Miya Hisaka

Adult Program Head

Adult Program Faculty, Faculty, School Administration, The Washington School of Ballet - Northwest Campus, Washington School of Ballet

With 40 years of experience as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, founding artistic/executive director, and urban planner, Miya’s life has spanned two continents with a commitment to diversity and excellence in the arts. Her vision has been realized through her companies: DC Contemporary Dance Theatre (DC’s first multicultural repertory dance company, 1984), and El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea de El Salvador (the country’s first professional dance company created after the civil war, 1994). A mover and shaker in DC’s dance scene, she has also been integral in the post-war reconstruction of El Salvador through the arts. Originally trained by Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins, Merce Cunningham, Mary Day, Gloria Contreras, and Gene Hill Sagan, with a BA in urban studies from Barnard College, and an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, she began teaching at TWSB in 1984 under the tutelage of Mary Day.

Miya has produced hundreds of concerts from President Obama’s White House to the rural pueblos of Latin America. Her DC company served as cultural ambassadors representing the USA for a 10-year world tour sponsored by the State Department, and her work has been presented at the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution, Dance Place, the Central American Olympics, La UNAM/Mexico City, the Cleveland Clinic’s Art & Medicine Institute, Santa Clara University’s International Human Rights Festival, University of San Francisco, among others. She has had music collaborations with Bobby McFerrin and Gloria Estefan.

Her teaching credentials include being the former director of dance at Georgetown University; in El Salvador, former director at La Universidad Jose Simeon Canas (La UCA), faculty at La Escuela Nacional de Danza; creator of El Centro para Liderazgo en las Artes (the country’s first production design school); faculty at Santa Clara, GW and Catholic Universities, University of San Francisco, Joy of Motion, Marin Dance Theatre, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Alonzo King’s LINES, San Domenico Prep School, as well as a Somatic/Pilates PT.

Other notable credentials include fundraising for and building four studios/theaters: Georgetown’s Gonda Theater, The Stables 8th St. Studio, Sausalito’s Blackbox, and San Salvador’s Center for Leadership in the Arts; a long-time track record with local and international funders; membership in DC Mayor’s Task Force for Arts & Economic Development in the redevelopment of the Gallery Row, and 14th St. Arts District; being the first resident company at Lincoln Theater; since 1987, DC Mayor’s Arts Awards and DC Commission on the Arts grant recipient and panelist; NEA Fellow, and a USF Social Justice Fellow.

Miya is known for building institutions from ground zero, her passion for teaching adults, and for bringing together diverse communities through dance.