Riley, Stephanie

Stephanie Riley

Director

Brewer, Kattie

Kattie Brewer

Director

Heather Boerke

Heather Boerke

Instructor

Hannah Christmas

Hannah Christmas

Instructor

Nickie Gunnels

Nickie Gunnels

Instructor

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Reina Harper

Instructor

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Malee Martinez

Instructor

Ariel Sepulvado

Ariel Sepulvado

Instructor

Kattie and Stephanie

Kattie & Stephanie

Stephanie Riley and Kattie Brewer are the owners/directors of Premier Dance Academy. Stephanie and Kattie have been dancing and performing together for twenty-five years. They have received extensive training in various styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, variations, partnering, character, modern, acting and musical theater. For many years they have worked closely together as instructors and mentors developing a partnership and philosophy, which serves as the foundation for Premier Dance Academy.

Heather Boerke

Heather Boerke

Heather Boerke started her dance training at the age of two and has had a love affair with the art form ever since. Heather trained at North Alabama Dance Center under Barbara Ellen Smartt and Wendy Graham in ballet, tap, jazz and modern. After moving to Houston at the age of 11, Heather continued her training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where she was a member of the Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet. Heather became a member of the Clear Lake Flairs dance team her sophomore year in high school, serving as a lieutenant her junior year and the team’s captain her senior year. Heather was a four year member of the Texas A&M Aggie Dance Team. She served as co-captain her sophomore year and the captain of the Aggie Dance Team her junior and senior years.

Heather had the privilege of training at the prestigious Joffrey Workshop in San Antonio under the direction of Buddy and Susan Trevino. She has also had the honor of studying at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, where she was a member of the trainee program. Heather had the privilege of training with Dorothy Lister four different summers. While in New York City, Heather also furthered her jazz and hip hop training at Broadway Dance Center. Heather received Vaganova ballet training from Mischa Bart and Mira Popovitch. She received Russian ballet training from Soili Arvola and Leo Ahonan. Heather has also received ballet training from Janie Parker, Dorio Perez, Robert Atwood, John Magnuss and Beverly Williams. Heather has received jazz and contemporary training from Amber Thorton-Stein, Trish and Holly Owens, Pamela Bowling, Keith Cross, Joe Eastre and Kim McSwain. She has also received hip hop training from Jermain Browne, Kim McSwain, Stephanie Di-Biase, Brian Puspos, Julien Embers, Brandon Harrell, Dan Karaty, Keith Green, Joshua Allen and Kenny Wormald.

Heather has been recognized for her superior dance abilities, receiving scholarships to the Joffrey Ballet School, Al Gilbert Tap Workshop, Darryl Retter Hollywood Jazz Workshop, Pensacola Junior College All Around, and the New York City Dance Alliance for Ballet. While a member of the Flairs, Heather also received recognition for her solos at Star Makers and Crowd Pleasers dance competitions. Heather had the honor of dancing during the pre-game show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. She performed in many productions with the Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet, including the Nutcracker, Dracula, Coppelia, Cinderella, Giselle and the Contemporary Series. Heather has worked for Crowd Pleasers Dance Camps for fourteen years, teaching dance to high school dance teams. She has served as a teacher, choreographer and adjudicator. Heather has choreographed for Crowd Pleasers, the Aggie Dance Team, Axis Dance and various other dance studios and high schools throughout the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio areas. Heather is currently the dance teacher and drill team director at Memorial High School. This is her tenth year teaching in the public school system; her teams have won many choreography, technique and showmanship awards.

Hannah Christmas

Hannah Christmas

Dance has been in Hannah’s life since the age of three. Her education was under the instruction of the faculty at Bonnie Siscoe School of Dance. There she studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern, and contemporary and represented the studio at numerous competitions and conventions. She was given the opportunity to teach hip hop at the age of fifteen. It was this opportunity that introduced Hannah to the joy of mentoring students throughout their journey of dance.

Hannah received her Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts from San Jacinto Community College where she was awarded Most Excellent Dancer and Outstanding Choreographer. Hannah later graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology and a minor in Geology. When Hannah is not teaching at Premier Dance Academy, she is working full time at Petroleum Service Corporation.

Hannah recently became co-director of Premier Artistry Collective, Premier Dance Academy’s competition team. She is so excited for this upcoming year and expanding the studio’s involvement in the competition world!

Nickie Gunnels

Nickie Gunnels

I began dancing at Twin Arts Dance Studio in Pasadena when I was 2 and began competing with that same studio when I was 5. I was a three-year varsity member of my high school drill team and graduated as a Senior Lieutenant. While on the drill team we were a grand champion team, ensemble, and officer line, and I was a solo finalist at multiple state and national competitions. I was awarded Most Talented Non-Finalist and 2nd Runner Up Miss Dance of Texas within the Dance Masters of America organization at the ages of 17 and 20 respectively, while also receiving scholarships in Jazz and Acrobatics. When I graduated high school, I began teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Acro at Twin Arts Dance Studio where I taught for six years for both recitals and competitions. I attended San Jacinto College-South where I danced with the Performing Arts Company and received an Associates of Arts Degree in Dance. I have previously judged competition team auditions, junior high drill team auditions, and cheer tryouts for a couple of local schools. I have also enjoyed creating choreography for competition teams, drill teams, and soloists in the area. Currently, I am most proud of being the Co-Artistic Director of our very own Premier Artistry Collective.

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Reina Harper

Reina Harper is a 23 year old college graduate who was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She has trained in a variety of styles including ballet, modern, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip hop. She trained with MetDance in their Met Too youth program for several years which is where she received most of her training. She most recently graduated from Jacksonville University in Florida with a BFA in dance. Reina is currently in her first season as a member of the Ad Deum II Company in Houston where she trains and performs. The rest of her time is spent teaching dance all around the Houston area.

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Malee Martinez

Malee’s dance adventure began at three years old attending Bonnie Siscoe School of Dance and danced there for eight years. She later attended Chara Christian Dance Academy for five years. In 2014, Malee landed at her forever home dance studio at Premier Dance Academy before graduating high school. While dancing under Kattie and Stephanie, Malee was a member of Premier Dance Academy’s Senior Company and performed the role of Missy Sweetz in their annual Christmas show for two years. Malee was an officer in Lutheran South Academy’s drill team, Strutters, and was a member of LSA’s South Elite Dance Competition Group. Malee has trained in all genres of dance- Hip-Hop, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Pointe, and Musical Theatre. Malee is attending San Jacinto College and plans on transferring to University of Houston- Clear Lake majoring in Psychology. Malee started working at Premier Dance Academy as the receptionist and soon was given the opportunity to teach Hip-Hop and Combination Classes. Malee is now the Instructor for Premier’s Hip Hop Performing Group.

Ariel Sepulvado

Ariel Sepulvado

Ariel began her dance training at the age of three years old. She was trained in ballet and pointe in Vaganova, Royal Academy of Dance, and Cecchetti methods of ballet. Ariel has studied Horton, graham, and limon modern techniques. She also trained in tap, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, hula, and aerial arts. Ariel was a Shreveport Dance Academy Ensemble Dancer in Tap & Jazz for four years. She was a Junior Company Dancer for the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet for one year. Ariel has danced numerous roles in such ballets as Ballet Under the Stars, Cinderella as a Page, Aladdin as a Genie, and eight seasons in the Nutcracker as a Reindeer, Page, Mouse, Solider, and Party Girl. She has danced under the direction of Benji Schwimmer, Laurie Johnson, Derrick Schrader, Rachel Kreiling, Justin Giles, and many more notable choreographers. Ariel danced with Kennedy Dance Theater for one year and was a Ballet Jete’ Pre-Professional Company Apprentice and a member of the Jazz Company Competition Team. During that time she also played the part of Nala in the Lion King Tap Production. She attended The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts during her sophomore year of high school. She also danced at JDF Elite Dance Academy as a Senior Company Dancer for three years. In 2014, Ariel won first place overall at Dance Showcase USA with her solo, “Gone”. Ariel has attended the Joffrey Summer Ballet Intensive in New York where she lived for a month and fully immersed herself into the dance world. Ariel was awarded a scholarship to tour nationally as a Dance Olympus V.I.P. and toured with Dance Olympus two summers. In 2017, she performed a double lyra act at the Houston Heart Ball. Ariel is currently working towards degrees in dance and psychology at San Jacinto College. Ariel has been teaching and choreographing at dance studios and churches around the Houston area for three years. She enjoys encouraging her students and watching them grow as they share the love of dance together.