Sheyna Ferrero, Conservatories Director
Sheyna Ferraro is an active member of the arts community as a teacher, organization leader, and a former professional dancer. High quality, accessible arts training is Ms. Ferraro’s passion. A graduate from Leadership Fort Worth’s Leading Edge program, she serves as a board member for FurtherDance Fort Worth and Expanco. Ms. Ferraro joined the Texas Center for Arts + Academics family in 2003 as a member of the FWAFA dance faculty. During her 16 years with the department she directed the Academy Dance Company, helped initiate proper leveling, and introduced multiple new courses such as Dance Composition and Dance Theory. In 2015, Ms. Ferraro was named the Director of the Texas Dance Conservatory and has taken on the role of Director for TCAA’s additional conservatories, the Texas Art Conservatory & Texas Music Conservatory. In 2019 Ms. Ferraro fully transitioned out of the classroom to take on the role of Community Programs Director for TCAA where she continues to direct the three conservatory programs, help with recruitment and community partnerships, oversee school day performances, and sponsor the FWAFA Alumni Association.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet along with a Secondary Teaching Certification in Dance from Texas Christian University. Even before graduating from TCU, Ms. Ferraro started teaching at local dance studios and choreographing for middle and high school dance programs. She enjoyed performing with both Contemporary Ballet Dallas and Contemporary Dance Fort Worth before retiring from performing to focus on teaching and choreographing. A life-long learner, Ms. Ferraro was the recipient of the Bates Dance Festival Teacher Fellowship Scholarship in 2012 and in the summer of 2014, she had the opportunity to travel to Bali, Indonesia to study traditional Balinese style dance. Ms. Ferraro encourages young artists to be life-long learners who allow their arts training to help shape them into creative, outside of the box thinkers, who can go onto accomplish anything their heart desires.
Joshua Barr, Instructor
Joshua began his dance training at the age of 10 at the Allegheny Ballet Company. He later trained on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Ballet Austin. After high school, he went on to study Dance and Biology at Penn State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrative Art Studies. During his undergraduate studies, he was offered a full-scholarship to dance in the Professional Division Trainee Program at Ballet Austin. After completing his undergraduate studies, he went on to study on full-scholarship at University of Oklahoma, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance. While a graduate student at University of Oklahoma, he had the distinct honor to serve as Graduate Teaching Assistant to the School of Dance. Since graduation, he has served as an active member of the Dance Studies Association. His research interests include: site-specific dance performance practices, democratic choreographic processes in Classical ballet, and the intersection between dance and politics. He currently serves as Educational Programs Coordinator for Texas Ballet Theater, and as guest instructor for several ballet schools throughout Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Carla Brown, Instructor
Carla started her dance career at Dancer’s Workshop under Kathleen Sinclair Cristofori in Yuma, Arizona. Carla then continued her dancing through Miss Minnie’s School of Ballet in Roswell, New Mexico where she had the opportunity to train in and perform multiple styles of dance including Mexican Folk Dance, River Dance, Swing Dance, Broadway, jazz, tap, and ballet. Carla was a frequent performer in The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty among other productions. Carla studied choreography and dancing at Texas Tech University and choreographed for a competitive group performance at Lubbock Christian University. She has passed through professional level VI and holds a Cecchetti Ballet Teacher certification.
Leslie Burn, Instructor
Leslie Burn grew up dancing in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. She trained at various schools like Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, Texas Ballet Theater School, and Debbie Allen’s Dance Summer Intensive to name a few. In 2012 she moved to New York City to dance at the renowned Joffrey Ballet School in the Trainee Program. Leslie has danced for Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance and Elisa Monte Dance where she performed at many venues including The Aaron Davis Hall, Apollo Theater, Brooklyn Museum, Red Bull Stadium, and BAM Fisher Theater. She had the opportunity to be a part of the creative team for Donja R. Love’s In the Middle as Assistant Movement Director. Leslie is a featured dancer in the short dance film Mandarin that was featured in the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival. She can also be seen in the music videos of artists Janelle Kroll, Karina, and Yify Zhang. As an alumni of FWAFA, Leslie is happy to be back working with the next generation of dancers.
Crystal Derrick, Instructor
A Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts alumna, Crystal graduated cum laude with her BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. She began her training at Margo Dean’s School of Ballet and eventually became an apprentice for Ballet Concerto. During college, she apprenticed for Rednerrus Feil Dance Company and upon graduation became a member of the company and the costume mistress. She taught at multiple studios in Houston, The Woodlands, and Cypress, Texas.
Jackie Millan, Substitute
Jackie Millan is a Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts alumna with over 25 years of dance experience. Jackie graduated magna cum laude with her BA in Dance from Hunter College in New York City with department honors in dance and an academic scholarship. Since graduating, Jackie danced with MWest & Company and Bolly Dhamaal Dance. She currently dances with imPULSE dance project. Jackie taught dance in New York, New Jersey, and Texas. She completed the National Dance Institute’s Teaching Artist Training and several workshops with Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey.
Shelly Torres, Instructor
Shelly Torres began her dance training at the age of 3 in Burley, Idaho. During her youth, Shelly danced competitively as well as danced several character parts in a wide variety of ballet performances. Shelly moved to Texas to attend Baylor University in 2009. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education with a degree in physical education and a minor in dance in 2013. While at Baylor, Shelly enjoyed being a member and officer in the Baylor Dance Company, giving her many opportunities to choreograph and produce dance shows. In 2013, she received the award for Outstanding Graduate in All Level Physical Education from Baylor. Shelly holds Texas teaching credentials both in physical education and dance.
Shelly has taught a variety of styles of dance to ages 2 and up to adult in the Waco and Fort Worth community. Shelly has most recently been the elementary dance director at FWAFA for the past seven years. With the arrival of her baby in May of 2020, she stepped back from full-time teaching to stay home with her son, and is looking forward to the opportunity to teach part-time for the conservatory.
Lori Vasquez, Instructor
Lori is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she completed BFA in Dance with Honors specializing in choreography and teaching. Born and raised in Fort Worth, she started dancing at the age of five and studied ballet, modern, jazz, and hip hop. While at Columbia, she studied various styles of modern dance including Cunningham, Graham, and Horton, and also trained in West African dance and improvisation. During Lori’s time at Columbia, she was able to be a part of a community outreach program as a teaching artist and teach dance at schools in Chicago.
Lori choreographed three pieces for the Arlington Heights Dance Department, including My Immortal (2011-2012), which was showcased at the National High School Dance Festival. Lori’s choreography, Change Over Time (2016) and Sweetpoo Gorda Beebs (2018) has appeared at the Dance Center stage of Columbia. Currently, Lori is working towards her Master’s in teaching at Texas Women’s University.
“What I most appreciate about Texas Dance Conservatory is that my children are taught by fully trained dance professionals. I know they will train safely while being pushed to advance their technical skills.” – Texas Dance Conservatory Parent