Ashley Lopez Owner/Artistic Director
Originally from Grayling, Michigan, Ashley has trained in ballet, pointe, modern, lyrical, jazz, hip hop, tap and musical theatre at Dance Arts Academy under the direction of Betsy Carr. In 2003, she began her training at Lou Conte Dance Studio and Gus Giordano Dance in Chicago, Illinois. From 2006-2008 she was a member of the Spareworks Contemporary Dance Company in San Antonio, Texas, where she performed original works in Amber Ortega-Perez and Shauna Waldon’s “Basics”, along with Amber Ortega Perez’s “The Willing”. In 2009, she founded a pre-professional dance company for youth pursuing a higher education in dance. She has been Nationally recognized for her award-winning choreography in both competition and concert dance. Ashley currently resides in San Antonio, Texas with her husband and daughter, where she is the Owner and Artistic Director of Collective Dance Artistry. Ashley strives to inspire and motivate young dancers by exploring and challenging their technical abilities, while encouraging them to gain a deeper passion for the art.
Caitlin Self Assistant Director/Performance Company
Caitlin Self, originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, graduated from Texas Christian University with a BFA in Ballet and a minor in Arts Administration. Before attending TCU, she received her training at the Milwaukee Ballet School, Ballet Chicago, Texas Ballet Theater, and the Lincoln Dance Centre. At TCU, Caitlin performed in classical and contemporary works by the TCU faculty as well as Balanchine’s Elegie and Episodes re-staged by Michelle Gifford, Terrence Orr’s Swan Lake (Act II), Pizzicato Variation from Raymonda, La Fille Mal Gardee and an original work by Armando Luna of Atlanta Ballet. After graduation she spent a year in Boulder, Colorado performing as a soloist with Jayne Persch’s contemporary company: In Mix’d Company, and completed her GYROTONIC® apprenticeship. Caitlin moved to Texas in 2014 to dance with Ballet San Antonio, Ballet Latino de San Antonio and Montgomery Ballet. With Ballet San Antonio, she performed in numerous student outreach performances and full-length ballets including Dracula, The Nutcracker and Ben Stevenson’s Romeo and Juliet. From 2016 to 2018, Caitlin performed and trained as a freelance artist with Amy Marrow and The Theorists in Austin, TX. She is currently working towards a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique.
Emily Cunningham Assistant Director/Lower Level Program
Emily has been dancing since the age of three and studied ballet, pointe, tap, modern, hip hop, musical theatre, and jazz. She has continued her studies at Broadway Dance Center in NYC and was a company dancer with Reverence Dance Project in Austin, TX, under the Direction of Quinton Weathers and Dane Burch. She is a Collective Dance Artistry Performance Company Alumni and has been an instructor at Collective Dance Artistry for the past nine years. Emily is passionate about spreading her knowledge and love of dance to the next generation of young dancers and believes that a strong technical foundation early on is the key to building a successful dancer.
Kirsten Burandt Tap
Kirsten Burandt is a 2000 graduate of Texas State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Dance Education. A native of San Antonio, she began her dance career at the age of 2 and continued through high school, and then on to college. Growing up she was part of a competitive dance show group for 5 years in San Antonio that competed in all dance styles regionally and nationally. She has been teaching in private and public institutions for over 20 years, providing education in Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Tap, and Musical Theatre. For the past 9 years, she served as the Performing Arts Department’s Dance teacher and Director of Dance Teams at various high schools. She most recently was the Artistic Director of the Alief Jazz Ballet Company in Houston for three years. She currently holds certification by EXCET, in Dance, Physical Education, and Professional Development. She is also certified by the Texas Association, Teachers of Dance (TATD) where she is a Master Instructor/choreographer. She consistently trains at workshops and conventions around the country to remain current, hip, and always in touch with the latest music, styles, techniques and choreography.
Chrystal Frost Tap
Chrystal is a singer, dancer, and actress in San Antonio, Texas. She began her education early on where she trained competitively in tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and hip-hop. Chrystal currently has a Bachelor’s of Communication from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has been teaching in local dance studios for the past 4 years. After 13 years of competitive studio training, Chrystal went on to perform with RPM Tap Ensemble. During her time with RPM, Chrystal trained and took classes under tap masters Barbara Phillips, Lisa La Touche, Acia Gray, Jay Fagan, and Dianne Walker. Chrystal Frost has also had the opportunity to perform at the Chicago Rhythm World Tap Festival with master tap dancer and choreographer, Derick Grant. In addition to dance, Chrystal also has experience in voice and theatre. She studied Vocal Performance under Dr. Robert Best at Baylor University and competed at the Grand NATS National Conference becoming a finalist. She is also active in community musical theatre, with some highlights including roles such as Maria in “The Sound of Music”, Rapunzel in “Into the Woods” and Charity in “Anything Goes.” Chrystal is very excited to be a part of Collective Dance Artistry and work with the community of instructors and students that share the same passion for dance.
Ariel Flores Hip-Hop
Ariel began dancing at the age of 12 and studied tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, modern and contemporary. She has studied with SYTYCD All-stars Kathryn McCormick and Robert Roldan, Matt Stefanina, Zachary Venegas, Dejan Tubic, Sam Allen, and many more. She had the opportunity to audition for the San Antonio NBA Spurs Silver Dancers 2017-2018 season where she received a silver ticket into auditions and became one of the top 30 finalists. Currently she attends Northwest Vista College as a Dance Education major located here in San Antonio. Ariel continues to share her passion for dance by teaching and choreographing competition performances for youth dancers throughout South Texas.
Cameron Wood Creative Movement
Cameron found a love for dance at an early age and has since trained in all styles including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Pas de Deux, Musical Theatre, and Hip Hop. Cameron has been dancing with Collective Dance Artistry for four years and is a member of the performance company. Summer programs include Joffrey Miami, Hubbard Street Chicago, Alonzo King Lines San Francisco, and she will attend a 5 week Contemporary intensive at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts this summer. Cameron was recently awarded college scholarship money by the Las Casas foundation for her self choreographed performance at the Joci Awards. She is extremely excited to teach this year and to help the next generation of young artists pursue their goals.
Kylee Larsen Jazz
Originally from Idaho Falls, Idaho, Kylee has danced for 28 years receiving extensive training in multiple styles including: ballet, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and modern. She received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance Performance with an emphasis in Modern Dance at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She is a former member of the Brigham Young University Cougarettes and served as the Dance Captain for two years, including 2010 when they won their eighth national title. She received multiple scholarships and awards while attending and teaching dance at BYU in recognition of her influential teaching. After graduating, she discovered a new love for choreography. She has choreographed and taught for multiple high schools and studios, collegiate teams and professional companies around the country. She has received choreography awards including the Dance Masters of America Choreography Award for her unique style and creativity while teaching in Arizona. She is grateful to be here in Texas with her husband and son, Leo, and to be a part of the CDA family!
Keith Duncan Ballet Master
Mr. Duncan, a native Texan, began dancing at the age of three with Beverly Miller in Alice, Texas. In the early 1970’s he began intensive training with Larry and Bettye Roquemore, directors of Corpus Christi Ballet Theatre. At age 13 Lew Christensen, director of San Francisco Ballet, offered Mr. Duncan a full scholarship and subsequent apprenticeship with SFB, however he continued his pre-professional studies at Houston Ballet, Southwest Ballet Centre and the Tuzer Dancenter. While attending Butler University and simultaneously dancing with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, directed by George Verdak, he received his third invitation from Compania Nacional de Danza located in Mexico City to dance with the company. He joined the company and within two weeks was promoted to soloist, making his debut with the company in Swan Lake as the Court Jester. While with Compania Nacional de Danza, Duncan was featured in Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, Giselle and Graduation Ball as well as contemporary works by Job Saunders, Nellie Happee and Carlos Lopez. Upon leaving the company, Mr. Duncan returned to Texas and founded Victoria Ballet Theatre in Victoria, Texas and directed Victoria Conservatory of Dance. In 1988, he was asked by Jean Paul Comelin to join Ballet Arizona as a soloist. There he danced works by Jose Limon, Robert North, John Cranko, George Balanchine and Jean Paul Comelin. In 1990, Pierre Wiess of Wiesbadner Ballet in Germany offered him a contract with the company. When Jean Paul Comelin was appointed director of Ballet Du Nord in Roubaix, France he requested that Duncan follow him and perform with the company.
Upon Duncan’s retirement from performing professionally, he embarked on a career as an instructor and choreographer. In 1992 he was awarded the National Choreographic Plan Award for his ballet," Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire" by Robert Lindgren adjudicator for Regional Dance America. He has staged a multitude of original works as wells as ballets from the classical and romantic repertoire. During his career he has performed for American President, William Jefferson Clinton and Mexican Presidents Luis Echeverria, Jose Lopez-Portillo and Miguel de la Madrid. He also gave a command performance for HRH Prince Franz Wilhelm.
In 2008, Mr. Duncan became the Artistic Director of River City Ballet of San Marcos, Texas. The company flourished artistically during his appointment. From 2010 to 2012 Duncan co-owned and directed Central Texas Ballet Conservatory. In the summer of 2012 while touring in France, Belgium and Scotland, he was asked to teach master classes in Perth, Scotland for the Julie Young Dance Studio and Performing Arts Centre.
Keith Duncan has influenced countless teachers, students and dancers throughout his long career. His passion for dance is evident in everything he does. Some of his former students are alumni or members of: The Julliard School, Royal Ballet School, The Harid Conservatory, Compania Nacional de Danza, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater, Staatsballett Berlin and the Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet.
Erica Lyn Cortez Ballet and Modern
Erica Lyn Cortez has over 20 years of dance training and holds a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from the California Institute of the Arts. Upon graduation Erica co-produced, co-choreogrpahed and performed in, "Praznik: An Evening of Bulgarian Vocal Music and Contemporary Dance," at the Lund Theather. She also began working extensively with award-winning choreographer Janet Roston as a performer and assistant choreographer. She was a member of the No Strings Attached Dance Theater, directed by Lissa Resnick. As well as the Datugan Dance Theater, directed by Ken Datugan. With performances at the El Portal Theater, RedCat, Highways Perfomance Space, Live Arts Los Angeles (LALA) and many more. Internationally Erica performed at the "Cita con la Danza" dance festival in Benicassim, Spain, with choreographers Roger C. Jeffrey and Juan Borona. Now back in Texas Erica is working as an independent dance artist with various Austin choreographers creating dance films, concert pieces, and full-length choreographic works. She is currently in her fourth season with the Andrea Torres Dance Company and has had the privilege to perform annually with the "Dance to Breathe" dance festival. She has performed at the Austin Music Hall, The Paramount Theater, Austin City Limits, The MACC and more. Erica has her Pilates certification from the Sheppard Method, taught by master teacher Risa Sheppard in Los Angeles, California. She has been teaching dance for 18 years in both Texas and California and loves to continually share her passion for movement and the arts with others. It is Erica's goal to facilitate an environment that supports physical awareness and creative growth so dancers may come to understand their own power within, giving them strength and awareness to move forward positively in both technique and artistry.