2021-2022 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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 strenuous 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/ Dancer/ Choreographer
Alex Crank began his dance education at Metamorphosis Dance Academy under the instruction of Melanie Kregel, Melissa Glouchkova, and Latisha Coffey. Alex was classically 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 continued his studies in dance at Austin Community College under the instruction of Darla Johnson, Allison Orr, Roxanne Gage, and Kathy Dunn Hamrick where he focused in choreographing & improvisation techniques. While studying at ACC he was selected to attend the American College Dance Festival in Louisiana and performed a piece choreographed by Jose Bustamante in 2010. 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. While working at IBC Bank Alex joined The Dance Project as a resident dancer and choreographer, after a couple performances he was offered a position on TDP's Board of Directors. In 2015 Alex began a continued career in finance and was hired as a team associate for UBS Private Wealth Management 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.
Rehearsal Director/ Dancer
Selena Burgener is a new board member of TDP, but has been a company member since 2013 as a resident dancer and choreographer. Growing up in Grapevine, TX she began dancing at the age of 3 and eventually became a member of Majestic Ballet Company, performing yearly in The Nutcracker and other ballet excerpts. She later won many awards as part of the Fillies Dance Team at Grapevine High School. After high school Selena went on to receive her Bachelors of Science in Dance from Texas State University, earning awards in choreography and representing Texas State at the American College Dance Festival. During her college career, she was a member of the University of Texas Roustabouts Dance Company and spent 10 years with M.A. Dance as a dance instructor for camps across the country, and as a judge for M.A. Regional and National Competitions. Selena was a dance instructor at various studios from 2007-2013 including Adagio School of Performing Arts, Metamorphosis Dance Academy, and TexARTS Association. She became a company member of Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble in 2008 where she met TDP founders, Latisha Coffey and Diana Wang. Selena is currently a medical sales representative assisting surgeons in the operating room, but loves the outlet The Dance Project provides to perform, choreograph, and celebrate her love for music and dance with talented artists.
Cheryl Copeland graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Having studied and performed extensively in Florida, New York, Texas, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles, her training and technical expertise are reflected in her classes and choreography. She has worked under such notable choreographers as Mia Michaels, Milton Myers, Lisa Hopkins, and Kim Bears-Bailey. Finding her true passion behind the scenes, Cheryl gave up a career in performing for a much more fulfilling career in choreography and education. She has served as resident choreographer for Teen Dance Company of the Bay Area, and as artistic director of pre-professional companies; Breakthru Dance, DAC PAC, and Humnz Dance Ensemble, as well as her professional company BHumn Dance Company. She owned BHumn DanceSpace, the leading training facility for modern dance in Austin, TX for four years and then retired as owner and headed to NYC to serve as the Director of Education at Peridance Capezio Center, where she established programming, ran audition tours, and managed faculty for three years. She finds herself as creatively pushed in dance administration as much as she does in choreography. As an educator, Cheryl’s students have received countless awards and scholarships, and gone on to dance with artists such as Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and can be seen in numerous national commercials. Many of her students find themselves pursuing dance degrees at various colleges all over the United States including USC Kaufman, Juilliard, SUNY Purchase, NYU, and Boston Conservatory amongst others. As a choreographer, she has won several awards including a Choreography Under the Stars finalist cash award, a Young Choreographer’s award from NYCDA, and has choreographed full length works for the Fordham Ailey BFA program and Peridance Certificate Program. These choreographic praises keep Cheryl in demand amongst studios and universities all over the country. Previously, Cheryl has been an instructor at Peridance Capezio Center, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, Edge PAC, Ballet Austin, Millennium Dance Complex, and Broadway Dance Center. Cheryl is looking forward to all of the new opportunities and adventures coming her way and trusts that because of her diverse background, hands on approach, and her ever changing creative mind, she will continue creating innovative work and cultivating beautiful talent for years to come!