October 2018 Students of the Month

The student of the month is chosen by our teachers in every discipline. Each teacher will choose someone that stands out by working hard, being attentive, helping others, being respectful to the teacher and other dancers/tumblers. Our OCTOBER Students of the Months are:

Babies: Merrin Overall

Petites: Melanie Laurent 

Minis: Camille Foreman 

Ballet: Ella Dupre

Tap: Amelia Chustz

Jazz: Abbie Bayham

Lyrical/Contemporary: Elizabeth Lemann

Hip Hop: Amelia Bradford

Tumbling: Kasia Leger

Congratulations and keep up the good work!

Lynn Prejean
Get to Know the MDC Faculty: Jade McCune

What style(s) of dance do you teach?

  • Babies Ballet & Tap

  • Petites Hip Hop

  • Minis Jazz

  • Beginners Hip Hop

  • Intermediate and Advanced Jazz


How long have you been dancing?
24 years

What is your favorite style of dance?


Who is a dancer that inspires you and why?
This is a tough one. There are so many dancers and teachers who inspire me. I would have to say Mark Meismer. He has taught me so much more than just dance. He showed me how to have passion behind my dancing. I’m very thankful to have him inspiring me still to this day.

Do you have any children or pets?
I have the sweetest dog, Sammy

Would you rather live at the beach or in the mountains?
The Beach  

What do you do when you aren’t dancing/teaching?

What is your favorite memory of your dance career?
Winning Tremaine Dancer of the Year was a very special memory I will never forget. Having the opportunity to travel and assist an amazing faculty that I’m now able to call my family was amazing! Also performing in Orlando at UDA nationals with the Tiger Girls was unforgettable. So many great memories!


Tell us a fun fact.
One time I was on set with Jack Black and we sang a song and played the air guitar together. That was pretty fun!

Lynn Prejean
Master Class with Keri LeGrand & Alexa Anderson

Many of you ask about taking extra classes. This is the perfect time! It gives our dancers a chance to dance with working/experienced choreographers! Master Classes are not only our studio, but also outside dancers. So invite your friends and register for this awesome opportunity. Do not miss out!

Friday October 12th

  • 5-6pm - Keri Junior Class (ages 7-10)

Sunday October 14th

  • 10:30-12pm - Keri Senior Class (ages 11+)

  • 2:30-3:30 - Alexa Junior Class (7-10)

  • 3:30-5 - Alexa Senior Class (11+)

About Alexa Anderson:

Alexa Anderson grew up in Chandler, Arizona where she trained and competed in many different styles of dance, winning numerous National titles and awards. She was a talented and dedicated pupil, and was awarded Student of the Year for Arts and Academics at The Arizona School of the Arts where she attended high school. She was featured numerous times in DanceSpirit Magazine as a young up and comer, and in 2010 she was featured on the cover. At age 17, Alexa performed in NYC as a principal dancer in the off Broadway contemporary dance show, “Beneath the Surface”. Soon after, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a dancer. Since then, she has been feature in several television commercials and music videos and has danced on television shows such as Glee, Xfactor, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, All The Right Moves, and was a contestant on Season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance. Alexa has toured the country as a cast member of Travis Wall’s contemporary dance company, Shaping Sound. She has also performed with many talented artists such as Kanye West, Queen Latifah, Colbie Caillat, Paramore, The Wanted, Icona Pop, Redfoo, Fifth Harmony, and Demi Lovato. Alexa continues to tour the country as a Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor and dedicated dance teacher/choreographer.

About Keri LeGrand:

Keri was born in Fountain Valley, California – otherwise known as the O.C., where she began dancing at age three. She was hooked! When she was about eight years old, Keri started training to be a gymnast but after a year, she knew that dance was where her heart was. Around the same time her family moved to Moreno Valley, California, and when she was 13 she began attending dance conventions, even winning many “Best Dancer of the Weekend” titles and a Year-long Scholarship at Tremaine! Keri credits the conventions as what inspired her to pursue dance as a career. Seeing the dancers assisting classes on stage and then feeling the rush of adrenaline when she was competing, she knew dance was calling to her. Though she says during high school, she was a bit undecided, as she was torn between becoming a performer and pursuing her curiosity about anatomy as a heart surgeon. However, at 17 when she booked her first professional dance job, she knew she had found her true path. Later, at 19, Keri moved to Hollywood (trivia – her first roommate was Ray Leeper) to further pursue her professional dance career and she’s never looked back.

She has danced on the MTV Awards with Jennifer Lopez, the American Music Awards with Cher and Toni Braxton, was featured in the film “I’ll Do Anything” and appeared in commercials for 7-UpSonyand the MGM Grand Hotel. She was also featured in the “Celebrity Skin” video with Courtney Loveand can be seen on Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud – Live from Puerto Rico” DVD. Keri recognizes two people who were her primary influences in her training and love for technique. The first is Julie Rhoton, owner of Inspirations Performing Arts Center in Moreno Valley, who taught her about the value of discipline, and gave her a place to test her boundaries and really develop who she wanted to be as a dancer without compromise. She would also like to recognize Paula Morgan. Julie was one of Paula’s original students and introduced Keri to her at 18. She says Paula showed her that there is beauty in mastery and took her technical training to a level that she never knew was possible for her. Most of all she says Paula taught her the value of a great teacher, one who leads a student beyond their own boundaries, one who holds a higher vision no matter how stuck the student feels! Keri prides herself on embodying these principals while influencing young minds and souls during her travels as a master teacher and choreographer all over the world. She is also the creator of one our most popular new Teacher’s classes, the “Strength & Stretch” class, for which she has just published her first syllabus. Keri is a valued member of the Tremaine family and we are extremely proud to have her as a faculty member.



Lynn Prejean
MDC Senior Spotlight: Trinity Smith

How old were you when you started dancing?

I was 2 when I started dancing. 

How long have you been dancing at Machita Dance Company?

I’ve been dancing at MDC for 15 years. 

What is your favorite style of dance?

My favorite style of dance is hip hop. 

Do you dance/cheer for your high school?

I dance for Brusly High School. 

Do you want to dance after high school? If so, what are your plans?

I’m still not sure if I want to dance after high school.

When you're not dancing what do you like to do?

When I’m not dancing, I like to read and draw. 

Who is a dancer that inspires you and why?

A dancer that inspires me is Aliya Janell because she’s fierce and confident. 

What will you miss most about MDC?

I’m going to miss all the kind people at MDC. It’s a big family. 

Lynn Prejean
Get to Know the MDC Faculty: Jillian Courville

What style(s) of dance do you teach?
Babies 2

How long have you been dancing?
A long time - 26 years apparently

What is your favorite style of dance?


Who is a dancer that inspires you and why?
Justin Giles. He has always been true to himself.


Do you have any children or pets?
Daughter: Kaitlee
Pets: 2 dogs – Shadow & Beau


Would you rather live at the beach or in the mountains?
The mountains (my fair skin can’t take the beach)


What do you do when you aren’t dancing/teaching?
Teaching, being a mom, reading and watching TV


What is your most memorable moment of your dance career?
The time I fell off the chair and picked it up with my rear to the audience and Nick Drago was pointing and laughing at me.


Tell us a fun fact:
I was in a movie and in the Vampire Diaries/The Originals


Lynn Prejean
Get to Know the MDC Faculty: Courtney Landry

What style(s) of dance do you teach?

How long have you been dancing?
29 years

What is your favorite style of dance?

Who is a dancer that inspires you and why?
Crystal Pite – Her choreography inspires me. She thinks way outside the box.

Do you have any children or pets?
No and no

Would you rather live at the beach or in the mountains?
The Mountains! North Carolina

What do you do when you aren’t dancing/teaching?
Ride in my jeep and go on hikes and adventures

What is your favorite memory of your dance career?
When I created my first full length show, “Nevermore.” Also when I fell off the stage during a dance competition.

Tell us a fun fact.
I love pizza!

Lynn Prejean
Get to Know the MDC Faculty: Jordan Prejean

What style(s) of dance do you teach?
Babies Ballet and Tap, Petite Ballet and Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Conditioning

How long have you been dancing?
This will be my 26th year

What is your favorite style of dance?

Who is dancer that inspires you and why?
When I was younger, I had the opportunity to travel all over the country and take from many teachers.  I am so very lucky that my parents sacrificed all of their time to give me this opportunity to do what I love.  It's hard to chose just one dancer/teacher who inspires me, because I truly believe I was shaped into the dancer I am now from each and every teacher I've taken from and dancer I've danced with or taught.  But, there was one teacher who I started assisting for when I was in high school, who helped me grow more than ever. 

Keri LaGrand started inspiring me then and still does today.  She has taught me to be vulnerable, fearless and passionate in dance.  She has taught me so many tips and tricks to forming great technical dancers.  I am so thankful to have someone who pushed me to become a better dancer, so that now I can push all of my amazing MDC dancers in that same way. 

Do you have any children or pets?
Yes. I have one dog, Roux. She is my child :) 


Would you rather live at the beach or in the mountains?
The beach.

What do you do when you aren’t dancing/teaching?
Play with my niece Kaitlee, hang out with my dog, cook, workout. I teach classes at Barre 3 as well.

What is your favorite memory of your dance career?
My year as Tremaine Dancer of the Year.

Tell us a fun fact. 
When I lived in Los Angeles, I was on the tv show Wipeout. Although it was short lived (I lost out quick), it was a blast! 

Here's a video of it -- look for me at 1:32-1:45! :) 

Lynn Prejean
Student Spotlight: Claire Sanchez


How long have you been dancing at MDC?

I have been dancing at MDC for eight years, but this is my tenth year of dance. 

What is your favorite style of dance?


Who inspires you as a dancer?

My biggest inspirations as a dancer are all of my teachers because they are all so knowledgeable in what they do and they have fun doing it! 

What did it mean to you to be chosen as our 2018-2019 MDC Hall of Fame Winner?

I was completely shocked to hear my named announced as the 2018-2019 MDC Hall of Fame Winner and I am honored to be chosen.  MDC is my home away from home and I love being a part of it. 

 All MDC Hall of Fame winners!

All MDC Hall of Fame winners!

What are you most looking forward to this year?

I am most looking forward to growing in all of my classes and having fun with my friends!

Lynn Prejean
10 Things You Can Do To Prepare for the Year at MDC

1. Register for your classes

We worked really hard to provide an extensive dance and tumbling class schedule for the 2018-2019 dance year and we want to fill every single class up! If you haven't registered for classes yet, there's still time. Click the buttons below and get your name on that list. Then join us on our first day of classes this August 13th! 

2. Add important dates to your calendar

Life is busy and sometimes if something isn't on our calendar, we forget to show up. Take a minute this week to add all important dates to your calendar and set reminders. You can find all dates in our Newsletter Archive or in the Calendar page of this site. 

3. Review the MDC dress code

It's important to be aware of our dress code before coming to class this year. Take a minute to review it online. Pink tights too small? Black leotard missing? We have everything you need at our MDC Boutique and we are open for business this week (see #4). Stop by for a visit and get everything checked off your dance wear list. 

4. Try on all dance shoes and be sure they fit

If the shoe fits, wear it! If it doesn't, visit MDC Boutique and step into some new shoes! Here are our Boutique Hours leading up to the 2018-2019 dance year: 

  • July 30 & August 1: 3-6 p.m.
  • August 8-9 3-8 p.m.

5. Label and put dancer's name in all shoes and clothes

If your name's on the tag, chances that it goes home with someone else are low. Label all of your dance gear upfront and save the headache later. 

6. Get to know your teachers by checking out their pictures and bios

Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you! We are proud of our accomplished faculty and want you to know a little about your teachers. Take a minute to browse our NEW bios and reach out if you have any questions. 

7. Read the August Newsletter for important information

This just in! We just released our August newsletter and it is packed with important information you need to know! We publish a newsletter each month and it is important for you to read thoroughly. Save the link and check your inbox! 

8. Download MDC App and follow us on social media

We are social. Come be social with us!

Download our app

9. Contact us if you have any questions

We are here for you. Call us. Email us. Message us. We will help you navigate registration and answer any questions you have. Don't hesitate! 

10. Get ready to have fun!

The beginning of a new dance year is one of the most exciting times at the studio. Everyone's energy is high and excitement is evident in every classroom. So prepare to have fun with us this dance year! We just can't wait for August 13th. 

Lynn Prejean
Ella Grace Cunningham Reflects on Her Year as 2017 Tremaine Dancer of the Year

What does it mean to be Tremaine Dancer of the Year?

DOTY (Dancer of the Year), is when you go to Tremaine Nationals and basically audition against 300 girls to win the title of DOTY. When you win dancer of the year, you travel and assist the Tremaine faculty, and you represent them. Depending on how many cities you go to, you will perform a solo in the faculty show.


Tell us a little bit about the audition process for Tremaine Dancer of the Year?

For the auditions, first you learn a ballet combination. You will get cut or be asked to stay. Then, you learn a jazz combination, and you will get cut or be asked to stay. Then, they narrow it down to about 15 girls to be the finalist. Once you're a finalist, they will give you a red ribbon and watch you throughout the week (even around the hotel). The faculty will interview about 5 girls at a time and ask questions to get to know you.  Throughout the week, we have special rehearsals for a dance that we perform at the gala.

What cities did you travel to?

  • Houston
  • New Orleans
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • St. Louis
  • Dallas
  • Orlando (my favorite city)

How has being Tremaine Junior Female Dancer of the Year made a difference in your life?

It has taught me responsibility 100%. I've been able to meet people throughout the United States, and I've been able to get closer to people I have met. Not only have I become closer with old friends and met new ones, but I've also grown a bond with the faculty members. I was able to get to know them and grow closer to them because of the time spent (long hours) with them. They’ve grown to be like my family.

What were some of your favorite memories of your year as Tremaine Junior Female Dancer of the Year?

  • Hearing my name announced as dancer of the year
  • Busting my lip in Keri's class in Dallas (she called me out to do it by myself, I did it so full out I busted my lip)
  • My very first city, I was so scared and confused. I didn't know anyone, but now that I've become more comfortable with the process, I've grown to love it. It really does go by so fast. I just want to go back and do it all again. It was so fun!
Lynn Prejean
Reflections on Last Years Journey

When we decided to use “Celebrate the Journey” as our recital theme this past year, I truly did not realize all of the milestones in my personal life that I would be celebrating. Fate intervened, and we knew that “celebration” would be the perfect theme when, ironically, for our 5th Annual Dance Recital as Machita Dance Company, we pulled the date May 5th, Cinco de Mayo! A celebration…. perfect for our recital!

During this past dance year, we celebrated Miss Courtney Talbot and Mr. Johnny’s engagement, Miss Jade and Mr. Kurt’s marriage, and the birth of Miss Jillian and Mr. Dexter’s new baby. Miss Courtney has been a big part of my life for many years. I have witnessed her journey as a young child to a beautiful adult who makes me proud every day. I could not have handpicked someone more perfect for her and can’t wait for the festivities to begin! In December, we celebrated Miss Jade and Mr. Kurt’s marriage. Their love for God, each other, and their students shines brightly. Their journey has impacted and will continue to impact our community in a positive way for many years to come.


On April 18, 2018, one of my biggest celebrations in life happened when my first grandbaby, Kaitlee Marie Courville, was born! The pure joy of witnessing Miss Jillian and Mr. Dexter’s love for each other and their new daughter is a blessing for me. Mr. Brian and I are thrilled to be new grandparents!


My hardest and most painful, but beautiful celebration was the life of my father-in-law, Mr. Rod Prejean. He passed away March 30, 2018. He was a very special man who taught me so much about love, forgiveness and giving back to others. I know that he is continuously watching over my family and celebrating every moment with us.

pe-paw and girls recital 2003.jpg

As I laid in my bed the night before the recital, I thought “after everything that happened in the past year of dance, I am home free. Surely, nothing else could happen, good or bad.” At 11:30pm I got a phone call that my father had a major stroke. We were told he was not going to live. I was obviously devastated and wondered how I was going to make the recital work. If my father did not make it, my whole family would not be able to function. After the procedure to remove many clots in his brain was over, the doctor kept telling me that he couldn’t believe my dad made it through. He told me this was a miracle. I walked in his room and he looked amazing. He told me when he was at home by his self and couldn’t get up for 2 hours, he felt like the commercial “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” 


That is when I thought to myself, I have a recital to run! I thank God every day that he gave me that time. My world could have fallen apart. Instead, I had my dad and I could go be with my students that have worked so hard all year. This was their day, and I couldn’t be more proud!


We were able to “Celebrate the Journey” of the dance year on May 5th. What a journey our studio has had! The faculty and I are ready to celebrate more journeys with our students. I celebrate the continued growth of MDC and what the future holds.

Thank you to everyone that is a part of our MDC family for your love and support! I invite you to continue our journey together as we help develop our student’s dancing skills while instilling self-confidence and self-discipline. We strive for our students to feel happy, loved and comfortable at Machita Dance Company! 


Let The Journey Begin!
Lynn Prejean

Lynn Prejean