Faculty

Cynthia Coker

Owner/Founder,Artistic Director, Senior Instructor and Choreographer
Ms. Coker is a senior instructor in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe, Modern, Pas de Deux, and Competition classes. She has Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in dance from Southern Methodist University (SMU). She is the founder, owner, and director of Avant Dance.  She is the founder and former Artistic Director of the South Texas Dance Theatre, and a former officer in the Southwest Regional Ballet Association (Regional Dance America). She  served on the committee for the National Choreography Conference for two years. Ms. Coker taught Dance and Stage Movement at the University of Texas Pan American for eight years during which time she twice orchestrated the hosting of the National Choreography Conference. She was also the founder, director, and former owner of the Edinburg Dance Academy and Cynthia Coker & Company.  These schools were sold when she relocated to Corpus Christi. Her own training includes Nikita Talin (soloist with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and partner of Bronislava Nijinska), Luigi (father of lyrical dance), and Ethel Winters and Yuriko of the original Martha Graham Company.  Cynthia teaches a Cecchetti based ballet technique as well as modern and lyrical dance.  She and her husband, Chester, have three children, Ehren who leads  a web design team in Austin, KC who is a cinematographer in Austin, and Arielle who is a professional dancer, model, actress, and singer in Los Angeles. Cynthia has trained dozens of dancers who have gone on to dance professionally in companies or as commercial dancers, directed dance companies, and have become choreographers and dance teachers in studios, public schools, and universities. Her motto is: “never let someone else define what you can or cannot do.” Achieving the unexpected is a remarkable and wonderful thing.

Andrew De Luna
Co-Artistic Director, Senior Instructor and Choreographer
Andrew is a professional dancer who has traveled the world performing with Princess Criuise Lines, Regent Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, with Sheraton Walkerhill in Seoul, South Korea, Legends in Concert in Myrtle Beach, iCandy Production, Harrah’s Hotel & Casino, and for Gary Musick Productions to name a few.  He has performed in feature films, television commercials, and even a Chuck-E-Cheese video.  As a  concert dancer he has performed with Tapestry Dance Company  (Austin),   The Drawbacks Rhythm Tap Company (Dallas), American Spirit Dance Company (Oklahoma City),  and Dance Grand Prix Italia International Showcase (Cesena, Italy).   Not only is he a brilliant tap dancer, he is a highly skilled and inspirational instructor and choreographer.  He currently teaches tap, musical theatre, jazz, and leaps & turns at Avant as well as leading the company rehearsals.  Andrew earned his Bachelor in Performing Art from Oklahoma City University specializing in Musical Theatre and tap dance.

BRIT ROONEY
Choreographer, Marketing Director, Senior Instructor
Brit grew up dancing and competing in the Dallas area since the age of 3. She trained under the direction of Kim McSwain at Dallas Powerhouse of Dance in Dallas, TX. Throughout her 16 years of competition, she was titled both regional and national winner multiple times at competitions and conventions like Nuvo, Jump,  Stage One, and Half of Fame Dance Challenge. She has also earned numerous choreography awards over the past 10 years. Brit was Vegas qualifier for So You Think You Can Dance in 2009. She graduated in 2013 from Chapman University, located in Southern California, with a BA in Dance as well as a BA in Public Relations/Advertising. Brit was one of 14 dancers chosen to perform on Chapman’s Dance Tour, which traveled across the west coast to perform on behalf of Chapman University’s Dance Department. She received multiple performance awards during her time at Chapman, and was chosen to choreograph for the Student Spring Showcase in 2012 and 2013. She moved to West Hollywood after graduating in 2013. For three years, she worked for one of the industry’s top dance production companies, Break The Floor Productions (which owns Jump, Nuvo, 24 Seven, Radix, The Dance Awards and Dancerpalooza). She moved to Corpus Christi in 2017,  and began working at Avant in 2018. 

TAYLOR GREER
Choreographer, Senior Instructor
Taylor Greer is from Garland, Texas. She graduated from South Garland High School where she was a 3 year member of the Southern Belles drill team and was Captain of the group in her senior year.  After graduating from high school, Taylor attended Kilgore College where she was a member of the Kilgore Rangerettes.  During her time as a Rangerette, Taylor was a member of the Rangerette Swingsters and was a dance soloist at the annual spring show, Revels. Taylor has also served as a choreographer for Revels in the past 5 years. In 2010, Taylor was selected to dance on stage during the Super Bowl halftime show featuring the Black Eye Peas. Upon completing her Associate of Arts degree at Kilgore, Taylor attended Chapman University in Orange, California where she auditioned and was accepted into the prestigious dance program. While at Chapman, Taylor was selected in both 2012 and 2013 as one of a few dancers to represent Chapman University in their Dance Tour performing throughout the state of California. After graduating from Chapman with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance, Taylor moved to West Hollywood in Los Angeles and continued her training as a dancer where she has worked with and appeared in videos for talented choreographers for two years. In 2016, Taylor moved back to Dallas, Texas to pursue her career as a dance instructor and choreographer. While teaching and choreographing for studios in the Dallas area, she audition and made the 2017-2018 Dallas Cowboy Rhythm & Blue Dancer (a high-energy co-ed hip-hop dance team). Taylor also had the privilege of being on staff with Joffrey Ballet in Frisco, Texas where she served as an instructor teaching contemporary and hip-hop classes. Taylor currently resides in Corpus Christi and continues to travel throughout Texas teaching and choreographing for drill teams, studios, conventions, and dance intensives.

Anne Starns
Senior Instructor, Choreographer
Anne Starns was born in Denver, Colorado and was raised in Durango, CO. Her training began
at the age of 4 with The Durango Ballet Academy. She continued her training with Dance in the
Rockies, North Carolina Dance Theatre, David Taylor Dance Theatre, the Colorado Ballet
Academy, and the Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet. She has performed with both the Colorado Ballet and
the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet professional companies. She has also participated in both high
school and collegiate level dance programs as both dancer and coach.
Anne graduated from Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO) in 2009, a Magna cum Laude with a BA
in Psychology.
After several years of training and teaching, Anne continued on to spend the last decade as a
studio owner, growing Dance in the Rockies (Durango) into a hub for the Four Corners, Western
Colorado, and Northern New Mexico regions. Under her guidance, Dance in the Rockies grew
to over 300 students, competing at primary, intermediate, and elite levels, including nationally
ranked pieces. Many of her students went on to acclaimed professional companies and
university programs.
After the birth of her two daughters in 2016 and 2017, Anne founded The Momentum
Experience, a private coaching/mentorship program for pre professional dancers and their
families. She continues to coach students throughout the western United States.
Anne also was honored to act as a judge for Legacy Dance Competition in cities all over the
nation for the past two seasons.
Anne is excited and looking forward to joining the Avant Dance family!
Anne lives in Corpus Christi, Texas with her husband JR, their two daughters, Declan and
Collins, and her chihuahua Jalapeno.

ARIELLE ELONYS
Dancer, Choreographer, Casting Director, Actress, Model, Writer, and Singer
Arielle Elonys holds a Bachelors of Art in Dance from the prestigious Loyola Marymount University.  She has appeared on numerous TV shows including Nashville, Making Moves, and So You Think You Can Dance. She has worked with artists such as but not limited to Tiesto, Kygo, Miguel, Tim McGraw, Dillion Francis, Kane Brown, Halsey, Liz Hewitt, DJ Mustard, Jon Bellion, 3Oh!3, Brendon Urie (Panic at the Disco), Kill the Noise, Zealyn, Baby Bash, and Every Time I Die. Arielle Elonys has also choreographed several commercials for companies such as McDonalds, and Eureka Vacuums. In addition, Elonys is also an International model & actress, working with companies like Tesla, Vanity Fair, Poprageous, Showstopper Dance Competition, Image Comics, Harlequin Floors, Tenth House, Yoga Democracy, Aryn K, Englebert Strauss. As an actress, Elonys played the lead role in a dance film called Where We Begin that premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. She has even appeared in a Kia Super Bowl commercial. Recently, she has become a published writer for the number one Teen Dance Magazine, Showstopper Magazine. Her uplifting and informative articles can be found in every edition of the magazine. 

As a teacher, it is Arielle Elonys’ goal to give each student the opportunity to become an individual and be celebrated for it. She believes that dance can be beautiful on array of levels, not only technically. Until a dancer has deeper insight into their own soul they cannot truly share through the art of dance. Though her training comes from a technical, collegiate base, to dance is human, and to be human is to forge connection and community through vulnerability. In an attempt to be the best “technical dancer” too many dancers now-a-days have forgotten what means TO DANCE. As a teacher, Arielle Elonys creates a space that facilitates students to once again familiarize themselves with WHY they dance. From there she moves forward with skill building class work that enhances overall performance quality in association with technical ability. She works with concepts that vary from technicalities of subtle movement to a broad expansive movement, and everything in between, while integrating true emotions, respective to each musical genre that she teaches. 

HALEY NELSON
Instructor, Choreographer, Acro Coach
Haley is a Corpus Christi native who has graced the stage for many years as an Avant Dance Company member. As a competition dancer, she has received numerous top regional and national awards including a contemporary scholarship from Radix, two-time dancer of the year finalist from Celebration, and many top awards in solo, trio, and group competitions from Showstopper, JUMP, NUVO, MA, and Celebration Talent Competition. Haley continues to grow as a dancer, performer, instructor, and choreographer at Avant Dance. Most recently, Haley received an invitation to study on scholarship at Ad Deum Dance Company, a professional modern/contemporary dance company in Houston.  In addition to teaching ballet, contemporary, lyrical, and acro at Avant Dance, Haley also choreographs for the company.  Haley’s early endeavors into choreography have already earned recognition and accolades in the form of awards from Celebration Talent Competition. Haley is currently attending Del Mar College where she is studying to be a Physical Therapy Assistant.

TAYLOR GREEN
Instructor, NASM CPT
Currently a junior at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Taylor was an Avant Dance Competition Company dancer who won many awards including 1st Place Overall Senior soloist at JUMP, 1st Place Senior trio, and senior group at Showstopper Finals

Veronica Yañez Cid

Bio coming soon.