JUDY ABBATIELLO is a teacher, performer, choreographer, and artistic director. Ms. Abbatiello has performed throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada. A graduate of the New York High School for Performing Arts the “fame” school, she has been a featured dancer and singer with a USO show touring Hawaii and the Far East, and co-choreographed “C’est Si Bon,” a night club revue in New York City.
Teaching has been a major part of Judy’s life for the past several years. She has taught at Eglevsky School of Ballet in New York; was assistant teacher to David Harris for Dance Educators of America, and was a guest teacher for Ballet Arts, Carnegie Hall. She has also taught and choreographed for a number of gifted children’s programs for Downtown Cabaret in Bridgeport and the summer Theatre Workshop at the Polka Dot Playhouse.
“My goal is to bring a higher level of professionalism to dance training in the area. I want all my students, from the youngest to the oldest, to both understand dance and enjoy themselves while the learn and progress.”
“I know not everyone aspires to become a professional dancer. But it is nice to know that if you want to dance professionally, you’ve had proper training to do so!”
TAMMY SOCCI has been a Monroe resident for 19 years. She began her dance career at the age of 10 at The Children’s Studio for the Performing Arts, and later with Jill Chase until she graduated High School. Tammy took a short break from dance to further her education at Sacred Heart University, majoring in sociology. She spent her twenties traveling the United States until she met her husband, Joe. Tammy then began the greatest career she could ask for, motherhood. Tammy has two beautiful children, Joey and Hunter. Her love of all children led her to Stepney Elementary’s PTO which she later had the honor of being the President of. When her son, Joey, couldn’t stop tapping his toes at the young age of three, Tammy knew she had to get him in a dance studio. Her love for dance was reignited as she watched her son’s passion begin to grow. This brought Tammy and her family to Monroe Dance Academy in 2008. Since then, Tammy went from Dance Mom to Co-Owner, instilling the joy of dance in MDA’s students. Her love of children is evident as she spends her days as a Special Education Paraprofessional as Stepney Elementary School before coming to MDA in the evenings. Tammy continues to further her dance and business education by attending industry leading conferences such as The Dance Teacher Summit in New York City and Rhee Gold’s DanceLife Teacher Conference.
EILEEN BOYLE has loved dance since childhood, beginning her training at multiple schools in Virginia. Upon graduating high school she attended Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program before going to college to obtain an Associate of Arts degree. Eileen currently lives in New York City and most recently completed a Professional Semester at Broadway Dance Center, where she performed in works choreographed by Marc Kimelman, Meghan Sanett, and Sheila Barker. She has also performed in shows hosted by Dance in Bushwick and RAW Artists, two community-based collectives whose main focus fall on bringing artists of all mediums together. In addition to training and performing, Eileen is passionate about instilling the joy of dance and its importance in our communities into younger generations. She enjoys teaching many styles of dance at studios along the East Coast as well as dance and fitness classes in NYC.
Hip Hop, Ballet, and Lyrical Instructor
KELLY GLEASON graduated Summa Cum Laude from Pace University with a B.S. in commercial dance and psychology. At Pace, she performed works by Brian Friedman, Andy Blankenbuehler, Jessica Lang, Chloe Arnold, and Jason Samuels Smith. While at Pace, Kelly also studied with Liana Blackburn, Martha Nichols, and Marguerite Derricks. Recently, Kelly worked on a production for Norwegian Cruise Lines with Chase Benz. She has been seen on the national tour of 42nd Street, which was helmed by the 2001 Tony Award-winning team of Mark Bramble and Randy Skinner. Kelly danced in the Desigual show at New York Fashion Week, with choreography by Ryan Heffington. In addition, Kelly has performed at North Shore Music Theatre, New Bedford Festival Theatre, Ocean Professional Theatre Company, and the Carnegie Hall Exchange. Favorite credits include My Fair Lady, Singin’ in the Rain, and Crazy For You. Aside from performing, Kelly has been teaching a wide variety of styles for 5 years, from students in creative movement to adult levels.
Pilates and Company Conditioning Instructor
TAMMY GRUBER has been a Connecticut resident for her whole life. She is the owner of A Wellness Life, a body, mind and soul studio located in Newtown, CT. She has over 25 years of experience in the heath, wellness and fitness industry. She is a certified Pilates instructor, certified NASM personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and she is a certified Yoga Tune Up® teacher and Roll Model Method ® practitioner. Tammy teaches Barre, TRX, and Pilates Mat Classes in the local areas. She also hosts wellness retreats, workshops and is soon to be launching online courses. She has been a mover her whole life, gymnastics, dance and fitness have not only helped her understand that movement can heal, but it can heal others as well.
Acro and Jazz Instructor
JESSICA MICHAELS, a native of Newtown, CT, has over 10 years of national and international professional dance performance experience that took her from New York City to Los Angeles and London to Tokyo. With her business savvy and entrepreneurial drive, Jessica’s non-performance achievements include: Co-founder/ Dance Director of the Atlantic Arts Academy, a pre-professional performing arts academy in Jupiter, FL and the creation/development of JAM cosmetics, a healthier stage makeup line for dancers and live performance artists.
Impassioned to inspire, Jessica has helped guide young dancers to develop important life and leadership skills through her 20 years of teaching. It was only natural she would become instantly enamored with the Wingman program after meeting the founder, Ian Hockley. Wingman is a non-profit youth leadership program from Dylan’s Wings of Change (a non-profit foundation) that develops social and emotional skills through team-bonding/trust-building activities. Its mission is to encourage all children to be more compassionate, empathetic, courageous and inclusive young leaders.
Jessica joined the Dylan’s Wings of Change foundation and Wingman team when she adapted the program for the dance industry and launched Wingman for Dance in May 2016 as the Global Program Director.
A voracious learner, Jessica became certified in Acrobatic Arts in 2015 as well as Rhythm Works Integrated Dance, a program that teaches dance to children with special needs.
Hip Hop and Breakdance Instructor
FREDDY MUNOZ, is an Eclectic native born dancer from Bridgeport, CT who originally started his training in the hallways of Central HighSchool. In the Hip Hop underground scene he’s know as Bboy Frenzy representing his crew United Outkast. Later down the line he became involved in the commercial world after signing with Clear Talent Group where he now keeps a steady balance between the commercial and underground. You can find him taking flight in BlasterJaxx MV “Big Bird,” posing for the NFL 47’ Fall 18 Campaign, & busting a movie in the Specialize Turbo “Its You, Only
Preschool Dance, Musical Theater, and Ballroom Instructor
Co-Director of MDC
MEGHAN MARIA QUINN was raised in Monroe, CT and started dancing at the age of 3 in various styles of dance and studied for 15 years. She has won many overall dance competitions and was awarded the title of Miss Dance Explosion for her outstanding tap solo. Meghan continued her passion for dance in College and was the recipient of the four year talent scholarship award and the Alta Lu Townes memorial dance award. Meghan graduated cum laude from Keene State College in 2015 with a BA in Theatre and Dance and a minor in Management.
While at Keene, her choreography of “December Mourning” a five-minute modern piece that investigates the mourning process that followed the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT was chosen to perform in Keene State’s 2014 “An Evening of Dance Showcase,” 2015 Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, and the 2015 Academic Excellence Conference.
Her musical theatre performance credits include The Producers, Legally Blonde, and Footloose (lead dancer). Meghan is truly devoted to teaching dance and hopes to inspire her students by sharing her own knowledge and passion for dance.
JARED SPRAGUE is a Clintondale, NY native. He started dancing at the age of three, and hasn’t stopped since. His passion and talent led him to study in NYC, where he has been fortunate enough to work with and train under influential teachers and choreographers including: Ray Hesselink, Lola Sanchez, Rhonda Miller, Max Pollak, Mandy Moore, Scott Jovovich, Lauren Gaul, Ephrat Asherie, Martha Nichols, Alexandra Damiani, Jess Hendricks, and many more! Jared recently graduated from Pace University in May 2019 with a BFA in Commercial Dance, is a member of Caleb Teicher & Co., and is signed with MSA Talent Agency.
Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Musical Theater, and Lyrical/Contemporary Instructor
Co-Director of MDC
A North Carolina native, JAYME WAPPEL is a dancer, actor, singer, and educator. Growing up, she trained in all genres of dance under the direction of Christy Curtis at CC & Company Dance Complex, her second home. Jayme continued to study dance and theatre at Point Park University. While there, she received the faculty-selected Freshman of the Year award and scholarship, performed in both dance concerts and musicals, and graduated with her Bachelor of Arts after only three years. Since beginning her professional performance career, Jayme has been seen on a First National Tour, Off-Broadway, in multiple regional productions, in numerous events and gigs throughout the tri-state area, and even on a cruise ship as an aerialist.
In addition to performing, Jayme enjoys teaching and choreographing. As an educator, she teaches for dance studios and theatre programs across the nation, coaches high school seniors in preparation for college auditions, judges for multiple dance competitions, and choreographs recreational and professional productions. Jayme is also a teaching artist for Arts Action, an outreach program through Unity Stage Company that aims to increase the physical activity of children in New York City’s public schools. As someone who grew up surrounded by dance and theatre, Jayme believes everyone should have the opportunity to experience the positive impact of the arts.
NICOLE OHR is a 2008 Hofstra University graduate with a BA in Dance and in Psychology. While at Hofstra University, she trained in ballet, modern and tap dance. Nicole continues her training with Michelle Dorrance, Barbara Duffy, Derick Grant and Jared Grimes. Currently, she is performing as a professional tap dancer in Undertoe Dance Project (tap dance captain), Mazel Toes Tap Dance Company and Boston Tap Company. She has had the opportunity to perform professional works by Brenda Buffalino, Michelle Dorrance and Jared Grimes and has also had the opportunity to perform in Broadway Underground at B.B. Kings (choreography by Jared Grimes) the Main Event at Symphony Space, Tappy Holidays, The Young Choreographer’s Festival and Jacob’s Pillow. Nicole can also be seen in the Broadway Dance Center Promo Video for Step Up 3D (Choreography by Michelle Dorrance). She currently works as a Registrar for the American Tap Dance Foundation and is a Dance Instructor (various styles) throughout the Tri-State area.
SUSIE GORMAN started her training at the Miller-Marley Schools of Dance and Voice and the State Ballet of Missouri. From there, she went on to train with the School of American Ballet, the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the American Ballet Theater. She has performed with such companies as The State Ballet of Missouri; Mia Michael’s R.A.W.; The Wes Veldink Movement; Journey Dance Company – NY and Gus Giordano azz Dance – Chicago.Susie danced at Lincoln Center for Microsoft, and the 1st National Tour of Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out. Just recently she danced as a soloist in Kristin Sudeikis’ Off Broadway production of Even In Silence and performed as a backup dancer for a new and upcoming recording artist in New York City.She also teaches/choreographs for different dance studios and companies all across the United States. She thanks her family, teachers, and her friends for always believing in her and her talent.
SHANNON DURIG is a triple threat performer who holds the title of longest run starring as Tracy Turnblad in the hit Broadway musical, Hairspray! She can also be seen in recurring roles on Disney Channel’s Handy Manny & Jonas LA.
Born and raised in Overland Park, KS, Shannon grew up with a desire to entertain. Now, splitting her time between New York and LA, Shannon is thriving as she continues to realize that dream. Shannon is an actor who has been featured on Television, in Films and Commercials, and on Stages nationwide.
Shannon has also found success in many other areas of the entertainment industry; working as a choreographer, dance, singer, dance competition judge, and as a passionate and inspirational teacher. She is a proud member of both Actor’s Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.