Instructors

Cyler Ledbetter
Assistant Coach
Cyler is a veteran competitor with Kate's Dance Productions. She is the team's top scoring soloist of all time. Her favorite genre is contemporary, but she is highly skilled in many disciplines. She will be attending the University of Houston Fall 2024 and will major in biology and minor in dance.
Elizabeth Aguilera
Head Coach
Lizzy Woodson-Aguilera is a graduate of the University of Houston and holds a BFA in Dance as well as an MFA in Dance from University of
Wisconsin - Milwalkee. Lizzy is Assistant Artistic Director of Dayton Academy of Dance and is one of the lead choreographers for their company, Kate’s Dance Productions. She studies various styles of dance, but primarily teaches jazz, contemporary, and acrobatics. She has had works featured throughout Houston in Barnstorm, Mind the Gap and American College Dance Association Regional Showcase. She has danced with Psophonia, 6 Degrees Dance Company, Noble Motion Dance Company, YATC and UH Dance Ensemble. She is also Assistant Director of Mezclada Dance Company in Houston.
Elyssa Vega
Assistant Coach
Elyssa attended Incarnate Word Academy and trained at Amy Blake’s Academy of Dance as a part of the company until graduation in 2016. She went on to dance at the University of Houston (UH) where she participated in the UH Dance Ensemble and the Young Audiences Touring Company. She got the chance to be in several performances as well as travel abroad to Costa Rica to teach university students and assist with teaching repertoire. At the beginning of her time at UH, she joined Dayton Academy of Dance as an instructor and competition choreographer in all styles of dance. Elyssa graduated from UH in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and now resides in Pearland, TX. She was the former head director of the JV Lassos and assistant director of the Lariaettes at Dobie High School these past two years. Vega is a core dancer of Mezclada Dance Company and has most recently begun her own choreography and teaching business, Momentum Movement, in partnership with Lizzy Aguilera. She plans to utilize her diverse dance experience to continue to motivate, educate, and elevate dance students all around the Houston area.
Haley Shaw-Lee
Assistant Coach
Haley Lee is a Houston-based dancer and teaching artist who specializes in contemporary dance styles and acrobatic-arts. Lee is a member of contemporary dance company 6Degrees, and has performed with Karen Stokes Dance, and Mezclada Dance Company. She earned her BFA in dance from the University of Houston in 2020 and continues to explore choreography as collaborative and solo pieces for local shows. She is an involved teacher at the Jewish Community Center, Core Dance Alliance, and Dayton Academy of Dance. Lee is an active teaching artist for Young Audiences of Houston, as well as The Hope Project, and is dedicated to the furtherment of educational outreach which serves Houston communities.
Joel Aguilera
Assistant Coach
Joel Aguilera is a Houston Native with a BFA in Dance from the University of Houston and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is the most recent recipient of the AOP Fellowship. Aguilera spent four and a half years as a principal dancer with Fly Dance Company and has toured with them nationally and internationally. In Houston, Aguilera has entertained with Houston Rockets Launch Crew for two seasons, Kreate Inc. at the Superbowl LI, PRP Entertainment, and currently spends his time teaching at several studios in the Greater Houston area. Aguilera is the most recent Dance Source Artist in Residence and has presented his own work in the Houston area in festivals such as “Barnstorm Dance Fest”, “Emerging Choreographers Showcase”, ”16th Annual Celebration of Dance”, “Mind the Gap 8.0”, “Mind the Gap 13.0”, and “Texas Latino/a/x Contemporary Dance Festival” where he fuses his Breaking foundation with Modern Dance technique to Latin Jazz music. Now, Aguilera continues to work with fusion of styles and aims to create original movement and styles while also representing the diversity of his company and city as the Founder and Artistic Director of Mezclada Dance Company.
Kathryn Kingery-Benvegnu
Head Coach
Kathryn Kingery Benvegnu founded Dayton Academy of Dance, LLC in 2009. Since that first year, enrollment has more than tripled and Kate's Dance Productions, the competition branch of the academy, has grown tenfold and garnered regional and national titles every year since its inception. Benvegnu's background is cemented in classical Ballet. She has studied with Robert Joffrey, Gwen Verdon, Martin Fredmann and Ben Stevenson.
Megan Esplin
Assistant Coach
Megan is a graduate of University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in Dance Performance. Megan has a diverse training background in dance with focus on acrobatics, modern, ballet, Polynesian and dance choreography. Starting her career as a competitive gymnast she began dancing under the direction of Kathryn Kingery-Benvegnu at age 15. She has since achieved many awards at both regional and national events in gymnastics, dance performance and choreography. Megan has trained and performed all over the nation in New York, Houston, Hawaii, Utah and Oklahoma to name a few. Megan has trained with dancers and instructors from world renowned dance companies such as Jose Limon, Diavalo, Ballet West, Bare dance and the Polynesian cultural center. Megan has a profound passion for choreography and has been nationally recognized for group choreography in modern/contemporary. As a dance instructor, Megan provides every student a safe space to express through movement. She knows each student has something unique to offer the world. As she teaches, she learns and grows along with her students. It is important to keep the excitement of dance alive so she motivates her students by reminding them why they’ve chosen to dance.

Rhonda Butzke
Assistant Coach
Rhonda Butzke has been an instructor at numerous Texas and C.L.O.G. National clogging workshops, has judged at many national- level competitions, including the NCHC National Championships, and CCA National Championships. She is very active in the Texas Clogging council as President, Historian, and committee chairs. Since 1999, she has been the director of Yellow Rose. She is extremely proud to be the clogging program instructor for Dayton Academy of Dance for the last 7 years.
Scoutt White
Assistant Coach
Scoutt has been with the studio for 4 years as an office assistant, receptionist and "girl that does it all." She is a former Dayton Academy of Dance student, as well as a former Dayton High School Dazzler. She is a team member at Ali Cats Salon in Dayton.
Sydni Lee
Assistant Coach
Sydni Lee is a dynamic dancer and choreographer who discovered her passion for dance at the age of 13. By 15, she was already sharing her expertise as a dance instructor. Throughout her journey, Sydni has garnered acclaim for her choreography, creating both award-winning group routines and captivating solos. Currently, she serves as an independent contractor instructing at Dayton Academy of Dance and Profusion Performing Arts. Sydni's dedication to her craft led her to an apprenticeship with Mezclada Dance Company, where she played a significant role in their groundbreaking evening-length show, "All of the Above," in January 2023. Sydni's educational journey took her from Lee College to the University of Houston, where she is further honing her dance skills. Her commitment to dance and her impressive achievements make her a rising star in the dance world.