Kayla Orton, Director
Mrs. Orton is a proud graduate of Anderson High School where she was a member of the Trojan Belles Dance Team. After high school, she auditioned to become a member of the 71st line of the World Famous Kilgore College Rangerettes. As a Rangerette, she had the opportunity to perform in the McDonalds Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago, the 75th Commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, as well as Dallas Cowboys football games, the Cotton Bowl, weekly football games, local parades, and the Rangerettes' annual show, Revels.
After Kilgore, Mrs. Orton attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology: Dance Science. At A&M, she studied many styles of dance including ballet and modern, as well as focusing on injury prevention and rehab, Pilates, dance wellness research, and choreography. During her time at Texas A&M she fell in love with Pilates and how beneficial it can be for dancers. She obtained her comprehensive Pilates certification through Balanced Body, traveling across the US to for different training sessions and workshops. During her time at Texas A&M, Mrs.Orton also taught and choreographed for MA Dance Productions at various summer dance camps.
Mrs. Orton was the assistant director for the Bryan High School ShyAnne Dance Team before returning to Austin to get married. She taught Pilates full time at various studios around town for a year before coming to work at Anderson.
Mrs. Orton teaches Dance I, Dance III/IV, and is the director for the Trojan Belles.
Cari Brown, Asst. Director
Ms. Brown began dancing ballet and tap at the age of three in New Braunfels, Texas. At age 10, she began taking classes in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip-hop at The Element Dance Center, where she was also a member of their competition team. While further continuing her studio training at Illusion Dance Center, she was selected as a member of the Canyon High School Aristocats, a life long dream of hers.
Following graduation, she attended Blinn College in Brenham, Texas where she was selected as a member of the award winning Treasures Dance Team. Her freshman year at Blinn, the team won their very first NDA Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. The following year, she held the position of sophomore representative and the team won their second consecutive NDA national title.
After earning her Associates in Education, Ms. Brown moved to Orlando, Florida for an internship at Walt Disney World in the fall of 2015. In the spring of 2016, she transferred to Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas where she received a Bachelor's in Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in education in December 2017. During her time at Texas State, Ms. Brown worked at Canyon High School as the dance team's Technician and Choreography Consultant. She also taught dance at her home studio, Illusion Dance Center, and was a barre instructor at Pure Barre New Braunfels.
The move to Austin is truly a dream come true for Ms. Brown and she couldn't be more excited to share her passion for dance with the Trojan Belles and the entire Anderson Dance Department.