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Mingye Liu

Dance Department Chair and Dance Instructor

Mingye Liu obtained his BFA in Classical Chinese Dance from Fei Tian College. He has taught classical Chinese dance in England, France, Germany, and the United States. He has choreographed award-winning dance pieces, which his students performed in competitions such as the International Dance Challenge Competition. Before becoming a dance instructor, he performed in over 800 shows around the world with Shen Yun Performing Arts and was a principal dancer in Shen Yun’s production of The Monkey King.

At a young age, Mingye Liu trained in traditional Chinese martial arts (wushu). Before studying classical Chinese dance, he obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering, graduating with honors, after which he turned his attention to more artistic pursuits, completing studies in classical Chinese dance at the New York-based Fei Tian Academy of the Arts and Fei Tian College. He won third place in New Tang Dynasty Television’s International Classical Chinese Dance Competition in 2009 and Honorable Mention in the same competition in 2012.

Li-Chun Lai (stage name: Siya Yang)

Dean of the Dance Department and Dance Instructor

Siya Yang teaches folk and ethnic dance at Northern Academy of the Arts, and is currently a choreographer with Shen Yun Performing Arts.

A graduate from the Minzu University of China in Beijing, Ms. Yang specialized in dance choreography and education. In 1996, she competed in the Taiwan Ethnic Dance Competition (adult division) and received first place (classical Chinese dance category) and second place (ethnic dance category). In 1999, she founded the Gin-Hwa Dance Group (Taiwan), served as both company manager and artistic director, and led the company in attending both national and international competitions. These included the Special Award, and the Yuan Ding Award from the 6th Tao Li Cup Competition in mainland China; the highest honor of international cultural exchange, and second place (adult division) in Kitakyushu’s 8th International Dance Competition; the 28th Flying Phoenix Dance award from Taiwan’s National Dance Society of China; and gold in two categories (classical Chinese dance and ethnic dance) for the adult group division in Singapore’s 2006 International Dance Competition.


Vladimir Roje

Adjunct Associate Professor, Classical Ballet

Vladimir Roje began his ballet training at the National School of Choreography in Sofia, Bulgaria. He received his BS and MS in Pedagogy and Choreography at the Ballet Faculty of the State Academy of Music and Arts, Sofia.

Since his graduation, Mr. Roje has performed as a Principal Dancer with national companies in Bulgaria, Germany, Austria, as well as the Carolina Ballet (NC), the New Jersey Ballet Company, and the Albany Berkshire Ballet. Throughout his extensive dance career, Mr. Roje has held the leading roles in many classical ballets, such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, La Bayadere, La Sylphide, Napoli, Don Quixote, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Esmeralda, Sylvia, Cinderella, Paquita, La Vivandiere, and The Nutcracker.

As a Principal Dancer, Mr. Roje has had the opportunity to work with numerous world acclaimed ballet masters and choreographers such as Yuri Grigorovich (Bolshoi Ballet), Irina Kolpakova (ABT, Marinsky Ballet), and more. Mr. Roje also worked as a ballet teacher at the Ballet School at the Opera House Graz (Austria), the School of the New Jersey Ballet Company, and the Stowe Dance Academy (Vermont). Currently, Mr. Roje is on the faculty of Fei Tian College in Middletown, NY.

Melissa Padham-Maass

Adjunct Associate Professor, Classical Ballet

Melissa Padham-Maass received her early dance training at the Dancer’s Studio in Warwick, NY under the direction of Lucinda Henry. Melissa holds a BFA with honors from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College (SUNY) and an MSc in Dance Science from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.

Melissa graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in Dance in May 2014. Melissa has been performing professionally both in NYC and around the country with Forces of Nature Dance Theatre since 2005 and Darrah Carr Dance since 2006. Melissa has had the opportunity to perform at many renowned venues including The Apollo, The New Victory Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Central Park Summer Stage, The Duke on 42nd St, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Riverside Church, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Skirball Center, 92nd St Y, The Today Show, Celebrate Brooklyn, and Aaron Davis Hall.

Ms. Padham-Maass is the Artistic Director of the Warwick Summer Arts Festival and The Warwick Center for Performing Arts and has co-directed Eros Movement Company, Brooklyn Contemporary Ballet Collective, Artisan Dance Company of Sugar Loaf, NY, and the Identically Different Dance Festival. She has presented work at various venues including Dixon Place, Center for Performance Research, Triskelion Arts, Tisch School of the Arts, WAX works, Built on Stilts Festival in Martha’s Vineyard, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Brooklyn Actors Fund, and 60×60 Dance at the Winter Garden Theater.

Melissa has been on the faculty or has been a guest teacher at Joffrey Ballet School, The Dancer’s Studio in Warwick, NY, Connecticut Dance Center, Conservatory of Dance in Wilton CT, Harlem Children’s Zone, Kinderdance NYC and Brooklyn, Gallatin School at NYU, Scarsdale Ballet, Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), SUNY Purchase, and the Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Academy. Melissa is currently an adjunct professor and the resident choreographer at SUNY Rockland.