Georgina Bates

Georgina Bates is a NY and CT  based dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director. She trained in ballet, theatre dance, Fosse, jazz and hip hop in Los Angeles under teachers such as Jennifer Nairn-Smith, Josie Walsh, and Lisa Kellogg among others. After moving to CT, Georgina trained at SOPA under Arlene Begelman and Barbara Braverman. She was awarded scholarships to various programs such as Musical Theater at CCY (Wesleyan University), American Musical Theater Lab (Hofstra), The Dance Theatre of Harlem School. Georgina holds an M.F.A in Dance from the Tisch School of the Arts (NYU), and a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College.

Georgina was an originating member of Lauren Beirne Dance Works, and has presented work and performed at venues such as HERE Arts, Robert Moss Theater, Triskelion Arts, DeBaun Performing Arts Center, NYU, IDA Art Gallery, Pianos, The Martha Graham Theatre, and various world peace festivals at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, City Center, Town Hall (NYC), and Lincoln Center.

Ms. Bates’ dance film UNSTOPPABLE was selected from the #mydancefilm campaign and screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center for the Dance Films Association’s Dance on Camera festival 2018. Other festivals: Stay Home Film Festival, Greensboro Dance Film Festival, DANCE SHORTS by The Physical Plant, and Directed by Women – Shorts of All Sorts. Cloud Kumo (Student Academy Award – 2016 among other awards). Recent productions include Romeo & Juliet (Smith St. Stage), Going South (Dixon Place), Man Frog & Other People (Planet Connections Festivity 2018, Outstanding Choreography nomination), The (Last) Station (Planet Connections Festivity 2017, Outstanding Choreography nomination), Somehow We End Up Here, Again (HERE, Sublet Co-Op Series), The Master and Margarita (West End Theater). She is a member of SDCF Observership Class 2016 -2017, and League of Professional Theatre Women.

Georgina’s diverse background has inspired her to blend various forms of art to create unique, stirring, and impactful works. Whether teaching privately or in a group setting, Georgina is excited to dig into the work and help dancers shine as their individual selves, knowing that each person has something special to bring to the table. She is mom to two little boys (who love to dance!).

Annette Carlo

Annette Carlo is a Graduate of the University of the Arts and has been dancing since age 7. Her initial training began when she enrolled at Janet Rehban Nassif Dance Academy and at the age of 15 she became one of their instructors. She attended and taught there until she graduated from Danbury High School in 1989.  She then went to Philadelphia to study at The University of the Arts, where in 1993 she obtained her BFA in Dance Education with a Major in Modern and a Minor in Jazz. She has had the opportunity to study under various instructors, including: Janet Rehban Nassif, Faye Snow, Milton Myers, Wayne St. David and Ruth Andrien. While in Philadelphia she taught at the Franklin Learning Center and the Society Hill Playhouse.  Upon returning to Connecticut she taught at the Professional Dance Center in Sandy Hook for 3 years and she then became an instructor at Dancer’s Gallery in New Haven for the following 5 years. Her Choreography for competitions in 1998 brought her Trio “Fly” a Duo/Trio High Score Award.  In March 1999 she performed a self-choreographed solo at The University of the Arts Alumni Dance Concert in Philadelphia. She then joined the Planet Dance staff in 2001.  Where she has choreographed for the Eclipse Dance Company and the Planet Dance Choreography Project. She became the Owner/Director of Planet Dance in 2008.  She has continued her education by attending Dance Teacher Magazine’s Summer Conference and DanceLife Teacher Conference. She looks forward to sharing her love of dance with all her students.

Jessica Cipriano

Jessica Cipriano is a native to Connecticut, having received her formative dance training from Arlene Begelman and Robert Maiorano. She holds a B.F.A from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she had the privilege of dancing in works by Merce Cunningham, Doug Elkins, Jose Limon and Mark Morris. Jessica dances professionally with the Brooklyn-based company Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre (DT2), and has taught dance throughout New York City for the past 6 years. She has had the pleasure of dancing around the U.S. and performing at prominent venues including The Joyce, Jacob’s Pillow, & the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Jessica recently relocated to her home state and is excited to pursue the art of teaching, as well as a second career organic farming.

Katie Czyr

Katie is from Connecticut where she trained under instructors Peter O’Brien and Amy Piantaggini in Ridgefield where she was awarded the Patricia Schuster Scholarship. She graduated cum laude from Marymount Manhattan College earning a B.F.A. in dance where she received both dance and academic scholarships. Katie has been a member of Edgar Cortes Dance Theater in New York since 2015. She has performed at the Inside/Out Series at Jacob’s Pillow and has danced the lead in Martha Graham’s “Steps in the Street,” Edgar Cortes’s “Dali Aqui,” Anthony Ferro’s “The Hindemith,” and Rachael Kosch’s “Three Things.” She has danced in works by Paul Taylor, Megan Williams, Larry Keigwin, and Kirk Peterson, among others. Katie has been teaching since 2015 at various schools across Connecticut and has also choreographed works since 2010, presenting pieces at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT and the Young Choreographer’s Festival in Stamford, CT.

Heaven Darling

Heaven Darling received a BFA in Painting from WWU in 1992 and an MFA from WCSU in 2004. He teaches painting and visual art and mixed media art classes. Prior to living in Connecticut, Heaven recorded and performed with various rock bands in Seattle and NYC, as a drummer. Heaven’s students love the free thinking that his classes open up for them and are always delighted with his classes.

Samantha Hawley

I began dancing when I was 2 and this is my 12th year at the studio.  I’ve danced styles such as Modern, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Acro, and contemporary and assisted in modern and ballet classes.  In the past, I’ve played roles such as Flounder in The Little Mermaid, Little Alice in Alice in Wonderland, and Periwinkle in Neverland.

Abby LaPoint

This is Abby’s thirteenth year dancing at Studio D. She has taken lyrical, tap, jazz, modern, hip hip, ballet and pointe. She has assisted with multiple ballet/tap classes as well as creative movement. You may have seen her as Grimsby in The Little  Mermaid or as Lumiere in Tales of the Forest. Abby is a senior at New Milford High School. She loves spending time with family and friends, playing with her dogs, traveling and dancing.

Shannon McLean

Shannon McLean has a B.S. in Business Administration. She works in Product Development at Waterworks in Danbury CT. Throughout her life she has studied dance at a variety of dance studios and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to train at Enloe Magnet High School in Raleigh, NC studying Vagonava Ballet and Graham-Modern technique as part of her high school curriculum. She was a member of the Meredith Dance Ensemble in 1994. She began teaching dance in 2003 at Taps n Toes in Brewster NY where she taught and staged pieces in Ballet, Contemporary Jazz, Theater Jazz and Modern. She was a Choreographer and Production Manager for the Prelude Ballet Ensemble from 2005-2009 where she choreographed and staged “Peter and the Wolf”, “The Toy Box” an original story ballet, and several contemporary ballet pieces such as “TUTU”, “Simple Gifts” and “Kaleidoscope”. She began working at Studio D in New Milford, CT in 2009 and was delighted to begin a Contemporary Jazz class program in 2011. Shannon classroom philosophy is for everyone in the classroom to work hard on improving their technique while finding the beautiful voice of expression in the art of dance.

Jessica Melendez

Jessica Melendez danced at Studio D for 5 years and had additional dance training prior to that in all styles of dance. Jessie was a teaching assistant at Studio D and was a substitute dance teacher for Miss Gina’s Hip Hop classes.  While at Studio D, Jessie danced the part of The Mad Hatter in “Alice In Wonderland,” and Tiger Lily in “Neverland in Motion” as well as being a Principal Dancer in Studio D’s D-Tour Dance Company from 2013-2015. Jess was offered a scholarship to dance for Sacred Heart University’s dance company and continued her dance career there. At Sacred Heart, she worked with numerous choreographers and learned various new styles and techniques that she is eager to share with her new students.

Sarah Rondini

I have been dancing since I was 3 years old and this is my 11th year at Studio D! I have studied many styles including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, and hip hop. In the past, I have had character roles such as the chef from the little mermaid, the wolf from little red riding hood, the March hare in Alice in wonderland, and Captain Hook in Peter Pan!

Alison Rose

Alison began ballet lessons at the age of six and continues to train as an adult.  She studied many years with Balanchine dancer Dorothy Burdette and European soloist, Marthe Krueger.  Her training continued at Hofstra University with Joffrey II ballet master, Lance Westergard.  Other influential teachers have been Muriel Stuart, Karen Festog, Dan Sas, Linda Freyer, and Dieter Riesle.  In addition to many other roles, Alison has performed the lead roles of Clara, Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy in Danbury Music Centre’s Nutcracker. During her time as a member of the Danbury Ballet Company, she also performed in various other ballets.  Alison enjoys all dance forms and has also studied jazz, lyrical, modern, tap, ballroom, and flamenco.

Alison is a CT state-certified teacher and has taught English in local secondary schools.  She has been teaching ballet for ten years to students ages 5 through adult.  Alison truly enjoys teaching and encourages all students to reach their full potential.  She believes the art of ballet can help instill self-discipline and foster a sense of achievement and self-worth in her students that will carry over to other aspects of their lives.

Gina Silva

Gina Silva attended the Hartford School of Ballet after receiving a BBA in Business from WCSU. She performed at Walt Disney World and danced on the Disney Cruise Lines. Miss Gina has been a dedicated teacher at Taps-N-Toes in Brewster, NY since 1990 and was also the owner for a majority of that time. She initiated a movement program at Village Preschool in New Milford while her daughters attended there during the late 1990’s. Miss Gina is responsible for creating the New Milford High School Dance Team in 2000 and coaching it for the following four years. She took a hiatus from coaching until 2009 and has been assistant coach for the New Milford High School Dance Team since then. She had been a teacher at the Maria Calegari School of Ballet and is now a devoted teacher of ballet, creative movement, hip hop, jazz, and tap at Studio D. Miss Gina’s teaching style promotes learning in her classes while inspiring fun and excitement.