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.

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.

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.

Shannon Garahan, Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Young Children

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.

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.

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.

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!

Melissa Ramos, Hip-Hop, Jazz

Melissa was born and raised in New York City. She began her ballet-focused dance training at Ballet Academy East and the 92nd Street Y. Her facility and creativity led her to become a member of the Young Dance Maker’s Company in the summer of 2008 under the instruction of director and choreographer, Alice Therstein. Here she was exposed to the Merce Cunningham technique as well as different methods of improvisation, which she still uses today as tools for choreography. With a need to further strengthen her technique and explore other styles of dance she went on to study Horton, Dunham, Limon and Jazz, at the pre-professional/summer intensive programs on full scholarship at Ballet Hispanico. Eager to explore other studios she went on to train at Steps on Broadway. Still practicing her original styles of dance, she developed a great passion for Hip Hop becoming an assistant and lead dancer of one of Steps’ most talented Hip Hop dance teachers, Matt Lopez. Inspired by SYTYCD she joined Matt’s crew, DEF-C. Assisting Matt has given her the opportunity to express her own style and individuality while creating choreography with him and the crew. Dancing for the crew has expanded her performance opportunities, creating flash mobs around the city to create awareness for various issues in society, shooting how to videos for Howcast.com as well as being part of various NYC showcases including the Steps Faculty Show. She has successfully booked many jobs background dancing for singers such as Amira, Loren Martinez, Yulya, and recently Sid Haywoode. Melissa currently trains at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway to enhance her strength and understanding of what has become her life, dance.

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!

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