Our People

  • Pierre Dulaine

    Showdance champions and Broadway dance couple Pierre Dulaine & Yvonne Marceau founded the American Ballroom Theater Company in 1984 and established the company’s educational arm “Dancing Classrooms” in 1994.

    Founder, Dancing Classrooms

  • Dr. Larry Nelson

    Larry has been training physical education teachers and advocating for high quality physical activity programs for over 20 years. His research has advanced service-learning and active-learning models that advance social-emotional intelligence and the development of teamwork and communication skills.

    Executive Director

  • Bailey Higgins

    Bailey is a Registered Nurse at Baylor Scott and White – Heart and Vascular Hospital – Dallas in the Electrophysiology lab. Bailey graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing.

    Chairman, Board of Directors

  • Erich Osborn

    Treasurer, Board of Directors

  • Dr. Gilbert Marez

    Gilbert is co-founder and pastor of Camino de Paz Christian Church in Fort Worth Texas. He is currently the Director of Public Relations for Cuidado Casero Home Health and Hospice. Gilbert received the Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care and Counseling and Master of Divinity degree from Texas Christian University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Arizona.

    Executive Board Member

  • Dr. Jeanne Gerlach

    Jeanne is the Associate Provost for K-16 Initiatives at the University of Texas at Arlington. She leads the University in its efforts to help raise student achievement in kindergarten through graduate school and improve college access and success by focusing on educator improvement at all levels and aligning the K-16 curriculum.

    Board Member

  • Heather LeBeau

    Heather has been a Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms North Texas since 2008. She was initially interested in the Dancing Classrooms program as a way to share her love of dance with children who, for the most part, do not have access to the fine arts.

    Site Manager

  • Julie Nix

    A native of St. Louis and a TCU graduate, Julie is the owner of DanceMakers of Texas in Fort Worth. She has been teaching dance for over 20 years and holds a Bronze teaching certificate from National Dance Council of America. Julie has been a teaching artist for 12 years and is a founding member of Dancing Classrooms North Texas!

    Teaching Artist

  • Donna Whitely

    Donna is a retired physical education teacher. She taught for 32 years, six of them at Central Michigan University and the rest at the elementary school level. While at CMU she coached women’s gymnastics and was a nationally ranked judge.

    Teaching Artist

  • Gina Baker

    Ms. Gina has been teaching her love of dance for over twenty-five years, including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Drill Prep, Musical Theatre and Gymnastics. Ms. Gina is also a certified Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms North Texas for the past ten years.

    Teaching Artist

  • Laura Johnson

    Laura is the owner and Director of Laura’s Dance Dynamics. She has had over 30 years of dance experience and also holds a B.F.A. in Dance Education from Sam Houston State University. She began her dancing career under the direction of Rhonda Mann, where she studied for the next fifteen years. From ’85-’89, she was a member of the National Award Winning Spring Starlettes.

    Teaching Artist

  • Amanda Brown

    Amanda was born & raised in good ol Fort Worth, Texas. She’s had a passion for music and dance all her life. She especially loves latin dances and started ballroom dancing in 2008.

    Teaching Artist

  • Gina Crisanti

    Gina loves sharing the benefits of Ballroom Dance with Residents of the James L West Alzheimer’s Clinic, Members of the Downtown YMCA, Residents of Trinity Terrace and 5th Grade participants of Dancing Classrooms.

    Teaching Artist

  • Melanie Rosario

    Melanie is a native Chicagoan and became a Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms because it combines her two passions- dance and children.

    Teaching Artist

  • Suzanne Ashmore

    Suzy is a native of Fort Worth who retired from FWISD in 2014 after serving for 7 years as a 7th grade teacher followed by 23 years as an elementary school counselor.

    Teaching Artist

  • Brittany Sandate

    Brittany has always had a love and passion for dance. She has been a Zumba Instructor since 2013, and joined the DCNT as a Teaching Artist in 2015. DCNT has made her love for dance grow even more by giving the opportunity to share her passion for dance with future generations!

    Teaching Artist

  • Mary Wenzel

    Mary has been dancing since she was six years old and it’s how she lives and breathes. She remembers seeing her first ballet when she was a child lighting a spark and urge to pursue her dreams.

    Teaching Artist

  • Jenny Degelia

    Jenny fell in love with the Dancing Classrooms program in 2016 when she joined as a Teaching Artist. She is a full-time Realtor at Ebby Halliday Realtors, and though she only has time to teach a few Dancing Classroom classes per semester, she is proud to donate $100 to Dancing Classrooms North Texas for every home she sells.

    Teaching Artist

  • Scott Thornton

    Scott joined the Dancing Classrooms North Texas family in the Fall of 2017 as a teaching “buddy,” assisting out Teaching Artist with Buddy Lessons. “I don’t teach kids how to dance, I teach kids to be ladies and gentlemen. Dance is just the tool.”

    Teaching Artist

  • Rosa (Andie) Vasquez

    Andie has always been passionate about dance. Along with cheer and gymnastics, she has been dancing since she was a young girl. “Working with kids is something I enjoy very much… to be able to combine the two, is amazing!”