Faculty

  • Kim Willett - Owner and Dance Company 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 and Owner

    Kristy has been dancing and singing since she could walk and talk. music and performance is her passion! She is also a singer/songwriter and the lead female vocalist for the Austin rock band "Ninety Degree Turn". Her dance training has continued both in classes and at conventions and has 30+ years experience as an instructor and is a member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dance. Kristy 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

    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 is a beautiful dancer and perfomer and adores working with kids! Jaycie is also a singer/songwriter and is the female vocalist for the original Austin band "Tomi Balmy."
  • Anisha Causey

    Anisha has been dancing with JWSD for the past 30 years. She was an eight year member of the Body Talk Dance Company and has received many awards for her choreography. Ms. Anisha was raised in a large family with an in home daycare and carries with her a love and understanding of children that she has gained through life experience. She trained with the renowned staff at the Los Angeles Dance Foundation for three summers and attends conventions throughout the year to further her training. She is a member of the Texas Association Teachers of Dance and is the proud mother of Daria Cappachino.
  • 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 an accomplished dancer 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 Dance Company 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 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.
  • 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!
  • Amy Bushong

    Ms. Amy has been teaching dance classes with us for 5 years and recently received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin in education. she plans to return to grad school in 2019 to work on her masters degree and has a passion for working with children with special needs.