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.
CHARLIE ABEL, BALLET
Charlie Abel has been performing in ballet, opera, musical & dramatic theater for more than three decades. A former high-school wrestler and semi-pro baseball player, Charlie fell in love with ballet in his home state of Louisiana. He has performed with the Yugoslav National Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, and the Baltimore Ballet, and has appeared in two Helen Hayes nominated stage plays in Washington, DC. Mr. Abel has taught classical and theater dance at Dance Institute of Washington, Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts, Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland, and Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts. Currently and for the last thirteen years Charlie teaches at University of Maryland in Baltimore County.
AMBER HODAK, BALLET
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, 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.
JODI GUZEWICH, MOMMY & ME
Jodi has been teaching for 18 years. In 2002, she earned a BFA from Point Park University. Before college, she studied at Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts and the Gniazdowski Studio of ballet. Jodi attended summer programs at North Carolina School of the Arts, Joffrey Ballet School, and Point Park University.After college, Jodi danced and trained in New York City and became certified to teach the Pilates Method under master teacher Deborah Lessen. In 2004, Jodi moved to St. Louis and worked at The Pilates and Yoga Center of St. Louis. Jodi moved to Wuerzburg, Germany in 2005 and created a dance program for the children on a military installation. Fort Hood, Texas was her next location, where she created and maintained a reputable ballet program for children of military families., While in Texas, Jodi had the privilege to study and teach at the Newcomb School of Ballet under the late Renee Gillenwater. Jodi resides in Columbia, MD with her husband and two children.
CECILIA ITUARTE, MOMMY & ME
Cecilia Ituarte has over 14 years of experience as a dance teacher. Cecilia holds an Associate Diploma in Ballet teaching and Advanced II degree in Modern Dance Theatre from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). She graduated in Classical Ballet from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). As a dancer she has enjoyed performing in several cities in Mexico; in Trujillo, Peru and in Los Angeles, California in the U.S. with companies including: Mexico en Movimiento and Momentum Danza among others. She has choreographed pieces for her students. Cecilia is also a professional graphic designer.
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.
LAUREN JURD HAWKES, MOMMY & ME
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.
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.
FEDERIC DAVIS, HIP HOP
Fredric Davis began his Hip Hop dance experience by being a part of DPMMS Dance Team. Following that, he became a dance student at N'ferno Dance Studio. there, Fredric took classes in ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop and was a member of N'ferno Competition Dance Team. Striving to have more arts in his school, Fredric petitioned and gained sponsors so he could create a dance team at his high school. Additionally, he started choreographing for N'ferno's Competition Hip Hop Dance Team as a senior, and later became an official dance instructor, while studying applied dance at the University of Tampa.
Mary Clark, Jazz and 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.