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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 wife of Lance Goodson and the mother of Braxton (17), Brynn (15), & Dylan (13).