Sara began dancing at the age of six in Lake Jackson, Texas. She has had the opportunity to train with professionals and dance in many productions such as The Nutcracker. Her teaching experience ranges from pre-school aged children to junior high and adults. Sara has been working with school age children for the past 15 years. The goal of River Oaks Dance is to create a knowledge and love of dance at young age and foster an interest in the art that will last a lifetime. Sara believes that dance can help children grow in so many areas such as coordination, confidence, presence and imagination.
Sara is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Sara is also a certified master teacher through the Leap n Learn early childhood development and dance program and continues learning from and about children every year during classes and through continued education training. Sara is a member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church and lives in Montrose. She loves seeing her little ballerinas around town “in real life”!
Holda began her training in Mexico City under the direction of Paloma Zepeda Novelo. She began her classical training in the cuban technique and then moved into the Royal Academy of Dance program. She has coursed through the Royal Academy of Dance graded exams from Pre-Primary to Advance 2. Holda was a dancer with Allegro Ballet of Houston under the direction of Glenda Brown, Peggy Girouard and Vanessa Brown. Allegro gave Holda the opportunity to dance regionally and nationally at the Regional Dance America Convention and internationally with Young Tanzsommer tour in Austria. She has had the opportunity to perform professionally with regional companies in the Greater Houston area and the U.S., as well as work with world-known Master Teachers such as Laura Alonso, John Magnus, Thom Clower, Jennifer Medina, Paula Weber, Lynn Wallis, Ana Jurado, Albert Cataffi, Leslie Jane Pessemier. Holda completed her Certificate for Ballet Teaching Studies (CBTS) Programme in 2014 under the mentorship of Rocio Braggiato, and is now a Royal Academy Certified Teacher. R.A.D TC 797370. In April 2017 Holda completed the Progressing Ballet Technique teacher certification course taught by the PBT founder Marie Walton-Mahon. Holda is also an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Holda recently graduated from University of St. Thomas with a B.F.A. in Dance.
Holda enjoys teaching and seeing her students be successful not only in dance but in all aspects of their lives. In her free time, Holda enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dogs or working out at the gym.
Gemini Quintos, Dance Instructor
Gemini Quintos is very excited to be joining the River Oaks Dace family! Gemini grew up in New York City doing professional theatre, appearing in the Broadway shows Annie, The Wizard of Oz, and A Christmas Carol. She is an experienced tap dancer, and has shared the stage with tap moguls Andrew Nemr, Michelle Dorrance, Jared Grimes, and others. Gemini has extensive experience teaching youth theatre workshops for children and teens, both in NYC and Asia. On most days, you can find her at her shop @samanddavy in River Oaks Shopping Center, which she owns and runs with her partner and their two little girls.
Kathryne Villareal, Dance Instructor
Kathryne Villareal’s passion for dance began at a very young age. Since then, she has found it effortless to incorporate all she has learned throughout her training in every day life. The discipline, continuous hard work and focus required for dance has prepared her for any challenge.
Kathryne spent her first year in Houston teaching in a Kindergarten Classroom. Here she found inspiration in her students and was motivated to begin teaching dance. Combining two of her passions as a teacher and dancer has been an ambition for her career. She cannot be more excited to be living this dream in the studio this school year!
Kathryne is thrilled to be in such wonderful company with the River Oaks Dance family. Her spirited, challenging and delightful approach to dance is truly special.
She is looking forward to sharing her contagious joy for dance to all her students.
Tori Pence, Dance Instructor
A Houston native, Tori trained intensively in ballet at the Kingwood Dance Theatre where she was honored to perform at Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London for Dancers Responding to AIDS. Before graduating from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, she was selected to attend a summer intensive at Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts where she trained with some of the most renowned names in the Broadway industry.
She performed professionally as a Radio City Rockette while attending Columbia University. Some of her professional theatrical credits include: Spamalot – choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Book of Mormon) and Fly – choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, Cats, In the Heights), Only Gold, Producers. As a former NYC based dance teacher, she’s traveled with NYLA Dance Conventions & Competitions giving masterclasses around America. She spent lockdown in NYC teaching children, teens and adults ballet in the first studios to open up to in-person classes (Cobble Hill Ballet, Moise Safra Center). With over ten years of teaching experience in NYC and abroad, in her class she focuses on the fundamentals of classical dance all while encouraging individual expression and the joy of dance.
Tori loves spending time with her family, exploring Memorial Park and jogging along the bayou.