Faculty

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 40 years and is very proud of his Center Stage family.

Susan Penaskovic 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.

Benjamin Briones, Ballet

Benjamin is a graduate of The National School of Classical Ballet, The National School of Contemporary Dance and The Royal Academy of Dancing in Mexico City. His eclectic educational background includes training in Cuban and Royal Ballet styles, as well as study of Graham, Cunningham, Limon and Francis modern dance styles. As a soloist, he has appeared with many companies, among them Ballet El Paso, Ballet Austin, Connecticut Ballet, Mid Ohio Ballet, Ballet Theater of Annapolis, Granite State Ballet, Southern New Hampshire Ballet, New Haven Ballet, Staten Island Ballet and River Ballet. As a teacher, he has taught extensively throughout the NYC including The Joffrey Ballet School, LEON Dance Arts & Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre. Benjamin was appointed Ballet Master at the Staten Island Ballet in 2006-09. During that time, he also began his choreographic career, serving as the Resident Choreographer for both the Staten Island Ballet and the Ajkun Ballet Theatre (New York). In 2012, his numerous choreographic endeavors culminated in the created Benjamin Briones Ballet. Co-owner and co-founder of UBCostumesDancewear.com, Benjamin has been designing costumes for the past 16 years.

Christopher Bloom, Guest Artist, Modern/Contemporary

Christopher Bloom is from Middletown, VA where he started training at the Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet at the age of 15. Christopher trained as a scholarship student at the Ballet and Contemporary Dance Programs in the School at Jacob’s Pillow under Anna-Marie Holmes and Milton Myers. He holds a B.F.A. from The Ailey/Fordham BFA Dance program where he had the opportunity to perform works by Sidra Bell, Francesca Harper, Camille A. Brown, Jennifer Muller, Paul Taylor and Alvin Ailey. He has performed professionally with 360° Dance Company, Thang Dao Dance Company, VonUssar DanceWorks, Parsons Dance, The Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Sean Christiansen, Drums, Percussion, Piano

Sean has been teaching music for 5 years creating exciting and effective curriculum for individualized instruction. Sean received an “Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Music Program at Mercer College. He will evaluate his student’s progress and provide insightful feedback to parents and students. We are so pleased to have Sean join our Music Family here at Center Stage!

Marlowe Davis, Jazz, Lyrical

Marlowe Scott began his dance training at Center Stage. He was a competitive dancer with Tap Cats and Sr. Cats. While competing he received several regional and national titles. Marlowe continued his dance training at “North Carolina School of the Arts” in Winston-Salem, N¬¬C. After finishing school he received a scholarship to attend the “Alvin Ailey American Dance Center” in Manhattan. He performed with the “Alvin Ailey” company in “Memoria” at City Center in NYC. Marlowe has toured Europe as a backup dancer for “103.5 KTU’s” dance music Diva “Despina Vendi” (I Can’t Be) and appeared in one of her music videos. Returning to the state’s he’s performed choreography by former “Madonna” dancer “Slam” and has done industrial performances for “Toyota.” Marlowe has appeared in an Off-Broadway musical “Thin Line” choreographed and directed by S.Y.T.Y.C.D., Germany, Derek Mitchell and produced by “Vogue” magazines, Joe Zee. Marlowe’s TV credits include “TLC – Four Weddings,” and NBC, CBS and CNN features “Flash Mob Marriage Proposal at Bryant Park” which was also featured in “Carrie Underwood’s” video “See You Again.” He has also moved away from dance to pose for HX magazines annual swimsuit issue. You can catch him every year in Manhattan’s annual Mega-Event “Broadway Bares” at Roseland Ballroom. Dancing on stage with stars Matthew Morrison, Christina Applegate and Cyndi Lauper. Marlowe continues to further his dance training in Street Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary. His versatility in many styles of dance is what keeps him motivated to choreograph theatrical and creative productions. Marlowe works with our JR CATS and has won countless high national and regional awards. Marlowe has been a competitive dance judge for the past 5 years, working with Legacy Dance Championships, Groove Competition and Starquest International.  Marlowe’s new project “Over the Rainbow” will be premiering in the Fall of 2016.

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 “Hamilton”, “The King and I”, “If Then”, “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).  Our CATS Reunion recently brought together over 100 of our treasured alumni throughout the country who have been trained by Mickey these 30+ years, showing us all the love and respect our company members have for this very special teacher.

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.

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.

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.

Sally Garcia, Gymnastics, Acrobatics, Trampoline

Sally brings a wonderfully eclectic background to  our gymnastics and acrobatics program. She comes to us from Capital Gymnastics National Training Center – the #1 Gym in Northern Virginia where she coached level 4, 5 and 6 gymnastics and level 6 to Elite power tumbling.  She was a state, regional and nationally ranked trampolinist and double mini trampolinist, also participating in synchronized trampoline  She started as a dancer, then diver and found her passion as a gymnastics coach in 1999 to present. Sally is a USAG professional member for girls artistic gymnastics and has attended Region 7 Regional Congress regularly.   We are so happy to welcome Sally to our faculty.

Pamela Susan Gray, Curtain Up, 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.

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.

Kathryn Kane, 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/Damce 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 faculty.

Mike Korner, Gymnastics, Acrobatics

Mike brings his passion for gymnastics and theatre to our students, and has become one of the most sought after gymnastic teachers on our faculty.  A member of USAG, Mike is safety certified, and continues to enhance his education by attending yearly gymnastic seminars.  In addition to his classes at Starz Gymnastics and Center Stage, you may see him using his extensive acrobatic and dance skills at Plays in the Park in Edison and other regional theatres.

Danielle Mondi, Jazz/Hip-Hop, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Curtain Up, Company Director

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!”  Danielle is the valued director of many of our Jazz Companies.

Matt Lopez, Hip-Hop

Matt first started dancing at the age of 10, performing for a Filipino dance troupe in New Hampshire. He attended Northeastern University majoring in theatre. Lopez later transferred to the University of Central Florida where he danced at Walt Disney World. Matt had the opportunity to perform with Hillary Duff in the Christmas Day Parade televised on ABC. Upon graduating from Central Florida, he landed a job as the mascot for the New England Patriots. In the spring of 2010, Lopez was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly’s Go-Go Segment. His other notable past stage/television performances include dancing for Sean Kingston and Wyclef Jean on a kids programming show on PBS, as well as artists Yulya and Matt Palmer. Matt now lives in New York City where he is currently dancing with his crew, DEF-C, and choreographing flash mobs to raise awareness for non-profit organizations. In April 2012, Lopez was the audition facilitator for a Nicki Minaj performance and chosen as a lead dancer in Times Square for the debut of her album, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.” Matt is now choreographing for R&B/Pop artists, Kyle James and Sid Haywoode, whose song, “No Excuses” is #6 on Europe’s dance hit chart.   Lopez teaches hip-hop/funk master classes abroad including the Philippines and the United Kingdom. He is currently teaching hip-hop and street jazz at Broadway Dance Center and other prominent drop-in studios in NYC.

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.

Kimberly 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!

Heather Robbins, Voice

Heather holds a Masters in Music from the University of New Hampshire, where she specialized in vocal pedagogy and performance, and has studied with Neil Semer in New York. Heather’s teaching emphasizes healthy vocal technique in a variety of musical styles. She has performed in opera (Eugene Onegin, Susannah), as an oratorio soloist (Gounod St. Cecilia Mass, Fauré Requiem, Duruflé Requiem), in a cappella jazz groups, and in professional choruses both in the United States and in New Zealand, where she also taught voice and sang with Canterbury Opera. Her students have won prizes in competitions and held lead and supporting roles in local musical theatre productions and opera. Heather sings with the vocal a cappella trio The Tritones, directs the Kingston Women’s Chorus, and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the American Choral Directors Association.

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

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 Johnson Thick, Curtain Up, 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.

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 25 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.

Jason Warley, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip-Hop

Jason has more than 20 years experience as a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist. His training began under jazz dance legend, Frank Hatchett, and subsequently at Lehman College, Broadway Dance Center, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center (currently known as The Ailey School). Jason’s professional performing opportunities led him to work with celebrated choreographers, Peter Pucci (of, Pilobolus), Edward Morgan (of, The Joffrey Ballet), Slam (of Madonna’s,“The Blond Ambition Tour”), Brian Thomas (Emmy Award nominee), and Tony Award winning choreographer, Jerry Mitchell. Early in his career, he did world tours with recording artists, Shannon, Le Click and the Backstreet Boys. As a choreographer, Jason’s works include productions of Ragtime, Dreamgirls, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Singin’ in the Rain, and recently, Dreamgirls-in-Concert for ReVision Theatre Company, starring Patrice Covington-Bland as, Effie (Dreamgirls, National Tour, 2010). He also choreographed a 2000 world tour for 80’s pop diva, Shannon. Jason has served on the sub-faculty at the world acclaimed, Broadway Dance Center in New York City and has led master classes and workshops at a host of other dance institutions throughout the United States and Japan. Jason is the cover story of the August 2014 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine featuring his 20 years of work with our JAZZ CAT Program and runs Man In Motion – supplying master teachers/choreographers to dance studios across the Northeast including NYC Master Workshops. Stay in touch with Jason @ www.jasonwarley.com

Kristen Youngman, My First Steps, Curtain Up, Ballet, Tap, Jazz

Kristen, a member of the Center Stage family for many years, began dancing with us at the age of three. Studying many disciplines of dance, she spent her years at Center Stage as a member of our Tap and Jazz Companies. At the age of twelve, Kristen had the opportunity to be an assistant for the younger children classes and soon discovered her true passion, introducing and teaching our youngest dancers to the world of dance. Since graduating, Kristen has worked with several day care schools and continues to work with our young ones during our Summer Musical Theatre Camp “Curtain Up”. With Kristen’s vast experience with young children, she is a great addition to our staff!

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!