About DancEsteem Teachers
Takami CraddockArtistic Director, Contemporary Dance Teacher
Takami Craddock was born and raised in Japan. She received her BA in Modern Dance at Nihon University College of Arts. She studied Sanae Hara Modern dance Academy for 17 years until she graduated from college. Now she has an exchanging program with the school in Shizuoka, Japan since 2004.
After she moved to United States, she began performing and teaching in New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, and San Francisco. She was then the co-founder of San Francisco Butoh Festival 1994 – 1999. Through this festival she worked intensively with Butoh pioneers, Akira Kasai and Setsuko Yamada. She created the performance group “Toumei” (which means clear color) in 2000, now renamed MoBu Dance Group (“MoBu” means true dance in Japanese kanji characters). Mobu Dance is a hybrid contemporary dance style influenced by Japanese butoh and explores concepts of time, space and imagery. The group has collaborated with various artists in the Bay Area and performed many venues. Takami has been invited to lead workshops and perform in Tokyo, Thailand and France.
She also is passionate about teaching children. She worked with the Performing Arts Workshop for a decade and taught all over in the Bay Area public schools Kindergarten through 5th grade. In 1998 she started a children’s dance program called “DancEsteem” for children 3 to 18 years old.
Now her first students are adult and pursuing the carrier in dance and beyond.
Nicole ArchambaultBallet and Hip Hop Teacher
Nicole grew up in South San Jose and took dance classes at a small family studio for 17 years. The last 5 years of that was teaching and choreographing for their annual professional showcases. She has choreographed for middle school musicals in the Union School District. Her main focus is ballet and pointe, but she also enjoys hip-hop, contemporary, and jazz. Not only does she have a strong passion for the art of dance, but her heart lies with her students and their success. Nothing makes her happier than helping kids grow and learn what they are capable of and to witness first hand their progression of skill and confidence. She is obtaining her BA in dance at SFSU, and her goal is to become a middle and elementary school dance teacher after pursuing her professional career. She moved to South San Francisco summer 2017, and is more than excited to continue teaching at Mobu Dance Studio.
Angelina LabateHip Hop Teacher
Angelina Labate is a teaching artist, choreographer, dancer, performer, documentarian and the Founding Director of Snowflake Productions which “celebrates our dance communities and their stories through choreography, videography and photography.” Ms. Angelina teaches Hip Hop and House Dance throughout the Bay Area and beyond. She holds a A.A. and an African Heritage Dance Certificate from CCSF, and a B.A. in World Arts and Cultures/Dance with a Minor in Visual and Performing Arts Education from UCLA. She has been blessed on her journey, traveling to many different places to document, dance with, observe and learn from some of the most inspiring legends and innovators in the street and club dance scenes. Angelina is very passionate about continuing her own education (student for life) while working with youth in order to pass forward the knowledge, history and stories that have been shared with her; she enjoys providing a space where young dancers can refine their craft and fully express themselves in community. Ms. Angelina’s classroom is a balance of technique, freestyle, empowerment through movement, community, joy, self discovery, hard work, history, honoring of our unique gifts…and of course, enjoying the music and letting go!
Changing the landscape begins with one heartbeat, one shudder, one small step. Make your first move…
Alyssandra Katherine WuContemporary Dance Teacher
Alyssandra Katherine Wu received her bachelor’s degree in World Arts & Culture/Dance from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and master’s degree in dance from London Contemporary Dance School. Originally, Wu began her early training in Chinese Ethnic dance under the tutelage of award winning choreographer, Yao Yong, before transitioning to contemporary dance in her later years. Since then, Wu has danced for world renowned artists Victoria Marks, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Michel Kouakou, Ros Warby, Jorge Crecis, Bih-Tau Sung, and Darren Ellis. As an emerging choreographer, Wu has been listed on londondance.comas one of the most promising emerging choreographers of 2015. Her choreography has toured throughout the UK, being presented at platforms such as Resolution!, FRESH-Northeast, Foot Print, and EMERGE, hosted by UK’s Dance Company C-12. After relocating to San Francisco, Wu has presented work in both Los Angeles- and Bay Area-based locations. Her company is the official winner of the audience choice award for PUSHfest 2016 and one of the six companies/choreographers to be selected for ODC’s Pilot 68 program this past year. Wu has received grants from the Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund and Dancers’ Group’s CA$H program.
Lacey HeffernanBallet Teacher
Lacey Heffernan is a dance artist and educator that recently relocated to the Bay Area from Charleston, SC. In Charleston, Lacey performed with Annex Dance Company and Dance Lab’s Entertainment Company. In 2017, Lacey graduated Cum Laude from College of Charleston, where she earned a BA in Arts Management and Dance with a concentration in Performance and Choreography. Lacey is passionate about teaching and arts administration in addition to performing, she worked at Dance Moves of Charleston for five years where she was an instructor, the social media coordinator, and a choreographer for Dance Moves Youth Company. Since moving to the Bay Area, Lacey has had the opportunity to perform with PUSH DanceCompany, Visceral Roots Dance Company, and Call It Art. Lacey is currently a youth faculty member at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, ODC, HeART with LINES Community Program, Ace Dance Academy, and Mobu Dance Studio.
Iu-Hui ChuaBallet Teacher
Iu-Hui Chua choreographs, performs, directs, and devises physical theater, dance, and video performance. In addition to creating and presenting her own work nationally and internationally, she has danced with Anna Halprin, Ledoh, Enrico Labayen, Dandelion Dancetheater, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Ellen Bromberg, Sherwood Chen, Headmistress, Dohee Lee, California Theater Ballet, and Disneyland. She has been a resident artist at Djerassi, CounterPulse, Shawl-Anderson, and Penasco Theater. Her ballet background includes training with Jillana (ABT, NY City Ballet), Diane Deifenderfer (Frankfurt Ballet), Hae Shik Kim (Korea Nat. Ballet), Karen Williamson (ABT, Joffrey), Enrico Labayen, Laura Bernasconi, and Alonzo King (Lines).
Amy BakerContemporary Dance Teacher
Amy Baker began her dance journey right here at Mobu in 2002, as one of Takami’s students. She was a member of DancEsteem for 12 years, until she moved away to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara. Amy is excited to return to DancEsteem, this time as a teacher!