Teachers and Staff

Pioneer Winter - Volunteer Consultant, Project LEAP

Pioneer Winter, a Miami native, holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Public Health and Epidemiology. He has created work for the International Fringe Arts Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, Museum of Contemporary Art, Little Haiti Cultural Center, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami Beach Convention Center, Bass Museum of Art, Art Wynwood, Deering Estate at Cutler, and the Florida Dance Festival.

Pioneer is accredited to teach by Florida Dance Masters and Certified in Autism Movement Therapy. Pioneer began dancing with Edwin and Gaile Holland, and Beatrice LaVerne, followed by Miami City Ballet, and later coached by Michael Langlois with further training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA). Pioneer has worked with Jubilee Dance Theatre, Dance Now! Miami, Next Step Dance, Brazz Dance Theater, Ballet Etoile, Aire Dance Company, and has performed on tour in Barcelona and Madrid, Spain and Mexico City. Most recently, Pioneer was the first choreographer to be accepted into LegalArt’s 2012-2013 residency program for Miami artists.

Pioneer has been an instructor for Edwin Holland School of Dance (2005‐2008), Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High (2007‐2009), Performing Arts Network (2009‐2010), Jubilee Dance Theatre (2009‐2010), Next Generation Dance Academy (2008‐Present), Peaches School of Dance and Music (2010‐2012), Arts for Learning / Arts in the Park (2012-Present), Miami-Dade College – Kendall Campus (2012), and Alvin Ailey / Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts | AileyCamp Miami (Summer 2012).

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Horton Modern Dance Technique, Contemporary, Ballet Ball, Beach Body, Autism Movement Therapy

Allisen Learnard – Creative Movement/Baby Ballet, Tap, and Modern

Allisen Learnard, originally from Upstate New York, moved to South Florida as a young adult. She received her B.A in dance 2006 with a focus on psychology from Florida International University, graduating with honors. She has performed repertory pieces by Clyde Morrigon, Janice Brenner, Jane Goldberg, Sherome Price, Katherine Kramer and Danny Buraczeski. Since graduating, Mrs. Learnard has been a member of Miami-based dance companies Animate Objects Physical Theater, The Binti Drum and Dance Ensemble, Rhythmic Rapture, Momentum Dance Company, and Ballet Etoile. She’s also had the privilege of performing at the American College Dance Festival, Florida Dance Festival and Miami Beach’s Sleepless Night. Ms. Learnard teaches dance throughout Miami-Dade County with Arts for Learning, ArtSpring and The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. Her choreography has been showcased with The Eclectic (2007) in Gainesville, FL, at Studio 1415’s Movement Lab Series (2009) in Miami, and for the North Miami Art Collective’s “Why Dance?” outreach program (2009).

Marissa Nick – Project LEAP

Marissa is a high school graduate of New World School of the Arts and received her BFA in Dance Performance from University of South Florida. While at USF, she was awarded a performance scholarship, as well as the Victoria-Seldan Award for her Artistic contribution. In college she danced for Michael Foley, Ronald K. Brown, Lynn Wimmer, Gretchen Warren and was selected to dance for re-staged works by Urban Bush Women and the José Limón Dance Company. Following graduation, she migrated to California as a freelance dancer. There, she taught as a Modern Dance instructor at Hollywood’s I.D.A Academic Program and became active with LA’s Delancy’s Street Foundation, where she volunteered as a movement therapist. In 2011 she moved back to Miami to dance for the Adam Shankman film Rock of Ages, as a Vertical Barre specialist. It was this re-union with her hometown that inspired her to move back to Miami.

Ana Bolt – Special Programming

Ana Bolt is a dancer, educator, mentor, and consummate artist. She has spent a lifetime honing her craft and combining the art of dance with her heart for service.

Ana’s years of professional dance training include studying with such renown teachers and institutions as Jerry Ebitz, Frank Hatchett, Fred Bratcher, Jerry Houlihan, Judith Newman, Mariana Alvarez, Rosita Segovia,  Horton technique at The Alvin Ailey School, Limon technique with Daniel Lewis, Graham technique with Peter London and Laban Movement with Bill Evans.  Ana has also done extensive training in Pilates and is a certified physical education instructor for grades K-12. She is a graduate of New World School of the Arts and Florida International University and also studied continuing education at the University of Miami.

She currently teaches and directs the Nautilus Middle School dance and theater program, North Miami Arts Collective, and operates as the facilitator for the Children’s Trust Fitness/Dance component in the Miami Beach Public Schools. In Addition, she is the founder and director of “Expressions Performing Arts Program” since 1991. Ana takes pride in her teaching and has inspired many students who have pursued dance and theater as a career. Ana is a certified Aerobic Fitness Instructor, and has also taught jazz and ballet at Biscayne Elementary, St. Patrick’s Catholic School and Ballet Etudes. Ana is a certified and professional educator in dance, physical education and theater and has been teaching for Miami-Dade County Schools since 1995.

Ms. Bolt was nominated Teacher of the Year in 2003 and 2006, and was awarded the Teacher of the Year 2007-2008. Many of her students attend schools such as New World School of the Arts, Florida International University, Florida State University, Alvin Ailey/Fordham University, and The Juilliard School in NYC. She continues to inspire many students through the performing arts whether they decide to pursue it or not. She is a holistic teacher that creates lessons that offer a variety of opportunities to perform as an individual or entertainer. Therefore, her students learn to appreciate the beauty of the arts and apply it in different areas of their lives.

While Arts Education, Community Service and raising her three daughters keeps her plate full, Ana also remains an active and well-respected Performing Artist.  She has danced with the Florida Grand Opera, Bailes Ferrer, Flamenco La Rosa, the Long Island Dance Company, Rosita Segovia Company and Ballet Randolph.  She is also a guest solo artist for the Dance Now Ensemble.   Most recently, Ana was sought out by Miami Choreographer, Pioneer Winter, to be featured in his poignant piece entitled,  Mother-Son(days). This moving work also features spoken word artist Marie Whitman. The trio has received such a postive response in Miami, that they were invited to perform it at the Florida Dance Festival 2012 in Tampa.  Ana is also currently performing with Aire Dance Company directed by Ana Miranda, and is a resident artist at the North Miami Arts Collective. She was presented with the Hispanic Artist of the year Award in 2011 by the City of Miami Beach Mayor Matty Bower. Ana dedicates her art to God and to her three beautiful daughters.

Ana Miranda – Flamenco

Ana is a professional Flamenco dancer and teaching artist, she specializes in inclusion strategies for individuals with disabilities and boundary bending Flamenco, bringing the art form to new audiences and expanding its scope.  She has trained in the art of Flamenco in the US and Spain with top artists and has been an active performer, with dance companies such as Bailes Ferrer and Siempre Flamenco and collaborating with guitarist Carl Ferrari in forming Gypsy Cat, a Flamenco Fusion band.  

Ana is a certified Dance/Movement Therapist and professional member of the Amercan Dance Thearpy Association with over 15 years of experience working within the areas of mental health, addiction recovery, at risk youth, disability and healthcare services. She is affiliated with Baptist Health Systems and South Miami Hospital, offering community programs as part of their Arts in Healthcare initiative.  Ana also incorporates aspects of yoga in her work, helping her clients with body awareness, alignment and stress management.  Ms. Miranda formed a non-profit community arts organization in 2004, Art Works For Us, Inc.

Marie Whitman – Project LEAP, creative communication

Multidisciplinary Artist working in Movement, Music and Poetry.  She is an Author, Educator and Entrepreneur with over 20 years of professional Arts experience. Marie has trained at the Martha Graham School, with The Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, Dance Education Laboratory, Harkness Dance Center and attended Pratt University’s Spring Institute in Creative Arts Therapy.  Marie has also trained in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Yin Yoga, Skinner Releasing and Aerial Dance and holds certifications in Massage Therapy. Marie has presented her original choreography through North Carolina Dance Project at The City Arts Center in Greensboro, NC and in New York at The University Settlement. She has performed as a dancer and spoken word artist with Dance Esaias in Miami where choreographer Esaias Johnson created a dance piece based on one of Marie’s poems.  Marie was hired by the Hispanic American Lyric Theater to write the libretto/lyrics for an original opera. Thanks to funding and support from the Children’s Services Council, Marie’s own Speak4th Writing Workshop has been integrated into Memorial Health Care’s Community Youth Services “New Day Program” which caters to the needs of teenage girls, at-risk youth and under-served populations.

Marie is a member of the Broward Cultural Council’s Arts Education Directory, a prestigious, county-wide directory of teaching artists selected for their professional experience, achievements, services, knowledge, and skills. Her spoken word/writing programs have been presented at Ft. Lauderdale Public Library, Flannagan High School and Miramar High School and she is the author of a book of verse entitled “Signs and Wonders.”  Currently, she programs and curates the North Miami Arts Collective, and performs her original spoken word and music throughout South Florida.

Neil de la Flor - Project LEAP, creative communication

Neil de la Flor is a writer, photographer, teacher and former fashion designer based in Miami, FL. His first book, Almost Dorothy (Marsh Hawk Press, 2010), won the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize. Forrest Gander writes, “Almost Dorothy is the red-headed stepchild of Antony (without the Johnsons) and Jean Cocteau. Infusing poetry with theater, Neil de la Flor is at once bitingly original, funny, and uncompromising.”

de la Flor’s has also written three collaborative books; Sinead O’Connor and her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds (Firewheel Editions, 2011), co-authored with Maureen Seaton and winner of the Sentence Book Award; Facial Geometry (NeoPepper Press, 2006), co-authored with Maureen Seaton and Kristine Snodgrass; and Two Thieves and a Liar (forthcoming, Jackleg Press, 2012), also co-authored with Maureen Seaton and Kristine Snodgrass.

In Sarah Burghauser’s review of Sinead O’Connor and her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds for Lambda Literary, she writes, “Lusty, swanky, and well-toned, these poems are playful without being light, and smart without being esoteric. Read this book to witness an inspiring dexterity with language. Read this book for a loving sucker-punch to the brain. Read this book in a place where it is okay to lol, or even to loofah.”

de la Flor’s stories and poems, solo and collaborative, have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Barrow Street, Pank, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Court Green, Best American Poetry Blog among other journals. He is also the performance arts journalist for KnightArts, the organizational arts blog maintained by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and contributes to Miami-based arts bureau, ArtBurstMiami.

His writing on performance arts has appeared in The Miami Herald, The Miami New Times and The SunPost and his photography regularly appears in conjunction with his performance art reviews and previews. He earned an MFA at the University of Miami where he was a Michener Fellow. Neil lives in Miami and teaches composition and literature at Miami Dade College, Nova Southeastern University and Barry University.

Alexandra (2)Alexandra - Beginning Bellydance, Intermediate Bellydance

Founder of the Art of Bellydance, she has been dancing and  teaching in South Florida as well as internationally for over 10 years.  She has traveled extensively to learn the dance and the culture of the Middle East, including places such as Egypt, Turkey and Morocco and has taught and performed as far away places as China. She was part of the Emerald Dreams Dance Company under the direction of Tamalyn Dallal and a teacher at the MEDE.    Her dance style is earthy yet elegant and her teaching style precise, clear and enriching.

Shahar UmbrellaShajar - Urban Beat Bellydance

With a long professional dancer  and teaching career she masters several styles such as: Authentic Egyptian Cabaret and Folkloric Dances, Turkish Style, Latin Fusion, Indian Style Bollywood and Bhangra, American Tribal and Fusion Tribal Style Belly Dance. She was one of the main teachers from the legendary MEDE.  She is known for her energetic and very dynamic teaching style. Her generous and welcoming approach makes her a favorite among all students.


Jared Sharon, Owner