Faculty/Staff

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Kellie Jackson-Jandt

Owner/Director

Kellie holds a B.S. in Dance with a minor in Speech Communications from Southwest Texas State University.  She is certified in the state of Texas to teach Dance, Physical Education, and Speech Communications. Kellie was the dance team director at New Braunfels High School for 10 years and Samuel Clemens High Schol in Schertz for 3 years.  Her teams have won several awards including multiple 1st Place Awards, Choreography, Technique, Precision, Platinum officer line, Platinum Team, Best In Class Team, Best In Class Officer Line, Platinum awards, Top Ten Awards, and several solo finalists and solo winners.  In 2009 her team won the coveted Grand Champion Team at the H.T.E. Dance State Contest. Kellie has choreographed for the Neiman Marcus Adolphus Christmas Parade, she has judged numerous dance team tryouts, and has served as head  judge for H.T.E. Dance competitions.  She is a former member of the world famous Strutters college dance team and served as a Junior Lieutenant and Senior Lieutenant.  In 2014 she was one of 3 finialist for the coveted director position of The Texas State Strutters. She has performed in London, Ireland, Australia, Greece, and Turkey. Kellie is married to Lance and has two children, Reid and Kenni. 

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Ted Nelson came from an extensive athletic background before stepping into the world of dance. He trained with the Bill Pearl’s gym in California. In High school he lettered in varsity football and baseball and made second team all city in the city of Los Angeles California. He won the highest batting average for the season of American Legion baseball for the state of California. Ted began his professional dance career with the San Francisco Ballet. He went on to dance for 10 years with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City and retired in Las Vegas after 20 years of dancing. While dancing professionally he graduated from the Santa Monica school of Massage. He has studied various corrective exercise techniques with teachers in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. He holds level 1 and 2 of the standard Process training in Sothern California for Nutrition and has certificates from Trinity Nature Opthy School. "Mr.Ted" has been with SDC since 2014.  His former students have gone on to dance at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, Sam Houston State University, Texas Women’s University, Texas Tech University, and Texas State University.  He is a true inspiration to all his students.

Berkley has been dancing since she was 8 years old, has danced competitively for many years, and has been with SDC since the summer of 2015. During high school, she was a part of the Samuel Clemens High School Belles dance team for four years, serving two of those years in office positions. During this time, she was invited to perform with Spirit of America in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. After graduating, Berkley was invited to work as a staff member for HTEDance, and has worked various summer camps and dance contests under their direction. Berkley graduated from Texas State University in 2018 with her bachelor's degree in Dance Education. While at school, she was a Texas State Strutter for one year, giving her the opportunity to perform for the San Antonio Spurs, in Tulsa Oklahoma, in the annual Dallas Children’s Parade, and in Disneyland Paris. She has recieved choreography and technique awards for her tap pieces here at SDC.  Berkley is currently the Dance Director for The Young  Women's Leadership Academy in SAISD.

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Laura Smarrella is a student, educator, and performer from New Caney, Texas. She is currently pursuing her BFA in Dance Education from Texas State University. Ms. Smarrella began dancing at age 13 at Keefer Crossing Middle School. She then became a New Caney High School Bluebonnet, holding an officer position for three years and serving as Colonel for two years. Laura trained at Texas Academy of Dance for two years, and became an Instructor her last year. Laura is trained in modern, contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, kick, pom, military and prop. In the past, Laura has had the opportunity to further her knowledge of dance while taking class at EDGE Performing Arts in Los Angeles, and Broadway Dance Center in New York. Laura has had the opportunity of attending Texas Dance Educator's Association (TDEA) as an All State Dancer, once as a college student, and once as a Collegiate Assistant. Ms. Smarrella has choreographed for the New Caney Bluebonnets and Texas Academy of Dance. Currently, she is in her third year as a member of the World Famous Texas State University Strutters. Laura has had the opportunity to perform in the Super Bowl 51 halftime show with Lady Gaga, the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade, San Antonio Spurs halftime, and aboard the Liberty of the Seas, Royal Caribbean cruise ship. This Thanksgiving, Laura is performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. Ms. Smarrella has a passion to educate young dancers to help further their knowledge in dance, and to guide them to being holistic artists. 

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Sarai Hankton grew up playing sports and did not start her dance training until she began her studies at the University of North Texas, Denton.  She was able to take Master Classes with Doug Varone and Company, Vincent Hardy and Bill Evans.  She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts, Dance with a minor in Business Management.  She was also a part of the UNT’s Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honors Program.  She has experience with working with children as she has worked for two childcare facilities since 2014.

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Erica is from New Braunfels and started dancing at the age of 4. She was under Kellie Jackson-Jandts direction at New Braunfels High School as a Mystic, then a Monocera, serving as Lieutenant Colonel her junior year and Colonel when she was a senior. While on Monoceras she was a 3-time solo finalist, as well as HTE Dance’s Miss High Kick. She was also named to HTE Dance’s Dance and Kick Academy every year, even getting to go on a performance trip to Hawaii with Kellie. She graduated from NBHS in 2007, and attended Blinn College in Brenham on a scholarship for the Treasures dance team. As a Treasure, she was able to compete at NDA Nationals in Daytona, placing in the top 5 both years. After completing her time at Blinn, she transferred to Texas A&M University where she continued to dance as a member of Dance Arts Society. She also began choreographing and judging for local high schools. She worked as the director for the St. Joseph Royalettes dance team while she was student teaching. She graduated from A&M with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2011 and went on to teach Elementary school, primarily Kindergarten, for 7 years. Erica is married to John and has two beautiful daughters, Ellie Grace and Kenna Rose.

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Kizzy began her dance and cheer career at a very young age. In high school she was a dance officer and cheer captain at New Caney High School. While dancing for the Caney High School Bluebonnets Drill Team she won several dance awards two of which were national titles. Kizzy was also a NCA All American nominee. Currently Kizzy is a Texas State Strutter. Kizzy started working at SDC in 2021. 
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Graysen Smetzer began dancing at the age of three studying various styles of dance, performing with the San Diego Ballet in the Nutcracker, and taking classes and conventions from many SYTYCD choreographers. In high school, she danced at SDC and was on her high school dance team for four years as a social officer, a Lt. Colonel, and Colonel of her team. Throughout high school she was awarded All American Dancer with ShowMakers of America and danced in the Macy's Thanksgiving day Parade. On her dance team and SDC team she was awarded highly for solos, duets, officer routines, and group dances. After high school, she went on to college at Texas Woman's University in Denton Texas where she received a BA in Dance Studies. In college, Graysen danced professionally with Barton Hollow Dance Theater and was selected to dance for Ting-Ting Chang (a Taiwanese modern dancer/choreographer and artistic director of T.T.C  Dance). Graysen continued to dance in college and create her own works. Currently Graysen is getting her alternative teaching certification in the hopes of teaching dance in schools for grades six through twelve. Graysen has been at SDC for twelve years teaching many styles of dance, choreographing for recitals and competitions, teaching summer camps, helping with After School Care, and choreographing for the New Braunfels Middle school Legends.