diva kids staff
Samantha Byrd is the co-owner of Studio Diva, and hip hop instructor for Studio Diva Kids. She began dancing at the age of 7, and has had the opportunity to dance with hip hop companies around the Tri-State area, including Flomotion Co. In high school, Samantha danced in the Heritage Players production for 4 years. She appeared on "It's Showtime at the Apollo" with her group winning the competition 3 times. She's also appeared on the MTV show, MTV Duets with B2K. While she was pursuing a dance career, she trained with many choreographers at NYC's Broadway Dance Center such as Luam, Rhapsody, and Bev Brown, and has choreographed for many performing artist including Wanya of Boyz II Men, and local artist Lovher, Franchize, and HEAT, among others. While married now with 2 children of her own, she still thoroughly enjoys dancing, and teaching students who are eager to learn and grow in their craft.
LaCeda Nelson is a native of Tampa, Florida and graduate of University of the Arts where she received her B.F.A. in dance education. Before matriculating to the University of the Arts, LaCeda was a student at the first performing arts high school of Tampa, Florida Howard W. Blake. Currently she has decided to make Philadelphia her home, where she is a principal dancer of Eleone Dance Theatre and Collaboration Works. LaCeda’'s work "Urban Voodoo" was accepted as a student piece to be presented in Choreographers Corner held in Atlanta Ga. As a performer she has had the pleasure of being in the presence and working with such choreographers as, Lula Washington, Nathan Trice, Milton Meyers, Kim Bears-Bailey, Ronald K. Brown, and Christopher Huggins. Ms Cuyler appeared on the ABC after school special I used to Dance recorded in LA at Lula Washington’s Dance Studio, received a full scholarship to Jacobs Pillow Summer Intensive in Becket Ma, received a performance opportunity with Royal Caribbean and performed in Super Bowl XXV at the early age of eight. LaCeda’s teaching experience includes, Jefferson Medical University, Adams Dance Academy, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Motion in Dance Academy, Messiah Dance works, IDEA special education program, Martha Washington Middle School, Triplet Dance Academy, Rock School West, a three-week summer intensive at Marisela’s Dance Studio in Tampa Fl, and Dance Sensations of New Jersey. LaCeda is dedicated to educating today’s youth making sure to instill her motto Good, Better, Best never let them see you rest until your Good is Better and your Better is Best.
Jessica Hayward is a dance artist and educator. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, where she double majored in Dance and Art History studied dance at Accademia Dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Jessica is an active educator and has taught ballet, modern, jazz, and creative movement in Allentown and the greater Philadelphia area. Professionally, she has danced with Keila Cordova Dances/Three Pony Show and Vanessa Long in Philadelphia. While at Muhlenberg, she performed in works by Orion Duckstein, Megan Flynn, Heidi Cruz-Austin and others, as well as choreographing and performing in original works. She interned at The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, where she also performed with Dance the Yard. When not dancing, you can find Jessica baking and cuddling her roommate’s cat and dog at home in South Philly, or working at lululemon, which has somehow led to her actually enjoying HIIT workouts.