Cathy Arellano has been an educator for 44 years. She spent 26 as a dance drill team instructor, and was known for her prop and creative routines such as "cockroaches" and tap routines including
staging encompassing the entire basketball court. Cathy became an administrator for 14 years as an asst./assoc. principal and head principal of 9th grade wing. She has been the proud owner
of MDDTTEXAS Dance Competitions for 23 years and co owner of BattleGround Dance Competition Company.
Her accolades include:
Texas Dance Educator Association - Hall of Fame, Director of the Year,
Lifetime Achievement Award, Charter Member, President of TDEA 2 years
9 years of TDEA Board of Directors
MaryLou Johnson is a fine arts product of Clear Creek ISD. She is a graduate of the University of Houston with Art and Dance Certification. She also attended Kilgore College were she was a member of the Kilgore College Rangerettes and Swingsters. She taught art and dance for twenty years at Clear Creek and Clear Brook High School were she developed the first dance department curriculum, was the first director of the Clear Creek Cavalier dance team and helped design a strong foundation for the district visual art program. During that time, MaryLou also choreographed and created set design in many school districts and community musicals and has been nominated twice for the choreography award with the TUTS Tommy Tune award. She is a past president of the Texas Dance Educators Association as well as received the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the TDEA Hall of Fame in 2008. MaryLou is a juror for the Texas Art Education Association Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), a dance adjudicator at the state and national level and the state assessment with TDEA-Dance Educators Assessment of Learning (DEAL). While working at the University of Houston, she taught methods classes and supervised fine arts student teachers. After completing her Mid-Management degree at the University of Houston Clear Lake, MaryLou became an Assistant Principal at Pasadena Memorial High School were she supervised all of the fine arts programs. To continue her joy of teaching, she owned and was the director of curriculum at Starlight Studio in League City. In 2010, MaryLou was given the honor of Culture Shapers Administrator of the Year after she was nominated by her visual arts instructors in her district. Just recently, MaryLou was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award for the Clear Creek Educational Foundation in her community. She currently is a member of the Board and Directors for CEDFA (Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts). MaryLou was given a great opportunity to come back to her educational roots and was the Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts for Clear Creek ISD. Since her retirement in December 2014, she has continued to support fine arts programs across the state of Texas.
.Angela Seward Hayes is a lifelong dance educator. She recently retired from public education after 30 years, most of which she spent as the director of the award-winning Dulles Dolls Dance Team. Angela is the founder of Danceable Thoughts, a resource for dance education, consultant, choreography and clinician services. Angela is a curriculum writer, workshop presenter for many organizations, and an adjudicator. She is proud graduate of TCU! Her past honors include TDEA Director of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
Favorite Dance Team memory
Simply can't condense a lifetime of dance team into a single moment but I can speak to the feeling that is most prevalent in my memories: Satisfaction! "Satisfaction" at the end of a long practice. "Satisfaction" when I see students hugging it out before they take the field. "Satisfaction" when a creative thought becomes a brilliant performance! "Satisfaction" when a student becomes a leader!
Darby Boyd Wiles is a native of Houston where she began her training in dance at Rodriguez Dance Academy and the Houston Ballet. In high school, she was an officer of her dance team and a competitive soloist, placing first at the regional and state levels. Darby earned a dance scholarship to Southern Methodist University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance. At SMU she studied under Bob Beard, Karen Kriete, Joe Orlando and Nathan Montoya. Her choreography was selected to appear in five “Brown Bag” productions, and Darby was honored with the 1996 Meadows School of Arts “Above and Beyond Award”. Mrs. Wiles was also a member of the 1994-1995 SMU Pom Squad. As a pom squad member, she was awarded the NCAA All-American Collegiate Dancer Award. For over 20 years, Darby has taught dance at studios and high schools in Houston and the DFW area. Her freelance choreography has appeared in dance concerts and shows, musicals, video productions, and was highlighted at a Dallas Mavericks game.
Darby Boyd Wiles has directed dance programs at Irving High School, Haltom High School (both in the Dallas/Fort Worth area), and Taylor High School (Katy, TX). Under her direction, her dance programs have earned top awards, including four national champion titles. Mrs. Wiles has also written, choreographed, and directed five original dance production shows with her Taylor High school dancers: Adventures in Paradise (2010), Journey Under the Big Top (2012), The Crown, The Wand, and The Cloak (2014), Earth Forgotten (2016), and Stronger than the Storm (2018). Additionally, the Taylor Dance Program was featured in the 2016 January/February Spotlight section of Inside Dance magazine. Darby created the first public high school aerial dance program in the nation while directing the program at Taylor High School. She developed and wrote aerial dance curriculum. During the program’s eight years, Darby trained over 100 dance aerialists. Darby was honored as a seminar presenter at the 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2016 Texas Dance Educators State conventions where she shared her philosophy of dance curriculum, choreography techniques, and show productions.
In 2013, Darby was a Semi-Finalist for the Texas Dance Educator’s Association Director of the Year Award, and in 2017 Darby was voted by TDEA’s membership as the Director of the Year. She additionally has served as a Houston Regional Representative for TDEA for six years and served on TDEA’s Executive Board. In 2014, Darby was the lead writer for dance lesson plans for Katy ISD and has choreographed three Katy ISD Partners in Education videos that have placed first in the state. For two consecutive years, 2015 and 2016, Darby was the High School Dance Presenter for the Center for Educational Development in Fine Arts (CEDFA) State Summit in Austin, TX. Darby is additionally a Fine Arts Training Cadre for CEDFA. At the TAHPERD (Texas Association of Health, PE, Recreation and Dance) State Convention in 2018, Darby Boyd Wiles was honored with the Shining Star Award. This award is given annually to the individual the organization feels is most contributing to dance in the state of Texas. In 2019, Darby will launch her new Houston based performance company, Mariposa Dance Arts. MDA has been a dream of Darby’s for many years and she is working diligently to bring it to life. The company will be a collaboration of performance artists with the vision of creating cutting edge visual showcases for the City of Houston.
Courtney has been a dance educator for 15 years.During this time, she was a full-time dance teacher and Dance/Drill Team Director at Jersey Village High School, Elkins High School and Austin High School. As a dance educator, Courtney focused on sharing her love of many different dance genres with her students as well as helping them grow as young men and women.
Courtney holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Dance from the University of Houston. She currently resides in Tomball, Texas with her husband, Brett and two children, Madison and Eli. She is extremely excited about the Dance Surge family and continuing to share her passion for leadership through dance education.
A graduate of the Elkins HS Elite Dance Team, Heather served as Co-Captain and 2nd Lieutenant. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!) where she completed her minor in dance. Heather was a two year member of the National Champion LSU Tiger Girls Dance Team and served as choreographer and dancer for the LSU Dance Ensemble for 4 years. Heather has been a staff member of MA Dance and dancer for the Houston Dynamo Girls. As a graduate student, Heather received her Masters of Education in Educational Administration from Houston Baptist University. She has served as assistant director at Hightower HS, head director at Bush HS, and director and assistant director Manvel HS. Heather served as Fine Arts Department Head at Manvel HS and an Assistant Principal at Stafford HS. Currently, Heather is completing her doctorate at the University of Houston main campus researching the Impact of Dance Education on Black Girls in the K-12 setting. She currently serves as a USASF Worlds Coach’s Liaison and member of the USASF Leadership Team. Heather specializes in pom, jazz, professional development, and leadership and travels internationally working with educators and dancers. Heather is married to her best friend Larry and they have two children, Nadya and Larry Jr.
Kristine Copeland is a passionate educator who sees dance as a vehicle to help students learn valuable skills for life. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Dance, Kristine spent 20 years in the Houston area directing the Clements Stars and Seven Lakes Sapphires dance teams. In these dance programs, she fell in love with teaching young adults not only the art of dance but also the skills needed to be leaders in the organizations in which they were involved. Kristine retired from directing dance in 2013 to become a school administrator. Since then, she has focused on mentoring dance educators from an administrative perspective and helping them develop successful dance programs. Kristine has been an active member of the Texas Dance Educators Association, serving in several board positions including President in 2010. She is excited about the opportunity to continue mentoring young people and directors through the vision of Dance Surge.
Vicki has served as a tireless advisor to MDDT Texas for 22 years. She serves as either a lead judge or a coordinator in the competition areas. Vicky is the former director of the Nimitz Drill Team and retired after 25 years as a director. She is a wonderful camp site co-ordinator who provides you with a quality experience with your stay at the City Place Marriott.