Our Faculty

All teachers at the Claire School of Dance are performing artists as well as experienced teachers. Our teachers have performed at Houston Ballet, Ballet West, Hubbard Street, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Alley Theatre, Diverseworks, and abroad.

Roxanne Claire

Roxanne Claire

Roxanne Claire is the owner and director of the Claire School of Dance, and director of Summer Magic art camps. A regular contributor to Dance Studio Life magazine, Ms. Claire is also a writer, choreographer, photographer, and video artist.

A certified teacher in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, (primary through Level 3), Ms. Claire received her training in modern dance in Paris, where she studied extensively with Jean Gaudin and Ruth Barnes. Also part of her background are workshops with Carolyn Carlson, Suzanne Linke, Angelin Preljocaj, Mark Morris, and Sean Curran. She received her training in classical ballet in Omaha, Nebraska, from Valerie Roche (Royal Academy of Dance, London).

With over 20 years of teaching experience, Ms. Claire has developed and trained others in her own curriculum for teaching dance and movement to small children. As director of Summer Magic, she has developed art curricula for a variety of camps. Recipient of a Diverseworks residency, Ms. Claire’s work has been shown in Houston, San Francisco, and abroad. In addition to her personal choreographic work, Ms. Claire has produced and directed annual productions of her New York Nutcracker, an original production for Claire School of Dance students, since 2002.

Ms. Claire’s video work has been shown at film festivals both in Houston and abroad. Ms Claire was the recipient of a Texas Filmmakers Grant for her video, Ritual of Remembrance. You can see some of her work online at roxanneclaire.com.

Reagan Israel

Reagan Israel

Reagan Israel began dancing in Sugar Land, Texas, where her love of the art was cultivated by Sharon Valant for ten years. In high school she danced with Ballet Forte, a pre-professional Regional Dance America company, where she studied ballet and modern and performed in classical and contemporary ballets. Throughout her teenage years, Reagan attended RDA festivals as well as summer intensives at Ballet Magnificat and the Atlanta Ballet. She also trained at Ballet Center of Houston under Victoria Vittum and performed with the Houston Repertoire Ballet and Sandra Organ Dance Company. After high school, Ms. Hand became a trainee with Ballet Magnificat and moved to Mississippi to study and share the gospel through dance full time for three years. After sustaining a chronic injury, Reagan left the stage and began teaching in 2012. She is passionate about the arts and hopes to encourage the pursuit of excellence in her students.

Ms. Hand has been trained and certified by the American Ballet Theatre in their National Training Curriculum in Primary through Level 3. She also holds a bachelor’s in Psychology and English and teaches Latin at a private school in Houston.

Rebecca Blackshear

Rebecca Blackshear

Rebecca Blackshear grew up dancing throughout the Houston area, receiving classical ballet training with Houston International Ballet Academy and Kennedy Dance Theatre under the tutelage of former prima ballerina, Milena Leben. In 2009, she was accepted into the Ballet Magnificat! trainee program in Jackson, MS where she furthered her professional training and performing. In the summer of 2012, Rebecca was offered a full-time classical ballet teaching position in Lilongwe, Malawi for African Bible College Christian Academy. Along with her teaching partner, Rebecca was instructor to over 100 academy students.

Upon her return to the U.S., she performed as a company member with Ad Deum II, a professional contemporary Houston-based company from 2014-2016. She has also traveled to work with Springs Dance Company in London, England in 2015 & 2016.

Currently, she is a professional freelance dancer and was most recently cast to perform in a new work by local choreographer, Tehilah Hartmann, for Choreographers X6.

In addition to teaching at the Claire School of Dance, Rebecca is currently on staff as a ballet instructor for the Academy at the Houston Ballet.

Maria Cravato

Maria Cravato

Maria Crovato is an enthusiastic ballet instructor with over 20 years of experience in ballet and dance as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher.

Ms. Maria is a former professional ballet dancer for a ballet company in Paraguay, South America where she also owned her own studio.

In addition to her experience teaching dancers of all ages, Ms. Maria is a certified instructor in the Leap n Learn early childhood dance curriculum and a certified teacher in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, Pre-Primary through Level 3.

Ms. Maria also holds a Bachelor degree in Nutrition.

Ms. Maria is highly motivated in helping students reach their ballet and dance goals while creating an energetic, positive atmosphere.

Melissa Pritchett

Melissa Pritchett

Melissa Pritchett is an Alley Theater Company Artist who has appeared in The Farnsworth Invention, Rock ‘N’Roll, Eurydice, Cyrano de Bergerac, Othello, Death on the Nile, Treasure Island, Hitchcock Blonde, Much Ado About Nothing, Black Comedy, Witness for the Prosecution, The Miser, The Pillowman, After the Fall, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Other theatre credits include Broadway 2003 (directed by Ann Reinking at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center), Beauty and the Beast, Brigadoon (Theatre Under the Stars), Fiorello!, Pal Joey, On the Town (Bayou City Concert Musicals) and Footloose (Great Caruso).

As a dancer, she was a principal dancer for Longview Ballet Theatre and locally with Sparacino Company Dancers. Her training includes the Broadway Theatre Project 2003 with Ann Reinking and Ben Vereen. In addition to choreographing for the Claire School of Dance, she has choreographed several shows for Bayou City Concert Musicals including One Touch Venus, Finnian’s Rainbow and Fiorello!

She holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Sam Houston State University.

Hilary Schaff

Hilary Schaff

Hilary is a New Orleans native who is happy to be in Houston. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama in May of 2014, where she earned her BA in Dance, was a member of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre and had many of her original works showcased in DanceAlabama! She has since worked as a guest artist performing in works with Hope Stone Inc. and Noble Motion Dance, as well as working as an Apprentice with Frame Dance Productions for two seasons.

Hilary has enjoyed teaching Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet with Claire School of Dance since 2016 and loves getting to see every student grow in their love for dance. She has also been smiling and teaching at “Dance for Kidz” with Elizabeth Schlitzberger and with Hope Stone Inc.’s “the Hope Project”, sharing the love of whole-hearted, total-body movement in her classes of younger students around HISD communities since 2015. You can also find her choreographing field shows for the Travis High School Tiger Band, working on her Balance Body Pilates Teaching Certification or working out in any fitness class around town.