2016 Faculty


augga-headshot

Augga Hawkins

Acro, Ballet, Conditioning, Jazz, Leaps and Turns, Lyrical

Augga Hawkins is a professional dancer and choreographer originally from Beijing, China. She was selected at the age of 12 to train full-time at the Central University of Nationalities. In her seven years at the university, Augga trained extensively in ballet, acrobatics, Chinese ethnic minority dancing, jazz, lyrical, and international dancing. Augga graduated in the top of her class and was selected to be the lead dancer of one of the most prestigious dance companies in China, the National Chinese Ballet Company. As lead dancer of the company, Augga performed for dignitaries and heads of state from around the world, including President Reagan, Canadian Premier Trudeau, and her own country's vice chairman Deng Xiaoping.

After moving to the United States, Augga continued to pursue her love of dance through teaching and choreographing for several outstanding dance organizations, including Brigham Young University, earning herself acclaim and praise for her technique and choreography. She opened her own studio in 2007. Her passion for dance and love of teaching has led the studio to a top-100 FDC National ranking, as well as a top-5 placement for winning studios in Washington state!

Andrew Faulkner

Hip Hop

Andrew began dancing at age eighteen for a school project. Who would have thought six months later it would have engulfed his life so completely. Andrew was offered a teaching position soon after and hasn’t stopped since. “It’s my passion in life, training, and helping others grow in their careers.” With thirteen years of experience fulfilling just that, no one can dispute his talents.

Additionally, he continues to work closely with Kolanie Marks after 10+ years, is a co-founder of KreativMndz, and has been dancing and choreographing for shows such as WeDay, America’s Got Talent, and World of Dance, just to name a few. Andrew has truly cultivated a name for himself. He is an extremely positive teacher who wants to change the way his students learn. “I want to make you learn faster, so you can accomplish more in an hour.” Demonstrating his own work ethic outside the teaching world, Andrew makes the most of his time with his family and wife while managing I-Ace, a dance app and overseeing the KreativMndz magazine. Andrew Faulkner is very highly sought after and an even more highly respected name in the dance scene.

Casmir Canares

Casmir Canares

Acro, Conditioning, Jazz, Leaps and Turns, Lyrical

Casmir Canares attended the University of Washington for her freshman year of college before deciding to continue her education at Everett Community College so she could be closer to home and to her dance students. During her time at the University of Washington, Casmir was honored to be a part of the cheer/dance team which provided her with valuable collegiate dance experience. Previously, she danced at Northwest Dance and Acro from 2008 through 2014. During her time as a dancer at Northwest Dance and Acro, she developed a strong work ethic and her dedication to practice each day lead her to be successful at dance competitions including a first place award at Legacy Dance. Over the years, Casmir has drawn inspiration from her grandmother who was like a mother to her and was always very proud of her. It is very important to Casmir that her students feel comfortable in class; she goes out of her way to be sure they understand her instructions and is happy to go over the steps until they are clear. She asks that students come to class prepared for anything and with determined focus.

"When I started teaching, I fell in love. Every time I teach, I build a strong connection with each and every one of my students. I love being able to teach others to dance and to see their progression throughout the year. One of my favorite things about NWDA is how we are such a huge family. We see each other so often and we really get to know each other personally. It's great to know the dancers and the parents!"



JuJu Flores

Julius "JuJu" Flores

Contemporary, Jazz

Julius Flores has been dancing since December 2006. He was offered a full scholarship to join the Honolulu Dance Performing Company, where he trained in ballet, jazz, and hip hop under the direction of Cathy Izumi and Elizabeth Miller. In 2008, he traveled to Los Angeles for a dance convention to represent Hawaii. It was at Dance Excellence that he was offered a chance to join the California Pacific College of Performing Arts, also known as The Young Americans College of Performing Arts. He has traveled throughout the United States teaching dance and music under the direction of Bill and Robyn Brawley while he also trained in performance technique. He also studied psychology to prepare himself with the tools to better analyze and understand his surrounding environment. In 2010, he performed with a group at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. During that same year, he was given another opportunity to join a dance company in Los Angeles. He trained in ballet and jazz under the direction of Lisa Diaz with her studio Legacy Dance Academy. He was exposed to amazing choreographers with whom he trained alongside and later joined Silver Lake Contemporary Ballet. As the year passed, he moved back to Hawaii and was offered a position as codirector at Honolulu Dance Studio where he shared the knowledge that he had gained from his training in dance. Julius was chosen to be a lead male dancer for Hawaii Opera Theatre, where he had the opportunity to work with some of the top opera artists, and he was officially renowned as a professional dancer. Julius has choreographed many top soloists for dance competitions and has been awarded First Overalls, Judges Choice, and Choreographer of the Year.

After spending a summer in San Francisco, California, training in modern and ballet with Alonzo King Lines Dance Center, Julius is now located in Seattle, Washington, where he hopes to expand his knowledge of dance and share his passion by teaching his crafts to all levels. His goal in life is to make a difference in people's lives by helping them express their emotions through dance.

"Dance is not just a step. It's who you are."

Mija HS

Mija Bishop

Ballet, Pointe

Mija Bishop started studying ballet in Japan at the age of six, and continued her training in the US. She has 8 years of teaching experience in various parts of Washington (Skagit Valley Academy of Dance, Camano Dance Academy), as well as in Tokyo and Kanagawa, Japan (Ballesonance Tokyo Ballet Studio and Kyogo Ballet). Her roles in past performances include t itle roles in Giselle, Firebird, Cinderella, Paquita, and Mina in Dracula.

Photo credit: Rory Edland Savtgy

Photo credit: Rory Edland Savtgy

Photo credit: Rory Edland Savtgy

 

MissMo

Mo Olason

Acro, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Tumbling

Miss Mo was introduced to dance at the age of 4 and has been dancing ever since. During high school she attended Hollywood High Performing Arts High School and studied under scholarship at Third Street Dance in Los Angeles, California. Upon graduation, she attended El Camino College where she was a part of their Dance Performance Team. She continued her dance instruction in jazz, ballet, and tap at various Los Angeles dance studios such as Third Street Dance and Tremaine Dance until her move to Washington. Miss Mo's love of dance lead her to teaching and she credits her dance mentor, Jimmy Locust, for instilling a philosophy of excellence and not giving anything less than your best. Miss Mo loves the family atmosphere at NWDA and urges her students to never stop dancing. Outside of dance, she is very passionate about Relay for Life and leads an active life full of family, friends, fitness, boating, and traveling.

"As a teacher, I love to see the shy little kids in their first dance class blossom into confident dancers."