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Register now for Fall Programs! Classes start October 5. Visit us at the Open House Street Festival September 18!

Register now for Fall Programs! Classes start October 5. Visit us at the Open House Street Festival September 18!

About Us

Staff & Faculty

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


Madaha Kinsey-Lamb Founder/President
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
Waldo Chavez Music Department Director
Thomas Bennett Martial Arts Program Teacher/Director
Lavonda Elam Theater Arts Instructor
Haydil Henriquez Dr. Beverly J. Robinson Community Folk Culture Director
Wahanga Gakere Assistant Director Folk Culture Program
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


Opal McCalla Executive Administrative Assistant and Community Relations Manager
Karen Seymour Coordinator of Enrollment and Family Outreach
Aliza Rodriguez Bursar
Anyi Rodriguez Receptionist & Administrative Assistant
Joey Vega 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
Omari Contaste Ballet, Modern, and Young Dancers Instructor B.A. Goucher College
Jocelyn Gutierrez Hip Hop Instructor Bronx Leadership Academy Dance Performer and Instructor
Keny Guzman Zumba Instructor Crunch Norwood Zumba Instructor
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
Noelani Love African and Modern Instructor B. S. Mercy College. Program director at Boy's & Girls club, Dance Instructor at Mosholu Montefiore Community Center
Qwadasia Lovett African, Modern, Ballet and Jazz Basics Instructor Millenium Dance Company

Music Department Title Credentials
Timothy Barrus Suzuki Violin Instructor B.A. Baylor Univ.; M.A. Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music; Performer and Instructor
Andy Bassford Guitar Instructor BA Trinity College; Grammy Winning Recording Artist; Performer; Instructor
Charles Carrington Piano Instructor B.A. Ithaca College; Professional Musician and Recording Artist
Hsinwei Chiang Piano/Keyboard Instructor BA Music/Classical Taipei National University of Art; BA Music/Jazz Queens College
Agustin Grasso Guitar Instructor Escuela de Musica Contemporanea in Buenos Aires , Argentina
Stella Siwon Hwang Piano Instructor B.A. Berklee College of Music; Composer, Instructor
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
Christopher Palmer Brass Teacher, Jazz Ensemble 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
Luca Santaniello Drum Instructor B.M. L. Perosi Conservatory, Italy; Artist Diploma Jazz, The Julliard School; Professional Musician, Instructor at Julliard School
Amir Small Piano Instructor B.M Berklee College of Music; Recording Artist, Professional Musician
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

PYT Theater Department Title Credentials
Lavonda Elam Theater Arts Instructor B.A. Goodman School of Drama; Professional Theater Artist and Educator

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

Dr. Beverly J. Robinson Community Folk Culture Program Title Credentials
Haydil Henriquez Folk Culture Program Director
Wahanga Gakere Folk Culture Program Assistant Director

Arts Passage XPress Title

Ryan Burvick

Andrea Marano Youth and Family Support Specialist

Ivan Velez 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