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Meet the Founders

Meet the Founders


Meet the Founders

Meet the Founders

Heather Steele

Company Manager & Director

A Native of Houston, Heather trained under Lynette Mason Gregg at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts since age 4. She Danced Professionally with the Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre for four seasons, during which she performed featured roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Cinderella in Cinderella, Lucy in Dracula, Carmen in Carmen, and several company works. Her Choreographic work for BAHBT includes HairsprayThoroughly Modern Millie, and several mixed programs. In New York she performed in the Moving Beauty Series Dance Festival and Sans Limit Dance Collective. Returning to Clear Lake with her husband, Travis Kirk Coombs, to raise their beautiful daughters, she enjoys being home at RAFA as Artistic Director and as Company Manager and choreographer for Juxtapose Arts Collective. 

Cara Shanks

Community Outreach Director

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Cara Trained at a variety of schools before finding her true dance home at RAFA in 2006. Cara became an Artist in Residence with BAHBT under Luis Fuente and performed in various productions including The NutcrackerFirebirdCarmenCinderellaSwan LakeSleeping Beauty, and Grease. She choreographed original works for BAHBT and Regional Dance of America where she received the Monticello Emerging Choreographer award twice in 2009 and 2011 for her pieces Intentions Within and 5 Last Minutes. She was invited to the Craft of Choreography Workshop in Seattle with only 10 other choreographers from around the country. In 2011, she became a Rockets Power Dancer while attending the Bauer School of Business. She recently performed with PMT in the Rocky Horror Show and choreographed and performed in Midtown: Live! 2016. Cara is the Community Outreach Director, choreographer, and dancer for Juxtapose Arts Collective.

Dwain Travis

Electronic Initiatives Director

Dwain trained at RAFA from ages 3 to 11. At age 12 he began training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC, where he performed many variations from classical Vaganova ballets. He started his professional career with a company in Houston, BAHBT, where he spent four years as Principal and Artist in Residence under Luis Fuente and Lynette Mason Gregg. His first piece of choreography, Dearly Departed, was selected for the RDA/SW Dance Festival, as well as the 2010 Craft of Choreography Conference, and further awarded the RDA Choreography Connection Grant with the opportunity to choreograph on the Canton Ballet in Ohio. His next original work, Pulse, was chosen for the 2012 RDA National Festival in Montreal, Canada. Other professional credits include working with Houston Ballet, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the Joffrey Ballet's JKO School, the Harid Conservatory, Houston Dance Theatre, Galveston Ballet, League City Ballet, and Louisiana Dance Theatre. He is currently the Electronics Initiatives Director, choreographer, and dancer for Juxtapose Arts Collective.

Kristen Shiver-Cowan

Relations Director

Kristen Shiver-Cowan began dancing at the School of Memphis Ballet in 1995. In 2003 she attended Houston Ballet's summer intensive on scholarship and later joined the Trainee Program at Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. In 2006 she joined the Nashville Ballet and performed in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Lizzie Borden, Dracula, and Cinderella. In 2008 she began her degree at Sam Houston State University where she was exposed to World Dance forms, Laban Movement Analysis, modern, tap, jazz, ballet, and aerial silks. Upon Graduation she joined BAHBT as an Artist in Residence, under Lynette Mason Gregg, and performed roles such as Prayer Variation in Coppelia, Arabian and Spanish in The Nutcracker, and Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty. Kristen expanded into musical theatre, performing in Seussical the Musical, Legally Blonde, Bye Bye Birdie, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and The Rocky Horror Show. Kristen is a founding member, choreographer, and dancer for Juxtapose Arts Collective. 

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Meet the Company

Meet the Company

Meet the Company

Meet the Company


Juxtapose I.

The first company is comprised of resident artists as well as guest artists, all local to the Houston Area.


Jade Devault

Jade began dancing in Dickinson, TX with a youth drill team, where she initially discovered her interest for the art. As her curiosity grew, she continued dancing well after the usual half time routines and attended Texas State University where she acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. Jade was a company member with the university’s pre-professional company Merge Dance and also performed several works created by faculty and guest choreographers from Colorado, Mexico and the UK such as: Rocio Luna, Cecilia & Yseye Appleton, Kim Olson, Nathan Montgomery, and Heike Salzer. Jade has performed at the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre, Boyd Vance Theatre, Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival and Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema. She has also had the opportunity to present her choreographic work,” Restore”, at the American College Dance Festival in 2013. Jade is pursuing her professional career in the Houston dance community where she now dances with Leon Contemporary Dance Company directed by Dorrell Martin and Juxtapose directed by Heather Steele. Jade continues furthering her education through programs such as the Urbanity Dance Summer Intensive based in Boston and the Noble Motion Dance intensive, where she received an invitation to perform as a guest in their recent work, “Supernova”, at Zilkha Hall. Jade hopes to continue growing as a professional artist and teacher. In the near future she plans to obtain a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance to extend her learning and help dancers unlock their full potential.


Grace Sauls

Grace has received her developmental training under Lynette Mason Gregg of Royal Academy of Fine Arts and became a company member of BAHBT at age 13. She performed in their productions including various roles in The Nutcracker, “Cora” in Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Sleeping Beauty, Dracula, Cinderella, and Edward Scissorhands. She performed as the Guardian Angel in Juxtapose’s Christmas production, Believe, and recently debuted as an emerging choreographer in Canvassed: An Evening of Art. She shared the stage with renowned ballerina Misty Copeland in Cinderella at the Hobby Center’s Sarofim Hall and performed in New York for Gelsey Kirkland Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Along with attending Boston Ballet’s summer program, Grace’s training has included luminaries such as the legendary Gelsey Kirkland, Ekaterina Chtchelkanova, Lybov Fominich, Vera Solveya, Pilar Garcia, Luis Fuente, Ayman Harper, Olga Kostritzky, Nilas Martins, Ashley Ellis, Yusha Marie-Sorrano, Dwain Travis, Heather Steele, Laura Massague, Lorna Feijoo, and Vicente Tome. Grace is presently under the instruction of the acclaimed Nelson Madrigal. Grace honors Juxtapose for opportunities extended to her.

Madison Cooper

Madison began dancing at age 11 at RAFA, where she was trained under the tutelage of John Ruth, Angela Lopez, Luis Fuente, and Heather Steele. In 2011, she traveled to New York City to study with the Joffrey Ballet School as the recipient of the Makenzie Stocker Scholarship. Performance credits include roles in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Dracula, Coppelia, Bye Bye Birdie, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. She trained with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as well as Texas Ballet Theatre under the direction of Ben Stevenson. Madison attended Sam Houston State University in the fall of 2011, pursuing studies in aerial, modern dance, and musical theatre. She has performed with the modern company Recked Productions and the Odd Ball Comedy Tour. Past summers she spent time performing with Louisiana Ballet Theatre and Oklahoma City Ballet. She recently completed her second season with BAHBT before returning to her studies at the University of Houston Clear Lake for elementary education and joining Juxtapose Arts Collective. 


Juxtapose II.

The Juxtapose II dancers are a pre-professional performing dance company technically trained in ballet and contemporary and distinguished between junior and senior company status. They perform in the entire Juxtapose Arts Collective Season, alongside professional artists, as well as dance festivals around the Houston Area. The Jux II Company is comprised of strong dancers who are hungry to learn and perform in the Houston Arts Community.


JII Senior Company

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Kyndyll Adams


Emily McFall


Taplin Sauls

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Kayla Wadge


JII Junior Company

Bethany Askins           Jessica Bottego          Daphne Breaux           Callie Dimel
Rachel Rehrer              Sarah Siegfried          Erica Zanello               Kailey Zatopek

J'AIR Company

             Riley Cassarino    Karaline Focke     Emma Lovely     Rand Ludtke     
                       Elisa Molldrem      Johanna Miles        Sofia Serna


The JETES (Juxtapose Emphasis Theatre Ensemble) are a triple-threat traveling performance group comprised of students from The JETPAC that perform set repertoire work in ballet, tap, contemporary, and jazz in their very own show, BLOCKBUSTERS!  They SING, ACT, and DANCE their way around the Houston Community at festivals and events! The JETES also perform in select shows in the Juxtapose Arts Collective Season and is the precursor company to Juxtapose II.