Jennifer Bronson is a native of South Carolina where she grew up dancing. Jennifer attended Converse College, Spartanburg SC, where she majored in Psychology and Dance. During this time she traveled and performed with the Converse College Dance Ensemble. Upon graduation, Jennifer moved to Memphis where she had the opportunity to continue dancing. While in Memphis, Jennifer performed with Bridging Souls Productions, a modern dance company, and The Hot Foot Honeys, a tap dance company. Jennifer also taught at Studio Liv, located in Memphis. Jennifer had the opportunity to study Dance and Movement Therapy at Pratt Institute located in New York. Jennifer is classically trained in modern, jazz, tap, and hip hop.
Hip Hop Choreography Series (Tuesdays 8pm)
Intro to Tap Series (Mondays 8pm)
Tap Level 2 Series (Sundays 3pm)
Contemporary Combinations Series (Wednesdays 8pm)
Bronze and Ebony Dance Company
At an early age, Julie cultivated a love of choreography. She was obsessed with making up dances – often to the dismay of her playmates. Through the years, Julie pursued her love of dance by studying and performing such genres as hip hop, Bharata Natyam, Bhangra, bellydance, African, burlesque, modern, tap and salsa. She incorporated many of these styles into her classes during her years as a Zumba instructor. But ultimately, Julie streamlined her curriculum to focus on the style she loves most: hip hop. A beloved instructor at the YMCA, Julie’s packed Hip Hop Fitness classes feel like a party. She is committed to creating hip hop choreography that is accessible to everyone, and spreading joy through dance.
Hip Hop Fitness (Wednesday 9am)
Barakissa Coulibaly is a dancer and choreographer from Abobo, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. She started her career in traditional dance in 1990 with Fotemogoban, an Ivorian dance troupe based at the Cultural Center of Abobo. She developed her signature style during the next decade, performing internationally with Djolem in a plethora of countries like Switzerland, Greece, France, and Germany and many more!
In fall 2012, she traveled to the United States and was invited to partake in the Center for World Arts at the University of Florida (UF), to choreograph and perform in the annual African dance spectacular, Agbedidi. Barakissa's experience at UF inspired her to form her own dance company in Ivory Coast known as Compagnie Artistique Mouaye, in 2013.
Later in 2013, Barakissa returned to the United States to partake in Bates Dance Festival at Bates College and also returned to Center for World Arts, University of Florida as an artist-in-residence. Soon after, in 2013 Barakissa formed the philanthropy known as Petit Coeur d'Afrique, supporting the youth of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
In Fall 2014 as well as Spring 2015 Barkissa continued her love for African Arts with the University of North Carolina Asheville's Dance Program as well as with a well established dance studio in Asheville, North Carolina known as Studio Zahiya.
West African Dance (Thursdays 7pm and 8pm)
Kayla Fitzpatrick, a North Carolina native, started taking dance classes at age five and has not stopped! Her dance background includes ballet, tap, jazz, modern, acrobatics, hip hop, Irish, Flamenco, and African. She minored in Dance Studies at Appalachian State University where she performed and choreographed in many of the main stage performances. She loves incorporating all types of dance into her movement style, though still believes ballet is the foundation of dance technique. She is very excited to bring Ballet Fitness to Studio Zahiya!
Ballet Fitness (Mondays 5pm)
Illysa aka Ill Fresh
Illysa, aka Ill Fresh, fell in love with dancing at an early age. She started her fitness teaching career with a now obsolete format known as Hip Hop Hustle, and has been hip hopping ever since. She is both a certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer, but dance is her first love. A big fan of all genres of music, she enjoys developing classes with easy to access moves and fun, upbeat hits. Illysa is dedicated to making everyone feel confident and to have a great time in class.
Hip Hop Fitness (Mondays 6pm)
POUND (Saturdays 10:45am)
Mahsati Janan is an instructor and performer of Middle Eastern dance, specializing in the dances of Egypt and North Africa. As an in-demand workshop instructor, Mahsati has traveled the United States to share her knowledge and skills, but always considers herself a lifelong student and annually attends multiple professional and teacher-level training sessions with top dancers and researchers in her field. Her soulful classical Egyptian style performances and lively folkloric dances are always exciting and a wonderful addition to any event. With a teaching style that joins technique with cultural foundations, Mahsati’s classes offer students an opportunity both to learn the necessary technique and understand the cultural context of this dance form. Mahsati’s instructional dvds, Fabulous Fan VeilZZ I & II and Foundations of Raqs Sharqi Level 1, continue to be valuable resources for dancers around the world. Mahsati’s website
Bellydance (Monday, 7:30-9pm)
Charlotte Louise is an award-winning cabaret and fusion style bellydancer raised in Asheville, NC. Charlotte is known for her personable and engaging style. She always has a smile on her face! She teaches weekly at Studio Zahiya (Saturdays at 10:30am) and at the YWCA, is a troupe member of the in-demand duo Addivas, and dances regularly at Jerusalem Garden Cafe, and Mela Restaurant.
Charlotte has twice been part of a winning troupe at the “Belly-Off” in Pittsburgh. In 2013 she won "Grand Champion in the Rising Star Category" at the same competition. In March of 2014 Charlotte was selected as one of 12 dancers to perform with Zoe Jakes of Beats Antique in House of Tarot, and in January 2015 she won people's choice in the Junior Professional Cabaret category at the East Coast Classic. In July 2015 she placed second in the Professional category at "Sherena's Shakedown." Above all, Charlotte strives to be a continual student and appreciator of the art of bellydance.
Raqs Saphire Bellydance Troupe
Leigh started dancing at age 3 and has studied and performed ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, modern, salsa and African dance. She attended UNCA, majoring in Health and Wellness Promotion and minoring in dance. In 2007, she became certified and started teaching Zumba. After graduating college, Leigh moved to Colorado and brought the joy of Zumba to gym’s that had never before offered it. She was featured on So You Think You Can Dance teaching a Zumba combination to over a hundred people in Vail square on National Dance Day. Her passion for all things health related, especially dance, definitely show in her everyday life where she can be found tapping down the aisles of the grocery store or showing off her mad car dancing skills to anyone who passes.
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