Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Alexa began her training in classical ballet at a very early age at the Academia de Ballet Tanya under the direction of Tanya Beléndez. Throughout the years, she has had the opportunity to train with such master teachers of classical ballet, flamenco, pointe, partnering, character, jazz, and Broadway techniques as Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan under the direction of Vanessa Ortiz; Diana Pérez, Nahir Medina, and Rosario Galán; Eglevsky Ballet Company under the instruction of Jane Miller, Michael Vernon, Elizabeta Calero, and Nahir Medina; Ballet Austin in Texas and at The University of Wisconsin in Madison. Alexa has performed as a guest artist for Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan, Compañia de Baile Moderno in Puerto Rico, and a soloist for the Jacksonville Ballet Theater (JBT) under the direction of Dulce Anaya. She has also performed locally in Jacksonville’s Community Nutcracker.
Alexa began teaching ballet at fourteen and has taught dance in Jacksonville since 2006. She taught ballet for seven years at Boleros Cultural Arts Center for the Theater Dance Department. She was a guest ballet instructor for The Bean School of Dance in Fernandina Beach and Jacksonville Ballet Theater. In 2010, Alexa developed her specific outreach ballet program for pre-schools throughout the Jacksonville community. Alexa brings her talent, training, experience, and passion for dance to students of all ages. Moreover, Alexa is proud to be the President and Co-Founder of the Alius Dance School and is a Certified Level I Instructor for Scott Putman’s Elemental Body Alignment System (EBAS).
While pursuing her love of dance, Alexa’s achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from The Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Structural) from the University of Texas at Austin. Alexa holds a Professional Engineer License in the state of Florida. She is also a devoted wife and proud mother of two wonderful boys, Diego and Sergio.
Daryl Smith DeBolt began her dance training at the age of ten at the Nice School of Dance in Orange Park, Florida, under the care of Lisa Nice Longworth. At the age of fourteen, she auditioned for the Jacksonville Ballet Theatre under the instruction of Dulce Anaya and became a Junior Member of the company in 1979.
Mrs. DeBolt studied at Florida State University as a member of the Dance Department and graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree from Oklahoma City University in 1987, majoring in Dance and taking several music courses. In addition to her dance training, Daryl sings and plays piano.
Daryl has instructed dance for thirty-five years in the Orange Park and Jacksonville, Florida area, having worked at Nice School of Dance, Bambi Phillips School of Dance, Marta Jackson School of Dance, Village Dance Center, Jacksonville Christian Arts Center, Shoshannah Arts, Legacy Dance, East Coast Ballet, Miss Felicia’s Dance School and Mazza-Smith Dance. She has trained under the following instructors of dance Lisa Nice Longworth, Marilyn Mazza, Jo Rowan, Lisa Poole, Kate Levitz, Anthony Morgan, Clifford Schuleman, Richard Sias, Maria DeBaroncelli, Carveth Osterhaus, Angela Blackledge, Noel Parenti, Rhonda Miller, Debra Belue, Lori Miller, Mindi Mende, Laurie Byrd, Rhonda Stampalia, and Betty Swenson. Mrs. DeBolt has worked as a Choreographer and Instructor of Dance in various Dance Mediums, including Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary. Daryl’s passion is imparting her knowledge of dance to children and adults, choreographing for the Church in Liturgical Dance, nurturing the minds and hearts of those who love dance, and continuing to educate herself in the field of Dance.
Michelle Couchenour began dancing at the age of three. She studied locally at Nancy Dance and East Coast Ballet and attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts during her Freshman and Sophomore years. Following high school, Michelle's dance experience broadened. She was with Renescent Productions for a year, touring across the United States and Canada. She attended Florida State College at Jacksonville, pursuing an Arts Degree, and studied to become a Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist. During her tenure at Florida State College at Jacksonville, she participated in the "Dance Works" Dance Company under the direction of Rosemary Fletcher. While she trained under Mindi Mende and Shannon Clemons, she became active in the "East Coast Ballet Dance Contemporary" Company, participating in several ministry opportunities. Michelle spent a few years dancing with East Coast Ballet Contemporary, traveling to New York and Orlando to participate in "Project Dance" under the Directorship of Shannon Clemons, and was accepted into Störling Dance. Michelle has been active as a choreographer, assisting with choreography in the "Ruth Ballet" and several contemporary dance pieces locally for performances and competitions. In addition to being proficient in the medium of dance, Michelle is also a talented singer. She has trained under the following instructors in her dance career: Janet Sydnore, Nancy Tuttle, Mindi Mende, Shannon Clemons, Rhonda Stampalia, Phyllis Penney, Mark Spivak, Debra Webb, April Biggs, Stan Picus, Randal Flynn, Cheryl Cutlipand, and Rosemary Fletcher. Michelle has lived in and taught dance in Jacksonville for several years.
Michelle Couchenour is a Functional Medicine and National Board Certified Health Coach and is PBT certified.
Lyndsey Givens is a native of Jacksonville. She began her formal ballet training at the FLB Training Center in 2017. In 2018, she became a full-time Conservatory Student. She became a Trainee with the FLB in 2019 and an Apprentice in 2020. This is her fourth season with the Florida Ballet Company. Previous roles with the FLB Company include Spanish, Marzipan, Columbine Doll, Arabian, Snow Crystal, and Demi-Soloist Flower in FLB’s Nutcracker, Prelude in Les Sylphide, Phrygia in Spartacus, Fairy Godmother in Roger VanFleteren’s Cinderella, Pas De Trois and Celestial Variation in Paquita, Flower Girl in Forleo’s Gaîté Parisienne, Peaseblossom Fairy in Forleo’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Bridesmaid in Forleo’s Don Quixote and Shade Pas De Trois in La Bayadere.
Givens competed in the Youth American Grand Prix semi-finals in Tampa 2017, Tampa 2018, and Atlanta 2019. In 2019 she advanced to the Finals in New York City with a contemporary duet under the direction of Diedre Miles-Burger and Susie Dodge. She previously attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre, Tampa in 2018 and the Sarasota Ballet in 2019.
Lyndsey Givens is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Josef began studying dance at the age of 8. At 12, he began training with the Florida Ballet in Jacksonville, Florida. During his freshman year of high school, Josef attended the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts to pursue a dance career and The Florida Ballet Conservatory, where he trained with Christopher Alloways-Ramsey.
In 2019, he competed in The Youth American Grand Prix coached by Deidre Miles Burger and Susie Dodge, placing 3rd with his classical variation. He was invited to the finals in New York City to present his contemporary duet. In the summer of 2019, he went to Houston Ballet. He trained under Claudio Munez and concluded the year at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet with instructors Simon Ball, Darla Hoover, and Renato Penteado.
Josef is proud to be a member of The Florida Ballet Company under the direction of Roberto Forleo. Josef is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Lisa McLatchey is a native of Jacksonville and has studied ballet since the age of five. At age 13, she began training with The Florida Ballet under the direction of Laurie Picinich-Byrd. Upon graduating from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Lisa was accepted into the Dance Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College in White Plains, New York. While at SUNY Purchase, Lisa performed with the Purchase Dance Corps and worked with famed dancers and choreographers such as Robert Hill and Stanton Welch. Lisa then trained with the Joffrey American Ballet Center in New York City. Lisa has also attended summer intensives at Ballet Magnificat, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet. Lisa returned to Jacksonville in 2003, danced professionally with The Florida Ballet, and taught ballet classes for various skill levels. While with The Florida Ballet, Lisa danced lead roles in Giselle, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Taming of the Shrew, and The Nutcracker. Lisa has obtained a B.B.A in Finance and a Masters in Business Administration from the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida. After a career in Commercial Real Estate, she is now a stay-at-home mom and the current Chair of the Florida Ballet Board of Directors.
Laine started dancing at age six at Kinder Studios in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Since moving to Jacksonville at 10, she has danced at East Coast Ballet, Barbra Thompson, and Scott Jones School of Dance. Throughout high school, she was a Providence Senior Dance Company member and was part of the Scott Jones Performing Group. During college, she taught at Providence School as the 3rd - 5th grade Jazz teacher and was the director of the elementary dance company, His Company. She has also guest-choreographed the middle school contemporary competition piece for Providence for the last two years. She has experience teaching Ballet to ages five through eleven and hip hop. In December 2022, Laine graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in Marketing and minoring in Digital Marketing and Analytics. Laine is excited to join the Alius faculty this year as a Jazz and Hip Hop teacher and facilitate the studio's marketing.
Sarava has been dancing since age four and has trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, musical theater, hip hop, and acro. With a background in studios, intensives, conventions, and competitions, Sarava has extensive experience in performance, instruction, choreography, and competitive dance. She has received instruction and choreography under industry leaders such as Christopher Robbins, Carlos Garland, Vanessa Zabari, Lisa Clarson, Kathryn McCormick, Sonny Leo, Dulce Anaya, Morgan Brown, Alex Wong, Rebecca Levy, and many others. For the last ten years, she has been teaching and choreographing. Sarava is certified in PBT and Acrobatic Arts. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Fitness Management. She is passionate about dance and enjoys expanding her knowledge and experience through training and performance as a member of the professional dance company Selah Dance Ministries.
Elaine began her dance training at a young age at Du Page Dance Academy (Elmhurst, IL), where she became a founding member of the Elmhurst Dance Theater. She subsequently earned a minor in dance at St. Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN) and spent a summer post-graduation in residency with Pro Danza Italia (Tuscany, Italy). She returned to Chicago and trained extensively with Lou Conte Dance (Chicago, IL) and performed with the Hubbard Street Dance Company trainees. In Europe, Elaine trained with ballet masters at Teatro Carcano (Milan, Italy), earned a certificate in choreography, and trained and performed for multiple summers at the Impulstanz Dance Festival (Vienna, Austria). In 2006, Elaine became a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher and has incorporated yoga into her training for dancers. In 2015, Elaine co-founded Impulse Dance Company in Chicago, where she choreographed and produced multiple pieces and performances. Elaine is passionate about teaching dance and has taught at multiple studios in Chicago, Atlanta, and Jacksonville. She is thrilled to be a part of the faculty at Alius Dance and looks forward to a wonderful season ahead!