Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Our instructors are highly qualified, experienced and passionate, providing a high level of technical instruction and fun to all ages and abilities. We not only teach technique, poise, rhythm, and grace, we also teach dedication, cooperation, team work, and discipline. With over 240 combined years of teaching, it is our goal to provide an environment for our students to gain the greatest combination of dance and life skills. In addition, we are thrilled to provide mental performance coaching to our elite competitive dancers.  

We are proud to announce all PDC instructors are CPR and First Aid Certified and the facility is equipped with an infant/adult automated external defibrillator.  

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Mrs. Brianna Leake

Mrs. Brianna is the visionary owner and director of Premiere Dance Center, a dynamic enterprise born from her acquisition of Fusion Dance Company in 2009. With a steadfast commitment to excellence, she has shaped Premiere into a nurturing sanctuary that refines outstanding dance abilities while nurturing exceptional individuals.
 
Boasting an illustrious career spanning over three decades, Mrs. Brianna is a seasoned instructor and choreographer, distinguished by her certifications in Processing Ballet Technique and Youth Protection Association for Dance. Her journey began in Los Angeles, where she embarked on a vibrant professional path, captivating audiences across California alongside the Spanish children's entertainer La Chilidrina, enchanting audiences in China with Legends of Las Vegas, and contributing her talents to Tokyo's mesmerizing Wizards at Ikspiria.
 
Transitioning her focus to teaching and choreography in 2000, Mrs. Brianna's ardor for children ignited her passion. Her students and choreographic works have garnered regional and national acclaim, earning prestigious recognition such as inclusion in Dance Teacher Magazine's esteemed "Top 50 Studios on the Move." This recognition stands as a testament to her dedication to nurturing confident dancers, many of whom have secured scholarships and awards and pursued professional dance careers in major metropolises like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
 
Mrs. Brianna's unwavering dedication resonates through her aspiration to provide abundant opportunities for her students to revel in their performances and cherish their artistry, empowering them with education and confidence that extends far beyond the studio walls.
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Mrs. Cinnamon Balkman

Cinnamon Balkman is a remarkable teacher, graduating magna cum laude from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor of arts degree in dance and a minor in psychology.  Her collegiate journey was adorned with nationwide performances, partnering with esteemed ensembles like Spectrum Dance, Raven Dance Project, and the Cindy Carpenter Dance Company.  An active member of Chi Tau Epsilon dance honor society, Cinnamon was recognized in Who’s Who among American college students and earned various academic distinctions.  Settling in Austin post-graduation, she became a prolific presence in the local dance scene, gracing performances with Kinesis Dance Theatre, Mosaic Dance Body, and Wicked Cricket Dance, collaborating with independent choreographers within the region.  Her prowess extends beyond the stage as she ventured into the realm of teaching and choreography, imparting ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and creative movement to a diverse range of students, including studios, schools, drill teams, and dance companies over a span of three decades.  Notably, Cinnamon's participation as a judge for Mark of Excellence and Showbiz/Primetime dance competitions, her role in teaching creative movement at Shepard of the Hills Presbyterian preschool, and her membership in the Cecchetti Council of America highlight her multifaceted engagement in the dance community.  Sharing her wealth of knowledge, she has been invited as a presenter for both the Round Rock ISD dance program and the Texas Dance Educators Association in Houston.  Cinnamon's dedication to continuous growth is underscored by her certifications in Progressing Ballet Techniques and her achievement as a Level 1 Graduate with Dance Teacher University.  An enriching journey finds its pinnacle in her role as a cherished staff member with Premiere Dance Center since its inception in 2009, a testament to her enduring commitment to sharing the love and art of dance with others.
Cinnamon 2019

Mrs. Jamie Gregoire

Mrs. Jamie's dance odyssey commenced at Ballet Austin, where she was privileged to be mentored by luminaries such as Lambros Lambrou, Stephen Mills, and Michelle Martin.  Her time at Ballet Austin was highlighted by annual performances in revered classics like The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and original works. Notably, she even earned the prestigious opportunity to dance with The Royal Ballet of London during their US tour.   Jamie's teaching journey ignited during her tenure at Ballet Austin when she began assisting in children's classes, sowing the seeds of her lifelong commitment to education.

Expanding beyond ballet, Jamie ventured into competitive dancing during her high school years, securing a spot in an elite dance group.  Within this realm, she not only showcased her talents but also clinched accolades for duet and group performances at diverse competitions.  This period also marked the inception of her teaching career.  Continuing her dance studies through college, Jamie's artistic exploration persisted, and upon returning to Austin, she seamlessly resumed her role as an educator.  Now, with over two decades of teaching under her belt, Jamie's passion for dance remains as vibrant as ever, as she imparts her wisdom and fervor to students of all ages, fostering a lasting love for the art.

Jamie 2019

Ms. Cinda McCullars

Cinda's lifelong love for dance was ignited as she observed her mother teaching at Joel's House of Dance in Little Rock, Arkansas.  This early exposure led her to start dancing at the age of 3, embarking on a journey that would span 16 years and encompass various styles including ballet, jazz, pointe, modern, and her personal favorite, tap.  Under the guidance of mentor Joel Ruminer, Cinda's dedication to dance was undeniable, and her commitment was recognized during her senior year of high school when she received the esteemed Outstanding Senior Dancer Award.  Following her graduation, she had the privilege of joining Joel Ruminer's Dance Camps as a Dance Camp Kid, allowing her to train under the tutelage of renowned masters like Al Gilbert, Jimmy Peters, Mary Lou Barnes, and Marcus Alford.  Her teaching journey commenced in high school and extended through college, where she shared her passion at various studios across Arkansas.  In 2002, she made Austin her home and, after a brief hiatus to embrace her role as a "dance mom," Cinda's itch to teach dance rekindled.  Presently, she is delighted to join the Premiere Dance Center family, a journey she embarked upon alongside her daughter Chloe, marking a beautiful fusion of heritage and passion.

Cinda 2019

Mrs. Eva Gonzales

Originally hailing from Monterrey, Mexico, Eva Gonzalez is a multifaceted artist with a diverse background in dance and a deep dedication to teaching and inspiring others.  Her extensive training in various dance styles set the foundation for her pursuit of a BFA in dance at Sam Houston State University (SHSU).  She has further expanded her expertise by completing her Pilates Instructor certification.  This pursuit has not only enriched her understanding of movement but also enhanced her dance instruction techniques.  Eva's commitment to community outreach led her to hold positions as Vice President and Social Chair of Chi Tau Epsilon, the dance honor society at SHSU.  Eva's performance portfolio includes appearances in notable productions like Mind the Gap and Barnstorm at The MATCH Theatre in Houston, as well as the ACDA Southern Conference.  Her stage presence has also graced Danscape at the Hobby Center in Houston multiple times. With countless years of experience as a dance teacher and choreographer, Eva has garnered recognition for her choreographic endeavors, earning judges' awards, teacher awards, and high-point awards in dance competitions such as Dance Showcase USA, Star Systems, Stage One, Legacy, VIP, Kids Artistic Revenue (KAR), and 8 Talent.  With an infectious passion for dance, Eva takes joy in sharing her expertise and aspires to inspire and challenge her students, helping them realize their dance aspirations and personal growth.

 

Eva 2019

Mrs. Caitlin Kinney Foley

Caitlin Kinney Foley got her start through acrobatic dance training at C & C dance studio in Maryland, then began to seriously study ballet at Baltimore School for the Arts and The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory. Caitlin joined the Charlotte Ballet upon graduation and performed many notable ballets including La Bayadere, Paquita, Balanchine’s Rubies, Walpurgisnacht, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto, as well as contemporary works by Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, and Dwight Rhoden.

She jump-started her film career as the featured ballerina in Step Up and became a top 12 finalist on season five of So You Think You Can Dance. Caitlin’s film and television credits include America’s Got Talent, The Academy Awards, Hit the Floor, No One Lives, Day 665, Zola Jumped In, Stash House, The Fresh Beat Band, and Parental Guidance. Caitlin has starred in commercials for Diet Coke, Progressive, Heineken, LaFuma, and Semir. She has danced and choreographed for many artists such as Paula Abdul, Kanye West, Calvin Harris, Death Cab for Cutie, Kinney and David Archuletta. She is currently on faculty with Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention as their ballet instructor and is a Co founder of the global online dance education platform, CLI Studios.

Her passion is teaching, “Every brain and body is different, it is our job as teachers to give students the tools to most efficiently use their individual instruments.”.

 

Caitlin Foley-Kinney

Mrs. Jennifer Hagen

Jennifer Hagen began dancing at 3 years old, training at various Studios in the New Braunfels and San Antonio area. While in High School she was a member of the Canyon High School Aristocats, and served as both Major, and Colonel. After High School she attended Sam Houston State University on Scholarship to be a part of the Ballet Company. After a year she decided she missed the Drill team life and transferred to Kilgore College, where she was honored to be a part of the “World Famous” Kilgore College Rangerettes.  As a Rangerette she performed at several Bowl Games, on a Carnival cruise ship and at the inauguration of President George W. Bush in Washington DC.
 

After completing two unforgettable years at Kilgore, Jennifer attended and graduated Cum Laude from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Education. It was at this time that her love for teaching flourished as she taught at several dance studios in the New Braunfels and Kyle area. She was also a part of Tri Costal Ballet Theater and was a guest instructor for their summer intensive in 2009.

After college Jennifer taught at South Garland High School for two years, where she was Director of the Dixie Darlings. She then became the Director of the John Paul II High School Cardinal Belles. During her three years in the Dallas area she was chosen to choreograph and judge for many different schools, as well as being selected as a performer for the XLV Super Bowl Half Time show. Jennifer then returned to Austin to serve as the Assistant Director to the James Bowie High School Silver Stars.

Having been a Drill team director for 7 years, Jennifer then transitioned to studio teaching and was overjoyed to begin teaching at Premiere Dance Center, while also getting her yoga teaching certification. She took a few years off to have two beautiful baby girls, but now she is ecstatic to be back at Premiere doing what she loves!

Jennifer Hagen

Ms. Taylor Almanza

Taylor Almanza’s passion for dance came early—she started dancing when she was 2 at Jo Ann Neal Dance Studio in San Antonio, Texas (now known as Dance Infinity SA). At first, dance was an outlet for her energetic and creative personality. Upon entering high school, she realized how much she loved dancing and decided to pursue her dance career more seriously. She became the youngest member of the Warren HS Majestics Varsity Dance Team for three years, two as an officer and captain! In her time as a Majestics, she earned several group and individual awards, including 5th place at state and 1st at regionals for her senior year self-choreographed solo. High school is also where she began to venture into other areas of dance, including tumbling and acrobatics. She trained at Powerhouse Gymnastics before taking it upon herself to self-train as a result of her increasingly busy schedule. Taylor has been teaching dance for about three years now and is currently studying Psychology and Sociology at UT Austin. When she entered college, she wanted to challenge herself with something new and decided to become member of the award-winning Texas Gymnastics team. Though she missed out on competing at NAIGC (nationals) due to several injuries, she was on track to compete as a level 8 in floor (her favorite), bars, and beam. She has several dance achievements, such as being a member of the acclaimed Showmakers of America staff, being on Spurs Teen Elite, a junior NBA team, performing in South by Southwest for Lizzo, and choreographing competitive and recreational routines for all genres and all ages from San Antonio to Austin. Working with others and dance are two of her greatest passions—she aims to utilize these passions and make a positive impact on everyone, especially dancers!
 
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Mrs. Kelly Devlin

Kelly Devlin began dancing when she was 2 ½ years old in Virginia.  Growing up she trained in a variety of styles at various studios in the Washington DC Metro Area.  During Summer breaks she would attend Intensives including Boston Ballet, Ballet Met, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and the Master Class series at The Kennedy Center. 

Kelly is a graduate of George Mason University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance.  While in college she also performed professionally with Alexandra Ballet and Angela Knight’s Opera productions. 

Upon graduation Kelly danced with Next Reflex Dance Collective and Moveius Contemporary  Ballet in Washington, DC.  After a move to Arizona in 2014 She had the pleasure of joining Center Dance Ensemble – the resident modern dance company at the Herberger Theater in Downtown Phoenix.  She also enjoyed doing freelance work with other companies.  Kelly continues to perform professionally as a freelance artist in Austin after her move here in 2022. 

Kelly started assistant teaching dance class when she was in middle school.  She has had the pleasure of continuing  to teach for over 20 years and loves sharing her passion with the next generations of dancers. 

 

 

 

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Coach Rachelle Davis

Rachelle Davis, a dynamic and multifaceted professional, is the Founder of The Umbrella Project, a pioneering initiative dedicated to the holistic development of young dancers. Born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, in a household immersed in dance and sports, Rachelle’s mother was a professional dancer and dance studio owner, while her father was an ultramarathon runner. This environment naturally nurtured her passion for dance and athleticism from a young age.
 
Rachelle began her dance training at the age of 3 and quickly rose through the ranks, qualifying in the top 3 for Showdance (Contemporary) in South Africa and representing her country at the World Dance Championships for the IDO, where she finished in the top 15 globally. She pursued her academic interests at the University of Pretoria, earning a Bachelor's degree in Sport Science and a Graduate degree in Sport Psychology. Her fascination with high-level athletes and the tools to help them succeed drove her academic and professional journey.
 
Her professional dance career took off when she finished in the top 6 out of 5,000 dancers in South Africa's version of “So You Think You Can Dance” (Kyknet’s Dans dans dans). Rachelle then moved to Dubai, UAE, where she performed for six years, sharing the stage with global icons such as Kylie Minogue, 50 Cent, Craig David, Nikki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, and Jennifer Lopez. She also had the prestigious role of being the personal dance coach for the children of the Royal Family of Dubai.
 
After Dubai, Rachelle relocated to Queensland, Australia, where she excelled as a choreographer in Lyrical, Contemporary, and Jazz, working with numerous dance studios and the Victorian College of The Arts in Melbourne. Her journey continued to the United States, where she spent a year and a half in Los Angeles training and choreographing before settling in Austin, Texas, in 2017.
 
In Austin, Rachelle has made a significant impact, coaching dancers to national titles and choreographing numerous award-winning group pieces. Recognizing the mental toll that COVID-19 and isolation had on her athletes, she launched her online mindset coaching business, Umbrella Project, in August 2021. This venture focuses on the holistic health of young dancers, addressing their mental and physical well-being to ensure longevity in their careers or current endeavors.
 
Throughout her 24-year career spanning four countries, Rachelle’s dedication has remained steadfast: to create beautiful stories through dance and transform the dance community into a safe, holistic environment for all.
Rachelle Davis

Ms. Marissa Ramirez

Marissa Ramirez was born and raised in Laredo, Texas and has maintained multidisciplinary training in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip hop, jazz, and musical theatre. Her 12 years of experience in the competitive dance arena have fostered a deep understanding of the art form, honing her skills and shaping her perspective as an instructor.  She discovered her passion for choreography when she was unable to afford to hire a solo choreographer one year; so, she took matters into her own hands and earned her first choreography award at 16. This inspired her to pursue a career in dance which started as an assistant for her home studio where she then developed her skills into a full time instructor. She has been a dance instructor ever since!

 

Marissa is a recent graduate from The University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em!) where she deepened her understanding of dance fundamentals and developed her pedagogical practice. She was able to work within the dance program to perform works by Sidra Bell, Peter Chu, Rennie Harris, and many others. After graduating, Marissa took her dance teacher skills into the classroom–focusing on special education; by her second year, Marissa had the honor of earning an EANESpiration Educational Impact award and is proudly one of the only certified Autism Movement Therapy instructors in the central Texas area. From choreographing full length musicals to preschool creative movement, Marissa takes pride in giving youth and teens of ALL abilities the chance to lead, learn, thrive, and grow through the magic of performing arts. Her passion for dance shows in the studio where she encourages her dancers to be both confident and creative. Now, Marissa splits her time teaching at Premiere Dance Center, as well as pursuing a performance career as a freelance artist. 

Marissa Ramirez

Mr. Christopher Broughton

Hailing from Los Angeles, Christopher Broughton's journey in dance began at the age of 11.  His dance education flourished under the guidance of Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance Design.  Notably, he became an integral member of the Kennedy Tap Company, an experience that was complemented by the honor of receiving the national NAACP ACTSO Award on two occasions.  A current member of the highly regarded New York-based tap dance company, Dorrance Dance, Christopher's path has led him to work under the direction of the esteemed Michelle Dorrance, a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant award.  His performance roster includes prestigious events such as Capezio's 130th Anniversary, New York City Center's Cotton Club Parade, and the Kennedy Center's Juba!  Master's of Tap and Percussive Dance.  His footprint in the realm of Broadway is also noteworthy, having contributed his talent to the Tony and Astaire Award-winning production After Midnight and Jelly's Last Jam.  Christopher eagerly looks forward to sharing his profound passion for tap dance with the students of Premiere Dance Center, igniting their own love for this dynamic art form.

 

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