Arthur Murray dance studios are proud for you to meet our team of dance instructors. Our diverse community of teachers brings you the talents of one of the most experienced teams anywhere. They have studied dance for years — here in the U.S. and around the world. They bring to Arthur Murray students both a global perspective and the expertise that makes it so quick and easy to enter the fun, friendly and satisfying world of dancing.
Joe & Leisa Howard – Owners
After 3 years of owning the Columbia Studio, Joe & Leisa have helped the staff and students reach new heights in achieving their dance goals. With a combined 29 years of teaching experience and 21 years of Studio Management, they have helped Arthur Murray Dance Center of Columbia become one of the top studios in the organization. Before taking over ownership of the Columbia studio, Joe & Leisa Howard managed the #1 Arthur Murray Dance Center in the world (over 270 studios in 21 countries) in Alexandria, VA. Additionally, they were very successful Professional Competitors, reigning 5 years as undefeated Arthur Murray Champions and culminating in a 2008 US National Championship! After achieving all of their dance hopes, Joe & Leisa are now eager to pass on their knowledge to their employees and all of their students. First, by creating fine social dancers… Then whatever their heart’s desire!
Brandon Jones – Instructor
Brandon loves three things: dancing, music, and teaching. How perfect is it that he’s been enjoying his life as an Arthur Murray Dance Instructor! He began dancing as a child, trying ballet, modern, jazz and ballroom. Recently he wowed audiences at the Washington National Arthur Murray Dance O Rama and participated in the Dancing with the Stars Tour pre-show. Brandon earned his B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland and absolutely loves bringing his wealth of musical knowledge and teaching styles into the ballroom. He looks forward to sharing his artistic passions with you!
Carolina Bonilla – Instructor
This Colombian instructor is known for wowing audiences at top local dance events sponsored by Arthur Murray Dance Center. Carolina was trained in classical ballet for 14 years and won numerous awards. As a top instructor at Arthur Murray, Carolina enjoys helping people achieve their dancing goals. Carolina is not only an excellent communicator but is able to provide fun and easy going lessons. When not at the studio you can find Carolina at home watching Disney movies or at any HOT salsa club in the DC/VA area!
Elias Saul Velasquez – Instructor
Born in El Salvador, Elias arrived at Dulles international airport in May of 1993 ready to begin his new life in the United States of America. Early on, he realized the joy of music and dancing that has carried with him throughout his travels and experiences. Now part of the Arthur Murray family, he is excited to help everyone with their dancing needs, even people who have never danced, and looks forward to sharing with them the fun and personal satisfaction that dancing can bring.
Ashley Kipps – Instructor
Since day one, Ashley knew dancing was more than just a hobby- it was her life! She began dancing at the age of five, taking lessons at a small studio in her hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She trained and performed in Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Ballet. Over the years, she has continued her dancing socially, but has decided that it wasn’t enough. She wanted more. She wants to share her passion for dancing with the world. Her dedication, hard-work, and perseverance has brought her here, where she not only shares her love for dancing, but helps others recognize their love for dancing too! She is always encouraging students and showing them that learning to dance can be fast, fun and easy! Outside of the studio, you can find Ashley spending time with friends and family, hiking outdoors, and of course, dancing everywhere physically possible!