Meet Our Instructors
Yaya Zhang is an accomplished multidisciplinary artist with twenty years of experience in stage performance, choreography, musical theater and the creation of modern art. In 2014, she established the award-winning dance studio Yaya Dance Academy. Classes offered at the studio include ballet, musical theater, folk, modern, jazz, and tap. The studio offers children's dance programs and adult dance programs as well as a fitness class program that includes dance fitness, pilates, and yoga.
Originally from Malaysia, Radhanath Thialan (Rad) had been dancing all around the world since he was 10. He holds an MFA in Dance - Choreography at University of California, Irvine. Rad is currently the Education Director at Yaya Dance Academy and is also the Founder/Artistic Director for Rad-icalDance Company, which not only hold stage performances but also dancefilms. His works was awarded and premiered in Arizona, Malaysia, and Canada while some stage performances were premiered in California, Malaysia, and even Shanghai. During his school years, Rad graduated with honors and outstanding choreographer award at the University of California, Irvine, earning a BFA in Choreography, he also earned the highest honors award at Scottsdale Community College with three associates degrees in two years where he danced and toured with Instinct Dance Corps.
Yana Zhao graduated from Beijing Dance Academy and received her secondary dance school from Guangdong Dance & Drama College. She started dancing at age 7. She was professionally trained in Chinese classic dance, Chinese folk dance, contemporary Jazz, and musical theatre dance performing arts. She was an actress and dancer for about 15 years. After she received her BA from Beijing Dance Academy in 2005. She joined Beijing Guo Lun Arts Center and China National Theatre for Children. Meanwhile, she was a professional dance teacher/Artistic director at several well-known universities in Beijing, China. Since then she’s enjoyed teaching children, teenagers and adults at dance groups/schools.
Following a successful career as a principal artist, Tong Wang has continued to devote his talents to the field of dance as a choreographer, dance professor and master teacher. In recent years, Tong’s creative works have continued to become notable internationally. While his choreographic works have received high praise from the nationally ranked dance departments of University of Utah, Butler University and University of California-Irvine, his work has also been performed by professional companies such as Ballet West, China Military Dance Ensemble, and Ballet Arkansas. His work “Chase” has been performed in the United States and China numerous times and was broadcast by China Central Television Station. “Qiu Yie” received the Outstanding Choreography Award at YAGP.
Rochelle Mapes grew up in the Bay Area before moving to Southern California to pursue dance. With a lifelong desire to learn, she earned both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts in Dance from Cal State University, Long Beach. Her career has always been comprised of equal parts educator, choreographer, and dancer, and she finds fulfillment and balance by working in all three avenues. As a performer, she has danced with such musical artists as Gladys Knight and Wayne Brady and performed on the FX television show Nip/Tuck. She continues to dance with the bi-coastal (NY/CA) contemporary BARE Dance Company.
Nick’s background with arts established with an early interest in videography and performance culture. At UCI, Nick studied dance and education. Working with the Film-Arts-Drama-Alliance on campus, Nick has been brought on numerous times as a choreographer for the annual big film project, such as “The Greatest Show at UCI” and “Don’t Stop Us Now”, both available on YouTube. In 2018, Nick was the director and choreographer for a segment of UCI’s annual philanthropy Greek Songfest, in which his direction received a 2nd place award, as well an award for best choreography against 7 other productions.
At the young age of 12, Dana Zhong began her dance journey and entered the Beijing Art School Dance Department to receive professional dance training in various styles including Classical Ballet, Chinese Folk Dance, Chinese Classical Dance, and more. After graduating, her dance group traveled around the world and visited over a dozen countries.
Our Guest Instructors
Cao Duandan from Chinese ethnic & folk dance of Zhejiang Conservatory Of Music
Lecturer of Chinese Ethnic & Folk Dance from the Dance Department of Zhejiang Conservatory Of Music
Lecturer of Top Students from Li Shutong Faculty in Zhejiang Conservatory Of Music
Member of Chinese Dancers Association