Staff

Heba Fayed, Artistic Director & Principal Instructor

Heba joined the Academy of Arts Ballet Institute in Cairo, Egypt, at age 8. She graduated when she was 17 with a final mark of “Excellent”. Upon graduation from the Academy, she danced with the Corps de Ballet in the Cairo Opera Ballet Company.

Heba became a principal dancer with the Cairo Opera Modern Dance Company, a contemporary dance company that performed in Europe, Asia and the United States. She has participated in many choreography workshops abroad by well-known dancers and choreographers including Maurice Bejart, Kwami Ross, Wim Wan Dekapus, Bud Blumenthal, Renato Greco, and Tony Rizzi.

Heba has taught in Egypt, Italy and California. She is a soloist with Bay Pointe Ballet.

Peter Hershey fotoPeter Hershey, Advanced Ballet Instructor

Born in Van Nuys, Calif., Peter Hershey began his formal ballet training at the Seiskaya Ballet Academy in St. James, New York at age 11.

He later attended both the School of American Ballet and The Juilliard School under the artistic directorship of Benjamin Harkarvy.

As a member of Ballet San Jose for twelve seasons, Peter was best known for dancing the role of Johnny in Dennis Nahat’s Blue Suede Shoes. Peter has performed locally with Margaret Wingrove Dance Company, Mark Foehringer Dance Project/SF, Menlowe Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, and Western Ballet, among others. Peter has taught various levels at Ballet San Jose School and other academies in the Bay Area.

Joyce Kushner, Lyrical-Jazz & Competition Instructor

Joyce Lien Kushner grew up dancing in Del Mar, Calif. She later moved to Los Angeles to earn her B.A. in Economics/Business at UCLA, while also pursuing a professional dance career.

Joyce soon joined Modern City Repertoire Dance Company, with whom she danced for 8 years. During this time, she also taught modern and contemporary at California Dance Center (Culver City). Now a resident of Pacifica, Joyce is currently a dancer, choreographer and teacher in the Bay Area. She has taught contemporary, modern and jazz at City College of San Francisco, OMpower Yoga & Cycling (SF), and Geary Dance Center (SF). Joyce is also the founder and artistic director of TILTshift Dance Theater & Choreographers’ Collective.

Joyce’s training includes contemporary, modern (Graham, Limon and Horton techniques), jazz, ballet and tap. Her work has been presented in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego.

Dara TicehurstDara Ticehurst, Tap and Competition Instructor

A Bay Area native, Dara been teaching dance for 10 years and competitive tap for 6 years. Her competitive solos and groups have won top awards at regional and national levels, including a Petite Miss Dance of America finalist in 2013.

Tap dance is Dara’s passion, but she’s also trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, pointe, and hip hop. She mostly trained at Schumacher’s School of Dance in South San Francisco under the direction of Dolly Schumacher James, Julie Wroten, Wendy James, and Maribel Lavin. She was invited to join Cirque Du Soleil at the age of 15. Dara continues to train with talented Bay Area choreographers such as Ayako Takahashi, Berle Davis, and Bob Macke.

A highlight of Dara’s professional career was performing as a backup dancer to Jackie Chan and Superstars in Concert at the Grand Garden Arena at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Dara is a graduate of San Jose State University.


webbLizzie Webb, Ballet Instructor

Lizzie began training in her hometown of Troy, Michigan, studying in the Cecchetti method syllabus. In 2011 she spent a year training at Miami City Ballet School. Then she took a traineeship with Charlotte Ballet and accepted an apprenticeship the following year. After attending a summer intensive at Ballet Austin, she was selected to join Ballet Austin ll. In 2015 she was offered a contract with the second company at Milwaukee Ballet.

 

 

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Matthew A. De Bellis, General Manager

Matthew manages the business side of the studio, from finance to marketing. After completing his undergraduate studies, he began his career as a crime reporter for a daily newspaper in Visalia, Calif. He finished his journalism career as a reporter for Red Herring, where he covered early-stage venture capital. Since then he been a freelance writer, a marketing consultant, a tourism consultant, a translator, and an English teacher.

Matthew grew up in San Mateo, Calif., and has lived in Visalia, Florence, San Francisco, Rome, Cairo, and Alexandria. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in Italian from San Francisco State University, and he’s an alumnus of the California State University, International Programs, Florence, Italy, campus. Matthew speaks fluent Italian and beginner Arabic.

He has a Masters in Business Administration from Santa Clara University, and a Masters Certificate in the Essentials of Hospitality Management from eCornell, the online education arm of Cornell University’s School of Hospitality Management.