Our Talented Teachers
Hama, a native of Japan, moved to New York in 1964, where he studied with famed jazz dance instructor, Luigi. Hama’s credits include lead dancer at Radio City Music Hall, as well as various Broadway productions. In 1991, Hama opened his dance studio, and has dedicated himself to teaching. He has taught at many universities, and was nominated for the Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award at USC.
Many of Hama’s students have gone on to become well known dance teachers.
Risa Tadokoro Arisue
Risa started dance Jazz and Ballet at the age of 11 in Japan. Risa came to America in 2001 and joined Ken Dance Company in 2003. She participated in the Jazz Dance LA show from 2002-2008 and performed in the Lester Horton Dance Awards Show in 2006.
In addition, Risa performed in Frankie’s Gypsy Roses Show in 2006. Currently Risa works at Hama’s Dance Center where she has acted as general manager since 2005.
Risa teaches Jazz class at Hama’s Dance Center and is currently instructing dance classes for figure skaters at Toyota Sports Center.
At the age of 9, Julia was selected by master teachers to enter the Vaganova Academy of Classical Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. She studied under Kirov ballet master Ninella Kurgapkina. After 8 years of training, Julia graduated at the top of her class from the Vaganova Ballet Academy . She has danced throughout the world in the Kirov Ballet and Opera. From 1984 to 1996 she performed in Russia and on tour around the world. She has worked in stage productions by international directors Julie Taymor, Oleg Ignatief, David Freeman and Natalia Volkova.
Kana began her dance training at age three in Japan. She studied at the Mayumi Minokami Ballet Studio and performed in their production of Swan Lake, Coppέlia, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Raymonda and more. She studied jazz dance with Kanako Fukuoka and Rei Aoo in Japan. Though she loved ballet, she maintained a stronger interest in performing as a jazz contemporary dancer. She moved to America in 1997 to continue her dance training and career. After her relocation to the U.S.A, she performed throughout the United States with KIN Dance Company, AnNamx Dance Production, Vox Lumiere, and most recently, Ken Dance Company (KDC) where she is both a dancer and assistant director with founder and artistic director, Kenji Yamaguchi. As a dancer in Kenji’s works, she was described by the Los Angeles Times as “elegantly tethered to an earthbound sorrow.” Her solo work has also been called “gripping and soul-searching.” Kana developed her own special project, Kana’s Japan Relief Fund, “Dance From The Soul,” which was set up for Sendai-City in Japan to replant trees and flowers in the city where they had been uprooted and destroyed by earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011. Since then she has been visiting Sendai-City each year to help keep communications open with the people who live there, and hopefully aid in the re-creation and re-development within the city.
Kana also works as a choreographer/dancer for J’s Hair Studio & Academy Inc. for their ISSE, IBS shows and Japan tour of 2014, 2015 and 2016, and is currently starting a ballet and jazz dance workshop tour at Avex Artist Academy in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and other local studios in Japan, starting in April, 2014. She teaches ballet locally in the Los Angeles area at Edge Performing Arts Center, Hama Dance Center and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles.
Kelleia grew up in Carson City/Lake Tahoe. At age 15, she became a professional dancing core de ballet in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite. At 16, she was discovered by the legendary choreographer Jackie Sleight who invited her to join her professional jazz dance company A Sleight Touch in Los Angeles. During her first concert with the company Kelleia danced alongside one of her teenage heroes – French artist Marine Jahan. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Italian language, literature, art, history and culture at UCLA and lived in Italy for 2 years where she rooted as an artist.
On the little box Kelleia has appeared both as actor and dancer. From a dominatrix on Mistresses and The Drew Carrey Show to a femme-fatale on Two Guys & a Girl, from a classic flapper on Cold Case to a singing legal aid on Ally McBeal. Some of her most recognized performances have been both live and televised – Award shows galour! Dancing with Robin Williams as a Canadian Mounty on The 72nd Academy Awards, performing with Toni Braxton in the controversial 7-minute opener for The American Music Awards, flying through the air on harnessed-stilts for the Dixie Chicks during The Country Music Awards, sleuthing the stage as a James Bond Bronze Girl for Robbie Williamson on the MTV Music Awards and as HoopTease on the mega-hit show Dancing with the Stars!
Jaime worked as a young dancer, rising to level of First Dancer with the Juilliard Dance Theater and notable Opera companies. He created a memorable performance in the movie “West Side Story.”
A recipient of numerous awards and nominations, including Emmy Awards, Cleo Awards, Georgies, Tony Awards, and the Dance Alive Achievement Award. Jaime has been a force in the media of television, where he created for 40 different series, 1,500 episodes, and over 30 specials.
Jade Hale – Started at HDC February 7th & Teaches Every Tuesday @ 8:30pm – 10pm Intermediate & Advanced Ballet
Jade Hale – Christofi is British/American/Cypriot Greek and grew up in North London and began dancing aged five. He trained at the Urdang Academy London before becoming a Junior Associate of The Royal Ballet School. He joined the Royal ballet School White Lodge and graduated Upper School in 2006. For his graduation performance he danced Don Quixote and Jabula at the Royal Opera House London. As soon as he became a professional ballet Dancer he moved to France and joined National Ballet Du Rhin in 2006, Ballet Black in London 2008, NBA Ballet Japan 2011 where he became guest Principal, The National Ballet Of Ireland 2013 and English National Ballet 2014. In his Ballet career Jade has performed for the Royal Family at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. In 2012 he was asked to dance in a privet performance for Her Majesty The Queen and in 2011 danced for Michelle Obama at the Royal Opera House London.
Jade is in between London and Los Angeles to train at the Actors Studio west in Hollywood 2015. Since being in LA Jade has been working with David LaChapelle on Queen and Michael Jackson’s music video “There Must Be More To Life Then This” that he was in and Co Choreographed with Sergei Polunin. He then Choreographed his own piece “Take Me To Church” by Hozier for David LaChapelle and Sergei Polunin. Take Me To Church became the most viewed professional Ballet piece in History and took 3rd best music dance video of 2015.
As well as being a Ballet Dancer, Contemporary Dancer and Choreographer Jade has modeled for Nick Knight – Diesel Venice Fashion Video 2014 and David LaChapelle – Coca Cola commercial/100 years 2015.
In 2016 Jade Choreographed, Danced and co edited THE DREAM directed by Javiera Estrada and Choreographed the first 3D hologram movie Directed and Composed by Adam Donen – Symphony To Lost Generation and he released his first online book Designing Dance for Amazon.
Jade is also staring in the new Ballet documentary Dancer with Sergei Polunin set for release late 2016.
Amy Schadt – Started at HDC this May & Teaches Fridays @ 11:30am – 1:00pm – Intermediate Jazz
Barb’s performance credits include The Will Rogers Follies, Brigadoon, A Chorus Line, and numerous repertory company productions. Barb has taught for the Tremaine Dance Center, Millenium, Michigan State University and several local colleges. Perhaps Barb’s greatest strength is her academic understanding of dance technique resulting from extensive formal education in dance & kinesiology. Barb’s class stands apart from others in that it teaches a systematic intellectual process by which to refine technical skills, increasing consistency of error-free movement and maximizing performance potential!
Christian Beasley Starts at HDC Jan 8 Beg/Int Ballet Tues and Thurs 10~11:30a
Christian has over 18 years of dance training with a focus on ballet, contemporary, jazz, and commercial dance. His intensive ballet training began at an early age with the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia, PA and the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. At 15, he moved to Houston to train in classical ballet full time at the Houston Ballet Academy and by 18, he was touring through Europe as one of the “Bad Boys of Dance” in “Rock the Ballet”, performing in Switzerland, Spain, Germany, and Finland.Currently in his 7th year dancing for LA Contemporary Dance Company, other Los Angeles dance companies he has danced for include Clairobscur, Nugent Dance Company, Art.uncensored, and the only all male contemporary ballet company in Los Angeles, Pony Box Dance Theatre. The wide range of notable choreographers he has worked with in recent years include Ryan Heffington, Sabrina Philips, Genevieve Carson, Christian Denice, Nathan Makolandra, Nick Lanzisera, Kate Hutter, Matteo Levaggi, Laurie Sefton, Juliette Irons, Laurel Jenkins, Holly Rothschild, Justine Menter, and Melissa “MJ” Jackson. Advertising/commercial and movie credits include Pepsi, Hiksvision, Samsung, “White Bird in a Blizzard”, and “Inappropriate Comedy”. Until its close in summer of 2018, he was the head ballet instructor for the IDA certificate program. Besides nurturing his strong passion for choreography and developing his own artistic voice, he currently teaches at Bobbies School of Performing Arts, Elite Artists Dance Academy, as well as recreational ballet classes at Edge Performing Arts Center.
Eric Ellis Starts at HDC Wednesdays Jan 16th at 1:30~3pm Int Jazz
Eric Ellis is a world renowned choreographer and jazz instructor based in Los Angeles, CA USA. He has trained every level of dancer from beginning to professional to seasoned veteran.
Eric is a west coast native who studied in San Diego at Southwest College, Stage 7 Studio for the Arts and CALARTS. He studied, Modern, Jazz, Ballet & Tap.
During his prefessional carreer, he has earned the well-respected reputation as one of the best coreographers and dance masters in the genre of jazz & lyrical jazz. We are so excited to have him here at Hama’s Dance Center!
Alaris H. Treat – Started at HDC in May & Teaches Every Tuesday @ 11:30am – 1:00pm – Open Level Jazz
Alaris has an extensive, diverse background in the fine arts, including dancing, performing and teaching in various dance mediums of ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco, modern and social dance/ballroom. She was a dancer/rehearsal coach & assistant to the director with the unique ballet company, Burch Mann’s American Folk Ballet (AFB), originally founded and created in the Los Angeles area, touring the USA and abroad, which later sojourned to Southern Utah. She also toured with the AFB to Russia where the company was invited to perform for the White Nights Festival at the Great October Hall in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) as Friendship Ambassadors of dance in a cultural art and dance exchange with Russian ballet & Folk dance companies in 1990. In 2002, she performed with the AFB as part of the festivities for the Winter Olympics at The Capital Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah. Re-locating to the Los Angeles area, she worked with jazz dance artist, director/choreographer, Hama, at Hama’s Dance Center in Glendale and Studio City where she continues to teach, choreograph and assist in classes and productions. She also danced and toured with the professional flamenco company, Clarita & The Arte Flamenco Dance Theatre for ten-plus years. Other theatre credits include Barnum, The Crucible, and A Chorusline as Cassie. In Los Angeles, she has studied tap with Bill Bartlett and Steve Zee, among many others, and social/ballroom dance at Let’s Dance L.A. with Enio Cordoba & Terryl Jones, plus numerous other dance professionals/champions. Alaris taught ballet and tap for children and adults at Arte Flamenco Dance Theatre’s Center of Worldance in Alhambra for fourteen years, and four years at Plaza de La Raza, a multi-cultural performing arts school in Los Angeles. She continues to enjoy artistic challenges in many areas as well as opportunities for teaching, performing and choreography. Alaris directed, choreographed and produced her own dance show in February 2018, “Style and Rhythm,” at The Colony Theatre in Burbank, CA, along with her husband, Clarence Treat, a retired LA County fire captain, a celebrated athlete and track star, a professional singer and an original member of The New Christy Minstrels. She holds a B.S. degree in Theatre Arts with a Dance Emphasis and Dance Education minor from SUU in Cedar City, Utah, where she was an adjunct faculty member and special instructor of dance for five years.
Marcia Moreno Littman
Marcia Moreno Littman started ballet at the California ballet school, was on a scholarship with the academy of Performing Arts, and later received a merit scholarship with the San Francisco Ballet School summer intensive program. She performed in music videos such as Mandy Moore’s “I Wanna Be With You”, O Town’s “We Fit Together” and LFO’s “Every Other Time” and the movie “The New Guy”. Littman moved to Las Vegas in 2003 to become the lead female dancer in “”Fashionistas”. She’s also known for her work as the original Dreamer is Dragone’s “Le Reve”, who also danced on “Dancing With The Stars” in 2010. Littman then danced the roles of Dance on TV, Ballerina, and Wind in Cirque Du Soleil’s “Zumanity”. It wasn’t long before she was honored by being asked to become part of Twyla Tharp’s national Touring Broadway dance show “Come Fly Away” performing the lead role as Kate. Upon ending the tour, she put her creative foot forward and became part of the creation of the Las Vegas project “Funhouse” directed by Kenny Ortega. She is beyond thrilled to be teaching ballet at Hama’s!
Shivani Thakkar – Starts at HDC June 15th & Teaches Every Friday @ 1:30pm – 3:00pm – Bollywood