Avery Ranch Faculty
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Michelle Denny


Michelle Denny, B.A., early childhood education, is the founder of Dance Discovery (2000) and Avery Ranch Dance & Music (2012). She has over 30 years of dance training and has been teaching dance, tumbling & music for 34 years. She is licensed to teach grades PreK-6 and she is an experienced kindergarten classroom teacher and early childhood specialist.

Michelle developed the STORYTIME DANCE™ curriculum used by instructors of young children to captivate the creative spirit of young dancers in order to develop dance technique. This foundation provides for strong, versatile dancers who not only develop precise dance technique, but also hold on to their ability to dance from the inside out. The aim is to preserve young dancers’ passion throughout their technical training. Many years of experience with competitive dance teams, balanced with her classical ballet training has also given Michelle the expertise needed to train students of all ages in precision jazz, tap, modern, musical theatre, ballet and pointe. Her balanced approach ensures that students graduate from Dance Discovery prepared to enter the professional dance community as both versatile dancers and original creative choreographers.



Teacher Director & Curriculum Coordinator

Cherami has been a Dance Discovery instructor for 20 years. She trained at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She went to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond on a full scholarship and received a B.F.A. in dance/choreography. She has danced professionally all over the country. The most recent professional companies she has danced for are Wideman/Davis Dance from New York, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company & Circuitous Dance from Austin.

Cherami has a very nurturing way with the children as she motivates them to work diligently to express their passion for dance. She has been working with children for the past 25 years as a dance instructor, nanny, and Montessori assistant. Cherami trains the Dance Discovery teachers and is the director of the Fine Arts Academy Mother's Day Out.

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General Manager

Karina Lucio is the General Manager of Dance Discovery studios overseeing the Central Studio, the Avery Ranch Studio, and all on site school locations as well. Karina holds a master's degree in communications and has been with Dance Discovery for over 15 years. Karina is the proud mom of Kallipe age 3. She works with our families and schools on a personal level coordinating everything from recitals to Dance Team vacations. For your convenience, Karina is available at both studios throughout the week.

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Office Manager - Dance Discovery Central Studio

Ashleigh Milton is the Office Manager at the Dance Discovery Allandale location. Ashleigh holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology from Texas A&M University, Whoop! She has been with Dance Discovery for over 3 years and loves being part of this dance family.  She has over 15 years' experience working with kids in a personal and professional manner. Ashleigh danced growing up, so she loves being back in the dance world seeing kids passionate about dance as well. 

She works with our families and schools on a personal level helping them find classes that fit best for their children and to ensure everyone has the best experience possible at Dance Discovery. Ashleigh is here to help you with whatever your need may be.

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Design Manager

Jeannine has 7 years of experience working with children. She got a Bachelors in Interior Design and a Masters in Sustainability Design at UNT and minored in Dance because dance has always been her passion.  She has 15 years of dance training and 7 years of gymnastics/tumbling training.  She enjoys seeing the students express themselves through movement and seeing them work together to explore different ways of telling stories with their bodies.  

She was part of many faculty and student choreographed concerts in college and has performed at the American College Dance Festival. Her greatest accomplishment as a dancer has been to recognize how much dance can help a person express themselves.  After stepping away from the dance world for 3 years to pursue graduate school, she realized just how therapeutic dance could be for an individual!



Musical Theatre Director

Natalie Uehara is a former professional dancer who holds a BFA in dance from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. She is an award-winning choreographer and sought-after dance and theatre educator who is skilled at helping performers of all levels reach their highest potential. Many of her former students are current professionals in the dance & theatre industries all over the world. She is proud to be the Musical Theatre Director at Dance Discovery & Avery Ranch Dance. Additionally, she is the Co-Director of the McCallum Youth Dance Company and the resident choreographer for MAC Theatre, both located at the McCallum Fine Arts Academy in Austin, TX.  

In 2010, she won a Hawaii State Theatre Council award for choreography for her work on the Hawaii premiere of the musical, Zombie Prom. She has received multiple nominations for the Heller Awards (Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards), winning the award for Best Choreography in 2019 for 42nd Street and Best Production in 2023 for Pippin

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Rachel has studied dance for 15 years including: ballet, jazz, tap, modern, Afro-Haitian and creative dance  She attended San Francisco State University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and she also holds a Master’s degree in Geography from UT Austin. Rachel is the mother of three children, ages ten, seven, and four. For the past 11 years she has been a stay-at-home mom. Rachel enjoys sharing her love of dance with children and families. Rachel specializes in teaching young children. 



Ballet Director

Carla has been dancing for over 20 years. She began the Pre-professional program at CBT at the age of 13 and studied under acclaimed choreographer Nell Hacker, Alisher Suboruv (former dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet academy and Moscow Ballet), Sally Hart (former dancer with Joffrey Ballet), and Julie Miles (founding member of the Washington Ballet).  In her professional career she performed with the Manassas Ballet Company and in 2017-2018 was a member of the Au Deum II dance company. Carla has a B.S. with emphasis in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science and a Minor in Dance from Belhaven University. Carla has been teaching children for 15 years and she loves watching each student find their strengths as a dancer and grow in their love of the art form. 

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Lindsey has 12 years of experience working with youth in public school dance programs. She has 9 years of professional training and holds a BA in Dance from the University of Houston (Go Coogs!) The role she’s the most proud of dancing was a duet with her best friend, when they used to dance in Chaddick Dance Theatre: “We had been close for a while, but the level of trust we needed to have in each other (plus the sense of playfulness the roles required) bonded us even deeper and became a memory I cherish. These days, though, I'm so proud of Delve as we forge our first season of memories not just as teachers, but as artists in community and collaboration with each other.”

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Performance Director

Jamie teaches musical theatre and dance to students of all ages. She comes to us with a BA in Theatre Performance and a Minor in Dance from the University of North Texas. Jamie has been working with children for 5 years and her performance career has been diverse. She has performed in the American College Dance Festival as well as 13 years of theatre productions including commercial and film work. Jamie gives children the grace and love to mess up and get back on track that all of us need to learn and grow! Students leave her classes with incredible confidence!

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Front Desk

Tinka is a previous member of Texas Association Teachers of Dance(TATD) and Dance Educators of America.  She owned a dance school in Austin for 40 years and holds a BBA from McCombs School of Business, UT Austin. She is also a licensed Real Estate Broker. 

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Development Coordinator

Tammie has 5 years of experience working in studios and public schools. She holds a degree in Education from the University of Texas at Austin and trained in various styles at the ballet conservatory for 18 years. She performed with Dance Action UT and is currently dancing professionally with the Delve Dance Collective. Tammie knows how to make a connection with each child in the room and truly unlock their technical potential through the joy of movement.
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Emily has been working with children for 5 years and she has 19 years of dance training with a concentration on ballet, modern and tap. She holds a BA in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida. She danced Talley Beatty’s Come and Get the Beauty of it Hot directed by Prof John Parks of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater  and she is currently a proud member of Delve Dance Company. Emily puts a strong focus on connection with her students and spends a great deal of time on proper anatomical technique.

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Micah holds a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography from the University of Texas at Austin. They have been working with children for 6 years. Micah has 17 years of extensive training in ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary. Micah is  most proud of the immersive, multimedia project "machine organ50" that she co-created and performed in Austin. Each moment in Micah's class is magical. They make everyone feel included and valued each week.

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ARDM Competition Director

Abigail has 7 years of dance competition experience, as well as 18 years of ballet and pointe training. Her advanced training in jazz, and contemporary make her classes challenging and invigorating for youth. She was a Kilgore Rangerette and currently dances professionally here in Austin for the Dance Project and Delve. Abigail holds a BA in fashion merchandizing from Texas State University.

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Public Relations Coordinator

Cassidy studied musical theatre at NYU Tisch School of the Arts before deciding to pursue a degree in PR at UT Austin. She olds a bachelors degree in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration. She trained in theatre for 12 years. Cassidy has 10 years of dance training as well. She bringing a high level of connection and organization to the customer experience at our studios.

Sami Bogle



Sami has been training as a dancer for 15 years at Dance Discovery of Austin. She was a dance major at McCallum Fine Arts Academy High School for 4 years. While studying at Dance Discovery she was a part of the Teacher Training Program directed by Cherami Steadman and assisted classes for 2 years. She is currently studying in college as she purses a degree in psychology with a primary focus in child development and a minor in dance. Sami is a gifted instructor that truly knows how to meet each child on their level and break down movement so that they can learn with ease.

Sami Bogle



Peyton has been dancing for 18 years. She was a member of the pre-professional Company at Dance Discovery of Austin for 6 years. She graduated from North Carolina School for Arts with a degree in ballet and will complete a BS in Food Science & Human Nutrition from Clemson University this August. She competed in the YAGP twice receiving an invitation to join the summer intensive at the Bolshoi without an audition. Peyton was also an esteemed member of the Clemson University Dance Company and she is excited to be coming home to Austin to teach our youth at her home studio. Peyton motivates teens and pushes them to high technical standards with the heart of a teacher and the spirit of a coach!

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