Lisa Newcomb - Founder & Director of the Belfast Dance Studio, Song, Rhythm & Dance, Vinyasa Yoga
Lisa Teaches dance and yoga to children and adults. Her main focus has been African & Caribbean dance and she has traveled in the states, Brazil and West Africa to study and dance. She brings these forms of dance to her teachings with both children and adults. Lisa also teaches dance and movement in public and private schools throughout Maine.
Jeffrey Densmore, Percussionist, Vocalist, Set Drummer, and Musical Director at the Belfast Dance Studio
Jeffrey Densmore has been drumming for performances and dance classes at the Belfast Dance Studio for over 15 years. He has studied drum set and hand drumming extensively in Maine, New York City, and Guinea, West Africa. Jeff is a teacher of rhythm, working with adults and children in private and group settings. For the past 25 years he has performed with musical groups in the central Maine area in a variety of genres including rock, jazz, country, funk, swing, drum ensembles and vocal groups.
Keith Robinson- Intro to Dance, Ballet
Keith grew up in the Denver, Colorado area and attended Boston University and the University of Colorado. He began his dance career with Polly L. Thomas and was a founding member of the Robinson Ballet under the direction of Ralph Robinson. Keith trained with madam Nora Kiss in paris, France and with Leonidas de Pian in Athens, Greece. Keith and his wife Maureen have danced professionally in Europe with the ballet Classique de Paris, a touring company based in Paris, France and the Athens Ballet Theater is Athens, Greece. Keith is the Artistic Director of the Robinson Ballet and has choreographed numerous works for the Robinson Ballet as well as for several other community-based arts organizations. He has performed as an actor with the Belfast Maskers, New Surry Theater, Penobscot Theater Company and Ten Bucks Theater. Keith presently teaches ballet at the University of Maine at Orono, Belfast Dance Studio, and the School of Robinson Ballet. Keith is most proud of his son, Ian, who is currently dancing in Israel with Batsheva Dance Company.
Missy Hatch - Yoga
Missy did her teacher training in 1989 at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA. She has been teaching yoga ever since. When asked, she says her style of teaching originated at Kripalu and has evolved over the years from personal experience and areas of interest. She considers her teaching to be somewhat unconventional and unstructured with a lighthearted emphasis on simply moving as one’s body allows, the goal being to create strength, space, and ease in the body. Her definition of yoga is: When we create space in our bodies, we create space in our minds.
Michele Cox - Ballet, Jazz
Michele Cox instructs Classical Ballet and Jazzin' Hip Hop in four midcoast locations. The P2PDance Center on 27 Knowlton Street in Camden houses the majority of the schools' classes. Four the past four years, Ms. Cox has also extended her instruction to three outreach dance facilities: the Belfast Dance Studio on Saturdays, the Belfast YMCA on Tuesdays and Saturdays and Great Salt Bay School on Fridays. A co-founding member of P2PDance and it's performing arm, Atlantic Ballet Company, Ms. Cox performed as a member of the Senior Company, while also acting as rehearsal director for the Junior Company. In 1988, Ms. Cox restructured P2PDance Center, emphasizing a stronger base in classical ballet technique for each student performer. Ms. Cox studied classical ballet, taught in the Russian Vagavona style with Sharon Dante, director of Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory of the Arts and with Andre Bossov, soloist with the Kirov Ballet. She furthered her training in ballet, modern, jazz and African dance at Bates College, Duke University, Manhattanville College, Portland Ballet and with Sarah Yarborough, soloist with the Alvin Ailey Company as well as with Arthur Hall, a co-founder of People To People Dance Company. She has performed and taught Ballet, jazz, modern and African dance in theaters and schools throughout Maine.
Shana Bloomstein - Hip Hop Fusion, African Fusion, Saturday Morning Yoga
Shana grew up in Freedom, Maine, and discovered her love of dance at Forest Friends Nursery School with Lisa Newcomb! She has studied dance throughout Maine, at Hampshire College, in New York City and in Senegal, West Africa. She danced professionally as a member of Nia Love's Blacksmith's Daughter Dance Theatre Co. in NYC for 4 years and currently performs throughout New England. Shana is the artistic director of Women's Works. Her experience and knowledge as a Mother, yoga instructor, massage therapist, and physical therapy assistant provide important tools for creating a safe and loving environment to move in!
Heléna Melone - Belly Dance, Flamenco
Heléna Melone is an international teacher and performer of both her signature Flamenco-Belly fusion, as well as Oriental dance and Flamenco. In 2010 she was selected to participate in the American Top Belly Dancer competition as well as for the prestigious New York Theatrical Belly Dance Show in 2011. She has trained extensively, both in many styles of “belly” dance, including Turkish Roman, as well as in Flamenco, studying throughout the U.S. and in Egypt, Turkey and Spain. Interviewed for her knowledge of flamenco for the novel "Flamenco Academy," as well as for Oprah magazine, she is an arts educator with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies/Dance Therapy from Lesley University.
In addition to teaching at the Belfast Dance Studio and at the Thomas School of Dance in Bangor, Heléna is a dance teacher and choreographer at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH, and a juried arts educator for the Maine Arts Commission. Her work in schools focuses on teaching both Andalusian and Middle Eastern dance, music, and culture, as well as helping Maine’s 4th-graders learn the hard science of local ecosystems through “Dancescapes,” an intellectual, imaginative, and movement-based interactive process she created for children to experience and learn from both their own bodies and the environment. www.daturanightbloom.com
Garrett Vail - Yoga
Garrett has been teaching yoga since 2007. He focuses on bringing awareness to the body and breath, and is grateful to offer the many healing gifts yoga has to offer to this community. Garrett also teaches college English classes at University College in Rockland.
Robin Peskoe - Pilates Fusion
Robin Peskoe began life in motion, as one of five children living on a farm in the Appalachians Mountains. When she was 11 years old, her family moved to Maine, where she spent her days in the woods and on the beach. She discovered a love for dance as a teenager and taught 3 year olds up to adults until she was 19 years old. Robin briefly attended the University of Arts to major in dance, but a car accident disrupted her studies. An invitation to join a friend in a private Pilates session in Boulder opened another window of opportunity. Robin found that Pilates felt amazing, bringing strength and flexibility back to her healing body. Robin, a naturally gifted teacher, trained in a rigorous year long program at the highly regarded Pilates Center in Boulder, earning her Pilates Instructor certificate in 2003. In addition, Robin is trained in Yamuna Body Rolling as well as Beginner Yoga with Yogafit. Today, Robin teaches a fusion of yoga and Pilates, inspired by the natural world and her students.
Misha Vargas - Salsa - Misha Vargas attended the University of Puerto Rico graduating with a degree in Agriculture and Soil Science. Along with her studies and USDA career, Misha has worked as a dance instructor for Western Ballet Theater in PR, where she started her dance career. She regularly teaches workshops, lectures, and performs in different Salsa Festivals such as, Boston, NY, Miami, Tampa and Puerto Rico. Misha has been trained primarily in ballet and salsa by Nana Badrena and Jayson Molina. In addition to being a salsa instructor Misha teaches Zumba at the Monroe Town Hall for her community.
Zena Johnson - Born to Play - Zena Johnson is an occupational therapist and new mother to a sweet baby girl. She has worked with children for the past 20 years in all capacities - babysitting, as a camp counselor, coaching gymnastics and circus arts, teaching pre-school, working with children with special needs, and as an early intervention occupational therapist. Zena is new to Maine, having moved from Massachusetts to the mid-coast area three years ago. She noticed that the availability of parent-child classes was limited in a rural area, as compared with city living, and wanted to provide young families with the opportunity to participate in this wonderful experience! Zena is excited to share her joy of play and fun with a new community!