Our Fam.

UCMD has been called home by so many- students and parents alike. We think this culture was naturally developed due to our incredible staff. Apart from being a family business, where abuela is heming costumes and mom is bringing all “cafecito” you really feel a part of something bigger. There is a warmth and happiness that radiated from UCMD that we strive to preserve forever!

 
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Maday Martinez- CEO/ DIRECTOR

A dancer, designer, and entrepreneur Maday holds an architectural design degree from Parsons The New School for Design and a double minor in Psychology and Dance. She has worked for prominent companies in the world of production, experiential, and event design prior to following her dreams of opening up a culture center in Union City where she grew up. In addition to her dance and design studies Maday is a graduate of the 10,000 Small Businesses Goldman Sachs program becoming a certified business owner, a NJ SEEDS, and CubaOne. She is a community leader and mentor with a strong passion for education, dance, art, theatre, and music. Maday strives to give students the arts education they deserve, and is a huge advocate for the preservation of Culture in minority communities. Art and Dance played a huge role in shaping who she is today and she wants to pass that along to everyone at UCMD!


Ginel Salvador- Music: Piano & Voice

Is a bilingual songwriter, occasionally a singer, and pianist. She began her journey at age 10 solely in classical piano music but immersed herself in pop and jazz after graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she double majored in Music Business and Contemporary Writing and Production. Upon graduation, Ginel initiated her music career by managing a couple of new artists in New York City. As a co-producer and songwriter for these talents, Ginel received attention of Columbia Records. Although Ginel enjoys developing other artists she is now writing and co-producing her original works in English and Spanish. Ginel also enjoys, writes, and performs spoken word poetry.

To listen to some of her original work, visit soundcloud.com/GinelWroteThat

Superpower: An invisibility cloak, that also enables me to fly!
Motto: Forget about having a plan B. That just makes you not work hard enough on your plan A, your actual dream.

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HUMBERTO SANCHEZ-MUSIC TEACHER/BAND DIRECTOR

With over 25 years of experience Humberto is a music expert and holds a musical education degree and composition. He has traveled the world performing, composing, and collaborating with renowned hispanic musicians and artists. He teaches piano, guitar, bass, voice, and percussion, also leading the UCMD Ensemble/ Band. Humberto exposes and guides students to feel and interpret music with its appropriate historical background. His approach to group music has had incredible results over his years with UCMD getting our students to reach new levels of theory, while adding various music genres to their repertoire.


Henry Flores- Music: Guitar/Voice/Piano

Henry started his music journey on piano at the age of 4. He completed the full National Guild Piano exams and graduated with high marks in 2012 eventually moving on to learn guitar and Marimba. He has extensive experience teaching piano, guitar, voice and music theory. He as played accompaniment in recitals, shows, for chorus on both Piano and Guitar.
Henry gained group music experience as a member of Xavier’s competitive jazz band as well as being personal bands and being involved in other musical projects. He can do it all from classical music to contemporary, jazz, Spanish style and others.

At UCMD Henry has focused on younger musicians guiding them not only in the one on one sessions but has been a wiz at training young students to start music improvisation and composition, making learning fun!

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Katrina Pardo- DancE:Various styles

Katrina Pardo began her studies in 1999 and is a graduate of Oneida’s Dance Studio. While there she studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Flamenco, Lyrical, Contemporary, Salsa, Tango, Musical Theater, Hip-Hop, & Afro Cuban Folklore. She has competed in various Regional & National competitions and has danced in numerous parades & political functions throughout the Tri-state Area. She has won many awards for her solo and group performances throughout her dance career. She has been teaching dance since 2005 and began teaching at UCMD in 2010.

The arts have been a positive influence in her life as they opened her eyes to a talent she never knew she had. She was very shy growing up. It only took one Flamenco class and she was hooked! It has also taught her discipline which has helped her in everyday life.

Superpower: If she could have one superpower it would be the ability to teleport so with a snap of her fingers she could be on any stage anywhere in the world.

Her motto is: “Fall seven times, Stand up Eight.” She reminds herself every day that nothing in this world is easy and there will be moments where she will face defeat but, that cannot stop her from following her dreams because like Jay-Z says “You gotta get that, dirt off your shoulders!”


ISABELLA Aguirre- DANCE: Hip-HoP

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Yara Duarte- Dance: Ballet

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Yara Duarte initiated her dance studies with Carla Perotti and eventually received her Royal Academy of Dancing Method Degree in 1981.
Demonstrating aptitude and passion for teaching from the very beginning, she began giving dance lessons right after finishing her studies. In 1982, Duarte became the owner and director of Ballet Carla Perotti, the dance studio where she began her ballet training. Duarte ran the school for 20 years, continuing Perotti’s unique work while turning it into one of city’s most prestigious dance academies.
During this period, she was a registered RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing) method teacher. While producing and choreographing yearly presentations for her students, she directed two professional renditions of Adolphe Adam’s masterwork Giselle. Duarte also directed and coached her own school team, competing and winning various regional and national dance festivals.
Along with ballet classes, she has coached the competition teams, cleaned choreography, and gave private lessons for 15 years.


Michelle Alfonso- Art & design

Michelle Alfonso is a multidisciplinary artist from New York. She works in various mediums including traditional acrylic, oil, and watercolor painting, collage, animation, graphic design, photography and illustration. She is the founder and designer of Instagrandmaw Greeting Cards, a hip-hop and pop culture themed stationery store. She’s worked with various clients including Urban Outfitters, MTV, and Buzzfeed. Michelle graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in illustration from Pratt Institute.

“I believe that the best artists are not only great at one thing--they’re great at MANY things. In this class we will discover all of the many things that are possible in art. This includes (but is not limited to) drawing, painting, book making, pattern making, murals, graphic design, animation, film and video. Through various workshops we will explore storytelling, identity, and confident art making skills. Students will engage in various activities that encourage creativity and a deeper understanding of the arts in every medium. I’m so excited to see what we will create together!”

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Ely Bakouche- Yoga

Ely Bakouche, aka the Linguistic Yogi, was born in France but has spent most of her adult life in foreign countries. She is a yoga teacher and writer, who besides practicing & teaching yoga, likes to investigate & discuss how language shapes our thoughts - and how we can actually change them. Quiet in nature, she invites softness to her classes, where she creates intentions through carefully picked words. You can find her at elybakouche.com and @thelinguisticyogi on Instagram.


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