| Director: Kim Willett
| Even as a child, Ms. Kim was always teaching friends, siblings and assisting classes. Kim studied education classes at the University Of Texas while doing social work with underprivileged families through Child, Inc. She is a 25 year member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dance and in 1995 tested to be an examiner for the organization. Kim studied under many of the top instructors and choreographers in the country and continues to further her education and training each year attending conventions and summer training in L.A. and New York. Kim founded the nationally recognized "Body Talk Dance Co." in 1985 and worked to offer opportunities through the dance company for all dancers interested in a professional career. Her commitment to Body Talk and its dancers has not gone unrecognized. Ms. Kim was featured in the 1989 newscast of Jim Swift's On the Porch segment, and in the American Statesman in 2005 for her work. Although invited to run a children's program in Los Angeles and sought after to teach master classes and judge dance competitions, Ms Kim chooses to work with "her kids." Besides her own children Rachael, Jeremy, and Cheyenne, her proudest accomplishments are the professional dancers she has trained particularly those who studied while on scholarship.|
| Rachael Petrich
| Ms. Rachael is the granddaughter of Joyce Willett and daughter of Kim Willett. She began assisting dance teachers at the tender age of nine. She was a member of Body Talk Dance Company for twelve years. Ms. Rachael is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, hip-hop, and several ethnic dance forms. Rachael loves working with children. We at JWSD are thrilled to have her as part of our staff.|
Ms. Rachael's website for her classes is here.
| Kristy Litteral
|Ms. Kristy has been dancing and singing since she could walk and talk. Her stage debut was at the Ms. Lexington pageant in Kentucky. At age 2 she grabbed the microphone and began singing. Her training has continued both in classes and at conventions. With fifteen years experience as an instructor, she is qualified to teach all levels and dance forms. Her|
studies include work with such artists as Savion Glover, Keith Clifton, Rhonda Miller, Jackie Sleight and Greg Russell. Kristy has performed the leading roles in musicals such as "Grease", "Send Us Some Parents", "West Side Story" and "The Fantastics." She is sought after in the community for her choreography and her special magic of turning "regular people" into "seasoned performers". Kristy is a regular choreographer for Body Talk Dance Company and a member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dance. She is the proud mother of Derek, Dillon, Payton and Jaycie.
| Mara Demel
|Ms. Mara trained with Body Talk Dance Company right here at JWSD. She attended numerous workshops in L.A at "The Edge", and "STEPS" dance studio in New York. Ms. Mara is well rounded and can teach all styles of dance. She loves children and her love and patience shine through in her classes and interaction with the children. Ms Mara is a welcome addition to the staff at JWSD.|
| Shelley Fuller
|Ms. Shelley is a choreographer, instructor, and performer confident in all genres of dance with a study emphasis on Contemporary based styles. As a Houstonian originally, she began her dance training at the Linda English School|
of Dance at the age of 3. She has always been a very curious person eager to step up to all challenges, which has led her training through many different elements including: Cheerleading, Ice-Skating, and Gymnastics as well as dance! At the age of 14 she began seasonally training in New York City at assorted dance schools and workshops as well as participating in many different convention circuits throughout Texas. It didn’t take long for her to realize that her true passion was in creating choreography and training the dancers of tomorrow. Since that realization she has gone on to complete internships at Broadway Dance Center and the Martha Graham School of Dance both in NYC, traveled to Los Angeles for periodic training at The Edge School of Performing Arts, as well as training under master teachers such as: Liz Imperio, Sue Samuels, Keri LeGrand, Doug Caldwell, Frank Hatchett, Ginger Cox, Lauren Anderson, Donnette Heathe, Kista Tucker and many others. She has recently acquired her ballroom dance certification under the direction of Carrie and Kostadin Bjourov, studio owners as well as dancers from the hit show America’s Ballroom Challenge. She was the assistant choreographer for Omni Dance Company, as well as a performer for Monell Dance Company, Diva by Nature, Eight Count, as well as other various projects. Before relocating to Austin she was the office manager of two dance studios in Houston, the director of her own small dance company, a choreographer for a local competition and performance company, an instructor, and also the community outreach director of the nonprofit organization Arts in Motion. She has also had the opportunity to teach master classes and do guest choreography in numerous schools throughout C.I.S.D, assorted community events, Houston and Austin Summer intensives, and was a guest choreographer for the musical production of Grease through DLP Productions. She is currently excited to be teaching, choreographing, and continuing her artistic training with the ‘Student of Life’ philosophy in the Austin area!
| Randall Marks
|Randall Marks was originally trained at the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts. He was offered full scholarship with the Tidewater Ballet, and privileged to study with Susan Boree, Irtha Kitt, Edward Villela, Gene Hammet, Pat Sorell and Robert Steele. His talent was quickly realized and he was given featured roles in Graduation Ball, Concerto Borrocco, Spanish Rhythms, Don Q Pas De Deux, and Copellia. Mr. Marks was awarded full scholarship to study with Joffrey Ballet and, then was offered an apprenticeship with the Pennsylvania Ballet where he continued his training under Lupe Serano and Benjamin Harkave. He went on to dance as a soloist with Ballets Elan and was quickly hired by Atlantic City Ballet where he was named principal dancer after his first season. His distinctive grace was acclaimed in a notable performance of the Green Boy in Les Patineuers and as the Prince in Swan Lake. During this time, he was invited to dance at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. As principal dancer with Ballet Austin, Dance Magazine described him as “a cocky young Gene Kelly.” Joining New York City’s Dennis Wayne’s Dance Company he toured across the US, and overseas. Mr. Marks accepted a position with the New York City Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company performing in Aida, La Traviata, Faust and Giaconde, and guest starred with Connecticut Ballet Theater in Giselle. But several personal invitations from Ballet Austin’s artistic director finally brought Mr. Marks back in ballets including Other Tangos, and Elektra. Eager to expand his versatility in dance styles and looking for a choreographic outlet, Mr. Marks accepted the position of resident choreographer/principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company working with Deirdre Strand and Acia Gray. His Stepping Over the Line and A Tango Perhaps were received with high praise. A joint performance with Austin Contemporary Ballet brought an invitation to choreograph a piece on the company. With high reviews for Toward the Within he was invited to step in as guest director for the last half of Austin Contemporary Ballet’s final season, expanding on his first piece and creating a new lively piece, Mr. Jones and Friends. During this time, Mr. Marks joined forces with his wife, Jeanne Marie, and began a partnership that has taken him across the country and on board some of the finest six-star cruise ships performing many of the classic pas de deux. Stepping away from the forefront of dancing to focus on teaching and coaching, Mr. Marks also teaches at the Austin School for Performing and Visual Arts and is an adjudicator for the American Ballet Competitions.|
| Tony Merriwether
|Tony Merriwether was discovered during an in-school outreach program conducted by Acia Grey and her company, Tapestry Dance Company (TDC), of Austin TX. Tony grew through the ranks of Tapestry, beginning in the Academy and the company's pre-apprentice training program, Visions In Rhythm (VIR). As a member of VIR, his performance credits include Lane Alexander's Chicago Human Rhythm Project , Acia Grey's Soul to Sole Festival, Barbra Phillip's Third Coast Rhythm Project as well as the productions of VIR. Through out his training he has had the honor of working with inspirational master artists such as Derick Grant, Jason Samuels Smith, Fayard Nicholas, Harold "Stumpy" Cromer and many others. As a result of his hard work, love and dedication to the art form, Tony auditioned and was accepted into TDC. This brought him to the nationally touring show, The Souls of Our Feet, where Tony was given the privilege of performing along side masters, Dianne Walker, Sarah Petronio and Arthur Duncan known from the Lawrence Welk Show. Tony also performed in Sarah Petronio's Tribute to Jimmy Slyde at the New York City Tap Festival and in Ayodele Casel and Sarah Savelli's production of Wonderland - A tap tribute to Stevie Wonder.|
| Megan Floreani
|Ms. Megan has been dancing for the past 20 years. She has lived in Austin for 3 years by way of Chicago and loves the dance community here (among many other things!). She has extensive training in demonstrating and instructing students of all ages; ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, and modern and she also loves choreographing movement. Megan has received training as well as performed with The Miami City Ballet (Edward Villella), The Sarasota Ballet, and Alvin Ailey American DanceTheatre and Ailey II. Her technique is derived mostly from the Balanchine method and The Vaganova|
technique. While in Chicago she received professional technique training from Hubbard Street Dance of Chicago at the Lou Conte Dance Studio while working on her degree. Megan graduated in May 2008 with a B.A. in live performance management. We are very happy to include Ms Megan in the faculty at JWSD.
| Carolyn Jennings Brown
|Ms. Carolyn has been on stage since she was two years old. She grew up in the theater and was trained in dance, stage, and voice for over seventeen years. Her passion for performing comes out in her eagerness to ignite a love of the arts in everyone she encounters. When not at the studio, Ms Carolyn enjoys performing on stage in local productions, playing music with fellow musicians, or carting her own daughters to and from dance lessons. We welcome Ms. Carolyn to the staff at JWSD and are very happy and excited to share her love of the arts with our students.|
| Anisha Causey
|Ms. Causey has been dancing with JWSD for the past 15 years. She is a member of the Body Talk Dance Co. She has received numerous awards for her solo and group performances. Ms. Anisha was raised in a large family with an in home daycare. She carries with her a love and understanding of children that she has gained through her life experience. She has trained with the renowned staff at L.A.D.F. in California for the past three summers. Ms. Causey attends conventions throughout the year to further her training. She is a member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dance. We are thrilled to have her on the staff of JWSD. She is the proud mother of Daria.|
| Payton Litteral
|Mr. Payton received most of his dance training right here in Austin, Texas with Joyce Willett School of Dance and Body Talk Dance Co. His real talent lies in teaching Hip-hop and tap. His choreography is young, fresh and inspiring! Payton loves to share his enthusiasm and energy with all of the dancers in his classes. We are happy to have such a motivational teacher on staff at JWSD.|