Sara began dancing at the age of six in Lake Jackson, Texas. She has had the opportunity to train with professionals and dance in many productions such as The Nutcracker. Her teaching experience ranges from pre-school aged children to junior high and adults. Sara has been working with school age children for the past 12 years. The goal of River Oaks Dance is to create a knowledge and love of dance at young age and foster an interest in the art that will last a lifetime. Sara believes that dance can help children grow in so many areas such as coordination, confidence, presence and imagination. River Oaks Dance uses multiple modalities in dance movement and music to encourage cognitive, emotional and physical development in dance students.
Sara is a certified master teacher through the Leap n Learn early childhood development and dance program and continues learning from and about children every year during class and through continued training. Sara is a member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church and lives in Montrose. She loves seeing her little ballerinas around town “in real life”!
Ellen Dyer Smith
Ellen has been teaching ballet, tap, jazz and choreographing in the greater Houston area since she graduated with a B.A. from the University of Houston in 2008. She has loved teaching for River Oaks Dance since August 2009! She is also a member of the Actor’s Equity Union and has performed all over Houston including The Alley Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, Main Street Theatre, and with Broadway producer, Stuart Ostrow. She choreographed a new musical called Kissless for HFAC in the fall of 2011 that went to the Off-Broadway New York Musical Theatre Festival and was praised in the press for its choreography. In 2011 & 2012 Ellen’s competitive jazz and tap teams qualified to compete at Starbound Nationals Competition where her dancers placed 2nd and 5th overall. She was awarded the prestigious “Story-telling” choreography award and her team was asked to perform in a television special they were producing. Ellen enjoys spending time with her husband and three step-children!
Terra Heraly starting dancing at the age of four in Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelors in Performing Arts she went to perform in various theaters in Branson, Missouri and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and on many cruise ships traveling the world. After three contracts she decided to spend some time in Chicago to take classes. Those classes lead her to Las Vegas. After a year and half in Vegas she moved to Houston and performed with The Moonlight Dolls. We are happy to have Ms. Terra back this semester after taking some time off welcoming her new baby girl. Ms. Terra enjoys being a new mom, working out, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two fur babies (their two dogs – Bill and Bella).
Maria Angeles Crovato
Maria Angeles Crovato is an enthusiastic ballet instructor with over 20 years of experience in ballet and dance as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Ms. Maria is a former professional ballet dancer for a ballet company in Paraguay, South America where she also owned her own studio. In addition to her experience teaching dancers of all ages, Ms. Maria is a certified instructor in the Leap n Learn early childhood dance curriculum and is obtaining her certification with the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum pre-primary through level three in New York this summer. Ms. Maria also holds a Bachelor degree in Nutrition.
Ms. Maria is highly motivated in helping students reach their ballet and dance goals while creating an energetic, positive atmosphere. In her off time Ms. Maria enjoys cooking and spending time poolside with her husband.