Founder/Director: Cathy Izumi began her training at the University of Hawaii at Hilo with Cathy Roe. Inspired by the professional standards of her own mentors at Danceworks — Simeon Den and Marie Takazawa, she served as director of the Danceworks childrens division from 1984 to 1991. Cathy's joy of dance has also made valuable contributions to the dance programs at Punahou, Iolani, Kamehameha and La Pietra Schools. In addition to her teaching schedule, Cathy has perfomed and choreographed for Hawaii's finest professional companies and beauty pageants; is a former director of the University of Hawaii Rainbow Dancers; and served as leader for the Honolulu New Hope Christian Fellowship Dance Ministry's, Contemporary Core Team. In 1991, Cathy was able to bring together Hawaii's leading dance instructors and techniques to create the Honolulu Dance Studio (HDS).
Director of Boogie Down Productions: Jared Ake has been dancing, choreographing, and teaching in Hawaii for over 16 years. Starting off with Big City Productions under Pam Sandridge, along with the street group SLAM under Mara Bacon, his love for dance and choreographing was developed and nurtured. His choreography and teaching became known as he worked with the likes of Honolulu Dance Studio, 24/7, Hypersquad and Drill Team Hawaii. Currently working in the Performing Arts Program at Word of Life Christian Center and the Word of Life Academy, he continues to share his love and passion for dance.
Assistant Director: Kyle Izumi has been dancing for 24 years and teaching for 13 years. Son of the founder and director of the Honolulu Dance Studio, Kyle has been training in jazz, ballet, and different styles of hip hop since the age of 3. After graduating high school, he joined the non-profit organization "The Young Americans" and traveled the world teaching dance and music to people of all ages. He began assisting, directing and teaching for the Honolulu Dance Studio as well as acting as Senior hip hop director for Boogie Down Productions. He now dances for the world famous celebrity impersonation company from Vegas, "Legends in Concert" where he performs six nights a week. In 2015, Kyle was also chosen out of 300 other dancers to appear on stage with Janet Jackson in her Unbreakable tour during her concert in Hawaii.Recently, Kyle has taken an interest in acting for both television and major motion pictures. He has appeared as primary roles, stunts, and as an extra for multiple seasons of Hawaii Five-0. Also, Kyle has worked as an extra on Godzilla, Jurassic World, and the up and coming King Kong movie. Kyle recently received his Union card for performers and has hopes of appearing in future films, while furthering his dance career.
Director of Ballet Program: Elizabeth Miller studied ballet in Hawaii under the direction of Ballet Master Nolan Dingman. At the age of twelve, she was accepted as an apprentice with the Honolulu City Ballet. Elizabeth furthered her study of dance in Sarasota, Florida as well as Tokyo, Japan; London, England; and Scotland, where she performed in the annual Edinburgh Festival. Her performances have included roles in Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Nutcracker, Carousel, Lucia di Lamammor, and Aida. Under the guidance of Nolan Dingman, Elizabeth has been able to turn her knowledge of dance into the necessary teaching skills to train young dancers from beginning to advanced professional levels, including pas de deux. Elizabeth is currently enjoying her 17th year of teaching ballet at Honolulu Dance Studio. In 2008, Elizabeth was honored to be one of 2 ballet teachers, selected from across the country, to teach at the prestigious Fairbanks Summer Art Festival.
HDCo. Senior/ Adult Director:Heather Roche first discovered her love for dance at Honolulu Dance Studio in 1998. After graduating high school from Maryknoll, she attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, and graduated with a BA in Dance in 2010. During her experience at LMU she had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh, Jason Myhre, and Tina Landon for the 2008 VMA’s Performance with Rihanna as a dancer, and featured at the American College Dance Festival with Chad Hall. Following her graduation, Heather had the opportunity to work on Norwegian Cruise Lines as a dancer for the Production Cast. For 6 months she performed various shows over seas while traveling between the Caribbean Islands. Immediately after the completion of her NCL contract, Heather was selected to be casted in a Cirque du Soleil resident show in Macau, China called “Zaia” as a dancer. After the completion of her contract, she moved back home to Hawaii and is enjoying being a choreographer and instructor at HDS sharing her passion for dance.
HDCo. Teen Director: Tatiana Eiko has been an active member of HDS since 1999. Being trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, and Hip-hop. She has competed in various competitions such as Jump, Spotlight Dance cup, Dance Excellence, and Word in motion. Also she has participated in a numerous amount of dance conventions such as jump, Word in motion, Pulse, Dance excellence, and millennium summer program. In 2009 director Cathy Izumi gave her and opportunity to assist herself, John Izumi, and Kent shinomae to further her studies as a teacher. Through this opportunity it has opened many doors to allow her to teach a wide range of ages, from 9 years of age to adults. In 2010 she was given another opportunity to assist the HDCo. Junior division under Julius Flores and Janelle Kumabe. Thanks to these many oppertunities provided by the Honolulu Dance Studio in 2015 she was able to teach workshops internationally in Japan for Karasawa Dance Crew, along with Kyle Izumi and Derrick Izumi. She currently now is teaching Jazz 3 on Wednesday and is the director of the HDCo. Teen division.
Co.Director of HDCo. Keiki DIvision: Denise Kobayashi was a member of the original Honolulu Gurlz Dance Company in 1986. With her love of working with children, at the age of 15, Cathy entrusted her as an instructor for the Pre-Jazz class. From that point on, her passion for dance grew. In her 19 years of teaching dance, she has worked with ages ranging from 3 to adult. In the past she has been the director of the Teen, Junior and Keiki Companies. Her choreography has won top awards in local, national and international competitions such as Urban Jamm, Hip Hop Expo and Dance Excellence.