Meet our incredible team of trained and dedicated faculty.
Creative Director; Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Theater, Lyrical, HipHop
Our Director Miss Gricel has been instructing children for over 35 years. She combines a nurturing style with a strong emphasis on technique in a no-drama atmosphere where all children are supported. During her teenage years, she trained at the Joffrey Ballet School. After graduating High School she received a prestigious scholarship to attend the prominent Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 4 years learning all styles from African to Modern. In addition, she attended top NYC schools where she trained regularly under greats like Frank Hatchet, David Howard and many more. She has been with different companies as a principal dancer such as the Ballet Theater of Westchester performing in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, to name a few. After working as a professional dancer in her 20's, she focused her talent to teaching: Ballet, Pointe, Theater, Lyrical, Street Jazz and more. Her ballet classes emphasize correct development of technical and artistic elements of classical and contemporary ballet. Her style creates a class that appeals to both the serious student and novice dancers. Miss Gricel has taught class in NYC, Hudson Valley & NJ. Continuing her passion and love for teaching children, she established Dance Connections in 2006.
Theater, Contemporary, Lyrical, Street Jazz, HipHop
Miss Tara is a currently professional working dancer and choreographer living in the Tristate area. Dancing since the age of 3, she is trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, HipHop/ Foundation styles, and Gymnastics. She has been traveling into New York City to train at Broadway Dance Center and PeriDance Capezio Center since age 10 as well as with Dance Connections since our grand opening 10+ years ago. Tara has recently danced with Jennifer Lopez for her MTV VMA Vanguard Performance at Radio City, and her Live Concert on The Today Show. As well as with BTS on their “Love Yourself” tour stop in NYC, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the film “In The Heights”. Also, Tara has performed at high profile venues such as NY/LA Carnival, Sybarite, World of Dance, ACE Awards and a multitude of other stages for amazing choreographers. Tara is grateful to have received prestigious scholarships at numerous dance conventions such as The Pulse on Tour Protégé, Monsters of HipHop Show Nomination, Radix Core Performer, Noble Prodigy Assistant at Artistic Dance Exchange, and The Entourage at The Main Event. Tara has also danced and trained under So You Think You Can Dance, Tony and Emmy Award winning choreographers and notable teachers such as Napolean & Tabitha (Nappy Tabs) Tyce D'ioro, Brian Friedman, Tessandra Chavez, Miguel Zarate, Molly Gray, and many many more. She also has been recognized for her own choreography at competitions and got selected to showcase her work at the 2019 Young Choreographers Festival in NY. She is a long time member of Abstrakt Beings The Company and is signed with Clear Talent Group NY. Tara is currently in high demand teaching and choreographing pieces in Long Island, NJ, NYC and we are so lucky to have her teaching regularly here at our school.
Tap, Lyrical, HipHop, Theater
Miss Ashley coordinates and choreographs for our Contemporary and Theater Performance opportunity workshops as well as teaching our year-round Intermediate Tap, Int/Adv Lyrical, and Adv 1 HipHop classes. Beginning her dance career at age 3, Ashley is trained in Ballet, Tap, Theater, Contemporary and HipHop styles. During her training years, she was largely involved in musical theater performance and was cast as a Featured Dancer in the DVHS productions of Beauty and the Beast, Pippin, and Anything Goes! She graduated from Bucknell University with a BSBA in Sustainability Management and continues to train in dance alongside her full-time career as a Project Manager. She has a strong passion for teaching dance and brings careful attention to each student in each of her classes. Ashley also assists our studio with varies operational tasks such as managing our website and serving as our end of year Recital Coordinator.
Miss Samantha is an Alum of the Dance Connections family and has been training with us for 16 years in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, HipHop, Theater, and Contemporary styles. Samantha has been consistently dedicated to our studio and has proved to be an invaluable addition to our team not only due to her skills as a dancer, but also because of her cheerful disposition while teaching our students. Samantha teaches NY Style HipHop for ages 10 and up, in addition to assisting beginner Ballet and HipHop. She currently attends the University of Scranton for Nursing. She is passionate about teaching our students how to grow confidence through dance and how to apply what they learn in the studio to their everyday lives.
Miss Georgia is a competitive Gymnast and trained for 7 years at International Gymnastics school. She loves to teach children. Her nurturing and caring disposition has her beloved among her students. Miss Georgia has a degree in Psychology and specializes in children with autism and other disabilities as a Qualified Intellectual Disability Professional. She has been teaching Gymnastics for 5 years with a USA Gymnastics Certification.
We are proud to offer the opportunity for some of our interested students to assist our faculty with dance and gymnastics classes. Assisting gives them the opportunity to grow as leaders, implement structure, learn choreographic skills and more.