JENNY is the director and founder of CCDC. She has been teaching and choreographing both at private studios and in the public school system in the Coastal Bend for over a decade. Her effervescent personality and leadership qualities have kept her a favorite instructor while her commanding stage presence has kept her in demand as a performer. For the past several years she has taught classes in hip hop, lyrical, jazz, jazz funk, heels, drill team (pom, kick, military, field), stretch & strengthen, and contemporary while acting as assistant director and choreographer to a nationally recognized pre-professional company. She has worked with recording artists La Conquista, El Dusty, IAM, Master Blaster Sound System, Boogat, New Kids on the Block, Jenna Klein, Angel Castillo, Meta, Sword Collector, and Paula DeAnda in both live performances and music videos. She toured the West Coast with rapper Silmeon before settling in LA for a short period to receive further training and experience. She also choreographed 2 of his music videos, including local favorite "Wiggle Jiggle" and is in constant demand as a choreographer for other area recording artists and performers. Her choreography and dancers have yearly been ranked and recognized both regionally and nationally at competitions and conventions including NYCDA, JUMP, NUVO, Showstopper, and several others (CLICK HERE for Jenny Espino's choreography reel). Always the student, she has taken master classes from Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Tyce Diorio, Brian Friedman, Phil Wright, Misha Gabriel, Bobby Newberry, Travis Wall, Denise Wall, Andrew Winghart, Nick Lazzarini, Tessandra Chavez, Dana Wilson, Tina Caspary, Jason Parsons, Kenny Wormald, Dana Foglia, and countless other brilliant artists. Following the pedagogical principles of Paulo Freire, she encourages her students to become "co-creators" of both knowledge and movement. When she is not teaching, she is organizing in the community and public speaking. Jenny has spoken at conferences, forums, and events all over the state of Texas and country. She has helped form numerous community organizations including Tacos Not Bombs, a food sharing organization that now feeds hundreds of people weekly. She is thoroughly dedicated to improving conditions locally and internationally and sees advancing the arts and fostering an appreciation of dance as central to that mission.
“For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.”
― Paulo Freire
SEJA, a Corpus Christi native, was first introduced to dance her freshman year at Ray High School where she was a Tex-Ann and eventually advanced to the top position of colonel. She fell in love with the art form and considers it her life’s passion. In addition to working for MA Dance Nation where she is currently a staff member, she has also danced for the Pom squad at Stephen F. Austin. Most recently, she performed on stage at the sold out Mixtape Tour with New Kids on the Block and danced in a music video and live performances for upcoming artists Meta and Quentin. Seja has been a positive addition to our CCDC family and has quickly become a dancer favorite for her innovative choreography and ability to teach some of the most difficult tricks. She has helped many of our dancers accomplish or begin accomplishing their goals with regard to mastering some of the trickiest acro, turns, and leaps. In the future, she hopes to get a degree in dance education so she may get to coach a team of her own in addition to one day dance professionally.
Ashley Harrison was a company dancer for Long Star Ballet of Amarillo for 7 years. Ashley has performed multiple parts in Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty among others. With Long Star Ballet, she was a guest artist in New York City Broadway of the National tour of Wizard of Oz. She has trained with instructors from Tulsa Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. She then moved to Oklahoma where she was apart of the Broken Arrow High School drill team for 2 years. They won multiple competitions in Pom, jazz, and kick. As a senior member of Corpus Christi Dance Collective, Ashley won many awards as a competitive dancer. She was more recently featured in a music video for Quentin Arispe and has done other video commercial work for local businesses.
QUENTIN is our director of outreach!
AARON is our media director! Aaron, who is also the creative genius behind Primera Luz Media, is a dancer and former student of Miss Jenny's. Given his experience as a dancer, Aaron has a unique advantage when it comes to shooting dancers. Aaron is behind most of our photos and all of our video content including our end of year showcase. In addition to playing a foundational role in CCDC's formation, Aaron has also done extensive professional photography and video work including music videos, commercials, and being a staple in local publications such as The Bend. .
CHARLES was born and raised Corpus Christi. It was here that he developed a strong work ethic at a very young age. For over a decade Charles competed vigorously in sports, going as far as winning championships and even qualifying for Junior Olympics. It wasn’t until high school that he began prioritizing his love for dance and focusing on a professional dance career. In 2008 Charles moved to Los Angeles to attend Loyola Marymount University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a concentration in Anatomy and Physiology. With this thorough education in art, the teaching of it, and a keen understanding of the physical body, Charles hit the ground running. His authenticity and passion for connecting with others is a critical element in his success. He has had the honor of dancing with Rihanna at the VMA’s and being awarded Dance Magazine’s Most Outstanding Student Performer. Because of his ability to do various contrasting styles, Charles often dabbles in both realms of dance. From choreographing music videos for hip-hop and pop artist as well as touring the world with modern dance companies. He has also worked with Rayban, Sketchers, Nickelodeon, Dillon Francis, LA Fashion, Pol’ Atteu, Sheila Kelly, JoJo Gomez, Jae Blaze, Mary Ann Lamb, Leslie Scott, in China with ZiRu Productions, and as a teacher with Showstopper Dance Convention. Today, Charles is combining his talents as an international dancer/choreographer/ teacher along with his passion for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing to develop his own wellness brand and sharing practice. Through dance and the experience of art, Charles is able to share his philosophy of love, life, empowerment, and vigor with the world.
AARON first explored movement in high school as a member of his high school choir where he mastered the art of step touch and the infamous jazz square. Interested in a career in musical theatre, Aaron began taking numerous classes in different dance genres including hip hop, street jazz, jazz funk, and contemporary. He is currently a part of WyldStyl, a professional adult company and also dances in various projects around the Houston area. Aaron is the a director for both Lunchbox Dance Crew and Riot Squad and also teaches regularly at Soundbox Studios and Dancezone, while on occasion choreographing and teaching for other schools and companies across Texas. While teaching and mentoring, Aaron strives to broaden his dance vocabulary by taking all styles and immersing himself in all things dance.
MARIO was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas where his love for dance flourished in all aspects of his life, from performances with his competition company to high school step teams for the annual Buccaneer Parade. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California training among choreographers and students alike trying to find all forms of inspiration. He has danced for artists such as Paula Deanda and was most recently in a music video with Panic! At the Disco's Brendan Urie. Mario holds a special place at CCDC because he was one of our director's very first students.
JAMES is a graduate of Texas Christian University where he earned his BFA in Ballet as a Vision Honor and Nordan Scholarship recipient. While at TCU Vargas has been featured in Soundbars, choreographed by Susan Jaffe (ABT/UNCSA) and in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations, staged by Willy Shives (Joffrey), excerpts of Swan Lake, staged by Li-Chou Cheng (TCU), and Napoli, staged by Susan Dromisky (BalletMet). After graduation, Vargas joined Ballet San Antonio as apart of the inaugural season as resident ballet company of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. In the fall of 2015 he made his debut in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Great Scott with The Dallas Operea. Vargas has had the opportunity to guest with many companies throughout Texas such as Contemporary Ballet Dallas, International Ballet Theater, Avant Chamber Ballet, Ballet Frontier, Ballet Forte. Vargas currently is a Principal Soloist with the Corpus Christi Ballet and Principal Guest Artist with Victoria Ballet Theater.
NATE, a former student of Miss Jenny, is originally from Corpus Christi, Texas. He has trained at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division School, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. He has danced professionally in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Most recently, Nate performed with Circo Zero/Keith Hennessy in Sink. After a quick visit in Corpus, Nate plans to continue his dance journey and artistic development in Germany.
CARLOS "Los" CANO
LOS was born and raised in Corpus Christi and has always known he wanted to be a dancer. His dance career began when he moved to San Diego, CA in 2002. Throwing himself into the dance community, he began taking Master Classes with some of the most recognized names in the professional dance circuit and landed his first audition with Fusion Force Hip Hop Dance Troupe that same year. He was a principal dancer from 2002 to 2004. In 2003, he landed a scholarship at the Culture Shock Dance Studio under the direction of Angie Bunch. In 2005, he eventually caught the eye of Grammy Award winning choreographer, Tessandra Chavez, and was invited to be a member of her then newly formed professional Hip Hop dance company, Unity LA. Soon after, he signed with DDO Artist Agency based in Los Angeles, CA. He’s also been a member of The Chozen, Urban FX, and has worked for artists such as Mo’At, Jessica Friedman, and Stevie Wonder as a backup dancer. He has traveled all along the West Coast performing in many of the industry’s professional hip hop exhibition shows. For many years, he has had the privilege of working alongside Los Angeles’s top dancers. In 2009, he moved back to his home town of Corpus Christi where he began his own style of choreography.