Elizabeth Bowden, Ed.D.– Director A native of the Island of Trinidad, “Ms. Liz”, was raised in Queens, New York. There she obtained fourteen years of professional training in the areas of Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, African, Modern, Theater Arts and Street Dancing. She also has ten years of Classical Piano instruction. While in New York, she performed with Addle Weinstein's Dance Center’s Dance company performing in the Metropolitan New York Area. Ms. Liz continued dancing and performing throughout her high school and college undergraduate career while attending Virginia Union University in Richmond ,VA. Ms. Liz took some time off from dancing to start her family and finished her college education. She has her Bachelor’s Degree from Armstrong Atlantic State University, obtained Master’s degree in Adult Education, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Liz also coordinates events for the Dance ministry at her church Solid Rock Christian Center, she is also served as the Co-Chair of the Arts and Letters Committee for the Huntsville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Her desire is to teach the arts to anyone who has a passion for it regardless of race, age, gender, weight, religion, or experience in the arts.
Daryl Bowden- Owner/Business Manager While serving as a soldier in the US Army, Daryl Bowden gained a passion for sports, technology and music. Daryl participated in Chinese Martial Arts Instruction, plays Basketball and Softball in various city leagues; as well as, coaching youth Basketball, Baseball, and Soccer. Using various computer programs and equipment, he has been able to create and edit the music CD's and DVD's required for NEEMA performances. Daryl has a Bachelor's Degree from Columbia College and a Master's in Industrial Systems from Alabama A&M University. He currently serves as a Systems Engineer for Decibel Research, Inc. He serves as Chairman of the Talent Hunt program for Xi Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Daryl believes it is very important for children to be mentally and physically active and that the time he uses to coach youth sports and to be another positive figure in the studio is well spent.
Tasha Edwards- (Technical Choreographer) Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Tasha began her dance and choreography career at the age of nine. Unable to afford dance lessons, she practiced routines she saw on television, practiced them, changed them and taught them to her friends. By the time she graduated high school, she was dancing with her school's performance company, was a member of the dance team, dancing at church and a member of the New Life Performance Company, a Chicago youth dance troupe under the direction of the late Anthony Hollins. After dancing with the Tennessee State University Dance Experience Ensemble under the direction of Judy Gentry and helping a friend to start a dance school in Nashville, Tasha left the dance world to start a family and complete both her Bachelor's and Master's degrees. She started teaching at NEEMA Performing Arts upon moving to Alabama in 2004 where she performs, choreographs and continues teaching modern and company dance classes. She is also currently a Master Trainer for Piloxing, teaches yoga, Pilates and Zumba and serves as an ambassador for Under Armour.
Devon Jones aka Vegas- wasn’t very interested in dancing much until at the age of 12 and it was real huge step for him; took a lot of hard work, practice and determination to become well experienced. Sophomore year in Lee High School he became a part of Dance Magnet Incorporated (DMC) and was the only guy in it for 3 years. His dance teacher was Mrs. Nikki Hunkinpillar who opened his eyes to whole new of meaning of choreography; he was able to take Jazz, Ballet, and mix it up with Hip-Hop. After graduating from Lee High in 2005 he started to take his talent to new heights and excel more in varieties in Hip-Hop, that’s when he started attending Alabama A&M University to get the feel of college life which started out tough, but began to get real familiar with it. The college life was a good experience, but it wasn’t helping him on his quest of success in the entertainment industry that’s when he spotted his first dance crew named “NRG Dance Team” Alabama A&M campus. Being with the crew taught him a lot of things on movements, transitions, and team work; being one of the best dancers on the team he was named “Huntsvegas”, that is where his nickname “Vegas” came from and has represented that name ever since. With his wife Kimberly Jeanette Jones by his side to motivate him and support him to reach his goals he's ready to go the distance and excel in his choreography to reach the next level in his life later on now since he has a new addition to his new upcoming family his daughter "Kalila Sophia Jones" he's hoping to see her follow his footsteps (just a little).
Bira Hood- began dancing at the age of 4 at Mobile Ballet located in Mobile, Alabama. Over a period of 12 years she studied Jazz, Ballet, and Pointe with Mobile Ballet and also participated as a company apprentice performing in ballets such as the Nutcracker and Cinderella. Miss Hood has continued her passion for dance at NEEMA International Performing Arts Studio taking Ballet, Jazz, African, and Modern since the summer of 2008. Bria is a member of The Beacon Hill Worship Center in Madison, AL where she is ministry lead for the youth and women’s dance teams. She strives to implement the technique of a trained dancer intertwined with the heart of a worshipper so their movements may be for God’s glory. Miss Hood earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University in Normal, Alabama. She currently works as a Graduate Civil Engineer/Asphalt Inspector for the AL Department of Transportation in Guntersville, Alabama. Miss Bria is very appreciative of the opportunity NEEMA has allotted to her life as a dancer, company member, and a teacher. It has allowed her to cultivate her passion for dance and bond with fellow dancers that embody the same heart for the art.
Ashley Monique Kelly- started dancing at the age of six in a ballet class at her home church, Cade Chapel M.B. Church, in Jackson, MS. Since then, she has studied ballet, jazz, modern and tap dance at Ballet Mississippi, Power Academics and Performing Arts Complex (APAC), and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Dance Department. Ashley also studied vocal music, piano, and music theory at Power APAC and USM for 11 years. Ashley is a current member of the dance ministry at First Missionary Baptist Church here in Huntsville, AL where she is also a member of the Young Adult Ministry (YAM) choir. Mrs. Kelly earned her B.S. in Mathematics at USM in Hattiesburg, MS and her M.S. in Mathematics at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. She currently works as the Lead Cost Model Developer at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) here in Huntsville. She has an online Etsy store, called Ashley Kelly Elegance, where she sells her handmade jewelry, girls’ hair accessories, and other crafts. She has been married to Erick Kelly since March 23, 2013, and they are parents to a beautiful baby girl named Karalyn. Mrs. Kelly is thankful for NEEMA International Performing Arts because it allows her to continue to explore her love of dance and bond with great people in the process.