Our school employs and trains faculty members who are knowledgeable in both traditional and current training systems and techniques, who are committed to creating a positive, nurturing and productive learning environment and who have professional dance experience or are certified in their respective cross-training disciplines.

Lilla Séber

Founder, Director

Lilla Séber is the founder and director of Séber Method Academy. After 24 years of professional experience in both teaching and dancing in Europe and the United States, Ms. Séber has created a school, Séber Method Academy, with a teaching system that encompasses the best elements of all different methods of education in the world of Classical Ballet and dance. Her passionate work in finding and offering solutions for the challenges in training dancers and in supporting a healthy and creative physical education has also led her to create Integrated Training Concepts for Dancers. A system that includes a combination of classes in cross-training and artistic development.

Born in Hungary, Ms. Séber’s training began at the Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest, where she studied for ten years in a full scholarship program under the direction of Imre Dózsa. In the United States, she studied on scholarships at North Carolina School of the Arts with Melissa Hayden and Duncan Noble, and at The Washington School of Ballet with Mary Day, Lupe Serrano, and Roudolf Kharatian. She also was a recipient of the Artist’s Grant from the Soros Foundation, in addition to receiving a scholarship to study jazz dance at Luigi’s Theatrical Jazz Dance. After being a guest artist in the United States, Ms. Séber joined The Washington Ballet in 1995, where she continued to be featured in leading classical and contemporary roles. Some of her repertory included principal roles from many ballets including, “Giselle,” “Flames of Paris,” “The Nutcracker,” “Harlequinade,” “Stars & Stripes,” “Our Town,” and “Witches of Salem.”

Ms. Séber began her teaching career under the tutelage of Mary Day, founder of The Washington Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet, and Roudolf Kharatian, artistic director of the Armenian National Ballet. Since then, she has produced many students who have received scholarships to highly-ranked institutions including the JKO School at American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, School of American Ballet, and who have went on to dance in prestigious companies both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Séber also found interest in the well-rounded approach of teaching Classical Ballet at higher education institutions. From 2011 to 2015, she was an adjunct professor at American University and Georgetown University.

Ms. Seber always enjoys furthering her knowledge in all fields of wellness such as physical-therapy, yoga and nutrition. Since 2009, she has worked closely with NovaCare Select Physical Therapy in creating the Conditioning for Dancers material. This program served as an inspiration for developing the Wellness Department of Séber Method Academy. She also has taught yoga for over 12 years at the Sport and Health Clubs of Washington D.C. and in the surrounding areas.

As an artist, Ms. Séber has explored creativity through a wide variety of performing art forms. She starred in the short film, “Variations on a Well-Known Theme,” which screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and also co-hosted the popular Hungarian TV show, “Tizen Tuliak Tarsasaga.” She also enriched her performing career with training and performance in Ballroom and Jazz styles. She envisioned that her school would reflect the richly creative and artistic experiences she was able to have in her own career.

Ms. Séber is also an advocate of the benefits of the arts in youth education and has worked with both Sitar Arts Center and Septime Webre’s Dance DC outreach program.

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Emily Hashiguchi

Manager, Classical Ballet Division

Ms. Hashiguchi has been an Assistant to the Director since 2014 and started her teacher training in the system of Séber Method. In 2016, she began working for the school as Assistant Manager. Since then, Ms. Hashiguchi also has choreographed on students of Séber Method Academy and also stage managed for two of the school’s productions.

Ms. Hashiguchi began her dance training at the Olney Ballet School with Patricia Berrend. She furthered her dance studies at Maryland Youth Ballet and American Dance Institute. While still a student at ADI, Ms. Hashiguchi was given the opportunity to be a founding member of Ballet ADI (formerly Chamber Ballet) performing many original works by Runqiao Du. She has spent her summers studying on scholarship at School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She also was a finalist and participated for two years in the Kennedy Center Master Class Series where she was able to take classes from artistic directors around the world. Upon graduation from Séber Method Academy, Ms. Hashiguchi accepted a professional contract with Virginia National Ballet, where she currently dances.

Ms. Hashiguchi has a passion for working with children of all ages and backgrounds. She has taught ballet at the Sitar Arts Center and other schools in the D.C. metro area. She has also spent three summers working at Camp JCC, an inclusion program, and Camp T.R.I.O, a therapeutic recreational camp for children with special needs. She enjoys the challenge of balancing dancing in a professional company while being an integral part of youth education.

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Adriane Whalen

Manager, Performing Arts Division

Adriane is a highly accomplished professional dancer, choreographer, and multidisciplinary dance instructor. Adriane brings to her students more than 25 years of instruction and choreography experience, at both the adult and youth levels, in the disciplines of ballet, tap, jazz, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian.

Her life in dance began at age three studying under Lily Ann Tchaikovsky and continued while she pursued her degree in Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. During these years, she performed with the Berkeley Conservatory Ballet Company and Modern Dance Department, and as an adult, performed at many prestigious locations including Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Trinity Theater, and the Uzbekistan and Pakistan embassies in Washington D.C.

Adriane has worked and performed with many of the all-time great tap dancers including Savion Glover, Karl Du Hoffman, Fred Kelley, Diane Walker, and Rusty Frank. She directed the children’s dance program at DC Dance Collective and performed professionally with Nancy Newell in her tap company, Tapestry.

Adriane’s love of Middle Eastern and Central Asian dance has led her to a variety of Directorial positions including Director of Joy of Motion’s Youth World Dance Company (2006-2017) focusing on Middle Eastern, Bollywood, and Turkish dance. She secured prominent performances at the White House Easter Egg Roll, Washington DC Turkish festival, Nomad Dancers Annual Nowruz around the World Concert, workshops in New York City, and the NBC 4 Annual Fitness Fair.

Adriane is also the Co-Director and Founder of the Nomad Dancers dance company, performing both in Washington at such locations as the Millennium Stage Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., the Washington D.C. Turkish Festival, and around the world including, the Istiklot Palace Theatre, Tashkent Uzbekistan.

Adriane believes that a dancer and choreographer is always learning and expanding their knowledge, so she continues to pursue opportunities to grow attending workshops,conferences, and events in Washington, D.C., New York City, and around the world.

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Shady Aly


Mr. Shady Aly teaches ballet, jazz, and commercial dance/hip-hop at Séber Method Academy. He is currently a principal dancer with Manassas Ballet Theatre and also a faculty member at Manassas Ballet Academy.

Originally from Egypt, Mr. Aly received his ballet training at the High Institute of Ballet in Cairo and danced professionally for 9 years as a soloist with the national company, Cairo Opera Ballet. He received his B.A. in Choreography and Dance Direction from the Academy of Art in Cairo, Egypt. In 2010, he was awarded first place in the Egyptian National Ballet Competition from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture.

After guesting across the world, including France, Germany, Belgium and Mexico he danced as a principal dancer with Gainesville Ballet, Charlottesville Ballet, and the DC Contemporary Dance Theatre in the United States. He worked as a choreographer with Theatre du Vieux Moulin in Meythet, France.

He enjoys teaching the Séber Method because it is unique in combining elements of European, Russian and American ballet styles. Mr. Aly enjoys sharing his dance experience with young dancers and seeing them improve their technique.

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Alvaro Palau


Alvaro Palau of Cali, Colombia, received his training at the Colombian Ballet Institute, Incolballet as well as workshops in Cuba, in New York with David Howard, and at the Houston School of Ballet. Mr. Palau danced soloist and principal roles and has had roles created for him with The Washington Ballet for 12 years, ARKA Ballet, Carolina Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Venezuela, and the Cali Ballet in his native Colombia.

Mr. Palau toured extensively internationally with all of the ballet companies above, in addition to dancing in festivals such as the Havana Festival in Cuba; Festivals in Rome and Florence in Italy; the Umbrella Festival in South Africa; the International Festival in Miami, Florida; the AIDS Foundation in Austin, Texas; and performances at the White House and in the Memorial Day show in Washington, D.C.

Awards include 1st prize at the Arts Competition in Colombia and nominated for Best Classical Dancer at Casa del Artista in Venezuela. His repertoire includes classical and contemporary ballets choreographed by numerous artists including George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Anthony Tudor, Mark Morris, Krzystof Pastor, Choo San Goh Trey McIntyre, Christopher Wheeldon, Septime Webre and Twyla Tharp. Classical repertoire includes leading roles in Don Quixote, Coppélia, La Fille mal Gardée, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake, Alberto Alonso’s Carmen, Romeo and Juliet among others.

More recently he has been featured in productions of the Washington National Opera under the direction of Placido Domingo, Colorado Opera, two short films by Jennifer Schwed, Carmen Tango with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, Bowen McCauley Dance Company and Dana Tai Soon Burgess. He has performed and choreographed works for Gala Hispanic Theatre, Source Theater Idomeneo Opera, and DanceLoft on 14th.

Mr. Palau has taught numerous ballet outreach programs and summer workshops. He is currently faculty at Séber Method Academy, faculty at Catholic University of America, teaches master classes at DanceLoft 14 adult program and is the founder and director of Washington Dance D.C.

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Cameron Krug

Athletic Trainer

Mr. Krug is in his third year of teaching for Séber Method Academy and his 4th year of coaching as a trainer at Crunch Fitness. He holds certifications with the American College of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer and Crossfit as a movement and mobility specialist.

He is passionate about helping dancers acquire the knowledge of how to balance and maintain the health of their physique. In addition to bodyweight exercises that create reflexive strength, he teaches the importance of myo-facial release and self-massage in improving the quality and function of muscle and fascia. Over the past three years Mr Krug has developed soft-tissue treatment strategies for dancers with various tools such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and elbows to encourage healthy postural alignment which allows optimal positioning in dance to feel more natural and comfortable.

Mr Krug is an avid fan of improvised music from ECM records. He delights his students with a wide variaty of music selections played on his classes.

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Latasha Nelson


Ms. Nelson has strong expertise in Salsa and International Latin. She is certified in salsa according to The World Salsa Federation syllabus. The rest of her Latin certification has been according to the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Ms. Nelson also trained in American Rhythm and Smooth, International Standard, Hustle, Argentine Tango and Country Line Dancing. She has over 10 years of experience teaching students of all ages and levels. Since moving from Florida in 2008, she works at a few dance studios in the Metro DC area offering ballroom dance instruction.

Ms. Nelson’s ballroom career began in Miami, where she owes most of her training and ballroom dance education. She became a principal instructor working with professional performance groups from all over the world and experience taking students to local and regional competitions. In the Metro DC area, she’s had the opportunity to become certified in an aerobic ballroom dance program. During one of these classes, Ms. Nelson and Ms. Séber met and they shared the insipration for bringing the artistic and aerobic of ballroom elements to the Academy’s training program. In Virginia, she also offers free ballroom instruction/training to a dance team with Arlington Public Schools. Over the past three years, they have won 1st place at local NDCA ballroom competitions.

When Ms. Nelson started ballroom dancing, she never dreamed that it would become such an important part of her life and open up a great number of professional opportunities. She finds it deeply rewarding to share her love and commitment to dance with her students and see them grow as performers.

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Nikki Gambhir

Production Manager

Nikki Gambhir is currently serving as the Seber Method Academy School Manager. She has over ten years of work experience as an arts director, manager, and promoter in the DC metro region.

Ms. Gambhir was the Outreach Director for DCypher Dance and the Director for Urban Impact, Hip Hop dance company at Joy of Motion Dance Center. Her work included designing and implementing several multi-media showcases, researching/applying for/pursuing both community and professional dance performance opportunities, writing the advertisements for company events, and coordinating/scheduling/booking the dancers.

In partnership with the DARE America program and with the DEA Youth Dance program, she created and presented dance assemblies in elementary and middle schools across DC, Maryland, and Virginia. She helped to bring dance programming to many under-served communities and at-risk youth. She also served as the communications liaison between the schools/program directors and the dancers.

Ms. Gambhir was the Publicity and Outreach Officer for the Classical Repertory Dance Theatre under the direction of Miya Hisaka. Her duties included promotion of the company and its showcases, creating and circulating press releases and promotional material, and program design.

She has also participated in the Dance Metro DC organization, serving as a Dance Metro DC panelist and on the Awards Selection Committee for the Metro DC Dance Awards for the Dance Metro DC organization.

Through her work in the arts management field, Ms. Gambhir hopes to spread the positive benefits of dance artistry to everyone.

Nikki Ranee Gambhir is a teacher, choreographer and performer in the DC metro area, currently working in Hip Hop, contemporary, jazz, tap, ballet, and Bollywood fusion. Ms. Gambhir is a member of Culture Shock DC and SOLEdarity, a tap company. She is a former director of Hip Hop company DCypher Dance and was founding director of youth Hip Hop company Urban Impact.

She has been a guest teaching artist at Georgetown University, Oberlin College, and Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Her choreography has been showcased at the Kennedy Center, National Dance Day with Nigel Lythgoe and the Dizzy Feet Foundation, the NBA Wizards’ Halftime show, and the Metro DC Dance Awards Ceremony. She was selected to choreograph the tribute performed for the James Brown Movie screening live at the Lincoln Theatre and nationally televised on NBC.

She performed with Cirque du Soleil and with the Broadway cast of Hairspray at the White House for the President in a nationally televised PBS Special. Other performance highlights include BET’s 106 & Park, opening for B2K and Darrin Henson, NFL Redskins Halftime Show, White House Easter Egg Roll, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Ms. Gambhir is a featured dancer in the Bollywood movie Ta Ra Rum Pum.

In addition to teaching at dance studios, Ms. Gambhir was a teacher at Albert Einstein High School. She choreographs musicals for Woodrow Wilson High School and she was the choreographer for “Hair” which won the Cappie Award for Best Musical. She also coordinates and performs dance assemblies in local schools presenting dance as a constructive alternative for at-risk youth, partnering with DARE Dance and DEA Youth Dance Program.

Ms. Gambhir believes that the arts are an essential part of community and hopes to promote positive and healthy expression through dance.  

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Vanessa Carmichael-Elder


Born in Guyana, South America, Ms. Carmichael-Elder was introduced to her dance career in college, while also studying kinesiology at the University of Maryland. She has performed at the Kennedy Center with Jacque d’Amboise, Helanius Wilkins, Alvin Mayes, the Companies of Motion Mania Jazz Company, City Dance Ensemble, Jam Crew, Word Dance Theatre, and DC Contemporary Dance Theatre. She has also performed at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. Along with her performance and teaching career, Ms. Carmichael-Elder is also a certified personal trainer and a proud mother of three.

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Giuliano Antonio


Mr Giuliano is in his first year teaching tap at Séber Method Academy and is on faculty at the Metropolitan School of the Arts, an assistant director of Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble (MYTE), and a dancer with Chloe Arnold’s company “Apartment 33.”

Born and raised in Brazil, Giuliano started tap dancing in 2005 at Studio A dance through a partnership with the Adopt an Artist project, developed by the FAMA Foundation. He has also been teaching since 2009, as a volunteer in the projects developed by the same foundation. He has attended and taught at several different festivals in Brazil, the United States, and Argentina, and had the opportunity to teach a Brazilian rhythms class at the DC Tap Festival in 2017.

Through the beginning of his career, Giuliano has been invited on scholarships to the United States by world famous tap dancers such as, Jason Samuels Smith, Maud Arnold, and Chloe Arnold. Along with extending his education in the United States, he is also part of the TAP NEW GENERATION company that performs at several different festivals in the area of Brazil and the USA.

As a producer, he has been developing projects in the area of tapping for the disseminations of knowledge and exchange between tap-changers. Since 2014, he has been producing festivals such as TAP SHOW- The feet cannot stop (Araguari-MG) in 2016 and 2017, the event 4 X TAP around the country by 4 editions, and together with Geraldo Junior and Juliana Garcia TAP DOUBLE G (Ribeirao Preto -SP).

Mr Giuliano is also passionate about teaching workshops in Brazil and offers consulting in project management, social projects, and social media. He holds a degree in Advertising and Marketing from Faculdale Esamc Uberlandia (MG).

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Tanya Nuchols


Tanya Nuchols is a dance fitness instructor from a diverse dance background. A Washington, D.C. native, she studied ballet and jazz and danced with the Philippine American Cultural Arts Society and school dance groups growing up. Always a fan of world music, training diversified into hip hop, African, belly dancing, Afro jazz, Afro Brazilian and Flamenco and thus reflects in her fitness classes…designed to give you a great cardio workout while learning basic steps. Tanya has been teaching Zumba and a variety of dance workouts in and around the DC area at many dance studios, gyms and federal facilities for nearly a decade including Joy of Motion, International Monetary Fund and the Kennedy Center.

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Savanna Alfanos