Ashanti Williams is a proud graduate of Texas Christian University where she completed the BFA program in Modern Dance from The School for Classical and Contemporary Dance. Originally from Dallas, TX, Ashanti received her early training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical and hip hop from Kitty Carter's Dance Factory.
With over 10 years of experience, Ashanti has taught dance all over the metroplex, specializing in Jazz and Contemporary styles, and is very excited to share her knowledge and skills set with the dancers of Texas Dance Conservatory.
Carla Brown started her dance career at “Dancer’s Workshop” under Kathleen Sinclair Cristofori in Yuma, Arizona. During this time she had the opportunity to perform in four Nutcracker Ballets. Two of which she held lead positions within her rolls. Carla then continued her dancing through “Miss Minnie’s School of Ballet” in Roswell, New Mexico. There she had the opportunity to train in and perform multiple styles of dance such as Mexican Folk Dance, River Dance, Swing Dance, Broadway, jazz, tap, and ballet. Carla also continued to perform in The Nutcracker Ballet taking on new rolls each year, and she had the privilege to choreograph the Arabian dance. Performing in a shortened version of Sleeping Beauty Ballet, Carla held the role of Sleeping Beauty. Carla’s choreographing and dancing continued as she studied briefly at Texas Tech University and choreographed for a competitive group performance at Lubbock Christian University. Carla is trained through the Cecchetti Ballet style. She has passed through professional level VI and holds a Cecchetti Teacher certification. Carla has taught dance classes in New Mexico, and Oklahoma, and is now adding Texas. “I believe dance is about expression, passion and above all self-control. My personal goal is to teach young dancers to perfect the basic steps that will allow them to perform their own passions.”
Crystal Derrick is a Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts alumna. She graduated Cum Laude with her BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Ms. Crystal began her training at Margo Dean's School of Ballet and eventually became an apprentice for Ballet Concerto. She has had the honor of working with many artists over the years, such as Astrid Von Ussar, Bruce Marks, Luis Montero, Nathalie Krassovska and more. During college, she was an apprentice for Rednerrus Feil Dance Company and upon graduation became a member of the company and the costume mistress. She has taught at multiple studios in Houston, The Woodlands, and Cypress, Texas, but is so overjoyed to be back in Fort Worth and working at Texas Dance Conservatory.
Gabriel Speiller is a native New Yorker, raised in Queens. He is a graduate of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. He has a BFA in Dance at Belhaven University. His performing credentials include Ad Deum Dance Company, Paul Taylor 2, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Dance Company, Katherine Maxwell, NOW Dance Project, Jessica Gaynor Dance Company, and Robert Mark Dance Company. Gabriel's work has been adjudicated at American College Dance Festival and he has choreographed for the Awakening Dance Movement, Belhaven University, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Zion Dance Project and Wanderlust Dance Project. Gabriel is currently dancing with Bruce Wood Dance and teaching throughout the DFW area.
Jackie Millan is a Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts alumna with over 25 years of dance experience. She recently moved back to Texas and is excited to bring her talents to Texas Dance Conservatory. Miss Jackie graduated Magna cum laude with her BA in Dance from Hunter College in New York City with department honors in dance and an academic scholarship. While at Hunter she had the opportunity to work with Vicky Shick, Kendra Portier, Jennifer Nugent, and more. Since graduating, Jackie has danced with MWest & Company and Bolly Dhamaal Dance. She currently dances with imPULSE dance project. Miss Jackie has taught dance in New York, New Jersey, and Texas. She completed the National Dance Institute’s Teaching Artist Training and several workshops with Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey. She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and continuously improving her own skills and abilities.
Krista Jennings Langford began her dance training outside of Atlanta, GA at the Lawrenceville School of Ballet (LSB) under the direction of Phyllis Allen. At LSB she trained in classical ballet, jazz, and modern dance and performed with Southern Ballet Theatre (SBT), a semi-professional company. With SBT she performed lead and soloist roles in classical ballets (including The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Giselle, and Alice in Wonderland) as well as a diverse range of works by area choreographers. During her studies at LSB she was fortunate to work as a teacher's assistant as part of a teacher training program, teaching her first ballet class as a high school senior. In addition, Krista's choreography was selected to be performed at Regional Dance America's Southeastern region's Emerging Choreographer's Showcase in 2004.
Krista moved to Fort Worth in 2004 to study Dance and English at Texas Christian University. A Dean's Scholar and recipient of the Jerry Bywaters Cochran Scholarship for excellence in Modern Dance, her dance studies included ballet and modern dance technique as well as teaching methods, improvisation, and choreography. While at TCU, Krista presented a concert of her own choreographic work as part of a grant she was awarded for Undergraduate Creative Research. In 2008, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance and a BA in Writing.
A freelance performer, choreographer, and dance educator, Krista currently performs with imPULSE Dance Project and wild goose chase dance and teaches ballet and contemporary/modern dance for Kids Who Care, Arlington Classical Ballet Academy, and Texas Ballet Theater School. She is also a co-founding director of FurtherDance Fort Worth, a non-profit organization which seeks to foster community and professional development, within the Fort Worth contemporary dance landscape. Find out more about Krista's work at kjlangford.com.
Laura Barbee began her movement training in her home town of Tyler, Texas. She continued her education by earning a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance at Texas Christian University. Her earlier training was molded by local teachers and through summer intensives at Dallas Ballet Center, Ballet Austin, and American Ballet Theater. TCU allowed her the great experience of working with the late Fernando Bujones who so clearly defined American classical ballet. During this time a love for more contemporary and modern work was cultivated through faculty members and artists such as Jessica Lang. She continued her studies on scholarship with Dance Theater of Harlem, LINES Ballet, and at Bates Dance Festival.
Professionally, Laura has worked with Alonzo King, Atlanta Ballet, Christian von Howard (von Howard Project), Elizabeth Gillaspy (Nymbal), Lauri Stallings, Lydia Johnson Dance, and Susan Douglas Roberts (wild goose chase). Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, Festival Internacional Brincos (Guatemala), World Dance Alliance-Americas (University of Wisconson - Madison, Dance Theatre Workshop - New York City), Fort Worth Dance Festival, and American College Dance Festival has offered a wide range of experience in local and international venues.
With a passion for teaching, she enters the TCU Theatre department with excitement. Laura began teaching at local Fort Worth dance studios and schools. She went on to teach at the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education and LINES Ballet's BFA, Training, and Summer programs. Laura is also certified in the GYROTONIC Expansion System (R) and enjoys guiding people in movement to improve their daily life.
Laura Barbee was born and raised in Tyler, Texas. She earned her BFA in Ballet & Modern Dance from Texas Christian University. She has gone on to teach and perform nationally and internationally in such places as Atlanta, Edinburgh (Scotland), Guatemala, Madison, New York City, and San Francisco. Laura is also very active as a certified trainer in the GYROTONIC ® Expansions System and GYROKINESIS ®. Currently, she is honored to be an Adjunct Faculty member with TCU’s School for Classical and Contemporary Dance and an instructor with some of Fort Worth’s local dance schools. Fort Worth is now happily her home, and Laura’s greatest joy is her four-year old son.
Lori Vasquez is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she completed BFA in Dance with Honors specializing in choreography and teaching. Born and raised in Fort Worth, she started dancing at the age of five and studied ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop. Lori did her training with Frances Lea Dance Center, Joe Berry, and Arlington Heights Dance Department. While at Columbia, she has studied various styles of modern such as Cunningham, Graham, and Horton, and also trained in West African dance and improvisation. At Columbia, Lori had the privilege of dancing and working with diverse artists such as Paige Cunningham, Stephanie Paul, Urban Bush Women, Bob Eisen, and Camille A. Brown & dancers. During Lori’s time at Columbia, she was able to be a part of a community outreach program as a teaching artist and teach dance at schools in Chicago.
Lori choreographed three pieces for the Arlington Heights Dance Department, including My Immortal (2011-2012), which was showcased at the National High School Dance Festival. Lori’s choreography, Change Over Time (2016) and Sweetpoo Gorda Beebs (2018) has appeared at the Dance Center stage of Columbia. Currently, Lori is a member with imPULSE Dance Project and pursuing a teaching certification to teach in public school’s dance programs.
What I most appreciate about Texas Dance Conservatory is that my children are taught by fully trained dance professionals. I know they will train safely while being pushed to advance their technical skills.