Ambassadors

Movin’ Easy Ambassadors 

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These extraordinarily talented young dancers are dedicated, pre-professional students who call Austin Texas home. Follow their journey and share the love of Dance!

Kara Nelson

Dancing since the age of 3, Kara chose to enter the dance world seven years ago. She is a member of the Ballet Academy North’s pre-professional company in Austin, TX. She trains in all styles from Ballroom to Modern, but she has a very special place in her heart for Pointe. Kara loves the intense training that is required to become a professional ballerina. Along with being an ambassador for Movin’ Easy, Kara represents RussianPointe as an RP Dancer. When she isn’t dancing, she is focused on her homeschooling program and volunteering at Red Arena. Red Arena assists individuals with disabilities ride horses. Kara lives by the wise words of Robert Collier, “Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.” Learn More

Olivia Schuh

Olivia was born in Austin Texas, and is currently a trainee at Cincinnati Ballet. Prior to her training at Cincinnati Ballet, she danced at Dance Institute in Austin, TX. Olivia has participated in summer intensives at Cincinnati Ballet, Ellison Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet in NYC, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Learn More

Ainsley Ryan

Ainsley Ryan is part of the Dance Academy (tDA) and Ballet Academy North family with her aunt, Kiley Ortiz. She attended her first dance competition when she was just two weeks old; she has since gone to many other events, where she now claps and cheers loudly for her dance friends. Ainsley loves to swim and play, and is always on the go, very happy, and easy-going. She is still mastering her walk, but once she has that down, will almost surely follow in her aunt’s footsteps as a TDA dancer!

Kiley Ortiz

Born in San Angelo, Texas, she received her early ballet training from the San Angelo Civic Ballet starting at the age of four under the instruction of Meghann Bridgeman and Suzanne Smith. In the summer after graduating high school a year early in 2015, she was invited to attend Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division Program where she danced on scholarship for two years. During her time at PNB she danced in many roles, but her favorites include George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Christopher Wheeldon’s Scene De Ballet. Kelsey spent the year before last dancing as a trainee under the direction of Patricia Barker at the Grand Rapids Ballet. This past season she was an apprentice with Ballet Austin where she danced numerous ballets including Steven Mills’ FirebirdThe Nutcracker, and Giselle. She has also been able to work with many notable choreographers including Gina Patterson and Penny Saunders. Kelsey has attended several summer intensives including Ballet Austin, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet. Kelsey is now a part of the professional company at Ballet Tuscon in Arizona.

Evelyn Wikosz

Has been a dance student at the Texas Academy of Ballet with Carolyn Bognar for 10 years. She has been studying the RAD form of ballet along with contemporary, Jazz and Tap. Evelyn is in the senior Ballet Royale Company at her school and competes at YAGP and a few other local competitions. She feels happiest whenever she is dancing, and she wants to see how far her dance career can go. After that she would like to pursue dance-related medicine.

Alayna Hamade

Alayna Hamade is a 14-year-old ballet dancer from Austin, Texas.  She began taking classes when she was 3 years old and has trained at several studios in and around Austin.  She has attended summer intensive programs at Orlando Ballet, the Kirov Academy of Ballet and the HARID Conservatory. This year she began online schooling so she can dedicate more time to her dance training. When she is not in the studio, she enjoys musicals, camping and spending time with her dogs.

Isabelle Wilwayco

Isabelle Beatrice Wilwayco is 14 years old. She began her early ballet training at the age of 3 and started developing her passion for dance at age 6. Trained at Texas Academy of Ballet for ten years under Carolyn Bognar where she performed as Alice in Alice and Wonderland at age 10 and as Cinderella at age 12. She’s been trained in RAD ballet, character, contemporary, tap and jazz. She continued her studies with Eva Coomer as part of TAB’s pre-professional company Ballet Royale for 3 years. Her favorite memory of TAB and Ballet Royale was all the pas de deux pieces she performed and YAGP competitions she’s been to. She spent most of her summers at summer intensives such as Houston Ballet, ABT, and Southland Ballet. At 13 she joined Ballet Austin’s Advanced Division in level 8 where she is performing as Clara in their annual production of The Nutcracker. She has received scholarships at different schools for summer intensive programs and received awards at multiple competitions. Other than being a Movin’Easy ambassador for 2018-2019, she is a FlexiFoot model and continuing as a Designer Dance Ambassador again this year. Her goal is to further her dance training seriously.

Amanda Priestley

Amanda fell in love with ballet after her first open class at Ballet Austin four years ago. Since then, she has been training rigorously at The Austin School of Classical Ballet and Ballet Austin. Amanda has been fortunate enough to have been accepted into summer intensives for American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet school in Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, and others. Amanda hopes to take her ballet career as far as she can, and is excited to see what her future holds.

Kora Ingram

Kora Ingram was born in New Jersey and moved to Leander, Texas when she was 2 years old. Kora lives with her mom, dad, brother, and 2 dogs. When she is not dancing, she loves to play guitar, sing, hang out with her friends, crafts, swim, stretch while watching tv, and take photos with her mom’s camera. Kora has danced for 6 years and can’t imagine doing anything else!

Maya Wallace Clark

Maya is a native Austinite and began dance training at the age of 3. She is a company member at Dance Discovery training in ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, and hip hop. She is also a company member and dance major at a school for the fine arts. She has had the pleasure of participating in Dallas Black Dance Theater’s intensive for the last 4 years. She has received scholarships and awards at multiple competitions and conventions. In addition to being a dancer, Maya is also an actor and model having been featured music videos, musical theater, and print work.

Izzy Oliver

Izzy Oliver started dancing at the age of 4, but started pre-professional training 4 years ago. She is a member of the Ballet Academy North’s pre-professional company along with the Dance Academy’s competition team in Austin, Texas. Her passion shines in all styles from hip-hop to ballet, but her favorite style is contemporary. Izzy loves how she gets to have freedom of expression when dancing but also loves the intense environment around her. Izzy is so excited to represent the Movin’ Easy store and looks forward to her future with this amazing company.

Mya Davis

Mya Davis, 12 years old, was born in Pensacola, FL and recently moved to the Austin area 3 years ago.  She is currently dancing in the First Company with Ballet Academy North Pre-Professional Program. Dancing since the age of 3, it wasn’t until she moved to Texas that she was given the opportunity to dance competitively at the Youth American Grand Prix. This past year she competed again at YAGP and was invited to be a participant at the YAGP Finals 2019 in NYC. Mya has attended American Ballet Theater Young Dancer Summer Intensive in California, and more recently has attended the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in NYC. She has also has attended and become an ambassador with the Grand Premiere Invitational in Arizona. Besides ballet and anything dance, Mya loves to travel, try new foods, do arts and crafts, and spend quality time with family and friends.

Sophia Reass

Sophia Reass is 12 (almost 13), lives in Round Rock, Texas, but was born in St. Louis, Mo. She has studied at The Dance Works since 2011 and joined their competitive team in 2014. Her favorite styles of dance are ballet and contemporary. Sophia has competed in Regional and National Dance Competitions since 2015 and competed in YAGP for the first time this past spring. She has attended Summer Intensives at Ballet Austin and just finished the ABT Summer Intensive at UT in August 2019. Sophia’s long term goal is to be part of a professional ballet company. When she is not dancing she likes to read and make art. Sophia loves books, loves to draw, paint, and make jewelry.

Carson Berry

Carson Berry began her ballet training at the age of 6 at ONE Academy of Dance in Austin, TX. Through ONE Academy, she has trained in the Cecchetti method of classical ballet and been awarded scholarships from Cecchetti Southwest Council and the Cecchetti Council of America. She has spent her summers training at Ballet West, Nashville Ballet, and Cecchetti International Summer School. Some of her favorite roles she’s performed are Columbine, Young Cinderella, and Flower Sprite. Carson is a sophomore at Dripping Springs High School and is active in her church youth group. When she’s not dancing, Carson enjoys calligraphy and watercolor painting, and her dream is to become a professional ballet dancer.

Jade Emmery Gaither

Jade Emmery Gaither, born April 23rd 2004 dances at Harmony School of Creative Arts. Jade is homeschooling and is a Sophmore taking some classes at One Day Academy in Marble Falls. Her hobbies are gardening, baking, and piano. Jade’s favorite style of dance is ballet, but also loves lyrical and contemporary. Her goal is to become a professional ballet dancer. Jade’s favorite companies are Houston Ballet and ABT and has done summer ballet intensives at OBT and ABT. She is hoping to go to Houston Ballet next summer.

Ashley Gundy

Ashley Gundy is a twelve year old aspiring professional ballerina from Leander, Texas. Her interest in dance began at the age of two but continued to grow when she became a member of The Dance Academy’s competition companies. During that time, she realized she had a strong love for ballet and contemporary dance and transitioned to TDA’s ballet company. She is currently a First Company member with Ballet Academy North at The Dance Academy. Over the years, Ashley has enjoyed competing in several local and national competitions including YAGP. She has participated in summer intensive trainings through American Ballet Theatre and Texas Ballet Theatre. When not in the studio, Ashley can be found listening to Queen, re-reading the Harry Potter series, watching Dance Moms or ballet videos, cuddling with her dog and dancing with her younger sisters.

Alycia Williams

Alycia Williams is an aspiring ballet dancer who has been blessed with the opportunity to train with Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet West, and Texas Ballet theatre. Alycia has received many offers and acceptances to attend some of the best ballet school programs in the world such as, Houston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pacifc Northwest Ballet, Debbie Allan Dance academy and Carry Ballet Conservatory. However, at the end of the day her true love in her spare time after dancing is watching Netflix while eating her favorite snack, flaming hot cheetos.

Camille Dowling

Camille Dowling, 10, is the youngest of 7 children and has been dancing since the age of 5.  She currently dances with Cibolo City Ballet in Cibolo, TX.  In her first year to compete at YAGP (Youth America Grand Prix), Camille was awarded 1st place Classical Ballet and 3rd place Contemporary in the Pre-Competitive (9-11yo) age division at the 2019 Regionals held in Houston.  She and her partner also earned 1st place in the Pas De Deux division, and she was invited to compete all 3 pieces at the 2019 YAGP Finals in New York City.  Cami is thrilled to join the Movin Easy Ambassador family, and looks forward a great year!

Sophie Zetarski

Sophie Zetarski is 15 years old and has been dancing since she was 2. Sophie is going into the tenth grade and will be attending Cedar Ridge High School in the fall. Sophie lives with her mom and dad along with her two sisters Claire and Emilia.She also has two yorkies Paisley and Harley. Sophie loves dancing. It has helped her become the person she is today. When she is not dancing she enjoys spending time with friends and volunteering at All Things Wild Animal Rescue. Sophie loves to be organized and write in journals and hopes to attend college to become a doctor.

Veronica Boccardo

Veronica graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.F.A. In Dance with a certification in dance education through the Uteach dance program. She has performed works by Alvin Rangel, Shen Jun, Charles Anderson, and more. Including UT’s production musical “Little Women” and created her own choreography. She has had training at Joffrey Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Ballet West to name a few. She competed for YAGP and has performed Nutcracker roles like reed flute and the Arabian pas de deux (Allegro Ballet of Houston). She has extensive training in Vaganova technique however, her teaching repertoire spreads throughout the spectrum, including contemporary, Hip-Hop, Jazz, social dance (Ballroom, Latin, country – trained by Sonia Jupiter), and improv. She also has experience with commercial work and freelance projects.

Veronica currently teaches ballet at Shirley McPhail School of Dance, Tarrytown dance, as well as her former studio, Austin School of Classical Ballet. She dances with The Dance Project and is a freelance dancer around the Austin community as well, working towards performance opportunities, gigs, projects, guest teaching, and engaging within the Creative Learning Initiative and MINDPOP whenever possible.

Autumn Ryskoski

Autumn Ryskoski began dancing at the age of two at Ballet Austin but began formal ballet training in the Cecchetti method at nine years old. She called ONE Academy of Dance in Austin, TX home from 2012-2018. In the fall of 2018, Autumn began training with Nashville Ballet’s Professional Training Division. She returns for another season of training with Nashville Ballet in PTD 2 this year. She has attended the Cecchetti International Summer School summer intensive, Kansas City Ballet summer intensive, and Nashville Ballet summer intensive. Some of her favorite roles that she has performed are Clara, the Dew Drop Fairy, and the Winter Fairy (from Cinderella) . Autumn is a recipient of the June Runyan award from the Cecchetti Southwest Council and will be a senior in high school this fall. When she is not dancing, she enjoys reading, playing board and card games, and having fun at the beach. Autumn is very excited to be a part of the Movin’ Easy family and is looking forward to the coming season.

Kelsey Minzenmeyer

Born in San Angelo, Texas, Kelsey Minzenmeyer received her early ballet training from the San Angelo Civic Ballet starting at the age of four under the instruction of Meghann Bridgeman and Suzanne Smith. In the summer after graduating high school a year early in 2015, she was invited to attend Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division Program where she danced on scholarship for two years. During her time at PNB she danced in many roles, but her favorites include George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Christopher Wheeldon’s Scene De Ballet. Kelsey spent the year before last dancing as a trainee under the direction of Patricia Barker at the Grand Rapids Ballet. This past season she was an apprentice with Ballet Austin where she danced numerous ballets including Steven Mills’ Firebird, The Nutcracker, and Giselle. She has also been able to work with many notable choreographers including Gina Patterson and Penny Saunders. Kelsey has attended several summer intensives including Ballet Austin, School of American Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Kansas City Ballet.

Sophia Sparrow

She was born in Seattle Washington but is currently residing in Round Rock, Texas.  She has been dancing for 7 years at Texas Academy of Ballet under the directions of Carolyn Bognor. For the last 4 years, she has been a part of a company at her studio called Ballet Royale. She has competed in local competitions and YAGP for the last three years. The styles of dance she practices are ballet, contemporary, character, and jazz. For summer intensives, Sophia has been to Southland Ballet Academy (summer ‘16) and last summer she trained at Pacific Northwest ballet in Seattle. Besides dance, Sophia enjoys being outdoors and hiking with her friends and family and going on dance photo shoots with her mom. Learn More

Mia Jamerson

Born in Indianapolis Indiana and started dancing at her mom’s dance studio since before she could remember. Her mom trained her until she moved to Texas and then started at The Dance Academy. She then started competitive dance for two years and has been a member of Ballet Academy North first company for 4 years. Mia has competed in YAGP and did the variation Kitri act 3. Mia has been to Kibbutz summer intensive in Israel and Joffery NYC summer intensive. She is trained in Modern, Contemporary, Ballet, Tap, Character and Jazz. Besides dancing she has a passion for missionary work and has been a missionary in Leon Nicaragua for 2 years.

Elin Harrington

Elin Harrington has been dancing since the age of 6 and attends The Dance Academy. She is entering her 3rd year of competition as an Elevate Company member. She loves any and everything dance and her training in all dance genres from ballet to hip-hop. However, her favorite style is contemporary. No matter what Elin is doing, whether in dance, school, or anything else she is involved in she always gives 110%. She is honored and excited to be a Jr. Ambassador at Movin’ Easy. Elin’s motto – “Don’t think from the dark, think from the heart!” by Elin Harrington

Isabella Garcia

Isabella has been dancing seriously since the age of 12. She trains at Ballet Academy North and is a member of the first company. Isabella’s favorite style of dance is ballet and she loves to perform on stage. She loves the structure pre-professional ballet provides, and the hard work and dedication it requires. When Isabella isn’t dancing, she loves getting outdoors and spending time with her friends. She also participates in a volunteer program that provides breakfast for the homeless. Isabella lives by the simple quote “progress, not perfection”.