Owner and Artistic Director
Director of Elite Companies, Instructor of Dance I-V and Private Instruction
Mrs. Jennifer Forst is thrilled to share her passion and enthusiasm for dance through JDF Elite Dance Academy. She has gained experience in the dance community through both studio dance and dance/drill team and has now realized the goal of owning her own business!
She has been dancing and performing for 29 years and has been teaching for 16 years. She is versatile in ballet/pointe, jazz, musical theater, and lyrical with her specialties being drill prep, tap, hip hop and modern/contemporary.
Mrs. Forst was a high school Dance Team Director for 7 years. While under her Direction for 5 years, the Sam Rayburn HS Tex-Anns expanded their experience in various competitions including trips to New York and California. They earned National and Regional titles at various competitions. She also founded the JV Starlette Dance Team which has turned into a successful recruiting tool for the Varsity program. While at Rayburn Mrs. Forst was the writer of the Pasadena ISD Fine Arts Dance Department Dance I-IV curriculum as well as created hiring questions for dance director candidates of PISD. Before SRHS she was the Director of the Bryan HS Shy-Anne Dance Team and the 2006 National Champion Novice Team the Westbury HS Blue Diamonds Dance Team.
Before her experience as a Dance Team Director, Mrs. Forst was born in Irving, Texas and started dancing at the age of 2 at Dana’s Dance Academy. While there, she studied ballet/pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop and musical theater. She was a member of the Academy Dancers, which performed throughout the community and was chosen to attend the National Tap Convention. Jennifer also studied at Jill Regean’s Dance Studio as well as Riley’s Dance Studio.
She was a member of the Toy Tiger Drill Team at Irving HS for 4 years. While there, she served as a Lieutenant for 3 years and was a member of the elite jazz group, Swingers and Kick Company. She choreographed dances for Spring Show yearly as well as competed in the solo, duet, officer, ensemble and team categories at all dance competitions and placed. During her high school career Jennifer achieved the award of All Star Dancer which allowed her the opportunity to perform at the Florida Citrus Bowl and was awarded Who’s Who in Dance in 2000.
After high school, Mrs. Forst became a member of the professional dance company 5 Degrees of Dance out of Frisco, TX. She then attended Sam Houston State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Psychology. While there she studied, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, choreography, musical theater, stage lighting and costuming. She was a member of the Spectrum Dance Company where she had numerous performance opportunities.
Jennifer has worked for the national dance company MA Dance for 10 years. She has held the position of Clinic Director, choreographer for camps and competitions, head dance instructor, and judge at regional competitions and staff auditions. Mrs. Forst has traveled to many different states working with high school and middle school dance teams. For the two years she has been asked to take on the task as a presenter for a Director’s Workshop at MA Officer Camp. She has also been a Judge for Dance Spotlight USA competitions.
Mrs. Forst has had extensive experience teaching at several dance studios. She has been an Instructor of hip hop, jazz, competition team and technique at three dance studios: Dana’s Dance Academy, Irving, TX, Dance Dynamics, The Woodlands, TX, and Memorial Dance Studio, Houston, TX. She has also been an instructor for Bonnie Siscoe School of Dance in the areas of Jazz, Hip Hop, Modern/Lyrical, Sr. Company, leaps/turns, solos and trios. She has also taught various styles at Dance Expressions.
As a professional choreographer, Jennifer has been a Master Class Hip Hop instructor for Texas City HS, hired to correct and clean routines for high schools in Dallas, choreographed dances for middle school and high school dance teams in Dallas and Houston, such as, Lanier MS, Irving HS, O’Connell HS, Westfield HS, and Dobie HS, hired to choreograph for many solos and duets for students on dance teams in Dallas and Bryan and she has been hired for the last 7 years by O’Connell High School to choreograph their competition dances.
Mrs. Forst’s other accomplishments are as follows:
She continues her education in dance by attending several conventions throughout the year including TDEA (Texas Dance Educators Association), Tremaine, West Coast Dance Explosion, JUMP, NUVO and The Pulse Dance Conventions! This enables her to enhance her dance curriculum and style by learning from premiere dancers and choreographers such as Shane Sparks, Mia Micheals, Brian Freedman, Wade Robinson, Dave Scott, Tyce Diorio, Sonya Teyah, Travis Wall and many more.
Director of Cheer Program, Creative Movement and Acro
Mrs. Kristen has been performing for 25 years and has been teaching for the past 5 years. She is certified in early childhood education which includes teaching children refined motor skills and creative movement techniques. She is an experienced teacher with multiple certificates and specialties. This year, she earned her Master's Degree in School Counseling and simultaneously earned her 2nd Master's Degree in Professional Counseling. At JDF Elite Dance Academy she specializes in cheer instruction, acrobatics, conditioning/stretching, and is currently the Director of both the creative movement and cheerleading programs.
Mrs. Kristen was born in Irving, Texas and started dancing at the age of 2 at Dana’s Dance Academy. During her childhood she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and musical theater. At the age of 4 she discovered her passion for cheerleading and began her training in gymnastics. She was also involved in many community drill teams and cheerleading teams including, Irving Pizzazz, Irving City Stars, and Irving City Sparklers. She was a Crockett Jr. High Cheerleader for two years, and a Blooming Grove High School Cheerleader for three years. While she attended high school, she served as a co-captain for 2 years and achieved the award of All Star Cheerleader. In addition she was an active member of many committees and clubs some of which include; Lions Club, Student Council, and the Theatre Department.
After high school, Mrs. Kristen attended Texas Tech University where she received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Sociology with a minor in Psychology. After graduation she immediately obtained her alternative teaching certificate and began teaching in Corsicana Texas. She worked with children ranging in grades k-5. In June 2011 she married and moved to Pearland Texas. She has been a staff member with JDF Elite for the last 2 years and she is enjoying sharing her passion of artistic movement with young children.
Head Instructor and Mini Elite Company Instructor
Jesus Acosta is originally from Guanajuato, Mexico. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Sam Houston State University where he studied under Jennifer Pontius, Andy Noble, Dionne Noble, Dana Nicolay, Jonathan Charles, Kista Tucker, Melissa Wynn, and Hilary Bryan. While at SHSU he performed in pieces by Rennie Harris, Bill Evans, Astrid Von Ussar, and Mitchio Ito.
Jesus has been working with M.A. Dance and Auxiliaries for eight years teaching, choreographing, and judging all over the United States. He works with local high schools such as Travis and Dulles High School teaching and choreographing for their dance teams. He has national titles in jazz choreography and has danced nationally in venues such as The Ailey Theatre in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and The Rose Wagner PAC in Salt Lake City. He was a guest artist for Dangerous Lorraine’s Dance Theatre and a performer for The Kista Tucker Dance Company for two seasons and has also worked with Reck Productions and Rednerrus Feil Dance Company. A Dance Magazine Panel recognized him at The National American College Dance Festival for “his fluidity of motion that was punctuated by sharp arrests of motion and dynamic shifts of focus and presence.”
He is a founding member of NobleMotion Dance and is on his fourth season with the company. This marks his second season with Hope Stone Dance Company and loves working with such amazing people.
We are so excited to have Mr. Acosta on the JDF Staff and we look forward to his outstanding instruction.
Yoselin "JoJo" Gonzalez
Yoselin, Miss JoJo, has a natural talent for dance! She has been dancing for 6 years under the instruction of Jennifer Forst. Her dance education includes ballet, lyrical, jazz, modern, prop, novelty, hip hop, contemporary, pom, military and kick. Her specialties are hip hop and contemporary.
She began to discover her passion for dance as a Freshman at Sam Rayburn HS. While there, she was a member of the JV Starlette Dance Team and Varsity Tex-Ann Dance Team. As a Varsity member Miss JoJo was the Colonel for two years. She was the first ever Junior Colonel for Sam Rayburn HS. During her reign as Colonel JoJo helped lead her team to numerous Regional and National Championships. In addition to her accomplishments as a dancer, Yoselin maintained a 3.85 GPA and graduated with honors 6th in her class. She was a member of Student Council, National Honor Society and a prominent leader in her school! She is a positive role model for any student and exudes her love of dance through every class she teaches!
As Director/Choreographer of JDF Rookie Elite Company last year, JoJo has lead her group to several Top Overall Wins and has produced some outstanding performances! This past year, she took it back to the stage and was a member of Senior Elite,! In addition, Miss JoJo was hired as the lead dancer for the Professional Company, Compass Soul, for the production of Deadly 7.
Miss JoJo earned her Associates Degree from San Jacinto College this year and has been accepted into the Nursing Program at TWU, which she begins in the Fall. She has been a tremendous asset to JDF both teaching and performing for the past three years and we are so proud of her recent accomplishments. We wish her the best of luck with her Nursing career! She looks forward to continue teaching at JDF and working with all of the students as often as she can while working on her degree.
Ashley was born and raised in Friendswood, Texas. He has always had a passion for the arts and studied many different forms. He began his dance training at the age of 18 at San Jacinto Community College South, under the direction of Dr. Suzanne Oliver. He continued his training at Sam Houston State University, instructed by Dana Nicolay, Jenifer Pontius, Melissa Wynn, Jonathan Charles, and Kista Tucker. He studied Ballet and Modern, going through three of the four levels offered. He also studied Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop. While at Sam Houston State University, Ashley was a part of the Hip Hop Sorority, Fade To Black, and also had the experience of performing in many faculty and graduate student concerts.
Currently, Ashley is continuing his education at University of Houston Clear Lake in hopes of becoming a Physical Therapist. He also currently choreographs for San Jacinto Community College South, and has been given multiple opportunities to represent the college at the American College Dance Festival. In addition, he is the technique instructor for J. Frank Dobie HS Lariettes. Most recently, Mr. Ash was chosen for a lead role for the Professional Production Company, Compass Soul, for the production of Deadly Seven. Ashley plans to continue instructing as a way of giving back to the art form of dance.
Ash has been a member of JDF Staff for the past two years and looks forward to working with the students and other staff!
We are happy to have Mr. Jason Dang continue with the JDF Staff this year! His strong passion for dance, commitment, determination and outstanding natural talent has earned him the position of Breakdancing Instructor. He has dedicated the past 6 years to breakdancing, or bboying, crafting his technique, artistry, and musicality.
Jason graduated from J. Frank Dobie HS. After graduation, he became a member of the Jungle Brothers Crew. He has won and traveled to multiple competitions in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, California, and Oregon. He is on the roster for "Brkn Intl Houston edition" and he is ranked Top 8 in the "Redbull BC One Cypher". Recently, Dang was hired as a cast member for the Professional Production Company, Compass Soul, for the production of Deadly Seven.
Dang enjoys teaching and sharing his craft and passion with students! His fun personality and positive criticism, combined with his excellent skills and description of movement, makes for a class any student enjoys. His teaching experience includes running an after school program for HISD teaching students breakdancing as well as assisting classes at JDF. He has worked with students in Houston and the surrounding areas. He is fun, patient, and loves to teach those who are enthusiastic to learn! Dang will be teaching Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Breakdancing and assisting with acro classes and running the front desk.
Jason continues to achieve the most opportunities he can obtain out of his love for dancing. He keeps an open mind and is determined to learn other genres such as ballet, contemporary, jazz, etc. to add to his versatility both as an instructor and a dancer.
Beginner and Adult Class Instructor
Bio and Pic Coming Soon!
Bio and Pic Coming Soon!
Latasia “Ms. Tasha” Turner is excited to join the staff at JDF Elite Dance Academy to share her dedication and passion for the art of dance. She is very versatile in jazz, musical theatre and lyrical with her emphasis in ballet/pointe, tap, hip hop, and modern contemporary.
Ms. Tasha has been a performer for 22 years and dedicated dance teacher for 12 years. Ms. Tasha attended Prairie View A & M University where she was a member of The Classic Dance Ensemble Company for 2 years. She then followed her passions and transferred to Sam Houston State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Spanish. While at SHSU she studied, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, folk and social dance forms, dance history, modern, choreography, musical theater, stage lighting and costuming. She was a member of the Spectrum Dance Company and Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honor Society.
Ms. Tasha works as the Director of the Dance Program at McReynolds Middle School in the historically upper fifth ward area and loves working with inner city youth. Ms. Tasha has taught and choreographed a number of dances throughout her journey so she is overjoyed to make the JDF family her home. She believes dance is the most ephemeral and immediate of the arts and it exists in the moment of its performance and is then gone, so always DANCE your HEART out!
STUDENT ASSISTANT PROGRAM
Ariel began her dance training at the age of three. She has trained in Ballet and Pointe in the two technical styles of Royal Academy of Dance under Kendra Meiki, and Vaganova under Milena Leben. She has also trained in Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-hop, Modern and Lyrical. Ariel was a Shreveport Dance Academy Ensemble Dancer in Tap & Jazz for four years. She was a Junior Company Dancer for the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet for one year. Ariel has danced numerous roles in such ballets as Ballet Under the Stars, Cinderella as a Page, Aladdin as a Genie, and eight seasons in the Nutcracker as a Reindeer, Page, Mouse, Solider, and Party Girl. Ariel attended Shreveport Dance Academy’s Summer Intensive Workshop three consecutive years and has attended numerous dance conventions and workshops over the past five years. She has danced under the direction of Benji Schwimmer, Laurie Johnson, Derrick Schrader, Rachel Kreiling, Justin Giles, and many more notable choreographers. Ariel danced with Kennedy Dance Theater for one year and was a Ballet Jete’ Pre-Professional Company Apprentice and a member of the Jazz Company Competition Team. During that time she also played the part of Nala in the Lion King Tap Production. Ariel was recently chosen as a Dance Olympus VIP and awarded a scholarship. She is currently dancing at JDF Elite Dance Academy as a Senior Company Dancer. This summer she attended the Joffrey Summer Ballet Intensive in New York. Ariel is aspiring to be a professional dancer and choreographer.
Bio and Pic Coming Soon!
Amayriani "Mannie" Hernandez
Bio Coming Soon!
Bio and Pic Coming Soon!