Our Staff

Scroll over the staff member to read their biography. Click on the staff member's name to see more.

Cindy Thompson
Owner / Artistic Director / Instructor

​Backstage Dance Studio has been owned and operated since 1980 by Cindy Thompson. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and teaching from Sam Houston State University as well as College Graduate courses in dance. She has studied dance since she was four years old and is highly trained in Classical Ballet. She has also studied the Modern and Jazz techniques throughout her life. Much of her training was in the Houston area, but she also trained at Sam Houston State University and briefly in New York. She has also performed with several dance companies and groups over the years. She now enjoys sharing the knowledge she received from all of her talented teachers and has a commitment to pass on to future dancers a love, respect and understanding of proper dance technique.​

Erin Crouch
Office Manager / Instructor

Erin is originally from Ohio and received her Bachelor of Music in Music Theatre from Baldwin Wallace University. She took a semester off from her training to appear in the European tour of The Who's Tommy. Following graduation, she spent six years in New York City pursuing a career in musical theatre. She has choreographed for numerous choirs, show choirs, and glee clubs across the nation, as well as high school musicals and college dance concerts in Ohio. She spent two years in NYC teaching preschool dance and Erin’s passion lies in blending the joy of creativity, imagination, and performing with introducing dance fundamentals. Her performance credits include musicals at Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, and The New York Musical Theatre Festival, just to name a few. Erin is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association. 

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Chance Ennis
Competition Director / Instructor

Originally from Ames, Iowa, Chance began his early training at The Robert Thomas Dance Center and performed in The Nutcracker with the Iowa State Center Ballet before moving to New York City to study at The Joffrey Ballet School. In 2016, Chance moved to Indiana to finish his degree as a Dance Performance Major at Anderson University. Chance has danced with Gregory Hancock Dance Company, Indianapolis Ballet, Hinsdale Dance Academy, and was a company member with Ballet 5:8 based out of Chicago. Chance has taught at studios all over the country and has worked as a competition judge for Fly Dance, Hall of Fame and New York City Dance Alliance, just to name a few!  

Owner / Artistic Director / Instructor

Office Manager / Instructor

Barbara Murph
Instructor

Barbara began her dance training at age six in New Albany, Indiana at the Webber School of Dance.  At age twelve Barbara moved to Fort Myers, Florida, where her training continued at the Bochette School of Dance, and she studied under Dance Masters of America’s (DMA) teachers in Miami, Florida.  She has Teacher Training Course qualifications in Classical Ballet, Pointe, Modern Jazz, Tap, Acrobatic Dancing and Tumbling.  Barbara is also a member of the Professional Dance Teachers Association, Ballet Master, and she has a Business & Secretarial Degree from the Jones Business College, Jacksonville, Florida.  Prior to moving to Texas she successfully owned and operated her own dance studio in Virginia for 25 years and was teacher/choreographer for the “Steppin-Out Tapers of Virginia.  Barbara has been with Backstage Dance Studio since 2005 and is looking forward to sharing her love and knowledge of dance with many more of the students at Backstage Dance Studio.

Instructor

Melise Rider
Instructor

Melise Rider is from Crowley, Louisiana and danced with Core Dance Center for ten years. She has been teaching dance for over twenty years in the subjects of ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. This will be Melise's third year with Backstage Dance Studio. Before joining Backstage Dance Studio, she served as a ballet director for Kathy Kurth Dance Studio in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Her training consist of Cechetti Ballet and Jazz with styles that are strong in traditional technique. Melise has danced with Lake Charles Ballet Company and has toured with Dance Olympus as a VIP. Among her awards were Tremaine (Dance Company) scholarships. She has a love for choreography and children and is happy to be with Backstage Dance Studio with a primary goal to share her passion of dance with others. Melise thanks her husband and six children for supporting her in staying involved with dance.

Instructor

Miranda Havard
Instructor

Miranda Havard started dancing at the age of six years old. Her passion for dance truly started in high school where she was captain of her drill team and elite dance group. She has had numerous performances, competitions, and workshop opportunities that paved her path to start teaching. During college she taught private dance classes, drill team prep,ballet, technique sessions, competitive jazz and a dance class for children with special needs. Miranda also works in healthcare at an inpatient hospital for rehabilitation. In addition, she is a certified in group fitness and enjoys teaching and encouraging support groups. Besides being a mom, Miranda’s proudest accomplishment is being able to see her students grow as individuals and enjoy her classes.

Instructor

Shara Phillips
Assistant Artistic Director / Instructor

Shara Phillips began studying dance when she was three years old. She has trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, and lyrical. Shara has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from Sam Houston State University.  She spent four years with a professional contemporary dance company, where she was able to act as both a dancer and choreographer. Shara has been teaching dance for over seventeen years and has been with Backstage Dance Studio for ten of those years. She looks forward to many more years of sharing her love of dance with her students. 

Assistant Artistic Director / Instructor

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Natalia Belden
Instructor

Natalia is originally from Russia and moved to Houston, Texas in May 2014. She started her artistic career at eight years old in the Up Circus school for approximately nine years. She graduated as a juggler and acrobatic artist. After high school she studied at the College of Culture and Arts as a choreographer/teacher for three years. Natalia went on to Sports Academy Lesgaft in St. Petersburg for one year taking jazz modern dance. She worked with Dance Studio Image at various places throughout China as a dancer. She also worked at the Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Blvd. Nikulin as a dancer with the Dance Theatre Favorite along with famous Russian artists. In 2015 Natalia received her Master's Degree in Folk Art Creativity/Artistic Director of Choreographic/Teacher from the University of Khabarovsk Culture and Art in Russia. She teaches ballet, folk dance, eurhythmics and jazz modern.

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Rachel Norris
Instructor

Rachel has been dancing from the age of six, and has always loved getting to share her passion for performance arts with others. Her training includes over 12 combined years of Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Hip Hop, and Tap.

Having lived in three states throughout her childhood and teen years, staying heavily involved in a dance studio was always a priority for her. She found a passion for theatre after getting involved in a Musical Theatre class at her final dance studio, and her love of the arts grew even more.

From there she continued her theatrical journey throughout high school and college, graduating from Sam Houston State University in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Theatre. While there, she also received advanced education in dance techniques.

Teaching dance has always been a dream of hers. She is incredibly excited to be joining the Backstage team, and is looking forward to an amazing, fun-filled year!

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Torrey Saul
Instructor

Torrey Saul is originally from Riverside, California where she began dancing before age two! Torrey has studied multiple styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, and contemporary, as well as additional training in acro and cheer. In California, she had the pleasure of performing at Knott's Berry Farm before moving down to Texas. She has extensive experience working in early childhood education and is currently working towards her Bachelors of Arts in Education with the hopes of becoming a high school teacher.

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Mirannda Clark
Instructor

Mirannda Lindberg-Clark originally hails from Brownsville, TX. She earned her Master's of Fine Arts in Dance at Sam Houston State University, and now teaches and performs in the Houston area with Haven Arts Theater and The Texas Renaissance Festival. Mirannda has been teaching dance for nearly 10 years and loves to help students discover the joy and beauty of movement.

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Instructor

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OUR TESTIMONIALS

We absolutely love Backstage Dance Studio! The teachers are so nurturing and know how to instill a love of dance at a young age. We started out in Princess Dance Camp during the summer and have been taking classes for two years now. Looking forward to many years to come! 

- Sarah J.