Providing Ballet and Dance Instruction to Cypress, Tomball, and Spring area Since 1996

Artisan School of Dance Artistic Staff


 

Martha Brem Studio Founder & Artistic Director

Martha Carrasco Brem began dancing at the Royal Academy of Dance in Monterrey, Mexico when she was six years old.  She studied classical ballet, Flamenco, tap, and modern dance.  At age 13, Ms. Brem's love of ballet motivated her to seek a new ballet school where she would have performance opportunities with a Ballet Company.  When the company director, Luz María Quintero, became ill, at age 16 Ms. Brem stepped forward to make her directorial debut with the company's last performance, Swan Lake.  With Ms. Quintero's encouragement, Ms. Brem auditioned for La Escuela Superior de Música y Danza, a school of fine arts supported by the government of Mexico and established by Carmen Romano de López Portillo, then First Lady of Mexico.  Ms. Brem and seven other dancers received coveted invitations to train a La Escuela Superior.  Training included methodology of classical ballet taught in the Cuban Dance Technique, music appreciation, contemporary dance, music, anatomy of the human boday, and child psychology.  During the summers, Ms. Brem attended programs and workshops furthering her knowledge of classical ballet, including repertory, historical dance, and classical Spanish dance.  As she continued to perform, her most notable performances include a performance in Mexico City in homage to Alicia Alonso, founder of the Cuban Technique.  Ms. Brem also danced with La Escuela de Artes Escencias of the University of Nuevo León under the direction of Carola Montiel and Ma. Eugenia Fuentes.

Ms. Brem's love of dance inspired her to send her résumè to the Joffrey ballet in New York City, where she secured an audition.  As her parents, unfortunately, would not allow her to attend, she turned to Houston, TX, where an aunt resided.  She married in 1982 and in began a family and in 1988 returned to dance with the Houston Ballet and Spring Academy of Dance.  At this time Ms. Brem focused on specialized training for teachers by attending workshops with the Royal Academy of Dancing as well as in the school where she herself studied, La Escuela Superior in Monterrey, Mexico.  Ms. Brem established her first business, The Dancing Bearettes, where she taught children under the age of 6.  In conjunction with Lakewood Montessori School, Artisan School of Dance opened in 2000 offering instruction to students of all ages.  Since 2003 Ms. Brem has been the sole Director and Owner of Artisan School of Dance.  As a logical follow-up to her school, in 2007 Ms. Brem established Artisan Ballet Company, a non-profit company whose purpose is to encourage a love of dance in all her students as well as provide the Northwest Houston Community with quality ballet instruction and performances.


 

Janie Parker Pointe Instructor 

Janie Parker's training began in Atlanta, GA, at a small ballet school and continued when she joined a regional dance company, the Ruth Mitchell Dance Company. She later trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts. She also trained for three summers and one year under full scholarship at the School ofAmerican Ballet, the school for New York City Ballet.

Ms. Parker began her ballet career in 1973 in Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland, under the direction of former New York City Ballet soloist Patricia Neary. There, the late George Balanchine coached her in the role of Terpsichore in Apollo, the pas de deux in Concerto Barocco, and the pas de deux in Symphony in C among other roles. 

In 1976, Ben Stevenson became the new Artistic Director of Houston Ballet.  That year, Janie Parker signed with him as a soloist for the fledgling company.  She was promoted to principal in her third year.  During the next twenty years, Parker danced the leading roles in all the major classical ballets, such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, TheSleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Giselle, Coppelia, Don Quixote, La Sylphide, Raymonda, etc. She also danced the leading roles in ballets such as Manon, Daphnis and Chloe, The Merry Widow, Etudes, Theme and Variations, The Two Pigeons, La Valse, and Serenade among others. With these roles came the great opportunity of being coached by Dame Margot Fonteyn, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Peter Wright, Glen Tetley, Lynn Seymour, Ivan Nagy, Helgi Tomasson, Ronald Hynd, Toni Lander, and so many more. Some of the ballets that gold medal choreographer Ben Stevenson O.B.E. created using Parking in leading roles included his Romeo and Juliet, Alice and Wonderland, Peer Gynt, Miraculous Mandarin, Esmeralda Pas de Deux, Romance, and Image.

During her tenure at Houston Ballet, the International Ballet Competition awarded Parker the first gold medal for America in the Senior Women's Division since its inception in 1964 (placing her in the company of previous IBC gold medal recipients Natalia Makarova, Ivan Nagy, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Aleksandr Godunov, and Fernando Bujones). She also performed in cities all over the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Scandinavia, Indonesia, Chile, China, and Russia.  She danced in many galas including ones in Japan, Cuba, and the Anton Dolin Memorial Gala at Covent Garden with Princess Margaret in attendance (often with her partner, Li Cunxin, whose early life and defection was depicted in the movie Mao's Last Dancer).  She has danced before many other dignitaries and royal family members, including Princess Michael of Kent, Princess Grace, King Olaf, Castro, and George and Barbara Bush.

Ms. Parker has set Ben Stevenson's productions of Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, Four Last Songs, Three Preludes, and Esmeralda Pas de Deux on companies such as The National Ballet of Canada, La Scala, Ballet de Santiago, San Francisco Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet West, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Ballet Florida, and Richmond Ballet. She has also assisted Mr. Stevenson in Perm, Russia, in Helsinki, Finland, and at American Ballet Theater in New York City, NY.


Angel Laza  Company Director and Instructor

Angel started his ballet training at the Escuela Vocacional de Arte Raul Sanchez in 1997 and continued at Escuela Cubana de Ballet in Havana, Cuba.  He joined Ballet Nacional de Cuba and danced soloist roles in differenc countries in Latin America and Europe.  Some of his teachers at the Escuela Cubana de Ballet and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba include Mirtha Hermdia, Ramona de Saa, Fernando Alonso, Loipa Araujo, Josefina Mendez and Alicia Alonso.  In June 2003,  he joined Ballet de Monterrey as a Soloist and worked with teachers such as Robert Hill, James Kelly, Jorge Amarante, Yuri Possokhov and Luis Serrano, to mention a few.  In December 2007, Angel was promoted to Principal.  In 2013, he moved to the United States.  In June 2010, Angel was a semi-finalist in the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.  While in the United States, Angel has danced as a guest artist at numerous companies including Arizona Ballet, Canyon Concert Ballet, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Houston Grand Opera and Colombian Folkloric Ballet.  In 2014, he joined Ballet Spartanburg as a Principal Dancer.   Angel was Associate Artistic Director, Choreographer and Lead Principal Dancer for CFB's "Mi Colombia" musical. Some of the leading classical roles Angel danced with Ballet de Monterrey include La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Diana and Acteon Pas de Deux and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, He has started in modern ballets including Western Symphony, Assai, Sinergia, Uma Batida Diferente, Huapango, Danson and Esencia.


Ian Casady  Ballet Instructor

Ian was born in Marin County, California, and received his training there from David Roxandy and Jody White at Dance Theater Seven. He joined Houston Ballet in 1998 after studying at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy and was promoted to soloist in 2002 and principal in 2007.

Ian's principal roles include the Prince in The Nutcracker and Marc Antony in Ben Stevenson’s Cleopatra. He has been featured in the full-length ballets Giselle, Swan Lake, The Snow Maiden and Peter Pan, as well as Stanton Welch’s Indigo and Bruiser; Dominic Walsh’s The Illusion of Separation and Dolcemente; Ben Stevenson’s Five Poems and Dusk; Nacho Duato’s Without Words; Trey McIntyre’s Second Before the Ground; and Natalie Weir’s Steppenwolf.

Ian teaches our professional program and dances full time with the Houston Ballet.


Mairette Galindo   Ballet Instructor

Mairette is a graduate of Pro Danza in Havana, Cuba. She has attended the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England, where she studied dance, kinesiology, and pedagogy, and received RAD certification as a ballet teacher. Mairette danced with the National Ballet of Cuba, Pro Danza, Company Ballet Estilos (Peru), Ballet Municipal of Lima, Peru, and the National Ballet of Peru. She founded and directed the Municipal Ballet School of Chiclayo (Peru) in 1995 and directed Estudio de Danza Mairette Galindo in Cueta, Spain, where she also directed the first International Festival of Music Visual Art and Dance. 

Mairette has danced in Don Quixote, Fille Mal Garde, Sylphide, Paquita, Coppelia, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Tarantella, Death of the Swan, Verdi Pax de Deux, Addieu, Majisimo, Aguas Primaverales, and others. 


Amy Fote   Ballet Instructor

Amy was a principal dancer wiith the Houston Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet.  Born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Amy trained with the Jean Wolfmeyer School of Dance in Wisconsin, the National Academy of Arts and Interlochen Arts Academy.  She is a 1990 graduate of the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida.  

After graduating, Amy joined the Milwaukee Ballet, where she danced for 14 years, eventually rising to the rank of principal dancer.  During that time, she danced in Yves de Bouteiller's group "Et Toi, Tu Danses?", appered in the PBS documentary Dancing with Anan Karina, and spent nine summers perfomring with the Chautauqua Summer Ballet Company in New York.   In 2004, she performed the lead role in Stanton Welch's Madam Butterfly at the Royal New Zealand Ballet.  Welch then invited her to join Houston Ballet as a first soloist in 2005, at the age of 33.  She was promoted to principal dancer in 2006.

Amy instructs the professional program. 


Emily Butler   Ballet, Tap, and Jazz

Emily Butler, dancer, model, and photographer, was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She began dancing at the age of 3 under instruction of Artistic Director Martha Brem at Artisan School of Dance. At Artisan, she danced multiple lead roles such as Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Throughout the years she has learned ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, flamenco, folk and social dance, aerial dance, creative movement, and African dancing. Ms. Butler has taught young children ballet, tap, jazz, flamenco, and creative movement. She has attended multiple summer intensives including Ballet de Monterrey, Austin Ballet, Kirov, Magnus Midwest, The Jillana School, and Kansas City Ballet. Over the years, she has worked with numerous choreographers including Jennifer Pontius, Jonathan Charles, and Gerard Theoret. In 2015, Ms. Butler completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance at Sam Houston State University and is currently completing her minors in special education and secondary education where she will receive her teaching degrees. Currently she is a student teacher at Magnolia High School and Magnolia West High School and helps teach creative movement to children with disabilities at the Houston Ballet.


Gia Rodríguez   Flamenco

Gia has been sharing her love for Flamenco with Artisan School of Dance since 2007 and has been teaching since 2001.  She is very passionate about teaching and educating the public about the art of Flamenco and instructs both children and adults. For 13 years, she dedicated herself to intensive Flamenco study with the late Rogelio Rodriguez, a Houston Flamenco choreographer and legend.  During this time Gia performed at numerous venues with the Rodriguez Academy of Dance Ensemble Company.  She has also had the opportunity to study under various Flamenco Masters from Spain and Mexico, including Nana Lorca, José Greco II, Louis Montero, Marc Aurelio, Linda Vega, Rosa María Navarette and Saray Cortes. Gia has also worked with local Flamenco Guitarist, Guillermo Serpas.  In addition to teaching Flamenco at Artisan School of Dance, she also teaches at Dancing City in West Houston.


Natalie Wong Camarata   Flamenco

Natalie has studied Flamenco for more than 22 years. She was a student of the late Rogelio Rodriguez. She joined Artisan in 2009. Natalie trained under Flamenco legends from Spain and Mexico, including Marc Aurelio, Linda Vega, Rosa Maria Navarette, Timo Lozano, Magdalena and Pilar Andujar. Natalie enjoys sharing her love of Spain and her passion for Flamenco with her students.