEN FLORENCE : Instructor 

Meet Miss Kiersten! Kiersten is originally from the DFW metroplex where she began dancing at Dana’s Studio of Dance at the age of 3. She began dancing competitively from the age of six and continued through her senior year of high school. After moving to central Texas, Kiersten  trained and was on the competition dance team at Illusion Dance Center, NB Dance and First Class Dance Center of San Marcos and also trained at MUV Dance and Fitness. She is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, pom, hip hop, and ballroom.

 

Kiersten was a dancer on her middle school dance team for two years. She was also on her high school dance team for all 4 years and served as a Lieutenant and later the Captain of her team. She has lead and choreographed multiple group routines and won numerous team awards. She was a solo finalist every year during her middle and high school years and won multiple years.

 

Kiersten attends Texas State University and is a Texas State University Strutter. She is excited to be on staff at First Class Dance Center!

CATHERINE WRIGHT : Instructor 

 

Catherine is from Texarkana, Tx. She began dancing when she was three years old at  Judith McCarty School of dance in Texarkana. She has studied tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and Spanish dancing. In high school she was a member of her drill team, the Pleasant Grove Showstoppers, for fours years and served as junior and senior lieutenant. Catherine has won two national high kicking competitions, along with two other regional titles, and is a member of the national kick company. Catherine has been cast as principal dancers in her communities' ballets, attended multiple dance conventions, and taught master classes and private lessons for 4 years. After high school, Catherine auditioned for the World Famous Kilgore College Rangerettes and made the 80th line. During her time as a Rangerette, she performed in Cotton Bowl two years in a row, the 2021 presidential inaugural parade, in Virginia, and London, England. Catherine has since finished her time at Kilgore College with her associates degree in fine arts and has transferred to Texas State to continue her education. She is now continuing her love of dance, teaching at First Class Dance Center and is so excited for this upcoming year!

Leslie Ellingburg : Instructor 

Leslie Ann Ellingburg (she/her) is a trauma informed movement educator who is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine, has a degree in Exercise Science from East Tennessee State University, is a certified Yoga instructor, and completed a trauma informed certification through Yoga 4 Trauma. Leslie has over fifteen years working in the dance & wellness industry. Leslie has taught dance to a variety of age groups primarily working with Pre-Ballet & Early Elementary divisions and working as a coach for act & performance development. Leslie’s main area of focus is Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, and Burlesque/Heels. Her approach and teaching philosophy is rooted in the notion that we are all dancers. Dance and movement is part of who we are. It can help us express ourselves when words fail, and it can heal what hurts us. She also believes in honoring every person in her classes--seeing them as individuals, making sure that everyone feels welcome, safe, and loved. When not teaching, she works as a performing artist (independent burlesque performer and an apprentice with Artisan Oddities Performance Group), studies aerial & circus arts on the Lyra apparatus, spends time with her dog Winston, enjoys all of the arts, coffee, and loves to travel and experience what the world has to offer.

Loralei Vergara : Instructor 

 

Loralei was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She started dancing at the age of three at The Dance Spot. Then at the age of seven she joined Rise Dance Company and competed with them for seven years. She traveled to competitions with them all over Texas and even traveled to Florida and Las Vegas to compete nationally. At the age of 13, she started assisting and teaching the Pre-co & Mini Company teams. Once she got to high school, she decided to join the Anderson Trojans Belles Drill Team. 

 

In addition to the Belles, her Senior year she joined Cheryl Copeland’s company Bhumn Art Ensemble. She has enjoyed teaching camps and classes in Cedar Park, Round Rock, & Austin. She has trained in many styles including ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, modern and lyrical. She recently moved to San Marcos to start her first year attending Texas State University. Loralei has 15 years of training and counting, she’s excited to join the FCDC family and continue teaching dance.

Julia Runne : Instructor 

Julia Runne is a passionate and dedicated dance teacher with a connection to the art of dance, emphasizing the profound link between mind, body, and soul. With 18 years of personal performance experience and 7 years of coaching, Julia has become inspired by the world of dance education and encourages healing through the art form of dance.

Born and raised in the vibrant city of Dallas TX, Julia’s journey into the world of dance began at the age of 4 and she started dancing competitively at the high school level. Julia's leadership abilities quickly came to the forefront as she took on the roles of Junior Lieutenant and Captain, guiding her team with grace and poise.

Julia's time on the drill team honed her skills and deepened her understanding of the intricate connection between dance, discipline, and teamwork. Her leadership roles allowed her to inspire and motivate her fellow dancers, fostering an environment where they could collectively excel.

Upon graduating from high school, Julia continued to pursue her passion for dance by enrolling at Texas Tech University. There, she became a member of the university's Vitality Performance Team, bringing her years of experience, leadership, and a profound connection to dance to a new stage.

She found her calling off the stage, where her innate talent for movement and her deep-rooted appreciation for the mind-body-soul connection converged under the umbrella of coaching. She has directed drill teams and taught various studio classes for the past 7 years. She is looking forward to bringing fresh, healing-centric lessons and methods to the FCDC students.

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Shannon Mathis : Instructor 

Shannon Mathis started her dancing career at three years old. She began her training in Ballet and Tap and continued to train in other styles such as Jazz, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre. At eight years old, Shannon started competing at KAD in Kansas City, Kansas. She became passionate about Ballet and was a member of the Ballet Hawaii company.

She then was a competitive team member and Ballet Company member for Elite School of Dance in Puyallup, Washington. 

 

Shannon is originally from El Paso, Texas, but has frequently moved throughout her life due to her father’s dedicated service in the Army. 

She and her family are now settled in San Antonio, Texas, where she began attending Texas State University in 2021. With a Major in Health Science and a minor in Dance, Shannon plans to graduate in the Spring of 2025. 

Throughout her time at Texas State, she has been a member of the Texas State Univeristy Stutters and serves her team as Pom Leader!  With the Strutters, she has had the opportunity to perform in Dinsey Springs in Orlando, Florida, San Juan, Costa Rica, and the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade. 

Shannon is excited to bring her passion for dance to the First Class Dance Center family! 

Sam Porter: Instructor 

Sam porter is from El Paso, Texas where she began dancing at age 3, when her doctor told her mom to enroll her in ballet to stop her from tip toe walking.

She’s trained and competed in almost every style but has a soft spot for Acro. She loves the elegance and strength required of the genre. 

In 2020, Sam moved to central Texas
for college where she earned her degree from UT Austin. She’s excited to begin this new adventure at FCDC! 

Noelle Colca: Office Manager

Meet Miss Noelle! She was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and found her passion for dance from a young age at various studios such as Ballet Austin, The DanceWorks, and Greater Austin Dance Academy where she trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre, jazz, and hip-hop. 

 

In high school, Noelle continued pursuing her interest in dance and served as a three-year Captain of the Dragon Pride Dance Company, Round Rock High School’s award-winning competitive modern team. By leading the Dragon Pride Dance Company, Noelle found her lifelong goal was to teach dance. She graduated from Round Rock High School in 2020 with medical and fine arts program endorsements. After graduation, she began attending Texas State University and was accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance Education program with a projected graduation date of Fall 2024. While she attended college, Noelle worked for a financial company where she found another passion of hers - the business side of dance. 

 

Noelle continues to choreograph, dance, and perform for the Texas State BFA program in various mediums such as thesis works, video dance, and stage management. She has had the privilege of studying under Michelle Nance, Shay Lee Hartung, and LeAnne Smith who all danced for and with Erick Hawkins, a revolutionary pioneer of modern dance. Due to her modern-heavy background, Noelle hopes to integrate the art of modern dance into younger artists who hope to make dance a career one day. 

Noelle started her position as Office Manager at First Class Dance Center in October of 2023. She prides herself in her ability to create and maintain a welcoming and warm studio atmosphere that is organized, consistent, and inviting. Noelle believes that all children should have an opportunity to express themselves through dance and hopes to guide her future students to find a passion for not only dance but themselves in the process.

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Sandra Thompson: Jr. Staff, Intern

Bio - Coming Soon!

Rose Leal: Intern

Bio - Coming Soon!

Marlowe Condgon: Intern

Bio - Coming Soon!

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