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 McAllen Performing Arts Advisory Board. She is on vestry at St. John's Episcopal Church where is a Lay Eucharistic Minister, prayer partner and lector. 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."
Katie Rodriguez was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina where she received her dance education. She attended the prestigious Governor's School for the Arts for high school. She has worked with numerous studios, pre-professional companies, along with national conventions. Katie continues to travel as guest artist and teacher through out the country for summer intensives and choreography.
Michael Rodriguez began dancing with Deborah Case at age 3. He trained in many styles of dance from instructors across the globe. He has had the privilege of choreographing for competitions, as well as, working with artists for music videos, live concerts, musicals and plays. He is sought out Master Teacher across the country.
Katie and Michael were principal dancers and teachers with Charleston Ballet Center for Dance before coming to McAllen. They have on adorable son, Sebastian.
Sarah began her dance training with Deborah Case Dance Academy in 1993. She 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.
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.
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 has served on St. John’s Episcopal Day School board. Together, Deborah and Jimmy have created a thriving, progressive dance studio held to the highest standards.
Victoria started dancing at the age of five at Deborah Case Dance Academy where she focused on Ballet. She continued dancing at Deborah Case Dance Academy up until graduation in 2016. She has studied dance with America Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, and Bolshoi Ballet summer intensives. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a major in Dance and Biology. She in on staff with Showtime International and has choreographed and judged dance all over the state of Texas. She has trained in Chicago at the Gus Giordano Dance school on scholarship for their college pro-intensive. She was accepted into the Ballet Hispanico Pre-professional summer intensive in New York City. Victoria teaches ballet, pointe, contemporary and jazz at Deborah Case Dance Academy.
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 numerous 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 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 and Brynn.
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. Currently, Cielo teaches ballet for Deborah Case Dance Academy.