meet the staff

meet the staff

MISS HOPE

HOPE MACDONALD bella ballet dance teachers

Hope MacDonald is an author, motivational speaker, and CEO of Bella Ballet and Empower by Bella Ballet. She is blessed to empower over 1000 children weekly through dance while teaching core values such as confidence, leadership, empowerment, kindness, anti-bullying, and positive body image to young women. Hope has an extensive background in business, marketing, musical theater, poms tap, jazz, and ballet – she has gained experience through her studies at the Shenandoah Conservatory with a concentration in Musical Theater and Dance. She is a member of The International Dance Educators Association & working toward her certification in Youth Protection Advocates in Dance.

She was a four-time nominee and recipient of the prestigious Cappie Award for “Best Female Dancer” and “Best Choreographer,” presented at the esteemed Kennedy Centre in Washington DC. She has performed at various local venues including the Olney Theatre and Kennedy Centre, where she starred as “Cosette” in Les Misérables, “Reno” in Anything Goes, and “Halie” in Buried Child. She has performed and choreographed in more than 25 musicals.

Bella Ballet and has received various awards including, 2023 "Best Dance Studio" Washington Family Magazine, 2023 "10 Consecutive Years Best of Gaithersburg Business Hall of Fame, 2022 Finalist "Best Children's Dance Studio" Bethesda Magazine, 2022 Finalist "Best Dance Classes" Washington Parent Magazine, 2021 "Best Ballet Classes" Expertise Magazine, 2021 "Best Children's Ballet School, Maryland" Global Health & Pharma, 2020 “Best Dance Studio” Montgomery Magazine, and 2019 "Small Business of the Year" Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce.

Philanthropic work is extremely important to her; since the creation of Bella Ballet and Empower by Bella Ballet she has had the honor of working with over 70 local and national non-profits organizations in an effort to give back to the community and help children all over the world. These charities include Make A Wish Mid-Atlantic, Comfort Cases, The Tree House, The Rainbow Shelter, Nourish Now, and Shared Hope.

When she’s not trying to make the world a better place she’s spending time with her husband Brad, her family, and her little chihuahua, California.

MISS JACKIE

Miss Jackie is our Executive Director as of 2020. Since starting at Bella Ballet part-time in 2015 she has grown with the studio and our students. Teaching is a passion of hers and loves all of her students. In addition to lead teaching, Miss Jackie heads all of our community events, philanthropic drives and community business connections.

Being a mom of two young boys who love dinosaurs and video games, she is able to get her fix of pink, sparkle and tutu's each day at the studio. "Bella Ballet has really given me the confidence to be a strong woman and a leader. I am so proud to be able to instill these life changing characteristics into our students on a daily basis!

JACKIE JURGENS
JACKIE JURGENS

Miss Jackie is our Executive Director as of 2020. Since starting at Bella Ballet part-time in 2015 she has grown with the studio and our students. Teaching is a passion of hers and loves all of her students. In addition to lead teaching, Miss Jackie heads all of our community events, philanthropic drives and community business connections.

Being a mom of two young boys who love dinosaurs and video games, she is able to get her fix of pink, sparkle and tutu's each day at the studio. "Bella Ballet has really given me the confidence to be a strong woman and a leader. I am so proud to be able to instill these life changing characteristics into our students on a daily basis!

MISS MICHELLE

MICHELLE CHASE

Miss Michelle began dancing when she was 4 years old. As she will tell you, it’s been in her blood since she was born! Her first learned dance was the Salsa. Her Latin culture has brought her so much diversity in dancing. While in high school she was able to participate in hip-hop and step competitions. She has always been able to adapt to any music. She always gives 100%, she’s able to fail and get back up!

Since joining the Bella Ballet team she has used her platform to inspire our girls of the new generation. She uses dance to build their confidence and all over the best version of themselves. “Personally building the relationships with our beautiful dancers has been such a sweet treat while watching them grow into beautiful and confident girls. It’s the best feeling a teacher could have!”

MISS MICAELA

Miss Micaela has come to Bella Ballet all the way from Pleasanton, California. She began her dance story at age 3, and hasn’t stopped dancing since! Miss Micaela is trained in a variety of styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary, and has been teaching these styles to all ages for over 5 years. She also competed on her high school pom team, winning two National Championships, and was a member of the Division I dance team at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Miss Micaela is our Creative Director and one of our choreographers for the Bellas Dance Company, and absolutely loves helping Bella Ballet families behind the scenes to provide the best possible customer service! She is so grateful to still be a part of the Bella Ballet family from all the way in Pennsylvania, and loves to come back to Maryland frequently to see all of our amazing students and families.

MICAELA DOUGHERTY
MICAELA DOUGHERTY

Miss Micaela has come to Bella Ballet all the way from Pleasanton, California. She began her dance story at age 3, and hasn’t stopped dancing since! Miss Micaela is trained in a variety of styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary, and has been teaching these styles to all ages for over 5 years. She also competed on her high school pom team, winning two National Championships, and was a member of the Division I dance team at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Miss Micaela is our Creative Director and one of our choreographers for the Bellas Dance Company, and absolutely loves helping Bella Ballet families behind the scenes to provide the best possible customer service! She is so grateful to still be a part of the Bella Ballet family from all the way in Pennsylvania, and loves to come back to Maryland frequently to see all of our amazing students and families.

MISS HAILEY

HAILEY ORISTIAN

Miss Hailey is a recent graduate from Quince Orchard High School, and was the captain of their pom team. She has been dancing all her life, starting at age 3. She has experience in ballet, lyrical, contemporary, modern, jazz, Broadway, pom, and hip hop. She has had the pleasure to dance competitively for three years, and has performed in many showcases. Currently, she gets to showcase her talents at her high school’s football games, basketball games, and county pom competitions.

Miss Hailey joined the team at Bella Ballet in order to share her genuine passion for dance with the children. She hopes to encourage them to use dance as an outlet and to not be afraid to express themselves through their movement. She believes that dance is an amazing art, and is so glad she is able to see this passion grow in the students she works with.

MISS LEAH

We are honored to have Leah Velasquez as a part of Bella Ballet staff since 2016! “It is a wonderful place to work!” says Miss Leah. Her roles at Bella have been administrative, special events and co-teaching. I love seeing all the dancers express themselves through dance, but especially the ones who are nervous, find confidence in themselves and bust a move!! Such a joy!!

I am also a fitness instructor and just recently competed in my first CrossFit competition! Life is full of opportunities to learn new things!!

LEAH VELASQUEZ
LEAH VELASQUEZ

We are honored to have Leah Velasquez as a part of Bella Ballet staff since 2016! “It is a wonderful place to work!” says Miss Leah. Her roles at Bella have been administrative, special events and co-teaching. I love seeing all the dancers express themselves through dance, but especially the ones who are nervous, find confidence in themselves and bust a move!! Such a joy!!

I am also a fitness instructor and just recently competed in my first CrossFit competition! Life is full of opportunities to learn new things!!

MISS KIARA

KIARA DAVIS

Kiara Nicole Davis is a freelance performing artist, choreographer, and visionary born in Washington, DC. She began dancing at age 12 at a few local dance studios. She didn’t look at it as anything more than a hobby until high school.

Miss Kiara attended Suitland High School in Forestville, MD, and auditioned to be a part of the visual and performing arts program. It was there that she found and began to cultivate her love for dance. Following graduation, she moved from the Washington metropolitan area to Baltimore, MD to attend Coppin State University, where she graduated with a B.S degree in dance. After graduation, she trained with Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre in Chicago, IL in their 2016 Summer Dance Intensive and moved back to Baltimore where she continued to train and perform as a freelance performing artist.

Her credits include a lead role in an original production by production company ArtsCentric entitled “Snapshots” and an ensemble in their rendition of “Chicago,” “The Bodyguard” by Toby’s Dinner Theatre, and a host of other concert dance productions. Miss Kiara’s life mission is to create an avenue of dance performance that is innovative and provides an opportunity as well as to use dance as a tool of social justice.

Dance is truly a part of her, it is how she shares her soul with the world. Miss Kiara is honored and overly grateful to be a part of the Bella Ballet family.

MISS BREANNA

BREANNA BELLAMY

BreAnna is a dance artist, performer, and educator located in the DMV area. She has taught and performed internationally and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance. Teaching dance for nearly a decade, BreAnna has educated all ages in modern, contemporary, ballet, and jazz dance. She specializes in teaching the youngest of dancers to grow confidence and discipline.

 

While performing in the United Kingdom, BreAnna received the Jasmin Vardimon Prize for ‘Excellence in Physical Theater’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement in Dance’. As a performer, she has worked with Ace Dance & Music, Le Loup Dance Company, Extreme Lengths Productions, performed at Arena Theater, the Georgetown GLOW Festival, and more.

BreAnna is excited to share her knowledge and love of dance with the students Bella Ballet.

 

In her free time, BreAnna enjoys drinking coffee, going on walks and teaching Pilates.

MISS KARINA

KARINA SHAH

Miss Karina was born and raised in Ukraine and moved to the US after graduating from college. She has been dancing ever since she can remember herself. One of her very first memories is dancing with her mom in the living room to some fun music, later followed by her joining a real ballet class. Ever since then, Miss Karina could not imagine her life without dance.

Throughout school and college Miss Karina was always on the dance team and has experience in different dance styles such as ballet, hip hop, Ukrainian, Russian and German folk dance, social Latin dances. Miss Karina is also a trained Zumba instructor and used to teach Zumba classes at the local gym.

“I am very grateful to have an opportunity to share my love for dance with little Bella Ballet dancers and help them to build self-confidence through dance!

KARINA SHAH

MISS BAYLEE

BREANNA BELLAMY

Baylee Wong began her dance journey at the age of 3 in Carmel, New York. Since then, she gained experience training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, various styles in ballroom, and aerial dance. Baylee holds a BFA Dance Performance and Choreography degree at Towson University and was awarded The Jim Snyder Award for Technical Excellence and the Outstanding Award for Choreography.

Currently, Baylee is in her first season with the DC-based modern dance company, Dana Tai Soon Burgess and is so excited to be performing professionally. Both on and off stage, Baylee loves connecting with others through dance and loves sharing her experiences, and emotions through the language of movement. She is looking forward to cultivating the joy and passion of dance in the next generation.

MISS ALEX

KARINA SHAH

Miss Alex is a recent graduate from the University of Maryland College Park! She graduated with honors with a dual degree in Economics and Communication. Miss Alex has danced since she was 3 years old and she is super excited to be apart of the Bella Ballet team for her first time as a dance instructor! She is extremely passionate about dance and feels that dance has been her outlet for expression throughout her entire life. She's been trained in a variety of different styles including ballet, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and pom. Previously, she was a Gaithersburg High School student and Head Pom Captain where she took home the 1st Place Captain's Award and the Division County Championship her senior year.

Miss Alex also has a great passion for working with kids as she graduated from Gaithersburg in the National Academy of Leadership and Education, dedicating her studies and internship to Child Development. Miss Alex feels that becoming a dance instructor at Bella Ballet has been the perfect way to combine her loves of dance and working with kids and she hopes to be able to inspire them to express themselves the same way she felt inspired growing up!

KARINA SHAH

MISS KENDALL

BREANNA BELLAMY

Miss Kendall is a current student at Northwest High School, and is a member of their varsity poms team. She started dancing when she was 4 years old, and has loved it ever since! She is trained in pom, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, ballet, and tap. She is now dancing at her high school football game halftimes, basketball halftimes, and county pom competitions.

This is Kendall’s first official year teaching, but she was previously a junior assistant! She is very excited to step into a teaching position to share the love of dance that was instilled in her when she was younger.

MISS CAROLINE

KARINA SHAH

Miss Caroline is the Empower by Bella Ballet studio manager and Diamonds and Glitter team director. She is originally from Warrenton, Virginia and has been trained in a wide variety of dance genres for the past 21 years. She attended Radford University and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2019. Since then, she has danced professionally with Virginia National Ballet, Saltare in Elementis Dance Collective, Bone and Fiddle Arts Collective, and Aru Dell’Arte Dance Company.

Caroline’s choreographic works have been presented at Radford University, the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia, and the 2019 ACDA Mid-Atlantic South Regional Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. She both choreographed and performed for the 2019 ISEA symposium in Gwanju, Korea, and the Sungsoo Art Gallery in Seoul, Korea. Caroline has a strong passion for teaching and has been educating young dancers for seven years.

She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Bella Ballet family!

KARINA SHAH

MISS CYNTHIA

BREANNA BELLAMY

Miss Cynthia is a member of our concierge team! In addition to having more than fifteen years of administrative experience, she also has an appreciation for dance. At the age of 4, she began taking ballet lessons, tap, jazz, and Latin American folkloric dances.

She credits dance for teaching her how to move with grace through the chaos of life and developing a love for visual art. When she's not at the studio assisting families and students, you can find her exploring museums or picking out the next good read!

MISS DENEKA

KARINA SHAH

Miss Deneka is a graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan College with a degree in Business Administration. Deneka comes to Bella Ballet with over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry working in Brokerage & Non-Profit Operations. She has worked for various investment firms from Citigroup, Capital Financial Group/H. Beck, Grove Point Financial, and Lafayette FCU to name a few.

Outside of the office, Deneka enjoys spending time with her family, friends, dancing, and cooking! We are so excited to welcome her to our concierge team!

KARINA SHAH

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ADDRESS & HOURS

215 Kentlands Blvd, Gaithersburg MD 20878

Monday: 4 PM - 9 PM

Tuesday: 4 PM - 9 PM

Wednesday: 4 PM - 9 PM

Thursday: 4 PM - 9 PM

Friday: 4 PM - 8 PM

Saturday: 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Sunday: 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Come see what all the hype is about! Call us today at (301) 970-3488 to book a free trial class, or email us at [email protected]. We’re here to serve and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Opening Hours

Monday: 10 AM - 8 PM

Tuesday: 9 AM - 8 PM

Wednesday: 10:30 AM - 8 PM

Thursday: 10 AM - 8 PM

Friday: 9 AM - 12 PM

Saturday: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

Sunday: 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

347 Kentlands Blvd, Gaithersburg MD 20878

Telephone: (301) 970-3488

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