Instructor & Choreographer
Technique Instruction:
Ballet, Graham, Horton, Jazz, & Contemporary 

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Raised in Laredo, Texas, Juan Pablo (J.P.),  began his dancing career at age 17, at the Vidal M. Trevino Fine Arts School.  Mary Ellen Leyendecker and Cheryl Kirkpatrick are the two teachers that influenced his dance training, which consisted of, ballet, jazz, tap, Celtic, hip-hop, lyrical and belly dance.  He performed numerous times with the Dance Expressions Dance Studio and with the Laredo Ballet Theatre.  He played various roles in the Nutcracker every year. 

J.P. moved to Austin in 2006 in search of better dance opportunities.  As a result, he joined Ballet East, where he had the opportunity to work with acclaimed choreographers from all over.  He's danced works by Francisco Gella from Philadenco, Regina Larkin from Joyce Trisler, Hope Boykin from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, just to name a few.  Melissa Villarreal took him under her wing, and became her teacher, mentor and friend. Several works were created for him including “Engulfing Addiction” by Melissa Villarreal which granted him the nomination for best dancer. Mr Flores has worked with UpRise Productions as a dancer and actor.  As a result, he landed another acting opportunity with Proyecto Teatro under artistic director Luis Ordaz.  J.P. continues to collaborate with Proyecto Teatro by setting choreographies on the acting company.  

In the summer of 2010 he attended the Ailey School in NYC and after two years he graduated upon his successful completion of the program.  During the first two summers in New York, he also attended the summer programs for Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Alvin Ailey.  In Summer 2011 and 2012 he taught master classes and choreography in Laredo and Austin to both Nudo Piedi Contemporary Dance Company and Ballet East Dance Company.  Since then he has created over 13 original works.  He’s had the pleasure of working with Nimbus Dance Works, Valleto Dance Company, Awaken Dance Theater, Keen Dance Theater, Dakshina Dance Company, Daniel Flores Company, ModArts Dance Company and Calpulli Mexican Dance.  Mr Flores, is currently part of the dance entertainment for the Frida Khalo Exhibition in the New York Botanical Garden, where he also got to portray Frida by modeling a dress made by famous Mexican Artist Humberto Spindola. He is thrilled to be part of Lotus Contemporary Performing Arts family. 

Instructor & Choreographer
Technique Instruction:
Ballet  & Contemporary 


Julie  began her professional dance career in Austin with Ballet East while receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from the University of Texas at Austin.  She performed with the company for six seasons while teaching dance classes for Dance Associates and Acrotex in the Austin area.  In 2002 she decided to take a break from performing and relocated to the Houston area to accept a high school position teaching dance and math for three years.  She was the director of the B.F. Terry High School dance team and choreographed some of the district’s theater department musicals.  Julie rejoined Ballet East for six more seasons after relocating back to the Austin area to begin pharmacy school at the University of Texas.  She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UT in 2010 and has been practicing pharmacy with Target since graduation.  She holds the role of Executive Team Lead and is currently managing her third pharmacy with Target. Upon her return to the Austin area, she rejoined Ballet East Dance Company as a teacher and choreographer where she mentored dancers for two seasons.

As a founding member of LCPA, she both participates as a mentor and teacher to the performing artists, as well as provides a voice as an advisor to the Board of Directors.

Technique Instruction:
Yoga, Horton, Hawkins, Tap, & Jazz

Mary Katherine

Born and raised in Rockport, Texas. There she began dancing at the age of three; she trained in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical styles of dance. In high school and post-graduation, she began assisting with and teaching classes to students from ages three to eighty-three. During this time she began creating movement for elementary and middle-school age children. At the age of twenty-three, Mary Katherine moved to Austin to seek higher education and direction. After much success dancing at ACC, she transferred to the dance department at Texas State University in 2006, and studied Erick Hawkins' modern technique and continued to explore her love for creating movement. Mary Katherine enjoyed working as Stage Manager for Austin’s KDH Dance Company for several seasons and also worked as Stage Manager and Assistant Production Manager for the Texas State Dance Department under Michelle Nance. In 2008, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Dance.

Mary Katherine joined Ballet East Dance Company under the direction of Melissa Villarreal, where Ochoa also began a journey in working with the rising stars of Ballet East's Junior Company, BE II.  Mrs. Ochoa proudly joins LCPA on a new path with outreach to the dance community of youth and adults in Austin.

Resident Guest Instructor
Technique Instruction:
Pilates, Gyrotonic, & Body Conditioning



A native Texan, Gabriela moved to NYC in 2000 to pursue her dance and somatic studies. Upon arriving to New York, she received her certification in Classical Pilates through The Pilates Studio of NYC (a.k.a.True Pilates), under the tutelage of the late Romana Kryzanowska, Sari Mejia Santo, Daria Pace and Bob Liekens. Soon thereafter, Gabriela earned certifications in THE GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM, NASM, NESTA, and The Lotte Berk Method. In 2004, she earned her certification in Classical Pilates through Power Pilates NYC, under Susan Moran and Bob Liekens. She was instrumental in their collaboration with Pilates Wellness and Energy in Madrid and Marbella, Spain. She recently completed the REAL Pilates NYC Bridge Program under the direction of Alycea Ungaro.

Gabriela has taught dance and body conditioning throughout the NYC area, and has trained some of the city's finest, including members of The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, Sex and the City, Arista Records, and Elektra Entertainment. Additionally, she has taught at Peridance, The Sports Club/LA, Equinox Health Club, The 92nd Street Y, TriBeCa Bodyworks, Sag Harbor Pilates, Ballet Hispanico, Joffrey Ballet School, Kampala Ballet School, and Americorps Headstart Program at NYU.

Gabriela has also served the community by teaching classes at Women in Need, Pilates4Pink, Cycle for Survival, St. Lukes Hospital, The Bowery Mission, and the Mary McDowell Friends School.

Gabriela brings over thirty years of experience to her profession, and has worked with a number of diverse choreographers and dancers throughout her journey. She has trained intensively with The Longview Ballet Theater, The Marina Semyonova Ballet School in Moscow, American Dance Festival, Ballet East Dance Theater of Austin, The Joyce Trisler Company, and The Limon Company.

She has performed at Duke University, The Joyce Soho, The Puffin Room, WAXworks,The  Chashama Theather, The Brooklyn Museum, Peridance, University Settlement, Dance New Amsterdam, NYU, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the 92nd Street Y, The National Theater in Kampala, Uganda, and most recently, Radio City Music Hall.

Gabriela holds duel Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and English from Texas Christian University. In 2006, she completed her BA in Dance from SUNY at Empire State College and the DEL (Dance Education Laboratory) program. She is 2013 graduate from NYU's Steinhardt School with a Master of Arts in Dance Education and a NYS Certification for Teaching Dance grades Pre-K-12, and served as a NYCDOE Dance Educator for 3 years.

Gabriela is presently on faculty at the Mary McDowell Upper School in Brooklyn Heights.  And, is also a Private and Group instructor at NYC Pilates and REAL Pilates in New York City.

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