OWNER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
This studio is a dream come true to me. I truly believe that dance is one of the most beautiful, organic, and expressive art forms. Although we compete at our studio, we are careful to focus on the healthy parts of competition: personal growth, exposure to many different dancers and choreographers, et cetera.
Ms. Jess has participated in formal dance lessons and won many awards competing for both dance and cheer for over 17 years, taught at various facilities in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, coached multiple high school dance teams, and has received awards for her choreography at competitions. She intensely studied ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe under her instructor, Maria Spagnola Torrence in Pennsylvania. She has also attended numerous national and regional dance conferences and continues to participate in Master classes and workshops throughout her adult life. She received top awards for competition in the professional circuit for multiple dances, as well as accolades for her choreography. She earned her Bachelor's in Elementary and Special Education with a Dance minor at Slippery Rock University. Currently, she is a special education teacher on Camp Lejeune at Brewster Middle School. She was honored to be named Camp Lejeune District Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017. She is also an AFAA certified group exercise, certified in Hot Hula and certified in Zumba.
SENIOR DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Ms. Danaë teaches jazz and tap as well as a special ballet technique class for our competitive dancers. Originally from New York, she has studied dance since the age of 7 at the June Claire School of Dance, with instructors including Linda Gaché and Lloyd Culberth. During this time, she was also a dancer in the renowned Long Island Ballet Theatre under the direction of Robert Christopher. She studied dance at the Long Island High School for the Arts and attended both the University of Hartford Hartt School of Dance and the State University of New York College at Brockport, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. Ms. Danaë has extensive training in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, kickline, and broadway dance styles. She is excited to share her extensive knowledge of dance and dance technique with the wonderful students at Jessica’s Dance Academy.
SENIOR DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Ms. Sarah has loved dance for nearly her entire life and it shows every time she takes the stage! Her passion is contagious and our kids love her! She began dancing at the young age of 5 and cheering at the age of 12. She was prestigiously named All-American Cheerleader in 1993/1994. She has multiple years of experience coaching cheer in youth, high school, varsity and all-star squads. She began competing in dance at age 11 and won numerous regional and national awards across multiple genres. She is a former dance studio owner and creative director, where she won choreography awards, most notably for tap numbers, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Five Guys Named Moe. Her routines have also received highest overall scores at competition. She has over six years of experience teaching tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical for preschool through high school age students, as well as assisting under the direction of Larry Payne and Erin Warpole. She is thrilled to be teaching again!
Ms. Carly has been dancing for the majority of her life! She has been cheering and dancing since elementary school and as she progressed, she began assisting in dance classes throughout her teen years. She was the recipient of the prestigious Coach's Award at Swansboro High School, recognizing her in both academics and athleticism. She was also selected as an all-conference cheerleader her senior year of high school. She has been recognized at numerous competitions, receiving high placements, first place overall awards, high score of the day awards and special awards applauding her for her awesome strengths, such as stage presence and performance quality. She has participated in multiple Master classes in tap, hip hop, jazz, ballet, and contemporary across the region. She continues her professional development in and outside of the studio, through specialized workshops, collaboration with colleagues, and professional networks of dance teachers. We have loved watching Carly step into her role as a teacher here at JDA and are thrilled to have her!
OFFICE MANAGER AND ART/ THERAPEUTIC INSTRUCTOR
Ms. Jamie loves being around kids and helping them to create and bring out their inner artists. She holds a Bachelor's in Technical Management and is currently the program supervisor with Swansboro Parks and Recreation where she also has the opportunity to plan events and summer day camp for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Jamie also has a Certificate in Commercial Art and Design. She has worked extensively with Special Olympics and Buddy Sports for individuals with special needs, as well as having worked in facilities who serve individuals with severe/profound special needs. She is an avid reader, runner and artist and loves to create whether it is spinning yarn, making cheese or painting a canvas!
Ms. Nicole is originally from Fort Worth, Texas. She began dancing in Fort Worth when she was about 4 years old where she studied jazz, tap, ballet, musical theater, and modern dance. She has performed in Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, and countless other cities under the direction of Debbie Jo Utter at Dance Concept. In between performances, she also taught ballet and jazz at her local studio. She is now in North Carolina and rekindling her love of dance with her two sons, Aiden & Jameson, and wonderful Husband, Chris. She is excited to see what will come next!
Ms. Jessica is originally from upstate New York and she began dancing at 3 years old. She is thrilled for this opportunity as an instructor at Jessica's Dance Academy! She began dancing at Sternfeld Dance Studio under the direction of Jean Vilers where she trained in tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet/pointe, and tumbling. She was a member of the competitive team for a number of years and received many top placements and accolades. Ms. Jessica began her dance teacher career as a teacher and assistant at Sternfeld Dance Studio. She also coached Gymnastics at KJ's Gymnastics during her summer breaks from college. Ms. Jessica danced in college, taking dance classes as well as being a choreographer for the college's dance troupe, Orchesis. She is currently a Chemistry teacher at Swansboro High School, where she also is the Cheer Coach. Ms. Jessica also holds additional certifications, including CPR and First Aid. She is excited to be teaching at Jessica’s Dance Academy!
Ms. Amy is a North Carolina native. From ages 7 - 17, she trained at The Carolina Strut in Havelock, NC, and then Morehead City, NC, in the arts of ballet, lyrical, tap, and pointe, under the direction of Melanie Galizia, and jazz under the direction of Veronica Welch. As a junior at West Carteret High School, she started the first dance team where they performed during halftime at football games. Since 2002, she has taught children from ages 3 - 18 at different studios all along the east coast of North Carolina the arts of tumbling, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and acro. Ms. Amy is thrilled to be back with Jessica’s Dance Academy after a few years away and is loving the dance life and family life with her husband Joe, their two children, Maeloni and JT, and their fur baby, Harley.
Ariana Guzman is a dancer and choreographer whom recently received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance with an additional concentration in Media Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There she had the opportunity to perform in student work and faculty pieces, including “Stance” by B.J. Sullivan and “Wom(b)an” by UNCG Alumni K.J. Wade. Ariana’s choreography has been showcased at numerous venues. Her work “Chemical Imbalance” and “Blue Boy” premiered at the UNCG Dance Theatre. Along with concert dance, Ariana has had the chance to do choreography for musical theatre, including “Chicago,” “Oklahoma,” “Beauty & the Beast” and “Grease” for Rivertowne Players and Carteret Community Theatre. Dance for camera is Ariana’s true passion; this can be seen in her work “Hyperactivity.” Ariana Guzman is thrilled to be back on the coast to share the passion and knowledge she has for dance.
Ms. Katie supports our staff at Jessica's Dance Academy remotely by creating audio mixes used by instructors for dance practices, competitions, and recitals. She also provides website support and assists in creating digital material for JDA. With almost ten years of dance experience at the June Claire School of Dance and just as many in digital technology, we are excited that she's lending her expertise to help the staff and students at JDA.
EDUCATIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL CONSULTANT
Ms. Tresha is a behavioral consultant who supports the academy in establishing a commitment to social emotional development. Ms. Tresha has worked in the education field for over 15 years and specializes in classroom behavior management and specialized behavior consultation. Through the development of the 3Ds of Dance (Dedication, Determination, and Discipline), she will assist in sharing our vision of the art of dance, encouraging and uplifting others within our art, collaborating with many professionals, creating an environment conducive to learning and giving back to our community.