Akira Irene Armstrong(Bronx, NY) began her intensive training in dance, drama, and vocal at Mind Builder Creative Arts Center in the Bronx. She has also studied the art of dance at the Ailey School and was hand chosen to be apart of a high level merit program at Mind Builders Creative Arts Center. Akira has performed with the Jubilation Dance Co., Bernice Johnson Dance Company, danced at the Apollo Theater, and performed at The National Festival of the Arts “Gala Concert” in Philadelphia. In 2007, Akira debut in two of Beyonce’s music videos, “Green Light, and Get Me Bodied, as a principal dancer.
In March of 2011 Akira traveled to Vienna, Austria where she performed with “Ladies of Hip Hop” at the Kosmo Theater as well as working with Hip Hop Legends Salt n Pepa as their makeup artist. As an alumnus of Professional Performing Arts High School, she went on to Syracuse University where she received her B.A. in Public Relation/Education. In the present, Akira is teaching, performing, holding makeup workshops, and creating her vision. Working and assisting the choreographer “Tweetie” and utilizing her artistic background in molding aspiring artist. The list includes, Ariel Inc., Lyndsay Cannon, Lola Davis, and Gail Scott. Ms. Armstrong is making her own path for woman dancers who are full-figured that can dance. Hence her voluptuous stature, she is an amazing person. She is confident, ambitious, and knows her purpose in this industry.
Recently on tour with Colombian-born, international artist Shakira, Charlene “Chi-Chi” Smith endlessly reaches new heights in the Entertainment Industry. Since 2005, she has performed with both new and major artists under the works of acclaimed choreographers such as Hi-Hat, Fatima Robinson, Laurie-Ann Gibson, Nu Stylz, Bam-Bam Nexx Level, and others. In 2009, she was a featured dancer for a BET special called “Michael Jackson: 10 Things You Didn’t Know”. In February 2010, Chi-Chi performed with Shakira for the NBA’s record-breaking audience of 108,713 fans.
Her 2006 NFL Kickoff performance with P.Diddy landed her a picture in the Miami newspaper, and was also a featured dancer for LL Cool J’s “Todd Smith” tour earlier that year. Charlene was a featured model on BET’s Rip The Runway 2006 for Michael Jordan’s female clothing line, and can be seen as featured talent in international/national commercials such as Nair, American Airlines, Mohegan Sun, Ipod, Stride Gum as well as MTV’s dance instructional show: Dances From The Hoodwith Tweetie. “Chi-Chi” teaches open Freestyle Dance (Hip-Hop) for adults and children of all ages at 92Y (NYC), Manhattan Motion Dance Studio (NYC), the United Nations International School (UNIS-NYC), La Danse School of performing Arts (NJ), as well as periodic workshops overseas and in Veracruz, Mexico and in Sudbury, Ontario. She encourages all to “dance like no one is watching!”
*Chi-Chi was adopted on our Kickstarter!
“Adopt-a-dancer” pledged by: Nixaviera Sample-Freeman
Hayley, born and raised in New Jersey, started dancing at age five. She studied ballet, pointe, jazz, and tap. A few years later, she found her love of contemporary, hip-hop, popping, and breaking, which she is very passionate of. She came across her teacher, Eric Samson, who later became her mentor, teaching her the culture of hip-hop as well as the industry. Upon graduating high school, she moved to New York City to pursue her passion for dance.
Training at various studios in Manhattan, Hayley continues to grow and excel in her craft. Hayley appeared on season 8 of “So You Think You Can Dance” as the top 50 dancers. She is represented by Bloc Agency and can be seen as a featured dancer in commercials for Verizon Wireless and Xbox’s Dance Central. Hayley also took part in Rhapsody James’ Motivating Excellence. Recently, she has been touring the country helping assist some of today’s top choreographers. She has been performing at multiple venues and choreographing for her crew, Beat Club, for the past few years. Hayley was honored to join the Ladies of Hip Hop Crew, where she was ecstatic to perform at the Mop Top Anniversary.
Hayley is very thankful for all the love and support from her family and close friends. Dance has truly given her a form of expression and she wants to be able to inspire others to fall in love with the art.
Originally from Weisswasser, Germany, she studied at the Gret-Palucca University of Dance Dresden (Germany). In 2001 Martina graduated with a Diploma in Stage Dance and was featured by works from John Neumeier, Rymond Hilbert, Jenny Coogan Olympia Scardi and others.
Martina has been trained in Ballett, Modern, Contemporary, Improvisation, Jazz, Pas de deux, and Points.After her professional Education she found the passion for Hip- Hop and studied in Berlin, New York, LA and Osaka (Japan) other Dance styles like House, Locking, Waacking, Hip-Hop and her favorite Style Popping.
As a Dancer she has performed Internationaly from huge Stage’s like “Semperoper” to random Places like the Street’s of Paris. She been Member of the Helmnot Theater, Jazz-Art-Company, Different Roots, KDance Company and now “Ladies of Hip Hop”. Martina performed Solo for Wella, Audi, Bruno Banani and in cooperation with other Dancers for X-Box, Jimmy Summers, Urban tools-AFO, Madonna “Material Girls”, Susan Justice and many more. Since her passion for Popping, she is joining several Battle’s successful and won 2009 “Berlin summer Battle” and 2011 “Just to Get a Rep” in New York,”the D.R.E.A.M.” Battle in Brooklyn,”Urban Renewal” New York and 2012 “Juste Debout” Canada in the category “Experimental”.
Martina Heimann truly loves to dance. Her dream when she was 6 years old was to dance on a horse or high-wire, likes in a circus, it had come true, but just in another way. She feels that dance is her universal language to communicate with the world and never will she stop to learning and sharing her love for the art.
Our youngest crew member, Miyabi is an mazing young talent. Born in New York, growing up in Japan and now returning to New York Miyabi is already on the path to becoming one of the most talented dancers in the business.
Born and raised in Montreal, QC, Nubian Nene starts taking dance classes at the age of 6 doing classical ballet and jazz. In high school, she starts doing hip hop dance choreography, and it is in college, after the creation of her infamous dance group Brown Suga’, that she furthers her knowledge of urban styles. At 18, she begins learning how to break. Some years later, she is introduced to house dance by Dazl, and trains with Dance Fusion in Montreal and New York. In 2004, she is introduced to waacking by King Aus Ninja, who speaks highly of Tyrone “The Bone” Proctor. He soon becomes her teacher, with the help of her mentor Black Kat. In 2008, Essence (her waacking persona) is born, and her unconditional love for waacking as well.
Nubian Nene a.k.a Essence, has taught classes in NYC and Vienna for the Ladies of Hip Hop, in Philadelphia for the Illadelph Festival, in Los Angeles for the International Waacking/Punking/Posing Festival, in Madrid and in Lausanne. She also works for a company (BluePrintForLife) that teaches Hip Hop through Social Work to the Inuit community (aboriginal) in the northern part of Canada. Essence has performed with Jody Watley and Tyrone Proctor at the Gramercy Theater, at Summer Stage with the Ladies of Hip Hop and Cecilia Marta Dance Company and in the Hip Hop Kung Fu production by Emilio “Buddha Stretch” Austin Jr. She has also choreographed and performed in Vienna, Austria, at the Kosmos Theater, in Ottawa for the Governor General of Canada and has travelled with the renowned dance crew (Dance Fusion) as an assistant. Most recently, she was featured as a waacker on a news segment on FOX news “Good Day New York” celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Soul Train TV show. Her driving force is the love of dancing!
Rie was born and raised in Tokyo Japan. Beginning her dance training at the age of 18, she is always pushing training and got her career as a commercial dancer. Then She moved to NYC to get more experience a year and half ago. She has been training at Peri dance studio,studying many styles. Now she is one of the member “Dana Foglia Dance company” and “Ladies of Hip Hop Training Crew”. Rie would like to thank Michele This opportunity.
Soraya, the petite, native Queens, New Yorker is a force to be reckoned with! This Frank Sinatra School of the Arts graduate, perfected her twists and turns at the Alvin Ailey School and The Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance. Looking to create her own niche in the dance world, right after learning her hip hop skills from BLADE Dance Academy, she later scored a resident teaching job at Hip Hop Dance Conservatory school for hip-hop dance education. She’s choreographed pieces for corporate powerhouses Nike and Adidas.
Soraya assisted Award winning choreographers Nu Stylz for VH1’s Hip Hop Honors 2009 Commercial with Tracey Morgan. Soraya has put together stage performances for artist like NINA Sky and JYP artist G Soul, which is one of the biggest management companies in South Korea. Being of Caribbean dissent, Soraya has hit the Latin market with Latin Grammy Award winning Reggaeton Artists Flex, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Shakira and one of the most influential, Jennifer Lopez. She has also worked in the realm of artist development with many artists one being Erika June, choreographing her first music video to her single “Work the Middle,” on the sound track of film Step Up 3D which soraya was also casted in. Dancing outside of the box has truly molded the talented Soraya into being the versatile dancer that she is
Always representing The South Bronx, Tweetie is devoted to the street styles of hip-hop. She enjoys traveling all over the world teaching in different countries such as Japan, Poland , China ,The Philippines, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Australia and South Africa to name a few. Assisting choreography on shows like “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” with Luther Brown, her passion has lead her to work with top artists like Jay-Z, Fergie, Mya, Shareefa, LL Cool J, Mary J Blige, Ryan Leslie, Shakira and recently Wynter Gordon. She has done NIKE commercials in europe and for iPod as well.
Tweetie has choreographed for Jazmine Sullivan’s latest videos “Holding You Down” and “10 Seconds” as well as Jasmine’s stage show for the Mary J Blige Tour. As a representative/instructor of www.Ladiesofhiphopfestival.com, which celebrates and dedicates preserving and redefining women’s roles in the hip-hop culture, TweetBoogie has also had the opportunity to host an instructional hip-hop dance show called MTV’s “Dances From The Hood” On Demand. As a highlight to her career, 2 of her biggest clients were teaching Gail and Oprah some of the latest hip-hop moves as a guest choreographer on The OPRAH Show. Tweetie currently teaches at Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater, Broadway Dance Center and PeriDance Capezio Center.
Uko “SNOWBUNNY” Tanaka
Uko representing New York via Japan, was trained by a legendry dancer, choreographer and instructor, Buddha Stretch of Elite Force and Dance Fusion. Uko is a principal performer with MopTop Music & Movement Company featured in events around the world including the San Francisco Hip Hop Dance Festival in ’08-’09 and the Denver Dance Festival in 2010. Uko as serves as an assistant to Buddha Stretch, teaching locally and abroad in Switzerland, France, Los Angels, Boston, Denver . In addition , Uko studies the history and vocabulary of street styles such as Locking, Popping, Hip-Hop, House, and Salsa. Now teaching in NYC Uko is building her style and following.
Val “Ms Vee” Ho
Dancer and choreographer Ms.Vee has made dance her lifelong obsession. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she grew up doing traditional Chinese dance and touring the world with her mother’s company, the Strathcona Chinese Dance Company. In 1989, Ms Vee fell in love with Hip Hop and has been a student of the dance and culture ever since. Her training has included all forms of Hip Hop/Street dance and the more traditional dance disciplines of ballet, jazz, tap, modern, swing, salsa, as well as martial arts, namely Wushu. Ms Vee incorporates this diverse movement background into her teaching and choreography. After moving to New York City in 2003, she has worked with choreographers such as Buddha Stretch, Adesola Osakalumi, Michele Byrd McPhee, and Rennie Harris; and she has had the privilege to perform with companies like the Groovaloos and the MopTop Music and Movement. Ms Vee is currently on faculty at Broadway Dance Center.
Yeya is an accredited and accomplished Swedish dancer who has been working all over Europe and across the Atlantic. She is one of the hottest choreographer/teachers with a known reputation of a creative prowess second to none.Her style of Hiphop, is inspired by popping and jazz and she is recognized for a smooth savvy street style that is convoyed by an adjacent jazz discipline attained from her long education.
During her years in the business Yeya has won the respect by many in the industry as a dancer, choreographer and teacher.Right now she is working in Atlanta choreographing the up and coming R ´n B band “KRAVE” and coaching artists at one of Atlanta´s leading artist development centers “The Complex” owned by Devyne Stephens, a former choreographer to TLC and Usher.
She recently started her own dance company which has been anticipated by many for a long time. She also keeps traveling as the worldwide known teacher she is and is frequently booked to share her love for dance with her fans all over the planet. To mention a few, she´s been teaching at the known studios “BROADWAY DANCE CENTER” in New York, “8COUNT” in Montreal, “BOOGIEZONE” in LA and “JUSTE DEBOUT SCHOOL” in Paris among many others.