Marisa Mailhes
Founder & Director

Marisa trained at Cherrilane School of Dance in Dallas, Texas for 13 years in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical & hip hop. She has also studied contemporary, modern, theatrical dance, and pointe. Marisa began her performance career early as an actress on the Barney and Friends television show as Hannah. She danced and sang on the show as a regular cast member for three years. This experience encouraged her love for performing and opened the doors for many other opportunities throughout her childhood both in the dance, acting and modeling world. She went on to study dance at Texas A&M University where she graduated with the first ever University Studies, Dance Concentration degree from A&M with a focus on classical modern dance as well as the art of teaching. She also obtained a minor in both communications and business. While in college, she was a principal member of the EmSu Dance Company and took master classes from many of their guest artists. Marisa also attended ACDF, American College Dance Festival all 4 years and was selected to perform at the festival in faculty works several years. While in College Station she also professionally danced with the Armstrong Bergeron Dance Company, a modern based dance company. During College, she found her passion for contemporary dance and choreography. Marisa loves to find new and inventive ways to move and interesting themes and stories to portray through her dance.


Marisa began teaching in 2004 and has always had a love for children. As her dance career grew, she could never let go of teaching. She has taught at various studios throughout Texas as a lead instructor as well as teaching workshops for out of town studios. Expressions Dance and Music in College Station became her home studio for many years and she attributes Expressions with where she grew the most as a dance educator and choreographer. She became the director of several of their competitive dance companies and won various awards for choreography throughout the competition scene.

Marisa opened Red Door Dance Academy in 2010 to bring her passion for dance to the Wylie area. Red Door Dance was opened to create a place with high quality dance educators where dancers can fall in love with the art, be inspired, and have fun while learning. Marisa lives in Plano with her supportive husband, Trey and 3 beautiful children. Her daughter, Colbie, has started dancing at Red Door and her twin boys, Asher & Hudson, are not far behind!

Jessica Bolton
Dance Instructorimg_6293

Jessica is a Texarkana, Arkansas native and studied at Judith McCarty School of Dancing for fifteen years. At the age of fourteen she began teaching classes and working to obtain her dance teachers certificate from her hometown studio. During her time at Judith McCarty’s she was an active member of the Texarkana Community Ballet and has performed numerous roles in The Nutcrackeimg_6309r that include the Dew Drop Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy, as well as Coppélia, a friend of Swanhilda, and Prayer soloist in Coppélia. Jessica grew up attending the Texas Association Teachers of Dancing (TATD) convention, and studied under many choreographers including Jay Fagan, Leslie Scott, Mandy Moore, Keith Clifton, and Rhonda Miller. She was a both a Ballet and Merit Scholarship recipient as a student at TATD, and she is currently studying to become a member teacher of the organization. Jessica has attended many summer intensive programs including The Radio City Rockette’s, Ballet Magnificat!, and Ballet Austin.

Jessica obtained her B.S. in General Studies from the University of Mississippi and during her time in Mississippi she taught ballet, tap, and jazz at Grenada School of Performing Arts. After college she moved to Louisiana to teach high school English and coached the varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders. Under her instruction the Varsity team qualified and danced in the Disney Christmas Day parade in Orlando, Florida. Jessica has coached cheerleaders that have gone on to cheer on squads at Grambling State University, Northwestern State University, and University of Louisiana at Monroe. After getting married to husband, John in the summer of 2015 she moved to the Dallas area and has been with Red Door since the day she moved to town!


Jesslynn Grigsby
Administrative Manager & Dance Instructor


Jesslynn has been dancing most of her life. She was a Sapphire Lieutenant for 3 years for Wylie East High School, where she helped lead the team to win various awards at competitions throughout Texas including Runner Up Grand Champions for their Officer Line. She was also invited to the Kick Academy and Dance Academy during HTE camp and had the pleasure of travelling to Paris, France with them to perform. Jesslynn was also awarded Miss High Kick during her time with the Sapphires. Jesslynn is currently working on her degree in dance and is so excited to be a part of the Red Door Dance team!

Lindy Hockaday
Dance Instructor

Lindy started dancing around the age 10, when she realized, that to be good at theatre, you had to dance! She started out taking basic classes at local theatre in Houston, her hometown. She has studied Tap, Ballet, Jazz, and Musical Theatre. She also studied at Houston Family Arts Center, now, Stage-works Theatre Inc, and took classes from esteemed teachers such as Dana Lewis, and Ellen Dyer. While in high school, she started teaching Tap classes with her mentor, Miss Dana, as well as pre-ballet, creative movement and jazz.

Upon graduating high school, Lindy attended Shenandoah Conservatory and recently graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre, dance emphasis, and worked with several teachers such as Broadway’s Jacob Brent, and Mary Robare. While in school, she participated in several musicals, many of which she was the Dance Captain. While in school, she also taught Pre-Ballet, Creative Movement, as well as Tap for Mercier School of Dance, and regularly subbed for Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy. Lindy was also invited to attend a 2 week dance exchange program, that sent her to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and studied dance at Shu Te University. She studied styles such as Ballet, Kung Fu, Modern, and Tai Chi, and was the first American student to be invited to the program.

She has worked professionally as a dancer for several summer music theatres, and some of her favorite roles include being an Ancestor in the Addams Family, and getting to Tap in Mary Poppins as a Chimney Sweep!

Lindy is thrilled to be back in the state, and she is thrilled to be joining the Red Door Team!


Lauren Howard-Celis
Artistic Director for Company Inspired & Instructor

Lauren began dancing at age five at Forcher’s Dance Center in Irving, TX where she studied classical ballet in the Balanchine style under Jacquelyn Ralls Forcher.  At age 11 she was accepted to the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet and studied with the Debbie Allen Dance Academy summer intensive and Fort Worth School of Ballet programs. After competing with Forcher’s Dance Center Company for several years she began studying at various studios throughout the Metroplex.  She landed at Rhythm Nation Studios for 4 years where she began teaching at age 15.  She performed with their professional company at venues such as Six Flags Over Texas and local festivals as a featured dance and vocal soloist and choreographer.  At 18, Lauren began to dance with Momentum Dance Company in their professional pointe and contemporary companies where she danced in the corps de ballet and as a demi-soloist for two seasons.  During college, Lauren was a member and served as an officer of the Texas A&M Dance Arts Society that allowed her to continue to perform and develop her choreography skills.  Lauren is currently performing with Momentum Dance Company in their 12th Season as Waltz of the Flowers and Waltz of the Snowflakes corps de ballet and Arabian principal dancer.

Lauren graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M with a BA in Spanish in 2008, an MA in Linguistics in 2010 (Whoop!).  While at school, Lauren began working full time at Expressions Dance and Music Studios.  She became the Artistic Director of Competitive Dance for four of her five years there.  Under Lauren’s direction, the competitive teams and soloists won First Overall titles and placed Top 3 at regional competitions and Top 5 in national-level competitions such as Showstopper, American Dance/Drill Team, Crowdpleasers, Open Call and Encore.  Her award-winning choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally, as well.

Several dancers under her direction have gone on to become officers of their high school dance and drill teams, as well as the Kilgore Rangerettes.  Several long-time students of hers were accepted to the New York City Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and American Ballet Theater summer intensive and year-round programs, as well as the Houston Metropolitan, New York City Dance Alliance and Debbie Allen Dance Academy summer intensives.  Several student under her direction have toured with the Tremaine and Intrigue conventions’ Apprenticeship Companies and have gone to work professionally in music videos for Beyonce, Brian Friedman and Shawn Welling, and perform with choreographers Tokyo and Alicia.

Lauren has a deep passion for dance and looks forward to passing on this love of the art to her students.  She considers her job as a dance teacher to be one that comes with the responsibility of not only teaching impeccable dance technique and performance quality, but also helping to form strong self-esteem, confidence and sportsmanship in her students.


Marianne Kuers
Studio Administration 

Marianne is in her second career as an employee with Red Door Dance. She is excited to be working with her daughter (Marisa Kuers Mailhes). Marianne’s business experience includes over 30 years in the mortgage banking business. She retired from Bank America in 2015, decided to join the Red Door Dance team and has enjoyed every day since.

Marianne has the experience most important to the operation of a dance studio – she has 25 years as a Dance Mom for both a girl and a boy. She has worked with every aspect of preparing children for dance class from clothing to scheduling and preparing that essential dance bun. Marianne has also been a back stage manager for every Red Door Dance recital since it opened. She is no stranger to the art of dance either, as she is accomplished in country, ballroom and swing dance. She has performed on stage at the Majestic Theater in Dallas.

Marianne balances her work at the studio with family time involving her three children and 7 grandchildren. She loves helping children and their parents in managing the difficult task of time management so essential to the lessons, costumes, and recital preparation that every family must coordinate. She loves all children, especially dancing children! A plaque above her desk at home proclaims “Why walk, Mama, when you can dance?”, a phrase Marisa would proclaim as a young child.


Lily Smith
Dance Instructor

Lily has been dancing, singing, and studying theatre since the age of 11. Originally from Greenville TX, she started her journey in the arts through a community theater in Rockwall, having done one show with her older sister. Interest growing in the direction of dancing, she started taking a Ballet class at Timbrel School for the Arts, and from then on immediately added more classes, such as Theatre Dance, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, and later, Pointe. She was also a part of the studios Lyra Company, dancing at conventions, events, and a few competitions. She continued and progressed in all her classes and was offered a place in the Assistant Teacher program, where she began learning teaching skills. She assisted multiple classes at the age of 13, and at 16 was given her own class. The next year she took on an employed position as Dance Instructor of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Theater, & Contemporary. While continuing to teach at Timbrel, she started branching out in her area, and choreographed a few numbers for The Greenville Christian School’s Choir play in the spring of 2015, and Greenville Family Theater’s Fundraiser in the fall of 2015. She taught a semester of Ballet for the Vocal Students of Texas A&M Commerce Music Department that same year. In the Spring & Summer of 2017 she choreographed Greenville Family Theater’s “Singin’ in the Rain” which featured many dance numbers such as Tap, Ballet & Jazz.   She has a love of singing as well, and started taking vocal lessons in Dallas with several instructors such as Barbara Doubt, Patricia Ivey, and most recently Dr. Jennifer Glidden at Texas A&M Commerce. She attended and placed in vocal competitions in Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth & Oklahoma City University. She has a background in Musical Theater, doing multiple shows in the Dallas area. She did many shows in her hometown of Greenville including Fiddler on the Roof (as Tzeitel), Hello Dolly! (as Dolly Levi), and Meet Me in St. Louis (as Rose Smith) to name a few. More recently she was featured in Allen Community Theater’s Production of “Young Frankenstein” as Inga. Lily is thrilled to be part of the Red Door Dance Team!


Amanda Stevener
Dance Instructor

Amanda has oAmanda Headshotver 30 years of dance experience and has been teaching dance throughout Texas and California for the past 17 years. She has a background in many styles of dance; including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical/contemporary, musical theater, and hip hop, as well as tumbling, gymnastics, and cheer training. She began her dance training in Bryan, TX at Jane Lee School of Dance, which she attended from ages 3-18. She was also a member of the Bryan High School varsity gymnastics team for 3 years and competed in floor, beam, and bars at regional and state levels. Amanda attended college at Texas A&M University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in English. During her time in college, she was Assistant Director at Sharon’s Dance Center, where she attributes most of her growth as a dancer and teacher. She has trained students that have gone on to be protégés with The Pulse On Tour, as well as work with some of the top choreographers in LA. She moved to Southern California in 2004 for a change of scenery and to further her dance knowledge. With her passion for sharing dance with the younger generation, she created En Tour Dance Academy in 2007, which provided dance classes in preschools and private schools throughout Orange County and continued that business for 8 years.

Amanda is excited to be back in her home state of Texas and for the opportunity to continue teaching and sharing her love for dance with the students at Red Door Dance Academy.



Jamie Williams
JUMP! Director & Dance Instructor

Jamie started her dance career in eighth grade drill team, which led her to four years of drill team experience in high school with the Ford High School Blue Belles in Quinlan, TX. It was there that she built expJamie Headshot_2013erience in choreography, event participation, and leadership , as she was named Captain her senior year. During her time with the drill team, Jamie performed in Terrell and San Antonio, TX, as well as at Disney World and with the Carnival Cruise Company.

Jamie is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Psychology and Performing Arts. As a dancer at UTD, she was able to participate in numerous classes including modern, jazz, ballet and hip hop. She has performed in showcases at UTD, as well as “Sprung”. Not only has she worked with Micki Saba, head of the dance department at Jamie_2014UTD, Jamie also had the good fortune to study with Michelle Hanlon of Elledanceworks, and Jennifer Mabus of Robert Battle’s company in New York, Battleworks. While at UTD, she participated in the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) and worked with many choreographers from Texas and around the nation. Jamie’s own choreography has been presented at UTD showcases, a variety of high-scoring competition solos, as well as with the YMCA and other teen groups with which she has devoted her time. She enjoys performing and choreographing on her own time whenever possible, and in continuing her education as a dance professional, she attended Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Teacher Conference in 2008 and The Pulse in New York in 2010. At both conferences she was able to work with such choreographers as Joe Lanteri, Jo Rowan, Joe Tremaine, Mia Michaels, Andy Blankenbueller, and learn from prominent dancers such as Desmond Richadrson, Dave Scott, and Lauriann Gibson. Jamie recently had the opportunity to choreograph the musical “Beauty and the Beast” for Colleyville Covenant Christian Academy. Jamie also coaches the 3rd-4th grade dancers for Wylie Drill Team.

Jamie continuously strives to grow as a choreographer in learning new techniques and styles. She currently lives in Wylie with her husband, Blair, and their son, Carter.