Jackleen Rios began her dance career at the age of four, learning traditional ballet technique from a well known dance studio in San Antonio called the Vladimir Marek Ballet Studio. She continued dancing throughout her adolescence growing in the art of dance learning other genres such as jazz, hip hop, and modern. She continued with her dance career by attending the University of North Texas in Denton Tx, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance Cume Laude. After receiving her BA in dance, she completed her Dance Certification for 8-12th grade to begin her journey in dance education. In 2015, Jackleen graduated from The University of Texas San Antonio with a Master of Science in Health and Kinesiology.
She also taught for the Parks and Recreation of San Antonio, displaying her choreography on the San Antonio’s famous Arneson theater and has been recognized for outstanding choreography. In 2010, she became the Dance Director for San Antonio Independent School District’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Jackleen started the dance program at YWLA. Some of her students started with little or no experience, and have become elite dancers, who have branched out into the dance world to be successful individuals. Her students have been in numerous opportunities throughout San Antonio, such as appearing on television (Dance SA), hip hop organizations (Hype, Unified Soul), local music videos, and dancers for local singing artists.
The program has also participated in local events including the Battle of Flowers parade in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. In 2015, The Young Women’s Leadership Academy was asked to perform for the Department of Education in Fine Arts in Washington D.C. Jackleen’s choreography was recognized by the Department of Education in Fine Arts’ as one of the best programs in San Antonio. Jackleen is also a member of The Texas Dance Educators Association and The Center for Education in Developing Fine Arts since 2010.
With more than 12 years of professional experience to her credit, Ms. Rios has excelled as a director and the owner of the Jewel of Art Dance Studio since 2016.
Ms. Rios is not only a business owner but also a professional dancer, choreographer, model and actress. She has worked with many local vocal artists as a choreographer, director, dancer and model. She has worked with artists such as pop artist Simply Rayne, Sarah Centeno, R&B singer Smoove, Latin Colombian Artist J Torres, American Idol contestant Steven Curd, and local band Horror on 24. She has modeled for companies such as Melrose Family Fashion, Our Kids Magazine and featured as a Woman in Business for SA Monthly Magazine. She has also appeared on local TV stations such as FOX 29, Kens5, KABB, and WOAI. Additionally, she has been the lead actress for the short film Overlooked produced by Rudy Luna and Brent Strong.
On April 2, 2019, Jackleen Rios was inducted into Marquis Who’s Who. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Although Ms. Rios is involved with many activities her main passion is teaching. The Jewel of Art Dance Studio has always been a dream of hers since she was a child. She has finally been able to reach the start and fulfill her lifelong dream of creating an environment for students to be able to find their passion and reach their dreams. The Jewel of Art Dance Studio is the stepping stone to create refined and brilliant dancers on and off the dance floor. Her goal is to ensure each dancer embodies dedication, commitment, artistry and passion. Ms. Rios considered the students to be her jewels and just as jewels shine with brilliance so will her students.
Having taught dance for over 25 years, Priscilla specializes in classical ballet and lyrical contemporary dance. She is inspired by the talent of the dance community and her students every day. In her classroom, she brings her passion for dance and for teaching young people while sharing her knowledge and experience. She strives to encourage her students to explore the possibility of their talents and push beyond what they think is achievable within themselves as performers, athletes, and artists.
In her choreography, she invites her students to bring their thoughts and personalities to the piece to deepen the level of silent dialogue a dancer has with the audience. Through movement and emotional interpretation of the music, her choreography is rooted in pop-culture using classical and modern music. Using a current message, she’s able to produce a stimulating dance-art conversation with her audiences that transcends all ages.
Priscilla Martinez began her career as a dancer studying in San Antonio, and later in Boston & New York with some of her memorable teachers being Milton Myers (modern), Michael Vernon (ballet), Elena Kunikova (ballet), Armando Duarte (modern), Danny Sloan (modern/jazz), Sam Kurjikian (ballet), Fleming Halby (ballet), Teresa Champion (flamenco), and Susan Connally (ballet/jazz/modern).
In addition to her studies in New York, she added Theatre to her stage experience. There she performed in musicals and straight plays as well as numerous national commercials, voice-overs and print ads. She has performed extensively with various dance companies, including SA Dance Theatre, now known as SA Metropolitan Ballet.
She has also choreographed award winning concert pieces. Fragil and Signs of Life were both performed at Regional Dance America’s Southwest Festival and both received the Monticello Award for Emerging Choreography, and Out of Chaos, also performed at Festival, received the Project Tier Award. She has attended several National Craft of Choreography Conferences to further her work in choreography
Advanced Jazz, Advanced Modern, and Hip Hop Heels
Mark Anthony Mata II obtained a Bachelor of Science in University Studies with a concentration in Dance and minors in Psychology and Sports Management from Texas A&M University – College Station. He started his dancing journey his junior year of high school by joining the award winning Thomas Jefferson High School Lassos Dance Team under the direction of Nikki Howell. While on team he traveled to many events for performance opportunities including the Capital of Texas, competed in many competitions, and won first-runner up in the solo division his senior year. Mark has also had the opportunity to go to Chicago, Illinois and attend the first annual Camp Kate, where he was selected as a scholarship student from Kate Jablonski in 2011. In addition, he has had the privilege to take master classes from Marlana Doyle (Houston Met), Andy Vaca, Elizabeth Ahearn, Angelie Renay Melzer, Ana Baer, Emma Portner, Phil Wright, Rudy Abreu, Molly Long, and Emily Shock. As a student, Mark performed all four years in the Texas A&M University Dance Program Annual Concert “Perpetual Motion,” where he was chosen for a rework duet titled “Cracking the Geode,” choreographed by Carisa Armstrong and in the ensemble “Rapid Eye Movement,” choreographed by Alyson Dolan. Furthermore, Mark travelled to Pittsburgh, PA in 2015 to attend the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science for a more in depth look into new technologies being used for dance anatomy research. Mark was also an integral voice in various college dance organizations such as Fade2Black and the Texas A&M Dance Arts Society where he won “Best New Choreographer,” for his piece “Roll Up Your Sleeves.” After graduating, Mark was announced as an ambassador for Travis Wall’s “Shaping Sound,” tour and was given the opportunity to be on the production team during the duration of the tour in Texas. Most recently, Mark has had the honor to perform with the House of Kenzo, a multidisciplinary performance art form at various shows in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. Currently, Mark is an educator and studio instructor where he advocates for injury prevention and style development in all genres of dance that he professes.
Tricks Leaps and Turns, Office Staff
Sarah Starkweather is a professional dancer and fitness trainer who has performed for the last 10 years in New York City, Texas, and the Midwest. Sarah has worked with choreographers Jennifer Archibald, Liz Imperio, Amanda Selwyn, Matt Luck, Jennifer Medina, and Ashlé Dawson among other contemporary, commercial, and theatrical engagements. Sarah is a PMA Pilates mat certified instructor and is recognized by Equinox for being a Top 50 Group Fitness Instructor worldwide. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology during which time she also began her classical study of dance through mentorships with artists from The Royal Ballet and The Cuban National Ballet. Sarah infuses her unique background of movement research into her classes by coaching students to have ownership over each class experience and seek after a deep, honest, and open state of mind and body. Sarah’s classes are educational and empowering while creating a sense of trust and community.
John Sierra is an experienced and energetic teacher since 1970. He has been a gymnastic instructor and coach for the Northern Hills Gymnastics Club, YMCA, Gymex Corporation, Edgewood ISD, Harrison Unlimited Gymnastics Center, and SA Gymnastics Center. In 1985, he coach Girls Class IV gymnastics team that won first in the Texas Twisters competition and a gymnastic student who won first place in all around competition in the U.S.G.F Class IV Qualifier District Championship and third place in State Semi-Finals. He is knowledgeable in both cheer and gymnastics competitions as well as holding numerous Gymnastics clinics and workshops.
Children Classes Assistant
Denise Dominguez has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Denise trains in Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern/Contemporary/Lyrical, Jazz, and Tap. Denise has been dancing at Jewel of Art Dance Studio. She was a company member of Jewel&Co from 2017-2018. Denise has performed in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and all over San Antonio including Battle of the Flowers parades, Oysterbake, Jewel Fest, Princess Fest, SXSW and many more. She has also been featured in Columbian Artist J Torres music videos as well as a backup dancer for his live performances. Denise has also toured with a Comedian Mario Aguilar. Denise is also an assisting instructor for children classes at Jewel of Art. She is an upcoming Choreographer who has been affiliated with choreography for many school performances and Quinceñera events. She has trained under the direction the Director Jackleen Rios, owner of the Jewel of Art Dance Studio since the age of 12 years old and still currently working as an aspiring dancer.
Bobby Esparza is from San Antonio born and raised. He has been dancing at multiple studios for the past ten years. Bobby has trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary/lyrical/modern, and tap. He’s been teaching for the past two years. He’s danced in productions such as The Messiah the ballet as well as Alice in Wonderland the ballet. He’s continues to dance at home in his free time. His goals for the future are to own his own studio.
D’Vaughn Delpit, a model and dancer, has been apart of the Jewel of Art over the last two years as a member of the Jewels and Company Team. Having met Jackie through their Mother Agent, Lari Nelson, who he has been with for the last three years. D’Vaughn first started dancing freestyle in high school for fun and during his time as a member of high school color guard team.
D’Vaughn has 8 and a half years of administrative experience as well as 3 years of computer management software experience. In those 8 years D’Vaughn has been apart of multiple positions in which he has assisted with organizational management and clerical assistance. Over the last 3 years, D’Vaughn has been apart of several small start up opportunities, in which he has found and overseen management of different computer based management software programs ranging from schedule management, different point of sale software, as well as some website editing.
Due to D’Vaughn’s experience and involvement with the company, he was brought on to assist the Jewel of Art as it continues to grow and flourish. If you have any questions regarding registration or payment information please feel free to reach out to him when you see him.
Jazz I / Tap/ Adv Hip Hop
Being originally from California, Danielle started her dance career at the young age of 7 years old at Temecula Valley Cathy’s Dance. She first specialized in ballet, jazz, and hip hop and did contemporary and tap on the side. Danielle competed in numerous dance competitions for 5 years with the company. During her time at TVCD she earned her first scholarship to attend The Brakus Conservatory of Dance and Musical theater, earning her $5,000 towards a scholarship to attend the school for the 2010-2011 school year.
She decided not to attend the school and continued on to switch dance studios and began attending one of the most prestigious, Top 5 dance studios in America, Murrieta Dance Project (also known for being on the TV show Dance Moms as the LA team). Switching studios opened many more doors for Danielle that allowed her to attend elite dance conventions being able to take classes with well named dancers such as: Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini , WildaBeast, Sonya Taiya, and the wonderful Mia Michaels. While attending these throughout her years at MDP she received over $500 in scholarships to attend special conventions that were on a “invite only” basis. Danielle competed with the company during her time there and was apart of award winning pieces choreographed by the owner Erin Babbs and and was apart of a large group piece taught by the infamous Bobby Newberry.
During her time at MDP she was also apart of her 5 year hip-hop award winning high school advanced dance team, Alliance, taught by the amazing Sherry Duckworth. During all four years of high school Danielle was able to teach large to small group routines that would be apart of the dance departments large spring showcase Dance Evolution. Teaching contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and musical theater pieces to all kids her age or younger giving her, her first taste of teaching at the young age of 15 and continued to teach until she graduated. Danielle was chosen to speak at her graduation, representing not only the dance department but for the theater department as well, being that she was involved in the spring show as “Cha-Cha Degregorio” in the well known play “Grease”.
After graduating high school Danielle attended Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. While attending she was apart of and competed with a heels dance and modeling team called Printed Revolution. After attending one year in Norfolk she decided to move to Texas where she started her own small side business teaching surprise dances for a few Quinceaneras around San Antonio. Danielle now works for the NBA as a San Antonio Spurs dancer on the well known dance team called “Hype Squad” and is a dance teacher for Diva Dance San Antonio.
Justis Tijerina is an 18 year old college freshman, born and raised in San Antonio, Texas.
He has a passion for performance which involves acting and dancing. He loves the adrenaline rush of performing. He first discovered his passion for dance in 2016 when he was given one of the lead roles for a Musical Theater performance, “In the Heights” as Graffiti Pete, his sophomore year of high school, and continued to take off from there.
He is a part of the Jewels and company dance team as well as a dance instructor and choreographer at the Jewel of Arts dance studio. He also teaches junior hip hop at Smash Dance Studio and is an elite dancer for RYP dance crew. He continues to take dance workshops to gain knowledge and to help excel in his dancing skills. His heartfelt gratitude to all his dance mentors who have helped him become the dancer he is today.
He believes “Dancing is an art, the floor is my canvas, and I am the brush and whatever I create comes from the heart.” I dance because there’s no greater feeling in the world than moving to music.
His inspiration is to inspire others and show them the love and passion of dance.