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Our Faculty

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 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 was 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. Tara also runs our studio's Instagram and Tiktok accounts..



Tap, Lyrical, HipHop, Theater 

Miss Ashley coordinates and choreographs for our spring Contemporary and Theater workshops as well as teaching year-round classes for Intermediate/Advanced Tap, Beginner Musical Theater, Advanced HipHop, and Intermediate Lyrical. Beginning her dance career at age 3 and an Alum of Dance Connections, 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 and teach at Dance Connections alongside her full-time career living in Manhattan. She has a strong passion for teaching dance in a fun and inviting atmosphere 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 students how to grow confidence through dance and how to apply what they learn in the studio to their everyday lives. 



Lyrical, Contemporary, HipHop, Ballet

Miss Alexa is trained in a variety of styles, including ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, theater, tap, heels, and a variety of dance fusions. An Alum of Dance Connections herself, Miss Alexa continued her dance training in New York City. Since she started at age 10, she has had the opportunity to train closely with respectable choreographers, including Neil Schwartz, Sheila Barker, KC Castellano, Cat Coligandro, and many more. She has had professional experience on and off the camera, including Love and Hip Hop, a music video for Des Roc, and choreographer projects to name a few. She also studied dance in an academic setting, including undergraduate education at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC and some graduate education at SRH Hochschüle in Heidelberg, Germany. 

Miss Alexa grew so passionately about teaching from being an assistant teacher at Dance Connections that she continued to teach in the city. She joined Dance to Unite, a non profit organization that offered free dance classes to underprivileged communities and taught ballet for 3 years. Miss Alexa now regularly teaches intermediate lyrical and fills in as a substitute for hip hop, tap, jazz, and ballet classes. She is passionate about sharing her love of the art with students, creating a safe yet challenging environment, and encouraging students to think (and dance) outside the box.



Gymnastics Instructor

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.


Assistant Team

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.

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