Emily Garcia

Ballroom
Emily Garcia has trained in dancing for over 15 years in different styles including ballet, ballroom, lyrical, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. She has been seen in popular television shows such as, NBC's America's Got Talent, Mira Quien Baila, NBC's World of Dance, The Christina Show, and Sabado Gigante. Throughout the years of competing in Latin Ballroom, passion and dedication help her rise to among the top Latin Ballroom couples in her respective division. She has won Regional and National Latin Ballroom competitions.

Matt Luck
Matt Luck, a Los Angeles based choreographer and dancer, originally comes from Ohio where he trained with Z Company Dance. After years of assisting and teaching classes of his own, Matt made the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the commercial world of dance. He has had the opportunity to perform with Taylor Swift at The American Music Awards as well as on FOX’s television show “Glee.” Matt has also been a member of Justin Giles’ company, “SoulEscape”. Aside from performing, Matt’s main focus is teaching and creating. In 2013, Matt created an evening length show titled “Regretless” in collaboration with Emily Shock and musician Richard Walters. Matt has taught throughout Europe in London, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland and Italy and in has performed in London based Dance Adventures “Best of British.” Alongside choreographing and dancing, Matt has an extensive interest in filmmaking and is constantly creating short films that mesh the worlds of dance and film. Some of Matt’s films, including “Dancing in the Dark” in collaboration with Emma Portner, have had the chance to be featured in various events such as “SourceEcreative,” in an episode of “Artgrease,” as well as on tour with artist Ben Riddle.  Matt is constantly searching for new adventures and is so grateful for all the opportunities he has had so far in his life.

Dominique Periz

Faculty & Staff

Reina Hildalgo

A native from Miami and New Jersey, Reina began her training in ballet, tap, and jazz at the age of 5. After graduating from high school she attended college at New World School of the Arts in Miami where she received numerous scholarships and received her B.F.A. in dance in 2002. Not too long after finishing her program there, she was part of the Miami Sol WNBA co-ed dance team for 2 years. Since relocating to California after graduation in 2004, Reina has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, and music videos. She is active in the community and has put on shows to raise money for the ONE campaign, victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake victims in Haiti raising about $4,000. She has had the delightful pleasure to travel the world and work with some of the top artists of today such as Pink, Rihanna, JLO, KYLIE MINOGUE, Missy Elliott, Ciara, Daddy Yankee, Paula Abdul, Thalia, PRIMA J, Nelly Frutado , and many others. Her film credits include, "TEEN BEACH MOVIE", “Beauty Shop", "Hannah Montana". Commerical credits: “IPOD”,”KSWISS”, and “Chrysler”. T.V. credits: MTV VMA’S, Pink's "Glitter in the Air" GRAMMY’S performance, Dancing with the Stars, Latin Grammys, BET Awards, ESPY Awards, Australia MTV Music Awards, NAACAP Awards, to name a few. Tours: Rihanna “Last girl on Earth world tour”, P!nk European and Australian in 2006, 2009,and 2013-2014, Gloria Estefan 2004, and Missy Elliott. She is currently on promo tour with Ricky Martin and you can watch the hit new show EAST LOS HIGH on Hulu which she has choreographed the past 2 seasons along with Noel Bajandas.

​​​Marie-Louise Gaschler

Artistic Director


Miami Based Choreographer, Teacher and Dancer Marie-Louise Gaschler has over 30 years of dance experience.  Marie’s unique, versatile and ever evolving style of choreography, which she has set on dancers locally and all over the country, has gotten national attention and has won top honors.  Dancers she has trained have been acknowledged at the National Level, are dancing in top professional companies and get accepted into exceptional College dance programs and Summer programs.   Prior to teaching Marie danced professionally with Paula Manso De Sousa and Dancers, Brazarte Dance Company, and Momentum Dance Company.  She has performed the works of Jose Limon, Ana Sokolow, Gerri Houlihan, Peter London, and Michael Uttohf, just to name a few. Marie commercial credits include work with: Disney, Virgin Music, The United Paramount Network and the Humane Society.  Her dance education includes: Alonzo Kings Lines (apprentice), San Francisco Dance Center, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway and New World School of the Arts.   At Age 21 she discovered her passion for teaching/choreographing and hasn't looked back since. Now with over 15 years of teaching experience under her belt Marie felt the need to build a dance program in South Miami that would offer a strong ballet technical base while also allowing the dancers to have an artistic creative outlet at the same time.  In 2016 in effort to be closer to her family she decided to create Miami Dance Collective “The Company”. 


Peter Chu

originally from Cocoa Beach, Florida, is a distinguished artist who strives to push the physical boundaries of dance. He began his training as a competitive gymnast, later nurturing his artistry at Dussich Dance Studio where his evolution into dance began. As a BFA student at The Juilliard School (under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy), Chu was pushed further as a technical mover and began an explosive journey into choreography. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Hector Zaraspe Prize for Choreography. 
Chu is a remarkable and multi-faceted artist. As a performer, he has danced with BJM _Danse and EZdanza, as the lead in Christina Perri’s Jar of Heartsmusic video, in Celine Dion’s Vegas spectacular A New Day, and with Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot. 


In 2008, Chu formed a Las Vegas project-based company—chuthis. His multi-disciplinary dance company combines innovative lighting and sound with live contemporary movement.
Chu presented his newest works, Face Her and Smile Masking, under a residency partnership with the Las Vegas—Clark County Library District and later premiered the works at Festival International DansEncore. Chuthis. also provides movement classes at universities and dance programs domestically and abroad plus hosts its own annual movement intensive. The chuthis. Movement Intensive fosters technical/artistic development and mind/body familiarity while igniting an adventurous side of dance. Recently, Peter implemented chuthis. Moves, 2-3 day customized workshops that emphasize movement education. 


Recipient of the 2010 A.C.E. Capezio Award, Chu was also honored as selected choreographer for the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival (directed by Linda Kent) and choreographed for the ninth and tenth seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. He has created pieces for Naomi Stikeman (Çaturn; consulted by Robert Lepage), Orlando Ballet Theatre, Hubbard Street 2, Giordano Dance Chicago, Houston Met Dance Company, and New Dialect.  He has also created for Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) Summer Intensive (2013, 2014, 2016), Springboard Danse Montréal (principal company), Western Michigan University, The Juilliard School, SUNY Purchase, Brigham Young University Contemporary Dance Theatre, Southern University of Utah, and Alvin Ailey Certificate Program. 

Chu has also served as the Rehearsal Director for Nederlands Dans Theater 2, and as a Guest Rehearsal Director for NDT1. He recently created works for Giordano Dance Chicago (Divided Against) and Hubbard Street 2 (Floating After Times). Additionally, Chu performed Crystal Pite’s works A Picture of You Falling and Betroffenheit in Canada and Europe. This past season, Chu premiered a brand new creation for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and a collaboration with Charlotte Ballet & Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, in addition to performances and creative residencies with his own company, chuthis.  

DIRECTORS

Katie Anderson 

Hip Hop/ Tap 

Kristin Douthit Richards

Programming Director


​Mrs. Richards began her training with Suzanne Aker and Yvonne Racz at Ballet Lubbock.  Her summer intensive experience includes San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Royal Winnipeg Ballet where she was selected to perform in Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s annual production of Ballet in the Park.  Continuing her training in New York City, Mrs. Richards attended Marymount Manhattan College where she was a member of the Marymount Manhattan Dance Company, graduating Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance, ballet concentration. Mrs. Richards' extensive and varied performance experience includes the world premiere of Billy the Kid under the direction of Daniel Catanach of New York City’s Urban Ballet Theatre, Texas Tech University productions of The Bartered Bride and West Side Story, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals' productions of Oklahoma! (Dream Laurie) and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Dorcas) under the direction of Gerald Dolter, and 14 productions of Ballet Lubbock’s The Nutcracker.   In New York, Mrs. Richards was a dancer for the Magic Circle Opera Company under the direction of Ray Evans Harrell and was honored to perform Molissa Fenley’s Lava Fields, David Parsons’ Work in Progress, and the pas de deux in Guajira choreographed by Pedro Ruiz.  In addition, she appeared with the MMC Dance Company in the 2008 Parsons Dance Company Gala and in the New York Jazz Choreography Project in the work of Geoffrey Doig-Marx.  She performed the role of Sugar Plum Fairy in Austin City Ballet’s Austin Children’s Nutcracker and was featured in TexARTS Off-Broadway Series and Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble’s Ballet in the Park.  In 2010 she was contracted by Royal Caribbean International for the production cast in Europe and the Caribbean. Working for Royal Caribbean led her to the love of her life and a move to Miami where she is excited to share her talents, experience, and love for nurturing the arts in children as a part of Miami Dance Collective. 

Jenn Freeman 

Jenn Freeman is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer based out of New York City. Professionally, she has danced in works by choreographers: Sonya Tayeh, Mia Michaels, Kyle Abraham, Larry Keigwin, Brook Notary, and many others. Most recently, Jenn has joined NOW International/Interdisciplinary Dance Company, under the direction of Charlotte Boye-Christensen, as a collaborator. She has assisted in the development of projects for The Martha Graham Dance Company, LA Ballet, Cirque du Soleil, Florence and the Machine, Madonna, The X-Factor, and The Brit Awards. Jenn has appeared in live performances for Target, The Rolling Stone's 50th Anniversary Tour, The MTV Video Music Awards, The Jimmy Fallon Show, and Comedy Central’s “The Comedy Awards.” Recent choreography projects include a major new work for Idaho Dance Theatre titled "Elements of Kin” and AVAN LAVA's newest music video, "WANNA LIVE.” Jenn is a NYU TISCH Graduate.

Natasha Williams 

Tap

Natasha Williams is a professional tap dancer and teacher born and raised in Miami. She is a graduate of New World School of the Arts High School Dance Division. She completed her Bachelors in Business Management in 2008 and her MBA in 2012, both at Florida International University. Natasha is also an alumni of Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program in 2010.  Natasha has performed at various venues in Miami including El Tucán, The Cabaret South Beach, Ball and Chain, The Wynwood Yard, Kill Your Idol, Tobacco Road, Railroad Blues, The Broken Shaker, The Regent Cocktail Club, The Miami Beach Edition, Circa 39 Miami Beach, and ArtWalk in MANA Wynwood. She often performs with Jazz singer Jahzel Dotel. In 2012 Natasha presented at TEDx Youth Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center with the TAYB Tap Team. In 2013, Natasha performed for the Miami Herald Black History Show and in 2014 performed at Art Basel. In 2015 Natasha had the pleasure of tapping alongside Billy Stritch, accompanist of Liza Minnelli, at The Cabaret South Beach's CAST Party.  

Front Desk

Irene Balague 

Ballet Mistress

Irene Balague was born in Zaragoza, Spain and enjoyed an international career as a ballet dancer, touring around the world. Her early training included the Maria de Avila Ballet School, finishing at the Real Conservatory of Madrid. She danced for the English National Ballet in London, Miami City Ballet, and Ballet Gamonet, performing most of the full-length classical ballets and repertoire of Balanchine, Petipa, Twyla Tharp, Forsythe, MacMillan, and Paul Taylor among others.  After retiring from the stage, Irene began her teaching career as a Ballet instructor in Miami and is completing the ABT National Training Curriculum.  Irene currently tours the United States as a ballet faculty member with the West Coast Dance Explosion and will serve as Ballet Mistress for Miami Dance Collective.

Guest Choreographers

Kimberly Beck Thomson

Acro
Kimberly Thomson is a third generation dancer with more than 35 years of experience as a studio owner, performer, choreographer and instructor. She began her love affair with dance as a small child under the tutelage of her mother, Danie Beck, child prodigy on Broadway, a successful TV performer, distinguished Dance Judge, Business Dance Consultant, Instructor, Choreographer, and Studio Owner for 40 years.
Thomson graduated with honors from Saint Brendan High School in Miami, FL in 1988 and then attended Florida State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development with a minor in Theatre and Dance, she is gifted in working with students of all ages and training dancers to achieve their full potential.
Thomson, through examination and certification, then became a member of the Florida Dance Masters, later serving for 25 years on the Board of Directors, holding faculty positions for several distinguished dance organizations and also judging regional and national dance competitions.
Thomson has achieved various accolades for her innovative and creative choreography, among them choreographing the opening production numbers for several of NBC’s Orange Bowl Parades. Through C&J Productions, Thomson choreographed and performed for Industrial and Corporate Events at the Intercontinental Hotel and Fontainebleau Hotel.
Her achievements as a performer are equally impressive, having worked with a variety of top-level performers such as Will Smith, Marie Osmond, Chubby Checker, and Harry Blackstone during her years as an entertainer.
On a more local level, Thomson, President of Premiere Dance, LLC. strives to bring her unique approach of dance instruction to the youth of Miami and through her latest venture, Dance – The Cutting Edge, Inc., an instructional dance video series, she hopes to further her dream of inspiring teachers and students through her unique teaching methods.