Ms Anna is a positive, caring, and high energy teacher that I had the pleasure of studying under during my youth. Her eclectic style of jazz pushed me to expand my training and challenge my adaptability. To this day, I haven’t trained under a jazz instructor with her stylistic elements. Ms.Anna was always encouraging us to be ourselves in and out of the dance studio. Her nurturing energy made it so easy to make mistakes in order to optimize our learning experiences. Her out of the box thinking is something to be remembered, and I cherish the time I spent being her student.I carried the lessons I learned from her with me as I obtained a B.A. in dance and now educate the next generation of dancers in Hawaii.” - Kassie Killion (Former student)
I met Anna Maria at the Hawaii State Ballet studio when she began teaching a creative movement class to 3-year olds. I was her assistant in the class. I was extremely impressed with her rapport with the children, positively engaging them with her delightful energy. In addition, she had extremely varied curriculum and activities, which kept the children interested throughout the class. Not only did she work on the beginnings of ballet technique but also incorporated simple choreography for routines, using music that they could relate to from such Disney films as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. She always masterfully kept their attention and maintained a balance of order and play.
In her teaching she is always thinking of her students and is creative in the way she approaches them. In her performing, she lights up on stage, showing her true passion for the arts and creative expression. And, as a mother, she is extremely devoted to her family.
Cheri Nakamura HE'E Coalition Director
I have always been delighted by Anna Maria's singing, dancing, and general performance ability, which is emotionally rich, dynamic, and awe inspiring. She is a natural with students, as she is full of energy, which she channels into creative, fun, and productive lessons. Her natural and engaging energy leads her to give all of herself to every task in front of her, and I know she truly cares about every student with whom she works.
Anna Maria is not only good with students, but also she possesses the invaluable quality of being able to work well with virtually anyone.
John Mark Krejci, Ph.D
Derek worked professionally with my family for one year. But Derek has remained available to answer questions and concerns anytime we have needed guidance. Derek was able to communicate with my son much more successfully than I had ever observed before.
My son has grown into a wonderful person I can be proud of. We know that Derek Pratt was essential in our loved ones success.
"My first recollection of Anna Maria was a young, new dance instructor at an up-and-coming performing arts studio in Honolulu, Hawaii. Anna came across as eager, enthusiastic and dedicated. Observing her teach my daughter, Claudia, I quickly recognized Anna’s teaching prowess.
Classically trained, Anna took her many learnings and performance experiences and applied them to her teaching. It was fun to watch the significant impact she had on my daughter, so much of an impact, my daughter is now a dance major in college - a full 10+ years after Anna.
I remember my favorite number that Anna taught her beginning Jazz class - Waka Waka by Shakira. She featured Claudia in the choreography, a pivotal and timely move that really solidified my daughter’s love and dedication for dance. Anna was patient yet firm, kind yet serious, earnest yet forgiving, and she set a wonderful example of how a dancer, even new dancers, should carry themselves on the dance floor, and out in the real world.
Needless to say we were both sad when Anna left Hawaii to go and accomplish even bigger things. It’s without reservation that I highly recommend Anna in any teaching of the performing arts role she undertakes. She’s a real talent, and even better person."
Anna is a phenomenal dance teach and amazing with kids. We had lessons set up for my daughter and her friends… so it was a pretty tight knit group of girls. Anna worked with them each individually and as a group in a meaningful way. Her energy is exceptionally exuberant and she’s also really kind. I appreciate her and her studio creating good, lasting memories for me and my kids. Thank you! Zun Jay (santa Monica, CA)