Sherrie Sellers – Director

Sherrie Sellers

Sherrie Sellers is the owner and artistic director of Synergy Dance Studio. She began her own dance training at the age of four at the Academy of Dance Arts in Greenville, Texas and subsequently became a member of the prestigious and nationally ranked Northeast Texas Dance Company. She has been teaching dancers for since 1988 and has an extensive knowledge of ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, hip hop, drill team, and cheer. In addition, she graduated from East Texas State University with a degree in Mathematics and went on to teach in the public school system for 9 years. She is a certified NCA Cheer Instructor and coached a varsity level team for three years. Her past experiences as a teacher both inside the schoolroom and the dance studio drive her to be a leading dance educator.

As a dance instructor, she strives to motivate young dancers to reach their full potential both inside and outside the studio. Some of Ms. Sherrie’s past dancers have gone on to be Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, Rangerettes, and collegiate cheerleaders, and many others can be seen in college dance programs across the country.

As a choreographer, her pieces have had the honor of winning many awards at various competitions and conventions including Tremaine, LADF, Starlight Dance Productions and Encore. Many studios and schools throughout the state seek out Ms. Sherrie and her exciting choreography each year.

As a dancer herself, she has studied under Keith Clifton, Al Gilbert, Rhonda Miller, Darryl Retter, Linda Bernabei Retter, Jackie Sleight and Judy Klopfenstein of Dallas Ballet Center. Additionally, she believes in continuing her own dance education by attending conventions and master classes throughout the year.  In February 2013 she attended American Ballet Theatre’s 10 day National Ballet Training Curriculum in New York at the ABT studios and passed the exam making her an ABT certified teacher for levels pre-primary through 4.

Sage Holli Bara

Sage Holli Barra

Sage Holli Barra

Sage began training and performing at the age of three at the The Niland School of Dance in Houston, Texas and has been a part of over 200 productions throughout her career as a dancer, actor, choreographer, director, playwright and lyricist. She has won numerous American College Theatre awards, performed across the country and with such iconic performers as Anette O’Toole, Lucille Ball, Mary Martin, Barry Bostwick, and David Copperfield. She has enjoyed performing at The Wortham Center, Houston Music Hall, Jones Hall, The Alley Theatre, Stages, Zachary Scott Theatre, The Las Vegas Flamingo Hilton, The Beverly Hills Hotel, Pittsburg Playhouse , Gatlinburg Opera House, Pasadena Civic Auditorium and the Hollywood Magic Castle.

As a graduate of the High School for Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Sage has written three produced plays and her music is still performed by the band Gypsy Fire. She has television, radio and film credits to her name and is a former member of the Screen Actors Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Mara Demel

Mara Demel

Mara Demel

Ms. Mara trained with Body Talk Dance Company at Joyce Willet School of Dance. She attended numerous workshops in L.A at “The Edge”, and “STEPS” dance studio in New York. Ms. Mara is well rounded and can teach all styles of dance. She loves children and her love and patience shine through in her classes and interaction with the children. We are excited to have Ms. Mara teaching here at Synergy Dance Studio!

Rebeca Gamborino

Rebecca Gamborino

Rebecca Gamborino

Rebeca has 25 years of dance training and has worked and choreographed for award winning companies and studios. She was the Competitive Dance Director for Frisco Dance Force and assistant Company Director for the Dance Zone. She is a well rounded dancer and teacher and has experience teaching ages 2yrs and up. She has won multiple choreography awards as well as entertainment awards and special judges awards.

As a performer, Rebeca has had the opportunity to be a part of several Faculty and New Choreographers Concerts at the University of North Texas as well as Austin Community College. While at the University of North Texas she was a part of the choreographer/ composer collaboration class and helped produce/choreograph and performed in their concert, “Trial and Air.” She’s also had the privilege of choreographing and performing in her own work at various Texas Dance Festivals including 10 Min Max in Austin as well as choreographing for The Dance Project, an Austin based professional dance company. She was a member and performed with Muscle Memory Dance Theatre, a contemporary dance company based in Dallas. She is now performing with the Andrea Torres Dance Company, a commercial contemporary dance company based in Austin.

Rebeca holds an Associate of Arts and is currently pursing her Bachelor of Arts, Dance. She brings with her charisma and energy as well as new training techniques to build stronger dancers. Her choreography is both athletic and artistic and full of energy from beginning to end.

Leslie Garcia

Leslie Garcia

Leslie Garcia

With over 35 years of experience, Leslie has studied under many master instructors and choreographers in Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop/Funk, Ballet, Tap, Breakdancing, Whaacking, House, and Cardio-Fitness.

Working with children as young as 2 ½ years old to senior adults, Leslie is widely known for her unique cutting-edge dance style, award-winning choreography and unique music mixes with amateur and professional dance/drill team across the U.S. and dance competitions nationwide. She has made a huge name for herself as an instructor and choreographer in Texas for her incredible musicality and creativity in all aspects of Urban dance and traditional styles.

Leslie was the first ever UT Dance Team Coach and now is the Artist Director for the Concordia High School Flight Crew. She owns Cutting Edge Dance and Music as well as her studio company Urban Dance Empire. She is also the creator, director and owner of the 3 time Grand National Award Winning and 5 time National Winning team, 2 Hype Hip Hop Company. Leslie also created past performance teams called Contagious Dance Force and 210 Hype, as well as a choreographer and dancer for Planet Funk Entertainment, Atomic Productions, Urban Dance Movement, Austin Dance Works and 24 Hour Fitness. She was also master instructor for American Ballet Theatre Intensive Program for many years and for the past 15 years has been working independently with school districts in the state of Texas. Leslie works at studios all over the U.S. teaching dance classes, camps, specialized choreography, and judging competitions and try-outs. On top of her dance talents, Leslie also creates specialized music for individual studios, camps, and performance groups for competitions, recitals, and industry shows and has been a local DJ in Austin for many years.

Her extreme passion for music and dance, comedic teaching style, and dance knowledge makes her one of the most sought out dance instructors and choreographers in the U.S.. Leslie was nicknamed the “First Lady of Hip Hop and Street Jazz” in Austin, TX where she resides. You can catch her teaching at a regular basis throughout the Austin area.

Sarah Skelton

Sarah Skelton

Ms. Sarah began her formal training in high school where she studied at Contemporary Dance Techniques in Tyler, Tx. After graduating she moved to Austin where she received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Texas. During her time at UT she traveled to Austria with the Young Tanzsommer Dance Tour and participated in master classes by Nashville Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Ralph Lemon, Michael Foley and Guillaume Graffin from American Ballet Theatre as well as residencies from Delfos Dance Company from Mexico and Martha Graham Dance Company. She continues her education by taking workshops all over the US from San Francisco Dance Center in CA to Steps in New York City and currently is a member of Ballet East in Austin.

Maureen Slabaugh

Maureen Slabaugh

Maureen Slabaugh

Maureen began her classical ballet training at age eight with the Santa Rosa Ballet Company in Santa Rosa California. She studied with Julien Herrin, Russian trained and a former soloist with the Imperial Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, and Emily Stubbs, an accredited R.A.D. instructor. Maureen passed all her children’s level exams up to Professional Intermediate and this blend of Russian and R.A.D. training is the foundation of her instruction. During her teenage and young adult years, she was a member of The Santa Rosa Ballet Co., Ballet en Ronde and Redwood Empire Regional Ballet. Maureen also has a strong Jazz dance and Musical Theatre background having studied in Los Angeles with Joe Tremaine, Bob Banas and D.J. Daniels. Maureen has been a dance instructor for over 25 years and is also an accomplished actress often involved in theatrical productions in the Austin area.

Amanda Strassburg

Amanda Strassburg

For Amanda Strassburg, dance is not just what she does, but who she is. Dance has continued to be the driving force in her life since the age of three. Growing up she took classes in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, and contemporary dance at Candy Crocker School of Dance in Tyler, Texas. During that time she participated in a number of competitions and performed at many Dallas Cowboy’s pre-game and half time shows. At Robert E. Lee High School Amanda served as Captain of the Southern Belle Drill Team. She continued her dance studies at Kilgore College where she was a member of the Rangerettes. Amanda was chosen to be a part of the dance group, the “Swingsters,” and honored with the prestigious leadership role of “Lieutenant.” As a Rangerette she had an opportunity to perform at the AT&T Cotton Bowl, the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade, the Connecticut Thanksgiving Parade, the Indy 500 Parade, and the Crystal Charity Ball in Dallas. Amanda has spent five years working for MA Dance traveling across the United States teaching dance camps including the 2011, 2012, and 2013 AT&T Cotton Bowl Pageantry Staff.

Amanda is a graduate from Texas Women’s University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. She currently teaches dance in Austin, Texas where she strives to create an environment in which students feel safe to express themselves. She currently dances for Third Coast Contemporary, a company driven by sharing all kinds of dance with Austin.

Ellen Thomas

Ellen Thomas

Ellen Thomas

Ellen Thomas has been dancing since the early age of 2. She began her dance career at Barbara Scott Dance Company in Corsicana, Tx. Ellen was on her high school dance team for 4 years. She was Captain her Senior year. After graduation she enrolled in Sam Houston State university’s Dance program. At SHSU she had the opportunity to train under very talent artists such as Kista Tucker, Cindy Gratz, Dana Nicolay, Hillary Bryan and Andy and Dionne Noble. She also had the chance to perform under Kyla Olson, China Cat Productions, and Amy Llanes. Ellen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a minor in Spanish. After moving to Austin, Ellen became a member of Borealis Dance Company for 2 years. Now, Ellen is teaching and still dancing whenever an opportunity rises. Ellen’s future plans include, receiving a masters in Dance Movement Therapy, and owning her own performance arts academy and a movement based summer camp.