Meet Our Teachers

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 a dance environment for our dancers to gain the greatest combination of dance and life training. 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 owner and director of Premiere Dance Center, a transformative venture that emerged from her acquisition of Fusion Dance Company in 2009.  Through this merger, she established Premiere as a welcoming haven that not only hones exceptional dance skills but also cultivates exceptional individuals.  With an extensive 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 artistic journey ignited in Los Angeles, where she embarked on a vibrant professional path, touring with the Spanish children’s entertainer La Chilidrina across California, captivating audiences with Legends of Las Vegas in China, and contributing her talents to Tokyo’s enchanting Wizards at Ikspiria in Japan.  While her performing prowess shone on regional stages as well, Mrs. Brianna's focal point shifted to teaching and choreography in 2000, fueled by her ardent passion for children.  Notably, her students and choreographic works have garnered accolades both at the regional and national levels, an achievement exemplified by their inclusion in Dance Teacher Magazine's esteemed compilation of the "Top 50 Studios on the Move."  These accolades are a testament to her commitment to fostering confident dancers who have not only secured numerous scholarships and awards but have also successfully pursued professional dance careers in major metropolises such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.  Mrs. Brianna's unwavering dedication to empowering her students with education and confidence resonates through her aspiration to provide abundant opportunities for them to revel in their performances and cherish their artistry.


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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. Sara Arnold

Sara's journey in dance began at the tender age of 3 in Rochester, Michigan.  This early passion evolved into a competitive pursuit that encompassed various styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and Cecchetti.  In 2004, Sara made the move to Austin, which she now proudly calls home.  While her dancing journey was initiated during her preschool years, her fascination with choreography took root in 8th grade when she established the Lake Travis Middle School Jazz Company.  Sara's dedication to dance extended through her years at Lake Travis High School, where she not only contributed as a member of the Cavalettes but also held leadership roles, serving as an officer for two years and ultimately as captain during her senior year.  Upon high school graduation, she pursued higher education at The University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in Elementary Education.  Her time at UT saw her as a co-captain and captain of The Texas Pom Squad, showcasing her commitment to both academics and dance.  Sara's choreographic talents have been widely recognized, as she has lent her creative touch to numerous dance and drill teams across the state of Texas.  Currently an elementary teacher in Lake Travis ISD, Sara is elated to continue her dance journey and share her love for the art with students at Premiere Dance Center.

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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.


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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.”.


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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!


Mrs. Claire Wilcox

From her early debut as a puppy in a rendition of 101 Dalmatians at the age of six, Claire's passion for dance and musical theatre has been a driving force in her life.  This fervor has propelled her through numerous plays and musicals, with a special place in her heart reserved for her role in A Christmas Carol at ZACH Theatre.  Throughout her formative years in middle and high school, Claire immersed herself in intensive training in dance, singing, and acting.  She was an active member of ZACH Theatre's education department, participating in their Acting Conservatory and Pre-Professional company, in addition to training at various dance studios.  She is a proud graduate from Texas State University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre.  Claire's commitment to her craft and her unshakable belief in the transformative power of art drive her as an artist.  She finds immense joy in sharing her love, enthusiasm, and passion for dance, embracing the opportunity to inspire others through her artistry.  Her role as a member of the Premiere Team holds a special place in her heart, fueling her excitement and gratitude.
Claire 2019

Ms. Hayes Harkins

Hayes' dance journey took root in 2003, when she embarked on her dance career as a three-year-old student at Fusion Dance Company, the precursor to Premiere Dance Center in Austin, under the guidance of Miss Cinnamon.  This foundation led her to further training at Dana's Studio of Dance in Keller, Texas, where she earned the distinction of becoming a founding member of MOVZ Dance Company, directed by Bri and Nick Zbrowski.  Hayes' training encompassed a range of styles, including tap, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, and modern, all while studying Paula Morgan Technique.  She achieved recognition within the company, receiving MOVZ Dance Company's Director's Dancer of the Year Award in 2013.

Hayes' dedication and talent found expression beyond her studio experiences.  She excelled as a member, line officer, and captain of the Timber Creek High School Sky Dancers, achieving national and international awards.  Following her high school journey, Hayes continued her dance path at The University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a spot on The Texas Pom Squad, performing in front of thousands of fans at various athletic events.  Her professional engagements include performing in Toderick Hall's stage production "Oz," being part of the Gaylord Texan's Summerfest Wild West Show, and sharing the stage as a backup dancer for Third Eye Blind at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

A proud graduate from The University of Texas, Hayes also imparts her knowledge and expertise as a four-year staff member at Crowd Pleasers Dance.  In this role, she traveled across Texas and neighboring states, providing camps, training, choreography, leadership, and competition guidance for Junior High and High School Drill and Pom Teams.  Hayes' journey has come full circle as she returns to Austin, the place where her dance passion ignited, thrilled to once again be part of the dance community that holds a special place in her heart.


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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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Ms. Lacey Cones

Lacey Cones' journey into the world of tumbling began at a young age, where she immersed herself in the competitive cheer leading realm as a level 5 athlete for over 12 years.  This early involvement paved the way for a coaching career that would span more than a decade.  Starting as an assistant coach during her teenage years, Lacey's passion for tumbling led her to offer private lessons following high school.  Her coaching repertoire expanded to encompass a diverse range of students, from 2-year-olds to those at the collegiate level, where she assumed the role of head coach.  Central to her coaching philosophy is the emphasis on safe and effective technique, prioritizing proper form and incremental progress.  With over a decade of experience, Coach Lacey has honed her approach to utilize positive reinforcement and constructive adjustments to cultivate high-level tumbling skills anchored in sound technique. Her coaching style, often described as "fun, but firm," draws from her own experiences as an athlete, as she creates a nurturing and motivating environment that fuels her students' enthusiasm for learning and growth.

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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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Mrs. Danielle Cortier

Danielle grew up dancing near South Bend, Indiana.  After graduating from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance and a minor in Dance Education, she moved to NYC where she worked as a freelance performer and dance educator for 13 years.  On top of freelance performance work, she danced with several companies including Eidolon Ballet in Concert and Mariana Bekerman Dance Company.  She performed all over the Midwest, NYC, and the East Coast, including the Lincoln Center "Out of Doors" Festival, Jacob's Pillow, and City Center Studios.  She has also performed abroad in Japan, and here in Austin.  Danielle's national credits include back up dancing for Twenty One Pilots on Late Night with Seth Meyers.  Teaching has always been a large part of her life, and during her time in NYC, she taught at Ballet Academy East on the Upper East Side.

Danielle enjoys teaching students of all ages in many forms of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and Contemporary.  She has studied Cecchetti and Balanchine technique.  Danielle is currently teaching at Ballet Austin and Premiere Dance Center.  She has been a Dancer, Assistant Choreographer, and US Company Manager with Keiko Fujii Dance Company based in Osaka, Japan since 2015.   Danielle is also currently dancing and choreographing for The Dance Project ATX. 


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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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