Born and raised in Fort Worth, TX, Addison Gardner began training in dance at 4 years old, and has danced consecutively for 13 years. She began dancing competitively at G-Force Dance Legacy, from the ages of 7 to 11, and has since then trained at Foot Works Performing Arts Center from ages 11 to 14, and Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts. In 2019, Gardner decided to take a risk and switch competitive studios to Studio of MoveMINT, under the artistic direction of Meg Minter. In August of the same year, she also decided to switch schools to study and train at I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA as a freshman dance major, under the direction of Christen Reyes. Gardner has also had the opportunity to train under Jackie Sleight, Christian Vincent, Will Thomas, and more, as a member of the LA Dance Magic Senior Company. She has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as NYU graduate Chad Vaught, DBDT: Encore! Artistic Project Coordinator Richard A. Freeman, John Mingle of Alabama Ballet, and more. Gardner is currently a senior dance major at I.M. Terrell, where she studies ballet, modern (Horton technique), world dance forms, and is a fourth year member of the Terrell Dance Ensemble. She is beyond excited to see what’s next for her and hopes to keep dance as a constant in her future career.
Dakota La Penna
Born and raised in Burleson Texas, Dakota La Penna started her dance journey at the age of three. She has trained consecutively for 14 years. She trains in jazz, ballet, contemporary, modern, lyrical, hip-hop, tap, and musical theater. She started her training at Foot Works Performing Art Center with owner and director Whitney Moore until the age of 7 when she then started dancing at MovZ Dance Company under the direction of Lisa Groves. Throughout her time as a dancer, Dakota has been a part of the Dallas Cowboys Rookie Squad where she performed in the “Back To Football”, Thanksgiving, and Christmas halftime shows for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. She attended Fort Worth Academy Of Fine Arts where she was in the Junior Dance Company. La Penna started high school at I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA after auditioning and being accepted into the dance major program directed by Mrs. Christen Reyes. During her time as I.M Terrell thus far, she has gotten to work with choreographers such as current Bruce Wood dancer, Megan Storey, Broadway artist, Ray Mercer, Sam Houston Dance Professor, Andy Noble, and many other artists within the dance community. La Penna choreographed, filmed, and designed her first dance piece “And Life Goes On” as a part of her Dance Composition class. She currently dances and works at Studio Of MoveMINT, directed by Meg Minters, as a senior company member and teacher assistant. She is grateful for the opportunities and training she has received and hopes to pursue her dance career after high school.
Being born and raised in Fort Worth, Hayley Dickinson began her dance training at 3 years old, and has danced for 14 consecutive years. She began dancing competitively at Frances Lea Dance Company at the age of 7 and then at C&C Academy of Dance from ages 9-14. She accepted into the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts for her Middle School years. She then made the tough but necessary decision to transition to a new high school, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA, to study and train under the influence of Christen Reyes and Ariel Monticure-Kline. She has had amazing opportunities to work with professional choreographers, including NYU graduate Chad Vaught, DBDT: Encore! Artistic Project Coordinator Richard A. Freeman, John Mingle of Alabama Ballet, and many more. Dickinson is currently a senior dance major at I.M. Terrell, where she studies ballet, modern (Horton Technique), world dance forms, and is a fourth year member of the Terrell Dance Ensemble. She is thrilled to see what her next steps will be and dreams of dancing professionally in the near future.
Zoe Hodges is a Texas native living in Fort Worth. She began her dance training at Bruce Lea Dance Factory where she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and musical theater dance styles from the age of 4. At 8 years old she began learning under Julie Ballew, a former School of American Ballet student chosen by Mr. Balanchine, New York City Ballet Apprentice, and Washington Ballet company member, who educated her on the Balanchine technique as she started her pointe training. She was graciously awarded a scholarship to Margo Dean School of Ballet at age 9, and learned under esteemed ballerina Margo Dean. She has attended summer programs for American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bridge Arts Project, and Texas Ballet Theater. During her high school years, she attended I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA as a dance major, where she received training from former Dallas Black Dance Theater: Encore member Christen Reyes, Southern Methodist University alumna Ariel Monticure-Kline, and former San Marcos Ballet member Claudia Orcasitas. At I.M. Terrell she received an education in ballet, Horton, graham, and musical theater. Hodges was a Terrell Dance Ensemble member from 2019 to 2020, and 2022 to current, where she performed nationally and at Bass Hall. She has been featured on NBC 5-Dallas/ Fort Worth, and WFAA in a production of Firebird in collaboration with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra that was shared with Carnegie Hall and news stations across the United States. She transitioned to more rigorous ballet training at Texas Ballet Theater in 2020 under the leadership of Leticia Olivera-Coomer, where she participated in the school's ensemble in the 2021-2022 school year. Hodges is currently a senior dance major at I.M. Terrell Academy and a student in Texas Ballet Theater School with hopes of majoring dance in college and pursuing a professional dance career.
Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Monica Rose Gatica began dancing competitively at age 10 at G-Force Dance Legacy, where she trained in ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, and contemporary. In August 2018, Gatica continued her training at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts under dance department chair Krista Langford. To begin her high school journey, Gatica began attending I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA as a freshman dance major in 2019. At I.M. Terrell, Gatica has the opportunity to train under former DBDT: Encore! dancer and Artistic Assistant, Christen Ashley Reyes. She had the opportunity to work with former company member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Zach Law Ingram, and esteemed dancer and choreographer, Megan Storey from Bruce Wood Dance. She also had the opportunity to choreograph her own work entitled, "A Disaster Foretold." Currently, Gatica is a Senior dance major at I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA, where she studies ballet, modern (Horton Technique), jazz, musical theatre, and contemporary. Also, Gatica is a student at Studio of Movemint, under director Meg Minter, where she trains in ballet and contemporary. She is overjoyed to continue her training and after high school, she hopes to teach dance to young children.
Julia Zanzucchi was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and began dancing at the age of 3. She has been dancing for 14 years, training in ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, hip-hop, and modern. Getting her start as a competitive dancer at G-Force Dance Legacy, she received training from choreographers like Mia Pruitt, Nina Davoody, Zoi Greenhouse, Leah Hammett, and Charis Page. She attended Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts through elementary and middle school, where she was a part of their Junior Dance Company, as well as Dance Company II. While there, Zanzucchi auditioned for the school's annual Student Choreography Concert with self-choreographed pieces, which were accepted each year. She then decided to make a big change in her life, choosing to audition for I.M. Terrell Academy for Stem and VPA in downtown Ft. Worth for ninth grade. She was accepted as a Dance Major, under the direction of Mrs. Christen Reyes. There she had the opportunity of creating her own dance film inspired by the 2021 Met Gala. This experience allowed her to provide her own costuming for the film, as well as direct and choreograph. Currently, at I.M. Terrell, Zanzucchi is a part of the Terrell Dance Ensemble and has been for all four years of high school. This has given her exposure to a multitude of insights on the behind the scenes of the creation process of new pieces through working with choreographers like Megan Storey, Andy Noble, Chad Vaught, John Mingle, Joshua Peugh, and many others. As a current Senior in high school, Zanzucchi works at her new dance studio, Studio of MoveMINT, as an assistant teacher, as well as trains under Meg Minter, Hailey Bunde, Carrie Wilkey, Catherine Kline, Gabby Cunningham, and Lexi Bennett.