Haiyan Wu, was born in Beijing, China. Wu graduated from The Beijing Dance Academy with honors in Ballet. She performed in Paris with the Le Jeune Ballet de France as a guest artist while she was in school. After her graduation, she joined The National Ballet of China where she performed leading roles with the company at many important international and domestic performances, including performing for the President of China. Her performances were seen on CCTV by over a billion people across China. Wu joined Miami City Ballet as a Principal Dancer in 2003 after she won the Gold Medal of the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 2002. (The USA IBC was founded in 1978. It is one of the world’s top competitions for ballet. This competition is attended by dancers from all over the world to represent their country for bronze, silver, or gold medals in a variety of categories of ballet in an Olympic-style competition.) Wu is also the Gold Medal winner of The Shanghai International Ballet Competition in 2001. Wu was named one of the top 10 performers of Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center in 2010. As a guest artist, Wu has performed all over the world including France, Russia, Denmark, Turkey, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Her repertoire includes principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Jerome Robbins, Ben Stevenson, Christopher Stowell and Edward Villella, among others. Wu has performed the principle roles also in the full-length classics Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Corsaire and Coppelia.
In addition to her dancing experience, Wu has taught and coached in Beijing, Orlando, Clearwater, Long Beach and Hartford. She taught master classes for Long Beach Ballet , Ballet Northwest, and coached the Paquita at Hartford University. Wu specializing in teaching ballet, modern, contemporary, character dance, lyrical as well as Chinese classical and folk dance. With her extensive experience in dance performance, her professional training and her passion of teaching dance, Wu would love to guide her students to explore the artistic world and the beauty of all types of dances.
Yang Zou was born in Changsha, China. Mr. Zou began his ballet training at Guangzhou Art School and danced with Guangzhou Ballet for years. He danced for Miami City Ballet as a Principal Soloist, and joined Oregon Ballet Theater as a Principal Dancer in 2011. He has performed many important roles in classic Ballets as well as famous contemporary dances. He has also performed all over the world including Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Australia and Peru.
As a guest artist, Mr. Zou performed principal roles for Miami Youth Ballet in 2010, The Gala USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson in 2008, Long Beach Ballet in 2008, Cincinnati Dance Festival in 2006 and 2008. Mr. Zou had performed the “Prince” in “The Sleeping Beauty” with Miami City Ballet for the Opening Night of Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in 2006.
Mr. Zou had gotten rewards in many important Ballet competitions including the Silver Medal winner of the 3rd Shanghai International Ballet Competition in 2004 and the Bronze Medal winner of the National Ballet Competition in China in 2003.
In addition to his dancing career, Mr. Zou has taught ballet in Beijing, Orlando, Clearwater, University of Hartford, Long Beach Ballet among other prestigious ballet companies and ballet schools. Mr. Zou is also the Studio Manager of HIDA.
Ballet, Tap, Hiphop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz Instructor
Amanda Monte, was first put into dance at the age of 3 and started training with the San Pedro Ballet Company at the age of 8. Performing in ballets such as, The Nutcracker and Giselle before the age of 10. Growing up along the coast of California she first began competing and was advanced to the senior competing groups in tap, jazz and hip hop in Los Angeles and got the chance to perform at Disneyland starting at age 11. She auditioned for tap at Debbie Reynold’s dance studio and was asked by Debbie Reynolds to audition for the ballet as well. Lauridsen Ballet Company was the last solely ballet company she trained with before returning to her home studio in Fresno, California- The Dance Studio of Fresno. Alumni of this studio include, Gina Starbuck, Mia Michaels, John Stronks, Jason Glover (a competitor on So You Think You Can Dance) and others have continued on to dance for people like Justin Bieber on tour. Being taught by and dancing with dancers like these strengthened Amanda’s love for dance and after being introduced to the contemporary styles of Dee Caspary and Peter Chu, as well as the modern style of Martha Kelly-Fierro, she began competing in these styles with her team bringing in predominantly platinum awards. To help pay for dancing 40 hours a week, she started out as a teacher’s assistant for mini and junior ballet, tap and jazz classes. She competed with The Dance Studio of Fresno for 3 years, helping her team achieve the national ranking of fifth overall highest scoring studio. Now she hopes to teach students with a strong ballet foundation to become well-rounded and successful dancers so that they can turn dance into a career, as well as hoping to instill self-confidence and a true sense of personal identity since the teachers who helped her find those things within herself have made her a stronger and more dedicated person to this day.
Ballet, Gymnastic, Tumbling Instructor
Magwire Hammond has been dancing for 11 years and is eager to help contribute in training young aspiring dancers efficiently at Haiyan International Dance Academy. She hopes to continue her own artistic growth through teaching, while she simultaneously continues training and performing herself.
At 8 years old Alexander Negron was introduced to dance through Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech outreach program in New York City. Two years later he joined the School of American Ballet under the direction of Olga Kostritzky, and later Jock Soto. He studied at Ballet Academy East in NYC, as well as San Francisco Ballet School as a Trainee. Alexander joined Oregon Ballet Theatre in 2014 performing works by George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, and Nicolo Fonte. In 2016 he transfered to Milwaukee Ballet performing roles by August Bournonville and Artistic Director Michael Pink, which included contemporary and neoclassical new works.
Yellie Shustack joins our faculty this year after dancing professionally across the United States for the past fifteen seasons. A native to West Chester, Ohio she began her dance training at Cunningham Dance Studio. Ms. Shustack won numerous Overall Top Placing and Outstanding Performance awards at regional and national level dance competitions from 1992-1997 in the Junior Age Division categories for Ballet, Tap, Classic jazz, Lyrical and Vocal. Her titles included Miss Magic Maker of the Year, Premier 2000, Rising Star, Applause Talent Competition, Showbiz, Standing Ovation, Star Systems, StarQuest as well as many others.
As a teen Yellie trained at The Ballet Guild of Ithaca and later joined Ithaca Ballet where she danced her first leading roles as Cinderella in Cinderella, Bluebird in The Sleeping Beauty, Dewdrop Fairy and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker. At the age of seventeen she auditioned and was accepted into Ballet Austin’s Summer Intensive and was invited to stay for the season as a Professional Division Trainee. Yellie was honored to be asked to perform with the main company on numerous occasions such as Serenade, The Fete Gala, and French and Spanish in The Nutcracker.
In 2007 Ms. Shustack accepted a contract from the Alabama Ballet where she danced the next seven seasons of her career. Her favorite roles were Benevolence Fairy and Sapphire Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty, Autumn Fairy in Cinderella, Allegro Brilliante, soloist in Paquita, Marzipan in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo and The Other. Yellie also had the solo “The Turning Girl” in Messin’ with Mozart created on her by Resident Choreographer and Associate Artistic Director Roger Van Fleteren.
Yellie moved for her career once more in 2014 and joined Ballet Tucson under the direction of Mary Beth Cabana and Cheiko Imada. During her three seasons at Ballet Tucson the Resident Choreographer Daniel Precup originated works on her including Mosiaco and “The Funny Couple” in Love Songs. Ms. Shustack also got a chance to work with world renowned choreographer Sam Watson in Sound Effects and as a Doublemint Twin in Hi Jinks. She was also seen in Kim Robbards work Cascades, Mark Schneider’s In The Mood and Joplin and Cheiko Imada’s Hibiki, Phantom of the Opera, Jekyll and Hyde , and Spirt Garden.
Yellie has been on the faculty at Ithaca Ballet, Ballet Austin, and Ballet Tucson teaching all levels and ages from creative movement to adult. She also recently completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification and became Executive Consultant for Rodan and Fields Premium Skincare.
Gavin Larsen, was born and raised in New York City. She received her dance training at the School of American Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the New York School of Ballet. Her professional career began in 1992, when Ms. Larsen joined Pacific Northwest Ballet under the direction of Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, where she danced featured roles in ballets by Kent Stowell, George Balanchine, Lynne-Taylor Corbett, and Lila York. In 1999, Ms. Larsen joined the Alberta Ballet, directed by Mikko Nissinen. Her repertoire expanded to include principal roles in works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Helgi Tomasson, and Mikko Nissinen. In 2002 Ms. Larsen left the Alberta Ballet to pursue a career as a freelance guest artist, joining the Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a soloist. In 2003, Ms. Larsen joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as a principal dancer at the invitation of artistic director Christopher Stowell. Her repertoire there included principal roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, James Kudelka, Helgi Tomasson, Yuri Possokhov, Christopher Wheeldon, Paul Taylor, Christopher Stowell, Kent Stowell, and Julia Adam. She also joined the faculty of the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre under the direction of Damara Bennett, and has taught students at all levels from young children to adults.
In May, 2010, Ms. Larsen retired from full-time performing to focus on a career as a teacher, coach, freelance dancer, and writer. She has guest taught for Ballet Victoria in Victoria, B.C.; Olympia Dance Center in Olympia, WA; Classical Ballet Theater in Herndon, VA; Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet in Shreveport, LA.; and SunKing Dance, and has performed with Seattle Dance Project in Seattle, WA. Ms. Larsen has had articles on dance published in Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Teacher, and Dance Spirit magazines, as well as the literary journal Threepenny Review. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre, as well as serving as children’s ballet master for Oregon Ballet Theatre.