"The school's code of conduct, where all are respected, is not just a motto on the wall, but a living example that all live up to... the teachers perform at their best, thereby inspiring the students to do the same...each time that I pick [my daughter] up after dance, she jumps in the car and when asked "How was dance?" her response is "I'm so happy I chose Covenant"

- Arlene Ayoub, academy parent

Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com


MARLA A. HIROKAWA trained and performed professionally in Hawaii, California and New York. She received her BA in dance (Cum Laude) at the University of California, Irvine and founded Covenant Dance Studio in 1987. She is currently CBT and CBT Academy’s artistic director.  She has taught at Broadway Dance Center, the Brooklyn Academy for the Performing Arts, and she is the ballet and modern dance instructor at Kingsborough Community College. She was a Teaching Artist for the New York City Ballet Education Department and currently creates and directs all CBT’s educational programs.  Marla is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary though Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

REBECCAH HOPE BRANN has studied with Ms. Marla since she was six years old! She received her Certificate of Dance from the Alvin Ailey School and is currently a free lance dancer. Rebeccah is also the founder of the HopeDanceNYC project, which will be returning to the West Coast for their second annual summer workshop series this summer. Rebeccah continues to work as a personal trainer and fitness instructor in the NYC area. Rebeccah was a member of Covenant Dance Theatre since 1998 and became a Principal of CBT in 2001.

KRISTIN LICATA received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Fordham University/Alvin Ailey program.  She has taught dance at the Cornerstone Learning Center, NY School of the Arts, NJ and in Oregon as part of a residency with Hope DanceNYC.  Kristin has been an instructor with the academy since 2008 and a principal dancer with CBT since 2009.

JOSE RIVERA trained at the Gallman’s Newark Dance Theater School and graduated from the Julliard School and the School of American Ballet. He also studied at the Dance Theater of Harlem and performed professionally in Germany. In the US, he performed with small companies in the New York City area, then with the Ballethnic Dance Company in Atlanta, Georgia for eleven seasons. He has danced with other US companies and most recently with Connecticut Ballet Theatre. Mr. Jose also teaches in the New York City and Westchester areas. He is a principal with CBT since 2009.

MATTHEW WESTERBY trained at the Laban Centre, London. He has taught in a variety of professional and community settings, and to all ages and abilities. His teaching credits include Laban, Random Dance Company, Smallpetitklein, the Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, Stagecoach Theatre Arts (all UK), for Silesian Dance Theatre (Poland), and since moving to New York, for Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and for CBT's Dance Academy and AIE programs.  Matthew has been a principal dancer with CBT since 2005.

SONIA JONES is originally from Lancaster, PA and recently received her MA in Dance Education/American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Pedagogy from New York University Steinhardt. Through this program she is an ABT® Certified Teacher who has successfully completed teacher training in Primary – Level 7 & Partnering of the National Training Curriculum®. She was an Education/Physical Therapy Intern at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and has taught in its Children’s Division and has a B.S. in Biology from Millersville University. She is also a Qualified Associate Teacher of Grades I –V of the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet. Miss Sonia is also on faculty at the Huntington Center for the Performing Arts.


NANAKO KITAGAWA is originally from Japan where she received her early training. She also trained at prestigious ballet schools in Canada, France and Austria. She has performed for the USA Ballet Company, Connecticut Ballet, Long Island Ballet Company and the Atlantic Ballet Company. She has also taught at the Artscure Center in NY and at the USA Ballet Academy in Illinois. Miss Nanako joined CBT in 2009.




MANDY SAU-YI CHAN received her BFA in dance (First Class Honors) at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She was awarded a two year scholarship from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund to pursue her graduate studies in New York and in 2002, received her MFA in Dance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.  Miss Mandy has choreographed for and danced with different companies and choreographers throughout NYC. She is a certified Pilates teacher through Physicalmind Institute at Movements Afoot, has taught Pilates at Kingsborough Community College, and is a certified Yoga teacher at OM Yoga Center NYC and a certified Holistic Health Counselor at Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is a principal dancer with CBT.


BRENDA R. NEVILLE received her BA (Cum Laude) in Dance Pedagogy at Butler University in Indiana. She trained at Milwaukee Ballet School, the Ailey School, American Ballet Theatre School, and others. She has spent the last 15 yrs. performing, choreographing and teaching ballet and ethnic dance in over 18 different countries with various companies. She was a principal dancer with CBT and also Founder/Director of Neville Dance Theatre.  Brenda is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary though Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.


DYLAN BAKER is a New York City based dancer/choreographer. After earning his BFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Dylan moved to the Big Apple to follow his dance dreams. You can often find Dylan dancing with David Parker and the Bang Group, Matthew Westerby Company, as well as in the productions here with CBT. Apart from dancing, he also works with kids of all ages, teaching skills that range from science to art. He is very excited to be joining the faculty here at Covenant Ballet Theater of Brooklyn!


MILA GRINBERG  owes most of her training to the gifted teachers of CBT. In 2007 she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Point Park University with a BA in Dance.  She has traveled and performed with Hope Dance NYC during their summer workshops in Oregon. Miss Mila is honored to be a teacher and company soloist of Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn.


SHEILA LEDGIN  received her training from Covenant Dance Studio and from the Ballet Center of Brooklyn, began teaching at Covenant Dance Studio since 1995. She was a dance instructor at the Marine Park Summer Day Camp, and Kids-N-Shape. She also works for the Chinese-American Planning Counsel After-School Program. She is presently an Educational Assistant at P.S. 153.


ROYCE ZACKERY, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, has danced professionally for 13 years in the U.S and overseas and In New York City for the past 9. His background includes extensive training in tap, jazz, and musical theater. He is presently Certified in The American Ballet Theatre Teaching Curriculum and isreceiving his Masters in Higher Education and Ballet Pedagogy from N.Y.U. Steinhardt. He received his B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Royce has performed with professional companies performing Classical and Contemporary Ballet works, professional Modern based companies, and has done professional work in the field of musical theater as well.  Royce has taught master classes and workshops in classical ballet, contemporary movement, and partnering in Dallas, Florida, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Germany, and New York City. He has been on staff at Broadway Dance Center, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center's Ailey Extension Program, and The School at Steps on Broadway.


Thomas Varvaro is a graduate of the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A Program, and has taught Ailey 2 master classes as well as master classes in Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, and Ravenna, Italy. He was a teaching artist with New York City Center Teach, and currently teaches at the Dancenter of Edinburg summer intensive in Texas, is a substitute/private lesson instructor at The Ailey Extention and is on faculty at Artistry Dance Project in Westchester, NY.


Former Guest Instructors

Kathryn Sullivan, ballet
Dorit Koppel, ballet
Rosanna Seravalli, ballet
Judith Fugate, ballet
Evee Lynn, ballet


Dawn Watson, modern
Lillian Concepcion, hip hop
Jeanne Finnigan John, modern
Sarah Yarborough, ballet/contemporary fusion
JoAnn Ogawa, broadway jazz

Ellenore Scott, contemporary/hip-hop


Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn & & CBT Dance Academy


4119 Avenue T (corner of Hendrickson Street) - Brooklyn, NY 11234


2718A East 21 Street - Brooklyn, NY  11235

(P) 718-891-6199 (F) 718-891-0259

Copyright 2013-2014.  All rights reserved.

Contact webmaster.