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

Founder-Artistic Director
CYBT Artistic – Executive Director 

Children’s Open Ballet Classes, Elementary Open Ballet, RAD Primary Ballet, RAD Ballet Levels 1, 3, Intermediate Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced Foundation Ballet

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

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

Intermediate and Advanced Open Ballet, RAD Pre-Primary, Ballet Levels 1, 2, 4 and Advanced 1 

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 Intermediate Foundation and Advanced Foundation Levels, Intermediate / Advanced Open Ballet

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

Tiny Tots Ballet, Baby Ballet, Pre-Primary Ballet, Ballet-Tap, Ballet-Tumble,
Jazz, Musical Theater Dance, Tap

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

Tiny Tots, Ballet-Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Tap


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

Tiny Tots Ballet, Ballet-Tap, Ballet-Tumble, Acro (Kids – Advanced), Tap (Kids-Advanced, Adults)

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
* Ivonne Lemus

Summer Intensive 2017
* Nadia Pavlenko
* Miriam Mesa-Pelly
* Anson Zwingelberg


Coastal Dance Centre Administrative Staff:

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