Miss Jessie hails from Boston, MA. She began her classical ballet training at the age of three at Northeast School of Ballet under the tutelage of Sandra McNaught and Denise Cecere. Jessie has performed extensively with the schools affiliated company, Northeast Youth Ballet. Through NSB's professional trainee program, she earned scholarship tuition by acting as an assistant teacher and mentor to students aged 3-16. Jessie has been accepted to and has attended some of the world's most prestigious classical ballet summer programs, including but not limited to: Virginia School of the Arts (2001), The San Francisco Ballet School (2002), and the Kirov Academy of Ballet (2003-2006), all on full scholarship. Ms. Atienza has had the opportunity to perform principal roles in many classic ballets, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Snow White, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Coppelia, thirteen consecutive productions of The Nutcracker, and many original contemporary and classical ballets. Jessie studied English at Providence College in Providence, RI. She has taught ballet, contemporary, and lyrical in the Greater Boston Area for the past six years.
Miss Laura “Lo” Barajas began dancing at the age of 3. At age 9 she began dancing competitively at Commonwealth Dance Academy in Walpole. During her time at Commonwealth Dance Academy, she attended several conventions with master choreographers and received two scholarships to attend National workshops with the Dance Educators of America organization. In 2010, after 3 years of training, Miss Lo received her teaching certificate through the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston.
Michelle has been dancing locally since she was 5 years old. She has studied jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop and lyrical, and has competed as a member of several hip-hop and jazz teams. Michelle has also attended master tap classes with locally and nationally-acclaimed tappers. She was a member of Needham High School's Varsity Dance Team for four years, during which the team won the State Championship and performed at home football, soccer and basketball games. Michelle is studying Speech-Language Pathology, as well as Spanish at Boston University. She continues to study all types of dance at school and in the Greater Boston area, and she is an active member of BU's Salsa Club. Michelle brings great enthusiasm to dance classes. She enjoys sharing her love of dance and being a role model to the younger dancers at AFDS!
Carolyn Breton began dance training at Lisa Pilato Dance Center in her hometown of Dracut, MA. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts from The Boston Conservatory. Upon graduation, Carolyn became a touring dancer for Urbanity Dance Company. Currently, Breton is Rehearsal Director and touring member of Pantos Project performing in various venues throughout New York and New England. Most notably, the company recently performed at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in The Berkshires. In addition, she performs improv-based work with Once Upon Each Time in Boston. Breton has premiered choreography at the Boston Conservatory Dance Theatre & Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, along with numerous competition works. Recently receiving her Master's Degree from Northeastern University, Carolyn is currently teaching, choreographing, assisting, and performing across New England & New York. This will be Carolyn's 6 season with AFDS. We love having her teach and choreograph.
Sarah-Katarina “SKooJ CorE-O” brings her knowledge and talents with experience in performance, choreography, instruction, and adjudication. Her present focus is on Commercial/Theatrical Hip Hop and Contemporary dance, yet strongly trained in various styles such as Musical Theater, Jazz, and Modern. SKooJ is a graduate of Dean College with a Degree in Dance and Business Administration. After her two years at Dean, SKooJ traveled to Los Angeles, Tampa, and San Antonio to choreograph for studios but eventually came back to her Boston roots in 2009 and became part of The Jeannette Neills Dance Studio Faculty!
SKooJ is the Lead Artistic Director of the Boston-based Static Noyze Dance Company (World Of Dance:NYC/NJ Champions and Carnival NYC Members), Convention Teacher for Turn It Up Dance Challenge, National Adjudicator for various competitions, and Guest Choreographer for studios throughout the country. In 2011 her work created the Boston Community Dance Project (BCDP), a professional collective expressing their passion of story telling through contemporary and fusion movements. BCDP’s work can be seen at the Massachusetts Dance Festival, NYC Dance Week, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival and more! Her talents have also been featured on the new HGTV series “Spontaneous Construction”, NESN, and recently on The Dr. Oz Show!
SKooJ CorE-O entered the Music Video with choreographing for International Pop Artist Tamara Rodriguez, Pop/R&B Artist Erene, and Lucia Marie’s House of Blues Tour! Other music video credits include “Digital Love” by Makio, “Dance With You” by Bad Rabbits ft. Clinton Sparks, and Static Noyze Dance Company’s concept videos “Dance You Off”.
Lastly, SKooJ partnered up with Salty Bovine Films with setting artistry for their past two short films ADONIS and MOSDEN while most recently showcased her acting talent in the unreleased 2014 movie Basic Math starring Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel.
Lindsey graduated with her BFA from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She has worked and performed with companies and artists such as Roni Koresh/Koresh Dance, Michael Sustan and Company, Pennsylvania Ballet and Philadanco. She travels the country judging and managing Turn It Up Dance Challenge regional and national events. Other work includes numerous tv/film and print work credits for networks including ABC, NBC and TLC as well as Walt Disney World Resorts and Toronto School for Arts. Lindsey has traveled to Europe, South America and Hawaii with Norwegian Cruise Lines where she served as dance captain and performing. Lindsey is known throughout New England for her Contemporary and Jazz master classes and her students have received national level recognition. Lindsey is excited to share her passion for dance and teaching with her students. We are delighted to welcome Lindsey to A Fine Dance Studio.
Adriana Lopez first discovered Zumba in 2004 when she saw a commercial on Univision for the original DVD’s in Spanish. She was immediately entranced and felt connected to her Latin roots. After ordering the DVD’s and dancing along in her living room she searched for classes to take in the boston area. Zumba was still in its early stages and had not yet been introduced to the Boston area so there were no classes available. However, she found herself staring at the postcard that was included with the DVD’s looking for instructors. She had contemplated doing the instructor training but decided against it because although she had a passion for dancing, she was physically out of shape, and overweight. Although she was always ready to face and conquer new challenges, becoming a Zumba instructor seemed out of reach. This was the first time in her life that she felt inhibited by a challenge. She was defeated. It was at that point when Adriana realized the importance of a healthy lifestyle and what she needed to change. She adjusted her eating habits and attended a variety of different group fitness classes religiously. After 2 years of hard work, she dropped 6 dress sizes, 65 pounds, and became physically more fit. She maintained a healthy weight and body mass for several years and finally made the decision to become a Zumba instructor. Since then she has been teaching classes and I enjoys every minute of it! Zumba was the initial spark that changed her life for the better and it is now the vehicle that enables her to motivate, inspire and challenge others to reach their fitness goals and achieve long-term benefits while creating a strong sense of community.
Adriana is licensed to teach: Zumba, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Gold, Zumba Kids, Zumba Kids Jr
Bio coming soon.
Sarah Massey has been dancing for 20 years and began her training at one of Massachusetts top ranking studios. She was a part of the regional and national winning dance company and trained in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, and hip hop. She recently received her bachelors in business management and also studied dance throughout her four years at her university. Sarah was also president of the the Kinetic Edge Hip Hop Team throughout college and brought her team to 1st place at the New England Cheer and Dance Competition with her original award winning choreography. She now is the coach for this hip hop team and is training them for the NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. The past four years she has instructed and choreographed for students of all ages both recreationally and competitively at a few studios across New England, achieving multiple overalls and high recognition. The past three years Sarah has been a part of the Boston-based company, Project Nailz and has had the opportunity to compete at World of Dance New Jersey, taking home second place with her company. She is looking forward to spreading her passion for dance with the students of A Fine Dance Studio!
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Carla Otero started her classical ballet training at the age of five in Byron, GA. She moved to Puerto Rico where she continued her studies at the Conservatory of Ballet Concierto under the tutelage of Carlota Carrera, Sylvia Marichal, Jose Pares, Maria Carrera, Maria Julia Landa, Lourdes Gomez, Lolita San Miguel, among others. As a student she received scholarships to train during the summers at the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet and at the 41st and 42nd Bartholin International Ballet Seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark. While in Denmark, she trained under the tutelage of Laura Alonso, Martin James and Fernando Bujones. At age sixteen she joined the company of Ballet Concierto of Puerto Rico where she had the pleasure of dancing in great classics like Giselle, Swan Lake, La Fille Mal Gardee, Copellia, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, among others. In addition to her classical repertoire, Otero has danced in numerous contemporary works by Jesus Miranda, Carlos Cabrera, Maria Julia Landa, and Alberto Mendez. After being with the company for two years, she moved to Boston to pursue her Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science and International Relations at Simmons College. During her time as an undergraduate student, Carla was actively involved as a dancer in the Colleges of the Fenway (COF) Dance Project since it’s inception in 2006, and as a ballet instructor for LEAP (Lifelong Exercise and Activities Program) at Simmons College. In 2009 Carla debuted as a choreographer with her piece titled March of Mephisto in collaboration with Cori Wooldridge. After graduating in 2010, Carla became an instructor for the COF Dance Project and in 2014 became the Assistant Director. Otero was invited as a guest artist to perform in the premiere of Anastasia and to dance in Bournonville’s Flower Festival in Genzano Pas de Deux with Chambersburg Ballet Theater in Pennsylvania. Carla remains active as a dancer and choreographer and trains throughout the Boston and Cambridge areas
Relocating from New York City, Kat Pantos is excited to be back in her hometown of Boston launching Pantos Project! As the former Associate Director of Urbanity Dance (2009-2012), Pantos performed lead roles in, 'Story of Stuff' and 'Between the Lines.' She toured with the company, performing on stages such as Sam Houston University and Jacobs Pillow Inside/Out. Pantos is currently performing with Tributary Dance, under the direction of Amanda Whitworth. With Tributary Dance, she photographed with Lois Greenfield and performed alongside the Manchester choral in a premiere performance of Carmina Burana.
Pantos's choreography has been performed at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, Boston University Dance Theatre, John Hancock Hall, Hanaway Theatre, and the Paramount Theatre/Emerson College.
Most recently Pantos was chosen as one of ten featured women choreographers for the Women in Dance Series (Ailey CityGroup Theater). As the founder and director of Pantos Project, she is committed to nurturing her craft to create movement that artistic and entertaining. With a focus on the process of her work, Pantos is directly inspired by her dancers. Pantos prides herself on working with artists who are technically sound, aggressive, daring, open beings; Pitbulls!
Pantos is currently teaching and choreographing in New England. A highly sought after contemporary dance educator, well known for inspiring each student to advance both technically and creatively, she challenges her students to use their own experiences to dance from an honest place, and find comfort in sharing YOU!
Serena and Savana are 18-year-old identical twins. Currently working as professional dancers they have had many accomplishments including: principal roles in the feature film “Annie” as dancers, principal roles in the wayfair.com holiday commercial, backup dancing for artists at the Kiss 107.9 concert, principal dancers in the Twister Dance Rave commercial, recently became the new faces of Reebok, and also travel around the country dancing with one of the top dance conventions in the US. Not only do they dance, but they also sing, act, and model. Serena and Savana teach dance around Boston whenever they can, as a way to “give back” and teach what they’ve learned around the country to all those people who helped them and inspired them to get to where they are today. Both sisters received their dance training from multiple studios including, Boston Ballet, Marblehead School of Ballet, Bosoma Dance Company, and Jeannette Neill Dance Studio. They have also trained in acting from Hollywood East Talent and voice from Jeffrey Prescott. In addition, both recently graduated from North Reading High School with honors. Both received their first big break as featured dancers in the Britney Spears Twister Dance Rave commercial. After auditioning with 500 other dancers, both were picked as part of the sixteen featured dancers. Serena and Savana are so excited to be back teaching at AFDS as part of the guest faculty.
Bio coming soon.
Miss Brea started her dance training at Suzanne Perdue's Dancers Edge in MA and has trained and assisted some of the top teachers and choreographers in the country including Mia Michaels, Stacey Tookey, John Crutchman, Dee Caspary and Doug Caldwell. She's established a name for herself as a highly skilled dancer and choreographer, taking her own performances as well as her students to the next level. Brea has been has been recognized for her choreography receiving Top Choreographer Awards and has toured with regional ballet companies in MA, performed with choreographer, Dan Karaty (N‘Sync, So You Think You Can Dance) and in the off-Broadway show, “Break The Floor" at age 13 after receiving a full scholarship to their intensive. A semi-finalist on Season 2 of “So You Think You Can Dance," her unique choreography keeps Brea in demand throughout the country as well as teaching at workshops and intensives. Recently, Brea has spent the past year dancing at Walt Disney World. In addition, Brea adjudicates dance competitions throughout the country and brings an energy and passion to her convention and studio classes that is contagious, motivating and inspiring! She feels honored to be a part of the AFDS teaching and choreography faculty.
Katie Pustizzi is beyond excited to be joining the AFDS faculty and choreography team. From the moment she stepped foot into the classroom she felt inspired and enthusiastic to work with our dancers.
Katie, Artistic Director of Aurora Borealis Dance Company, graduated Cum Laude from Salem State University with a degree in dance. She will be a graduate student at Goddard College in their MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program beginning 2016. She has also trained at Boston University as a part of her high school curriculum with many wonderful faculties in addition to The Boston Conservatory, Northeast Youth Ballet, BalletRox and more.
Katie has received various scholarships and awards over the years such as the “Broadway Dance Scholarship”,"Presidential Arts Scholarship", and most recently the "Creativity Arts Award" from Salem State University; the highest honor in the Arts at SSU.
Katie has worked for Harmonix Music Systems, dancing for their video game: Dance Central 2. Katie has also worked, choreographed, and/or performed professionally with BalletRox/Boston Urban Ballet in Anthony William’s Urban Nutcracker, The Adagio Dancers, Zoe Dance, and Boston Community Dance Project. She currently works at multiple studios in addition to working in the Arts Department at Gann Academy teaching dance.
As the Founder and Artistic Director of Aurora Borealis Dance Company, Katie works with young pre-professional dancers and brings the professionalism of dance into the lives of these aspiring artists through weekly classes, rehearsals, master classes, and professional performances around New England. Aurora Borealis Dance Company has worked with many notable companies and names such as Pilobolus Dance Theater, Ellenore Scott, The Ailey Extension, and Dusty Button: Principal Dancer of the Boston Ballet to name a few. Aurora Borealis Dance Company, now in its fourth season, is thriving under Katie’s direction, leadership, and vision.
Alana Rosenbloom is an proud AFDS alumni who is currently studying at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She has been dancing since she was two years old and trained at AFDS throughout high school. During her years with AFDS she began realizing the importance of strength, conditioning, body control and body awareness. As one of the most memorable technicians AFDS has ever produced there wasn’t a skill that Alana couldn’t master. She was awarded several special awards while performing including “Perfect Powerhouse” and “Young Choreographer Of The Year”. During her summers she participated in rigorous and intensive dance programs at Interlochen Arts Camp and Jeanette Neill Dance Studio. She continues to study dance at college and loves choreographing in all genres of dance. She loves coming home to teach all of the talented dancers at AFDS and looks forward to every school vacation that she gets to come and take class here.
Bio coming soon.
Miss Shauna is excited to join our AFDS faculty again this season. A native of Connecticut, Shauna studied and taught dance in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Most notably, Shauna taught contemporary and jazz dance classes at Yale University. Now in the New York City, she is Head Coach of the Purple & White Dance Team at New York University, and is also a substitute teacher for Debbie Wilson at Broadway Dance Center while continuing to teach and inspire young people in the art of dance at City Moves Dance Studio. She also is co-founder of PomFit, a cheerleading and dance team inspired fitness routine in NYC. Shauna’s groovy style mixed with her feminine swag is the heart of her choreography. Matching the energy of the music, she is able to take you on a visual roller coaster that builds to a climax and leaves you wanting more. Lyrics and accented beats inspire Shauna’s movement, and her choreography tells a story with visual pictures that shape sound.
Kerry Sullivan has over 25 years of professional dance training. Growing up in Weymouth, MA Kerry trained at Center Stage Dance Company while also dancing with the Weymouth High School Dance Team. She went on to the University of New Hampshire, where she was the captain and choreographer of the dance team. Kerry led the team to a top three finish at the 2010 UDA College National Dance Team Championships.
Kerry has also taught professionally with the Universal Dance Association (UDA) as a veteran head instructor, where she had the opportunity to travel both nationally and internationally teaching high school and college dance teams. Kerry serves as a head judge for the UDA Dance Team National Championships, as well as state and regional competitions.
Currently, Kerry is in her fifth year as the Head Coach of the Harvard University Crimson Dance Team. Under her leadership, the Crimson have consistently placed in the top 15 dance teams among Division I teams in the country.