THEA FRANCESCONI Owner & Dance Instructor

 

Thea began her journey with dance at the age of 2, where she trained with many studios in the surrounding areas in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, and Acrobats.  At the age of 16, she began teaching dance with the desire to bring out each dancer's full potential. Thea started her Adult journey as a Dance Major at the University of Louisiana in 2010. She then began dancing professionally and has since then traveled as far as Europe to further her expertise and choreography in dance.

In 2012 Thea competed on  “So You Think You Can Dance” making it to the 4th round of choreography and top 100 of her audition.  With this experience, she was chosen to be featured on many of their commercials, as well as the cover of their website. Later that year, she was selected to choreograph and perform for NFL players Roman Harper and Kyres Hebert’s football, cheer, and dance camp. Where she had the opportunity to work alongside many professional athletes and dancers. At the age of 21, Thea opened her first dance-related business, "C3 training" where she taught privates in acrobats and dance. Which inspired her to open her own Dance Studio, Thea's Dance Academy which is now the fastest-growing studio in Acadiana!
Thea is a Certified Dance and Acro Teacher with Acrobatic Arts and CLI Studios and is always looking for ways to grow as an instructor. She is also a Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist through NASM, and uses these certifications to help better her knowledge of the human movement system and how it may affect dancers. Thea’s passion for dancing, teaching, and choreographing have been the focal point of her life. She is fun, energetic, and dedicated to teaching children and adults.
 

BRITTANY RENARD General Class Instructor

Brittany Renard teaches ballet classes at Thea’s Dance Academy and St. Martin Academy of Fine Arts.  She graduated from St. Martin Academy in 2008 with twelve years of dance. After which, she continued teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, and Hip-Hop while studying English at UL Lafayette.  Earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011, she then moved to Southern California where she continued to study English at the University of California, Riverside. She completed her Master of Arts degree in 2013 and her Ph.D. coursework in 2015.

Now that she’s returned to Louisiana, Brittany works at South Louisiana Community College as the Assistant Director for Student Engagement.  While she’s a very busy woman, she’s happy to once again fill her spare time with the art of dance.


MICHELLE DESORMEAUX MERRILL Primary Instructor

Michelle DesOrmeaux Merrill is a native and lifelong resident of Lafayette. She began her love of movement when she was only 2 years old. Not only was she a member of her high school dance team, the St. Thomas More Sparklers, she was also awarded 3 National Titles. Upon graduating high school,  she took part in the Ragin Jazz dance team in college. She graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Education. Michelle continued to dance through college and was a dance teacher for 13 years at DeLarue Dance Centre. She was awarded the Val Salnikov Scholarship in 2007 and asked to perform in his rendition of Swan Lake in Gulf Port, MS. In addition, she has also been a certified fitness instructor for 21 years. She started teaching classes in college and went on to become the department head of the Intramural Aerobic Department at UL Lafayette.

She has taught fitness in multiple gyms and studios in Lafayette over the years. Currently, she instructs at Red’s, and prior owned and ran her own studio for 2 years, The Fit Room. She is now a Master Trainer for an international fitness company, POUND® Fitness with the duties of training and certifying new instructors. Michelle has been married to her husband, Robert, for 12 years and they have 5 FUR babies that they enjoy.



CHASITY THERIOT Class Instructor

Chasity started dancing at the age of 8 for 12 years with Sugar n Spice Dance Studio. Then after, she went on to teach for 1 year with the same studio. Chasity now works at Quest Pediatric Dentistry, in addition, teaches for TDA. She loves fitness and has a passion for dance that she can’t wait to share!

 

 


REBECCA JORDAN Ballet / Tap Instructor 

Rebecca started dance at a young age and continued exploring her love of dance for 12 years at DeLarue Dance Center in Lafayette. Upon graduating from DeLarue in 2017, she completed three-course mastery classes in Jazz, Tap, and Ballet, as well as assistant teaching.

She continues her appreciation for dance through various events at UL while majoring in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Rebecca is employed at Fisher’s Early Childhood Development Center where she practices her passion for teaching children. She has a deep love for the arts and is eager to see that same love inside our dance studio!


KIMBER CHATAIGNER General Class Instructor 

At four years old, Kimber found her passion for dance and tumbling at St. Martin Academy of Fine Arts. She performed, traveled, taught, and competed with St. Martin Academy for fourteen years. Having attended St. Martinville Senior High where she was cheer captain and choreographer during both her junior and senior year. She continued dancing throughout college by taking modern, jazz, and hip hop classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, as well as performing as alumni with St. Martin Academy of Fine Arts.

After participating in all of TDA’s adult dance classes and workshops, she has recently become a member of the TDA family. While finishing her Biology degree at ULL, she has once again filled her passion for teaching and performing at Thea’s Dance Academy! She can not wait for the chance to work with our dance studio again next year!


Catherine Auzenne-Alfred Ballet / Tap Instructor 

Catherine started dance at the age of 4 at PJ’s dance art school in Opelousas and later began dancing at Hamilton Academy of the performing arts in Lafayette where she completed in 2003 and was a student-teacher. She was a member of the Beau Chene High Belle’s and graduated in 2003. Catherine danced in a Mariah Carey music video, the movie Ray, 2 super bowls, and several other events. After leaving Hamilton Academy, she moved to San Francisco to explore more in her dance career. Later she returned home and taught at multiple places. She was the dance, drama, and theatre director at JS Clark Leadership Academy from 2014-2020 and is a current member of the Dance Council of North Dallas, National Dance Education Organization, International Association of Blacks in Dance, and CLI Studios. Catherine has a passion for traveling, children, dancing, choreographing, writing, producing small shows, and being creative.