MEET OUR TEACHERS
Aaron first explored movement in high school as a member of his high school choir where he mastered the art of step touch and the infamous jazz square. Interested in a career in musical theatre, Aaron began taking numerous classes in different dance genres including hip hop, street jazz, jazz funk, and contemporary. He is currently a director for Lunchbox Dance Crew, Riot Squad and Wyldstyl Dance Team. Aaron also teaches regularly at Soundbox Studios, Dancezone, Vdanse Company and, on occasion, choreographs and teaches for other school and companies all over the nation. While teaching and mentoring, Aaron strives to broaden his dance vocabulary by taking all styles and immersing himself in all things dance.
Mariah Barajas, a Houston-native, is a graduate of the Kinder High School for Performing and Visual Arts. Her training with the Met Too Youth Company lead her to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a Minor in Business Management from Point Park University under the direction of Jason McDole, Kiki Lucas, Garfield Lemonius, Kiesha Lalama, and others. Mariah has extended her training while attending Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Professional Semester, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s summer intensive, Parsons Dance summer Intensive, Giordano Dance Chicago Intensive, International Summer Dance, and the Houston Met Dance professional intensive. Combining her passion for dance and fitness, Mariah is currently en route to become a National Academy of Sports and Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. As an emerging artist, Mariah is working to be an advocate for all art forms, both in and out of creative spaces.
Brette Seffens was born in Houston, TX and grew up between there and London, England. She started her dance training at 12 years old where she was immediately introduced to the performing world and exposed to different styles of hiphop. When she wasn’t performing with multiple local troupes, she was training at reputable studios both across the country and internationally, including Broadway Dance Center, Millenium, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, Pineapple Dance Studios, and Base Dance Studios. At these studios, she learned the genres of hiphop, locking, popping, housing, bollywood, and salsa. She also broadened her dance education by attending dance conventions and intensives all over the country, such as Pulse and Monsters of HipHop, where she earned several scholarships. She gained teaching experience as an assistant to many choreographers, both local and internationally renowned, such as Stuart Bishop (of Love Rudeye Agency in the UK), Shane Sparks and others. As a veteran instructor of 15 years, Brette’s primary goal is always to make sure every student feels confident in their craft and that they can find comfort within growth.
A Houston native, Nicole Young began her formal dance training at the age of ten at Uptown Dance Centre. She joined their pre-professional ballet company and fell in love with performing. While on summer breaks, Nicole furthered her training at summer intensives with Houston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, Ad Deum, and BODYTRAFFIC. Nicole competed in the ballet competition the Youth America Grand Prix in Texas and placed in the Top Twelve in both the ballet and contemporary categories. She went on to receive a scholarship to study Modern Dance Performance in the prestigious University of Oklahoma’s dance program under the direction of Austin Hartel and Roxanne Lyst. During her time at OU, Nicole danced principal roles and performed across the globe in dance festivals in Beijing and Barcelona. After OU, she made her professional debut with the contemporary ballet company Uptown Dance Company. At this same time, she began teaching at Uptown Dance Centre and Becky’s Academy of Dance. Nicole specializes in teaching ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern to children and young adults. Currently, she works as a freelance professional dancer and a Pilates instructor at Body Rock Pilates. She could not be more excited to join the Vdanse faculty and cannot wait to see what this season has in store!
Paige White was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She began her dance training as student at The Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School where she graduated. In 2013 she moved to New York City to continue her dance training at The Joffrey Ballet School. During her time at The Joffrey Ballet School, Paige was cast as Lead Flower in The Nutcracker and Canary Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty. After three years at The Joffrey Ballet School she then joined METdance in 2016 as a member of the professional company. Paige has since performed works by Bridget Moore, Camille A. Brown, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Rosie Herrera, Mario Zambrano, and Robbie Moore. With METdance Paige has traveled to Dallas Dance Festival, Austin Dance Festival, Green Box Arts Festival, and Jacob's Pillow. Paige is thrilled and eager to see what this 24th season has in store!
Kevin Chapman King is an American Latin Ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor based in Houston, Texas. Kevin has been exposed to dance since the age of 5, earning many titles. It began with his mother, Ms.Barbara King, who founded King’s Dancing Centre and Barbara King Dance Company over 35 years ago. Kevin performed and competed nationally and throughout Europe. Kevin trained with the top coaches in the U.S. and abroad. He moved to London to further his training with World Champions Corky and Shirley Ballas, while training alongside Dancing with the Stars’ pros Mark Ballas, Derek Hough, and Julianne Hough. Kevin placed 2nd at the United States National Championships in 2001 and was honored by being chosen to represent the U.S. at the World Championships. He was named 2001 Canadian Open Champion and was also honored as the Emerald Ball Amateur Champion in 2000 and 2002. Kevin continued performing on television shows, dance productions, and competing around the world representing the United States.
Jane Thayer (co-owner) is also co-director of the NHPA™ II Dance Company and a member of Revolve Dance Company. She was born in Joliet, Illinois and grew up in Spring, TX where she began her dance training at NHPA™ in 1995 under the instruction of Amy Cain, Dawn Dippel, and Ken McCulloch. Jane has also had the opportunity to work with other choreographers/teachers in the Houston area such as: Fred Strobel, Barbara Bears, Naomi Glass, Damian Schwiethale, and Clara Cravey of Houston Ballet, and Randall Flinn of Ad Deum Dance Company. Other notable instruction has come from Wes Veldink, Jason Parsons, Natsuo, Malaya, Mandy Moore, and Ryan Heffington (from New York and L.A.), and Yung Woo of Korea. She has performed in Revolve Dance Company's concerts since their premiere in 2005, as well as in Ad Deum Dance Company's "Mystery and Miracle" in 2007, Dance Houston, Choreographers X6, DAA's East Meets West, and the "Revolve On Camera" premiere at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in 2014. Jane has her degree in Theatrical Costume Design which has provided her with opportunities of seamstress work for iMEE, and to work with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater for several productions.
Devontae Holland (DJ) was originally born in Bassett, Virginia and is now currently a dancer/choreographer based in Houston, TX. He began his dance training back in high school in ballet and contemporary styles. Once graduated, he then moved to Houston to further his dance education/training and finally begin his career in dance. 3 years being in Houston now, he has had the opportunity to work with local Houston artists, YouTubers, and companies. He has also taught numerous classes at Soundbox Dance Studios, Vdanse academy, and other studios in and out of the state of Texas. Devontae has also had the great opportunity to perform at the NBA Dallas Mavericks halftime show, work for one of the top 5 allstar cheer teams in the country (Cheer Extreme Allstars) and work with Lifetime’s very own Dancing Dolls of Jackson, Mississippi from the hit TV show “Bring It!” Devontae’s main goal in life is to educate, create, and inspire others who were just like him and never thought they would have a chance.
Sarah Havemann began dancing at the age of two at North Harris Performing Arts where she trained under Amy Cain and Dawn Dippel for 15 years. She also studied dance at Texas Academy of Dance Arts her senior year of high school where she worked with acclaimed choreographers such as Quinton Weathers, Heather Nicholas, and Jesus Acosta. She has studied a wide variety of dance styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, acro, and pom. Sarah began as an assistant teacher at age 12, choreographed her first competitive piece at 16, and continues to choreograph winning numbers for a wide variety of dancers. As a competitive dancer, Sarah has won many awards, including 2019 Senior Miss Showbiz, top three placements at Stage One Regionals/Nationals, Showstopper Regionals/Nationals, Starbound Regionals, and Starquest Regionals, as well as Senior Standout Dancer at Stage One regionals. She was also a member of the Stephen F. Austin State University dance team where she studied under the direction of the esteemed TJ Maple and worked with nationally renowned dancer and choreographer Denise Dicharry. She is currently a student at the University of Houston and will pursue a BFA in Dance.
Jada Tyler is the new Acrobatic instructor at Vdanse Academy. She has over 10 years of dance, professional choreography, and instruction experience. Jada specializes in Acrobatics and Tumbling classes. However, she trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, musical theater, and hip-hop. She has trained with Majestic’s Dance Works, Apex Cheer, Dance Du Coeur, and METdance. Jada currently is an undergrad student at Houston Baptist University going for her bachelors in Marketing. She is also the studio owner of En Pointe Dance Academy and the founder of 8 Counts Dance Team. Jada instructs and choreography routines for Stafford MSD, Extended Day program, local drill teams within the Fort Bend County area, Studio V in Missouri City, Texas, at local drill/dance auditions, etc. A saying that she not only goes by, but instills in every dancer is, “Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
At Vdanse Academy you will learn from some of the best teachers in dance today. Each have achieved success in their areas of expertise and are excited to teach and share their knowledge with you. If you would like to find out more about our teachers and the classes they offer you may call us at 832-248-0106.