Dayton Academy of Dance

Dayton Academy of Dance, LLC opened its doors in August of 2009 with about 30 first-time dance students. Twelve years later, the facility is home to almost 4 times as many students and an award-winning competition dance team, Kate’s Dance Productions. The competition team was formed just a few years after opening with only 3 members and has a roster of 27 members today.

Founder and Artistic Director Kathryn Kingery-Benvegnu taught all the classes offered for several years at the former one-room location near Kimmie Brown Elementary. The present facility is now located at 2001 N Winfree in Dayton and houses 3 studios.

The academy offers students ages 2 and older training in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, acrobatics and tumbling, drill team jazz, musical theater, clogging, tap, and hip hop - all taught by award-winning dancers and choreographers.

The list of course offerings grows each year. Recently added is Kinder Hip-Hop with former Rockets Launch Crew dancer Joel Aguilera. Aguilera holds a B.F.A. in dance from the University of Houston. In addition to teaching dance at Klein Forest High School, he presents his own work in the Houston area in festivals such as “Emerging Choreographers Showcase”, “Mind the Gap”, and “Barnstorm Dance Festival”.

Allyson Loving holds a BFA in dance from the University of Houston. She spends time each summer instructing and choreographing with Crowd Pleasers Dance. Allyson dances with Psophonia Dance Company, a celebrated modern dance company whose most recent piece “Colony” gained national attention.

Elyssa Vega is another recent graduate of the U of H dance program. Her experience includes study abroad at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica where she worked with the school’s dance students and performing company. She is a member of Psophonia Dance Company and enjoys being a certified Zumba instructor in Pearland, as well.

Haley Shaw, a recent graduate of the U of H dance program, is a product of Dayton Academy of Dance and a former competitive team member. She is currently dancing and teaching professionally in the Houston area. Her primary areas of focus include Modern dance, circus arts, and choreography.

Lizzy Woodson is the associate director at the studio and also holds a BFA in dance from U of H. She is a member of Psophonia Contemporary Dance Company. She splits her time between teaching at the studio and leading group fitness classes at Lifetime and Kingwood Country Club.

Recently, Shaw and Woodson have had featured pieces in several Houston festivals including “Mind the Gap” and “Barnstorm.”

Clogging program head Rhonda Butzke has been an instructor at numerous state national square dance and clogging workshops and is a national-level judge. She is a past Texas Clogging president. Butzke is the director of Yellow Rose and a founding member/co-director for the state-wide competition team T-Force.

Benvegnu’s background is cemented in classical ballet and acrobatics/gymnastics. She has danced with companies in Louisiana and Texas including Ballet Joyeaux, Dance Theater Southwest, Baton Rouge Ballet Theater, and LSU Dance Theater. She has shared the stage with dancers of the Houston Ballet, Joffrey, American Ballet Theater, and San Francisco Ballet. She is a former United States Gymnastics Association judge, as well.

Classes are almost full this season, but there are a few openings. Call Kate Benvegnu at 281-787-3768 or visit www.daytonacademyofdance.com for more details about introducing your student to the joys of dance.