Contracted instructors teach during the school day, helping students build self-esteem and find creative and alternative means of self expression through the confident use of their bodies. The objectives include body awareness, problem solving skills, positive group interactions, and education in the cultural, social, and aesthetic values of dance as an art form.

Cheryl AueCheryl Aue

Cheryl began dancing at age 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. She was certified by Southern Dance Masters at age 15 and began teaching ballet, tap, and jazz. Cheryl danced with the Burney Lyons Dance Troupe and performed throughout the mid-south as well as at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Here in Hawai'i, she has taught dance at the YWCA, Hilo Intermediate School, and for the Performing Arts Learning Center at Hilo High. She presently teaches tap and ballet at Center Stage Dance Studio and tap at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo through the Fitness for Life program.

Annie Bunker

Annie BunkerAnnie is the Artistic Director of O-T-O Dance, now in its 25th season, based out of both Tucson, Arizona and the Big Island of Hawai’i and is on the dance faculty at the University of Hawai’i and Hawai’i Community College teaching modern and aerial dance. Over a span of 35 years, her teaching, company and dances have been presented throughout the U.S., Europe, Russia, Mexico, Central and South America. As an artist, she has been a recipient of numerous awards from state, national, and international agencies including the prestigious 2005 Arizona Artist Award. In addition to being a master teacher of modern dance and contemporary forms she is one of a few accomplished teachers from the United States who instructs and trains people of all ages in the art of aerial dance using the single point low flying trapeze. Over her teaching career she has worked as an artist in residence in many schools in the United States and abroad teaching students of all ages and abilities various forms of movement arts.

Michal Anna Carrillo

Michal Anna Carrillo
Photo by Shortini
Michal has been studying different modalities of dance since she was five years old. As a teenager she danced with Garlutzo Dance Company in Colorado, and was a competitive figure skater for nine years. Michal took her first West African dance class while in college at The University of Washington, where she graduated from in 1997.  She has studied West African dance with a variety of master teachers, many of whom she hosts on the Big Island to share with the Island community; Moustoupha Bangoura, Fara Tolno, Yousouff Kombassa & Naby Bangoura, to name a few.   As the founder and director of Lavaroots Performing Arts, she teaches dance on the Big Island, and her company has performed island wide for the past 7 years. She is also a Teaching Artist in the schools, a Princedance Company dancer, and the current Director of the Kahilu Theatre’s Summer Arts Program. Through the spirit of dance, she shares the joy of music and culture, and encourages others to do the same. Visit her website at

Normal "Jr." HakkeiNorman Fujio Kalani Hakkei Jr.

Junior started as a hula dancer in the 2nd grade. He was introduced to breakdancing during the 8th grade and has continued with it since. He also studies ballet, contemporary, and modern. Junior’s accomplishments include winning the “Breakin’ Out 1” and “Breakin’ Out 2” team battles, and the “Old School Jam 2007” battle. He has performed in various dance forms in multiple Center Stage Dance Studio productions.

bonnie kim

Bonnie KimBonnie received her M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Her specialties are masks and movement.  She has worked with the Bread and Puppet Theater, a theater company renowned for their giant puppets and masks, based in Vermont. Her performances with giant puppets and masks have been showcased in Hawaii, Vermont, Korea, and Cambodia.  She studied Barbara Mettler-based creative dance with the International Association for Creative Dance.  She has been teaching creative movement in schools for the Big Island Dance Council since 2000.  Besides teaching creative movement, she also teaches drama, puppetry, masks and recycle art to children and adults.  She has worked as an artist-educator for Big Island Dance Council, Alliance for Drama Education, Bare & Core Expression, Puna Arts Program, Hilo Community Players, and other arts organizations.

elizabeth mcDonald

Elizabeth McDonaldElizabeth Mcdonald was born on the big island of Hawaii and began dancing at the age of four with local dance inspiration Nancy Candea. Elizabeth studied creative, contemporary, and modern dance with Nancy for 10 years. In 2003 she started studying with Angel Prince and has since studied with various teachers in intensive dance workshops in and out of the state of Hawai'i. She has also trained in other styles of dance such as Hula, African, Indian, and Latin. Elizabeth has found her true passion in contemporary dance and has gone from being one of Angels first students to being a member of PrinceDance Company. She plans to keep sharing her love for dance by learning, teaching, and performing in Hawai'i or where ever else dance might take her.

Angel Prince

Angel Prince
Photo by John Russell
Angel is the award winning Artistic Director of PrinceDance and the CEO of PrinceDance Institute. She received a B.A. in Dance and Psychology from Hofstra University in New York. After living in Manhattan teaching, choreographing, and performing, she decided to move to Hawai'i to reconnect with the elements. In Hawai'i, Angel began the PrinceDance Institute, which teaches classes and produces performances all over the state. In 2007, Angel formed PrinceDance, a non-profit professional dance company. She is also a recognized teacher for the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Dancing her way through the world’s cities and countries, Angel continues to teach, perform, and inspire. Visit her website at

Tunji Johnson

Tunji Johnson
Photo by Bonnie Kim
Center Stage Dance Studio
2009 Holiday Showcase
Choreography by Pier Sircello
Inspired by the movie Rize, Tunji began with a dance foundation in Krump at the age of 16. Not long after, he began to practice popping and breaking with friends, strengthening his passion for dance. “The reason I dance is to make a difference, inspire, and provide an alternative for the people of my community...and above all, to have fun.” He teaches at Center Stage Dance Studio in Hilo, is pursuing a dance major at the University of Hawai'i Hilo, and is studying on a full scholarship with Lines Ballet Company in San Francisco. Tunji loves dancing, teaching, performing and to show how dance is a fun and healthy form of exercise that can be performed by anyone. He teaches youth that dance is a great outlet for emotions and a successful alternative to drugs. He has performed in various dance forms for UHH Great Leaps and in multiple Center Stage productions.

Lenita Richmond

Lenita Richmond
Lenita studied dance at UH Hilo, and jazz, ballet, and modern dance at Alvin Ailey Dance school in New York, the Dupree Dance Academy in Los Angeles, and at the Joe Tremaine Dance Center in North Hollywood. With 30 years of dance experience, Lenita has taught contemporary, Broadway jazz, lyrical jazz, hip hop, and creative movement to children ages 3-16 and adults, including choreographing dances for student performances. She has enjoyed performing throughout the island in musical theatre and African dance at the Kahilu, Aloha, Volcano's KMC, and UH Hilo Performing Arts Center theaters, as well as various fundraising events. Lenita is also a dance-member of Lavaroots Performing Arts African dance company.

Odette Rickert

Odette Rickert
Photo by Seraphina Landgrebe
Odette started dancing and competing in jazz as a song girl during high school, and has been dancing couples and ballroom dances, line dancing, and hip-hop for 12 years. Taught by national champions in Salsa and West Coast Swing, Odette has been teaching West Coast Swing in East Hawai'i since 2007 and performs exhibition routines. She dances in jazz and modern productions for Hilo’s Center Stage Dance Studio. She studied hula for four years with Hula Halau O Kou Lima Nani E located in Keaukaha. Visit her website at:

“Trey” Ronald Saunders

Trey SaundersIn his sophomore year in high school, at the age of 15, Trey found his passion in popping and choreographing hip-hop routines. His inspiration comes from seeing others show interest in dancing, and his dream is to become a choreographer to inspire others. Trey also aspires to major in Dance at the University of Las Vegas. He has performed in various dance forms in multiple Center Stage Dance Studio productions.

Nadia Schlosser

Nadia Schlosser
Photo by Mike Salo
Always knowing that she wanted to be an entertainer, Nadia has been studying ballet, tap, and jazz since the age of two. Dancing, acting, and singing followed as she developed her appreciation for the production and development of dance, theater, and film. She attended Cal Arts as a Dance major, completed an Apprenticeship at the Performing Arts Center, and received her Level I Certificate in Entertainment Studies through UCLA Extension. Nadia’s credits include various film, television, and stage performances throughout Los Angeles. She is currently a teacher at Center Stage Dance Studio in Hilo, Hawai'i.

Stephanie Shepherd

Stephanie Shepherd
Photo by Lynn Stahr
At three years old, Stephanie started taking dance classes and continued to train all through high school in jazz, ballet, and tap. She traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest, to Disney World, and to the Bahamas performing with her studios' dance companies Deus Vult and Elan. When she took a two year hiatus from dance and moved to Hawai`i, she realized her true passion and calling in life was dance. Stephanie takes ballet, contemporary, and hip hop classes now at Center Stage Dance Studio in Hilo, Hawai`i. She is currently a senior at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, and plans to graduate this May with a bachelors in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. She hopes to one day join a professional contemporary dance company. Stephanie has appeared in multiple performances of UHH Great Leaps and Center Stage Dance Studio productions.

grady sullivan

Grady SullivanGrady spent most of his young years in Illinois. At age 12, he started breakdancing with b-boy friends as a hobby, and started gymnastics in high school . Upon moving to Hawai'i at age 16, he met people who inspired him to make dance more than just a hobby. He has been introduced to various dance styles such as Krump, hip-hop, ballet, contemporary, and modern at Center Stage Dance Studio where he teaches a breakdancing class. He has performed in various dance forms for UHH Great Leaps and in multiple Center Stage Dance Studio productions.


BIDC's Dance Education program is part of BIDC's overall mission to promote Dance awareness and experience. It is supported by the State Foundation On Culture and the Arts, through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii or grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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