KYRA “Ms. J” JOHNSON
Founder of New Beginnings Performing Arts Studio, was born and raised in Freeport, Long Island. Kyra graduated from Marymount College of Fordham University, receiving a BS in Mathematics, and a BA in Secondary Education. She continued her studies at Iona College of New Rochelle, where she received an MSed in Mathematics. After six years of teaching, Kyra could no longer fight the desire to pursue her dreams to become a professional actress and dancer. Since the age of 6, Kyra has danced with elite schools such as The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey, Joffrey, and Steps on Broadway. By the age of 10, she was declared a pre-professional and was asked to study with The Dance Theatre of Harlem Dance Company. Kyra found her love for acting at the age of 13 and began studying theatre under the direction of Mr. Raymond G. Wilson., founder of Utopian Dramatists. She found her place off Broadway, performing in plays such as The American Dream, Meeting in the Ladies Room, and The First Born. She has recently performed in the newly released film, Step Up 3D. Kyra toured across the country and also outside the states in places such as Barbados, Mexico, and Trinidad. Kyra is currently continuing her study of dance at Alvin Ailey and is a member of Harambee and Seewe Dance Companies.
(INSTRUCTOR, REHERSAL DIRECTOR)
Milerka is a street dancer and choreographer from Middletown, NY who discovered her passion for dance at the young age of 3. She began performing where most people would start their training and later joined both a high school, then a college dance team. School assemblies, talent shows, and basketball games were her venues of performance, but she knew she wanted to do so much more. Together with some of her Monroe College “Strictly Businezz Dance Team” members, “C.E.O Dance Crew” was born, and a professional career began. She was introduced to Kyra Johnson, owner and artistic director of New Beginnings Performing Arts Studio in 2009, and auditioned for her dance company in January of 2010. By early January 2012, Milerka had taken on the role as Rehearsal Director, and committed herself to training other individuals wishing to pursue dance professionally just as she had, and introducing them to the art of hip-hop culture. Her hard work and dedication towards enriching the lives of adolescents, as well as providing support to our young adults, are ones that should be recognized and commended.
Born in the beautiful Caribbean Island known as Antigua, Zavere started his artistic journey to become a dancer. His inspiration came from a group of local breakers, known as D.F.C (Da Flex Crew). At age14, Zavere had become a professional B-boy. Later, he was initiated as the fifth member of the D.F.C. There, he performed at different social events as well as for various local and regional artists. In August of 2006, Zavere left the company to come to New York to chase his dreams of becoming a Computer Engineer and continue his studies of becoming a professional dancer. He was introduced to the New Beginnings Performing Arts Studio in March of 2010, and the company was blown away by his breaking abilities. Seeing his dedication, abilities, and hunger to learn more, he was taken under the wings of a founder, Kyra Johnson and began his training. Zavere has broken away from being known as a “break-dancer” and is now a well-versed African, Hip hop, Modern, and Afro-Caribbean dancer. In January of 2011, Zavere became a member of the New Beginnings Dance Company and began instructing breaking dance classes in 2012. By the end of that year, almost every student in New Beginnings wanted to take his class. His passion, willingness, and soft spoken spirit shined throughout our programs, and his dedication to the studio cannot go without notice.
(INSTRUCTOR, CERTIFIED FITNESS SPECIALIST)
Nicole Kia Harris is a New York native but was raised in College Park & East Point, Ga. In East Point, she attended Tri-Cities High School and was a theater/musical theater major in the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program. It was at TCHS that Nicole developed her love for the performing arts and performed in such shows as Our Town, Pippin, and Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha. In addition, she performed with the Freddie Hendrick’s Youth Ensemble of Atlanta (YEA) in Soweto, Soweto, A Township is Calling. Upon graduating from TCHS, Nicole attended the historically black college/university, Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga. While attending CAU, Nicole performed with the CAU Players in an off broadway production of Chicago. Now a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University with a B.A. in History, she is now in her final year at Mercy College where she will be receiving her M.S.Ed in Social Studies & Special Education. Since moving back to New York in 2010, Nicole developed the passion for health & fitness. From her training with Hendrick Fernandez, New Era Sports Performance, she has dedicated her much of her time helping others reach their weight loss & fitness goals. She has helped serve her community as the Program Counselor for YWCA of Yonkers P.E.A.R.L. Program, the Ambassador of Health for Hope, Healing, & Growth, and is the fitness instructor at Community Baptist Church in Yonkers, NY. In addition, Nicole is the Fitness Specialist and instructor at New Beginnings Performing Arts Studio. As a member of the NBPAS family, Nicole has experienced her own new beginnings by becoming the children’s theater instructor and dance company member.
Hello, my name is Tashina Bradshaw. I graduated from Mercy College with a BS in Criminal Justice in May of 2016. I have been dancing for about 6 years now. I am a self-taught dancer with about 2 years of lessons and dance workshops. I attended New Rochelle High School during my Junior year. I joined the Breakdancing Club and started performing at the school events. When I started attending at Mercy College, I decided to create a Dance Club, since the school didn’t have a dance program. I create the club in 2013 to not only have fun but, to make a difference for the school and the students. The club is available to everyone who is willing to dance, to learn, have fun, express oneself and meet new people. Anybody can join the club with or without experience with dance. The Dance Club had performed at the school talent shows, fashion shows, and even basketball games. We also performed at The Make A Wish Spirit Showcase in April of 2016 and even hosted our own show in April as well. Even though I graduated, the school allowed me to be the Coach for the club. I started something that has made a huge impact on the school. Even though I don’t have a degree in dance, it is one of my passion that I will never give up.
My dance story started later in life as I never took classes until I was older (unless you want to count ballet as a 3-year-old).? Several years ago, I finally decided to act on a dream of learning tap which also included learning jazz. This piqued my interest to learn other forms of dance such as African, Hip-hop, modern, as well as ballet. Dance is something that I never thought would be possible for me to learn, but it has helped me learn how to express myself more through dance. Dancing has been a way for me to relax from a stressful day, exercise my mind, body & soul, and escape from the rigors of a very hectic schedule. Not only has it helped me build up my confidence in various areas of my life, it also continuously challenges me to improve and learn new things. I am proof that you are never too old to learn something new. With God all things are possible.
Essence Brown was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York. She attended Nellie A. Thornton Elementary school for the performing arts where she took ballet, jazz, and African dance classes and developed a passion for dance. She began training outside of her school at age eight at Ballet Atlantic Academy. There she further developed essential skills and performed in the city and multiple local events. At Ballet Atlantic Academy Essence also got her first hands-on experience with teaching students.She danced on her high school dance team as well as her college dance teams. She performed at multiple basketball games, football games, and campus performances. In 2014 Essence began teaching hip hop classes with Young Champions of America where she works with children and choreographs routines for hip hop youth competitions. She began dancing with New Beginnings Dance Company in 2016.
Tabbitha Davis was born in Staten Island and raised in New Rochelle, New York. Growing up she grew accustomed the various genres and eclectic music choices her family would play, so music was never absent in her life. When she entered middle school, Tabbitha had the opportunity to audition for the P.A.V.E. (Performing Arts and Visual Education) program. Without a prepared routine, she improvised a four-minute audition and was accepted into the dance program. For the next four years, Tabbitha developed her skills as a dancer and performer. In high school she spent most of her free time at the Boys and Girls Club in New Rochelle, being a part of a program created by teenagers, R.T.U. (Remington Teen University). Being a part of R.T.U, she learned how to organize fundraisers, car washes, and activities. After graduating, she volunteered at the same boys and girls club, to give young kids the same experience she received. Tabbitha is currently a dance major and also aspires to get degrees in cultural anthropology, law, and history. One day she also wants to own a dance studio to raise money to find cures for cancer. New Beginnings Dance Company has shown Tabbitha how much she appreciates dancing and has allowed her to grow as a person and a dancer.
EvaE Peart is a passionate dancer, singer, high school math teacher, and coach who enjoys working with the youth. She began singing and dancing as a toddler at the Blue Hills Church of God (now known as Rehoboth Church of God) in Connecticut. In 2006, EvaE won the Church of God’s International Teen Talent competition representing Southern New England with a self-choreographed solo dance. This achievement launched her work as a dancer and choreographer which would set the foundation of her organization, NIA Arts. Nia is a Swahili term and the fifth of seven Kwanzaa principles which means purpose. NIA Arts aim to educate and entertain people of all ages and backgrounds with the purpose of creating a community which appreciates the many facets of art and its impact on society.
Prior to founding NIA Arts, EvaE graduated cum laude in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. As a student at the University of Saint Joseph (SJC), she directed the Voices of Praise Gospel Choir, choreographed and performed with the SJC Dance Ensemble, and broke the school soccer record for most career goals. During that time she also choreographed for and performed with multiple companies and organizations including Sankofa Kuumba Cultural Arts Consortium and Great Day Liturgical Dance Company. Also, she became the Regional Dance Coordinator for the Southern New England Church of God. At the end of 2016, EvaE will complete her Master’s in Educational Leadership at Central Connecticut State University. Currently, EvaE is a full-time math teacher and department coordinator, coach, and dance instructor at Bloomfield High School in Bloomfield, CT. Although she “wears many hats” in the church and community, it is a great honor for her to continue studying dance at the New Beginnings Performing Arts Studio in New Rochelle, NY.
Kenneth Herrera graduated from Lawrence university with a four-year full tuition leadership scholarship. Kenneth majored in psychology and minored in Spanish. Kenneth was president of the massive movement dance team at his college and continues to dance. Kenneth has danced with professional groups and companies even before college: Vintage Quality, The New breed, The monarchy company, Kendoll, Heartbreak Crew, blast brew which is a break dancing crew in Honduras, hip hop theory dance company, Dance Central(the video game), Bollyarts, New Beginnings, and Alvin Ailey. Kenneth Herrera spends his time training at Alvin Ailey, BDC and Peridance center and teaching hip hop, salsa, and Bollywood.