Thereza DeFelice Bryce-Cotes began dancing ballet at age 9 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and was a soloist and company member with the Lake Charles Civic Ballet under the direction of Lady Leah LaFargue. She was awarded summer scholarships at the Southwest Regional Dance Festival to dance in New Orleans, Louisiana with Joseph Giacobbe, Artistic Director of the Delta Ballet Company. At age 16, she received a full summer scholarship to study dance at Southern Methodist University with Nakita Talin.
After graduation Thereza attended Louisiana State University where she was a principal solosist from 1972-1975 with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre under the direction of Elissa Fuchs, formerly with Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. She has performed roles in such ballets as: Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselles, Capriccio Italian, Petrouchka, and Les Sylphides. In 1976, Thereza danced in Lima, with the National Ballet of Peru, South America.
She then moved with her husband to Tyler, Texas in 1977, established the Dance Factory, and with Pamela Erwin, taught dace together for 23 years, until 2000. Thereza has also taught ballet at carious studios in Tyler, including Star Dance Productions, Tyler Junior College Academy of Dance, Crocker School of Dance, and School of Ballet Tyler. She taught college credit dance classes at Tyler Junior College fort 2 semesters in 1983-2008, with the San Francisco Dance Center under Kahz Zmuda. Some of Thereza’s former students who were accepted into professional companies are: Debbie Yates, lead dancer in the Broadway musical “Contact”; DeAnne Hiett with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company of New York; Monica McMullen with Hubbard Street; LaTra Weilson with the Paul Taylor Dancers; Megan Anderson with the Broadway Touring Company; Tara Radcliffe. Radio City Rockettes, and Willie Kirven, New York Broadway musicals.
Thereza continues to be a respected and established ballet mistress in East Texas, offering a challenging and enriching ballet curriculum for the serious ballet student