Meet the Owner, Ms. Kim!!
Tap/Ballet, Hip Hop, Liturgical, Lyrical, Jazz & AfroFusion Instructor
Studio Manager (a.k.a Aunt Ninnie)
Kolina Simpson studied dance with a concentration in education K-12 at East Carolina University earning her BFA in Dance Education as a Cum Laude graduate on May 3rd, 2019. Originally from the Raleigh/Garner, NC area, Kolina began dancing when she was two years old training in Ballet, Modern/Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, Pointe, Clogging, Tumbling, Improvisation, and Hip Hop at Center Stage School of Performing Arts in Garner, NC. She was a part of the first competition team at her studio and won several National and Regional champion awards. During her time at ECU she focused on her modern, tap, jazz, and ballet technique and had the opportunity to perform in several of the main stage productions, studio theatre concerts, and community events. For seven out of the eight semesters at ECU she was a member of ECU’s Tap Ensemble under the guidance of Dirk Lumbard and she was also the secretary and sophomore representative of ECU’s Dance Science Club under the guidance of Teal Darkenwald. While at ECU she also had the opportunity to choreograph and co-choreograph several dances that were rather successful; as well as teach at several different schools with her fellow dance educators. Kolina was awarded ECU’s School of Theatre and Dance Scholarship two years in a row; along with the Visual Performance in Theatre Scholarship. Kolina just completed her Senior Practicum Internship at A. G. Cox Middle School, where she taught 6 dance classes a day with a wide variety of students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade with Susan Nguyen, her clinical teacher. To further her knowledge and meet other educators Kolina was accepted into the National Dance Honors Society. Kolina is extremely excited to begin teaching at Katura Dance Academy and getting to know each and every one of you; and she is thrilled to be teaching the modern and tap classes here at Katura!!!
Aleia Rodriguez was born and raised in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York. When she was three years old her mother gave her what turned out to be an easy choice – go to preschool or dance – she easily gravitated to the latter, and the rest is history! For the past 28 years she has studied ballet, tap, and jazz intensively from everywhere from the Marya Kennett Dance Centre in Goshen, NY to CUNY Hunter in New York City where she received her B.A. in Dance Education. She has performed with the prestigious Hunter College Dance Company. Aleia also found time to participate in the Steps on Broadway work study program and become a class assistant for pre-ballet classes at The School at Steps. From these opportunities she was able to expand her knowledge and appreciation of the art of dance through the study of techniques such as contemporary, musical theatre, lyrical, West African, and Horton. With her Pre-K 12 New York State Certification, Aleia was able to work for the Department of Education, teaching at the Bronx Dance Academy and C.S. 92. Her work in the public school system enabled her to create curriculums for various ages and skill levels with a focus on technique as well as dance history, artistry, and literacy. Aleia has also taught at studios and community centers throughout NYC and upstate NY. In December 2015, Aleia and her family relocated to Eastern North Carolina where she is thrilled to become a part of the dance community! Knowing the benefits dancing provides for EVERY child and seeing first hand that dance can uplift souls, change lives, and take her students places they never imagined, drives her passion for teaching.
Amy Marcelino began dancing at the age of 13 under the instruction of Miss Lisa Zola-DeLibero and Miss Sherri DiStefano at The Ballet Studio in Yardville, NJ. Before long, she began competing in local and regional dance competitions with the TBS Competition Program and assisted in teaching various classes at the studio. Amy has attended many open and master classes at various studios, including the Princeton Ballet School. By 16, she was accepted into the elite Dance Performance Program at NDHS, allowing her to attend workshops with Disney World choreographers and performers and also the opportunity to perform in Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida. Her background and training allowed her to perform in many different roles for musical theatre including Co-Dance Captain for the musical Annie at the Washington Crossing Open Air Theater. Amy’s job as a full-time Office Manager relocated her from NJ to NC in 2007 and she is so excited to be a part of the KDA family!
Jasmine began dancing in local dance studios at the tender age of 3. She began her training under Ms. Kim at age 5 through their performing arts ministry at church. In High School, not only did she attend a local dance studio, but she received additional training and experience in teaching by assisting Ms. Kim, attending workshops/intensives, and performing all over the states for and on the same platform of many artists! As a background dancer, she has performed at many events behind rising star, JoceLien, along the East Coast. With this experience, she was granted the opportunity to perform at Women’s Empowerment, displaying her gift and expanding her connections in the business. Not only is Jasmine a dance instructor, but she is the personal and business assistant to Ms. Kim. “This has always been the dream. We’re building an empire.” – Jasmine