Ella is our Melody Movement Studio owner and founding member of our faculty. After a decade-long career in the Chinese Oil & Gas industry, and leaving the workforce to raise a family full time, Ella’s passion for cultural and traditional dance drove her to pursue her dream business. Originally from Shanghai, China, Ella’s experience as an instructor, choreographer, and performer began over 10 years ago, most notably in Nanjing, China. Since her 2016 arrival in Houston, Texas, USA Ella has become an award-winning dancer. Aside from her accolades as a performer, Ella is a proficient percussionist, avid volunteer at Fort Bend County Animal Services, and costume designer for Melody Movement Boutique.
Caspia Jade is a founding member of our Melody Movement Studio faculty and grew up on the North Shore of the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Learning Polynesian dances from a young age, her interest and respect for cultural and traditional art forms was nurtured from childhood. As a student at Columbia University in the City of New York, she became the President and Artistic Director of the Columbia University Bellydance troupe. She organized three years of their Intercollegiate Middle Eastern Dance Conference while obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Dance. Caspia Jade began her professional dance career in New York City, and has performed at many notable venues including the legendary Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall. In NYC, Caspia had the opportunity to work as an assistant at the Bellyqueen School, complete a Bellyqueen Teacher Training Program, and volunteer at Bellydance America and NYCairo Raqs Festival. Since her 2016 move to Houston, Texas, USA Caspia Jade has become an award-winning dancer and choreographer with notable competition wins. Aside from her accolades as a dancer, Caspia has advanced in her corporate career at a Fortune 500 company focusing on manufacturing customers across the industries of Oil & Gas, Food & Beverage, Energy Generation, and Supply Chain.
Percussionist and educator Duke Hunter brings over 20 years of percussion experience to the Melody Movement Studio faculty team. He’s been working in the realm of elementary education for the past six years as the resident teaching artist of Arabic percussion at the Arabic Immersion Magnet School. Duke obtained his undergraduate degree from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, and went on to receive a Master's Degree of Arts and Leadership from the University of Houston. With a balanced approach to performance and education, Duke can lead groups of all ages and skill levels on rhythmic pathways which explore rhythms that are shared throughout time and across all cultures, from Brazil to Cuba, to the Arab world of music.