Maria is the owner, instructor and artistic director of Alegria Dance Studio. Born in Madrid Spain, she moved to South Carolina in her late teens. Maria studied dance as a kid and as an adult, found her love for middle eastern dance. For the past 20+ years, she has studied with multiple teachers, traveling across the USA to learn from her mentors. Maria studies various styles including folkloric styles of Egypt, traditional middle eastern dance and its more modern forms. In 2008, she opened her studio in Columbia. She became Columbia’s first certified American Tribal Style Bellydance instructor and Sister Studio. She has earned several certifications and continues to pursue her studies. Maria is certified Level II in the SalimpourFormat of Bellydance.Maria is also working on her 8 Elements of Bellydance certification with Rachel Brice.From 2017 until 2021, Maria taught middle eastern dance at the University of South Carolina. In October of 2020, she opened her studio in West Columbia. In the past few years, the studio has grown to offer Flamenco, Ballet, Contemporary, Hula and Yoga along with traditional and modern fusion bellydance.
ATS Certified Instructor - April 2011
Technique For Teachers (ATS) - August 2018
Salimpour Level II Certifications - Jan 2018
Datura -8 Elements Certifications - Phase I, II, III and IV
Datura Style Bellydance Instructor - October 2023
Over 20 years of dance experience.
Alegria Dance Studio is open to anyone that is interested in learning how to dance or to continue their dance study.Webelieve that everyone can pursue their dance dreams.We hold an open and safe space for you.
Register for classes through our Punchpass website.Click here to register today!
Bellydance for Kids - 3:45PM
Flamenco for Kids - 4:25PM
Flamenco - Adults - 5PM
Level III Bellydance - 6PM
Level II Bellydance - 7PM
Contemporary for Adults - 7PM (Studio B)
Level I Bellydance (Fundamentals) - 8PM
Restorative Yoga - 5:15PM (Studio B)
Modern Fusion Style Bellydance - Datura® Style - 6:15PM
American Fusion Bellydance - ATS® Style - 7:15PM
ATS Manton/Fan - 8:15PM
Ballet for Kids - 4:15PM
Contemporary for Kids - 5:00PM
Hip Hop for Kids - 5:45PM
Fundamentals of Fusion Bellydance - 6:30PM (Studio B)
Ballet for Adults - 6:30PM
Fundamentals of Bellydance - 7:30PM (Studio B)
Fundamentals of Dance - 7:30PM
Hula - 5:30 (Studio B)
Flamenco - 7PM
Hip Hop - 7:45PM (Studio B)
Choreography Series - 8PM
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 performed the folkloric dances of Puerto Rico asa member of Grupo Taíno for 10 years. She begain studying and performing Bellydance at Alegría Studio over a decade ago. She began studying Hawaiian Hula under the tutelage of Maupana Beauregard-Axelson and has advanced to instructing Hula with the goal of sharing her love and knowledge of Hawaiian culture in South Carolina through dance.
She is a member Halau Alohalani in Columbia, SC
Laura has always had artistic creation in her heart (painting, drawing, sculpting, graphic design, hairdressing), but never took a dance class until 2018 when she found Alegria. Dancing is like creating art with movement. With everything she does, she is ‘Always An Artist.
You can find her in Raqs Sharqi, ATS, Datura, Flamenco, ATS Mantón & Contemporary classes at Alegria. She believes in being a well-rounded dancer. Discovering dance has been life changing for her, and has become a spiritual practice as well.
Laura has a BFA in Fine Art and Education from the UofSc, and is the Owner of The Purple Chair, Columbia’s most creative, healing hair salon. Laura is our Social Media Designer and Videographer.
Missy LeAna started practicing yoga in 2014.She received her 230 hour Certification in July 2018 from Asheville Yoga Center, and my RYT 200 from the Yoga Alliance in August 2018. She has completed her 500 hour RYT.
Her goal 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 she 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!
Originally from Pennsylvania, Crystal began to call Columbia, SC home in 2004. She briefly left Columbia to live and work in LaPorte, IN before coming back and joining Alegria as a student in early 2017. Using her background in communications and many years of stage-managing experience, Crystal has helped around the studio as the Communications Chair, among various other hats she has worn when needed. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University in communication and journalism and an associate degree in computer and information science from Midlands Technical College. When not dancing, she is proofreading studio correspondence; writing press releases for events; helping plan and put on events at the studio; and working in the local film industry. She currently resides in West Columbia with her husband and three adorable kitties and works as a data analyst.
Krista Haidle is orginally from Pittsburgh, Pa. She has lived in SC since 2009 when she graduated college and began working as an Athletic Trainer for the United States Army. Krista's dance journey has followed her through the states as her education in health and wellness continues to expand.
Krista started dancing at the age of three at Steel City Academy of Dance (formally known as Pat's Dance Studio). Throughout her years at the studio she danced Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap and Acro. She was also on the High School Dance Team. Krista then went on to continue her dance journey and take up a minor in dance with Slipper Rock University. She worked mulitple summers as a choreographer for local highschools, winning McKeesport High School, Best Choreogrpahy,
Since the move to Columbia in 2009 Krista has once again found her love for dance. In 2019 she joined the Alegria Dance tribe and is proud to continue to be a student of Flamenco, Datura, ATS and Bellydance. She currently has the privledge of teaching Kids Ballet and Hip Hop as well as Adult Ballet and Contemporary. Alegria Dance studio has allowed for her to not only stay in her passion but finally pass down the gratitude of all the teachers before her by teaching others.