She is known throughout the U.S. for her versatility, innovative style and above the ordinary approach to dance. Her eclectic choreography, passionate teaching and energetic performances set her aside from the ordinary. She takes pride in transcending her work each year and providing the versatility and style needed for allowing her dance students to explore all the dimensions of dance in a variety of dance styles.
Mrs. Maria began dancing as well as performing at the early age of 6. The majority of her training and her career was established in New York City. She was extremely fortunate to have been trained by some of the most elite instructors in the dance industry.
Her love for dance gave her the drive and determination to distinguish herself from other dancers and receive scholarships from schools such as The Alvin Ailey Dance Center, New World School of the Arts and the University of Miami. Mrs. Maria continued her exploration and decided to take courses in Musical Theatre, Voice and Acting from schools such as Carty Academy of Theatre Dance, The Florida Studio Theatre, Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. She studied voice with Mr. Robert Dittman for 10 years and is a certified voice instructor. Her extensive and diverse training provided her with the necessary ingredients needed to become a well-rounded performer.
Mrs. Maria has been featured in many musical productions around the U.S. Some of her most memorable roles:
- Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”
- Anita in “West Side Story”
- Rizzo in “Grease”
- Velma in “Chicago”
- Diana in “A Chorus Line”
She has danced and choreographed for:
- Universal Studios (Halloween Horror Nights)
- Disney MGM Studios (Legend of Pocahontas, Toy Story, Hercules)
- Zora Neale Hurston Festival (When Harlem was in Vogue and we were Extraordinary)
- Carnival Cruise Lines (Ecstasy)
Maria’s television credits include Mountain Dew, McDonalds, Nike and Sears. She has had the privilege to work with many artists including Will Smith, Busta Rhymes, Joe and P-Diddy.
Vibrant energy and creativity keeps Maria on her toes and in constant demand. She has traveled throughout the United States teaching Master Classes as well as judging for many prestigious competitions.
Some of Maria’s most recent regional and national choreography awards include:
- Air of the Night,
- The Garden,
- Wild Party,
- Everything Old is new Again,
- Come Fly with Me,
- Dance to the Music,
- Hide N Seek,
- Lucky Me,
- Don’t Judge,
- Watch us Swagga,
- Put ‘Em Up.
However, Mrs. Maria’s most rewarding achievement was receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Pre-Law with a minor in Psychology and in addition being married to her wonderful and supportive husband Ryan and creating their beautiful children Autumn and Tyler.
Mrs. Maria’s goal is to instill in her students a deep appreciation and understanding for all facets of dance and theater. She wants her students to open up their minds, hearts, and souls and let the beauty of dance in all its forms consume them and transform them into stronger and more passionate performers.
Mrs. Maria’s favorite quotes are all by the legendary Martha Graham.
“No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time”.
“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion”.
“I am absorbed in the magic of movement and light. Movement never lies. It is the magic of what I call the outer space of the imagination. There is a great deal of outer space, distant from our daily lives, where I feel our imagination wanders sometimes. It will find a planet or it will not find a planet, and that is what a dancer does”.