Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre Artistic and Executive Director
Coastal Dance Centre, Founder and Artistic Director
Liza received her formal dance training in the Philippines and was director of two dance schools for 27 years prior to moving to the United States with her family in 2002. She is a fully certified teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance and is also a Practical Teaching Supervisor for the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies Program of the Royal Academy of Dance. Her continuing professional development courses includes participation in teacher training programs and seminars, RAD Teachers courses, dance festivals and competitions in the United States, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Liza prepares and enters her students to the annual RAD ballet examinations and ballet competitions such as the Youth America Grand Prix, American Ballet Competition, World Ballet Competition, the RAD Dance Challenge and other competitions, where a good number of her students have won and garnered awards and scholarships. She was recognized as the Outstanding Choreographer at the Youth America Grand Prix Greenville, SC Regional Competition in 2006. Under her stewardship, Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre won the Impeccable Customer Experience (ICE) Award as the Best Non-Profit organization presented by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in 2008.
In her more than forty years of dance teaching experience, she is producing students who are making careers as dance professionals and enthusiastic dance supporters. Liza believes in the value of good quality education in all the arts. Teaching dance and fostering the love of dance to others continues to be the highlight of her teaching career.
Aside from being a dance professional, Liza is also a musician. She is a product of the University of the Philippines’ Conservatory of Music where she was a piano major and a violin minor. At the age of sixteen, she was the first place winner of the National Piano Competition sponsored by the Piano Teachers Guild of the Philippines. She has coached and served as accompanist for the Cabanatuan City Children’s Choir that competed and represented the Philippines’ Central Luzon region in the finals of the National Music Competition for Young Artists for three consecutive years. In the course of her music teaching career, just as she has done with her dance students, she has produced students who are now music teachers, studio owners, arts council researchers and musicians in the Philippines.
Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre Co-Artistic Director and Ballet Mistress
Ms. Karen was born in the Philippines and migrated to the United States with her family in 2002. Her mother, Liza, who owned and was director of two dance schools in the Philippines, was her primary ballet teacher. Prior to her move to the United States, she has had the opportunity to perform with the Philippine Ballet Theatre productions of “Swan Lake,” “Don Quixote”, and “Serenade” and “Who Cares” with guest artist / restager, Robert Barnett.
She has done all the Royal Academy of Dance Grades and Vocational examinations garnering “Distinction” and “Honours” marks as well as a Distinction mark for her Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Syllabus Examination. She has competed in the New York City Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix International Student Ballet and Contemporary Competitions from 2003 – 2005. She attended summer intensives at the Washington Ballet School in Washington D.C., at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at the Carolina Ballet Theatre in Greenville, SC, and at the Art of Classical Ballet in Pompano Beach, Florida
In 2005, Ms. Karen began her year-round training with Magaly Suarez and Ibis Montoto at The Art of Classical Ballet and has performed with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami’s productions of “Paquita,” “Majissimo,” “Giselle,” “Swan Lake,” ”La Vivandiere”, “La Bayadere,” ”The Nutcracker,” “Le Corsaire,” and “Carmen.” She has also performed at the International Ballet Festival of Miami in 2007 and 2008 and the Gala de las Estrellas de la Danza Mundial in the Dominican Republic in 2009.
Since joining the Coastal Dance Centre teaching staff, Ms. Karen participates in annual teacher training courses and other professional development courses, dance festivals and competitions in the United States. In tandem with her mother, she coaches and enters students to the annual RAD ballet examinations and to ballet competitions such as the Youth America Grand Prix, World Ballet Competition and local competitions, where a good number of Coastal Dance Centre students have won and garnered awards and scholarships. Ms. Karen is also co-artistic director and ballet mistress for CDC’s performing company, Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre.