More of our amazing/professional instructors bios are coming soon!
Jessica Miller is the proud Owner/Director of J Marie Dance Center. With over thirty years dance experience she is excited to share her passion for the art of dance, the exploration of movement, and creative choreography. Jessica believes that dance benefits everyone of all backgrounds and abilities. Individuals and groups of all ages, male and female are welcome at J Marie Dance Center.
Jessica had continuous dance studio training since age two in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, modern and hip hop. In her teen years, she was a member and founding officer of her multiple top award winning high school dance team. She was selected to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Jessica is also trained in voice and musical theater. Jessica earned her Bachelor's degree from Texas State University. She holds State of Texas Teacher Certification in Dance and All Level Special Education. As a member of the Texas State University Orchesis Dance Company she choreographed and performed in numerous dance productions. Jessica also is proud to have danced with Ohio based Ballet Metropolitan, performing in the Nutcracker. She has had the opportunity to dance in New York and California taking master classes from some of the greats such as Sonya Tayeh, Mia Michaels, Twitch, Allison Holker, Travis Wall, Ray Leeper and Wade Robson.
As a public school teacher Jessica created and implemented a Dance curriculum based on age, level and ability. She taught dance to hundreds of students including students with special needs. She is well versed in adapting teaching methods and movement to meet students’ varying needs and abilities. Jessica connects with her students and requests for her dance classes increased tenfold during her tenure. Jessica was also her school’s Dance Team Director, and with her choreography the team won numerous top awards including overall high score in solos and group competition dance routines. She has choreographed for numerous choir and theater productions. Jessica holds membership in Dance organizations including the Texas Association Teachers of Dance.
Jessica loves dance, loves the arts, and looks forward to working with and dancing with YOU at J Marie Dance Center!
Cheryl Rothschild is a certified dance educator and dancer who is excited to join the J Marie Dance Center team in its first year. She attended Marymount Manhattan College, NY, on a dance merit scholarship and graduated with a BFA in Dance, then went on to receive a Teaching Certificate in Dance from Texas State University.
At the age of four, Cheryl began studying ballet, tap, and jazz. In her teens, she focused on ballet and attended summer intensives at Ballet Austin, The Joffrey Ballet, The Washington Ballet, American Dance Festival, and other organizations. At Marymount Manhattan College, she continued ballet while refining her skills in tap, jazz, and a variety of modern techniques. Her ballet professors have included some ballet greats, including Finis Jhung (Broadway Dance Center; The Ailey Extension) and Virginia Johnson (Dance Theatre of Harlem). She has had the privilege of studying under accomplished dance teachers and performers from Broadway shows and prominent dance companies (Limon, Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey).
Cheryl enjoyed working as a resident assistant and counselor to young dancers attending summer intensive dance programs at Princeton Ballet, Princeton, NJ, and Peridance, New York, NY. She is a lifetime company member of The Midland Festival Ballet, Midland, TX, as well as a company member of the Georgetown Ballet, Georgetown, TX, where she also works as a rehearsal assistant. Most recently, she has been excited to perform with the Georgetown Ballet in soloist roles as the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and the Arabian dancer in The Nutcracker. In the summer of 2018, she performed with Lake Travis Music Theatre in their production of Oklahoma! Additionally, she is a dance teacher substitute for Austin ISD, a permanent substitute at Lamar Middle School, and she has held long-term dance substitute positions at McCallum High School.
Passion for dance has driven Cheryl’s confidence, discipline, and healthy lifestyle. It has opened doors to advanced education, travel, and career opportunities, while offering a sense of growth and accomplishment throughout her life. Cheryl hopes to inspire and motivate the next generation and pass on her love of dance to J Marie Dance Center students
Mandy Drager is a dance and a yoga instructor at J Marie Dance Center. With 10+ years of dance, she has found her love of contemporary and modern dance and has found that fusing them together brings her a new joy and exploration to her passion of dance. Mandy was her high school drill team’s dance captain for two years running, was a dancer and actress in the Tyler Junior College Spring Musical of Chicago, was a two-year member of Orchesis Dance Company and received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography from Texas State University. During her senior year at Texas State University, Mandy was a back-up dancer for local-Austin artist, Madison McWilliams, where she was in a music video, traveled to Dallas and Disney World in Florida for performance opportunities.
In 2018, Mandy began her yogi journey with the Hatha and Flow Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga Yoga North in Austin, Tx. This 10-month program provided her with the necessary skills needed to become a 200-Hour Certified Yoga Instructor.
Both yoga and dance bring Mandy so much joy that she loves to share these treasures with others through teaching, hoping that through dance and/or yoga her students will find joy in movement.
Shelbi Nelsen is the Acrobatics teacher at J Marie Dance Center.
Shelbi was born and raised in El Paso, TX where she began her dance and Acrobatics training. Shelbi has received specialized training in Acrobatics. In 2014 she began teaching Acrobatics to students ages 5-17, including competition groups. Shelbi has choreographed and taken multiple Acrobatics routines to competitions where her students have won numerous awards. When she is not teaching Acro, she is a massage therapist by trade, mother by day and dancer at heart.