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THE VISION

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     April Coghill, an accomplished dance instructor who is also a professional social worker and a dance mom, dreamed about re-imagining the traditional dance studio with a focus on students and the culture of dance.  She also wanted a studio where students were trained in proper technique from the beginning, parents were involved, and was community focused.  In 2011 April shared her vision with eight other parents who were also frustrated with traditional dance studios.  The group, excited about her vision, decided to open a studio that would provide a positive environment and the support their children needed, focus on their individuality, and offer high-quality instruction.  They worked with businesses in the Cypress community who donated resources and put in hundreds of hours of their own time to build the facilities where their vision would be realized. 

     As the facility was being completed, the group laid out the plans for the operation of the studio.  They were determined to share their passion for dance with the community and desired to make Cypress a better community through dance which included providing scholarships to economically challenged youth. These goals this led them to form a non-profit organization, a 501(c)3, with a Program Director and Board of Directors consisting of parents who volunteer their time.  They also sought and hired highly trained, passionate instructors who love teaching children. After 9 months of hard work, the studio on Jones Road opened its doors in June 2012.

THE REALITY

Our Mission

    CDP has created a positive studio culture and is building well-rounded, community-minded, confident, spirited dancers.  The Academy classes are filled with students who are always encouraged to do their best and are guided in proper technique while having fun.  They love their classes and instructors, can do their homework in the CDP Study Den between classes, make new friends who support each other and have developed discipline, confidence, and self-awareness that extend into their daily lives.

    Students have danced at nursing homes and performed at numerous community events.  The studio has opened its doors for events such as Parents’ Night Out and Truck or Treat and offered short summer sessions such as “Project Pop Star” to extend dance opportunities to the community.

    Since its inception, the CDP Company, the competitive team, has won numerous awards for solos, duos, and group performances at both regional and national competitions.  These include First Place Overall Small Group Recreational, Judges' Awards for Most Entertaining and Poetry in Motion, Choreographer of the Year, Studio or the Year, and National Grand Champion awards.   

    Parents from all walks of life continue to be actively involved and gladly volunteer their time to improve the dance studio life experience.  They are united in the belief that children can receive quality dance education and achieve amazing results with supportive, compassionate instruction. The strength of our parent base is critical to enable CDP to continue growing and developing spirited dancers and maintain momentum and currency with the community.

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Our Instructors

April

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          Dance pulses through every vein of Momma April Coghill. As a master’s degreed Social Worker serving on the front lines of some of life’s toughest circumstances, she ultimately seeks to build, nurture and protect safe, meaningful spaces for children in her orbit. She served successfully in schools, hospitals, community centers and city government. However, after experiencing dance studio culture through the lens of a counselor and a parent, she was inspired to open The Cypress Dance Project, one of the nations first non-profit, competitive dance studios…and WOW has it been a ride!

           At 5 years old, Momma April began her dance training at Kranenburg’s Dance Studio when her mom swapped studio cleaning for lessons. Dance was not free and she understood this early. She is an OG west coast competition and convention kid that is old and lucky enough to have trained with legendary the Joe Tremaine and Al Gilbert inside of their actual dance studios (Yes! Joe Tremaine had a dance studio). She also competed at Showstoppers and Car in their infancy.

          Momma April’s dancers are known for being technically excellent, hard working and above all else, kind. Her daughter, Lola, currently works as a professional dancer in Los Angeles and is Brian Friedman’s pro-assistant for Radix Dance Convention. Lola’s path to dance success is not by accident. In fact, Momma April and her husband continue to work very purposefully to build and support Lola’s dream. Sharing what she has learned from her journey thus far with the dancers and families is her purpose and her pleasure.

          Momma April has been married for 22 years to her husband Richard. She is also the proud mother of a senior at Cy-Fair High School, Lennox and two Boston Terriers, Rod Stewart and Maggie Mae.

Desiree

        Desiree LaNiece began her training when she joined the dance company at her intermediate and middle school which hosted a magnet program for fine arts. After joining her high school drill team, she became a dance officer her junior and senior year which gave her the opportunity to train under dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, cast members from the movie StepUp, and many others. In less than a month after graduating high school, Desiree became a professional NBA dancer for the Houston Rockets.

        She has had the opportunity to perform at Oprah's "Life You Want" tour,  teach in Mexico City, as well as backup dance for Capitol Latin Record's music artist J Balvin. Outside of the Toyota Center arena she began choreographing for local music artist and mainstream film director Michael Artist.

         Desiree continues to help open doors for performers in the Houston area and give dancers opportunities that are less likely to come often to Houston to help them achieve their dreams as well as becoming the "go to" hip hop choreographer of Houston. Desiree's choreography has received both regional and national dance awards. 
Desiree LaNiece
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Africa

          Africa Martinez is a Cypress Dance Project alumna who has graduated into becoming a teacher. She now teaches the level 1 Industry and Jazz Funk classes. Along with teaching, she is also currently in college studying Video Production and Media Design. With her knowledge for media content, she has helped create promotional videos and photography for Cypress Dance Project. 
          Africa was a dedicated student and is now a hard working teacher. She strives to bring out the excellency in every student that steps into our studio. 

Taylor

          Meet our tap teacher, Ms. Taylor. This is Taylor’s 12th year educating tap dancers around the Houston area. She has been trained by various professional tap dancers around the world. She has also attended numerous tap festivals to help her grow as an artist. Most notably Tap Kids in Burlington, VT. She was one of 50 tap dancers chosen in the United States and Canada to attend.               
          She continued her journey as a professional member of True Sound Rhythm, directed by Tony Merriwether. She now finds her home as the tap director at Cypress Dance Project. Join our tap ensemble, The Rhythm Project, for classes and tap dance history!
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more teachers coming soon...

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