Meet Our Staff
Dance Studio Owner/Artistic Director
Christine Hayes began dancing like many little girls at the age of three. Growing up in the Austin area, she studied and performed with several local dance companies, including Tapestry Dance Company. Christine studied theater and dance at the University of Texas in Austin and also holds a Psychology degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. While in Corpus Christi, Christine was privileged to teach and choreograph for the Corpus Christi Ballet. Christine always had a passion to be a dance educator and has now been teaching dance for over 20 years for many different dance companies throughout Texas. Christine has developed a comprehensive dance curriculum and strongly believes in teaching sound technique in a positive and encouraging atmosphere.
Christine opened her first dance studio, Central Texas Dance Academy near Waco, Texas and served as Owner/Artistic Director. In May 2008, she sold Central Texas Dance Academy and returned to the Austin area to be near her family. Christine opened The Dance Gallery in 2009 and is dedicated to bringing the HIGHEST level of dance education to students in Round Rock and the surrounding areas. Christine continues her training by attending numerous dance conventions throughout the year where she can work with some of today’s leading professionals in the dance industry. Christine is married and is the proud mother of two children, Emily and Evan.
Dance Gallery Staff
Elizabeth Manning, General Manager/Instructor
Elizabeth Manning was born and raised in Stow, Ohio where she started dancing at the age of 10. Elizabeth has studied a variety of dance styles under incredible choreographers such as Kristen Messner, Brian Marcum, Dejan Tubic, and Jo Rowan, and has completed her Level V certification in Cecchetti ballet. Elizabeth went on to pursue dance in college at Oklahoma City University where she obtained her Bachelors of Science in Dance Management. After college, she lived in Chicago and worked for On The Grind Management, a music management company as an Artist Manager/Booking Agent. Elizabeth is a proud mom to Harper and Gio, and is very excited to join The Dance Gallery family for her 5th year!
Michelle Gomez, Instructor/Hip Hop Crew Director
Michelle Gomez grew up in Mountain View, California and then moved to Round Rock, TX around the age of 11 where she began dancing for All-Stars Unlimited at Westwood High School. Michelle became a member of the McNeil Majestic’s during her high school years as well as Hip Hop Club Captain her senior year. After graduating high school, Michelle joined a professional dance company called the Austin City Showgirls, while attending community college and teaching hip hop at a local austin studio. She performed in four music videos, two commercials, one TV show and was a back-up dancer for multiple performers such as Gloria Trevi, Elvis Crespo, Andres Cuervo, Aj Castillo, and 8 Segundo’s. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Texas Tech University with a minor in Media Strategies and French. During her college career she studied abroad in Paris, France for two months while interning at a hip hop dance school named Juste Debout. Once she graduated, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her education in dance studios such as Movement Lifestyle, Millennium Dance Complex, and the Debbie Reynolds studio. Michelle is back in Austin and ready to begin her 6th year teaching at the Dance Gallery.
Lindsey Jo Gardner, Instructor/Kinetic Arts Dance Company Director
Lindsey has been dancing as long as she can remember! She grew up dancing in Round Rock, studying ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and musical theater under Susan Babcock and Desi Ray for 14 years. As a member of a performing/competition group for 8 years, Lindsey Jo enjoyed performing at competitions and community events, as well attending conventions and workshops all over the state of Texas. Lindsey graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from The University of Texas at Austin; she has been a guest instructor and choreographer for many RRISD Dance programs, both middle and high school, and is currently in her third year with an after-school dance program at Robertson Elementary. Lindsey Jo has been teaching dance for over 15 years and this will be her 12th year with The Dance Gallery.
Stephanie Staggs, Instructor
Stephanie has been dancing since the age of 5. She grew up dancing in Round Rock studying under Susan Babcock, Beth Hickman, Joni Starr, and Desi Ray. She is a member of The Texas Association of Teachers of Dancing, Inc. and received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance from The University of Texas in Austin in 1996. At UT, she studied under Heywood McGriff, Lathan Sanford, Yacov Sharir, Andrea Beckham, Ricardo Garcia, Densie Prasky, Lynne Grossman, Sondra Lomax, Sharon Vasquez, and Llory Wilson. She had the opportunity to take master classes from Savion Glover, Karen Herbet, Robert Christopher, Twyla Tharp Dance Company, The Merce Cunningham Dance Company, The Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Company, The Martha Graham Dance Company and The Ghana Dance Ensemble. Stephanie is married and is a proud mother to a wonderful daughter who loves dancing and swimming. This is Stephanie’s 11th year with The Dance Gallery.
Staci Sill, Instructor
Staci began dancing at the age of 5 in Austin. She studied and performed throughout the Austin area for many years. Staci taught for several studios in the Austin and surrounding areas before moving to North Carolina in 1998. While in North Carolina, she taught and took professional classes at North Carolina Dance Institute under the artistic director Kirstie Spadie. After moving back to Texas in 2006, Staci took some time off to go back to school and is now a Registered Nurse. One interesting side fact…Staci and Christine danced together in a ballet production many years ago when they were teens. The dance world is small indeed! Staci is the proud mom of 2 children, Cade and Emma. Staci is excited to be a part of The Dance Gallery staff for the 9th year.
Anna Warr, Instructor
Anna has a tremendous love and passion for the performing arts. She grew up in Round Rock, traveling with a performance choir and competitive theatre company. She discovered her love of dance when she became involved in musicals through her later years. She built her love for dance through her four years with the Stony Point Tiger Dancers and discovered her new love of a team atmosphere. Through the years, Anna has continued to work on her dance background by attending conventions and dance events such as the Teachers Summit in L.A. where she trained under names such as Travis Wall, Mandy Moore and Tyce Diorio. Anna has been teaching multiple styles to numerous ages for the past 12 years and has even spread her love by teaching hip hop through the local recreation centers and to elementary schools for their after school enrichment programs. Anna also teaches 2nd grade in the Round Rock ISD. This is Anna’s 11th year with The Dance Gallery.
Katya Welch, Instructor
Katya was born and raised in Austin, Texas. After training at multiple studios in the Austin area, Katya quickly found a second home at The Dance Gallery in 2009. She danced with the award winning Troupe for two years, and was awarded the Tremaine Dancer Of The Year Scholarship Award in 2013. During that time she was privileged to train with several industry professionals in master classes and conventions. She also assisted with several classes during her time as a student. She recently returned from New York City after spending several months at Broadway Dance Center in their prestigious Training Program. When not teaching, you can find her onstage at the Georgetown Palace Theatre, most recently as the title character in “Mary Poppins”. She was recently part of the 61st Zilker Summer Musical “ The Little Mermaid” with Zilker Theatre Productions. She’s currently in school working towards a BFA in Dance. This is her 7th year as a teacher at The Dance Gallery.
Francis Rodriguez, Guest Instructor
Francis is a performer and dance educator currently based in Austin, Texas. She began her formal dance training at a young age in Brownsville, Texas and across the lower Rio Grande Valley. Francis holds both a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from The University of Texas at Austin and her Texas state teacher certification in dance.While at UT, she performed in works by Netta Yerushalmy, Charles O. Anderson, Jeremy Arnold, Ray Schwartz and Oluwaseun Olayiwola. Francis has also received additional training at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine in Angers, France, the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina and Sidra Bell Dance New York’s choreographic lab, MODULE. Most recently, she’s been a part of multiple workshops with The Theorists of Austin, Texas. This is Francis’ 3rd year with The Dance Gallery and she looks forward to having an amazing year with TDG family!
Taylor Scarmardo, Instructor
Taylor was born and raised in Caldwell, Texas where she studied, lived, and breathed dance in her mother’s dance studio since she was three. At the ages of 8 and 10, Taylor was a Jr. Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader and performed under Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Taylor danced her way onto the Elite Team and competed with her studio for 8 years. Along with competitive dance, Taylor was a 4 year member of her High School drill team, serving as Jr. Lieutenant her junior year and Captain her senior year. After graduating high school, she continued her dance career as a prestigious Tyler Junior College Apache Belle. As a sophomore on the team, Taylor was chosen as Dance Captain and workout leader. Throughout her two years as an Apache Belle, Taylor performed at numerous venues including Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii where she performed for all of the marine troops and hosted a free dance camp for all of the young girls at the base. Taylor also had the unique opportunity to be a performer on the Carnival Breeze Cruise Ship! Taylor now enjoys teaching and choreographing and continues to share her passion for dance and hopes to inspire others in the art. Taylor is excited to begin her 2nd year at The Dance Gallery!
Amanda Bishop, Instructor
Growing up in Bakersfield, California Amanda was immersed in the performing arts. Starting in first grade, she began training in singing, music, acting, and dance at Mt. Vernon performing arts school. She also fully relished every minute of her rigorous classical ballet training from Bakersfield Ballet Theater. Later, her dance training was broadened at Civic Dance Center by delving into jazz, tap, and modern styles of dance, among others. As a teen, she participated on her high school cheer and dance teams, and spent her Summers participating in Summer dance intensives; her favorite of which was at The Rock School of The Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Teaching dance began for her in high school, and it was clear that this was her calling. 26 years later, Amanda has eight amazing children and is bursting with pride for her many students that have grown into gorgeous dancers along the way. None of which would have been possible without her ever supportive and loving husband of 21 years. Some of Amanda’s dance career highlights are: being offered a ballet scholarship in college, owning and running the “Turning Pointe” dance studio in Boise, Idaho, directing and choreographing a full ballet that included a cast of 50 dancers from several dance studios in Treasure Valley, Idaho, choreographing and directing two other full dance story productions in Georgetown, Texas, getting certified through University of Las Vegas Dance Teacher University, getting certified through the world renowned Acrobatic Arts association for teaching Acro Dance, and founding and serving as Director of a nonprofit service organization that has the singular focus of “Giving back to the community through dance.” Amanda is very excited to be with The Dance Gallery for her 2nd year.
Amber Arnold, Instructor
Amber Arnold has been dancing since she was three years old, in and around Austin, TX. She started her career at The Dance Center and Ballet Austin where she fell in love with dance and music. She continued training as a Blue Belle at Leander High School, where she learned all things drill/dance team related as an officer for two year. She followed her bleeding maroon heart to Texas A&M where she was a member of Dance Arts Society and a founding member of Delta Eta Pi. She attended ACDFA every year to continue expand her craft and her senior year was invited to attend ADF at Duke University. Following graduation, she moved to New York City to continue her training in dance. In 2004, she returned to Texas to join the public education field as a dance director. Ms. Amber has instructed award winning 5A High School teams, Middle School teams, and Elementary Teams through her career. She continues to expand her dance knowledge through conventions, as Ms. Amber believes you should never stop learning. She is skilled in numerous genres of dance and is excited to share her passion and love with the Dance Gallery community. Ms. Amber is the proud mother of two daughter, whom both train at The Dance Gallery.