Led by Founder-Artistic Director Liza Mata, a line-up of regular faculty members and distinguished guest master teachers and choreographers, each one of whom has a different dance background, bring a wide range of skills and technical and artistic challenges for Coastal Dance Centre students.


Liza Mata

CDC Founder-Artistic Director
CYBT Artistic – Executive Director 

RAD Ballet and Open Ballet Classes

Ms. Liza received her formal dance training in the Philippines and was director of two dance schools for 27 years prior to migrating to the United States with her family in 2002. She is a Certified Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance as well as a Practical teaching Supervisor. She attends annual teacher training courses and other professional development courses, dance festivals and competitions in the United States. She has also been to Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines for teacher seminars, competitions ad festivals. Ms. Liza prepares and enters students to the annual RAD ballet examinations and coaches a select number of students who compete in the Youth America Grand Prix, World Ballet Competition and American Ballet Competition as well as  locally-held competitions, where a good number of her students have won and garnered awards and scholarships. She was also recognized as the Outstanding Choreographer at the Youth America Grand Prix, Greenville Regional Competition in 2006. Under her stewardship, Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre, won the Impeccable Customer Experience (ICE) Award citing Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre (Coastal Dance Centre’s performing company) as the Best Non-Profit organization presented by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in 2008.

Ms. Liza believes in the value of good quality education in all the arts. In her years of dance teaching experience she is producing students who are making careers as dance professionals and enthusiastic dance supporters. Teaching dance and fostering the love of dance to others continues to be the highlight of her teaching career.


Karen Mata

CDC Co-Artistic Director
CYBT Co-Artistic Director and Ballet Mistress 

RAD Ballet and Open Ballet Classes

Ms. Karen was born in the Philippines and migrated to the United States with her family in 2002. Her mother, Liza, who owned and was director of two dance schools in the Philippines, was her primary ballet teacher. Prior to her move to the United States, she has had the opportunity to perform with the Philippine Ballet Theatre productions of “Swan Lake,” “Don Quixote”, and “Serenade” and “Who Cares” with guest artist / restager, Robert Barnett.

She has done all the Royal Academy of Dance Grades and Vocational examinations garnering “Distinction” and “Honours” marks as well as a Distinction mark for her Australian Conservatoire of Ballet Syllabus Examination. She has competed in the New York City Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix International Student Ballet and Contemporary Competitions from 2003 – 2005. She attended summer intensives at the Washington Ballet School in Washington D.C., at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at the Carolina Ballet Theatre in Greenville, SC, and at the Art of Classical Ballet in Pompano Beach, Florida

In 2005, Ms. Karen began her year-round training with Magaly Suarez and Ibis Montoto at The Art of Classical Ballet and has performed with the Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami’s productions of “Paquita,” “Majissimo,” “Giselle,” “Swan Lake,” ”La Vivandiere”, “La Bayadere,” ”The Nutcracker,” “Le Corsaire,” and “Carmen.” She has also performed at the International Ballet Festival of Miami in 2007 and 2008 and the Gala de las Estrellas de la Danza Mundial in the Dominican Republic in 2009.

Since joining the Coastal Dance Centre teaching staff, Ms. Karen participates in annual teacher training courses and other professional development courses, dance festivals and competitions in the United States. In tandem with her mother, she coaches and enters students to the annual RAD ballet examinations and to ballet competitions such as the Youth America Grand Prix, World Ballet Competition and local competitions, where a good number of Coastal Dance Centre students have won and garnered awards and scholarships. Ms. Karen is also co-artistic director and ballet mistress for CDC’s performing company, Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre.

Kiely Clark

RAD Ballet and Open Ballet classes

Ms. Kiely  first started her ballet training with Ms. Liza Mata at the age of six and has since been with Coastal Dance Centre and CoastaL Youth Ballet Theater.  She has done her Royal Academy of Dance Grades and Vocational examinations garnering high “Distinction” marks and has also competed as a soloist and ensemble competitor in the Youth America Grand Prix competitions. With Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre, she has starred in ensemble, solo and lead roles through-out the years: from being Clara to, Dew Drop and eventually, the Sugar Plum Fairy roles in “The Nutcracker;” as a corp de ballet dancer, as a fairy and as Aurora in Sleeping Beauty;” as an ensemble dancer, as a stepsister, and the lead role in “Cinderella;” as well as the role of “Swanhilda” in Coppelia. Ms. Kiely was eventually asked by Ms. Liza to join Coastal Dance Centre’s teaching staff and she now is passing on her knowledge and experiences she has gained from her training and performing opportunities to the next generations of aspiring dancers.

Danielle Espana

Pre-School Dance, Jazz, Musical Theater, Tap, Acrobatic Dance

Ms. Danielle is an  aerial artist, choreographer and was a professional dancer for over 25 years. At an early age, Danielle was always inspired by the art of dance and movement and so began to study performing arts at schools such as Steven Peck, Mackinnon Dance Academy, and EDGE Performing Arts Center. Her training in ballet, tap, modern, and classic jazz led to performing in local dance companies and teaching dance to children as well as adults from beginning to advanced levels, including choreography for junior competing dance companies like Agoura Hills Dance and Performing Arts center junior jazz company and guest judging for Dance competitions like Thunderstruck. Assistant teaching at EDGE performing arts center in Los Angeles and attending auditions led to agent representation and a fulfilling career working as a Dancer on stage for shows like Mystique De La Mer at Seaworld San Diego, Boom Operators at Universal Studios Hollywood, Best of Burlesque in Reno NV, in video, and on television with artists like Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder, Nikki Cox, and Samantha Brown in places around the world Such as Tokyo, Japan and Bella Center, Denmark and world touring Circus Productions like Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey and Circus Vargas. In addition to her dance and choreography skills, Danielle has trained in Circus Arts as an aerialist for the 15 years specializing in chiffon/silk, Aerial hoop/Lyra, and freestyle rope. Danielle enjoys teaching dance and choreographing for cirque style shows/ theater productions and designing circus acts.

Amy Holly

Pre-School Dance, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, Acrobatic Dance

Ms. Amy has a BA Dance Performance degree, Cum Laude, from Rhode Island College. She performed with the Rhode Island College Dance Company all four years and was the co-director of the company during her senior year. She has been a company dancer with Providence Ballet Theater from 2010 – 2012 and with Mystic Moves Dance Theater from 2012 -2013. She has taught at the Putnam Dance Center in Putnam, Connecticut, where she taught and choreographed advanced tap on a competitive level. She taught tap, ballet, jazz, modern and hip hop on a competitive and recreational levels at Seaside Dance and Gymnastics Centre in Westerly, Rhode Island, from 2001 – 20013 as well as at the Jennifer Prete School of dance in Charlestown, Rhode Island.

Michele Selvanto-Kowalski

Pre-School Dance, Tap, Acrobatic Dance

Ms. Michele was herself, a dance school owner, director and instructor in Union and Port Reading, New Jersey for thirty two years. She was an instructor for children, teen and adults in ballet, tap, jazz, acro-gymnastics, pointe, lyrical, movement for tots and aerobic fitness. She eventually sold her dance studio business in June 2014 and relocated to the Myrtle Beach area.

Ms. Michele was also a Physical Education Instructor at the Saint Mary Elementary School, South Amboy, New Jersey from 2000 – 2007 and later at the Sacred Heart Elementary School, South Amboy, New Jersey from 2007 – 2014.

Ms. Michele is also a member of the Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of America, the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists and the Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey, Professional Dance Teachers Association. Ms. Michele was also director and choreographer of the New York Giants Half-Time Show sponsored by the American Lung Association of New Jersey; Tap Captain for Macy’s Tap-O-Mania; U.S. Dance Director for the ‘94 Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, Russia; Talent Judge; Board Director for the Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey.


2016-2017 Guest Master Teachers / Choreographer:

   Viktor Plotnikov

Born in Ukraine, Plotnikov received his training at the Kiev’s National Ballet Academy and the St. Petersburg’s Vaganova Ballet Academy. From 1987 to 1990, he was a soloist with Donetsk Ballet Company in the Ukraine. Plotnikov held principal dancer positions at Ballet Mississippi and Tulsa Ballet Theatre between 1990 and 1993, before joining Boston Ballet as a principal dancer in 1993, where he performed until 2006. He has danced major roles in extensive classical and contemporary ballets by many of the major choreographers, and has toured extensively in Russia and the US.
In 1998, Mr. Plotnikov’s extensive performance career lead to choreographic inspiration. He has since created original, commissioned works for companies including Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre, Richmond Ballet, New Jersey Ballet, First State Ballet Theatre, Festival Ballet Providence.From 2002 to 2005, he received rave reviews for his choreography and as co-director and co-producer of the choreographer’s showcase Raw Dance in collaboration with Boston Ballet and Boston Center for the Arts.

Mr. Plotnikov has created a myriad of original works for numerous organizations and individuals, often to great acclaim. These include solos and duets performed at International Gala Performances and as part of international ballet competitions, with musical taste ranging from Brahms to Pink Floyd.
Awards include “Best Choreography” at Helsinki International Ballet Competition, World Ballet Competition, Orlando; Outstanding Choreography at Youth American Grand Prix Competition; Beijing International Ballet Competition; Perm International Ballet Competition, Russia.In 2003, Festival Ballet Providence Artistic Director Mihailo Djuric commissioned Mr. Plotnikov to create an original version of Carmen, his first full length ballet. That success led to numerous ensuing commissioned works for the company, including: The Widow’s Broom (2004, based on the story by Chris Van Allsburg, with original score by Alexandra Vrebalov), Loof and Let Dime; Viktorations (2006), the overwhelming critically acclaimed Coma and Cinderella (2007), Atomand Sun Dust (2009), Surrender (2010), Orchis 2013 (original score by Sonya Belousova), Sharps and Flats (2014). In 2010, Djuric named him Festival Ballet Providence Resident Choreographer.

 Ivonne Lemus  

IVONNE LEMUS (of Next Generation Ballet, Tampa, Florida) began her dance studies at the Provincial Arts School in Pinar del Rio, Cuba, and was selected to continue her training at the National School of Ballet in Havana, Cuba. She graduated from the National School of Ballet in 1986 and joined the Ballet National of Cuba, where she was trained by Alicia Alonso, Josefina Mendez, Loipa Araufo and Laura Alonso. Lemus was promoted to soloist in 1996 and later joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada. She has appeared in both classic and contemporary works, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Paquita, Raymonda Theme and Variations, Apollo, Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Carmina Burana. Lemus has also participated in numerous International Ballet Festivals through the Ballet National of Cuba, Festival Cervantino Mexico, Arts Festival Scotland and the Summer Festival Spain, and has performed in more than 30 countries including those in Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and in the United States.

As a teacher and coach, Lemus has taught at Coastal Dance Centre in South Carolina, Jose Mateo Ballet Theater, and most recently, at Boston Ballet and Harbor University in Boston. In 2006, she coached an International Ballet Competition gold medalist, and in 2007, she coached the Dance Olympics gold medalist. Lemus joined the Patel Conservatory as a full-time ballet instructor in August 2007 and is the Ballet Mistress for Next Generation Ballet. During her time at the Patel Conservatory, Lemus’ students placed first at the Youth America Grand Prix regional semi-finals (2008 and 2011); won the Silver Medal at the 2011 World Ballet Competition; won the 2011 YAGP regional semi-final Grand Prix; won the 2011 Gold Medal in the Junior Division at the YAGP Finals; and won the Silver Medal at the 2011 YAGP Finals in the Ensemble category.

Summer Intensive 2017 
Guest Teachers

 Nadia Pavlenko

Ms. Nadia Pavlenko is a native of Moscow, Russia. She graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg (class of 1989.) In 1991, she was a Finalist at the International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland. After graduation, she danced as a Soloist at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theater. An eloquent and expressive, as well as a classically graceful dancer, she went on performing a long list of leading Soloist roles in major ballets, such as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Paquita, Raimonda, Don Quixote, and many others.

After touring Russia, Italy, Germany, and the US, Nadia continued her education at the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory (George Balanchine’s alma mater). In 1994, she graduated in the Art of Choreography and specialized in being a Ballet Master as well.

Ms. Nadia is known as a talented and extremely dedicated pedagogue who has been teaching classical ballet for the past 17 years. In 2014, she was recognized by the YAGP as an Outstanding Teacher. In her teaching, Ms. Nadia pays much attention to the quality of movement, focusing on technical precision paramount in developing long and graceful lines in her students.


  Miriam Mesa-Pelly

Born in Havana Cuba, Ms. Miriam Mesa-Pelly graduated as a dancer and teacher from the National School of Arts and from the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with a Golden Diploma in Performing Arts, in Ballet

Ms. Mesa-Pelly was a 1st soloist with the famous National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) under the direction of Fernando and Alicia Alonso with whom she danced for 24 years. With the Cuba National Ballet, she performed throughout Europe, Latin America, United States and Canada, and danced in such venues as the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Champs Elisee, in Paris, the Teatro Colon in Argentina, La Scala in Milan Italy, at the Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico and, at the Kennedy Center and Metropolitan Opera House in the United States.

Ms. Mesa-Pelly also held Principal roles in works by such prominent Cuban choreographer as Gustavo Herrera and served as Artistic Director for productions of the Opera of Cuba, Teatro Lirico of Havana and the Cuban National Ballet which toured Italy and Spain from 1991 to 1992.

Ms. Mesa-Pelly taught Ballet, Pointe and Repertoire at the National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance (ENDCC) and was a professor for the Bachelor of Didactics in the specialty of Classical Dance in Mexico. From 2010 to 2013, Ms Mesa-Pelly was also a teacher at the Prover and Fomento Artistico Cordobes in Veracruz, Mexico and at the National Ballet School in Havana Cuba where she also coached talented dancers for National and International Competitions throughout the world.

Ms. Mesa-Pelly sat on juries for the graduating class of the Instituto Superior de Arte and for the University of Havana. She served as an advisor for the selection and employment of dance teachers for the National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance and act as an advisor for many Dance Academy throughout Mexico.

Miriam Mesa-Pelly is the author of the book “Classical Dance Technique” published in 2004 by the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) in Mexico D.F.

Currently, Ms. Mesa-Pelly teaches Ballet and Men’s Ballet Technique, Pointe, Junior & Senior Ladies & Men’s Ballet Variation, Repertoire, and is an Audition Preparation and Senior Showcase Mentor, and the Youth America Grand Prix Competition Coordinator at the SC Governors School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina.

Anson Zwingelberg

Proudly a Coastal Dance Centre and Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre alumnus and just recently graduated at The Juilliard School (New York City), Class of 2017.

Our resident CDC faculty will also be teaching in the Summer Intensives as well.

Coastal Dance Centre Administrative Staff:

Studio Manager: Sandra Hucks
Comptroller: Glenn Mata
Office Staff: Peggy Pitoscia, Sharon James, Kiely Clark, Sona Handlova