Artistic Director, Senior Instructor and Choreographer
Ms. Coker is a senior instructor in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Pointe, Modern, Pas de Deux, and Competition classes. She has Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in dance from Southern Methodist University (SMU). She is the founder, owner, and director of Avant Dance. She is the founder and former Artistic Director of the South Texas Dance Theatre, and a former officer in the Southwest Regional Ballet Association (Regional Dance America). She served on the committee for the National Choreography Conference for two years. Ms. Coker taught Dance and Stage Movement at the University of Texas Pan American for eight years during which time she twice orchestrated the hosting of the National Choreography Conference. She was also the founder, director, and former owner of the Edinburg Dance Academy and Cynthia Coker & Company. These schools were sold when she relocated to Corpus Christi. Her own training includes Nikita Talin (soloist with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and partner of Bronislava Nijinska), Luigi (father of lyrical dance), and Ethel Winters and Yuriko of the original Martha Graham Company. Cynthia teaches a Cecchetti based ballet technique as well as modern and lyrical dance. She and her husband, Chester, have three children, Ehren who leads a web design team in Austin, KC who is a cinematographer in Austin, and Arielle who is a professional dancer, model, actress, and singer in Los Angeles. Cynthia has trained dozens of dancers who have gone on to dance professionally in companies or as commercial dancers, directed dance companies, and have become choreographers and dance teachers in studios, public schools, and universities. Her motto is: "never let someone else define what you can or cannot do." Achieving the unexpected is a remarkable and wonderful thing.
Arielle Elonys Coker
Arielle is an Avant Dance Alumnus currently working in Los Angeles as a professional dancer, choreographer, singer, and actress. Arielle has choreographed commercials for McDonald's and choreographed or performed in music videos by Jon Bellion, 3oh!3, Kill the Noise, and Brendon Urie. She modeled for 10th House Costume catalogue in 2017 & 2018 and has modeled for multiple performance and fitness wear catalogues. She is currently working with Showstopper Conventions and Competitions and tours throughout the United States as a teacher, hostess, and judge (as shown in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit Magazine, and Dance Studio Magazine). When in Los Angeles she teaches at Millinium. She starred in the short movie, "Where We Begin" which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, April 2015. Arielle has apperared on the television show "Nashville", filmed multiple commercials for Eureka vacuum cleaners, and danced as a back-up dancer and/or choreographed for multiple country and pop recording artists including Tim McGraw, Lost Trailers, and Alyssa Shouse. She has written numerous articles on dance for Showstopper dance magazine. She acted in the web series "Johnny Dynamo" and was also seen on the series AXI (Avengers of Extreme Illusion). She has appeared multiple times on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" and was a runner up in the Dance Spirit cover model search 2008.She holds a BA in dance from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She has trained with Bruce Marks, Sonya Tayeh, Justin Giles, Chad Michael Hall, Scott Heinzerling, Tekla Kostek, Holly Johnston, Quest Crew, Box Cuttahz, Joe Istre, and Kim McSwain. Arielle received her foundational dance training at Avant Dance in Corpus Christi. As a Corpus Christi native, she returns to Avant Dance in Corpus Christi whenever possible to teach and choreograph.
Brit grew up dancing and competing in the Dallas area since the age of 3. She trained under the direction of Kim McSwain at Dallas Powerhouse of Dance in Dallas, TX. She was titled both regional and national winner multiple times throughout her 15 years of competing. She has also earned numerous choreography awards over the past 10 years, and was a Vegas qualifier for So You Think You Can Dance. Brit graduated in 2013 from Chapman University, located in Southern California, with a BA in Dance as well as a BA in Public Relations/Advertising. She moved to Los Angeles after graduation where she worked for one of the industry's top dance production companies, Break The Floor Productions, for three years. She moved to Corpus Christi in the summer of 2017.
Andrew De Luna
Co-Artistic Director, senior instructor and choreographer
Andrew is a professional dancer who has traveled the world performing with Princess Criuise Lines, Regent Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruise Lines, with Sheraton Walkerhill in Seoul, South Korea, Legends in Concert in Myrtle Beach, iCandy Production, Harrah's Hotel & Casino, and for Gary Musick Productions to name a few. He has performed in feature films, television commercials, and even a Chuck-E-Cheese video. As a concert dancer he has performed with Tapestry Dance Company (Austin), The Drawbacks Rhythm Tap Company (Dallas), American Spirit Dance Company (Oklahoma City), and Dance Grand Prix Italia International Showcase (Cesena, Italy). Not only is he a brilliant tap dancer, he is a highly skilled and inspirational instructor and choreographer. He currently teaches tap, musical theatre, jazz, and leaps & turns at Avant as well as leading the company rehearsals. Andrew earned his Bachelor in Performing Art from Oklahoma City University specializing in Musical Theatre and tap dance.
Currently a junior at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Taylor was an Avant Dance Competition Company dancer who won many awards including 1st Place Overall Senior soloist at JUMP.
Haley is a Corpus Christi native who has spent years as an Avant Dance Company member. She has received numberous top regional and national awards including a contemporary scholarship from Radix, 2 time dancer of the year finalist from Celebration, and many top awards in solo, trio, and group competitions from Showstopper, JUMP, NUVO, MA, and Celebration.