Current Show Choreographers
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.
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.
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 is she is still head of their audition tour and communications. She finds herself creatively pushed in dance administration as much as she does in choreography. 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!
Picture coming soon!
Bio Coming soon!