Terrell Dance Faculty
Founder & Director
Horton (Modern 1-4), World Dance Forms, Dance & Media Communications, Senior Capstone, and Performance and Ensemble
Christen Ashley is a BFA recipient from Howard University, and a proud legacy of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has had the opportunity to work with Camille A. Brown, Hope Boykin, Ray Mercer, Kim Bears-Bailey, and a host of many others. She has also had the privilege to perform works choreographed by Pearl Primus, and Ronald K. Brown. Christen has performed with Alfre Woodard at the Lincoln Memorial for Constitution Day, and was grateful for the opportunity to perform at two Inaugural Celebration’s for the re-election of President Barack Obama. Christen has also performed with Anthony Hamilton on TV1's A Christmas Special. Ms. Williams served as a dancer with Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore! for 3 seasons, simultaneously serving as the rehearsal assistant for 2 of those seasons. After the completion of dancing for 3 seasons, Christen then served in the position as Artistic Assistant for DBDT: Encore! Mrs. Reyes was a principal dancer with the Dallas Opera, as well as experienced national and international tours with DBDT: Encore! Christen was a featured choreographer for Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre’s Emerging Choreographer’s program during the summer of 2017. She served as the Director of the Junior Performing Ensemble within the Dallas Black Dance Academy from 2017-2020, and is currently the Founder and Director of Dance at I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA. She is a certified Horton Technique teacher, and enjoys her time teaching and coaching this next generation of dancers!
Ballet 1-4, Principles of Dance, Dance Composition and Improvisation, Dance Appreciation, and Performance and Ensemble
Claudia P Orcasitas is a Peruvian dance artist, educator and psychologist. She is deeply invested in practicing ballet, modern dance and contemporary dance. Claudia was a long-time company member of the San Marcos Ballet, directed by Vera Stastny (Peru) and of the Contemporary Dance /Fort Worth Company directed by Kerry Kreiman (Texas). She received a dual bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru) and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in dance at Texas Woman’s University where she earned the Dr. Linda Caldwell Excellence in Writing award, the Experiential Student Scholars Award and the Mary Cartwright Brown Merrick & Hellen Baldwin Bauer Smith Scholarship for her outstanding academic performance and research practice. In 2016, she participated as an artist in residency in the First Residencia de Investigación y Creación en Danza (RED) with the Ministry of Culture of Peru and Danzon Nuclear, conducting a movement research project titled Abject Bodies. Utilizing both western and non-western forms, her most recent creative work explores body, space and cultural identity. As a dancer and educator with over 12 years of teaching experience, she is currently working as adjunct professor at University of Texas at Arlington and University of North Texas, where she provides dance instruction and continues honing her dance research skills.