Faculty

  • Joyce Willett - Founder

    Joyce was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Matthew and Marie Langendorf. Her father was a professional jazz musician and there was always music in the house. At age 3, Joyce put on her cousin's tap shoes and has been dancing ever since. After teaching for Barbara Ann School of Dance in Kentucky, and SMSD in Austin, she took a leap of faith and opened her own studio in 1982. She has an associate's degree in Child Development and studied Elementary Education at the University of Texas. She is a lifetime member of TATD. Joyce is the proud mother of six children and 10 grandchildren including faculty members Ms. Kim (owner of the Windsor park location), Ms. Kristy (JWSD director for both locations), Ms. Rachael, Ms. Cheyenne, Ms. Jaycie, and Ms.Samantha. Joyce loves her life, her students and her family, and is dedicated to bringing the art of dance to any and all who wish to learn.
  • Kim Willett - Owner and BodyTalk Director

    Kim is a 25 year member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing and has been an examiner for the Association since 1995. She founded the nationally recognized BodyTalk Dance Company in 1985 to offer opportunities for all dancers interested in pursuing a professional dance career. She has studied in New York City and Los Angeles under many of the nation's top choreographers and instructors. Kim studied psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and is the mother of three children. In demand to run programs in other cities, teach master classes and judge competitions, Ms. Kim chooses to work with "her kids." Besides her own children Rachael, Jeremy and Cheyenne, her proudest accomplishments are the professional dancers she has trained, particularly those who studied while on scholarship.
  • Kristy Willett- Studio Director

    Kristy has been dancing and singing since she could walk and talk. Musical theater and musicals are her passion! She is also a singer/songwriter and the lead female vocalist for the rock band "90 Degree Turn". Her dance training has continued both in classes and at conventions. With 30 years experience as an instructor, she makes an excellent director for our studio. Kristy is the theater/performance coach for Body Talk Dance Co. and a member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing. She is the proud mother of Derek, Dillon, Payton, Jaycie and stepmother to Adeline Bergdorf.
  • Cheyenne Petrich

    Cheyenne is the granddaughter of Joyce and the daughter of Kim Willett and has trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, Hip-hop, and more. Cheyenne loves working with children and her warm and loving nature makes her great at it! She is currently a full time student at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Carolyn Jennings Brown - Combo and Acting Instructor

    Carolyn Jennings Brown fell in love with the stage when she was two years old. She grew up in the theater and trained in acting, dance and voice for nearly 20 years. Her passion for performing comes from her desire to inspire her community to support the arts. When not holding audition workshops, public speaking or teaching at JWSD, Carolyn enjoys volunteering in her community, the public school system and at local Children's Hospitals. She is excited to begin her fifth year of teaching with JWSD!
  • Jaycie Litteral

    Ms. Jaycie has been dancing and singing since age 2. She began assisting classes at a young age and grew up dancing at JWSD and Body Talk dance Company. Jaycie is the daughter Kristy Willett and the granddaughter of Joyce Willett and plans to dance professionally in 2017-2018. She will audition for the prestigious "Edge Performing Arts Center" in LA this summer and will also be auditioning to work for Disney! She loves children and is also a singer/songwriter.
  • Anisha Causey

    Anisha has been dancing with JWSD for the past 19 years. She was an eight year member of the Body Talk Dance Co. She has received numerous awards for her solo and group performances. Ms. Anisha was raised in a large family with an in home daycare. She carries with her a love and understanding of children that she has gained through her life experience. She trained with the renowned staff at the Los Angeles Dance Foundation for three summers. Ms. Anisha attends conventions throughout the year to further her training. She is a member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dance. She is the proud mother of Daria, a second generation dancer at JWSD.
  • Mara Demel

    Mara trained with Body Talk Dance Company right here at JWSD. She attended numerous workshops in L.A at “The Edge”, and “STEPS” dance studio in New York. Ms. Mara is well rounded and can teach all styles of dance. She loves children and her love and patience shine through in her classes and interaction with the children. She is one of the most beloved staff members at JWSD!
  • Kallie Klein

    Kallie is a 2013 Summa Cum Laude graduate of St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin and is a student in the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas. She danced at JWSD for 14 years and was a member of Body Talk for seven years. We are delighted that Kallie has made time in her busy schedule to continue to work with Body Talk.
  • Yelena Laningham

    Yelena Laningham was born in Novosibirsk, Russia and had moved to the United States at age five. Yelena is a dancer, actor, choreographer, and director for contemporary dance, Ballet, Modern, plays, Musical Theatre, and film. Yelena's professional performance background includes seasons with the Illinios Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Thel Dance Theatre as Company Manager, World Vision’s production of ‘Let It Be Christmas’ as Dance Captain, "Stealing Christmas" as Choreographer, for musical artists Meganoke, Woven Feet, NightOwls, and in commercials as a Ballet Dancer. Her passion in the performing arts can also be found as a dance teacher in Austin, TX giving performing opportunities to professional artists and students. Recently, she had directed her very first dance film titled Solace Is. She has worked with Sally Bliss of Tudor Foundation, Amanda McKerrow, Andrei Bossov, Grace Holmes, Meg Brooker, Lori Belilove, and Dawn Karlovsky.
  • Payton Litteral

    Payton is studying to become a nurse has been dancing since he was two. He is crazy about Hip-Hop and teaches with energy and enthusiasm. He is the son of Kristy Willett and the grandson of Joyce Willett. Payton also works with kids in an after-school program for AISD and assists combination classes at JWSD.
  • Natalie Ruiz

    Natalie Ruiz began dancing at JWSD at age 4 and was a member of Body Talk Dance Company and also the Captain of the Westwood high school dance team. She began teaching for our JWSD summer dance camps after graduating absolutley loves working with children. Natalie is currently a student atAbilene Christian University and is majoring in Speech Language Pathology with a minor in Psychology. She is continuing her dance training at Dance Discovery Studios where she also teaches dance classes during the school year. Natalie stays busy on campus as co-captain for the hip hop company and is also a volunteer for a ministry that helps refugee children.
  • Caitlin McGee

    Caitlin McGee hails from Little Rock, Arkansas. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Alabama, Caitlin became Dance Captain for Disney Cruise Line for 3 years. She then made her move to New York, where she has been featured on many New York stages including, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Highline Ballroom, Paul Taylor Studios, S.O.B’s, Actor’s Fund Art Center and Symphony Space. Caitlin’s performance credits include, featured promotional performer for Nike, Dance Captain and Co-Producer for the Andrea Torres Dance Company. She was thrilled to share the stage with the cast of the hit television show, “Psych” during the “Upfronts” with USA Network, and she was a featured dancer for China’s Got Talent. Caitlin has been a long time performer in Carnival Choreographers Ball, as a featured dancer for accredited choreographers, Robert Taylor Jr. and Deborah Wilson. She has also performed in Jared Grimes “Run the Night” in New York. After her move to Austin, Caitlin performed at the Austin City Music Hall for Dance to Breathe. Most recently Caitlin was featured in multiple episodes of the hit television show “American Crime” on ABC. Caitlin was Co-Choreographer and Director for “Pieces,” a NY performance benefiting women with breast cancer. She was also dance captain for Italian music sensation, Simona Rodano, in the CBS Columbus Day parade. Caitlin has been featured in a number of national commercials, including AOL and AT&T, as well as music videos with such artists as Robert Taylor Jr. from So You Think You Can Dance. Caitlin was the Assistant Choreographer to Deborah Wilson for the Off-Broadway musical, “Futurology,” and the assistant to sought after choreographer, Lane Napper, for the hit children’s musical tour, “Freckleface Strawberry.” Caitlin taught through out the New York area, including Broadway Dance Center. She continues to travel the country teaching at conventions, master classes, and workshops. Caitlin is proud to be a member of Verge Contemporary Company in Austin, TX, where she also continues to work as Co-Producer and Dance Captain for the Andrea Torres Dance Company.
  • Anna Fondren

    Anna Fondren began dancing at the age of eight. She attended the Betsy Witcher School of Dance, the Houston Ballet Academy and performed with the Lake Jackson Civic Ballet Company. She first taught for JWSD in the 1990's and returned to teaching when her daughter joined JWSD's Body Talk Dance Company. She became a member of the Texas Association of Teachers of Dance in 2015 and is thrilled to be back at JWSD!
  • Stephanie Patrick