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. 

Owner / Artistic Director / Instructor

Office Manager / 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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Bailey Turner
Competition Director / Instructor

Bailey Baker grew up in The Woodlands where she began her dance training at the age of four. She has participated with several competitive studios as well as her junior high and high school dance teams. She first choreographed a number for her junior high show choir and has been in love with it ever since. Bailey continued her training at The University of Mississippi where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. While attending "Ole Miss" she danced with and choreographed for a contemporary company and even founded her own student lead dance company which she was elected the Artistic Director of three years in a row. This will be Bailey's fifth year teaching, and she looks forward to many more years of dance and fun. 

Competition Director / 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

Kelsey Hammons
Instructor

Kelsey Hammons grew up in Clinton, Mississippi where she began her dance training at age four.  In 2012, she joined Ballet Magnificat School of the Arts where she continued to dance until she graduated high school.  Later, Kelsey was accepted into Ballet Magnificat’s Pre-Professional Program where she graduated in 2019. Kelsey received dance training from Jiri Voborsky and Kathy Thibodeaux.  She worked at Kids4Christ Performing Arts teaching classes and running competition teams for two years. At the Bravo Dance Competition, Kelsey was awarded the Bravo Choreography Award.  Her love for dance is bringing her to The Woodlands, Texas to join Ballet Excelsior as a professional dancer.

Receptionist / 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

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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.

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 has been working in healthcare for five years and currently works at a rehabilitation hospital. She is also 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

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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. Natalia is excited about joining the Backstage Dance Studio team.

Instructor

Robert Clark
Instructor

Robert Clark began dancing at the age of 11 in his hometown of Las Cruces, NM and has since studied dance with international choreographers, teachers and performers at studios and universities ranging from New Mexico and Texas to Wisconsin and Chicago. Presently a core member of Nicolay Dance Works, Robert also performs at the Texas Rennesaince Festival After Dark Spectacular and guest performs for various studios and regional dance companies. Robert holds a Masters in Fine Arts in dance from Sam Houston State University where he is also now an adjunct professor. Favorite credits include Barnstorm 2017, Austin Dance Fest 2016, Copelia with the Houston Dance Theater and The Wynne Home Nutcracker with Nicolay Dance Theater. 

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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.