Spotlight on Texas Choreographers

Britt Beresik

Howdy ya’ll!  I’m often told I don’t “sound” like a Texan, but I guess the 8-generations have been watered down at bit – but Hey Cowboy, I blame television!  Regardless, this Texan is super proud to be represented as a Texan choreographer in this year’s Yellow Rose event!

Born and raised in Houston Texas, the Texas two-step was practically a part of my DNA.  At 9 years old I was able to learn the foundations of dance in my ballet, tap, and jazz classes.  Music and the means to express it helped to nurture a new-found passion within my soul.  I also loved to dress up in costumes and perform in recitals, enacting out the stories being told by the music.  Music has always been at the center of it all.

Once in high school at Langham Creek, I tried out for the award-winning Langham Creek Bailadora dance team, but I did not make it!  Although I never thought I was Gonna Get Burned, this was a pivotal moment in my life.  My stubbornness would not let me fail and Turn my back on my passion.  The following year I worked even harder and made the team!  I ended up serving as an officer, as well as earning numerous top dancer awards.  College and “adult-life” soon followed where I continued to dance but only as a hobby; dance then did not seem like a practical career path.  Following my mind more than my heart, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University.  I married the love of my life Bryan (going on 15 years) and enjoyed a career as a Medical Technologist, until I had my 2 littles- Bowen and Bailey.  Bryan, being a petroleum engineer, Ping Ponged our family all over the United States (Witch is a VERY important detail in my line dancing journey).

In 2013 on an oil and Gasoline assignment in Gaylord, Michigan, I discovered my first line dancing class!  Addiction set in.  So much so that after moving again to Midland, Texas, I had to start my own class!  What else is a girl to do when she can’t find an existing one?  Cross The Line Dancing- West Texas grew and performed at local festivals. Three years later, the call to move came again, Roaming to Northern California and back to Houston in 2018.  After training with Elsa Campbell for about 1 1/2 years, I inherited the job to lead her Intermediate class.  Cross The Line Dancing Houston was born! 


Whaa Waa...unfortunately the new branding didn’t even have chance to take root when 2 weeks later the Covid19 pandemic shut everyone down.  Well Clever as I am, I decided to "pivot" my classes to Facebook LIVE, as well as start choreography lessons from Rob Fowler's virtual I.C.E program.  Choreographing dances is just a Sublime extension of my line dance passion.  While “surviving” the pandemic at home Here Without You, I figured I would do a little Somethin Somethin and organize an online event.  The Texas onLine Dance Partee in October 2020 brought a free line dance workshop to dancers world-wide while promoting some local US talent, and shockingly I grabbed the attention of a few event directors.  Ever since, #LineDanceLife has been a fantastic whirlwind for me.  Currently I teach 5 weekly classes in the Houston-area as well as occasional instruction for private events.  It has been an absolute honor to teach, lead, and judge dances at several major U.S. events including Florida Line Dance Classic, Heart of Texas, the Yellow Rose of Texas Line Dance Extravaganza, the Texas Line Dance Jamboree, LoneStar Invitational, Palm Springs Winter Break (Choreography Winner), and Vegas Dance Explosion!  Adding Branson, MO to the tally this year, I am completely thrilled with all the new future adventures to come as I continue Dancin’ In The Country.


Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share one of my newest dances I co-wrote this year with my amigo Juan Gonzalez, fellow Texan!  We wrote Amigos In Low Places together in preparation for a Lone Star workshop I was teaching featuring only Texas music artists.  The Friends In Low Places song cover by La Energia Norteña highlights a unique style of Texas music and dance called Norteño.  It was fun to share an easy contra dance with the line dance community with a totally original Texan spirit.


I am so beyond excited and Ready For The Weekend.  See ya’ll soon!

Jan Nix Cook

I grew up in Whitehouse, Texas, a town outside of Tyler, Texas, more recently made famous by Patrick Mahomes who not only graduated from Whitehouse High School but lived down the street from me when he was a little boy.  Growing up, I took ballet, jazz, twirling and piano lessons and was in the band program where I played French horn, was a majorette and the drum major my Junior and Senior Year.  I left my musical and dance passions behind when I went on to study Mathematics at Texas A&M and The John Hopkins University.  


After a long career, mostly in corporate finance, I retired in 2015 and started looking for hobbies.  I found out the ladies in my neighborhood went to a line dance class which surprised me because I thought line dancing was just done at bars and there were only a handful of dances.  I became enlightened about today’s line dance culture when I decided to join a beginner class in 2017.  I was hooked and by 2018, I was teaching my own classes and attending upper-level classes.


Earlier this year, I was invited to speak at a Daughter’s of the American Revolution (DAR) meeting on the “Health Benefits Line Dancing” and teach the attendees a line dance.  The current President General of the National Society DAR had chosen “The Stars and Stripes Forever” march by John Phillips Sousa as the theme for her administrations so choreographing a very simple line dance for ladies, who most likely had never danced, was my goal.  This dance, even when done as a contra, is easier for absolute beginners because the “side to side” motion of the dance is done while the contra dancers have their backs to each other, eliminating some of the confusion in a contra dance.


Dancing makes my heart happy!

Cassandra Gibson-Jones



Dance electrifies me. Growing up, I never had a dance lesson.

I did not choose dance; dance chose me.


Like many Texans, my background is marching band. As a high school trombone player, I learned to understand music, keep time, march in sync with a group, memorize choreography, and keep an eye on the director. Then I grew up and chose a career in television. I became a TV director. Every day, I guided the Talent, some with immense egos, through a newscast. Then, while 8-months pregnant, I was stricken by a catastrophic health event. My vision narrowed to a pinprick; walking and talking were nearly impossible. Thank heavens for my musical background! Music had forged pathways in my brain and those pathways proved instrumental in my recovery. This recovery included dance therapy.


Because dance chose me, my ability to walk and to speak were restored. Now, I coach dance.


I love dance. I believe thoroughly in the healing power of dance – especially line dance.

Line dancers practice with friends. We rise and fall together. We help each other battle challenges. We see it through to the very end (of the song). And then, upon hearing the final beat we cheer. Line dancers celebrate life!


Now that my children are grown, my life is dance. When I shop for clothes, I must be able to dance in them. Every new pair of shoes must work on the dance floor. Vacations revolve around dance conventions. Even my dreams are filled with cueing and choreography. Every song on the radio, in elevators, in cafes, at the grocery store, is fodder for dance.


One stormy afternoon, I ducked into a bistro in Levy Park to escape the rain. The restaurant had music playing. I listened to a rockabilly tune with an amazing back beat and a driving rhythm. Surely there was a dance to that song? I Shazamed it: Head Over Heels by JD McPherson. Was there a music video? I Googled it. Yes! The video showed McPherson’s band jamming on a boogie-fogged skating rink, surrounded by fancy-dancing roller-skaters, all costumed in rocker jackets. How fun! My daughter’s a skater; she plays roller derby: of course, I was drawn to the video. Was there a dance on Copper Knob? No, there wasn’t.


Shazam! My dance brain kicked in and 15 minutes later, Heart Like a Hurricane, was born. In tribute to McPherson’s video, we shot my dance video at La Maison Rouge, home of Baton Rouge’s Red Stick Roller Derby League, assisted my daughter’s roller derby buddies.


Thank you, my Yellow Rose family, for giving me the opportunity to share this dance. Shazam!

Juan C. Gonzalez

Born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico with music flowing through my blood. No wonder I can’t stand still when a good Latin or pop tune comes out of the speakers. 

Growing up in a house full of radios and televisions, I was attracted to music.  I learned how to play the synthetic keyboard at the age of 10, when I joined the school music program, where I became a soloist leading in some of the concerts.  Then the teenage years came, and I set aside the music.

At the age of 17, I joined the Army National Guard of Puerto Rico. I didn’t even know what a pivot turn was until my marching training started during the basic training.  Who knew that would be where I first learn about formations, turns, distance, synchronization, arms movements, among other things that we usually take for granted when on the dance floor.

I moved to New Jersey to work at the Federal Aviation Administration after graduating from college in 2003 with a degree in Computer Science.  In 2005 I walked into a bar, and I accidentally discovered what line dance was, and I instantly fell in love with it.  I remember they were dancing the “Mambo Shuffle” to a Gloria Estefan song that reminded me so much of home and made me feel less home sick at that time. The dance floor became my happy place.

Dancing became my favorite outlet.  It combined all that I loved when I was growing up, music, math, formations, structure, and freedom.  I moved to Dallas, Texas in 2017 and started teaching at local bars, and started choreographing my own line dances shortly after. In 2021 I entered my first choreography competition winning 1st place at the Vegas Dance Explosion Choreography Competition in the Intermediate/Advance category with my dance “Omaga” and qualifying for the USLDCC finals in 2022 with the dances “Delete All” and “SG (Sexy Girl)”, and in 2023 with the dances “(You’re My) Adrenalina”, “Up & Down”, and “Dance You Off”.

The lyrics for “Grow Up To Be You” are a rite of passage, with words of encouragement to follow your dreams and allowing yourself to grow and make mistakes knowing that your love ones are always going to be there to hold your hand when needed.  Thank you for this great opportunity to share this dance with you.

Juliet Lam

 Juliet has been teaching line dancing at all levels since 2007.

She has also travelled periodically conducting workshops

at numerous line dancing events nationwide and worldwide.

In 2008, Juliet started choreographing line dances. Some of her

popular dances include :

“Come Back My Love”, “Blue Spanish Eyes”, “Falling Rain”,

“A Kind of Hush”, “Delilah EZ” & “EZ Stomp”.

Juliet was voted “Regional Instructor of The Year” and “The Best

Internet Teacher of The Year” at the Las Vegas Dancer’s Choice Award in 2010.

Her choreography “Come Back My Love” was awarded “Beginner Dance of The Year

(2012)” at the Crystal Boot Awards held in Blackpool, UK. Her continued success led

to her second Crystal Boot Award for “International Instructor of The Year (2014)”.

Dancing has always been her passion. She has made many friends

through teaching and that’s the real prize she will treasure forever.  


Fran Lineweaver

I began line dancing in 2009 when my husband and I decided to sell our home in San Antonio, Texas and buy a 43' motorcoach and travel this beautiful land of ours.

My first experience was not a good one.  We had an instructor that only taught to the people who already knew how to line dance, so we finally left the class very disappointed.

A couple of months later we were in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas at an RV resort so I tried it again and what a difference it can make having a different instructor/mentor.

So here I am now teaching and praying I do not do to anyone what that first instructor did to me, she almost scared me away from line dance completely.

I have also started choreographing dances and loving every second I can dance.

So, dance, have happy feet and keep smiling.