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 Nelson has been training physical education teachers and advocating high quality physical activity programs for over 20 years. His research has advanced service-learning and active-learning models that improve the social-emotional learning and critical thinking outcomes of adolescent development. He has designed and operated numerous youth development programs across a wide-variety of community platforms. This work has primarily focused on developing self-awareness/self-control and cultivating other “soft-skills” such as teamwork, empathy and communication.

    Executive Director

  • Bailey Bauer

    Bailey Higgins 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 Marez 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 Gerlach 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 LeBeau 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

    Julie Nix, a native of St. Louis and a TCU graduate, 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

    I am a retired physical education teacher. I taught for 32 years, six of them at Central Michigan University and the rest at the elementary level. While at CMU I also 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

    My name is Amanda Brown & I was born & raised in good ol Fort Worth, Texas. I have had a passion for music and dance since I can remember. I have always enjoyed latin dances but, 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

    My name is Melanie Rosario and I’m a native Chicagoan. I became a Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms because it combines my two passions- dance and children.

    Teaching Artist

  • Suzanne Ashmore

    Suzy is a native of FortWorth 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

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

    Teaching Artist

  • Mary Wenzel

    My name is Mary Wenzel. I have been dancing since I was six years old and it’s how I live and breathe. I remember seeing my first ballet when I was small and having this spark light up an urge to do and be what I saw

    Teaching Artist

  • Jenny Degelia

    Jenny Degelia 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

  • Irma Naranjo

    I live eat, sleep and breathe dance. I’ve been dancing since I was a child. I’ve been involved
    in Cheerleading, Pep Squad, Talent shows, and dance contests all my life. I currently take and give dance lessons in the evening.

    Teaching Artist

  • Scott Thornton

    Scott Thornton joined the Dancing Classrooms North Texas family in the Fall of 2017 as a teaching “buddy,” assisting out Teaching Artist with Buddy Lessons.

    Teaching Artist