Cielo Celest Soto
Cielo began dance training at the young age of 2 at the Deborah Case Dance Academy. Her passion for dance has taken from McAllen to New York City and to Moscow, Russia in pursuit of a career in dance. She has been accepted to the Joffrey’s Pre professional program and into Kelsey Kirkland Academy in NYC. During her summer studies at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia, she received a special invitation to remain in Moscow to continue her studies at the famous Bolshoi Ballet at age 17. However, she felt the need to remain in Texas to develop her art, and keep the arts alive in the Rio Grande Valley.
Cielo Soto is the first recipient of the Bonnie Bazar Memorial Scholarship fund and is a recipient of a Rio Grande Valley Ballet scholarship.
Through Cielo Soto’s training with Deborah Case and the Rio Grande Valley Ballet, she has developed the strength, talent, discipline and dedication to succeed in a career of performing arts.
Mrs. Mata serves as the dance academy’s secretary. She was raised in a Christian home, and a Ministers daughter, I was given the foundation in faith I needed to raise a family of my own. I am a wife and the mother of 3 daughters and 1 granddaughter. Pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education gave me the tools I needed to raise my children to successful adults.Our home is filled with love and laughter and continues to be a safe place for our adult children to land whenever they may need. Cultivating relationships where the people in my life feel safe to grow is what truly makes me happy.
Jessica Jara - Starting her dancing career at the age of 2 in McAllen, Texas. At the age of 7, began dancing under the direction of Deborah Case, where she performed in numerous recitals and in The Nutcracker with the Rio Grande Valley Ballet. At the age of 10 she was asked to join a pre-professional flamenco company, Ballet Andaluz, under the direction of Rey Duran. Jessica attended a dance teacher workshop at Broadway Dance Center in New York to expand her dance training. In 2013, she opened her dance studio where she was successful in bringing home regional, state, national and world bids in competitive dance. In 2018, she decided to close her studio to spend more time with her growing family, she is a wife and mother of 3. With 20 plus years of dance experience she is excited to teach where it all began.
Janie Rodriguez has over 37 years of coaching and training young tumblers in the Valley. She began her coaching at The Summit in Pharr, Texas. Janie is a certified gymnastics instructor with skills and knowledge to keep all students safe.
Dana teaches and assists in pre-ballet and Ballet I classes. She began her ballet training in 1992 at Deborah Case Dance Academy and trained with Deborah until 2003. Although her main focus was ballet she also trained in folklorico, flamenco, and jazz. Dana is the mother of two and is thrilled to have her girls following in her foot steps. She is extremely excited to return to our studio and to work with your children.
Come & Meet Our Experienced Staff!
Every Staff Member at Deborah Case Dance Academy is dedicated to your child's training, good health, and self esteem.
Sabina has a B. S. in Education and an extensive classical background. She has been teaching the adult ballet program for over 10 years. She has participated in numerous Ballet workshops and has been dancing for over 30 years. Her friendly style and encouragement has made her a great favorite among our growing class of adult dance students.
Ashlee teaches adult jazz and tap, hip hop, jazz and tap. Ashlee has been dancing for the past 31 years, much of which has been with professional companies. These include “Texas” at Palo Duro Canyon, performances with the Lone Star Ballet company, “Nutcracker” with the Colorado City Ballet, and many lead roles in a local ballet company. For the past 17 years, she’s taught dance and worked as a personal trainer.
Deborah Case brings a lifetime of dance to each class we offer at the Academy. She began her own training at the age of 3 in Texarkana, Texas under Dixie Splawn. She has since been invited back to Texarkana on numerous occasions to train dancers and stage shows, including The Nutcracker.
Her dedication to teaching the Vaganova (Russian method) of dance has brought unbelievable dance professionals to teach at the Dance Academy. Namely, Galina Mezentseva and Irina Vakhromeeva, Kirov Ballet in St. Petersberg, Russia; Alex Ossadnik, Dresden, Germany; Yloy Ybarra, NYC; and Florian Rouiller, Stuttgart Ballet, Germany.
Through personal invitation from Irina, Deborah traveled to Moscow with six of her dancers to study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Through the Bolshoi Ballet Academy teacher training program, Deborah received an official certificate from the Russian government.
Deborah studied at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Ft. Worth, graduating with a Major in Education and a Minor in Dance, making the perfect combination for her dream of owning her own dance school. That dream is a big part of Deborah Case Dance Academy.
Along with her teaching at the DCDA and Rio Grande Valley Ballet, she is a certified John Maxwell Speaker, Life Coach, and Leader; certified Les Brown speaker; member of Toastmasters International, Inc., serves on the Quinta Mazatlan and McAllen Performing Arts Advisory Board; is a Lay Eucharistic Minister, prayer partner and lector at St. John’s Episcopal Church. She is most proud of being a Nana of four amazing grandchildren, and wife to Jimmy Kryzak!
Rio Grande Valley Chamber of Commerce has awarded Deborah as "Most Distinguished Woman in Art's and Entertainment."
Zelma Almaraz - She is the mother of 3 successful adults who, as children, danced with Deborah Case Dance Academy, and with Rio Grande Valley Ballet in The Nutcracker.
“The love for the dance studio that played a great part in my own children’s lives is what brought me back to Deborah Case Dance Academy. Our memories as a family while dancing at DCDA are priceless.”
Zelma brings tremendous organization and professional experience to the studio as front desk manager.