Meet Our Leadership Team

Noe Leon

President, Fall 2022 |


I’m Noe, the TXB’s Vice President! This is my third year in the club and honestly nothing has impacted my time at college as much as this club has. I’m a junior math major and this club is my end of day relaxation after a day full of classes. From incredible friends to competitions I could not ask more of any club!


Why Texas Ballroom?: For me being a part of Texas Ballroom is an opportunity for me to focus on something non academic and see myself progress as a partner dancer. It’s relaxing when I want it to be but when I want to just focus on getting better it can also be incredibly engaging. Having the flexibility there is huge for me where my workload week to week changes. Nothing excites me more than getting better at something I care about and seeing myself get better at dancing every week is what keeps me hooked!

Insha Noorani

Vice President, Fall 2022 |


My name is Insha and I’m the Vice President of Texas Ballroom this year! I am Junior Theater Education major minoring in Arts Management. This is my second year in Texas Ballroom as a member and competitor. I’ve loved dancing and performing my entire life and Covid took some of that joy away from me. Ballroom has given me a new opportunity to not only start dancing and performing again, but to do it in a way that lets me meet so many people I may not have otherwise met. In just one year I’ve met so many amazing people who have helped me grow as a dancer and as a person and I cannot wait to see what the next 2 years hold!


Why Texas Ballroom?: My friends actually made me go to Ballroom at first. I was in a bit of a hermit state, as a I tend to do, and some friends sent me the info for Free Week and said it might be something I would be interested in to get out of my apartment and meet new people. I was terrified, but went, and a year later I’m a prominent member in the club and look forward to going to class whenever I can. Theres such a welcoming air in every class. You can walk in at any level and anyone in the room will help you learn. The low cost is so worth it when you realize how many opportunities Ballroom opens you up to and I have found a new family in that little dance room we call a home.

Cady Johnson

Secretary, Fall 2022 |


Hi! My name is Cady (she/her) and I am a sophomore chemistry major at UT. When I’m not dancing I like to read historical fiction novels, crochet sweaters, solve sudoku puzzles, and eat ice cream. I can be a bit quiet and shy when I first meet you, but I secretly love getting to know people.


Why Texas Ballroom?: I feel like my most authentic self when I’m dancing, so Texas Ballroom provides me with a safe place to just be me. TxB has also given me several opportunities to step out of my comfort zone, promoting self growth! I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and learning new styles of dance.


Links: Goodreads

Julian Joseph Herrera

Treasurer, Fall 2022 |


Hello New Texas Ballroom members. My name is Julian Herrera. I’m a sophomore in the McCombs School of Business studying finance, going for a minor in Leadership in Sustainability. I’ve been dancing Ballroom for two semesters and love it. I’ve made some great friends is this organization and learned a lot about my favorite thing in the world, dancing.


Why Texas Ballroom?

I chose this organization because I love dancing and I love the environment. Dancing is the most random thing ever to be completely natural. As people we find our bodies moving to sounds and rhythms and I cant get enough of it. I cant wait to watch people start dancing ballroom for the first time and watch their heads just light up in excitement.


Links: Instagram

Madeline Blok

Head Captain, Fall 2022 ||



Hey!! I’m Mady, TxB’s Head Captain. I am a junior Math and International Relations double major here at UT. This is my third year in Texas Ballroom, and second year as an officer. I compete in the international ballroom style, but I love social dancing as well. Before college, I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years with no dance experience. Now, I can’t imagine my life without dancing! Since my time in the club I have been able to build confidence, learn many new and exciting things, and I have made so many memories with some of my closest friends.


Why Texas Ballroom? For me, Texas Ballroom was a whole new world. I had never danced before, but I wanted to try a totally new athletic activity. Now it has become so many things to me. Texas Ballroom is not only my favorite way to stay active, but it is also a place for me to get away from the hustle and bustle of academics here at UT. I love to be able to come and dance with my friends, but also focus on learning and developing new moves and dances. I love being able to see my growth and progress as not only a dancer but as a person! I have found such an amazing support system here as well. The atmosphere that this club creates is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Maya Ylagan

Ballroom Captain, Fall 2022 |


Hey!!! I am Maya Ylagan and I am the TxB Ballroom Captain. I am just starting my fourth year pursuing a BS in Computational Biology. Starting this fall, I will be starting my fourth year in the club, and I am super excited for what this upcoming year has to offer!


Why Texas Ballroom?: I joined Texas Ballroom because I wanted something outside of my classes that was different and fun. Then, on Speedway, I was inundated by tablers which is where I found Texas Ballroom. The club provided me that creative and athletic outlet I was looking for. In attending free week I also got to know the environment of Texas Ballroom and it is now my home, as it is the most welcoming and safe space I know on campus. Nothing else gets me more excited than partner dancing!

Bryan Alexander Bowling

Country Captain, Fall 2022 |


My name is Bryan Bowling, I’m from Dallas Texas, and I’ve been in Ballroom since the second semester of my Junior year. I like to go to bars/dance halls with my friends and go to live music or concerts. I love listening and making music, as well as staying physically fit.


Why Texas Ballroom?: I chose to be part of Texas Ballroom simply because the people were cool. Once I realized that these people I’ve interacted with would become my family in the future I then stayed for the dancing and it was a decision I wouldn’t regret. I’m excited to see how diverse and open everybody is and I want to share that with others.


Links: Instagram

Alynna Hernandez (Melissa)

Public Relations Officer, Fall 2022 |


Hello!! My name is Alynna and I am the Public Relations Officer. I am a senior this year getting a BS in Applied Learning and Development and am in the Urban Teachers Social Studies Program. I am from Houston, Tx and I grew up doing competitive cheer and dance since I was six. I absolutely love dancing, and the first time I learned to dance with a partner was with my dad when he would take my siblings and me to Tejano music festivals. From there on, I would go to quinceanera and spend my time on the dance floor 🙂


Why Texas Ballroom?: I chose Texas Ballroom because I wanted something new and challenging to me while also being able to find my way back to dancing. I lost my love for dance somewhere in high school and ballroom was able to help me find my love for a different type of dancing. My grandmother also had Dancing with the Stars on every time it aired so I was already interested in ballroom dancing. With my interest in ballroom and my dance background, I decided to give ballroom a try and I’m glad that I did. I enjoy going to practice, learning from the instructors, and hanging out with other TXB members. We all help each other out and build each other up! It’s a community full of great and encouraging people.

Emily Martinez

Co-Social Coordinator , Fall 2022 |


Hi everyone! My name is Emily, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Civil Engineering! This is my second semester with Ballroom, and I absolutely love it! My hobbies include singing, online shopping, and playing tennis. My favorite styles of dance so far are samba, jitterbug, and bachata. I can’t wait to meet you all!


Why Texas Ballroom? I joined Texas Ballroom when I was a freshman, and I found an amazing group of people here that made UT everything I had dreamed of! I like to dance, and I was able to learn here without any prior experience. Texas Ballroom also has a lot of variety, so it is fun to dance to a little bit of everything! If you are thinking about joining, please do! It’s exciting to go to events and competitions and our members are so fun to hang out with! I’ve made great friend here, and I’m excited to make more!

Margaret Godfrey

Co-Social Coordinator, Fall


Hi, I’m Margaret one of the Social Coordinators this year! I’m a Senior Biology BSA major and part of the Polymathic Scholars program. I’ve been a classically trained cellist for over 15 years and have experience in music composition, so music has been a big part of who I am prior to dancing. Coming into ballroom last year, the only dance experience I had was from my high school dance class. I learned about ballroom through years of watching Dancing with the Stars, where I would stare at all the routines in awe and try and replicate their cool moves in the mirror (cringe, I know). After a year learning how to ballroom dance, I can’t believe I’m actually doing some of the same moves I used to see. TXB is my dance family and I love dancing alongside them all!


Why Texas Ballroom? I chose to be part of TXB because I’ve always been interested in dancing, especially ballroom dancing (see cringey comment above). I was even interested in competing from the beginning (highly recommend it, the shenanigans are to REMEMBER). TXB even after a year because ballroom dancing makes me happy and it’s made me more confident in my day to day life. All my best memories last year are from ballroom, and something tells me that I’ll remember this club and our good times for the rest of my life.

Naila Hajiyeva

Formal Events Coordinator, Fall 2022



Hello! I’m a third year Mathematics student, pursing minors in Computer Science and Informatics. This is my third semester with Ballroom, and my favorite dances are Foxtrot and Jive! I did ballroom dancing as a child, but took a break in high school and tried other sports. Eventually I realised that I’ve had the best time in dance, and was looking forward to trying it again at UT.


Why Texas Ballroom?: Going into my second year at UT, it has been 5 years since I was in a dance class. Joining TX Ballroom was the plan even before I got to campus, and I’m very happy I did it. This organization helped me get out of my comfort zone, make friends, and take a break from classes and work. TX Ballroom is so different from other dance activities in a way that it always makes you come back, no matter how difficult or exhausting your day was – its fun, exciting, and you always know you’ll learn something new and have a good time while doing it.


Links: LinkedIn

Ira Kondap

Internal Affairs, Fall 2022 |


I’m Ira, and I’m the TXB Internal Affairs officer. I’m a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, and this is my second year in Texas Ballroom. I like reading, baking, and thrifting!


Why Texas Ballroom?: I’ve always loved dancing, and I joined ballroom because I wanted to learn some new styles of dance. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to do something fun and non-academic and make new friends in the process. I’m excited to continue growing as a dancer and to welcome new members to the club!

Grace Baldwin

Formal Events Coordinator Assistant, Fall 2022 |


Grace is a third year pursuing an IRG major, Chinese minor, and a CTI certificate. Besides dancing, she consults with the University Writing Center and staffs Model UN. Her favorite dances are the samba, jive, jitterbug, and line dances. She’s excited to meet all the new dancers!


Why Texas Ballroom?: Grace joined Texas Ballroom because she loved to dance and wanted to formally learn, and she stays because of the great community of people, supportive network, and fun dancing socials.


Links: Instagram

JoAnn Robledo

Formal Events Coordinator Assistant , Fall 2022 |


Hello all! I am the Formal Events Coordinator for Texas Ballroom, preparing for this year’s Great Waltz in the fall semester and Austin Open in the spring semester. I am a sophomore Nursing major but on the pre-med track. I fell in love with ballroom dancing when admiring the officer’s passion and dedication behind the social events and dancing. I have played piano and tenor saxophone for most of my life, and now Texas Ballroom has made me love music in a different form. I can not wait to share the dance floor with y’all!


Why Texas Ballroom? I found TxB after encountering one of their business cards stuck in mud promoting Free Week. Old me would have stuffed the card in my pocket, thinking it would be silly to try some formal, performative hobby. After the pandemic, I realized life was bigger than searching for constant academic validation and spending hours upon hours on schoolwork. When a group of friends came over in hopes of having fun, I took the chance and brought them with me to Wednesday night’s Free Week social dance. Almost a year later, they still mention the immense fun we had. TxB is not merely where we waltz and head home, but where we can find the best version of ourselves through self-expression, unite people in both social and competitive environments, and finally unwind after a day of classes and work.


Links: Instagram LinkedIn

Mariana Rivas Varela

Web-manager assistant, Fall 2022 |


Hello! I am an Environmental Science and Plan II double major and I love all sorts of dancing. I am originally from Leon, Gto. Mexico and moved to the McAllen TX before high school. A little fun fact about me is that I used to play in chess tournaments when I was kid🤓. I also love music, playing the piano, going thrift shopping, Mediterranean and Thai food, and I am passionate about making an impact to mitigate the effects of climate change. I am very excited for this semester and hope to meet lots of new people!


Why Texas Ballroom?: Throughout my life I have always loved any type of dancing but never even imagined I would be doing ballroom dancing. I danced tap, jazz, and a little bit of ballet before. I love to try a lot of new hobbies which is why when I saw there was a ballroom free week, I did not hesitate to at least give it a try. I loved it, had so much fun, and as I got more involved realized going to ballroom was the highlight of my weekdays. I love that this organization is a shared dancing experience, you get not only the joy of dancing but also of meeting great people.


Links: LinkedIn  •  Instagram •  Twitter

Nilavra (Neil) Bhattacharya

Web-manager, Fall 2022 |


I am a PhD student at the School of Information, researching on Human-Computer Interaction. Ever since reading and watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I’ve wished to learn ballroom dancing. This wish strengthened further when I was attending the social event at the ETRA 2018 conference in Warsaw, Poland, and during that event, everyone “automagically” seemed to know how to Waltz, except for me. Since then, I’ve always been on the lookout for an opportunity to learn ballroom dancing.


Why Texas Ballroom?:  Texas Ballroom is a very beginner-friendly, warm, and loving community of people, and I absolutely enjoy being a part of this vibrant and energetic team. Making websites has been a rewarding hobby for a long time, and I feel I get to know an organisation better and more intimately while making their website.


Links:  Website • Twitter