May 2019: Ms. Tonja Mask

Ms. Tonja teaches Beginner Tap at Misako Beats and Teaches Elementary Ballet 1 and Ballet 1 at Misako Ballet Studio! She is from Philadelphia Pennsylvania, where she studied dance at La-Cher-Tari Dance Studio. She has been dancing nonstop since her mother put her in dance class at the age of 3 years old. Her favorite part of dancing is the way it makes her feel;It's her form of expression and release. Ms. Tonja doesn't have a favorite dance move, however the best dance move that she likes to do are triplets in the tap world. Her favorite Howard County activity is to dance with her students and explore the parks in the area. The most important thing that she wants to teach her students is to dance as if no one is watching you and to always be yourself!

April 2019: Ms. Cecilia Ituarte


Ms.Cecilia teaches Ballet, Creative Movement, Mommy and me, and Dance, Baila at Misako Ballet Studio! She was born in Mexico City and studied dance with Martha O’Railly in Mexico City who was a Royal Academy of Dance(RAD) teacher and then continued my training with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD) in Modern Dance with her teacher and mentor Katie Morea. She also got her Associate Diploma as a ballet teacher from the ISTD as well. Ms.Cecilia started dancing because she was always dancing and loved it so much!!! Her favorite part of dance is All of it, connecting with the music and my body and disconnecting from everything else. Her Favorite dance move is so hard to choose, but she loves Allegro! Her favorite hoco activity is Walking the paths around the parks and the most important thing she wants to teach her students is that Dancing is for everybody, every body and to unify your whole self, so never stop dancing!

March 2019: Ms. Bethany Bilewu

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Ms. Bethany Bilewu is a dedicated student at Towson University as well as a hip-hop teacher here at Misako Beats. Born in Nigeria, Bethany moved to Maryland at a young age and begun her dancing journey. She started dancing at just two years old because she was always active, and through dance learned about perseverance. Bethany wants her students to never limit themselves, and never say that they “can’t”. She wants them to keep challenging and pushing themselves just like she did.



Christine Williams teaches Pilates at Misako Ballet Studio Through Howard County Parks and Recreation. She is from Elkridge MD and studied her Pilates training at Peak Pilates and Fitour. Her favorite part of Pilates is core stability and her favorite move is called the “Double leg lower lift”. Her favorite activities to do around Howard County include group fitness classes, swimming and exploring all of the parks in the area! Christine believes that the most important thing she can teach her students is that “You don’t have to be perfect to do Pilates, you just have to be patient and consistent; Pilates is an exercise you can do for the rest of your life".”



Mary is our fantastic elementary ballet and creative movement teacher here at Misako Beats! She grew up locally in Baltimore County and studied dance at Towson University.She loves going down to Old Ellicott City to explore the community based town and find inspiration through the unique area. Ms. Mary started dancer because of her older sister, she saw how much she loved dancing and wanted to be just like her.She loves dance because it gives her the ability to completely embody the movement without any fear, and express yourself through it. She greatly appreciates the beauty of simple movements and gestures through the movement of your arms.

When teaching she hopes to be able lead them to finding life in dance, while teaching technique she wants to emphasize finding their own freedom in movement and expression, and to not be afraid of messing up but embrace it because everyone makes mistakes. She hopes all of her students can give the gift of themselves to the world through dance!



Dorothy Adams is from Montgomery County, here she grew up watching her sister dance. From this she fell in love with ballet. Dance was her way to express her feelings. At the young age of nine she began ballet at the Montgomery County Ballet Company and years later she majored in dance at the University of Maryland. Along with ballet she does jazz and modern.

She has been teaching for over 25 years in Howard County and loves to interact with all her students of different ages and backgrounds in order to expose them to the wonders and joys of dance. Their most important lesson taught in her lesson according to her is that anything can be accomplished with hard work and effort.

Along with being a dance teacher she also teaches at a local Elementary School and previously in Baltimore County where she wrote dance curriculum. She loves volunteering after school, as well as swimming.

Thank you Mrs. Adams!


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I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and that’s where I started dancing. At this point, however, I pretty much feel as if I’m from the DC area.

After a youth filled with sports – baseball, gymnastics, and wrestling - I took a modern dance class in the Limon style, then started studying full time at a small school in Baton Rouge called The Brantley School of Ballet. The late Phoebe Brantley was a great coach and she gave me so many awesome learning opportunities. She took me to see the ballet in New Orleans on several occasions and brought many excellent teachers into the school including the Russian émigré, Alexander Minz, Martin Fredman and others. Alexander “Shasha” Minz made arrangements for me to audition in DC with one of his Russian friends from the Moiseyev Ballet named Yuli Vzorov. I studied with Yuli and danced in his small company, Rhythm Ballet, for two years. I also did a lot of academic study on my own on the history of ballet, the various styles, choreographers, the language, etc. I do not have structured conservatory training.

I have to say it feels awesome to really nail double tours en l’air. I probably like this so much because of how hard it was to learn and how “not awesome” it feels to fall during an attempt! I love everything about dance! Dance is athletic. Dance is artistic. Dance is romantic. Dance is expressive. Dance is challenging. For better or worse, dance has formed my life.

My first ballet teacher, Phoebe Brantley, once said to me: “Talent is the ability to work.” That really stuck with me because not every dancer is gifted with long legs, supple back and feet, and natural ability. But it takes absolutely zero talent to show up on time; to have a positive attitude; to stay focused; to observe and learn from others; and to develop the ethic to work hard. These attributes will create success in most any endeavor. I’m not of the opinion that dancers should “suffer for the art.” We should all be able to find joy and have fun with dance but hard work in not negotiable. I enjoy a wide variety of movies but prefer script driven movies. And while the action films like Star Wars, Gladiator, and Braveheart were great, the Academy Award winner Crash always comes to mind as a favorite. I still play a lot of sports including softball, and to a lesser extent tennis (too hard on my dancer knees:). I love hiking outdoors also. When indoors I watch sports on TV and read.

March 2017: CHRIS JUDGE


Chris Judge is from a little town just outside of the District of Columbia.

He began studying Qi-Gong at a local martial arts club in 2001, and as he progressed his teacher introduced him to other teachers. Now when he sees his teachers they mostly drink tea together and discuss theory.

Chris says his favorite Tai-Chi/Qi-Gong movement is the Sun Form's “Fair-Lady works the shuttles” because it's the most difficult sequence for him. He says it still tickles his brain.

Chris says “I like Qi-Gong and Tai-Chi because it soothes both my body and my mind at the same time, and when I finish practicing I feel refreshed and renewed.”

He goes on to say “The most important value I try to teach students is patience with themselves, and persistence.”

Chris says his favorite movie is 1955's “Night of the Hunter” starring Robert Mitchum.

Aside from teaching Hatha Yoga and Tai-Chi/Qi-Gong Chris spends most of his time drawing comics at his drawing board.

Thank-you Mr. Judge!



Seth and Jessica are hip-hop teachers at Misako Beats. They moved around a lot in their childhood. They both lived in many states and Seth lived in multiple countries including Ghana and Canada.

Seth fell in love with dancing when he was little and watched Michael Jackson perform. He fell in love with Jackson’s technique and began to watch a lot of dance, despite never actually dancing himself. In 2003, Seth performed with his friends in an international festival and realized he was a natural- since then, Seth has been dancing and loving it.

Jessica always had a sister who was a ballerina, and Jess knew she wanted to dance but not in the style of ballet. In her Kindergarten talent show, her mother choreographed a piece for her to dance. After that Jessica and her mother kept choreographing dances to perform. Eventually, Jessica found friends who liked to dance and would learn choreography from music videos with them.

Jessica and Seth are Hip-hop lovers and love to teach children this style of dance. Thank you Jessica and Seth.



Jessica is from Hereford, Maryland. She studied dance at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She was an dance major. She also studied dance at the MGM dance studio in PA. Jessica started dancing when she was four years old. She liked it much better than any sports that she tried so she decided to stick with dance.

Her favorite part of dance is helping students make a big break through with their technique and “helping them figure out how to do something that was difficult for them before”. So that’s a very valuable lesson she likes to instill in her students is to keep working hard at something even when it seems impossible.

When she has free time she likes to watch videos of modern and dance performances. Along with that, she enjoys taking her children to the Robinson Nature Center located in Howard County.

Her favorite style of dance is ballet and modern and her favorite position are tilts which is a popular modern dance move.

Ms. Jessica is a dancer of Misako Ballet Company. Come to see Misako Ballet Company 10th anniversary performance "Perspective" on Feb. 19th at Jim Rouse Theatre!

Buy tickets at:

Thank you Ms. Jessica!



Ms. Amber Hodak was born in Japan and has been dancing most of her life. She discovered dance when she was five years old and went to see a ballet. Realizing her love and passion for the art, her mother immediately enrolled her in dance classes and she has been dancing ever since. In Japan, Amber danced at an athlete club in a military base. She moved to Maryland when she was nine, and began dancing at Misako Ballet Studio. She has been a part of many dance companies and continues to cultivate her love of dance.

Amber's favorite part of dancing is learning about the different cultures and styles of dance as well as being able to express your feelings as you dance, without talking. Amber's favorite dance move is turning - she LOVES to turn! Every year Amber dances at the multicultural fest in October and loves to share her passion with others. When she teaches, Amber feels the most important lesson to pass on to her students is to always have fun and never forget why you started dancing.

Ms. Amber is a dancer of Misako Ballet Company. Come to see Misako Ballet Company 10th anniversary performance "Perspective" on Feb. 19th at Jim Rouse Theatre!

Buy tickets at:

Thank you Ms. Amber!



Allison is a quirky and bubbly jazz, ballet, and tap teacher. She was born in Texas where she started her dance career at the age of three. When she was 14, Allison moved to Maryland, and she began her dance studies at the Hanover School of Ballet. She has always enjoyed dance and knew from a young age that she wanted to be a dancer. Now, as a teacher Allison enjoys sharing dance with her students (especially her favorite jazz move: petit allegros!) Allison always wants her student to believe in themselves and push themselves to their highest potential.

Thank you Ms. Allison!



Faunai Brown is from Baltimore, MD. She studied dance at the Baltimore County Youth Ballet and from there she studied dance at the University of Utah. This is her first year teaching here at the ballet studio, she teaches elementary ballet, ballet 1, ballet 3 and ballet 5 classes.

Ms. Brown originally started taking dance class with her older sister, her sister quit, but Ms. Brown continued. She absolutely loves to dance she says “dancing is a good way to express myself”. Her favorite style of dance is Ballet, she loves the way it is so structured and organized.

Her favorite part of dance is the whole aspect of performing on stage, being dressed in beautiful costumes and allowing to everyone in the audience to be captivated by her movements. “I love having everyone in the audience feel a part of what I am doing on stage”

One of the most important lesson Ms. Brown loves teaching her students is confidence and strength. She wants to teach her students to be confident in everything they do and how they do it. Along, with that she loves teaching her students physical strength.

Her absolute favorite move is Centerstage, it is such a classic and her favorite activity in Howard County is going to the Columbia Mall!

Thank you Ms. Brown!