Director & Instructor
Julie Cutright-Ariza is the Director and co-founder of Denver Dance Authority. She was a co-founder of Flight Performing Arts (2015-2018) as well as the founder and director of DA@BA (2008-2015). As a dancer, Julie trained under instructors from Arizona Performing Arts, California Ballet Company, Kathy Tabor School of Dance, Oklahoma University Dance, Merce Cunningham Productions, Boulder Ballet and Naropa University Contemplative Performing Arts. Highlights from her dancing career include performing the part of Clara in the Nutcracker with California Ballet Company (1998), Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Australia (2000), Young Americans (2004), and soloing International Improvisational Arts convention (2008). In contrast to her early years of intensive ballet training and performance, she studied and performed West African traditional dance and contemporary genres collegiately.
Julie transitioned into teaching and choreographing in 2002 for studios including The Dance Company (Grand Island, NE), City Dance (Colorado) and Denver Dance Starz (2005-2007). Julie’s past students have performed her original choreography in performances and shows including PBS presentations (2004), Up with People (2013), Stars of Tomorrow (2006), Denver School of the Arts, (2006), Dance Excellence (2007). Competition wins include KAR, Celebrity, Celebration, Rainbow, Spotlight, and Show Stoppers (2006-2016). National Best Choreography Award Spotlight (2018). 3rd overall National Title solo winner (2018) and Regional 1st place overall (2018).
As an active member of the National Dance Education Association, Julie currently participates in dance pedagogy research and advocacy boards. As a passionate professional, she has worked to contribute to educational reform through the integration of arts and movement into the academic setting. Fusing her degree in somatic psychology counseling with her passion for athletics and dance coaching, Julie founded and wrote a curriculum called Mind and Body which she implemented and has instructed for grades K-8 (Broomfield Academy, 2009-2016). As a competitive dance coach, Julie focuses on building individualized plans that honor the unique goals of every student.
Assistant Director & Instructor
Marissa Moschette is a born and raised Jersey girl who has recently relocated to the beautiful foothills of Golden Colorado. Marissa has been studying dance since the age of 3 and heavily involved in the Competition Dance world since five. She has studied in many areas including: Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Hip-Hop, Tap, and Ballroom. While training, she has had the honor and pleasure of dancing with tappers such as Anthony Morigerato, Hillary-Marie, Toby Harris, Mike Minery, and even the feet of Mummbles, the penguin of happy feet, Savion Glover.
Marissa attended Rutgers University and graduated from Mason Gross School of Preforming Arts with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. Before moving to Colorado, Marissa had been teaching and guest choreographing at numerous competitive studios throughout the Tri-State Area in styles of Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, and Tap for the past 9 years. While creating and building new tap programs for three different studios, she was also very successful in her choreography for competition. Not only has she received many choreography and special judges awards for her dances but has also received an invitation to The World Dance Championship with the Star Dance Alliance for the
dance “Welcome to Bikini Bottom”. Miss Marissa Moschette is no stranger to the competition dance world and is eager to dive back in with Denver Dance Authority
Jesse Greaves-Smith holds a Master's degree in Instruction from the University of Denver and brings 12 years of teaching experience to DDA. He performed with CU Boulder's Rueda de Casino salsa team, and has spent the last three years teaching salsa and Bachata basics to 1000+ people through Black Belt Salsa. After building up a wedding choreography practice in Colorado Springs he's looking forward to continuing that work in Broomfield. Having taught dance, rock climbing, archery, and martial arts to groups of all ages, he excels at helping people master new physical motions in ways that work for them. Jesse focuses on helping individuals become comfortable with whichever social dance they're learning, and helping couples connect as dance partners. He strives to bring a sense of humor, enjoyment, and personal growth to his classes.
Catherine Ritchey graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.A. in Dance Performance, Choreography, and Theory in 2019. Originally from Ohio, her dance training began at a YMCA program before moving to North Carolina where she began training with a competitive studio, and later taught classes for it’s younger dancers.
During her college career she studied under Kim Jones, E.E. Balcos, Delia Neil, Tamera Williams, and Rachel Barker. Catherine had opportunities to perform for the UNCC concerts under the direction of Claudia Lavista, Rachel Barker, E.E. Balcos, Audrey Baran, and Janet Schroeder. She attended the American Dance Festival and UNCG summer dance intensives training under Blakely-White McGuire and Donnell Oakley among others. In 2020 she received her RYT-250 hour training to become certified in Vinyasa Yoga, where she enjoys using movement of the body as a way to replenish and restore. Catherine is excited for the opportunity to teach young students again and experience their creative growth with them!
Community Outreach Director & Instructor
Ilana Amaria has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Colorado Denver and an affinity for promoting wellness and cultivating the mind-body connection through dance. Ilana studied at Ballet Nouveau Colorado before diversifying her repertoire as a competitive performer with Miss Julie at Broomfield Academy, Flight Performing Arts, and Denver Dance Authority. She is thrilled to be returning to DDA as an instructor.
Ilana’s performing arts journey began at age four. She trained in Ballet, Tap, Lyrical, Musical Theater, and Jazz, and later discovered her love for contemporary dance and choreography. She is passionate about using movement as a tool for story-telling and as a medium of expression. Ilana has long believed that dance is a paradigm of connection and collaboration. She is excited to share in the joys of dance with her students and to help bring their artistry and enthusiasm to the broader community.
Kristen Helen Poppe
Kristen Helen Poppe is an interdisciplinary dance artist based in Louisville, Colorado. She started tap dancing at 19, but didn’t begin serious training until she was 31. Soon after, she quit her day job to become a dancer. Now she studies tap, ballet, Irish, flatfooting, and contemporary dance, and teaches tap and ballet to adults. She has made half a dozen dance films, some of which have been official selections in film festivals around the country. Her 40-minute solo-show, “Shoes” has been selected for three Fringe Festivals around the world. She is also the artistic director of Terpsichorean, a loose collective of adult students of dance who perform annually at a theater in Denver.
"I started dance later in life -- tap at 19 and ballet at 31 -- because I was so tall and awkward as a child. It never occurred to me that people my size could be dancers. I fell in love with dance as an escape from a stressful job teaching high school history. I saw such changes in myself the more I danced--more joy, more coordination, more self-esteem, more freedom, more self-love, more wonder at the world and my body. I became so lit up about dance, I realized I wanted to teach dance to adults and help them find that same wonderful escape and self-discovery. Quitting my "day job" was one of the best decisions I ever made!"
Hello! My name is Trey Lauth! I am 19 years old and was actually one of Mrs Julie's first dance students ever! I have been dancing and doing gymnastics for years and love the sport that can flips and tricks! I am a lacrosse coach and love to be the role model for younger kids that I wish I had growing up!