Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc. Celebrates 40 Years in Business

We are all about supporting our Southside staples and Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc. is one of them. The dance studio has offered an assortment of dance styles from Traditional Ballet & Ballet Folklorico to Contemporary to the Southside of San Antonio.

Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc. was founded in 1980. Sarita’s mission is to utilize dance to motivate young people to be the best that they can be. Her studio has provided exactly that, as well as prepare youth of the south side community and surrounding areas for career opportunities in dance and the performing arts.

Image Courtesy of Sarita’s Facebook page

Now celebrating 40 years in business, Sarita’s is a prime example of sharing your passion, knowledge, and love of dance to influence positivity in the children of our community. Sarita’s offers dance classes to children 3 years of age and up. Due to covid, the dance studio is currently offering online classes.

Image Courtesy of Sarita’s Facebook page

About Sarita

Sarita Zúñiga, Owner/Director, has been in the dance and fitness field for over 50 years. She taught aerobics, dance, & wellness classes at Brooks AFB, Kelly AFB, Lackland AFB, Palo Alto College, Harlandale High School, Southwest General Hospital, Bexar Metropolitan Water, Guarantee Bank, the University of Incarnate Word & more. She was featured on P.M. Magazine, IDEA Today, San Antonio Express and News, San Antonio Business Journal, The Cutting Edge, Olé, Canal 41, WOAI TV, La Prensa, Connexion, and Rumbo for her leadership and success in the fields of dance and fitness. In 2006, she was honored by the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce for community leadership and for making a positive impact on the Southside. In 2007 & 2014, she accepted the position as the Rehearsal Coordinator for the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. In addition, she is named in the National Directory of Who’s Who for Executives and Professionals. In 2014, Congressman Pete Gallegos presented Sarita with a Congressional Award for providing valuable dance training to San Antonio’s Southside residents for 34 years. She is a Master member of IDEA (International Association of Fitness Professionals) and a South San Chamber of Commerce member. Sarita is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified as a Fitness Instructor & Weight Management Consultant and has designed and conducted total wellness programs for fitness professionals as an ACE fitness continuing education provider.  Sarita is the Founder and Artistic Director for Alegría Dance Company, a pre-professional dance company, and continues to teach dance in Ballet, Jazz, Ballet Folklorico, and Tap at Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc.

Image Courtesy of Sarita’s Facebook page

Meet Sarita’s Team

Marina Zúñiga-Johnson is the Assistant Director & Lead Instructor for Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc. She has trained in Ballet, jazz, ballet Folklorico, modern, and tap since 1992.  Marina was a member of the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet in 2004. Sheenhanced her dance education with intensives, including Ballet Austin, The School of Rock in Philadelphia, the Joffrey Ballet Workshop Texas, Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago, & Ballet Hispanico in New York.  In addition,  Marina continues to be a cutting edge dance instructor by attending dance teacher programs such as Rhee Gold, The Pulse, & Dance Teacher Web, which are held around the country. Marina graduated from the University of Incarnate Word with a Bachelorof Arts in Education. She earned a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Instructional Technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Marina is currently an Instructional Technologist for Texas State University. In addition, she currently teaches Tap, Ballet Folklorico, and is the Director of Alegría Co. for Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc.

Image Courtesy of Sarita’s Facebook page

Bryony McCullough (Contractor) has been dancing for over 20 years. Originallyfrom Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Bryony McCullough began her professional ballet training at the age of 11 at the North Carolina School of the Arts.  She was accepted into their high school program in 2005 and continued her studies there through her senior year.  Upon her graduation in 2009, Bryony began a traineeship with the Richmond Ballet.  While there, she was cast in several of the company’s productions, including The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Romeo and Juliet by Malcolm Burn. 

She later joined Ballet West’s trainee program in Salt Lake City, where she performed in multiple company performances, including Anna-Marie Holmes’ Don Quixote and Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. In 2011 as well as 2012, she had the privilege of touring with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet as a Guest Artist in their production of The Nutcracker under the artistic direction of Tom Mossbrucker. Shejoined Nevada Ballet Theatre as a trainee in 2013 and performed in many of the company’s productions, including CoppéliaandSwan Lake Act II set by renowned ballerina Cynthia Gregory. 

Ms. McCullough joined Ballet San Antonio as an apprentice in 2014. She was promoted to the Corps de Ballet in January 2015 under the artistic direction of Gabriel Zertuche. Her performance repertoire includes BSA’s productions of Rubies by George Balanchine, The Whistlingby Dominic Walsh, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Julietby Ben Stevenson, and Sleeping Beauty in which she performed the leading role of “Carabosse”.

With over 5 years of teaching experience, Ms. McCullough teaches Ballet at multiple schools in San Antonio.   She is currently the Ballet Director at Sarita’s Dance Studio Inc., where she has been a ballet and pointe instructor for over 3 years.

Eliza Castillo (Contractor) has been dancing for 18 years. She started training at Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc. in 2011 in Ballet, tap, jazz, Ballet Folklorico, pointe, and contemporary.

She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Education, Performance & Choreography atTexas State University, San Marcos, TX. She currently teaches Preschool, Contemporary, Ballet Folklorico 1, Alegría Jr. 2, Alegría Jr. Co., & Jazz Levels 1-6 at Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc.

Image Courtesy of Sarita’s Facebook page

Nadia Padron (Contractor) has been dancing for over ten years in Ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, pointe, and Ballet Folklorico at Sarita’s Dance Studio.  She was an Alegría Dance Co member and attended several dance workshops and intensives.

In 2017, Nadia received her Yoga Teacher Certification and currently teaches yoga at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.  Nadia is working on her bachelor’s degree in Science in Psychology and plans to pursue her master’s degree in Dance Therapy.  Nadia currently teaches Ballet and preschool as well as assists in the beginner ballet and tap classes.  She also is a regular substitute teacher for Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc.

Sandra Ramirez joined Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc. in 2003 as the Office Manager. Her responsibilities encompass many aspects of our business, including account receivables, billing, sales, and customer service. Her incredible organizational skills keep our team running smoothly. She is the friendly voice that our customers have grown so accustomed to hearing when calling into our office, and she takes great pleasure in making sure they are each taken care of.

Rose Rodriguez joined Sarita’s Dance Studio, Inc. in 2016 as the Administrative Assistant. Rose has extensive experience in supporting the office manager & studio owner by providing them with consistent clerical support and customer service. In addition, she maintains the filing systems in accordance with the company’s established procedures & protocols. She is a highly approachable individual who has a pleasant attitude and a willingness to make a positive mark.

Staff info source: https://saritasdance.com/

Happy 40th anniversary to the Sarita’s Dance Studio Inc. family!

Image Courtesy of Sarita’s Facebook page
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