Dani Straus, the owner of Generation Dance, began dancing competitively at a young age, winning numerous awards and performing in such productions as Ballet Austin’s Nutcracker and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While attending Bowie High School, Dani served as First Lieutenant of the Silver Stars dance team. Dani was awarded the Heywood McGriff Presidential Scholarship from the University of Texas where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theater and Dance and was a 4-year member of the Texas Pom Squad. Upon graduation Dani went on to serve as the UT Assistant Cheer and Pom Coach as well as Head Instructor and District Representative for Universal Dance Association. Her award-winning choreography has been featured in the Cotton Bowl halftime show, Paris New Year’s Eve Parade, and high school and college dance competitions across the country.
Megan Montgomery was born and raised in Austin, Texas where she found her passion for dance at the age of 12. After training at local studios, upon entering high school she quickly found her love for drill team. Megan was a 4 year member of the Leander High School Blue Belles where she held leadership positions each year and eventually had the honor of holding the position of captain her senior year. Drill team introduced many opportunities such as choreographing routines of all styles, training at studios in Houston and Hawaii, and performing at a San Antonio Spurs Basketball game. Not only did Blue Belles strengthen Megan’s love for dance, it also shaped her passion for leadership and serving others. Megan is currently a freshman at Texas Tech University where she is majoring in business finance and accounting. Megan is beyond excited to have the opportunity to continue sharing her passions through teaching others!
Katie McCaskill Chandler began her dance training at the age of 7 under Lisa Holmstrom in Georgetown, TX. She joined Ballet Austin’s pre-professional program at age 12, and at 16 began a mentorship with principal dancer Nadya Zybine competing classical solo variations. Katie relocated from Phoenix, AZ where she was a principal dancer and Assistant Artistic Director for Aaron McGloin Dance. She attended Arizona State University and earned her B.A. in Dance Performance. While in Arizona she had the pleasure of performing and choreographing for Temenos Dance Collective, Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre, and Aaron McGloin Dance. She also had the privilege of teaching dance at Boys and Girls Club of America, Silvestre S. Herrera Middle School, and several dance studios in the valley area. Recently she completed her Level 1 teaching certification in PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique). Katie’s joy is dance education and working with students to help them achieve their goals.
Kennedy Quinn grew up in Wilmington, Massachusetts where she began dancing at the age of 3. After moving to Texas, she trained at a few different studios before finding her home here at Generation Dance. Kennedy is currently serving as First Lieutenant on the Leander Blue Belles dance team, a role that has taught her leadership, responsibility, and dedication. Kennedy is an exceptional dancer and an even better instructor. Her choreography and teaching style keeps classes fun and keeps dancers engaged. In addition to her love of dance, Kennedy enjoys going to the beach, any outdoor activity, and spending time with family/friends, especially her favorite furry ones: Robyn and Pippa!
A class designed for dancers preparing for tryouts or current team members looking to sharpen their skills.
These classes focus on fundamentals of dance technique common to Jazz and Ballet. Dancers will work on refining body alignment and execution of skills.
Maddie began her dance journey at the age of 4 at Round Rock Repertory Dance Centre where she would go on to join the pre professional company for 7 years. Maddie trained in summer programs at Ballet Austin with Jamie Lynn Witts, Ian Bethany, and Bill Piner, and trained for 3 years in the Ad Deum Dance Company summer program in Houston, TX where she studied under Randall Flynn, Shizu Yasuda, Vincent Hardy, Durrell Comedy, and Steve Rooks. She has been a company dancer and choreographer with The Dance Project ATX for the last five years. Maddie is also the director and creator of Solus Dance Project, a pre-professional competitive company in Austin TX. Maddie’s choreography has won multiple choreography awards and led to multiple 1st place finishes, as well as being featured in shows such as Patterns in Sync, Portraits in Dance, Directors Choice, Shine On and more. Maddie believes no dance journey is the same. It doesn’t matter if your destination is Joffrey Ballet School, or your high school drill team. Dance is about finding who you are, and letting it take you wherever your dreams are.
Contemporary with a hip hop influence
Tap is a percussive style of dance that develops musicality, rhythm, and coordination. Dancers will learn both rhythmic and theatrical tap styles to create a well-rounded performer.
Coming from Houston, Texas, Rachel began dance and acrobatics at the young age of 14 months old. Most of her training came from Mission Dance Academy in Fort Bend County but has always trained at outside studios to expand and further develop her training. She has over 25 years of classical dance training in ballet (Cecchetti and RAD), tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, character, Irish, ballroom, Dunham, West African Dance, and countless years in musical theatre. Aside from her dance training she spent several years in gymnastics and tumbling and has always had a keen eye for the sport. For the past 4 years she has been the Artistic Director at Birons Youth Sports Center in Houston, coaching their competitive gymnastics teams, choreographing, and heading up their dance and aerial programs. During her time outside of the gym and studio, Rachel is studying towards a degree in arts and interior design!
JORDAN VILLANUEVA is a native of Texas where she began her dance training at the age of five. She trained at multiple studios in the Austin area and grew up competing/performing concert work with pre-professional companies. During her high school years, Jordan had the privilege of performing works by Sidra Bell, Cindy Salgado, Anthony Lomuljo, Jonathan Campbell and many others. Upon graduation from high school, Jordan attended The Boston Conservatory and in 2018 graduated with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance with an emphasis in pedagogy. While at the Conservatory, Jordan had the pleasure of performing works by esteemed choreographers Aszure Barton, Doug Varone, MADBOOTS Dance, Robert Battle, and Francesca Harper, among others. During her summer breaks she furthered her dance training attending workshops by Doug Varone and Dancers and Movement Invention Project. After graduating from the Conservatory, Jordan moved to New York City to pursue her professional dance career. While in the city, she freelanced as a project dancer with multiple companies and performed both in New York City and Washington D.C. Jordan currently resides in Texas and is excited to be teaching in the Austin area.
Hip Hop brings together different street dance styles from different eras to the beats and rhythms of hip hop music. With isolated body movements that range from slow and smooth to quick and sudden, Hip Hop develops body control and rhythmic movement.
Jazz is a high-energy form of dance that encompasses both percussive and fluid body movement with an emphasis on proper technique. Our Jazz classes are an intense technical workout combined with innovative choreography that will leave dancers feeling energized. Jazz is an excellent choice for dancers interested in joining a school dance/drill team.
Combining expressive movements with elements of jazz, modern, and ballet, contemporary embodies raw emotion infused with the beauty of dance.
Our combo classes combine multiple styles of dance to keep our youngest dancers engaged. These classes are designed to instill a love of dance by teaching the fundamentals in a fun, playful environment. Great for social and physical development.
Whether you’re an aspiring dancer building a foundation or an experienced dancer looking to strengthen your technique, ballet will benefit all ages and skill levels. Dancers will learn classical ballet technique while developing strength and flexibility.
Acro is a fun, challenging dance style that seamlessly blends classical dance with the athleticism of acrobatic movement. Students will learn essential acro techniques and graduate to more advanced tricks as their skills improve. Acro is great for dancers looking to build strength and improve flexibility.
Jason Rhodes is a native of Round Rock, TX and a graduate from McNeil High School. His professional pursuits revolve around various aspects of dance both in Texas and California as a performer, instructor and choreographer as well as freelance dance videography/photography.
Jason currently teaches Hip Hop in the Austin area and travels to produce dance videos throughout Texas. He also has traveled with dance conventions for onsite video production and social media management. He is continuously enhancing his skills by participating in choreography and fundamental dance classes throughout Texas along with conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop and Misfits Dance Camp. His journeys have taken him to Los Angeles to receive lessons from many well-known top industry Hip Hop choreographers, such as Anthony Thomas, David Moore, Tony Bellissimo, SuperDave, Bdash, Ian Eastwood, Phillip Chbeeb, Matt Steffanina, and Kyle Hanagami.
Jason began his formal dance training at the age of nine. After a short break to explore sports and other arts, he came back to dance, specifically Hip Hop. What started as learning Hip Hop for fun turned into his passion. It led him to join a competitive dance crew while in high school and to compete in various dance competitions locally and regionally. Soon after, he began experimenting with many other styles of dance leading to participation in other competitive dance teams and duets of many of those other styles. Jason is grateful for the cross pollination of the other dance genres and their positive impact on his first love, Hip Hop.
Jason’s crew choreography and dance skills have been featured numerous times through RAW: Natural Born Artists. RAW is a non-profit artist organization with a global event footprint. His association with RAW has allowed him to perform and showcase his abilities through these large art show events and has been a featured entertainer at Emo’s Austin on numerous occasions.
Jason is a member of EPEK an Austin based competition team and New Genesis an Austin based performance company. He is also a backup dancer for Gisselle an iTunes top 100 pop artist, who has opened for some of today’s biggest artist including Sean Paul and T.I. She also headlines her own sold out tours.
Jason loves every aspect of dance and is ready to share his knowledge and passion.
Kendal Bowden is a local from right here in Leander, Texas! Kendal has been dancing her way through life since the age of 2. Her family knew right away that she would pursue dance, because following her first recital, she exclaimed “that was so much fun! I love dancing and making people smile!”
Kendal danced with MA Dance Project in Cedar Park, Texas for 8 years where she was a company member of the Impact Dance Company. During that time she was able to grow and learn through multiple genres of dance with an emphasis in the area of contemporary. Kendal also attended numerous dance conventions and local competitions where she placed as a solo finalist/winner.
In 2016-2017, Kendal served as Captain for the Running Brushy Silver Stars. This was life changing for her as she learned and balanced how to lead with her heart, soul, and mind. As Captain, she led her team to winning overall champs on several occasions.
In 2018, Kendal danced with Muv Dance & Fitness and was a member of the Muvment dance company. During this time, she had an award winning solo that placed at numerous competitions and conventions. She had the opportunity to travel with her team to LA and take classes, while again growing as a dancer, leader, and person.
Kendal attends Leander High School where she is a member of the highly acclaimed Blue Belles dance team. During her sophomore year she was named “Sophomore Member At Large” by her team. As a Junior, Kendal serves as 2nd lieutenant for the Blue Belles where she has enjoyed working with the Blue Belle dance clinics and building relationships with young dancers in the Austin area. She is hoping to see some of them here at Generation Dance!
For the past two years, Kendal has toured with Art of Movement’s “theAcademy”, a preprofessional assisting program designed to create a true experience of working at national conventions and competitions. In this role she has been preparing for the dance world and has been dancing and growing with a network of elite dancers, world renowned choreographers, and executive directors. She has learned so much about what it all takes behind the scenes and what it takes to be a success in the dance world.
Kendal hopes to continue to lead her team, peers and others around her with her passion and love for dance & choreography. She is ecstatic to join the Generation Dance Family and cannot wait to meet and grow with you.