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.

Deborah Case

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 six 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."

William Kauffmann

William Kauffmann grew up in McAllen Texas and began hi s dance training when he was 6 years old with Deborah Case. He began teaching ballet when he was 17 years old, and is still currently teaching. Kauffmann also has been trained in tap, jazz, and contemporary dance by many guest teachers from around the world. William competed in Tremaine Dance Convention in 2009 and won third place in both his jazz and tap group routines. In 2017, he was awarded acceptance into the Boston Conservatory, and in 2018 competed and won 4th place at Youth America Grand Prix in Houston Texas. He has performed consistently with the Rio Grande Valley Ballet in The Nutcracker for over 15 years. He now performs the coveted role of “Snow King” and “Cavalier.”He is a recipient of a Rio Grande Valley Ballet scholarship. Last year, was a guest artist with Belles Artes in Brownsville for their Nutcracker. William is currently attending STC to obtain his Associates degree in Kinesiology this Winter. He plans to transfer elsewhere to obtain a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology and a masters in dance. He is also a piano instructor and an on air-personality with iHeartMedia.

Sarah Almaraz

Sarah began her dance training with Deborah Case Dance Academy in 1993. She was a principal dancer and performed with the Rio Grande Valley Ballet in "The Nutcracker." She also competed at several competitions such as Joe Tremaine and Paula Abdul Co. Dance, where she received several gold and silver medal standings. She also attended summer intensives with the prestigious Joffrey Ballet Company.

Sarah continued her love for the art of dance by receiving her Bachelors in Dance from The University of Texas - Pan American. During her time with the university she was asked to assist her modern professor, Fred Darsow, to travel to the University of Utah to create an original modern piece for the university's modern dance company. During her senior year at UTPA she was selected among her peers to enter her senior project to be adjudicated at the American College Dance Festival. Receiving high-standing honors, allowed her piece to be a part of the Top 10 adjudicated movements at the festival. 

After graduation Sarah was still hungry for knowledge in her beloved field. This led her to travel across the country to places such as New York City, California, Nevada, and upstate Texas where she engulfed herself in Hip-Hop and Modern/Contemporary cultures. While she was traveling, she was a consultant for the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District. As a consultant, she taught various styles for the dance team, colorguard, choir and drama programs at Edinburg High School.

Throughout the years Sarah has collected a total of 32 national championships, 21 overall grand champions, and numerous division 1 titles; all with different teams and various categories of dance styles. Sarah hopes to continue inspiring young dancers to reach a higher level of dance education, as well as, helping students to break out of their shells to become the best performer she knows they can be.

Jimmy Kryzak

Winner of the “People’s Choice” award for best photography, Jimmy, brings a wealth of skill and talent to the Deborah Case Dance Academy. Before moving to McAllen, he worked in the health and fitness industry for Lifefitness. He was one of the top salesman 2 years in a row for the Fortune 500 company!
The official photographer of Rio Grande Valley Ballet and DCDA, Jimmy Kryzak Photography captures every dancer’s dream.
He serves on St. John’s Episcopal Day School board. He and Deborah have been married for 13 years and together have created a thriving progressive dance studio held to the highest standards.

Victoria Barrera

I started dancing at the age of five at Deborah Case Dance Academy where I focused on Ballet. I continued dancing at Deborah Case Dance Academy up until I graduated in 2016. I went to the America Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, and Bolshoi Ballet summer intensives during my teen years as I grew more serious. I joined my high school drill team, the “Prancers” my sophomore year in 2014. I was Captain for junior and senior year. 2020, I graduated from Sam Houston State University where I major in Dance and Biology. I joined Showtime International staff summer of 2017 where I choreograph and judge dance all over the state of Texas. I trained in Chicago at the Gus Giordano Dance school on scholarship for their college pro intensive last summer. I was accepted into the Ballet Hispanico Pre-professional summer intensive in New York City. Currently, I teach ballet III, pointe, contemporary and jazz at Deborah Case Dance Academy.

Ashlee Henderson Goodson

Ashlee Henderson Goodson was born and raised in McAllen Texas. She started dancing at the age of two and was a soloist in her dance school’s company by age 11. Ashlee began teaching at a local dance school and choreographing for her high school’s musical when she was 16. During college, she performed in the Texas Outdoor Musical Drama in Palo Duro Canyon and with the Lonestar Ballet company.

After college, Ashlee continued teaching and performing throughout California and Texas. While living in Del Rio, Tx she had the amazing opportunity to perform as a guest artist and choreograph local children in the traveling Moscow Ballet Company’s Nutcracker.

After settling back in McAllen, Ashlee was lucky enough to meet Deborah Case, owner of the Deborah Case Dance Academy, who has been her friend, mentor, and employer over the past 8 years. She has choreographed many shows with DCDA, La Joya Juarez-Lincoln High School musical 2010-2012, Rowe High School Choir, and their musicals 2014-present, Mcallen Memorial High School 2014-present, Angels of Love Pageant 2017-present, and numerous other performances.

Her love for teaching dance and creating choreography is seen on the faces of every student that has blessed her life. Ashlee is the daughter of Jim and Karen Henderson and the mother of Braxton (17), and Brynn (15).

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