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Maria Teresa Houar // Toast and Jam!

Born and raised in Hawaii, Maria Teresa Houar (MFA Dance // RYT 200) began her dance training in humble spaces such as church halls, basements and dojos where her mother taught jazz to a small dance community on Kauai back in the 1990s.

From these roots, Maria Teresa went on to teach and perform across California, India, Asia and Europe. While in India, she was the head of the Contemporary Division at The Danceworx Performing Arts Academy Mumbai, under the direction of bollywood choreographer Ashley Lobo (celebrity host of "Dance, India, Dance!"), and she founded a service and scholarship dance program for the Reality Gives Organization, an NGO that promotes education and empowerment to the people of Dharavi, Mumbai. During her time in India, she coordinated with foreign embassies and Arts organizations such as the American Center, Goethe Institut and British Council to bring international dance artists and workshops to India. She is also the choreographer of the short-film “Country of Bodies: Bombay in Dance”, which was screened across India and Europe.

Maria Teresa holds a MFA in Dance from Mills College in Oakland, BA Cum Laude in Art History for CSU Chico, and is also the recipient of the American Dance Guild Award for Choreographer-Educators from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

Maria Teresa returned to Hawaii 3 years ago, when she found Polearity Studios through her dance friend from Kauai, Kimberly Loo. It was here with the Polearity family that her love for dancing and teaching was rekindled after a 4-year hiatus, and she began teaching at the studio in the summer of 2017. Maria Teresa currently performs with Convergence Dance Theatre, Iona Dance Theatre, Peiling Kao Dances, and sometimes you can see her moonlighting with the fabulous folks of Honolulu Zouk. She also organizes “Toast and Jam”, a monthly contact dance social and potluck at Polearity, which is a place where people can build their partnering skills and foster collaborative practice across diverse dance and movement practices- all are welcome!

When not dancing or pursuing a PhD in Performance Studies, you can typically find Maria Teresa hanging with her two dogs Scupper and Brisby, trying to practice as much Ayurveda and Kundalini Yoga as possible, reading Rumi, running to Drake, and organizing dance festivals.


IG/SC @hulaphant


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