Neda Miyashiro, Founder, Director
Ms Miyashiro was trained in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern dance under Master Teacher, Shir Lee Wu, before moving on to the Ohio State University, where she specialized in Dance Education and Special Education. She also holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Health Services. Ms. Miyashiro began her teaching career in 1994, with the Columbus Youth Ballet Academy, where she taught ballet, modern, and jazz dance, directed the Youth Division, helping to co-produce the Nutcracker Ballet for over 10 years. Ms. Miyashiro holds teacher certifications in the Horton Technique, from the Alvin Ailey Contemporary Dance Theater, and in the Rommett Floor Barre Technique®, from the Zena Rommett Floor Barre Foundation. She is also a licensed K-12 Intervention Specialist in the state of Ohio and Columbus City Schools. In addition to running the school, Ms. Miyashiro teaches Ballet, Contemporary/Modern dance, Jazz dance, and Rommett Floor Barre® and has developed community partnerships with the Columbus City Schools, the Dublin Special Education Advancement Council, and the Ohio Department of Education Afterschool Child Enrichment Program.
Sukanya Chand, Instructor, Production Manager
Ms. Chand is trained in Indian Classical dance styles- Bharatanatyam and Odissi. She began her Bharatanatyam training in 1987 with Dr. Ananda Shankar Jayanth and later continued with TFA from 1996 where she also learned Odissi and various dance styles. Her Odissi training started in 1998 with TFA and continued with Dr.Rohini Dandavate as a Grant received from Ohio Arts Council.
Ms. Chand choreographed and performed in 'Just So Stories', a Dance- Theatre production by The Phoenix Theatre for Children (now CATCO). She was invited to give workshops at Kenyon College, Wittenberg University (3 consecutive years), BalletMet, MUCAI Academy and Ohio Dance Festival. Ms. Chand also performs and gives master classes, throughout Columbus, as director of Natya Nirvana, a professional Indian Dance company here in Central Ohio. MUCAI Academy students are frequently invited, by Ms. Chand, to gain professional experience dancing with her company, several times per year. Currently, Ms. Chand is an Artist In Residence in the Columbus City Schools and teaches Bharatanatyam and Odissi at MUCAI Academy, as well as offers private classes.
Winnona Maddrey, Instructor, Production Manager
Ms. Maddrey received her dance early dance training under the tutelage of Shir Lee Wu at the Columbus Youth Ballet Academy, before moving on MUCAI Academy and the Ohio State University, where she designed her own musical theater program, graduating with a BA in Theater. Ms Maddrey has completed summer programs and fellowships at the Boston Conservatory and Goodspeed Musicals and has choreographed for multiple companies through Central Ohio, such as the Worthington Community Theater, the Jewish Community Center, and Nationwide Children's Pleasure Guild. Ms. Maddrey has performed in multiple musical theater productions, throughout Columbus, such as Newsies, Young Frankenstein, Cinderella, SpongeBob, Beautiful, and Ragtime and still actively performs. Ms. Maddrey runs Theater Dance Workshops and mini sessions throughout the year, at MUCAI Academy, as well as offers private classes.
Molly Van Gorp, Instructor
Molly Van Gorp trained in Classical Ballet under the tutelage of Master Teacher, Shir Lee Wu at the Columbus City Ballet School, and performed principal roles in The Nutcracker Ballet, La Bayadere, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and various restaged Balanchine pieces. She has competed ballet solos in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) ballet competition, instructed students in Classical Ballet and pointe work since 2017, as well as coached them to compete in the YAGP. competition. In addition, Ms. Van Gorp studied, performed, and choreographed in various dance genres at the Ohio Northern University, where she studied dance and nursing, and is a Registered ICU nurse. Ms. Van Gorp teaches various levels of Classical Ballet at MUCAI Academy.