Dance Stop Dance Education Center
"Exceed Your Expectations"
New Jersey's Premiere Dance & Performing Arts Education Center
2 Spectacular Locations in Monroe & Parlin, New Jersey
Celebrating 32 Years of Dance!

  JUAN RODRIGUEZ
After beginning his early dance training at Westbury Academy and Two Worlds Dance, under the guidance of Jean Lee, Juan continued his training as a scholarship student in The Ailey School’s Junior Division Program, where he received the Donna Wood Award. Graduating from The Juilliard School with a BFA in 2001, he choreographed works that were presented at The Juilliard Theater, The Juilliard Drama Department, The Clark Studio, and Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Rodriguez joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater upon graduation. Mr. Rodriguez has danced professionally with such renowned companies as Dances Patrelle Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Configurations Ballet, Buglisi Foreman Dance, and Martha Graham Dance Ensemble. He has had the pleasure to perform works by Alvin Ailey, Hans Van Manen, William Forsythe, Alonso King, Nicolo Fonte, Donald Byrd, and Dwight Rhoden. Mr. Rodriguez joined Complexions in 2003.
     
  JENNIFER GOLONKA
is a Buffalo NY native and longtime NYC resident. She has danced with the Jessica Lang Project, Hannah Khan Dance Company, Third Law Dance/Theater and Thang Dao Dance Company. She has also performed with Battleworks Dance Company, Take Dance Company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Peter Chu’s CHU This, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Nicholas Villeneuve.

Golonka was on faculty at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp for 13 years, ending her tenure as Director of Dance. She is a Teaching Artist for Arts Connection (NYC) and was featured in the January 2014 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine for her work with this organization. She is the recipient of the Janklow Award, naming her Teaching Artist of the year, 2015. Jennifer has created works for the University at Buffalo, the symphony Strings on Mountain, Houston High School for the Performing Arts, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and many dance studios around the country.

     
  AL BLACKSTONE
Al Blackstone is a New York-based choreographer, performer, and educator and the recipient of the 2011 Capezio A.C.E. Award for Choreographic Excellence. Dance Magazine has called his work “sweet, silly, sly... infectious.” While working mostly in musical theatre, his passion for contemporary and jazz dance enriches his unique approach to storytelling. In July of 2012 he directed, and choreographed the original dance narrative Happy We'll Be at the legendary Roseland Ballroom. Other original works include: The Blues a Little for University of the Arts, Hello Dolly for Dancers Responding to Aids’ Dance From the Heart, the solos performed on So You Think You Can Dance by season 8 finalist Jess LeProtto, and an original piece for Broadway Bares 2013. Theatrical credits include directing and choreographing the opening number of Easter Bonnet 2013 (featuring Marin Mazzie) and Sweet Charity at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport, Long Island (choreographer). Favorite performing credits: Wicked (Broadway and 1st National Tour), Carousel (Barrington Stages), the feature film A Winter’s Tale, NBC’s American Dreams and TLCs Trading Spaces. His most recent adventure: assisting Sonya Tayeh on the new musical The Last Goodbye. He is currently on faculty at the Broadway Dance Center and Pace University in NYC and JUMP dance convention. www.alblackstone.net
     
  THANG DAO
Thang Dao was born in Danang, Vietnam. He currently resides in New York City as a freelance choreographer. Dao holds a MA degree from New York University’s Gallatin School. He received his formal dance education from the Juilliard School and The Boston Conservatory, where he received his BFA in 2001. Dao danced for the Stephen Petronio Company and the Metropolitan Opera until 2006. Dao has choreographed for Ballet Austin, Ballet Austin II, Ailey II, Ballet X, the Boston Conservatory along with many universities and performing arts schools. His works have toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed reviews. In 2006, his ballet Stepping Ground, choreographed for Ballet Austin for the 1st Biannual New American Dance Talent, received the Audience Choice Award all four nights. His ballet Echoes, commissioned by the Boston Conservatory, is being toured nationally and internationally with Ailey II. Dao is the recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship and the 2009 Special Project Grant. Dao is also a 2012 Vilcek finalist for creative promises. Dao was selected by renowned director/choreographer Otis Sallid to be one of the choreographers for “Get On The Good Foot” production commissioned by the Apollo Theater in collaboration with Philadanco for the 2013 premiere.
     
  ERICK FOOTMAN
Erick Footman was born and raised in Queens New York. He has been working as a professional Hip-Hop dancer/choreographer for over 15 years. Erick has choreographed and performed with various artist such as Chris Brown, Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Lil Mama, Fat Joe, and many more.

Erick also performed on several T.V. shows such as, MTV's America's Best Dance crew, MTV's TRL, BET's 106 & Park live, Showtime at the Apollo, Japan network NHK'S Chick Girls reality show and etc. Erick is also Co-founder and head choreographer of an all male Hip-hop group Called Stryke Force Ent. Stryke Force has performed all over the country and enjoys spreading their love for Hip-hop to other dancers.

Erick Footman still to this day enjoys training and inspiring students to learn the Hip-hop culture. He continues to teach Hip-hop classes and workshops from here in NYC to as far as Tokyo, Japan. Erick Footman's motivation is continue to spread happiness, confidence and joy all over the world through the art of dance.

     
  GARRICK FOOTMAN
Garrick Footman is an international Hip-Hop dancer, choreographer and mentor. Born and raised in Queens, New York, his passion for Hip-Hop began at a very young age. He has been working in the industry for over 10 years. Garrick has choreographed and performed with various artists including Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Faith Evans, Fat Joe and countless other stars.

Garrick's passion to perform has led him to be on several TV shows including MTV's America's Best Dance Crew, MTV's TRL, BET's 106 and Park Live, Showtime at the Apollo, Japan network NHK's Chick Girls Reality Show etc.

Garrick Footman is also the co-founder of a successful all male Hip-Hop group called Stryke Force. Stryke Force performs all over the country while motivating and inspiring others about the culture of Hip-Hop and dance.

Throughout his success, Garrick remains humble and dedicated to training students who share the same love for Hip-Hop. He continues to teach classes and workshops everywhere; from New York City to Tokyo, Japan. The most important thing to Garrick Footman remains to spread love, confidence and knowledge to people with the power of Hip-Hop.

     
  SARA PYUN
Sara enhances our students’ education with acclaimed choreography in jazz and lyrical genres, as well as a performance style that encompasses strength and grace in its creative message. Sara received a highly prestigious award (the equivalent of a Broadway Tony Award) in South Korea for choreography in the stage production of Footloose. Recent musical productions that Sara has choreographed, directed, and/or produced in South Korea include Peter Pan, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Bat Boy, and others. When she is not teaching at Dance Stop. she conducts jazz workshops for actors and dancers, as well as acting classes for actors, dancers, and models. As a former Olympian in rhythmic gymnastics, she truly inspires our intermediate and advanced dancers. Her originality and dedication to her students make her an exceptional master teacher and choreographer. Since 1997, Sara, along with Miss Gina and our other master teachers, has authored what is widely recognized as the signature style of the Dance Stop Dancers.
     
  JULIE SHULMAN FRIEDRICH
Julie was honored in 2013 when she was selected by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars as one of the nation's most influential instructors! Along with Thang Dao, she directs the Young Artist Dance Intensive that is held at Dance Stop each year. She began her training in Los Angeles, has traveled the world in her professional dance career with the American Repertory Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and other prominent companies and choreographers in Switzerland, Italy and the U.S. Julie currently teaches at the Orange County High School for the Performing Arts, has been commissioned to create a new work for Ballet Quad Cities in Illinois.

Julie is honored to be a member of the newly formed Body Traffic directed by Lillian Bitkoff and Tina Finkelman Berkett. Body Traffic has had the honor of working with such choreographers as Guy Weitzman, who hails from Israel, and more recently Alex Ketley, the director of the Foundry in San Francisco. Body Traffic will be performing this summer at the Ford Theatre in Los Angeles as well as touring to San Francisco.
     
  ROSEMARY SABOVICK-BLEICH
blends her mastery of ballet with over 15 years of teaching experience. She serves on the faculty of the NJ School of Ballet and with the NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble, and was the Principal Ballerina of the New Jersey Ballet Company until her retirement from the stage in 2002.
     
  HOPE OSBORN-KRICK
Hope Osborn-Krick received both her Bachelor of Music and her Master's in Vocal Pedagogy and Vocal Performance from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. Among many other venues, Hope has performed as part of the Westminster Opera Theater, at Lincoln Center in New York City, NJPAC in Newark, NJ, McCarter Theater at Princeton University, and in Florence, Italy. Her collaborations include performing with the Princeton Amateur Society, Princeton Friends of Opera, Kinnara, Destino, and in a recent production of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. Her discography includes recordings with the Westminster Williamson Voices, the East End Gilbert and Sullivan Players, Teaching Choirs Through Performance CD, and others. Hope also serve as a Section Leader at All Saints Church in Princeton. In addition to Dance Stop, Hope teaches voice at Spirit Wind Music Studios and is an Adjunct Professor of Vocal Performance at Molloy College in NY. She is distinguished by her recent awards, which include the elite Encouragement Award by the Metropolitan Opera Council, and the Milton Cross Rising Star Award, given by the Continuo Arts Foundation.
     
  SUSIE GORMAN
Susie Gorman started her training in Kansas City at the Miller-Marley School Of Dance, and The State Ballet Of Missouri. From there she trained with The School Of American Ballet, American Ballet Theater and The Pacific Northwest Ballet. She has danced for such companies as State Ballet of Missouri, Wes Veldink Movement, Journey Dance Company, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, American Dance Machine and Mia Michaels R.A.W. She was in the 1st National Tour of Twyla Tharp's Movin' Out, and has performed in such musicals as Oliver! and Cinderella at Starlight theater. She was recently seen on Good Morning America as a dancer for Mariah Carey. Susie finished her first movie last summer staring as the lead actress in Kings Highway. She currently is a principal dancer for Kristin Sudeikis Dance Company in New York City. She also teaches and choreographs for different studios and companies around the United States.
     
  KATIE DRABLOS
Katie began studying dance at a very young age and trained extensively at KJ Dance in Texas, and at Southern Methodist University where she received her B.F.A. in Dance Performance, appearing in works by esteemed choreographers such as Martha Graham. Katie danced with the world famous Radio City Rockettes in 2009 and 2010 and in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Also during her time in New York she has trained at T Schreiber Studio in acting technqiue and participated in numerous musical theater workshops. Katie recently performed in her first cabaret performance at "Don't Tell Mama" and danced in Al Blackstone's show "Happy We'll Be."
     
  AARON PARKHURST
This talented teacher has almost two decades of tap dance experience under his belt, performing in touring companies and revivals of some classic productions, including 42nd Street, White Christmas, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and others! Aaron also has enjoyed a career in concert dance, working as a soloist and collaborator in NYC and in LA, and has appeared in productions such as Christmas in the Black Hills, that was televised on CMT. Aaron is especially proud of his improvisational expertise, and the opportunity he received to choreograph and perform as part of an International Visitors Leadership Program, in which he promoted minority participation through the arts in Brazil.
     
  NICOLE SILEO-BUNTEN
was personally trained by Miss Gina, and as a result, encourages her ballet, tap and jazz students to strengthen their fundamental skills and maximize the performance quality they exhibit in the classroom and on the stage. Her attention to detail is a hallmark of her unique teaching ability. She spearheads the Tap program at Dance Stop, and is a very important factor as we aim to provide well-rounded dancers. With consistent practice of tap, her students achieve a clear understanding of musicality, the complexities of rhythms, and the layers and textures within the music that can be revealed through percussive sounds. Miss Nicole also is proud of her performance and collaboration with Mike Minery (see above), which has definitely brought a bright new approach to the art!
     
  MELISSA BRAINE
presents one of the most valuable assets offered by our faculty. Because she built her dance expertise under Miss Gina’s guidance for many years, and is naturally gifted in working with the youngest dancers, she is among the first to instill a love for dance and a desire to enjoy the class experience fully. We cannot put a price on the value of Miss Melissa's specialty with these young dancers, especially when she establishes and reinforces the essential fundamentals in all genres. Miss Melissa ensures a bonding trust that helps her dancers take their first step towards the fun and freedom of dancing.
     
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  JEN CARDINO
is unmatched in her enthusiasm and energy for teaching and encouraging her dancers! With the dance education she received directly from Miss Gina, this graduate of Montclair State University thoroughly commits to creating a positive classroom and stage experience, and also supports her students on a one-to-one basis. Miss Jen is an extremely popular teacher with both younger and older students because of her positive energy and sincerity. She's a perfect leader for our Dance Team! Miss Jen believes the complete package in a dancer includes good body position, strong expressiveness, and a big smile!
     
  BIANCA SIRIDAY-PIATEK
excels as a performer with her captivating stage presence, and has recently found new popularity as a young instructor. Her ability to offer personal attention and exciting dance moves makes her one of our most requested teachers! Miss Bianca is now pursuing her B.F.A. at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. As a graduate of Miss Gina's program, Bianca developed a distinctive performance style that she passes on to her students and the Dance Team, and she always makes her classes fun and exciting!
     
  SAMANTHA BRAINE
began her career at an early age under the direction of Gina Forcella, right here at Dance Stop Dance Educational Center. Samantha trained diligently at our school and as a result, earned a large scholarship to the University of The Arts in Philadelphia. Recently graduated with honors from UArts, Samantha earned a BFA in Jazz Dance Performance. She was also chosen out of her fellow peers as the 2014 recipient of "Outstanding Performance in Jazz." Recently, she performed in a featured role in a work set by Hope Boykin, current company member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. While in Philadelphia she was also an intern with the Koresh Dance Company. Upon graduation, Samantha was invited to Chicago to train with the renowned Giordano Dance Chicago, America's original jazz dance company. Under the instruction of Nan Giordano, company director, Samantha earned her certification in Giordano Technique, allowing her to share this traditional jazz style throughout her teaching. Samantha is currently continuing her dance training & career in NYC.
     
  FRANCES FULLER
began her training at an early age under the direction of Gina Forcella, right here at Dance Stop Dance Education Center.  Frances is a graduate, receiving high honors, from The Hartt School in Connecticut with a BFA in Dance and an Emphasis in Ballet Pedagogy.  While in Connecticut, Fran attended many summer programs including Kaastsbaan Extreme Ballet, Hubbard Street Dane Chicago, the HJS Summer Intensive in Amsterdam, and Doug Varone’s Summer Intensive at SUNY Purchase. She has performed works such as Psalm by Jose Limon, Mazurkas by Jose Limon both staged by Nina Watt, new contemporary works by director Stephen Pier, Raymonda the ballet staged by Hilda Morales, and the woman in yellow in Diversion of Angels by Martha Graham.  Fran most recently performed in her very own professional show this past July with The Dance Collective as a soloist.
     
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  SHANNON MCCOLL-PEREZ
Shannon Perez began studying dance at a young age in Parlin, New Jersey under the direction of Gina DeBenedetto-Forcella, who also introduced her to teaching. She continued her training at the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, Boston Ballet School, and the Youth American Dance Intensive. Shannon holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from The Boston Conservatory, where she began choreographing.

Shannon has had the opportunity to perform works by Aaron Atkins, Parren Ballard, Al Blackstone, Larry Keigwin, Jose Limon, Andrea Miller, Alwin Nikolai, Daniel Pelzig, Stephen Pier, Katarzyna Skarpetowska, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Robert Moses, for whom she served as rehearsal director. She furthered her teaching experience at the Boston Ballet School and at Concord Academy alongside Richard Colton.

Shannon joined Ballet Inc. in April, 2014 and continues to perform in New York City, as well as choreograph solo works for film. She is excited to be teaching and choreographing at Dance Stop Dance Education Center.

     
  KARINA ROYTMAN
A Ukrainian native, Karina discovered her passion for dance in Columbus, OH, where she first received training. She went on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance at Jacksonville University. After graduating Magna Cum Laude and being honored on the President’s List, Karina moved to New York City, where she has had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers, including David Parsons, Attila Csiki, Christian von Howard, and Jennifer Muller. She was also a featured dancer in Entertainment Weekly.

Currently a member of ELSCO Dance, a NYC based contemporary dance company under the direction of Ellenore Scott; Karina also travels the country, setting choreography and teaching master classes. She works toward inspiring dancers to broaden their quality of movement, by giving them tools to improve their performance styles.

     
  KAITLYN POLLOCK
KP started her Dance training in waterford Michigan in 1992. Her early training consisted of Cecchetti (graduate through grade 5), pointe, jazz, tap, acro dance, modern and hip hop. Kp graduated in 2013 from Western Michigan University with a BFA in Dance with an emphasis in choreography. Throughout her education she performed works created and reset by Ron DeJesus, Autumn Eckmen, Willy Shives, Harrison McEldowney, Lauren Edson, Shen Wei, KT Nelson, and Heidi Latsky. During her education she taught dance technique and choreographed for competitive teams at various studios. Kp’s choreography has been awarded at many dance competitions and recognized for her unique style and creative floor work. Her choreography has been recognized and awarded at Starquest, Hall of Fame, True Talent, and Raw Energy. Currently she is performing with ShawnBibleDance Co. and Bom Diggs.
     
  LEAH CHEVALIER
Leah Chevalier began her mind/body/consciousness journey as a professional modern dancer and teacher; preforming in the capacity of both company member and as project dancer touring nationally and internationally in both solo and ensemble work. With training steeped in dance, anatomy and kinesiology and arts management culminating in Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in Dance from Rutgers University.

Leah is PMA-CPT in Pilates with many years of Pilates, dance and movement in her background. She first studied Pilates in New York City, in her training in classical modern dance at the Alvin Aliey School and Marth Graham School. Since that time, she has studied with Peak Pilates, Power Pilates on the West Coast and with Pilates Movement, Gramercy Pilates and the Movement Salon in NYC where she both studied and taught Pilates.

     
  HALEY SCHNEIDER
Haley Schneider started her training at the age of three and studied at Cheryl Lee Studio of Dance in St. Petersburg, FL. After High school, Haley went to Florida School of the Arts on a full scholarship for Dance. Since then, she has performed with various theater companies across the states including FreeFall Theater in her home town as a Kit Kat Girl in The musical "Cabaret" and at Busch Gardens: Tampa Bay. Her career has also taken her around the world with Celebrity Cruise Lines. She currently resides in New York City where she is teaching, choreographing and performing with various artists and choreographers including the Kristin Sudeikis Dance Company. Haley continues to grow and advance her dancing career by training at Broadway Dance Center, Steps, Peridance. 
     
  MEGAN PETERSON
Megan is thrilled to be part of the illustrious Dance Stop! Megan graduated Cum Laude from The Pace School of Performing Arts, BFA Commercial Dance program in New York City. National Tours: The Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Rockette), Regional: The Will Rogers Follies (Z-Girl) at Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Crazy For You (Tess) at Surflight Theatre, Chicago (Hunyak/Assistant Choregrapher) at Potsdam Music Theatre. International Tours: Blast! The Music of Disney (ASM) Japan Tour. Megan ends your struggle to find restaurants with her food & drink media blog, Foodie Out Loud (Instagram:@foodieoutloud). "Let's DANCE...5,6,7,8!" 
     
  TAYLOR MILLER
began dancing at just four years old. She trained for 15 years here at the Dance Stop under the direction of Gina DeBenedetto-Forcella and her faculty. As a troupe member, she has competed in regional and national competitions along the East Coast and performed in charitable showcases such as Dancers Responding to Aids and Dancin’ Downtown at the Joyce Theater. This past May, Taylor graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rider University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Dance. Through Rider’s dance department, Taylor studied at the Princeton Ballet School and was cast in every Rider Dances performance. She was additionally a four-year member of the student run organization Rider Dance Ensemble (RDE). This organization provided her opportunities to perform, choreograph her own work, teach workshop classes, direct two shows, and lead the organization during her year as president. Taylor has recently completed a certification in coMBo (conditioning for MindBody) under the guidance of Kim Vaccaro. She is currently teaching first grade but is so excited to be back at Dance Stop to share her passion for dance with her students!
 
How To Register
Our Fall Season runs from September through June, culminating in a Gala Performance at the New Jersey State Theater, in New Brunswick. We also hold a Summer Session, as well as the Young Artists Dance Intensive. Registration is accepted throughout the year, and can be completed in person, over the phone, or online.