About the Director:
Hillary Brown started Manoa Dance Studio to learn how to dance again.
Most thought she was simply teaching kids the basics, when she was learning again herself. In 2008, she suffered a stroke that left her unable to speak and her right side paralyzed. After a risky brain surgery, she nurtured her recovery over two years with Pilates which enabled her to return to her first passion, dancing.
Hillary started dance at age 3 as part of an elite dance team “Starz” in Mesa, Arizona. She continued to train in Salt Lake City, Utah where her studies included Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Pointe, Lyrical, Broadway and Hip Hop. A young actress as well, she played roles in movies with Disney, DreamWorks, and Lucadia Films, and had reoccurring roles on ‘Touched by an Angel’.
In 2001, Hillary made her journey to Hawaii, where she taught for numerous studios, was director of a local talent agency and choreographed several pageant contestants. Hillary has judged several pageants, including the Miss Hawaii Pageant and Miss Teen Filipina and World Pageants.
Now she shares her passion for Pilates with her dance students and clients in hopes that the method will help others the way it helped her. She focuses on developing a passion for health, nutrition, and a positive attitude.
Brooke Haskins- Born and raised in the Canadian prairies, Brooke began dancing at the age of 5. She has trained extensively in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, acro dance and musical theater. Her syllabus work includes examinations with the Royal Academy of Dance (ballet), Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (tap and jazz), and the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (tap). As a competitive dancer, Brooke attended several competitions throughout Western Canada where her constant strive for perfection earned her numerous awards and scholarships. She has trained under master teachers Brian Foley, Faye Foley, Carla Earle, Derick K Grant, as well as performed with the Alberta Ballet’s professional company in “The Nutcracker”.
Mikum Leah Webster– Recently relocated to Oahu so her husband could complete his Masters at UH Manoa. Her studies as a dancer began at age 2 and have continued throughout her life. She graduated with a Diploma in Contemporary Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and continued her dance studies at Florida State University. During her studies she has had the opportunity to dance under the direction of ballet legends Suzanne Farrell and Melissa Hayden. She performed for two years with the Corazon Dancers and then with Waterside Theatre. Unfortunately her career was cut short due to injuries which redirected her passion to teaching. This led Mikum to London where she completed her Masters in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and inspired her to complete her Pilates teacher certifications
Mikum teaches dancers of all ages in ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary dance. She specializes in early childhood development and injury prevention. In her free time she works as a research consultant for University dance departments and you can often see her work presented at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science Annual Conferences.
Brent Koki became a dance instructor a year into his dance career. It is safe to say that this has given him a unique perspective and appreciation for dance. Years later, Brent reclaimed his passion for dance after moving out to Los Angeles, where he was fortunate enough to study under several notable choreographers including Jaffar Smith, Tessandra Chavez, Craig Hollamon, Phi Nyguen, ….. He was also blessed with unique opportunities such as joining the Unity L.A. dance company, touring with Disney’s Cheetah Girls and making an appearance in Nike’s “Let’s Play” campaign. Brent has since moved back to Hawaii in order to share his expirences with the future generation of dancers. Currently in Hawaii he has taught at 24-7, Hypersquad, Honolulu Dance Studio, X-Factor, Dance Artistry, and also is in a battle crew called Hype Beasts. He hopes to bring a new dynamic that will inspire and encourage the dance community in Hawaii in a positive way.
Katie MacLean is originally from Washington state, but has recently moved to Honolulu in order to pursue her Master’s at UH Manoa. She earned a degree from Whitworth University in Elementary Education with a Minor in Dance. Having taught dance for 10 years, Katie hasn’t forgotten her early training in Ballet and Tap. She has always been very involved with her local Children’s Dance Theatre too. Growing up, she participated in annual performances, and after graduating she fulfilled roles as stage manager, assistant director, and choreographer for numerous shows. Katie is very excited to be part of the Manoa Dance Studio, and to be able to share her love and passion for dance!