Ms. Lucia

Ms. Lucia was born in Caracas Venezuela where she began her dance training under the age of six with French and Russian instructors Madame Jaqueline Locci and Irina Yvanova. Ms. Lucia was a soloist for the Pleyel Dance Company, dancing roles of “Sylvia” and “A Birds Life.” At the age of 11, Ms. Lucia received a full scholarship from the Bolshoi. She danced around the country as a soloist and principal dancer, while also choreographing for many schools. Ms. Lucia directed her own company in Knoxville, Tennessee for many years prior to relocating to Miami, FL. Ms. Lucia is the recipient of the Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts outstanding teacher award. She holds a degree in Dance from the University of Tennessee. While away from the arts, Ms. Lucia is a proud mother of two girls, Jessica and Jaysan.

Mr. Lynn

Mr. Lynn began his formal training with David and Anna Marie Holmes under full scholarship. He was awarded his first apprentice contract with the Tennessee Festival Ballet and danced with the company for three years. While a company member with the Tennessee Festival Ballet, he worked for the Theatre of West Virginia. Mr. Lynn has been hired by many major companies, including: Berkshire Ballet, Nevada Dance Theatre, Houston Dance Theatre, Houston City Ballet, Abilene Ballet Theatre, San Antonio Ballet, Lexington Ballet to name a few. He has performed many principal roles such as: Le Corsaire, Black Swan Pas De Deux, Nutcracker Cavalier and Snow Prince, Blue Bird, Cinderella Prince and Jester, plus many contemporary works. Mr. Lynn is driven by a deep love for the art of dance that he transfers to his students in order to help them improve and bring out the best of their capabilities.


Ms. Dinorah

Ms. Dinorah was born in Venezuela on September 15. She began professional ballet at the age of nine, in Gustavo Franklin Ballet School. At the age of 14, she entered at the National Ballet of Caracas Teatro Teresa Carreño, under the artistic direction of Master and Choreographer, Vicente Nebrada. She danced numerous ballets as Double Corchea, Firebird, Pentimento, Romeo and Juliet, George Sand, Don Quixote, Our Waltzes, etc. Also in her repertoire are Swan Lake, Bayadere, Silfides, Giselle, Serenade, Tarde en la Siesta etc. Conducted numerous national and international presentations in different countries like Colombia, Peru, France, Spain, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil, and the United States. She Participated in the Autumn Festival of Spain, VIII International Dance Festival in Montpelier, Festival of Ballet in Cuba, and the Wolf Trap Festival in Washington DC. Her teachers were: Nina Novak, Julio Lamas, Jose Pares, Karemia Moreno, Graciela Diaz, Lidija Franklin, among others. She danced solos like: Mapanare (Fire Bird), Esperanza (Tarde en la Siesta), Ninfa (Pentimento), Pas de Deux Brown (Our Waltzes), among others… Ms. Dinorah also worked as Stage Manager at the International Festival Ballet of Miami. After her retirement from the stage, she has devoted herself to train professional dancers with over 15 years of experience, teaching in various schools of Ballet.

Ms. Joanna

Ms. Joanna started studying art at a very young age. She concentrated on graphite pencil, pastel, watercolors, acrylics, and oils. She later completed her diplomas in Interior Design, Art Education, and Art Screen. Ms. Joanna is an experienced art professor who enjoys teaching art to children and adults where she can transmit to students the importance of exhibiting art work through quality performances, while providing a positive classroom environment where they can recognize their creative talent’s.


Ms. Miriam

Ms. Miriam is a highly dedicated educational professional with an extensive experience as a primary Montessori teacher. She taught at Montessori Academy for 10 years. Ms. Miriam currently does individual tutoring for elementary to middle school levels.

Ms. Teresa

A native of North Carolina, Ms. Teresa comes to us with versatility and expertise in dance and the business world. A professional for over 20 years, her credentials include 10 years with the Ashville Contemporary Dance Theatre pioneering avant-garde modern dance, and an International Artistic Award for her Choreography with Ballet Folklorico in Mexico. Her entertainment credits include; Las Vegas Revues, Cruise Ship Revues, Industrial Shows, Television Commercials, and Musical Theatre shows including A Chorus Line in conjunction with Tony Award winner Sammy Williams. Ms. Teresa has education credits that include a variety of classical and modern training at Joffrey Ballet, Melissa Hayden, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Ruth Currier, Atlanta Ballet and Atlanta Contemporary. She has also attended several universities culminating in an Associate of Arts Performance Degree from the New World School of the Arts.


Mr. Tony

Mr. Tony began his training at the High School of Performing Arts and graduated as the Dance Award Recipient. He joined the Joffrey Ballet and three years later, became a principal dancer with the Boston Ballet until 1984. Mr. Tony danced the lead in the Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun with Ethel Merman and with the touring company of Golden Boy starring Sammy Davis Jr. He appeared in the first English speaking musical to travel to Japan, West Side Story. For the past 25 years, Mr. Tony has devoted much of his energy to the Ballet Academy of Miami. In 1992, he was presented with the Fellowship Award from the Florida Department of State for valuable contribution to the cultural environment of the state. In 1994, he was appointed Official American Team Coach for the 30th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. In 1995, he staged the first presentation of the Nutcracker in Colombia. It is a pleasure to have Mr. Tony teaching at Academy of Arts.

Ms. Melissa

Ms. Melissa is currently a piano instructor at Academy of Arts. She graduated in 2007 with honors from BCC with an associates of arts degree. Ms. Melissa is pursuing a career in musical development. Ms. Melissa also teaches American Sign Language for Hawks Bluff Elementary for their aftercare program. She finds teaching children to be one of the most rewarding careers possible.


Mr. Dylan

Mr. Dylan began playing both violin and piano at an early age. As he continued learning, his skill and love for music lead him to perform with the Junior Florida Philharmonic for 2 years. Thereafter Mr. Dylan began to perform as a solo artist, and performances with many local bands. Mr. Dylan then branched into performing professionally for a variety of events. Currently Mr. Dylan is now teaching violin at Academy of Arts. The children love his patience.

Ms. Marisol

Ms. Marisol was born in New York. A music major in college, she moved into a singing and acting career performing in Europe and throughout the United States. During a fulltime career as an actress, Ms. Marisol briefly continued her studies at The Lee Strasberg Institute for acting, and was trained in dance at Finis Young and Steps in New York. She has appeared in revivals of Cats as Grizabella, West Side Story as Anita, Oliver as Nancy, Kismet as Zubahdiya, Dreamgirls as Michelle, A Chorus Line as Maggie and South Pacific as Bloody Mary. She worked for Paul Simon as he developed his musical The Capeman from its inception in a Greenwich Village workshop through its run on Broadway. Her career has allowed her to work with known directors like; Bob Fosse, Jerry Zaks, Mark Morris, and many more. While living in Spain, she taught voice for three years at the Aula de la Musica, an affiliate of the U.S.-based Berklee College of Music. After 25 years of performing Ms. Marisol decided to take a break to raise a family. Ms. Marisol enjoys working with people of all ages.


Ms. Milena

Ms. Milena initiated her studies of classical dance in Caracas Venezuela at the school of Choreographic Art under the guidance of the teacher Maria Teresa Carrizo at the age of 10. She was part of the senior company Ballet Arte Coreografico under the tutelage of the Teacher Carrizo, playing figure rolls in the classical ballets Giselle, Paquita, Don Quixote, Le Corsair, La Sylphide, Swan Lake, Coppelia and in ballets of neoclassic cut choreographed by Maria Teresa Carrizo like Bolero de Ravel between others. At the age of 18 she is selected to join the lines of the company Balleto delL Arena di Verona, in Verona Italia. At the age of 19 she became part of the company Ballet Nacional de Caracas-Ballet Teresa Carre, under the guidance of Master Vicente Nebrada. Ms. Milena danced soloist rolls in the pieces choreographed by Master Nebrada: Romeo y Julieta, Nuestros Valses, Tarde en la Siesta, Pentimento, Bird of Fire, Double Eighth Note, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Don Quixote, George Sains and also selected by the company to participate in the ballets Serenade and Concerto Barroco from the famous choreographer George Balanchine.

Ms. Monica

Ms. Monica started her training at the age of three. A graduate of New World School of the Arts in Miami, she trained heavily in modern, ballet, and jazz. Ms. Monica has performed as a background dancer for Gloria Estefan, and danced in music videos for rap artists Ja Rule and Missy Elliott. She has choreographed and danced in several performances for artist Jackie-O and group Take Note, with whom she did the opening number at the Reggae Festival in Miami, featuring such big name artists as Sean Paul. Working abroad as lead dancer for Tokyo Disney Sea, she danced in the show ShowBiz Iz On the small screen, Ms. Monica has performed as a background dancer with recording artist Pitbull on Univision’s Latin Pepsi Smash, and with Scarface actor Angel Salazar, dancing in his comedy show Sheck It Out. She has performed with rapper Nelly and country music star John Rich on the CW The Next. Most recently, Ms.Monica has danced in a national commercial for Rapid Advance and has performed and co choreographing for recording artist Arika Kane in New York City’s BB Kings. Ms. Monica continues her dream of performing, choreographing, and teaching master classes throughout the United States. We welcome her joining us at Academy of Arts.



Mr. Brian

A Pro musician, singer and song writer, Mr. Brian trained with world renowned opera singer vocal coach, Gina Marsetta. Mr. Brian records music for artists and studios throughout Florida. Mr. Brian has worked with Grammy award winner producer John Thoma, Quicktrax, and Sunflower Studios to name a few. Mr. Brian currently teaches piano and guitar at Academy of Arts and we are thrilled to have him on our staff.

Mr. Chris

As a dance teacher and choreographer, Mr. Chris is currently enjoying his 24th year in the business. His skill and versatility in both tap and jazz/lyrical combined with a creative choreographic style have kept him busy and happy. He is a certified member of Dance Masters of America. His teaching credits include Steps on Broadway and Broadway Dance Center in Manhattan, New York. He also served as dance department chairperson at Belvoir Terrace, an internationally reputable performing arts camp in Lenox, Massachusetts. He is currently on staff at 3 dance studios in New York and the New Jersey area. Mr. Chris also teaches master classes and judges for major dance organizations, private schools and organizations nationwide and in Canada. His students have won numerous high score awards at competitions such as; American Dance Awards, Dance Master of America and Starquest, as well as two gold medals at the World Tap Dance Championships in Reisa, Germany. Students of Mr. Chris have also gone on to appear in music videos, TV commercials and on Broadway.


Ms. Effy

Ms. Effy is an accomplished dancer, dance teacher, and choreographer. In addition to Middle Eastern Dance, her dance education includes classic ballet, flamenco, and modern dance. Her ethnic background is an exotic blend of Greek and Peruvian. Ms. Effy is able to bring out the power and beauty of the feminine in her students and encourages the spirituality of the dance. As a belly dancer she combines Egyptian, Tribal and Gypsy styles, while adding her experience in ballet, Greek, and South American Dances. She is currently teaching and also performs at the Greek Restaurant Taverna Opa in Fort Lauderdale.

Mr. Llimy

Mr. Llimy was born in La Habana, Cuba graduated from La Escuela Nacional de Arte Alicia Alonso. He has danced with dance companies all around the world. In Mexico, he won best male dancer in a competition. He was principal dancer in New York with the Rochester City Ballet. Other companies include; Trocadero Ballet, and Michael Moo. His other credits as a dancer include television shows, commercials and various club work throughout Florida and the United States. Mr. Llimy has gained Gold and Silver Medals in the International Festival de Ballet of Cuba. Mr. Llimy has performed with Jennifer Lopez, Thalia, Pilar Montenegro, Gloria Estafan, Yury, Ricky Martin, Alejandra Guzman, and Laura Leon. He has also performed for Paul Taylor Dance Company.


Ms. Alyssa

Ms. Allyssa has attended Academy of Arts since she was 7 years old. She was in Senior Company since the age of 12. Her training includes: Ballet, Pointe, Flamenco, Hip-Hop, Modern, Jazz and Tap. Ms. Alyssa has received honorable recognition in the following: Outstanding Achievement Award for Flamenco in 2002, acceptance to Joffrey Ballet and Orlando Ballet in 2005, and the Super Bowl Pep Rally. She was chosen to open for Grammy Award-winning artist Ashanti in 2005. She was featured in a commercial for Latin recording artist Teziano Ferro, which aired in May 2006 on Univision. Ms. Allyssa has modeled for Journeys Spring Catalog and attended New World School of the Arts High School Dance Program. In 2011 she was accepted to Boston Conservatory with a scholarship for $20,000 and awarded a merit award for young arts competition in Jazz. Ms. Alyssa has also toured South America with Luis Fonsi and Alexis & Fido. She currently teaches Hip-Hop at Academy of Arts.

Ms. Elizabeth

Ms. Elizabeth was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in Venezuela, at the age of 5, her mother and aunt, who were professional dancers, taught her the foundations of dance. She took classes at Amor de Dios in Madrid and Sevilla with Gitana Pura Vargas. In 1988 she formed her own dance company and they traveled for the next 8 years to Ferias de Venezuela, Islas del Caribe Aruba, Curacao and San Martin. Ms. Elizabeth has taken classes in Spain and the United States from Estrella Morena, Mariano Parra, Damaris Ferrer, Aurora Reyes, Omaira Amaya, Jose el Junco, Javier Marin and Carmen and Rocio Montiel, to name a few.


Mr. Michael

Mr. Michael has been a master teacher for over 20 years. His work includes giving seminars, setting original choreographic works and teaching dancers around the world in both the private and public sectors, as well as college and university dance and fine arts programs. As a performer, some of his credits include: Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, serving as associate director and rehearsal choreographer for six years; River North Dance Company, AKASHA Dance Company; The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, serving as an assistant choreographer for five years, as well as several theater, fashion and industrial credits to his name and is a member of the Actors Equity Association (AEA). He has also taught and adjudicated for numerous internationally recognized dance organizations and institutions, and proudly served as a director and rehearsal choreographer for Royal Caribbean Entertainment. Mr. Michael is the President and Creative Development Director of Taylor Made Development, Inc.

Ms. Lara

Ms. Lara began her education in Art and Dance at the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. She studied Classical Ballet, Horton, and Graham technique and Choreography, and broadened her studies through Music and Fine Arts. Lara furthered her dance education at The Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, and as a scholarship recipient at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in New York. She was awarded a fellowship for impressive professional achievements allowing her to pursue her MFA in Dance through the American Dance Festival alliance with Hollins University. Her professional career began in Chicago, becoming a principal dancer with The River North Chicago Dance Theatre. Thereafter, she was personally selected by Twyla Tharp to join her company of 7, Twyla Tharp Dance, in New York City. She performed the works of Twyla Tharp both in the United States and internationally, and taught Tharp repertory workshops. Ms. Lara also performed an array of works by various artists such as, Bill T. Jones, Daniel Ezralow, BodyVox and Nacho Duato. She has also been featured in major motion films including, Across the Universe, Soul Survivor, A League of Their Own, and Mannequin, as well as Guest Artist performances in television series such as, Quantum Leap, PBS ArtBeat, and the Amici Artists in Rome, Italy. Currently Ms. Lara is the Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of the TOC.


Ms. Staci

Ms. Staci Ann graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. During and after college, she had the opportunity to train and perform with David Parsons, Martha Graham Dance Company, ODC San Francisco, Shapiro and Smith, and The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Ms. Staci has been teaching all genres of dance for 15 years throughout FL, NY, MD, VA, and Washington DC. After college she trained in NYC for 3 years at Peridance Center International Dance School while teaching ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip hop at Westchester Dance Academy. While teaching in DC she spent 2 years performing with Ari-Den Dance company. Before moving back to Florida she was teaching for Joy of Motion, CityDance, YMCA, and The Sheridan School, where she worked in the after school program. Ms. Staci thrilled to have the opportunity to teach our youth and share her passion for the art of dance.


Ms. Briana

Since the age of two, Ms. Briana has been training in many styles of dance. At the age of eight years old Ms. Briana came to Academy of Arts to pursue her dance career under the direction of owner Rebecca Russo. While at Academy of Arts she learned various styles of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Flamenco and Pointe. Ms. Briana has been a part of AoA school dance team since her first year of middle school and all throughout high school. Along with dancing and receiving her education, in the hopes of becoming a Speech Pathologist, she is a coach for an Elementary dance team. Briana loves working with children and sharing her love for dance with toddlers and teens. Ms. Briana has a top goal in life, to open up her own dance studio where children, teens and adults with special needs will be welcomed with open arms to dance their hearts out.