MISAKO AOKI, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Misako Aoki began her dance training in Japan and later at the Royal ballet School in London, From there, she joined the Matsuyama Ballet Company, one of the major companies in Japan. With them, she performed in Europe and China with Rudolf Nureyev, After moving to the United States, Misako founded her first studio, Misako Ballet Studio in 2002 and taught at Towson and UMBC. She was also a rehearsal assistant for the Moscow's Ballet Nutcracker and the Washington Ballet's Nutcracker at the Hippodrome. Misako is the Artistic Director of Misako Ballet Company (a non-profit professional dance company). She has served as a scholarship review panelist for Howard County Arts Council for several years and as a dance panelist at Maryland State Arts Council in 2015. Check out this article she is in.
CHARLENE MARIE MUHAMMAD, YOGA
Charlene Marie Muhammad is a traditional healing practitioner, who has been embracing the spirit of natural living for over 25 years. Charlene's practice is predicted on formal Master's level training as well as her own personal use of plants, food as medicine and movement therapy, giving her hands-on relationship and knowledge of these traditional healing modalities. Charlene's traditional healing service, Urbanherbalist, focuses on supporting clients with a practical application to optimal health by using the healing tools that she has grown to embrace in her own personal life: herbal medicine, nutrition and yoga.
Monica Albizo, Musical theatre
Monica Albizo is a professional actress, singer and dancer from Columbia, MD. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park where she was influential in the school of Theatre, Dance and Performing Studies, receiving a degree in Theatre Performance and an honors citation in the Humanities. She has studied jazz, tap, hip hop and musical theatre dance for over 10 years and serves as a teaching assistant for Dance in Time Salsa Studio. Besides working as a performer in the Washington/Baltimore area, Monica is also passion about health and fitness as an educator, trainer and practitioner, and seeks to integrate strength conditioning into her teaching whenever possible. Check out her website at www.monicaalbizo.com.
AMBER HODAK, BALLET & hip-hop
Amber started dancing at the age of 5. At the age of 9, she moved to to MD, where she started dancing at Misako Ballet Studio. She had been involved in multiple dance companies and programs such as the Pre- Collegiate Summer Intensive at TU, Maryland State Council of Dance, Regionals, Chesapeake Ballet, Old Mill Middle North Dance Company, Old Mill High School Dance Company, the Anne Arundel County Dance Ensemble and Moscow Ballet for their Nutcracker. She has received various awards as the Maryland State Dancer of 2013, 2014, and 2015. Currently, she is studying at AACC and is part of the AACC Dance Company.
AMANDA WADE, Ballet & TAP
Amanda started her dance training at Ballet Royale Academy under Donna Pidel and Vyacheslav Mesropov. In 2004, she moved to Misako Ballet Studio and trained under the instruction of Misako Aoki, and danced with Kevin Malone in his KTM Extremes Project. During summers, she attended summer intensives at various places such as North Carolina School of the Arts and Dance Institute of Washington. She graduated May of 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Applied Mathematics from Towson University. Currently, she is attending Towson University for her Master's Degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics which she is expected to finish this year.
REBECCA LOWERY, BALLET
Rebecca Vaeth Lowery began her dance training in the R.A.D. method at the Baltimore Ballet School and The Peabody Preparatory under Wendy Robinson, and continued her training at Towson University, Arthur Murray, the Classical Ballet Center, and Howard County Ballet. Shehas performed for Arthur Murray and with Dance Arts, the Baltimore Ballet, and the HowardCounty Ballet. She holds a B.S.in psychology, an M.Ed. in early childhood education, and has 20 years of classroom teaching experience. Ms. Lowery has taught ballet and ballroom dance in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.
BRANDI HARRINGTON, ZUMBA
Brandi is from Kansas City, Missouri and has been dancing most of her life. Her dance background includes studying Ballet, Modern, and Jazz. She is a former professional cheerleader for the Kansas City Chiefs, spending 3 seasons cheering on the sidelines and 2 seasons as a member of the cheerleader coaching staff. During her time with the kansas City Chiefs, she contributed choreography and served as an international/state-wide variety show performer. With a passion for dance and fitness, becoming a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor was a natural fit for Brandi. Every class feels like a party and she encourages everyone to try it.
CHRIS JUDGE, TAI-CHI AND QI-GONG
Chris has been teaching Tai-Chi and Qi-gong for 8 years. He began practicing 14 years ago with Cefu Dave Foulk and Saya Pat Finley. He was immediately taken by the way it links movement to breath and by its profound ability to help promote the body's natural healing abilities. Since he has begun teaching he has worked with many different types of bodies including the elder population, the disabled and even children and kickboxers. he also holds a 200-hour yoga teacher certification from the Himalayan Institute and a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland.
Mary aka Mhairi Basilah, Belly Dance
Mary aka Mhairi Basilah has been dancing since youth. She specializes in teaching and performing her own a blend of North African folkloric, Persian, and Arabic as well as tribal. She also teaches West African dance and Bhangra is yoga RYT, and a Certified Personal trainer. She loves helping her students achieve their physical goals, while helping them maintain the mind, body connection,
Mary Clark, Mommy & me, Jazz & ballet
Mary Clark has been dancing since she was five years old and graduated from Towson University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with K-12 Concentration. While studying at TU, she became a member of the National Honors Society for Dance Arts and spent her summers working for AileyCamp Baltimore and attending summer dance intensives with Ballet Magnificat and Frequent Flyers. Mary has choreographed and performed for TU’s 150th Anniversary Celebration (Dance On Bones), was selected to perform at the American College Dance Association in West Virginia, and has performed with Air Dance Bernasconi at Baltimore Theatre Project.
Bethany Bilewu, hip-hop
Bethany Bilewu has been dancing since two & training professionally since five. She started her professional training with Spirit Wings Dance Company. With her passion, she hopes to start a non-profit aimed for children who cannot afford to have an education in the arts. Bethany is currently a student at Towson University with a graduation date of May 2019. She is apart of Towson Dance Department works including The Senior Seminar Project & DMMP. Along with teaching at Misako Beats, she is the Hip-Hop Instructor at Spirit Wings Dance Company for their pre-professional program & enjoys sharing dance with everyone.
LAUREN JURD HAWKES, Summer Camp
Lauren Jurd Hawkes is from Columbia, Maryland. She has been dancing for over twenty years. Her background includes studying ballet, modern and jazz. She is in the process of completing her Masters in Leadership of Education from Notre Dame University of Maryland. She is a certified mommy and me instructor and certified in pre/post-natal fitness.