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.
While at University of North Texas, she and a fellow classmate pioneered a well known dance company called “Dreamers the Next Level,” where they performed in different venues all over the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex. When she moved back to San Antonio, she began teaching in dance studios throughout SA, working with ages 3 up to adults, as well as competitive dance companies, where she received several awards for her choreography, style and costume.
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.
Jackie Aguirre is the Fine Arts Dance teacher at Louis D. Brandeis High School. She teaches classical ballet, modern, and jazz technique and is the artistic director of the Brandeis Ballet Company.
Ms. Aguirre began her dance training at age eight at Vladimir Marek Ballet Academy under the instruction of Vladimir Marek, Nancy Smith and Joyce Knapick. She attended the summer program at the prestigious School of American Ballet in NYC and the Kirov Academy in Washington, DC. After graduating from John Marshall High School, she attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She earned a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Psychology and graduated magna cum laude in 1999.
Combo I & Mommy & Me
Arcelia has been dancing for four years as part of the dance department at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy High School. After her first year in dance she immediately was placed in the advanced dance group at YWLA. Arcelia is experienced with jazz, hip-hop, ballet, modern/ contemporary with growing experience in pointe. After only a few short months of learning the art of pointe she showcased her experience performing at YWLA Winter Spectacular and the SAISD Winter Extravaganza in 2014.
Arcelia also has teaching experience choreographing and teaching at local dance clinics affiliated with YWLA teaching ballet, hip hop and jazz ages 6-12. Arcelia challenged herself to do a Senior Seminar project in which she had to write a 20-25 pages of research of the benefits of dancing, including choreographing a lyrical piece in which she presented her research to the principal of the school and to community mentors. She was one of the few and the first one in her class to receive an A.
She also showcased her piece at the YWLA Spring Show her senior year in 2015. In 2014, she was presented as the first dancer to be recognized and awarded the title of YWLA Dancer of the Year, and in 2015 she received the YWLA Artistry Award due to her creativity In choreography at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy. Arcelia Jaramillo is part of the first graduating class to complete all seven years at YWLA. She graduated with honors and as a Texas Scholar. She was accepted at Texas Women’s University however, decided to stay in San Antonio to get her basics completed at San Antonio College and eventually transfer to a four-year university to major in dance and kinesiology. Arcelia is currently one of the backup dancers for local recording artist Sarah Centeno, in which they perform all over San Antonio including venues like Traders Village and Market Square.
Combo II & Jazz
Samantha Alvarado was born in San Antonio, Texas. At the age of six she began her karate career at Mongoose Martial Arts with Instructor Mike Palomo. She competed in many tournaments and later won a state championship title in 2007 and a world championship title in 2012 in Buffalo, New York. Samantha began dancing at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy her seventh grade year with Ms. Jackleen Rios. She caught on quickly in technique due to her experience in karate even though she had no prior dance experience.
She soon realized that she had a great passion for dance and began auditioning for the schools performances eighth grade year. She has danced a total of 3 solos and 2 duets throughout her years of high school. She has also had experience dancing on pointe in her duets of “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Nativity”, and “Snowflakes” from the Nutcracker. She had only had two months experience prior to these performances.
In 2015, Samantha began backup dancing along with other girls for rising artist Sarah Centeno, who has work alongside with Jackleen. Together Sarah and her dancers have performed at YWLA, Traders Village, Market Square, Lackland Air Force Base, Deco’s Fiesta Festival, community celebrations, and many other events. Samantha has also performed at our nations capital insides Washington, D.C. representing ywla’s dance department and the fine arts. Due to all her accomplishments, Samantha received YWLA’s Best Dancer of 2015.
Tyrone Cabalo is an ambitious dancer and choreographer whom seeks not perfection, but progress. He started dancing since he was 5 years of age. His inspirations are well known artists like Usher, Chris Brown, and especially the pop legend, Michael Jackson. When Tyrone turned 12, he joined a cultural dance group, Philippine Dance Company of San Antonio. It’s a non-profit organization that perform traditions in the art of dance during the State Fair of Texas and Folklife Festival in San Antonio.
When Tyrone turned 16, he began to instruct dance through many studios, high school dance teams, quinceaneras, and competitive events. He strives to get the community together and have everyone of all ages enjoy and participate in the art of dancing!
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.
Hip Hop Heels /Vogue
BreeAnn “Breezy” Ashley, a 26 southern artist from San Antonio TX, started her professional dance carrer in Chicago, IL were she majored in Dance at Columbia College Chicago. After graduating, she formed her own movement in 2014 called Hip Heels Hop
A dance class Designed for all walks of life who live for being Strong, Sexy, Fierce, and Powerful DIVAS in Heels! Now Hip Heels Hop is continuing it’s journey all around the U.S!
Sandra Mata began dancing in 2014 with the dance department at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy & from then she began taking classes at the Jewel of Art where she then received her pointe shoes in 2018. Sandra has been exposed to Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Ballet & Modern Contemporary. Sandra has preformed at induction ceremonies, as well as winter & spring shows affiliated with the YWLA dance department where she is apart of their Advanced Dance team. Sandra has also preformed in the Battle of Flowers, Princess Fest, Oyster Bake, & Deco Fest. Sandra is extremely active in her community as she’s preformed and assisted with choreography for the McCauley Baptist Church Winter musical productions & has done likewise for the church’s Vacation Bible School. She has also been apart of the church’s AWANA program since its establishment in 2015 where she is a Leader in Training for the youngest group of kids; the Puggles she helps to teach these children that are of 2 years of age. Sandra works with children of the Jewel of Art as well during our summer camps that began in 2017 as she has also participated in their summer teen intensive as well. Sandra’s primary focus in dance is Ballet & Tap as she has been apart of the Jewel of Art since our establishment.