Our DanceArtists

 

The talented women who bring DanceArt to life on stage.

Signature DanceArtists

 

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Ivy Koval, a native Texan, received her early training at the Dallas Ballet Center where she had the opportunity to perform in various full-length ballets with soloist and lead roles. Following high school graduation, Ivy danced with Ballet Magnificat! in Jackson, Mississippi before returning to Texas in 2010 to become a company member with Epiphany DanceArts. Since joining Epiphany, Ivy has had the opportunity to set a number of original pieces of choreography on the company members including: Emmanuel (2011), Pride of Life (2013), Yearning for Freedom (2013), Silence Broken (2014), Promise Fulfilled (2014), and Unseen Struggle (debuting Fall 2016). In August 2015, Ivy also became the trainee manager for Epiphany DanceArts, and she is thrilled to be able to mentor young high school dancers who have collegiate an professional dance aspirations. Outside of Epiphany, Ivy is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Commercial Art from Dallas Baptist University and enjoys doing freelance guest artist appearances, which include performing in the music video Danse Macabre, in collaboration with local Dallas violinist Chloè Trevor and pianist Jonathan Tsay. Ivy also serves as the director for Fusion Ballet Ensemble, a student performance company of The Dance Movement, and has had the wonderful opportunity to re-stage various ballets on her students. She feels extremely blessed and thankful that God has given her both the opportunity to perform and to mentor the upcoming generation of dancers.

 

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Sarah Stoffels has been a dancer with Epiphany DanceArts since 2012. She is a Signature Performing Artist, Assistant Trainee Manager, and Assistant Manager of Adaptive DanceArt. Her dance training began at the age of 3 at Cooke County Ballet Academy in Gainesville, TX. In 2012, studying under Director Stan Rogers and Ballet Mistress Sharon Rogers, she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet. From 2013-2015, Sarah was the director and dance instructor of Jubilee Creative Arts Center in Muenster, TX, teaching ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical. Having moved to Dallas, Sarah continues to minister through dance by teaching at studios in Dallas and surrounding areas. With Epiphany, she has also been blessed to work with underprivileged children, children with special needs, and their families through outreach programs and adaptive dance. Sarah debuted her first work of choreography created for the professional company in Spring 2016 set to live music by Texas Voices and looks forward to creating more in the near future.

 

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Emily Baril took her first ballet class at age 4 in Richardson, Texas, at Melva Smith School of Dance. She grew up at the studio taking various forms of ballet, tap and jazz. She began student teaching while in high school, and has been an instructor at the studio ever since. Emily discovered her love for modern dance while she studied with the CCCC Dance Rep at Collin College. Following, she moved to Las Vegas to study Dance Production at UNLV. While in Las Vegas, Emily performed with Threshold Dance Theater where she had the pleasure of working with autistic children in the company’s dance therapy program.  This is Emily’s third season as an Epiphany DanceArtist. Under the Artistic Outreach side of Epiphany, Emily is the Adaptive DanceArts Manager. The Adaptive DanceArt classes are a place where special needs individuals can find their voice and strength through the joy and beauty of movement. She is excited and humbled to be a part of this inspiring company.

 

 

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Rebecca Chrasta has been dancing with Epiphany DanceArts since 2014. As a professional performing artist with the company, she has also enjoyed teaching classes for underprivileged children, for individuals with special needs, and for the community in various workshops and private lessons throughout the year. Prior to joining Epiphany she danced seven seasons with the Allen Civic Ballet under the direction of Stefanie Best and had the privilege of dancing lead roles in numerous ballets including The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, La Bayadere and Oklahoma!, as well as variations from Swan Lake, Don Quixote, and Paquita. She also danced in numerous original works by various choreographers including Stefanie Best, Mary Muller, Michelle Blum-Schuetz, Brynt Beitman, Paul Tillman, Victoria Dolph, and Leia Hardimon. Rebecca recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Dallas and is looking forward to incorporating her love of dance with her studies in healthcare. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in addition to dancing and teaching with Epiphany DanceArts.

 

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Hanna Jordan has grown up in the dance community since she was 3 years old and has always been inspired by dance as an art form. With this strong connection to Modern dance she chose to attend Texas Woman’s University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance along with a Secondary Teaching Certification. While at TWU she performed in many adjudicated concerts, including “Dance Up Close” and “Dance 208” and also choreographed her own work. Before starting at TWU she was at Collin College for two years, and was an active member of Collin Dance Ensemble. Being a part of CDE allowed Hanna to participate in dance residencies with Elledanceworks Dance Company, Cheryl Chaddick Dance Theater and Artist Jhon R Stronks. With CDE she had the opportunity to attend the American College Dance Festival in 2009 and 2010, where she participated in master classes and performed in adjudicated concerts. She also contributed in the student choreographer’s showcase in 2010 held by CDE, where she choreographed and performed in her own piece. She currently teaches at Frisco Dance Studio where she aspires to encourage students to reach their full potential and provide them with a supportive dance education where they can freely express themselves. When she’s not teaching, she loves continuing her dance training by taking classes and performing with Epiphany DanceArts. She is looking forward to her third season with the company and feels blessed to be part of season 7 with the company. In her spare time she enjoys hot yoga, watching Netflix, and being at home with her husband, Ryan, cooking for the both of them.

 

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Alyssa Luff began her training in classical ballet at the age of 3 under the instruction of Christina Stirling Munro at Munro Ballet Studios in Corpus Christi, TX. At the age of fourteen she joined the Corpus Christi Ballet Company and had the privilege of performing roles with the corps de ballet and as a soloist in ballets such as Cinderella, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and the Nutcracker.  During College, Alyssa danced with two lyrical worship dance companies and also continued her previous ballet training with the dance department at Texas A&M University. Alyssa is currently a graduate student at Dallas Theological Seminary, pursuing a MA in Media Arts and Worship in which she is studying the relationship between the Christian Faith and art. She is honored to be performing with Epiphany DanceArts, a beautiful example of art illuminating something beyond ourselves – something sacred.

 

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Ada Palacios began her dance journey at the age of 6 dancing Ballet Folklorico in various schools and festivals in Dallas, TX. She began classical ballet training at 16 and has been trained in various styles such as Royal Academy style under the direction of Sally Johnson, and Russian Classical style under the direction of Hope Miller. She studied at Richland College, Texas Women’s University, as well as various dance studios in North Texas. Throughout her career Ada has had the privilege to study with many unique artists and forms of dance including Modern, Ballet, Folklorico, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Hip-Hop, African, Butoh, Contact Improvisation, and many other multi-cultural styles. She has had the honor of dancing for companies such as: millermuller ballet (Hope M. Miller), Muscle Memory Dance Theater (Lesley Snelson, Meghan Cardwell-Wilson), Big Rig Dance Collective (Crysta Caulkins-Clouse, Whitney Geldon, Amanda Jackson, and Lily Sloan) and now Epiphany DanceArts (Melissa DeGroat). She’s been involved in many performances, festivals and workshops at Dallas County Colleges, Collin College, TCC, ACU, UC Boulder, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Denton, Classical Ballet Festival, and Diffusion Dance. She has choreographed for competition dance teams, Dallas Catholic Youth Conference, and college entry soloists. She is a certified Zumba instructor and teaches Ballet and Contemporary to under-privileged kids in the Dallas area. She is excited to join Epiphany DanceArts for their 7th Season and is honored to be working with this wonderful group of dance artists.

 

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Anna Wueller-Diaz has been dancing all her life and most recently in Dallas with Epiphany DanceArts and Muscle Memory Dance Theatre (M2DT).  Her journey began at Kay Freeman Dance Studio in Groves, TX and has taken her to train and perform in Houston, TX; Durham, NC; Becket, MA; New York, NY; Dallas, TX; and Boulder, CO.  In addition, Anna is a local Yoga Alliance certified Yoga Instructor at the E-RYT 500hr level.  You can find her on the schedule at Gaia Flow Yoga and Power Play Fitness.  Anna is currently pursuing her degree to become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant.

 

Performing DanceArtists

 

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De’Janae Farr, 23, is a college graduate from the University of Oklahoma. Although she works at Baylor in Fort Worth as a nurse, her true passion is dance and she has been dancing and taking technique classes as much as possible. She is looking forward to her first season with Epiphany DanceArts.

 

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Devin Hill is a graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma with a B.F.A in Dance Performance from Edmond, Oklahoma. Her love of dance began at the age of three and has lasted a span of twenty years. Devin set her sights on dance as a career during her time spent at Collin College in Plano, Texas.  While at Collin College, she was exposed to the cornucopia of dances: Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, Tap, African, Improvisations, and Latin Ballroom. It was this eclectic background of dance studies that lead her to the aspirations of joining the dance department at the University of Central Oklahoma. Devin has had the opportunity of working with multiple guest artists such as: Christopher K. Morgan, William “Bill” Evans, Clarence Brooks, Brandon Fink, Hannah Baumgarden, Jeremy Duvall, Gregg Russell, Lachlan McCarthy, and Sami Kropp. She was also a member of the 2015-2016 award winning Kaleidoscope Dance Company. Her fondest memories are participating in the production of “Side Story Just West of The Musical” and attending the 2016 American College Dance Association conference in Anderson, Indiana. Devin has dreams of becoming a professional freelance choreographer in the future. In addition, she would like to thank her family and friends for their support, especially her Mother for always encouraging her to pursue her dreams.

 

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Bailey-Siamone Mason, 22, from Dallas, TX, began her dance training at the age of 15 as an elective at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in downtown Dallas, and never looked back. Originally a music student, harpist and pianist, she knew after taking her first dance class that it was also now a part of her life. She tried a small studio around the Dallas area but eventually made School of Contemporary Ballet Dallas her home where she took private lessons with various teachers, including Melissa DeGroat. Bailey just graduated with a music degree in Harp Performance at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston and is now attending SMU in the fall to acquire her Masters Degree in Harp Performance. Dance has never left her side during her schooling; in Houston she trained at the Metropolitan Dance studio during the school year. Epiphany has been with her ever since she began her dance journey and was always her goal to move with such talented and loving artists.

 

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Catherine McCoy was raised in Plano, TX. She studied ballet for ten years at Dream Catcher Dance Workshop, where she trained under Sally Williams. Catherine also trained and performed in drill team throughout high school. She studied Mechanical Engineering and Classics at the University of Mississippi. Hotty Toddy! After returning to North Texas, Catherine learned about Epiphany and began training through the Emerging DanceArtist program. She is excited about the message of love Epiphany shares with its DanceArtists and audiences!

 

Emerging DanceArtists

 

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Samira Ahmed has always had a passion for dance. She was classically trained in the Indian temple dance style of Bharatnatyam. Using her knowledge of the techniques, she has applied them throughout her dancing career in terms of teaching, choreographing, and performing. After recently moving to Dallas, she has wanted to expand her knowledge and love for dance by learning something new. Dance is what Samira lives by everyday in that it is what moves one within that mirrors what one puts out to the world. Samira is excited for the opportunity Epiphany offers her to learn.

 

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Kassandra Bursch-Gupta is originally from the Seattle area where from a young age she discovered a passion for gymnastics and dance. She began competitive gymnastics at age six and has competed in local, regional, state, and international competitions throughout the U.S and Canada. Throughout her gymnastics career, Kassandra maintained regimented ballet training. She danced with The Art of Dance, Chamberlain School of Ballet, and Arabesque Studio of the Dance. Kassandra continued her passion for gymnastics as a coach beginning in 2006, and has lead many young gymnasts to success in competitions throughout Texas. Kassandra graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Child Learning and Development. She is also a certified school teacher in Physical Education, English and Social Studies. From 2013-2016, Kassandra taught Physical Education at Great Lakes Academy in Plano Texas, a school for children with various learning differences from ADHD to Autism. Kassandra is currently working on becoming a certified Yoga Instructor. She is a volunteer at Baylor hospital in Dallas, assisting in Yoga Therapy with a variety of patients. After retiring from competitive gymnastics in 2011, Kassandra decided to focus full time on her passion for dance. She is grateful for the opportunity to be part of Epiphany’s 7th season. When she is not dancing, Kassandra finds joy in coaching gymnastics, practicing yoga, reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and their dog Misty.

 

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Micaela Flores began dancing when she was 3 years old. She danced with Motion Dance Studio for two years learning tap, ballet, and tumbling. She transferred to Peggie Lee Dance Company, now Cabarrus Dance Academy (CDA), and danced there for 7 years, primarily focusing on Cecchetti Ballet, but also studying Jazz, Modern and Worship Dance. At 14, she studied Russian technique for a year at Dance Institute of Dallas (DID). She loved her role in Sleeping Beauty cast in the “Garland Waltz”. During her senior year of high school, she was on Drill Team at Lakeland Christian Academy and was promoted to Second Lieutenant the second half of the year. In the Lakeland dance class, she was cast as the Snow Queen for the Christmas show, executing her role on pointe. By the end of the year Micaela had a prominent leadership role in the finale choreographing, planning, and performing. As a result, she was asked to be the assistant coach after her graduation and has been in that role for the last two years where she choreographed a number of worship dance pieces which included a fusion of Modern, Ballet and Lyrical. While at Texas Woman’s University she pursued a minor in Dance as well as a major in Education. Micaela auditioned for Epiphany DanceArts last year and was given opportunity to perform with the company for shows and has found a new dance home in which to grow.  Though Micaela has taken Worship Dance, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Salsa, and Meringue, her first love is Ballet and to perform for the Lord in worship.  Micaela is inspired by Epiphany DanceArts and the fusion of dance techniques included in the performances. She looks forward with excitement to her future with the company.

 

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Kristi Lasher has taught and been a student of dance for 20 years total with emphasis in ballet and jazz. She was in her first drill team at the age of 5, and danced in a drill team through Junior High school and also studied ballet and jazz well into her 20’s. When she started college, she was a member of the Eastfield College Dance team in Mesquite, TX and danced lead in their Spring Show in May of 2000. She graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2008. She continued to study ballet and tap at Joy’s School of Dance in Waco, TX. In March 2010, she won first place in the Fairfield Rotary Club talent show in her division. During this time she was also a ballet and jazz instructor for Prima Ballerina Studios in Fairfield, TX from 2008-2013. Since 2013, she has been the owner and primary dance instructor of Center Stage Dance Studio in Fairfield, TX.

 

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Kenya Lockett was raised in East Texas and began dancing at the age of 3. She grew up participating in the Texarkana Community Ballet dancing in various annual productions. She took as many master classes as she could in Texarkana and Los Angeles to develop her dance technique and to learn various styles.  Dance and music have always been a big part of her life, and she is very blessed to be able to use and share her gift as an expression of appreciation for God’s love, mercy, favor, and grace.

 

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Shea McGinnis, 21, was born in China and adopted when she was 5 months old. She was born with a mental disability and low muscle tone, which made it hard for her to develop like other kids. After being introduced to worship dance by a woman at her church, she discovered an aptitude and love for the art form, which inspired her to pursue dance further. While attending Notre Dame School in Dallas, she had the opportunity to participate in a dance program, taught by Melissa DeGroat, for students with special needs. For the past three years Shea has danced and trained with Melissa, and recently has been her assistant in teaching the younger students in the special needs class. For her, dancing makes her feel special and smart and good about herself, and she hopes to someday help other disabled children feel the same way through dancing.

 

Training Artists

 

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Angela Chesser, 17, lives in Denison, Texas and is entering her senior year at Denison High School. She is treasurer of her school’s National Honor Society and attends dance classes at McKinney Dance Studio. After high school, she plans on attending either the University of Arizona or the University of Texas at Austin to earn a degree in dance. After college, she hopes to one day become a member of a professional dance company. Her favorite styles of dance include ballet, lyrical, and jazz. Dance and school are her two main focuses, but when she is not doing either of those activities, she enjoys reading, drawing, and playing with her cat.

 

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Mattie Gulley, 14, has lived in Dallas her entire life. She will be attending IUniversity Prep, an online school, this next year as a 9th grader. She will also be starting her first year of training with the Dallas Youth Repertory Project (DYRP). She loves to dance but is not yet sure if she wants to make it her profession. In addition to dancing, she likes literature, singing, debate, babysitting, and Taekwondo. She has two younger brothers, one of whom has Down syndrome and attends Notre Dame School of Dallas where she used to volunteer with her school. She has always loved to dance and is particularly interested in ballet and contemporary but doesn’t really like hip hop.

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