Denise Maxwell Cochran currently serves as RRISD’s Dance Curriculum Specialist for
the Fine Arts. She also serves as the Middle School Dance Program Coordinator and
currently is piloting two middle school dance programs at Hopewell and Ridgeview
Campuses. Denise has been a dance educator in the public school system for 22 years.
She began her career in the Katy ISD starting their fine art dance programs and then
moved back home to Austin to open McNeil High School, RRISD’s third high school.
Denise served as the head dance director for the McNeil High School Majestics and
dance program for 15 years. She also served as the Fine Art Department chair for the last
5 years. She left McNeil this past spring to serve RRISD further in the Middle School
Denise holds a Bachelor of Art is teaching Dance degree from Sam Houston State
University. She currently serves as Past President of Texas Dance Educators Association
where she was awarded Texas Dance Director of the Year in 2005. She also serves as a
member of the Executive Board for the Center for Educator Development for the Fine
Arts and is an active member of Texas Association of Physical Education, Recreation,
In her role as Dance Curriculum Specialist, Denise enjoys working and leading all of the
high school programs and their dance educators while continuing to grow the middle
school dance and wellness programs. She judges for numerous dance contest and camp
companies around the state. And is currently working on a writing team to develop a set
of standard guidelines for K-8 dance in our public schools.
Denise is an Austin native and loves living in Round Rock. She has been married to her
wonderful husband Oliver for 16 years and is the proud mom to Oliver III who is 13
years old and William who is 9 years old. They keep her life fulfilled and complete.
Denise is an active member of St. Barnabas church where she serves the children’s
ministry by being the Liturgical Dance instructor. As an educator, she simply loves the
art of dance and takes immense pride in spreading that passion to all of her students.