Faculty

Check out our Faculty Bios! With years of experience performing and teaching, they are all experts in their field.

George Warren

Artistic Director

Mr. Warren’s union affiliations are Actors Equity, Screen Actors Guild, Dance Educators of America, and the International Tap Association.  He is a noted New York Teacher and performer whose students have appeared on over 50 Broadway Shows, National and International tours, National Ballet & Modern Companies, Regional Theatres across the USA, Dance & Cheer Squads for Professional Sports Teams, and in many movies and television shows. His last professional Musical Theatre appearance was the national tour of the Broadway musical “Whoopee” with  Imogene Coca and Mamie Van Doren and still works with Brenda Bufalino and The American Tap Dance Foundation in NYC. George has been teaching in Central Jersey for 42 years and is very proud of his Center Stage family.

 

 

 

Susan Bednarski

Ballet, Senior Ballet Company Director

Susan is currently a company member of the Anglo-American Ballet and the Staten Island Ballet. She has taught ballet in New York at New York University, and at Kingsley Studios, as well as Saint Peter’s College and Raritan Valley Community College. She studies ballet with Catherine Kingsley and has studied at the Joffrey Ballet School, and jazz with jazz legend Luigi. She has a Master’s degree in dance from New York University. Susan runs our prestigious Senior Ballet Company which attends the yearly Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition.

 

 

 

 

Justin Bisnauthsing

Tap, Jazz/Hip Hop

Justin is a senior member of our CATS Company and has been dancing since he was 5.  He is the current On Stage America National Title Winner and is a member of George Warren’s prestigious Hoofers Club.  This summer Justin received a full scholarship to the Rutgers Summer Dance Conservatory and has studied for many years at Broadway Dance Center in NYC.  He joins our faculty  having been a  favorite CS substitute teacher and valued assistant for many years. Justin has a passion for choreography and is very excited to be working with our students!   

 

Angelique Chandler

Hip-Hop

Angelique Chandler started dancing at the age of 2 at Danceforce. She joined the competition team at the age of 5 and continued dancing at Danceforce for 15 years. She has been trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, acro, modern, pantomime, and lyrical ballet.  She taught many genres including tap, ballet, acro, and jazz. Angelique danced on her high school dance team serving as captain her senior year. That year, her team competed on the TV show MSG Varsity Talent Show and placed 2nd out of 10 groups! After graduation, Angelique joined the dance team at Saint Peters University and was captain during her junior and senior years. Angelique is also an accomplished singer and model, winning several overall titles. She has also served as modeling coach. Having such a wonderful rapport with the children that she mentors enables her to bring the best out of her students. As a choreographer, her dances have won many awards, including Highest Overall Small Group in the 8 & Under Division at 2016 Nationals, and Overall High Score at 2017 Nationals. She admits, ”I love my students like they are my own. My goal is to, one day, see my students have the same passion for dance as I do. I enjoy watching my students performing on stage and seeing how much they’ve grown since the first day of class.”

 

 

Amanda Chiarello

Ballet, Jazz/Hip-Hop, Lyrical/Contemporary

Amanda received her Masters degree in Dance Education from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. She also received her B.F.A from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.  Amanda trained at Center Stage Dance and Theatre School in East Brunswick, New Jersey.  She was a C.A.T.S dancer for many years at Center Stage. In 2009 Amanda competed at the Youth American Grand Prix where she placed in the competitions top 12.  Amanda has performed in various concerts. She has worked with choreographers such as Doug Elkins, John Evans, and Randy James. She recently was awarded an assistantship from Mason Gross School of the Arts to participate in American Ballet Theaters National Training Curriculum where she received training to teach pre-primary to level 3 students. She assisted instruction to students in pre-primary to level 1 at American Ballet Theaters satellite school at Mason Gross School of the Arts. During the fall of 2014, Amanda interned at Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts in East Orange, New Jersey. During her time at Tyson, Amanda had the privilege of working with middle and high school students.

 

 

 

Lainie DeFranco

Ballet Department Director

Lainie began her studies at the Hartford Ballet Co., where she performed with the junior company and chamber ensemble. She graduated from Hartford’s two year teaching program. Ms. DeFranco has taught all levels of ballet for both adult and children’s professional classes for the Hartford Ballet, Syracuse Ballet Co., Metropolitan School for the Arts and the Princeton Ballet. Lainie is our Ballet Director, overseeing our ballet syllabus and designing our pre-professional student’s ballet studies. In addition, Lainie has the extraordinary task of producing and directing Center Stage’s acclaimed production of the Nutcracker, which occurs every two years in December. Lainie has been teaching for Center Stage since 1985.

 

 

 

 

Mickey DeFranco

Jazz, CATS Company Director-Choreographer

Mickey served as choreographer for “Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego”, as well as the opening dance montage, for PBS television; Metropolis Studios, New York City. She is an active member of Dance Educators of America, and is the director of the national award winning Pre-Professional Center Stage CATS Jazz Company. CATS Alumni have appeared on Broadway in “Elf”, “Memphis”, “CATS”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Tommy”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Les Miserables”, “Bring it On”, “Mamma Mia”, “In the Heights”, “West Side Story”, “Catch Me if You Can”, “Star Light Express”, “Showboat”, “Carousel”, “A Chorus Line”, “Gypsy”, “Urban Cowboy”; Nationals Tours of: “Fame”, “Footloose”; Euro-tours: “Best of Broadway”, and the Liss Fain Dance Company in San Francisco. Her students have appeared on television and theatres around the country (including “Saturday Night Live”, “Unsolved Mysteries”, “The Today Show”),as well as commercials and industrials.  She has done choreography for Resorts International Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, and was a Master Choreographer/Teacher for Dance Troupe, Inc.. A guest choreographer with Broadway Dance Center featuring Frank Hatchett, Finis Jhung, and Savion Glover (Bring in Da Noise) in American Heritage (NYC).

 

Samantha DeFranco

Ballet, Lyrical/Contemporary, Jazz

Samantha has been training at Center Stage since she can walk. Making her way through the ranks of our various dance companies, Samantha was a SR CAT Dancer for many years. Samantha was seen each year at the State Theatre performing not only her many dance routines but her various complex acting roles. In addition to our Main Stage performances, Samantha starred as Clara and Arabian in our biannual production of The Nutcracker: Clara’s Dream. She received her Education Degree from Montclair State University, where she coordinated the start of the award winning Dance Team. Besides being an integral part of our Dance Faculty, Samantha is a Science Teacher for the Long Branch School District.

 

 

 

Lauren Elsasser

Jazz, Hip Hop

Lauren began her dance training at Center Stage at the age of three. She progressed through all competition companies leading up to the pre -professional C.A.T.S. program. She then went to Rutgers University where she trained in the Mason Gross program and was a member of the nationally ranked Rutgers University Dance Team. On the dance team, she traveled from east coast to west coast performing, competing, and working with various choreographers such as Paige Davis (TV host and Broadway cast of Chicago), Josh Bergese (Choreographer of the hit TV show Smash), and Jon Rua (Performer in the Broadway cast of In the Heights and the original Broadway cast of Hamilton). In her final year, she led the team as captain and received the MVP award. After graduating, she began her teaching career with Universal Dance Association, in which she traveled the country teaching and choreographing for different dance teams. She was also the assistant coach for the nationally ranked Montgomery high School Dance Team from 2013-2015. She has continued to teach all different styles from Hip-Hop to Jazz and Contemporary winning many awards such as a choreography award, multiple overalls in regionals and nationals, and the ultimate entertainment challenge. She is extremely excited to be back at Center Stage, teaching in the place where she grew up and received all her training.

 

Jessica Fensterstock

Intro to Dance, Tap/Jazz

Jessica has been dancing since a very early age,  receiving her dance training at Center Stage.  As an alumnus, she was a member of our award winning Tap CAT company.   She received her degree from Syracuse University, where she was involved in “Danceworks”, Syracuse’s own student run dance organization . She was a choreographer and dancer for 3 years and continued to choreograph for the Parents Weekend shows.  After living in New York City for several years, Jessica returned to New Jersey to raise her family.  When it was time for her daughter to dance, the obvious choice was to return to her roots, and have her daughter become a second generation Center Stage Dancer.  Jessica is extremely excited to be back at Center Stage, not only as a parent, but now as an instructor.  Her years of dance training allows her to be a well rounded teacher, bringing the fun as well as the discipline of dance to our youngest dancers.

 

 

Elaine George Foulides

Voice, Piano, Musical Director

With a degree in Music Education, Elaine has maintained a career as a professional vocal coach, teacher, musical director and performer for more than thirty five years, focusing on vocal production, technique, and performance skills for both solo and choral ensembles.  Her students have appeared on Broadway, in national tours, on television, in commercials, movies, and regional theatres.  As a performing artist, Elaine’s personal credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, cabaret, dinner theatre, church and synagogue soloist, and numerous recordings.  She also appeared with Labors of Love, in several benefits for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and was a featured soloist on their Christmas CD, Carols for a Cure.

 

 

 

Megan Froio

Ballet

Megan is a proud alumni of Center Stage Dance and Theatre School.  She was a member of the Jr. CATS, CATS and Tap CATS dance companies.   Megan attended the Burklyn Ballet Theatre program and trained with Arthur Leeth from the Boston Ballet company, David Howard from the Royal Ballet, and Robert Barnett from the NYC Ballet.  She also continued ballet and modern dance at Stockton University.  Some of her performances include roles in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, A MidSummer Nights’ Dream, and Romeo and Juliet.   We are pleased to have Megan back at Center Stage, and joining our Ballet Faculty.

 

 

 

 

Bruce Garahan

Gymnastics, Acrobatics, Trampoline

Bruce was a nationally ranked gymnast and springboard diver throughout high school and college. For ten years thereafter Bruce served as coach for a nationally ranked gymnastics team while also working as a professional acrobat. Bruce has performed as a high diver, bungee diver, and in a two man trampoline act known as Flash and Crash. He has performed in venues such as amusement parks, state fairs, NBA half time shows and circuses throughout the country. Television appearances include WONDERAMA, ABC’s THAT’S INCREDIBLE, ESPN, and several television commercials. Some of his antics can be seen on YOU TUBE – Just perform a search under his name.

 

 

 

Shannon Garahan

Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Gymnastics

Shannon is an alumnus of CATS, Tap CATS, and Hoofers Club at Center Stage along with many years in the pre-professional acting class and countless leads in Center Stage shows and summer shows.  She has assisted Mickey and George in CATS, Tap CAT, and Jr. CAT classes and has choreographed the summer shows since graduating.  She continues her training at Broadway Dance Center taking weekly classes and summer intensives with Ricky Hinds.  She is currently a member of USA Gymnastics and a wonderful part of our Starz Gymnastics Program.  Immediately after graduating Center Stage, she got her first professional show at Surflight Theatre in “A Chorus Line” under the direction/choreography of Mitzi Hamilton and Jessica Lee Goldyn.  Other favorite show credits include “Anything Goes”,  “CATS”, “Oklahoma!”, “Spamalot”, and “Junie B. Jones: The Musical”.

 

 

 

Sue Garahan

Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Acrobatics, Gymnastics, Company and Show Director

Sue has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rowan University and is a member of both Dance Educators of America and USA Gymnastics.  She has trained extensively as a dancer and musical theater performer in New Jersey, New York City and London, England. She was a member of her high school gymnastics team as well as a cheerleader in both high school and in college.  Her theater credits include Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, Val in A Chorus  Line, Nancy in Oliver!, The Witch in Into the Woods, Gladys in The Pajama Game, Mona Kent in Dames at Sea, Nelly Forbush in South Pacific and Tiger Lily in Peter Pan.   She has been a teacher and the director of the young children’s and older children’s jazz and tap companies at Center Stage Dance for many years.  She has enjoyed developing our young dancers and preparing them for our pre-professional companies throughout the years and has won many choreographic awards for her work with them.  Many of her students have gone on to appear on Broadway, movies and television.

 

 

Katrinka Geslani

Tap, Jazz/Hip Hop

Senior CAT alum, Katrinka has been part of the Center Stage family since she was 9 years old. She has trained at the Rock School, Briansky Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre, going on to complete her BA in Dance at Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts. Beyond her ballet and jazz technique, she has danced with local hip hop performance companies: Fr3sh, Ven15, and currently is a creative director of UFP . Such company memberships have allowed her to dance in hip-hop showcases around the country; from Boston to New York to DC to San Francisco.  A recent ballroom bug has also put Katrinka on the latin competition circuit as she currently trains with the Chmerkovskiy brothers and Tony Dovolani of DWTS. After recently graduating NYU’s MBA program, Katrinka is excited to return to her Center Stage family and share her passion for dance!

Elaine Harned

Voice

Elaine has a Master’s Degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy (teaching) from Westminster Choir College and a bachelor of Arts from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she studied pipe organ. She has worked as a paid church soloist in New York City and has many years of experience as an Organist/Choir Director. As a member of the world renowned Westminster Choir, Elaine has sung concerts throughout Europe and Asia as well as in the US with such orchestras as the Philadelphia, the New York and the Berlin Philharmonics in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City. She has also made several professional recordings. As a soloist, Elaine has performed with The Chautauqua Symphony, The Indiana University of Pennsylvania Chorale and Orchestra, The Allegheny Chorale and Orchestra, The Princeton Freshman Choir and Orchestra, The Lehigh University Choir and Orchestra and the Princeton Singers. Elaine has been teaching at Center Stage since 1997, helping many of our students achieve their professional dreams. 

 

 

Tannis Kristjanson

Tap, Ballet, Company Director

Tannis trained under George Warren for eleven years winning many competitive awards and becoming his valued assistant.  She has spent the last fifteen years touring the country and performing as a musician and singer. Her song, “No Bitterz,” co-written with her husband, Ari Katz, was recently performed by Miss TK & the Revenge in the Oscar-nominated movie, “The Wrestler.” Her numerous choreographic projects include Annie, Wizard of Ox and Oliver and she has been very involved with the NJ Repertory Theatre while simultaneously raising her two young daughters and son here at the Jersey shore. We are so happy to have Tannis back with her Center Stage family.

 

 

Anne Krug

Ballet, Director of Ocean Ballet Department

Anne is a Center Stage graduate, having worked her way up through the Jr. CATS and CATS companies. As a member of CATS, she competed for national titles and at the Youth of America Grand Prix ballet competition. At the age of 14, she was awarded the New York City Dance Alliance Ballet Scholarship by Daniel Catanach. In her senior year at Center Stage, she performed the lead role of Sugar Plum in our bi-annual production of “The Nutcracker.” She has trained additionally at the Briansky Saratoga Ballet summer intensive, and at The School at Steps under the instruction of Leslie Browne. Anne performed with the Urban Ballet Theater and the Abrons Arts Center Dance Ensemble in Daniel Catanach’s production of “Nutcracker in the Lower,” and is a member of the Ensemble, and an apprentice with the Urban Ballet Theater.

 

Kathryn Kane Luberecki

Lyrical/Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet

Kathryn joins us, bringing  her  extensive experience as a teacher, choreographer and performer to our students. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Performing Arts/Dance from De Sales University. She has performed professionally with Push Factor Dance Company in NY and ACTion Dance Touring company.  Kathryn has choreographed extensively for competitions and given master dance classes throughout our region.  We are so pleased to welcome her to our Center Stage faculty.

 

 

 

 

Julianna Marsh

Ballet, Jazz/Hip-Hop

Julianna has been dancing since she was 3 years old, and competing since the age of 8, training in styles including jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, contemporary and ballet. She was a part of many award-winning group numbers, solos, and duets under the direction of Jeanne Kane, Kathryn Kane Luberecki, and Karen Lester. During her senior year of high school, Julianna auditioned her jazz solo “Be Italian” for the Francis. L Chalif scholarship and was awarded first place. She was also a volunteer student teacher at her studio, where she taught students in jazz, tap and ballet. It was during this time that Julianna discovered her passion for teaching young dancers. Julianna is now a student at The College of New Jersey where she is a member of their nationally ranked Dance Team. With her team, she performs jazz, pom and hip hop styles at Football and Basketball games as well as a regional and national competitions.  Julianna could not be more excited to share her love of dance with her students at Center Stage!

 

 


Jill Molinaro

Ballet

Jill has a BA in Dance from Mason Gross Rutgers University and a MA in Dance Performance and Dance Education from New York University. She is a dance educator, choreographer and dancer. She has taught, created, and developed dance curriculum and existing dance programs in New York and New Jersey. She has performed in NY with Gloria McLean, Renenta Celichowska, Elizabeth Douglas, Brenda Baden Semper, Carolyn Webb and John Mead, among others. She is teaching through the Count Basie Theatre Out Reach Education Program, and teaches Master classes in modern dance. Jill recently formed her own modern dance company and continues to teach, explore and create dance.

 

Danielle Mondi

Jazz/Hip-Hop, Ballet, Lyrical/Contemporary

Danielle Mondi began her dance training at Center Stage working her way up to become a member of the Senior Cats Company.  She then attended Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts and graduated with a BFA in dance in 2009.  Since graduation, she went on to work with Joyce King/JKDC and Tangerine Dance, Marie Alonzo Snyder , where she has had the opportunity to perform in New York City at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Harkness Dance Center/92nd Street Y, GreenSpace, Dance New Amsterdam and Manhattan Movement and Arts Center.  In addition to performing, Danielle’s ultimate goal is to teach dance education to children of all ages.  Danielle works  closely with Artistic Director of JKDC, Joyce King, to further develop their dance education program for young dancers and she choreographs for a children’s community theater program.   She also presented  work in Times Square for the Phineaus and Ferb Platybus Tour Kickoff, in honor of the Disney Channels original Movie Phineaus and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension.  “Focus on constant improvement and Never Give Up!” 

 

 

Kim Moscariello

Musical Theatre

Kimberly is proud to be a Center Stage alumnus and thrilled to be teaching Musical Theatre! While at Center Stage she studied dance and voice. She has previously taught musical theater through the Matawan Student Enrichment Program and Old Bridge Parks and Recreation. She has performed locally in a number of community theaters as well as singing professionally for formal occasions. She is also currently an elementary school teacher with the Old Bridge Public School District. She has degrees in Theater, Musical Theater, Elementary Education from Montclair State University, Masters in Special Education from Monmouth University, and certification in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Penn State University! She is very enthusiastic to use her education and talents in musical theater to enrich the lives of children and continue being a part of the Center Stage Family!

 

 

 

Tori Moots

Lyrical/Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Acting, Company Director

Tori is a Center Stage Alumnus, where she was a member of CATS, Tap CATS, and three years in the Pre-Professional Acting Class.  She starred in the Center Stage mainstage show for all four years of her high-school, and also appeared in productions of “The Bald Soprano,” “The Laramie Project,” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.”  She appeared for many years in Cabaret for Life, an AIDS benefit.  Since graduating from Center Stage, she studied for two years at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, taking classes in dance and acting, while simultaneously studying at Broadway Dance Center and Steps.  She recently choreographed a school production of “Beauty and the Beast,” and continued as assistant director the following year.  Upon completion of her Bachelor’s degree in education at Rider University, Tori joined our Center Stage family again, this time as a full time teacher and director of our JAZZ CATS Program.

 

 

Christy Rak

Tap, Lyrical/Contemporary, Jazz, Hip-Hop

Christy is happy to return back to teaching at Center Stage where she is an alumnus of our dance companies including Kittens, Jr. Cats and C.A.T.S! For the past 20 years, Christy has been teaching and choreographing shows at Dance Studios and Theaters throughout the Tri-State area. Former students have appeared on Glee, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent, The Today Show and performed with several recording artists including Meghan Trainor, and Chris Brown to name a few. Christy is currently the Assistant Director and Choreographer for Pegasus Production Theater Company at Christian Brothers Academy High School in Lincroft, NJ. When not dancing, she is also certified in Yoga, Barre & Pilates and recently appeared on a Yoga Segment with Harry on the Harry Connick Jr. Show!

 

Kassie Ruboyianes

Tap, Ballet, Jazz

Kassie began dancing at a local studio in Monmouth County, NJ at the age of 7. She then joined the competition team where she was regionally and nationally recognized on a competitive level. Kassie attended Ocean County Vocational Technical School’s Performing Arts Academy where she received her high school diploma with a concentration in dance. While in high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Kassie studied at various summer intensives such as Point Park University’s International Summer Dance, The Joffrey’s Ballet Summer Intensive, and the MetDance Professional Intensive where she trained under world-renowned teachers and choreographers. Kassie continued her education attending Point Park University, graduating in 2016 with a BA in dance, concentrating in jazz technique. After graduation, Kassie also studied at Broadway Dance Center in New York City for their Professional Semester Program. Most recently, Kassie performed with Nickerson-Rossi Dance for “Full Throttle” at the Performance Garage in Philadelphia. 

 

 

Krystle Russell

Intro to Dance, Curtain Up, Jazz/Hip-Hop

Krystle Russel has run our Ocean Studio from it’s inception in 2010.  Combining her background in early childhood development with a love for teaching,  Krystle is truly the resident Child Whisperer of Center Stage bringing such excitement and joy  to each of her classes and such warmth and care to each of our families. She has been responsible for the choreography for numerous talent shows and camp productions. Our youngest students couldn’t be in better hands  as they become a part of our Center Stage family.

 

Pamela Sarch

Tap, Jazz, Company Director

Pam has an extensive Dance and Theater background and is thrilled to be a member of the awesome, and diversely talented,  faculty here at Center Stage. She has studied and performed throughout New Jersey and continues her education in NYC, taking classes and attending workshops,  and at the Princeton Ballet School with Director Kim Chandler-Vaccaro. Theater credits include Plays in the Park (Oliver), New Jersey Renaissance Festival (featured performer), Franklin Theater Ensemble (Bonnie, Anything Goes), Somerset Valley Players (Man of La Mancha) to name a few!  Pam has appeared in and Choreographed “Godspell” several times in several different roles! She has also been a featured performer on television with the MDA Telethon and has choreographed many local High School productions and Pop Warner cheer competition dances.  Pam is a proud member of the American Tap Dance Foundation and is company director for the East Brunswick and Marlboro Jr. Tap Companies. Pam also incorporates music and movement into the integrated pre-k class she works with for the North Brunswick Board of Education.

 

 

Rebecca Servon

Acting, On-Camera

Rebecca Servon graduated from Rutgers University MGSA with her BFA in Acting. At Rutgers, she studied the Meisner technique and trained classical with the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, England. She has also studied improv with UCBLA and performed with her improv group at iOwest in LA. She studied Acting on Camera with legendary daytime drama casting director Bob Lambert and Criminal Minds casting director Erica Silverman, in addition to shooting two of her own short films with her production team CRC. Television credits include 2 Broke Girls and General Hospital. Favorite NYC theatre credits include Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Jenny in The Shape of Things, and Marla in Specter. She is very excited to be returning to Center Stage where she studied with Stephen Waldrup for many years.

 

 

 

Jordan Simon

Jazz/Hip-Hop, Ballet, Tap, Gymnastics

Jordan is a Center Stage alumnus where she was apart of our Senior CATS, Tap CAT, and Ballet Companies. She started taking dance and gymnastics as a child and has continued to train consistently throughout the years. During her time at Center Stage she spent many years assisting our faculty as a student teacher. It was during these years that Jordan discovered her love for teaching. She is now a student at Monmouth University pursing a degree in Early Childhood Education.  Her passion for working with young children makes her a wonderful instructor for our youngest students. Jordan’s patience and enthusiasm helps our dancers succeed at any level. Jordan is also USA Gymnastics and Safety Certified and can be seen teaching gymnastics as part of our Starz Gymnastics faculty.

 

 

Jonathan Skolnik

Set/Prop Master, Technical Advisor

Jonathan, our proverbial “man behind the curtain” began working with us over 20 years ago, managing our Marlboro Studio.  After completing his degree at Montclair State   University, Jonathan began pursuing a career in Concert and Event Production.  During these years, he gained vast experience producing many exciting corporate and social events, and high profile productions such as the Dalai Lama’s visit to NYC at Central Park.   The experience and skills he gained throughout the years has allowed Jonathan to be an important fixture at Center Stage, elevating our overall theatrical production value.  When he returned to Center Stage he began setting up our Technical Department – a unique asset for a Dance School to possess.  Utilizing his skills in both general construction and design, Jonathan has been able to produce the various sets and prop pieces that our choreographers require to bring their vision to life.  In addition, Jonathan’s musicality and years of experience using Computer Music Programs, has allowed him to seamlessly cut the music needed for each of the dance numbers you see on stage.   Known for his witty sense of humor, Jonathan is always available for our comic relief.

 

Michelle Scarpa Sullivan

Lyrical/Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz

As a CATS Dancers Alumnus, Michelle is super excited to be back with the Center Stage family! Through her career, she has worked extensively both on and off stage in the US and abroad. As a performer, most notably she was see as Diana Morales in the national tour of “A Chorus Line” directed by Baayork Lee and as Anita in “West Side Story” with the Nashville Symphony. Other credits include the national tour of “The Who’s Tommy”, the Frug Girl in “Sweet Charity”, and she was featured in the world premiere of “Only Kingdom” at the Pasadena Playhouse directed by Scott Schwartz, where she served as associate choreographer. Michelle was also the assistant choreographer for the national tour of “A Funny Thing… Forum” staring Rip Taylor. She has taught all over the country as an invited guest teacher, most notably for Delta State University. In addition, Michelle has worked as an adjudicator for many national competitions. As a screen actress she can be seen in episodes of “Sex and the City”, “The Sopranos” and the independent film “The Entrepreneurs.” We are so pleased to have Michelle back with our family, where it all began!

 

 

Julie Thick

Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Gymnastics

Julie is co-owner/producer of the Off-Broadstreet Theatre which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. She has choreographed over 75 musicals for the Hopewell Dessert Theatre. Julie is a member of the DEA and PDTA dance associations and has taught in NYC at the Ed Sullivan Theatre and Broadway Dance Center. Julie has worked at Center Stage since 1980 teaching tap, jazz and tumbling. As a performer, she worked with Mercedes Ellington and the late Frank Hatchett, as well as the late Gregory Hines in an open tap company and with Luigi’s Jazz. Julie continues to study with many teachers including Germaine Salsberg, and Luigi. Julie was the NJAIAW State Collegiate All Around Champion in Gymnastics.

 

 

 

Marjorie Toron

Jazz/Hip-Hop, Tap

Marjorie is a Center Stage Alumnus, where she was not only a part of many company teams throughout her years here, but has also been an assistant to numerous teachers since the age of 11. Marjorie attended Howell High School’s FPAC program where she majored in dance and continued dancing throughout college on her University’s dance team. Marjorie even had an opportunity to choreograph many routines for her dance team including their National’s dance that was performed on the ESPN Wide World of Sports stage in Orlando, Florida. Marjorie has received her Master’s Degree from the University of Scranton and is currently working as an Occupational Therapist. Her dream is to incorporate her passion of dance to assist those with neurological conditions and help them regain function. 

 

 

 

Brian Ust

Partnering Coach

An alumni of Center Stage Dance and Theatre Program (Voice, Acting, Jazz, Ballet and Tap “I took it all”…). Brian continued his dance training at Princeton School of Ballet dancing with PBII , Broadway Dance Center, Steps and Miami City Ballet. A former fixture in New Jersey theatre, singing and dancing in productions of “How 2 Succeed…”, “The Fantasticks”, “Godspell”, “Mame”, ”Carnival”, “Pippin”, “Annie Get your Gun”,” Little Shop of Horror”, “West Side Story”, “The Good Bye Girl” to name a few. Brian quickly moved on to the world stage performing in the international tours of “On the Town”, “Best of Broadway”, and “Guys and Dolls”. Returning from Europe he worked with Anne Reinking on the TV production of “Bye Bye Birdie” staring Vanessa Williams and Jason Alexander. He toured with A CHORUS LINE (Mike), SHOW BOAT starring Cloris Leachman and Dean Jones, MISS SAIGON, and DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. In addition: Productions of ”La Cage Aux Folles”, (Hanna), and “Bat Boy : The Musical”. He also performed as a guest artist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra and danced a season with Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre.

 

Stephen Waldrup

Acting, Managing Director

Stephen has been directing the acting program at Center Stage for over 30 years.  He has taught at the T. Schreiber Studio in Manhattan and does private coaching for NY & LA Actors.  As a performer, he appeared at the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival in “A Man for All Seasons, ” “The Sunshine Boys”, and Shakespeare’s “Henry VIII”, “Othello”, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, and “The Merchant of Venice”.  In New York, he appeared in “An Ideal Husband”, “Once in a Lifetime”, “Ambrosio” and “I Am A Camera” at the T. Schreiber Studio, “On the Road to Holeness” at Theatre for the New City, “Dogg’s Hamlet/Cahoot’s Macbeth” with the 1010 Players, “The Bald Soprano” and “The Wailing Wall” with the Farrington Company and at the American Theatre of Actors.  Stephen’s directing credits include “Four Dogs and a Bone” and “Birdbath” in Manhattan and “Zoo Story” for Black Box in Asbury Park.  Stephen is a talented writer, creating the amazing characters and stories you see in our yearly performances at the State Theatre.  

 

 

Mike Zdeb

Guitar, Piano, Brass, Woodwind

Mike is a New Jersey based guitarist, who can regularly be seen and heard playing throughout the tri-state area. Mike currently gigs with various artists, such as Amanda Greatorex, Quincy Mumford, and ’90’s cover band Full House. Mike started studying music at age 11 with Matt O’Ree, from whom he learned blues, rock and pop-styles. Mike then enrolled at Rowan University, where he studied jazz and classical guitar, jazz and classical piano and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Jazz Studies. Mike has compiled his own method and philosophy of private instruction that is guaranteed to get students jamming, rocking and learning within their first few lessons!