• 1:13

Melissa Rayburn AKA Mrs. Ray



Atascocita Dance Academy - began June of 2012, Atascocita HS: taught dance & started the Patriette Dance Team, 7 years, Humble HS & Kingwood HS - taught dance for 2 years, San Jacinto College, North Campus: taught dance & health classes for 5 years as an adjunct instructor, and Galena Park HS: taught health, dance, & directed the dance team for 7 years. This is Mrs. Ray's 4th dance studio to own.

Earned a Masters degree in Education from U of H in 2000. Earned a BS in Heath & Human Performance from U of H in 1997. Graduated with honors from Galena Park HS in 1993. While in college, Mrs. Ray, danced on the Cougar Dolls Dance Team before entering the dance dept.
Favorite Scripture/Life Philosophy

"...we also glory in our sufferings, because that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

Greatest Achievement

Came to know her Lord & Savior at age 13, married to Mike Rayburn for 17 years, mother to Miranda age 16, Makenzie age 12, & step-mother to Myles age 29. 

Stacy Pickard

Office Personnel

Stacy has been with ADA since January 2016 and . loves to watch her girls dance and treats all the other dancers like they are her own. Stacy and her husband of 15 years, Brian, have both lived in Kingwood for over 39 years and have 2 beautiful girls. Her girls, Addison Grace and Emerson Claire are both students at ADA and are starting their 5th year on the Competition teams. She is an elementary school teacher at Eagle Springs Elementary by day (starting her 18th year) and one of ADA’s Office Staff. High School – Kingwood High School 
College – Sam Houston State University Jeremiah 29:11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”


Cory Thaxton

Director/Lead Instructor and Digital Media Manager

Cory is from Monroe, Louisiana, where he attended The University of Louisiana Monroe. He received his B.A. in Journalism in May of 2018 and moved to the Houston area in August of 2018. He is 24-years-old and has been dancing for about 10 years. Ever since he was little, he always loved anything to do with the arts. Although he played baseball and basketball, song and dance was where his heart lied. It wasn’t until his freshman year of high school when he learned how much of a passion for dance he had. He joined his local community theater, fell in love with performing, and his life changed forever. Since 2009 he has had the privilege of being in over 12 musicals, including "Hairspray," "Cats," and "West Side Story." He has choreographed several dances that have premiered on stage at his university. He made it pass the first round of the singing competition show, “X-Factor,” and booked his first professional gig to dance in a state-wide Vantage Health commercial alongside Miss Louisiana 2018, Holli Conway.

  • Introducing Mrs. Shay0:31

Instructors & Staff

Shay Schoettlin


Shay is a 2012 graduate of Atascocita High School.  She was a 4 year member and 3 year Officer of the Patriettes dance team. She went on to dance in college for the TVCC Cardettes and the MCC dance team. She graduated in 2016 from Texas A&M University (Gig’em Aggies! Whoop!) She is an alumni of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority where she was a key member for choreography and performance in the sorority’s different dance competitions. She has worked at numerous dance studios and choreographed for many schools across Texas leading up to her time at ADA. She is currently the Assistant Director for the Humble HS Wildcatdets. Shay is married to her college sweetheart Jeremy, and they have 2 dogs that they adore: Tank & Cooper. When she isn’t at the studio (which is rare) she is reading, painting, or doing something outdoors! Her favorite Bible verse is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13. Shay teaches: contemporary, technique, team classes & serves as the Platinum team Director.

Favorite Scripture
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

Leslie Thompson

​Office Manager

Leslie has been with ADA since August 2018 and loves being a part of this wonderful dance family.  She and her husband Darrell have been together for 20 years. Together they have two kids, Dillon and Faith. Leslie currently works at Pine Forest Elementary and has been with Humble ISD for 10 years.  In her spare time she loves to dance, read, paint, and hang out with friends & family.

Matthew 22:37-39

Miranda Rayburn

Associate Instructor

Miranda is a 3 year member of Atascocita Patriettes and is junior lieutenant. She has been dancing for 8 years. Her favorite styles of dance are lyrical and jazz. Her favorite bible verse is romans 8:31. She has been a member of the ADA competition team for 7 years. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience of dance with everybody. 

Anthony Davis

Lead Instructor

Anthony J. Davis is a dancer and choreographic artist from Houston, Texas who began dancing at the age of six years old at N-Motion Dance Studio, as well as the Lake Houston Performing Arts Center. He holds a BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University where he was a departmental scholarship recipient. Anthony has been the recipient of scholarships of summer intensive programs through the Ailey School in New York, and also the Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago. Currently, Anthony is a teacher and choreographer at Atascocita & Crosby Dance Academies and also on staff with the Universal Dance Association. With UDA, he has had the honor of teaching dancers from across the country.

Sharmane Joubert 

Associate Instructor

Sharmane is a 4 year member of the Atascocita Patriettes and served as Jr. Lieutenant and will serve as Co-Captain her senior year. She is also the 2019 National Champion Junior soloist for Crowd Pleasures in San Antonio. She’s been dancing for 13 years, and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others to help them achieve their goals.

Atascocita Dance Academy

Sarah McKeon

Director/Lead Instructor

​Sarah has been dancing for 14 years. She was a 4 year member of the Crosby Cougar Stars, a 2 year dance officer, serving as Colonel her senior year. She attended Texas A&M University (WHOOP!) where she earned a Bachelors Degree in Biomedical Sciences. She is currently a science teacher at Crosby High School. Sarah is knowledgeable about the body, loves to dance, and has a passion and heart for teaching and for young people.  

Erin Canavan

Associate Instructor

Erin Canavan has been competitively dancing for 10 years. She has been dancing at Atascocita Dance Academy since the studio first opened 7 years ago. She is going into her 3rd year on the Atascocita High School Patriettes dance team, and she is currently a Jr. Lieutenant. Her favorite styles of dance are contemporary and jazz. She also has knowledge in acrobatic arts and she looks forward to passing this and her knowledge of other genres of dance to her students.  

Andreea Mateescu

Ballet Instructor

Andreea has been dancing for over 30 years, debuting as a soloist at only 19 years old for the Opera House Ion Dacian in Bucharest. Andreea has finished her Ballet studies in 2003 with a master in choreography and later on she became the main choreographer for many lead singers creating shows for different companies,Tv shows,commercials and agencies in Romania and abroad. Now relocated in Texas, Andreea loves sharing her knowledge with young children and lead them to a successful path in dance industry.
Chorintians 16:30

Hunter Kunkel

Lead Instructor​​

Ms. Hunter has been on ADA staff and teaching acro for four years. The first two of those years she also danced on the senior/platinum team for Mrs. Ray. In 2017 she graduated from Kingwood High School and she is currently studying at Lone Star College and plans to transfer to Texas Chiropractic College. As a child she did competitive gymnastics at the Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she was training level 9. Ms. Hunter's favorite part of teaching is when her students master a skill they've been working hard for.