METdance is currently looking for board members. Do you have a passion for dance performance, the arts and education?
Want to lend a hand in helping shape the METdance in the coming 2018-2019 Season? Contact us for more information
Michelle Smith, Founder and Executive Director
Marlana Doyle, Artistic Director
Joe Celej, Associate Director
Alexandra Pernice, Development Director
Genene McGrath, Youth Companies Manager
Nicole Rajkumar - Educational Advisor and Coordinator
Brittney Flowers - Office Manager
jhon r. stronks, Studio Manager
Tyler Davis, Facility Manager
David Deveau, Lighting Designer
Tiffany Schrepferman, Lighting Designer
Natasha Manley, Production Manager
Ben Doyle, Videographer/Photographer
Dylan Allen, Mia Angelini, Tina Bohnstedt, Steve Brule, Courtney Chilton, Roberta Cortes, Andres De Blust Mommaerts, Risa D'Souza, Marlana Doyle, Cynthia Garcia, DaMond Garner, Trey Gillen, Oliver Halkowich, Bailee Hunt, Kerry Jackson, Alissa LaVargne, Linnar Looris, Jennifer Mabus, Joshua Manculich, Genene McGrath, Terrill Mitchell, Priscilla Nathan-Murphy, Firat Ozsoy, Alexandra Pernice, jhon stronks, Kirk Suddreath, Dwain Travis, Paige White
Mia Angelini, Andres De Blust Mommaerts, Risa D'Souza, Marlana Doyle, Cynthia Garcia, DaMond Garner, Bailee Hunt, Kerry Jackson, Alissa LaVargne, Jennifer Mabus, Genene McGrath, Cameo Miller, Terrill Mitchell, Priscilla Nathan Murphy, Alexandra Pernice, Elizabeth Sutton, Dwain Travis, Paige White
Board of Directors
Anne Sears, Board President
Cecilia Winters-Morris, Acting Treasurer
Michelle Smith, Founder & Acting Secretary
Pat Primavera, General Counsel
Dr. Rachel Winer
Our Board of Director's Bio's:
Anne Sears, Board President is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and moved to Houston in 2001. After practicing law for four years, she transitioned to the nonprofit sector and now devotes her time to community service. She has experience in development as well as in career coaching. Anne’s passion for dance began at the METdance Center in 2011 when she took her first dance class, and she has continued to be a student of METdance ever since.
Cecilia Winters-Morris, Treasurer has been a member of the board for approximately twelve years. Cecilia is an independent management consultant with over twenty years of internal audit experience, which includes over six years in public accounting serving clients in the energy and service industries. She is a Certified Internal Auditor and a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Cecilia studied dance for many years in New York and Massachusetts. She was privileged to study with Frank Hatchett, co-founder of Broadway Dance in New York and Stephen Boyd in Massachusetts. Cecilia is the wife of Lawrence Morris and the mother of Nathia, Demarcus and Darius. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with Fallbrook Church Boy Scout Troop 272.
Michelle Smith, Acting Secretary and Executive Director, has a background of over 24 years of ballet training including the New York City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas Christian University. After college she joined the Delia Stewart Dance Company working first as principal dancer and then as Manager of the company and Director of the school where she established a children’s program and diversified the adult’s program that became the base for the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center. She has been involved in the Houston arts and dance community now for over 30 years. In the business world, Michelle was office manager of several real estate firms for her first 10 years in Houston.
Marlana Doyle, Artistic Director, is originally from Massachusetts and graduated from Point Park University in 2001 with a BA in Dance. Marlana has been dancing with METdance for the past sixteen years and was a major part of the company’s reorganization in 2003. Under her direction, Marlana’s artistic vision has taken the company to new levels of excellence and growth while holding tightly to the company’s long tradition of diversity and versatility in its dancers, choreographers, collaborators, and content. Marlana represents METdance as a member of Dance Source Houston, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) and Dance USA, spending the last ten years as an emerging leader at both APAP and Dance USA. She was awarded the Dance USA Leadership Mentee Fellowship for the institute of training in 2012 and is currently serving as a Dance USA Artistic Director Council Chair for the 2016 – 2019 Seasons. Marlana has also served on many grant and organizational panels for the Houston Arts Alliance. Marlana is also a guest teacher and an award winning choreographer for her students throughout the US. She lives in Sugar Land TX with her husband Ben and her two adorable daughters Olivia and Evie
Kate Adams currently serves as the Chief Academic Officer at The Awty International School. Prior to that, she had various leadership roles in the Houston Independent School District, most recently as the founding principal of the Arabic Immersion Magnet School. Kate is also a mother of two young girls, one of whom is a student at METdance. She is excited about serving on the METdance Board.
Bob Albrecht is a geotechnical engineer with ExxonMobil, responsible for soil and foundation conditions at the Company’s assets worldwide. He has led technical field missions in remote jungle and arctic environments, and recently led the ground assessment of a 200-mile pipeline in Papua New Guinea following a magnitude 7.5 earthquake that devastated the area. He serves on an international ISO committee that is currently writing a global standard for pipelines in mountainous and earthquake-prone terrain. Bob started dancing ballet in his 40s and has since taken class in dozens of studios throughout the world. He has performed mutlitple times with Free House Dance and Dance Montage in Calgary, Canada. Bob takes class at MetDance several times a week, and named MetDance’s Meg Cooper Studio in honor of his first ballet teacher, the owner of Mad Dance House in Brisbane, Australia. Bob holds B.S amd M.S degrees in civil engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and B.M,, M.M. and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in cello performance from The Juilliard School.
Marcela Arroyave is a 10 year plus experienced banker in Houston TX. She specializes in commercial lending, relationship building and loan portfolio/compliance management. She graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in Corporate Communication / Finance. As a dancer, Marcela has performed at many events, cultural showcases and benefits in Houston, Los Angeles and New York City. She is founder and director of Candela Dance Company, whom have had the honor of performing at several salsa congresses around the nation. As an instructor, she had the honor to introduce and successfully incorporate a salsa program at Danse Des Enfants, whom have provided dance/gymnastics instruction to children locally in Houston Texas for over 15 years. She has also taught adult private and group salsa classes at various dance studios, corporate programs and social events.
Sherry Galatas is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and moved to The Woodlands, Texas in 2005. A Louisiana State University graduate, Sherry has sixteen years of dance studies. She is a devoted mother of five and has coordinated performances and entertainment for various school events for almost 30 years. Sherry and her husband, Craig, sat as Booster Presidents for The Woodlands High School Basketball Program where she was responsible for managing halftime performances. Sherry has been involved with METdance since 2010 when her daughter, Karsen, began dancing with the MET too Youth Company. This is Sherry’s first year on the Board of Directors and she looks forward to continuing to support METdance.
Stephanie Herpin, is a native Texan. Originally from Austin, TX, she graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BA in History and then received her JD from the University of Houston Law Center. Aside from practicing law, she and her husband, Tom have two children, Daphne and Calvin, who keep them very busy. They enjoy traveling as a family, rooting for Belgium's national soccer team, and fishing. She has been involved with MET dance for the past 3 years, when her daughter Daphne first began in a creative dance class.
Megan Jackson is currently the Theater Director at Frank Black Middle School and a Group Fitness Instructor at Lifetime Fitness. Aside from teaching, Megan Jackson is a writer and an actor. She has performed in numerous plays and staged readings in the Austin and Houston area, as well as in New York City. She has worked with well-known writers, such as Ishmael Reed (Body Parts) and Nathan Jackson (Broke-ology). She also enjoys writing in her blog: thefreedartist.com, which is her own little therapy session!
Emily Kernan is the Executive Director of the Rice Annual Fund at Rice University, where she has worked since moving to Houston almost nine years ago. Though never having been a dancer herself, she has developed a deep passion for the art through engagement with both METdance and Houston Ballet. In addition to serving on the board for METdance, Emily is also a trustee, young ambassador, and ambassador committee member for Houston Ballet. When not fundraising or enjoying dance performances across the city, she also volunteers with Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) and the Junior League of Houston.
Annette Monks is the President of Carlton Staffing, a regional firm headquartered in Houston with locations in Houston, Dallas and Ft. Worth. In the community, Annette serves as the Board Chair for The Health Museum, Vice-Chair for Executive Women’s Partnership at The Greater Houston Partnership, and a Board member for the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce. As a dancer, Annette grew up with traditional ballet, tap and jazz and danced on her high school and college dance teams. More recently, she found ballroom dancing and has competed all over the U.S. including Puerto Rico where she has won 15 national multi-dance titles for both American Smooth and American Rhythm disciplines. In May, 2018, she competed at Blackpool, UK at the most prestigious ballroom competition in the world making finals in all events.
Lindsay Pearce is a native Houstonian who grew up dancing with METdance (The Houston Metropolitan Dance Center, at the time). She was a member of the youth company until she left for college to pursue a career in counseling. She currently works at The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. Lindsay has two small children and is looking forward to introducing them both to the world of dance through METdance.
Julie Perugini graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Worked for the Pappas’s Company for 6 years, mostly as a restaurant manager. Also was selected to assist with training new staff for several openings of new restaurant locations. Worked in the oil and gas industry for 5 years as a transportation representative for Wickford Energy, Equitable Resources and PG&E. Currently married and raising four children in The Woodlands, Texas. Riley, Annie and Ava are currently students at METdance and are members of the Met Too Youth Company. Worked on several Gala committees and other fund raising projects for The John Cooper School, Boni’s En Toure, and Texas Academy of Dance Arts. Previous member of the National Charity League and National Charity Round Table Woodlands chapters. Currently, Co-Owner of Mahoney’s Bar and Restaurant in The Woodlands, Texas and Co- Owner of Cuatro Mantras Home Accessories.
Crissy Poole as a native Houstonian and professionally trained dancer of 20+ years, Krys has performed on local and live television in several shows and for mainstream artists. She obtained her B.A. with a minor in Spanish from Ole Miss, and Graduate Certificate from Texas A&M University in Non-Profit Leadership and Management. Through her expertise in creative direction and performance events, she's worked with nationally recognized dance and theater companies and studios, colleges/universities, non-profits, churches, and organizations. Her work has been requested by World of Dance, H-town Sneaker Summit, RAW Artists, African Fashion Week, Houston Margarita Fest, and an array of entertainment brands. She’s been featured in segments for local and national television, Radio One, iHeartMedia, Cumulus Media, and independent radio. Krys continues to serve as Artistic Director for HeartBEAT Houston Dance and Fitness, Board Member for Houston Metropolitan Dance, Education Committee for Young Audiences, and Vice-President for HeartBEAT Performing Arts Charities.