Our Artistic Team
All of our dance instructors and choreographers are seasoned professionals and are the most sought out in the industry making Dance Empire, the best dance company in Miami.
Passion for Dance
Angel has been dancing for the past 38 years. She was trained in lyrical, jazz, ballet, tap, modern, acro & hip hop. Her many honors and achievements as a dancer include the Miami Movement Dance Company from 1988 to 1991. Also in 1988 she was a finalist on the ever-popular Star Search hosted by Ed McMahon. In 1989 she became the Junior National Dance Champion in the U.S. and in 1990 was featured in many acclaimed TV commercials based on her national titles, including becoming the “McArthur Milk Child”. She also appeared in advertisements in the Miami Herald as well as other print media. She began to guest perform for personalities such as Philip Michael Thomas, Don Johnson and former Senator Bob Graham. She attended the New Word School of the Arts/Department of dance and was offered a full scholarship to Florida State University & NYU.
As a child Angel studied ballet under Susanna Prieto but acquired her morn jazz style from Mia Michaels. Angel received a full scholarship to the Alvin Ailey Summer Workshop Programs in New York City from 1988 to 1992. Angel’s unusual and very successful modern style of jazz is a mixture of technical jazz along with a rhythmic, modern soul-searching twist. In 1991 she began sharing her talents and secrets with students and developed a new love for teaching and choreography. Her honors as a teacher include a 1996 and 1997 Dance Educators of America Choreographic Award, and a Dance Educators of America “Music in Motion” Award. Angel has won many Joe Tremaine, West Coast and Dance Alliance National Competition awards including being a first place recipient for her choreography from L.A. DanceForce, West Coast, New York City Dance Alliance and JUMP Competitions.
In 1999 Angel was selected as the representative of Jazz Dance for all of the Dade County Magnet Middle and High Schools. In 2000 Dancer magazine chose Dance Empire as one of the strongest dance schools in the country to represent them in their “Up Close and Personal” interviews that were televised.
Angel’s choreography started to bloom. Studios all over the country as well as professional contemporary companies were offering Angel opportunities. With family roots and student’s starting to root her style she decided Miami was where she wanted to stay. In the summer of 2002 she showcased her work at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago, where she received the bronze medal. This then led to Euro Disney and Carnival Cruise Lines making even more offers.
In 2003 Angel and two of her very own students headed to Los Angeles where they competed and won the finals for two seasons straight on Star Search, the nationally televised talent competition hosted by Arsenio Hall. With outstanding dancing and her choreography they were hard to beat. Angel was then invited to perform at the Theater of the Performing Arts for the Black American Film Festival in Miami as well as “The Fisher Island Benefit”.
Following this, in the summer of 2003 Angel choreographed on the Contemporary Ballet Company, Cedar Lake Ensemble, which premiered throughout the world. The Village Voice quoted Angel’s work as, “moving, both figuratively and literally, exquisitely provocative.” In 2004 Angel began the AFL DANCE CO, a not for profit youth dance company. She presented to Miami a show entitled “Away You Go” choreographed and staged by Angel in May of 2004 with LIVE vocals from “Fisher the Band”. The Herald and New Times gave the performances rave reviews. Show two is in the works and has been one of the most sought after events in Miami Dade County.
Angel resides in Miami where she owns and operates, and continues to teach at Dance Empire of Miami. Opening in 1988, Dance Empire of Miami has become one of the most prestigious dance studios in the nation in the last 21 years under Angel’s direction.
Angel now takes pride in watching and helping her students to be the best they can be in dance. Currently her former students are members of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Complexions, dancing for artists like Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Madonna, Usher, and more. Some have even toured Broadway shows like the West Side Story and 42 Street. Many of her dancers have won National titles in the country, received invitations to professional companies and have won scholarships to the finest arts programs in the country including Julliard. Today Angel continues to work at advancing her students in the Elite Company of Dance Empire as she’s looking forward to launching more of her protégés!
Marion-Skye Brooke Logan
Co Artistic Director
Marion-Skye Brooke Logan was born and raised in Miami Florida. As a native to Miami, Fl, Brooke grew up predominantly learning hip hop and jazz under the direction of Angel Fraser Logan and Tawanna Hall, training at Dance Empire of Miami for her entire childhood. After graduating high school she studied at Florida State University as a dance major. She was a member of the 2012-2013 FSU Golden Girl Dance Team. After returning from FSU Brooke took an internship with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company through Brazil and Argentina. She has studied for two summers at the San Fransisco Conservatory and was accepted as the resident choreographer for the summer 2014 for the San Fran Conservatory Summer Session. Later she received a full scholarship for the New World School of the Arts College Dance Program and recently graduated from NWSA College with her BFA in Dance.
In her later study’s, she discovered ballet techniques, traditional modern, and the language of Gaga. Brooke also spent her college career learning various repertoires such as works from Robert Battle, Paul Taylor, and Ohad Naharin. She also had her work showcased each year as a selected choreographer. Brooke is most recently the assistant to Alvin Ailey dancer and choreographer Jamar Roberts, and assisted him in his first creation on the company “Members Don’t Get Weary”. Professionally, Brooke recently held the principle role in Robert’s full length work, The House of the Most Loved. Brooke furthered her dance education this summer (2018) at Jacobs Pillow where she was selected for their summer intensive program. In the future, Brooke hopes to continue to learn and grow through the study of Gaga and plans to be involved in the Dance world, whether it’s performing in repertoire, being a part of the process to create them, or creating them herself.
Presently she is teaching at Dance Empire of Miami, from the young children’s Kinderdance program to the Elite Company dancers where she sharing her Gaga technique and passions of dance. Brooke is once again this year the assistant to Alvin Ailey dancer and choreographer Jamar Roberts, and assisted him in the creation on the company “Ode”, as well as she assisted him on his choreography on the Julliard School and will assist him with the New York City Ballet and Miami City Ballet in the upcoming months.
Co Artistic Director
Teacher and choreographer Tawanna Hall is one of the most sought-after, highly regarded Hip Hop/Funk Master Teacher in South Florida today. Her fresh, physical style and energetic moves have been used by some of the most talented dancers and hottest dance studios in the country. Her talent goes beyond the ventures into artistic direction. Tawanna received her education at New World School of the Arts/College Division where she received a full dance scholarship. Tawanna has been a dedicated, award-winning choreographer for the past 19 years at some of the top studios in the South Florida area. She trains dancers, choreographs, designs costumes and arranges the music at her home based studio Dance Empire of Miami as well as at other studios throughout the world and she also tours as an instructor with various Dance Conventions like Jump, Nuvo and Florida Dance Masters. She has been, and continues to be, the driving force of creativity, choreography and performance for each artist she works with.
While Tawanna has been teaching, she has developed her own stimulating, funky, unique kind of movement known as Hip Hop. It has made her one of the fastest, most successful names in the dance community. Her hip-hop style has been cheered at many world-renowned dance conventions/competitions. She has choreographed and won top awards at Jump, Nuvo, West Coast Dance Explosion, Velocity and many other dance conventions. In 2016 she received the top choreography award in the nation at Dance Awards, a Break the Floor Production.
Tawanna has appeared in many music videos and has worked with national choreographers within the television industry including Daren Henson, Dave Scott, Chuck Maldanado and Fatima. Her credits included B2K, Bow Wow, Omarion and Marquis Houston for the Scream III World Tour, P.Diddy, Missy Elliot, Usher, Tank, Back Street, Justin Timberlake, MTV Music Awards, Hip Hop Source Awards, Soul Train Awards, Nike, Reebox Industrials, and the NBA Miami Heat Dancers. Children are especially drawn to Tawanna’s physical style of teaching and “fun, quirky movement”. Her efforts instill the love and passion for the art of dance in all our children.
Throughout his youth he also trained at the Dance Empire of Miami under the direction of Angel Fraser Logan. Shortly after graduation he moved to New York to train as a fellowship student at The Ailey School. Mr. Roberts was a member of Ailey II in 2001 and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. He is currently a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 2002. Having resided in New York for over a decade now, Jamar has had the privilege of working with some of the best choreographers in the business such as, Judith Jamison, Ohad Naharin, Kyle Abraham, Robert Battle, Geoffery Holder, Dwight Rhoden, Wayne McGregor, Mauro Bigonzetti, Alonzo King, Roland K. Brown and many others.
Along with extensive touring in the U.S. and Internationally with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Jamar has made several appearances on the hit TV show “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Dancing With The Stars”, BET 106 and Park, and “LIVE with Michael and Kelly”. He has also made guest appearances at the Vail International Dance Festival, “Stars of the 21 Century” Ballet Gala 2013, and the Youth American Grande Prix 2014 Semi-Finals Gala in Cordoba, Mexico. And In 2007 he was nominated Dance Magazine’s "Top 25 To Watch”.
With a wealth of knowledge and experienced gained from being such an accomplished dance artist, Jamar Roberts has now began to create his own choreographic works. His first work “213 And What Goes Down” earned him a spot as a semi-finalist at the Capezio A.C.E Awards Dance Competition. Since then he has created “Ole Acholi” for the PLGDT (Peter London Global Dance Theater), “Elegiac Lament” for the ADRF (Ailey Dancers Resource Fund), “Converge”, choreographed for himself and fellow dancer Alicia Graf-Mack, and now for the AFLDC his latest work titled “Veil”.
Liana Navarro was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958. At 2 years of age, she came to Miami where she was raised and resided ever since. Liana attained her Ballet training at Ballet Concerto in Coral Gables. In 1975, at the age of 17, she founded Liana Ballet Studio and commenced teaching dance students of all ages. From the onset, Liana’s passion for teaching was demonstrated by the early success her students were achieving in the dance community. Liana has dedicated herself to the perfection of the art as an instructor and choreographer to dancers of all ages for the past 40 years. Liana Navarro was the Founder and Director of LSW (Liana’s Selected Workshop). The LSW program was dedicated to the intense professional training of serious dancers striving to become professionals.
Ms. Navarro has participated for many years in competitions worldwide and recipient of countless “Choreography Awards” and Honors. Many of her students, while competing at National and International Competitions such as The Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, and The International Ballet Competition – Jackson, Mississippi (Ballet Olympics), have been recipients of National and International first place awards. In 2006, in initiation of “The American Dance Competition”, Liana was awarded the “Outstanding Coach Award”. Several of Liana’s former students such as prima ballerinas Jeannette Delgado of the Miami City Ballet and Lilyan Vigo-Ellis of the North Carolina Ballet have been honored with the”Princess Grace Award”. Ms. Vigo-Ellis has received this prestigious award twice.
Ms. Navarro has judged in many renowned dance competitions as well. Presently, numerous of Liana’s former students have continued their careers as principal dancers in prominent dance companies worldwide, and others as instructors in their own established Ballet Dance Studios.
Ms. Navarro presently is a private ballet coach and instructor of Master Ballet Classes in South Florida.
Tony Catanzaro brings an impressive array of accomplishments to the field of dance. His technical ability, combined with a magnetic and dramatic stage personality has brought him broad recognition, not only in ballet, but in modern dance and musical comedy as well. He began his dance training in his native New York at the High School of Performing Arts, where he graduated as the Dance Award Recipient. It was here that he was discovered by Norman Walker, his modern dance teacher. Mr. Catanzaro studied and performed with Mr. Walker for eight years, becoming the most impressive years of his career. After receiving a full scholarship with the Harkness Ballet School, he progressed to lead dancer with the Harkness Youth Company. He subsequently joined the Joffrey Ballet, and after three years was asked to join the Boston Ballet in 1973 as a principal dancer. He remained with the Boston Ballet for eleven years performing in many major roles and being exposed to many of the greatest instructors and choreographers. Throughout the years he had many performance opportunities with the Alabama Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, Florida Ballet, New Haven Ballet, New Mexico Ballet, Tampa Ballet, Dallas Civic Opera, Teatro Massimo in Palemo, Italy, and with many symphonies and modern dance companies to name a few along with many lead roles in Broadway productions such as “Annie Get Your Gun” with Ethel Merman, and with the touring company of “Golden Boy” starring Sammy Davis Jr. He appeared in the first English speaking musical to travel to Japan, “West Side Story“, and has made numerous television appearances. While still maintaining his principal dancer’s status with the Boston Ballet, Mr. Catanzaro began to stage ballets for the company and to coach dancers and rehearse ballets as they were being choreographed. Proving to be successful in these areas, he was chosen to select dancers from throughout the United States and to form the Boston Ballet Ensemble, which replaced the senior company for their summer performances as well as touring throughout New England.
For over 25 years, Mr. Catanzaro devoted much of his energy to the Ballet Academy of Miami. Many of his students have been accepted, with scholarships, into the prestigious summer programs sponsored by the major companies in this country. His students have also become members of other highly acclaimed professional companies. Mr. Catanzaro developed the Ballet Theatre of Miami which provided professionally oriented training and meaningful performance experience to highly motivated young people. Ballet Theatre of Miami was an obvious extension of this artistic talent and nurturing. Currently Mr. Catanzaro still resides in Miami where he teaches and coaches dancers, assisting them to fulfill their goals, becoming talented professional dancers.
Laura began her ballet training in Miami with Sonia Diaz, Martha del Pino, and Eduardo Recalt. She later continued her studies with an elite group of dancers under the direction of Liana Navarro. As a member of Liana’s Selected Workshop she received first place in the classical division at the Youth American Grand Prix finals for two years consecutively and received numerous judges’ awards for technical excellence and artistry. She was also awarded scholarships to study at schools such as The Harid Conservatory, Orlando Ballet School, American Ballet Theater, and The School of American Ballet.
Upon her graduation she was asked to join the Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman and Roger Van Fleteren. As a member of the Alabama Ballet she performed in works by George Balanchine, Mikhail Barishnikov, Leslie Brown, and many others. In 2004 she was recognized by the late Fernando Bujones and was invited to join the Orlando Ballet under his direction. While at the Orlando Ballet she performed many leading roles in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, George Balanchine’s Serenade, Don Quixote, Peter Stark’s Cinderella, Bruce Mark’s Inscape, as well as many works by Twyla Tharp, David Parsons, Salim Guawloos, and Fernando Bujones. While at the Orlando Ballet she also served as the Orlando Ballet’s company representative for three seasons and served as a teacher on the Orlando Ballet School’s staff. Miss Vigil is also a graduate of the University of Central Florida where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Kimberly Thomson is a third generation dancer with more than 35 years of experience as a studio owner, performer, choreographer and instructor. She began her love affair with dance as a small child under the tutelage of her mother, Danie Beck, child prodigy on Broadway, a successful TV performer, distinguished Dance Judge, Business Dance Consultant, Instructor, Choreographer, and Studio Owner for 40 years.
Thomson graduated with honors from Saint Brendan High School in Miami, FL in 1988 and then attended Florida State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development with a minor in Theatre and Dance, she is gifted in working with students of all ages and training dancers to achieve their full potential.
Thomson, through examination and certification, then became a member of the Florida Dance Masters, later serving for 25 years on the Board of Directors, holding faculty positions for several distinguished dance organizations and also judging regional and national dance competitions.
Kim began teaching acrobatics and flexibility for the Dance Empire Homeschool Academy this year and looks forward to continuing to share her experience and strengths to the dancers in the years to come.
Melissa Marcus Vicente was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She trained at Joe Michael’s Dance Studio under Mia and Dana Michaels and was a member of the Miami Movement Dance Company. She continued to dance throughout high school, but ultimately decided to focus on training in sport baton twirling. She is a two-time World Baton Twirling Champion in the team event and former US Grand National Twirling Champion. She was also the featured baton twirler at Florida State University and the University of Miami.
She is the director and choreographer of Synergy Twirl Club, four-time National dance twirl team champions and the 2015 International Cup Team A Champions. She has been teaching dance and baton twirling from preschool age children to adults since 2005.
She completed her Masters and Doctoral degree in Exercise Physiology and Educational Research at the University of Miami and a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science and Sport Nutrition at Florida State University. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the physiological profile of modern dancers, sport baton twirlers, and competitive cheerleaders.
AKA Body Breaker
Julien Mireles, also known as the “Bodybreaker” is a known dancer, choreographer and teacher, as well as a flexibility master. During his time as a dancer he performance on many stages and won many accolades. As a choreographer his pieces have won highest honors on the competition stage. Now Julian is known as the Flexibility, Strengthening, and Technique Guru. He regularly works with dancers and is known for making extraordinary improvements in their technical abilities.
Balli Logan was born and raised in Miami Florida; She trained at Dance Empire of Miami in all genres of dance since the age of two, training predominantly in jazz and hip hop under the direction of Angel Fraser Logan and Tawanna Hall. Through the years she has had the opportunity to train with master teachers and choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Jamar Roberts, Dee Caspary, Mandy Moore and Bobby Newberry to name a few. Miss Logan graduated from Westminster Christian School in 2015 and then studied at Florida State University as a dance major. While at FSU Miss Logan was a member of the 2015-2016 FSU Golden Girl Dance Team. She graduated from Florida State University May 2019 with a major in Psychology. Upon returning from FSU Miss Logan returned to Dance Empire of Miami to give back her passion for dance to the upcoming dancers and she is also the new 2019-2020 Dance Teacher for Miami Palmetto Senior High School.
Alexandra Santalo started her dancing career at the age of 3 and continued training until she graduated high school. She trained at both a studio and in the dance program Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Coral Reef High School, and Dance Empire of Miami. Once she graduated high school, she continued dancing for Vixen Workout teaching dance workout classes and taking part in promotional videos. Now Alexandra continues to teach and coach at Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and Dance Empire of Miami and specializes in Dance Team preparations. Alexandra is excited to be launching a NO LIMITS dance program for children with special needs for our 2019-2020 school year. Stay tuned for details coming soon.
Janell graduated from the Magnet Dance Program at Coral Reef Senior High School. While at Coral Reef she was the Varsity Cudette Dance Team Co-Captain and helped bring home two National Championships. She also choreographed a winning number for the Coral Reef Dance Alliance. Janell was casted for the musical “The Wizard of Oz” and was also involved in the music video “High and Mighty” by Why Not Y. Janell was accepted into the Joffrey Program in both New York City and Los Angeles but has decided to stay in Miami for college while teaching at Dance Empire.
Shanheem Pierre has been dancing in the Elite Company of Dance Empire since 2008. She recently graduated New World School of the Arts Dance Program and is now attending New World’s College on a full Dance Scholarship. She has trained in all genres of dance and is now eagerly giving back her passion and talents to our Dance Empire students.
Mrs Loliette was born in Havana, Cuba. When she was 4 years old, she began her dance studies and shortly after she started her professional ballet studies at the Elementary Institute of Ballet where she graduated at age of 15.
During this time she had the opportunity to dance in different theaters in Havana, participate in different competitions and meet with different dancers from international academies. This helped her to develop new skills and learn other types of dances such as as contemporary and folk. In 2007, Loliette began her bachelor at the National Ballet Institute in Cuba where she graduated as a Ballet Instructor, and 3 years later she started her career as a teacher. Since then she has been teaching
classical ballet and PE to children from 2 years old as well as adults.
At the moment she is a teacher in different educational centers (daycares) where she organizes shows every year with great success, which have been valued by the directors. Recently she has joined Dance Empire as a ballet teacher and a teacher in the young children’s program. We are so excited to have her on board!
Stephany Selena Garcia, a current student at Miami Dade College and a member of Jubilation Dance Ensemble, is a twenty-year old sophomore who is pursuing a career and furthering her studies in the art of Dance. She was born and raised in Miami, FL and has trained in the techniques of ballet, modern and contemporary for eight years at Miami Arts Charter and Miami Dade College. She also has moderate training in jazz, jazz-funk, Afro-Caribbean, West-African and hip hop. Stephany is also a dance teacher at Christ fellowship where she teaches ballet, jazz and contemporary to children ages 3-8 years old. She hopes to plant the seed of passion for dance in all her students.
Ingrid is a native of Cuba and graduated from National School of the Arts in Havana. She has expertise in the fields of classical ballet, neo-classes and Afro-Cuban dance as well as modern and Latin Jazz. In 1997 she went to Venezuela where she continued her training as a dancer at the National School of Ballet under the direction of Rafael Portillo. She was invited to perform modern and neo-classical works by Irina Portillo. Ingrid was also a guest artist at INCA (Instituto Nacional de Cultura y Arte). In 1999 she was invited to perform as a soloist at Fusion Dance Show for two years and in 2001 she came to Miami and enrolled in the dance program at New World School of The Arts College where she performed in several student concerts and presentations. Ingrid is also a former member of the Momentum Dance Company under the direction of Delma Iles. She taught at Dance Empire in 2003-2015 and is now returning to continue passing on her knowledge and passion for Dance to her Dance Empire Family.
Gabriel Estrada began his formal ballet dance training in 2006 under the direction of Vivian Tobio Ballet. He attended Coral Reef High School Magnet Dance Program under the direction of Becky Santalo and graduated the dance program in 2012. During the summers Gabriel attended the Florida State University School of Dance Summer Programs. Gabriel has a long list of accolades including being a Miami Heat Junior Jam Dancer under the management of Jose Guerrero. C&J Productions under the management of Cookie Ramos & John Culbertston to include the American Cancer Association Gala Entertainment... ZMC Entertainment under the management of Zella Lehr, Phil Cristian and Connie Mason. He was a professional pas de deux dancer under the direction of Patricia Penenori. Under Univision he participated in Sabado Gigante with Don Francisco. He is currently also the coach of the Florida International University’s Dazzler’s. Gabriel has professional participated in the Marlin’s Energy Team, the Miami Heat and in Step It Up Convention all in Miami, Florida. He has also created award-winning choreography for the Dance Teams at various of our local high schools and universities. Gabriel has a unique technique in training dancers in acrobatics and he recently joined our Dance Empire team to bring his love of dance acro to our students
ISIS MASOUD grew up in Florida, where she trained with Dana & Mia Michaels and received her BA in Theater from the University of Miami. A well-rounded performer, Isis’s credits vary from choreographer & producer to entrepreneur & actress, in all realms of the business including film, television, commercial and theater. At the intersection of film, music, and dance education is her most recent project Close Up Experience, in which she produced & co-directed the short musical film EMPIRE VAMPIRE as well as the dance film AYITA’S DREAM. Recently, Isis booked a principal role on season 3 of the Netflix Series BLOODLINE. She choreographed for legendary Hip-Hop Icon Nas at Radio City Music Hall in NYC & was featured in the film
ROCK OF AGES alongside Tom Cruise, & Catherine Zeta Jones. Additional film credits include: IN BETWEEN DAYS, SOUTH MOUNTAIN, AYITA’S DREAM, THE LAUGHING MASK, KISSING DON’T LAST…BUT COOKING DO, THE DEMONS OF DISCO, and ESCAPE TO INFIERNO. She was an artist associate on a Broadway workshop for the DADDY LONG LEGS choreographed by David Parsons, and directed by John Caird (LES MIS/ JANE EYRE). Isis’s choreography was featured on the ABC Family television show DANCE FEVER as well as Season 9 of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. She has taught at such prestigious institutions as Miami City Ballet, New World School of the Arts, Broadway Dance Center, Steps in NYC and is working as a master teacher with many dance organizations all over the country. Isis is once again residing in Miami and has come on board with Dance Empire to pass on her strengths and passion for tap dancing.