Maria Palacio - Owner - Raqs Sharqi (Bellydance), Theatrical Folkloric, Flamenco, ATS, Datura
Maria is the owner and instructor of Alegria Dance Studio. Opening her studio in 2012, she wanted to provide a space to those that were interested in learning the art of Raqs Sharqi (Bellydance) but were reluctant for various reasons. Maria teaches various styles including traditional, folkloric, fusion styles including FCBD Style (AKA American Tribal Style), Datura Style, and modern fusion and Flamenco. Maria has always been a student and her teachers include Suhaila Salimpour, Rachel Brice, Carolena Nerrico and many more. When she's not in the studio teaching a class, she's most likely taking a class, traveling all over the US to learn from master instructors from the culture. She's a certified ATS instructor, Level II in the Salimpour format and level II in Datura's 8 Elements program having recently completed level III. Maria's love of dance is what drives her to be a better teacher and performer.
Valerie Hostos - Hula
Valerie Walelia Kapuakaimi Hostos found her love of dance at a young age and grew up with music and movement playing a big part of her life. She enjoyed Latin dance and even won a few Hustle and Salsa competitions in the early 80s. Wanting her children to know their latin heritage, she enrolled with her youngest daughter in a group begin performing the folkloric dances from Puerto Rico. Soon they were performing in a three state area and on ETV. In 1996, with her daughter was no longer being interested in dance, she decided to take a belly dance workshop and has been hooked ever since. After the Bellydance troupe she cofounded, Flores de Mukhmal, broke up, she began taking classes with Alegria Dance studio and has studied tribal fusion, ATS, and Rays Sharqi. She is an understudy with Serpentine Bellydance Company, and also studies Hula with Halau Alohalani in Columbia, SC.
Alithia Sims - Zumba
Krista Haidle - Contemporary, Ballet, Hip Hop
Mindy Rimer - Fundamentals of Bellydance, Fundamentals of Datura
Mindy Rimer regards dancing as a spiritual practice and means of self expression. She began training in the early 1980’s with tap, ballet, and jazz. From elementary school through college, she continued her dance education with modern, jazz, and early hip hop; integrating cheerleading for several years.
In 2009, she went, somewhat reluctantly, to a rural leisure center with a relative to take a belly dance class and fell in love. She joined the Gestic Star student troupe, led by Robin Mitchum. At a Gestic Star performance, she met Maria Palacio and later auditioned for her dance company, Serpentine Bellydance of Columbia, SC. Fast forward many years, and Mindy is an instructor for Palacio’s Alegria studio, and a member of her professional troupe.
Missy LeAna Jones - Yoga
I started practicing yoga in 2014. I received my 230 hour Certification in July 2018 from Asheville Yoga Center, and my RYT 200 from the Yoga Alliance in August 2018. I have been working towards and hope to finish my 500hour RYT in 2020 - three weekend workshops left to completion. After working for decades, first as a waitress, various desk jobs and night school, eventually progressing to a paralegal degree / career, I found myself tired, burned out, and frustrated. Yoga became my safety net, my bliss. As my practice continued, it became my passion. I felt driven to learn more, do more, give more back.
With the loving support and encouragement of my husband, family members, and countless friends and mentors in and out of the yoga community, I decided to take my shot, turn in my notice at work, and pack up my cubicle. So many people to thank, so little space. You know who you are - Thank You!
My yoga journey has been brutiful…both brutal and beautiful. To leave a state job, with decent pay and good benefits, that I had served in for over 10 years, and start over from scratch, was both terrifying and exhilarating. It still is.
My goal for opening inscape yoga is to help others find the inner peace, self-awareness and confidence, physical fitness, and wealth of love and friendships that the yoga community provides. Along the way, if I can inspire and help others find the will to pursue and fight for their dreams, persevere, take their shot, it will all be worth it!