Arthur Murray dance studios are proud for you to meet our team of dance instructors. Our diverse community of teachers brings you the talents of one of the most experienced teams anywhere. They have studied dance for years -- here in the U.S. and around the world. They bring to Arthur Murray students both a global perspective and the expertise that makes it so quick and easy to enter the fun, friendly and satisfying world of dancing.
Joe & Leisa Howard - Owners
After 2 years of owning the Columbia Studio, Joe & Leisa have helped the staff and students reach new heights in achieving their dance goals. With a combined 28 years of teaching experience and 20 years of Studio Management, they have helped Athur Murray Dance Center of Columbia become one of the top studios in the organization. Before taking over ownership of the Columbia studio, Joe & Leisa Howard managed the #1 Arthur Murray Dance Center in the world (over 270 studios in 21 countries) in Alexandria, VA. Additionally, they were very successful Professional Competitors, reigning 5 years as undefeated Arthur Murray Champions and culminating in a 2008 US National Championship! After achieving all of their dance hopes, Joe & Leisa are now eager to pass on their knowledge to their employees and all of their students. Firstly, creating fine social dancers... Then whatever their heart's desire!
Brandon Jones - Instructor
Brandon loves three things: dancing, music, and teaching. How perfect is it that he's been enjoying his life as an Arthur Murray Dance Instructor! He began dancing as a child, trying ballet, modern, jazz and ballroom. Recently he wowed audiences at the Washington National Arthur Murray Dance O Rama and participated in the Dancing with the Stars Tour pre-show. Brandon earned his B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland and absolutely loves bringing his wealth of musical knowledge and teaching styles into the ballroom. He looks forward to sharing his artistic passions with you!
Carolina Bonilla - Instructor
This Colombian instructor is known for wowing audiences at top local dance events sponsored by Arthur Murray Dance Center. Carolina was trained in classical ballet for 14 years and won numerous awards. As a top instructor at Arthur Murray, Carolina enjoys helping people achieve their dancing goals. Carolina is not only an excellent communicator but is able to provide fun and easy going lessons. When not at the studio you can find Carolina at home watching Disney movies or at any HOT salsa club in the DC/VA area!
Elias Saul Velasquez - Instructor
Born in El Salvador, Elias arrived at Dulles international airport in May of 1993 ready to begin his new life in the United States of America. Early on, he realized the joy of music and dancing that has carried with him throughout his travels and experiences. Now part of the Arthur Murray family, he is excited to help everyone with their dancing needs, even people who have never danced, and looks forward to sharing with them the fun and personal satisfaction that dancing can bring.
Emily Hutchison - Instructor
Comes from a blood-line of dancers, back to her great-grandmother who was a dance professor at UM. Emily has lived, breathed, and dreamed dance since she was a little girl. She started with ballet at the age of 2, graduating to Pointe ballet by the age of 13. However, hip-hop has been a passion of Emilys. Her spunky personality and high energy contributed to a street dance crew for a few years. She even did work in the film Step Up 2, as a backup dancer. After seeing the film Dirty Dancing, she became determined to find a man who could move like Patrick Swayze. Emily became a student at Arthur Murray when she was 14. For her 18th birthday, her wish came true of becoming an Arthur Murray Instructor. She has been with us for many years now, establishing a career for herself as an instructor and a professional performer. She is now a partner for life, fulfilling her dreams with dance and making others dreams come true.
Meghan McDonald- Instructor
Meghan has been dancing for as long as she can remember. Over the years she has trained and performed in ballet, hip hop, lyrical, modern, and even trapeze aerial dance. For Meghan, dance has always been a means of escape, entertainment, and the main projection of her determination. She is always trying to push the limits of her dancing, and absolutely loves the opportunity to spark that same drive in her students at Arthur Murray. Outside of the studio Meghan is an extreme movie buff and spends most of her time with friends and family or taking spontaneous trips to the beach!
Brett Messiora - Instructor
Brett has always had dancing in his life, but he got his jump start as a member of a high school show choir. That's right; just like Glee. From there, he pursued numerous styles of dance - anything he could get his hands on, from "America's Best Dance Crew"-style hip hop to musical theater to experimental dance. Eager to share the gift of dance with everyone, he has taught classes on the east coast, ranging from Boston to Baltimore, including at Loyola University Maryland for three years. His passion has brought him to Arthur Murray Columbia, where he finds endless joy in unlocking the dancer in everyone. Outside of the studio, you can find Brett on stage at a local theater, singing at karaoke night, or anywhere else making people laugh!