Click on the Instructors name to see Bio


Front Desk Manager

Our Instructors:

Guest Teachers:

Amber Thorton

Amber has been a choreographer, instructor, and dancer for over 25 years. She has studied and performed with Delia Stewart Jazz Dance Company, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company, Clear Lake Metropolitan Ballet (now Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre) and Euroasia Ballet. She has also studied with Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Houston Ballet Academy, Lou Conte of Hubbard Street, Broadway Dance Center and Steps in NYC.Amber performed in the 1988 Sammy Awards with Jaime Rogers and Ben Vereen and has appeared as a guest artist for various companies including Dance Explosion, in Vail, Colorado. Amber was the 1998 recipient of the Monticello Scholarship for her choreographed work, Unzipped Entropy, at the Regional Dance America Festival, where her works have been performed many times. Her choreographed work, Portraying Picasso, was selected for the National Choreographic Plan, which is supported by the National Endowment of the Arts, at RDA/SW Gala, 2002. She has been named artistic director of MECKKA DANCE CO 2018 and has been choreographing several award winning pieces. Amber has been a guest instructor and choreographer for In-Step Dance Center for the past 7 years and we are very excited to have her join the staff of In-Step Dance Center.

Jaredd Martin

Jaredd was finally able to cultivate his long time passion for dance through his high school and DanceZone studio, and he’s taken every opportunity to dance ever since. He joined the HTE Dance staff upon graduation, and spent several years traveling and choreographing for the company. Jaredd attended Sam Houston State University where he won two NDA national championship titles and was awarded All-American with the Orange Pride Dance Team. He has enjoyed numerous opportunities such as choreographing in various states for MA Dance, teaching students of all ages at the Oriental Arts Education Center, and performed in Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. Jaredd is a creative, engaged, and devoted artist, and is very excited to have joined the In-Step family.

Lauren Anderson

Lauren danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars. In January 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role of outreach associate in Houston Ballet’s education department where she teaches ballet classes at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career as one of America’s most distinguished African-American ballerinas. She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 and in 1990 became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at Houston Ballet – and one of the few African-American ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world. In addition, Ms. Anderson received the Special Jury Award at the 1990 International Ballet Competition as well as the International Critics Award in Chile.
Ms. Anderson danced leading roles in numerous classical ballets. Her repertoire included works by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Christopher Bruce, James Kudelka, and Trey McIntyre. Ms. Anderson created the title role in Ben Stevenson’s Cleopatra, and her performance as Cleopatra received accolades from international critics. Anna Kisselgoff of The New York Times compared her to the great Italian actress Eleanora Duse, and Christine Temin of The Boston Globe pronounced her “a powerhouse in interpreting the role that Stevenson created on her.” Ms. Anderson performed across the world as a guest artist, appearing in New York, Chile, Moscow, and Chicago. In April 1999, Ms. Anderson was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She has also been featured in the magazines People and Pointe, as well as on the television programs “A&E Breakfast With the Arts,” “CBS News Sunday Morning,” and the game show, “To Tell the Truth.” She has been honored by The Martin Luther King Foundation, Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, by the Urban League, Delta Gamma Foundation, Texas Woman’s Chamber of Commerce, Houston City Council, and the Texas Legislature. Ms. Anderson is also an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Ms. Anderson was awarded the Jefferson Award for Community Service in 2011. She is also on the Board of ARTS IN MOTION and helps with DANSCAPE each year at the hobby center in Houston raising awareness for Can-Care, Ovarian Cancer and Ronald McDonald house of Houston. Ms. Anderson is the proud parent of Lawrence Bell Fitzgerald Turner.

Brittany Lyn Hazen

Is a recent graduate from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. She began dancing at the young age of three. She danced competitively with Jamie’s Dance Force for eleven years in Boardman, Ohio. In addition to dance, Brittany spent many years participating in musical theatre at the play house in her home town. Some of her favorite performances include Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors and an off-Broadway tap show through Break The Floor productions in New York City. She has taken class from choreographers such as Tavis Wall, Napoleon and Tabitha, and Mandy Moore from So You Think You Can Dance. Her favorite style of dance is tap. This will be Brittany’s third year teaching and choreographing at Instep.

DSC_1155Brittany Sparacino

Brittany obtained her B.A. in Dance from Sam Houston State University, and has been dancing since the age of three. She was given the opportunity to teach at a young age, and immediately fell in love. Brittany has danced with various dance companies in Houston for the past decade, including Holding Space Dance Collective (formerly China Cat Dance), Rednerrus Feil Dance Company, and NobleMotion Dance.  She has also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Alvin Ailey Theatre in New York City, and at the Wortham Theatre with NobleMotion Dance, as well as many other venues throughout the Houston Community. Brittany received a scholarship in 2010 to the Kista Tucker Summer Intensive in New York City, where she was invited to perform with the Kista Tucker Dance Company. Brittany owned Core Movement Arts Centre from 2011 – 2016, and is now the Program Director of CardioXtra. She is honored to come back to teach at her home studio, and her goal is to not only challenge her students physically, but to nurture them emotionally and mentally, and to guide them as young artists.

marrissa bonner headshotMarrissa Bonner

Marrissa was raised in Austin, Texas to a single mother. She graduated from Lamar University earning a degree in Corporate Communications with a minor in Dance. She began dancing at the age of 12 in church as a praise dancer. As a self-taught dancer, hip hop became her true passion and the urge to create movement took over. She was the youngest choreographer in the church. Only dancing in church and at home in her room, outside of that she played sports such as track and basketball. The only dancing outside of church consisted of assistant choreographer positions for school step teams and talent shows within her high school. It wasn’t until spring of 2014 at Lamar University where she would finally take her talent seriously and follow her passion and study dance. Marrissa has been President for the M-Pact Dance Crew and now teaches at the June Badon Elite school of dance as a hip-hop teacher. In 2016 she had the honor of dancing background for various Houston artists. Marrissa hopes her dance will take her places beyond her dreams, to choreograph or dance for big names such as her idol Missy Elliot. She is also a New Member of the SOREAL Dance Crew in Houston.  Her goals are to continue to gain knowledge about her craft and inspire the next generation. She looks forward in being the Assistant Director of the In-Step Dance Company’s BEATMASTERZ HipHop Team.

lolaLola Jordan

Since the age of 2 ½, I have been either a dancer, a gymnast, a cheerleader or a combination of all 3. I was a competitive, all-around gymnast for 7 years, cheered my way through high school, and never stopped dancing through any of it.  I was a member of Glen Hunsucker’s “Dancin’ … The Company” for several years performing in both jazz and tap prior to leaving Houston for Los Angeles, where I studied with Saundra Gerstmeyer and became the tumbling instructor at Burbank Dance Biz for 10 years.  Since arriving back home and settling in The Woodlands, I have been delighted to pick up where I left off, both in my love of dance and the enjoyment and fulfillment I get teaching dancers to enhance their performances with tumbling skills.  One of very my favorite sounds is the squeals and cheers you get when someone first gets their aerial!

Fernando Ibarra 

Fernando was born in Houston, Tx, where he began his dance career at the age of six around various studios across the Houston area. Over time, he has garnered a unique style of dance that includes various elements of multiple dance techniques. Throughout high school, Fernando was given the opportunity to choreograph for his highschool dance team along with other high schools amongst his school district. He has been awarded numerous times for his choreography throughout different competitions in the state of Texas. In 2016 Fernando co-founded DeLa Rosa Dance Company located here in Houston, who is a non-profit organization that outreaches the youth community by participating in showcases around Houston. In the summer of 2016 Fernando took a trip around Europe taking dance classes and workshops in France and the U.K and the Netherlands in the styles of jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. Fernando was also an invitational guest artist at the Waco 504 Festival in 2017 and performed at the NDEO conference in San Antonio, Tx. Fernando went on to continue his dance education by attending Stephen F. Austin State University where he was a member of the prestigious Stephen F. Austin State University Dance Teams. Fernando is now currently still working on his B.F.A in Dance here in Houston. Fernando is excited to be a part of the In-Step Dance Center faculty to help dancers grow and exceed at their fullest potential.

Emily Shimmel

Emily has recently finished her BFA in dance at the University of St Thomas in Montrose this past year. She began dancing at the age of three and continued to develop her training in ballet at various studios. She began teaching at the age of twelve where she instantly fell in love with the arts. She continued to train, teach, and compete in various forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, drill team, and contemporary. Emily became the director of the junior company where she was able to fulfill her passion of choreographing. She was able to travel Austria and perform in many different festivals and cities along the way. She was able to except the opportunity to coach the cheer team at St. Thomas Moore junior high as well as become cheer captain at her university for two years. She is so excited to begin the next step in her dance journey and continue to help students grow not only into beautiful dancers but beautiful people. She is looking forward to teaching at In-Step Dance Center and Assistant Director for their Dance Company.

Lauren Serrano

Lauren is originally from Orange County where she trained at many local studios including Jimmy Defores, and Edge Performing Arts Studio in Los Angeles. She attended Orange County High School for the Performing Arts for classical and commercial dance. Lauren graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with a B.F.A. in dance, and later received her Masters in Dance Education from the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College in 2015. In New York City Lauren had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Jennifer Muller, Young Soon Kim, Toni Renee Johnson, Pedro Ruiz, and Mike Esperanza. Lauren moved back to Santa Barbara to teach and direct the youth competitive teams at Santa Barbara Dance Arts.  She has won numerous choreography awards for her work with the competitive team. While pursuing her passion in dance education she was fortunate enough to perform professionally with Santa Barbara Dance Theater and Nebula Dance Lab. She has performed works by Andrea Schermolly, Yusha Sorzano, Christopher Pilafian, Jennifer Muller, Stephanie Miracle, Brandon Whited, Edgar Zendejas, and  Weslie Ching. Lauren was most recently selected for an Assistantship Program at Sam Houston State University where she will be teaching undergraduate classes while pursuing her Masters in Fine Arts.  She is also honored to be dancing with Noble Motion Dance for their 2020 season!

Keeley Dunnam

Keeley received her B.F.A. in Dance focused in choreography and performance from the University of North Texas in 2018 where she studied with Shelly Cushman, Robin Lakes, Amiti Perry, Whitney Geldon, Karen MacIntyre, Claudia Howard-Queen, Sue Collins, and Mary Lynn Babcock. She is a candidate for her M.F.A at Sam Houston State University to be completed in 2022 where she is studying under Dionne and Andy Noble, Dana Nicolay, Jennifer Pontious, Adele Nickel, and Joshua Manculich. Keeley originally started dancing at four years old at The Dance Academy and trained in a variety of styles including ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, tap, musical theater, and hip-hip. In 2008, she danced with Lone Star Ballet and performing the roles of Spanish corps, Waltz corps, Snow corps, and Arabian corps in the Nutcracker in 2009-10. She has performed two years with AmpDance and the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra in Transfigured Night, and Appalachian Spring. Other strong influences on training Keeley danced with imPULSE Dance Project (under the artistic direction of Anastasia Waters) for two seasons from 2016-2018, and performed various works at Dallas Dance Fest, 254 Festival, and Brazos Dance Festival. Her work, “NArrow is the Way” was showcased in imPULSE Dance Project’s annual summer show in 2018. Keeley continues to focus her choreographic works towards building community by using movement as a means to communicate about social and political issu

Comments are closed.