BOARD OF DIRECTORS
2019-2020 Season Board Members:
Latisha Coffey is an Austin Area Choreographer and Dance Teacher who currently is the Artistic/Executive Director for The Dance Project. She began her dance career in
Houston Texas with Houston Metropolitan Dance Center and received extensive training
from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. After completing her BA in Dance
from Texas State University she moved to Austin and worked for Footworks Dance,
Metamorphosis Dance Academy and Round Rock Repertory. She created The Dance Project
with Diana Wang in 2013 to allow new choreographers freedom to create and work in
conjunction in a positive environment with professional level dancers. Latisha Coffey loves to create new works that challenge the dancers to perform on a deeper level. She believes
her job is to open the door for dancers but they must have the strength to walk through it.
Latisha Coffey works at Applied Materials as a Program Manager and enjoys having dance
as an outlet to perform and choreograph.
Dr. Diana Wang is the co-founder and co-artistic director of The Dance Project which started in 2013. This project was born from her desire to continue dancing and creating after she
retired from Ballet Austin in 1999. Diana's goal was to form a community of dancers who
may not currently be professionally employed, but still desired the opportunity to dance
and to choreograph, bringing dancers from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages to join in a performance celebrating the love of dance.
Diana started ballet training at age 5 and grew up dancing at the Ballet Austin Dance
Academy. She subsequently joined the company as an apprentice and danced from
1995-1999 with Ballet Austin where she performed in Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Cinderella, Coppelia and more. After graduating as a
Plan II major from UT Austin, she attended medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, and due to her strenous academic schedule, she could only dance
freelance. During the period from 2003-2011 she dance intermittently with Austin Dance Ensemble, which became currently Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble, Austin Classical Ballet, and Borealis Dance. Diana continued to dance and began choreography as well
during her Obstectrics and Gynecology residency training here in austin with the
University of Southwestern Residency Program. Diana became an Assistant Professor for the UTSW OBGYN residency program from 2009- 2013. During this period, she founded
The Dance Project and has performed and choreographed multiple pieces including some
of her favorites: Pieces of Light, Chaos and Tranquility, At Peace and the End of the Season,
and Branches. Diana is currently a private practice obgyn with Austin Area Obgyn.
She continues to love dance and is excited about this coming new season with
The Dance Project.
Rehearsal Director/ Board Member/ Dancer/ Choreographer
Alex Crank started his dance education at Metamorphosis Dance Academy under the
instruction of Melanie Kregel, Melissa Glouchkova, and Latisha Coffey. Alex was trained
in ballet, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical dance. After training for several years he auditioned
for the local dance company Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble. During his time at
AMDE he performed in several productions choreographed by Erin Morton and
Emily Torgerson. From 2010-2012 Alex studied dance at Austin Community College under the instruction of Darla Johnson, Allison Orr, Roxanne Gage, and Kathy Dunn Hamrick. H
e studied modern, ballet, jazz, as well as choreographing & improvisation courses.
While studying at ACC he was chosen to attend the American College Dance Festival in
Louisiana and performed a piece choreographed by Jose Bustamante in 2010. In 2012 ACC brought a piece choreographed by Roxanne Gage to ACDF in which Alex also performed in.
In 2013 Alex left ACC to pursue a career in the financial industry where he was hired as a
Cash Management Specialist and worked directly with the 1st Vice President of the
International Bank of Commerce; Deborah Portman. While working at IBC Bank Alex joined
The Dance Project as a dancer and choreographer, after a couple performances he was
offered a position on TDP's Board of Directors.
Currently Alex has moved his career to UBS Financial Services, Inc. where he is studying investment banking while still holding an active position on TDP's Board of Directors.
Alex is a huge supporter of the arts and is excited to see how much The Dance Project
can offer the Austin community in artistic resources and entertainment."
Tracy Johnson has been a part of the Dance Project for 3 years as a dancer and choreographer, and began serving as a board member this year. She completed her degree in Dance at Texas State University in 2013, focusing on hip hop and modern dance styles. She has also studied creative movement for children under Allison Orr (Forklift Dance Company) and Kaysie Seitz-Brown (Project Anyone Can Dance). Tracy has taught dance at various locations in and around Austin, and works in Northwest Austin as a Physical Therapy Technician. When she is not dancing, Tracy loves spending time with her daughter and husband and enjoying nature.
Board Member/ Dancer/ Choreographer
Marissa grew up in Tyler, TX where she studied jazz and ballet under the direction of Pamela Erwin, Paula Sansom, and Helen Chambers. She joined Tyler Civic Ballet where she performed in yearly Nutcracker productions and danced pieces from ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Fille Mal Gardee, and Pas de Quatre.
Marissa attended Arizona State University and graduated with a B.F.A in Dance with an emphasis in Choreography in 2004. During her time at ASU, she received training in Modern technique and danced in multiple guest artist pieces.
Marissa and her husband, Darrell, moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2004 where she served as the head Dance Instructor at Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School. She taught ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, musical theatre, lyrical and intro to ballroom to all levels of students. She also choreographed pieces from a variety of musicals for the school's dance company, including Fosse, Chicago, A Chorus Line, Sweet Charity and The Pajama Game. She spent time in NY performing with various choreographers at various performance venues around the city and had the opportunity to perform her own work at Artery Dance Festival.
Marissa and her husband moved to Austin in 2008, where she taught ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, tap, Musical Theatre, Pilates and Zumba at Dance Xplosion Austin for six and half years. She also had the privilege of serving as Store Manager and Purchaser at Bright Lights Dancewear, a dance retail store. Marissa had the great pleasure of dancing with Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company from 2008 - 2009 and also served as a guest choreographer for the Longhorn Singers, the official show choir at the University of Texas at Austin from 2008 - 2010. She also choreographed for the River City Pops Spring 2018 show. River City Pops is a pop/variety show choir that has been entertaining family audiences in Austin, TX, since 1984.
Marissa is excited for another season with The Dance Project and to share her passion for dance and choreography with everyone.