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Holiday drive for the homeless, collected socks, hats and gloves, spreading Kwanza love!

About Us

Staff & Faculty

It takes a special kind of teacher to be a "mind builder."


Shirley C. Taylor Executive Director
Natasha Richards Assistant Executive Director for Finance and Operations
Juliana Cope Assistant Executive Director for Development and External Affairs


Melvada Hughes Dance Department Director
Esther Grant-Walker Dance Department Assistant Director
Waldo Chavez Music Department Director
Chris Palmer Music Department Assistant Director
Terrance Friday Music Department Assistant
Willa Bost PYT Director
Joshua Scarlett PYT Assistant
Hilda Willis PYT Artistic Director in Residence
Thomas Bennett Martial Arts Program Coordinator & Instructor
Sala Chrispin Folk Culture Program Assistant Director
Desrine Charlton Pre-K Teacher and Education Director
Brittany Scott Pre-K Program Assistant Teacher
Gilanyi Batista Pre-K Program Family Outreach Coordinator and Administrative Assistant


Karen Seymour Coordinator of Enrollment and Family Outreach
Melanie Cabreja Administrative Assistant
Aliza Rodriguez Bursar/Office Manager
Lynsey Tuthill Marketing and Communications Manager
Kathryn Frances Executive Assistant
Leny Cabrera Facilities Manager
Elvin Hernandez Custodian


Mind-Builders’ instructors are not only expert musicians, dancers, or actors, they are also dedicated coaches who share their passion and skill with our students, encouraging them to hone their own creativity. We believe it takes a special kind of teacher to be a “Mind-Builder”.

Faculty List

Dance Instructors

Music Instructors

Dance Department Title Credentials
Ronald Belger Ballet, Modern and Jazz Instructor
Darleen Carr Fit4Life Stretch Instructor and Costume Supervisor
Brian Davis Tap Instructor B.F.A. Modern Dance, University of the Arts
Boubacar Diabate African Dance Drummer
Jocelyn Gutierrez Artist in Residence; Hip Hop Instructor Bronx Leadership Academy Dance Performer and Instructor
Keny Guzman Fit4Life Zumba Instructor Crunch Norwood Zumba Instructor
Monica Johnson Ballet, Choreography
Kimberly Jones Tap, Modern, and Adult Praise Instructor BFA in Dance, Marygrove College; MFA in Dance, Ohio State University
Kanzada Juste Creative Movement, African and Hip Hop Fundamentals Instructor B.A. SUNY Potsdam
Aicha Konate African Dance
Noelani Love African and Modern Instructor B. S. Mercy College. Program director at Boy's & Girls club, Dance Instructor at Mosholu Montefiore Community Center
Natasha Richards Fit4Life Soca Instructor
Chandi Rodriguez Fit4Life Yoga Meditation Instructor
Gabriel Roxbury African Dance Drummer
Maurice Whyte Fit4Life Zumba Instructor

Music Department Title Credentials
Andy Bassford Guitar Instructor BA Trinity College; Grammy Winning Recording Artist; Performer; Instructor
Ryan Burvick Production and Studio Director in Residence
Charles Carrington Piano Instructor B.A. Ithaca College; Professional Musician and Recording Artist
Charles Duke Music Department Artistic Director in Residence
Agustin Grasso Guitar Instructor Escuela de Musica Contemporanea in Buenos Aires , Argentina
Lon Ivey Drum Instructor Carnegie Hall Institute; Berklee School of Music. Professional Musician and Recording Artist
Andrew Lamb Woodwind Instructor SUNY Old Westbury; Professional Musician and Recording Artist
Janet Lucy Suzuki Violin Instructor
Christopher Palmer Music Department Assistant Director, Brass Teacher, Stage Band Conductor B.A. Berklee College of Music; Composer, Instructor
Jairo Quinonez Violin Instructor M.A. Lehman College; B.A. Queens College; Teacher with Multicultural Music Group; Professional Musician
Nina Riley Voice Instructor B. A. Manhattan School of Music M.A. Manhattan School of Music in Vocal Performance; Professional Singer
Robin Small Piano and Voice Instructor B.M. Berklee School of Music; Recording Artist; Performer; Vocal and Piano Instructor
Eric Zolan Guitar Instructor B.M. William Paterson Univserity
Janet Lucy Suzuki Violin Instructor

PYT Theater Department Title Credentials
Willa Bost Director
Hilda Willis PYT Artistic Director In Residence
Joshua Scarlett Assistant

Martial Arts Program Title Credentials
Thomas Bennet Martial Arts Coordinator and Instructor Martial Arts Master, 8th degree black-belt "Goju Ryu"
Evan Berry Martial Arts Assistant Instructor

Dr. Beverly J. Robinson Community Folk Culture Program Title Credentials
Dr. Jametta Davis Folk Culture Program Director

Arts Passage XPress Title

Ryan Burvick Digital Music Production Instructor

Darnell Hannon Digital Music Production Instructor

Brittany Murray Youth and Family Support Specialist

Michael Tudor Anime/Visual Arts Instructor

Pre-K Program Title Credentials
Desrine Charlton Teacher/Education Director B.A. SUNY Purchase; M.A. Early Childhood Education Grand Canyon University
Brittany Scott Pre-K Assistant Teacher A.A. Bronx Community College