Alisa Laraway


With DC: From the beginning! We thank her for giving us this wonderful workplace!

Dance History: Alisa was born and raised in Dallas where she began her dance studies at the age of 2 in 1972 at her mother’s dance school. While at her mother’s studio, Alisa was a member of Dallas Dance Elite, later becoming Artistic Director and Choreographer. In 1988 Alisa was honored with a scholarship to Patsy Swayze’s Dance Studio in Los Angeles. Along with training at her mother’s dance studio, Alisa has also studied at Chamberlain School of Ballet, Buster Cooper’s School of Dance, and Dance Etc. She has studied many genres of dance, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, musical theater, not to mention twirling and gymnastics! Alisa has received many additional achievements and scholarships for her performances and choreography for several major productions around the world. In 1996 Alisa founded Alisa’s Dance Academy in Westlake and Austin’s Dance Elite, the youth performing company. Verge Dance Co. and BA Productions were founded through the academy in 2001. Today, she continues to direct the Westlake and Lakeway Academy locations. Alisa is a Member of The National Dance Association (NDA), American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), ASCAP and SESAC and is American Dance Certified (ADC).

Styles of Dance (studied or taught): Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Musical Theater

Favorite Historical Dancer/Choreographer: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Twyla Tharp

Favorite Current Dancer/Choreographer: Travis Wall, Chelsie Hightower

Shelley Hale

General Manager & Teams Specialist / Westlake & Round Rock

With DC: Since August 2002

Dance History: Shelley first started dancing at the age of 15 in high school as a member of the dance team. She attended Texas State University and received her degree in Dance and Education in 1997. Her training while at Texas State was modern intensive, training primarily in the (Erich) Hawkins technique. She holds a Lifetime Texas Teaching Certificate in Dance. After teaching and directing dance teams in the central Texas area for several years, and producing several award winning teams, Shelley moved to Austin and has been with DC ever since!

Styles of Dance (studied or taught): Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, Lyrical & Modern. As a HS dance director she taught all styles and choreographed most team pieces.

Favorite Historical Dancer/Choreographer: Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham

Favorite Current Dancer/Choreographer: Travis Wall, Tabitha & Napolean

Jessica Gray

Lead Sales  / Westlake + Social Media / Ace Coordinator

With DC: Since March 2018

Dance History: Jessica Gray started dancing at the age of two in Rowlett, TX. She pursued dance in many ways as a young child and in her high school years. She competed with both her drill team and competitive studio teams, and was also in theatre and musicals. She attended The University of Texas at Austin and received her BFA in August of 2015. While attending UT, Jessica had the pleasure of working with many current choreographers and with the classical works of choreographers, the late Robert Battle (Brooklyn) of BattleWorks, Paul Taylor (New York), Charles O. Anderson (Austin), Kate Watson-Wallace (Brooklyn), and her favorite Mark Morris (Brooklyn) of Mark Morris Dance Group. She also got to choreograph in many student run shows as well as her final main stage show as a senior member of Dance Repertoire Theater. Upon graduating in 2015, Jessica has been a seasonal dancer with the site-specific contemporary company Dance Waterloo. She has performed in many of their evening works such as “Underpass over Skylines” (2015), “Panorama Playground: Hurly Burly” (2017), and “Off the Wall” (2017). She has taught all over Austin and is currently a teacher at Alisa's Dance Academy teaching all ages of dancers in many different genres/techniques.

Styles of Dance (studied or taught): Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary

Favorite Historical Dancer/Choreographer:  William Forsythe

Favorite Current Dancer/Choreographer: Kate Watson-Wallace

DC Ace Ambassadors & Idols
2019-2020 Ace's & Idol
Olivia (IDOL), Dakota, Emma, Alexis, Elise, Gracie

2018-2019 DC Ace's & Idols
Bailey, Brady, Gaven, Kinley, Olivia | Sydney & Taylor

2017-2018 DC Ace's
Audrey, Azula, Ella, Sydney, Taylor, Tiegan

What is a DC ACE?
DC Ace's are our biggest fans and loyal DC shoppers who use social media to help promote our small business. They are to be a representative/ambassador of the Dancer's Closet store and will be asked to spread the word about all we have to offer the Austin area dance community. They will represent us at events they attend, through social media postings about our store and it's brands, and through photoshoots for store advertising. Ace's get complimentary photo shoots with multiple photographers during their contract period as well as goody bags, birthday gifts, opportunities for master classes, and the ability to get first dibs on our newest in-store offerings at a discounted rate.

What is a DC ACE IDOL?
Mentor to the New Ace's. Idol's will be chosen from the graduated group of Ace's and chosen for their loyalty, leadership, and social media habits and following. They too will continue to receive many of the perks of the Ace's.

A special Thank you to Kevin Garner Photography for Ace photos!